Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Two subjects in one post! *gasp*

In a current bid to elevate my status in Nerdtonia, here is my current preoccupation (update: 5/4/2015. "Zelda: Ocarina of Time"). As I've been playing through it, everyone has been telling me it's such a "great game". Roommates, suitemates, kids with scruffy beards that wear only black and grey, kids across the hall. I guess it had better pick up then- thus far it's been a pretty good addition to the series; however, the controls are a little choppy, the camera angle can be very annoying, and most of the puzzles are deceptively easy- to the point where every once in a while, you get one of those really annoyingly easy puzzles that is sitting, both mockingly and precariously, between you and the next plot advancement (for example, breaking wooden boxes does not involve hitting them with your huge, chunky sword, but rather rolling into them). I remain optimistic, however; perhaps it will get better when/if I get the boomerang.

In other unrelated, unimportant developments, Yahoo Mail decided to up my storage capacity for e-mails from a relatively unreachable 100.00 MB maximum to a staggering 250.00 MB. I was even a little saddened to see my slowly creeping 16% of capacity meter fall to a measly 6%. Wow, that is sad (that I cared a little about that, not that it happened). Uh, so send me a lot of attachments and stuff. I guess.

(*Update: 5/4/2015. We've come a looooonnnggg way as far as email storage limits go.)

Monday, November 29, 2004

What?

I just read a comment from someone on the internet (a mistake on my part): "Modest Mouse? Just buy some Talking Heads albums. Get it from the original source."

Where do people draw the line at disregarding new bands simply because they incorporate influences from older bands?? (Uh, by the way I've never heard this comparison before, I find it hard to see any connections between the two bands on any of Modest Mouse's pre-Good News... albums [or even any songs on Good News... besides {MAYBE} the singles].) In my view, songs are as unique as fingerprints- even if a band consciously tries to capture someone else's sound or style, they're not gonna get it exactly right, and in the process they are adding some of their own spins on the music. Bands that consciously copy, however, usually end up sucking anyway...

Seems like anyone saying we don't need Modest Mouse because we have (had) the Talking Heads would be happy with only 5 really good bands that each did really distinct things. Then, that's it. No new music (unless it's reaaaallly different from everything that's ever been put out).

In a final note, I AM against rehashing old music, but I'm not hardcore about it. AND it will probably be the case that bands will start copying Modest Mouse. etc.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

I have just realized

I have just realized that a few small changes in the things I do could produce considerable positive results in the long run.

Two weeks ago I started collecting aluminum cans. I wash them out, crush them, and store them in grocery bags. I pick them up off the ground when I see them (which helps the environment / trash collectors), will recycle them (again, with the environment, whilst also making a penny for myself), and this does not seem hinder my day to day activities in the least. This is also relatively easy, since no one here thinks about saving cans, or even recycling them.

Then, since I feel that I'm not operating at my maximum potential, I will try to schedule daily allotments of activities (such as going through my library of movies, video games, and books) in order to get a little bit done day by day. Surely if my father can build an addition (from the ground up, by himself) to our house that increases its size by at least 28.7% over a couple of years, I can get some reading of classic novels down in a few months. I've actually been thinking about doing this for a long time; I suppose first I'll need to schedule a time to make my schedule.

BUT, before all of that tom-foolery, I need to write a daring language analysis of an episode of The Simpsons by Thursday so I have time to finish recording the demo, the first step to Letters to the Editor conquering the known world, before we part for the winter. ... (And "study" for this lame computer competency test that I will rock Wednesday, so I will not have wasted 35 precious $$$.)

wakka wakka wakka

(*Update: 5/4/2015. I recall those bags of cans sitting around for a long time until both me and my roommate were sick of them and just chucked them out. There might be a lesson in that.)

Monday, November 22, 2004

Knecht Ruprecht

I learned about Krampus in German class today. Apparently, Austria has a unique holiday tradition- of having an evil santa emerge and terrorize all of the bad children before the good santa comes out with the presents.

Stories from my German TA followed about when he lived in Austria and a group of 50 or so men dressed up as Krampus in elaborately-decorated attire, wielding thumping rods and chains. The better to beat you with. He said they usually got intensely drunk and started going after everyone in sight with their weapons. Interesting concept.

If I were an instructor...

If I were an instructor, I would allow students to reverse "shoot the moon" (updated: 5/4/2015) on my mutiple choice tests- if they got every single question wrong, then I would give them 100% (but if they got even one right, I would give them 5% or whatever).

I think about this every time I take a multiple choice test.

(*Update: 5/4/2015 - My final for my General Psychology class was like this. My instructor (a grad student) said that if we had an A in the class by the time the final came around, the test would not negatively affect our grade. So it would only bump you up, not take you down. Still, we had to show up. So I sat for the test and deliberately tried to get every question wrong. It was a lot of fun. I don't remember the grade I collected on the final, but I think it was under 10%.)

Saturday, November 20, 2004

...

The Student Life Building is having an advanced screening of The Life Aquatic on December 8th, two and a half weeks before it opens. Required passes to be distributed around December 1st.

Speechless.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Punctuation: A Lost Art.

I recall reading a witty essay (update 11/20/04 12:56 P.M.; second update 5/4/2015, "Pico Iyer: In Praise of the humble comma") on punctuation in high school, but I cannot remember the name or author for the life of me.

In these times of enhanced language "connectivity" attained through the internet, I have noticed a substantial phenomenon: many people do not use enough punctuation! (Based on the popularity of this post, following topics on the complications of homophones, possessives, contractions, capitalization, appositives, parenthetical asides, number agreement in subjects and verbs and other forms of written minutia over which I obsess could be considered.)

The subject of semicolons, in particular, fascinates me; they can create a nice flow between sentences and act as a connector of ideas. This article on semicolon usuage is very well-constructed.

I think punctuation is very important- it can even be fun! We should all be thankful that we have punctuation- archaic Latin didn't even have periods (because the main verb would separate sentences by naturally falling at the end of sentences)! Just consider your punctuation as an extension of your individual language style and express yourself. Use more ellipses too; they can do more than simply trail off a lingering thought... they can add thought-provoking space to your sentences. Colons are also powerful; use them in titles or at the end of a complete thought to signal an expansion of your idea. Think of them as a doorway that opens up to reveal your next clause. Though no colons are coming out naturally during the process of creating this post, I can think of one way to solve that: a focus of my creative energy and a swift conclusion.

That's it- no more posts after 1:00 A.M. EST.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Dilemma.

Yesterday Matt made a harrowing observation: On Friday December 3rd, The Presidents of the United States of America are playing at The Beta Bar AND Rushmore is playing as the free midnight movie that night at the SLB.

So,

I've seen Rushmore before, but not on the big screen. I haven't seen the Presidents live.

Rushmore is free, and that is good. The Presidents are $13 in advance, $15 the day of, which is somewhat reasonable.

The Presidents have better than decent local band Believe in Toledo, and decent band The Drake Equation opening for them. Before Rushmore is a showing of Anchorman. However, Rushmore does have Bill Murray. And that funny, quirky Jason Schwartzman.

The concert starts at 9:30 PM, but they usually don't start on time and there is another opening band, Say Anything. So it will most definitely go past midnight.

And then there's always the dilemma of going to the midnight movie or breakfast for a buck. What to do?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Holy Freakin' Cow

Hardee's newest addition to its fastfood catalog is the Monster Thickburger.

With 1,400 calories.

And 107 grams of fat.

Dare me to eat one?

I don't even think this guy could handle more than two of these without ceasing to exist.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Jones Soda + HSR

Jones Soda, makers of really good tasting soda, make really bad tasting soda. And sell it. A lot of it.

HAhahaha.

*EDIT:

And the Chapman brothers produce another gem. Seriously, this is one of the best. Maybe even better than The Bird.
*Gasp* Is this the end for SBEmails?? Probably not. (They just released the Strong Bad Emails DVD this week, too). Oh, and there are two easter eggs at the end of this week's email, on both of the gears at the end.

OH Yeah! And they're releasing 12 pack cans of Jones Soda! Only at Target!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Hate and War

The Clash got me thinking. Mick Jones pointed out in an interview that (The Clash song) "Hate and War" was just the opposite of everything the hippies were preaching at the moment (love and peace), a point so blatantly obvious that I felt inadequate for not realizing it.

Hate and war, the only thing we got today. And if I close my eyes, it will not go away.

But they weren't talking about starting revolutions or political uprisings, they were telling it how it was. They didn't wish for the unattainable goals of world peace and universal love, they just pointed out all the hate and war that was happening around them.

So, this got me thinking. Are world peace and love really unattainable? ...Yes. It seems to me that for every advance in medicine and healthcare that extends the human lifespan and reduces the rate of preventable deaths, there needs to be a sort of balance if not only for the purposes of population control and stability. Therefore maniacal tyrants wipe out entire groups of people, and wars take down the population a bit.

Uh, this isn't flowing as well as I thought, and I can't seem to express clearly what I'm thinking (nor do I have useful links), so I'm gonna try to wrap this up.

Is war the oldest human institution? It seems to extend long before the formation of written language, and the formation of cities. It seems natural enough (hmm, nature is harsh when it comes to predator and prey at times, but are there cases of animal warfare? ...like a colony of ants systematically united against another colony, or monkey groups in warfare? Any Biology majors out there?)- as natural as anger, but it just seems (to me) that human society should have progressed past this primal instinct.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

What I may have learned today.

Austria has a policy of permanent neutrality, despite joining the European Union in 1995.

In terms of field dependence learning styles, I am more of a field independent learner. I "enjoy analyzing grammar structures" and "prefer working alone to working with other people." However, I am "less skilled in interpersonal/social relationships" and "need a quiet environment in order to concentrate well."

One must pay FSU $30 in order to prove to the Man that one is computerly competent.

I enjoy making up words like "computerly".

One must have an idea of what to "get out of the [FSU] career center" before stumbling in and asking the counselors what's up. Without an idea, the counselors will typically sit someone in front of a large file of articles detailing, for example, various people's success stories and "interesting careers" in Psychology.

FSU's radio station, WVFS 87.9, does not have The Police's "So Lonely" in its library, but the host will play "De do do do, de da da da" upon its request (close enough).

Apparently, professors sometimes employ substitute teachers to instruct the classes they cannot attend. Can I send in a substitute student?

and

It seems Britney Spears just keeps on breaking all the rules...
like the one I made that says that she's not allowed to release a greatest hits CD.

I am Charlotte Simmons.

Alright, the new Tom Wolfe novel, I am Charlotte Simmons, comes out today (November 9th, 2004)! I read an excerpt from it this past summer in a Rolling Stone issue. Turns out Wolfe went to various universities across the nation (from Stanford to UF), researching his novel on the modern times of university life (see title of this blog).

Listen to an interview with Wolfe here.

Read a review here.

Heck, win a trip to talk to Wolfe here!

This book is going to the top of my Christmas list (hint, hint).

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Last Minute Reminder.

Polls are closed throughout (maybe not in Alaska and Hawaii, whatever), but in case you forgot, Dick Cheney usually keeps his promises:

"Make no mistake: If Kerry becomes president, no one will be safe from me," Cheney told reporters. "Businesses, places of worship, schools, public parks: No place will offer you refuge. A vote for Kerry is a vote to die in your own bed at the hands of Dick Cheney."

So be careful, or be roadkill!