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Everything posted by John

  1. Oh, guess I took off without saying thanks... Sorry, Petie, and thanks so much! And if I may, I'm gonna hijack my own thread here and ask whatever happened to plans for a karma system on OB. I can see there's a system in place for it right now, but it's not functional yet. Is that still in the works, or did the switch from vB nix that idea? Just curious.
  2. John

    Music Changes, How Has Your Taste Evolved?

    Oh man. There was a period during my childhood where my dad only allowed me to listen to Christian music. I didn't really obey that, of course, but a lot of that stuff still got into my musical diet at the time. I'd make a list of albums, but I grew up during the Napster heyday, so most of what I listened to was on a song-by-song basis. Major artists of junior high included Creed, Five Iron Frenzy, PAX217, Linkin Park, P.O.D., Ghoti Hook and Pillar. That was pretty embarrassing to write out. It was actually old OBers who turned me on to a lot of the music I love today, and they're probably largely responsible for the fact that I even love music considerably at all. A combination of that influence and my own natural curiosity led me towards listening to a lot of stuff like Pixies, Modest Mouse, Deltron 3030, and Soundgarden into my Freshman year of high school, but there were two specific events that year that had a huge impact on my life musically. The first happened one day during weights class. Boy, that was something--being corralled into this concrete room, walls covered in inane, bold-faced inscriptions about giving 110%, having to pick up heavy things and put them back down for reasons which my fourteen-year-old brain just could not grasp, everything you touch is covered in some foul-smelling grime built up from all the winners who gave it their all before you got there... wasn't my scene. The radio was always playing either someone's Lil John CD or the local classic rock station, and today it was the latter. I think I was heading towards the fountain for one of my very frequent water breaks when "Starman" by David Bowie came on. Bowie Bowie was one of the artists that most of the guys in my OB circle were just crazy about, but I hadn't really heard any of his stuff before. There in the weight room, though, I just stood there listening, dumbfounded but certainly not knowing the long love affair that was about to ensue. I think I'd still call him my favorite musician today. The arguably more important event, though, happened during the first week of English class. It was the teacher's first year on the job, fresh out of college, and the first thing he decided to do was a week-long unit on popular music that had absolutely nothing to do with English. One of the assignments during that week was to pair up with someone and do a short oral report on a band assigned to us by the teacher. My partner and I got Pavement, and we didn't listen to any of their music, but we did laugh a whole lot at the name. Some time the following summer, however, I was starting to get bored with my music library, and I remembered that band with the stupid name. On a whim, I downloaded several of their songs and played them in the background while I was playing a game or browsing myO or something. At the time they really didn't make any impact on me at all, but they kept coming up all throughout the next few weeks when I'd shuffle my music. They grew on me slowly at first, but then at one point, all of a sudden, "Shady Lane" just hit me across the head like a brick, and the rest of the songs quickly followed suit. I got on AIM and asked Shin if he listened to Pavement, and if he could send me an album by them with either "Stereo" or "Shady Lane" on it. He sent me Brighten the Corners, which had both, and don't think I listened to anything else for at least five or six weeks straight. Bowie was great, but I dunno, something about this album had a much more powerful effect on me. It was one of Pavement's two most commercial-sounding releases, but coming from a background like I had, you could still tell instantly that these guys were coming from a musical world that was totally off the charts of anything I'd ever known before. I think that's mostly what set me in the direction of everything else I would start listening to from then on. I moved to a different town that summer, so I never had another chance to talk to that teacher about music or the huge influence he had in my life. I would think about it every now and again from then on, and I tried a few times to see if I couldn't look him up online, but he was impossible to find. I gave it one more shot a few months ago, though, and finally managed to find his Facebook profile, which was scant on information and totally unsearchable from within Facebook but no match for my internet stalking chops. He's now living in Korea, apparently. I shot him a short message, he replied in kind, and that was that I guess. Sorry that wasn't in a list, but... yeah. If I had to make a current top ten, it'd probably be, loosely, something like this [REDACTION: I can't do a top ten. Tiers are the best you're gonna get.]: Top Tier: [b]Hum[/b] - Downward is Heavenward Second Tier: [b]Purplene[/b] - Purplene Third Tier: [b]Nullsleep[/b] - Unconditional Acceleration [b]David Bowie[/b] - "Heroes" [b]Gary Numan[/b] - The Pleasure Principle [b]Mission of Burma[/b] - Vs. [b]Fugazi[/b] - Red Medicine Fourth Tier: [b]Servotron[/b] - No Room for Humans [b]Dan Deacon[/b] - Bromst [b]Starscream[/b] - Future, and It Doesn't Work
  3. John

    Omnipotence and Omnipotent Beings

    Alright guys, I'm pretty sure my attention span has gotten a lot shorter since I last used to post here. I just skimmed this thread real fast, so listen up 'cause I'm about to drop some raw **** on y'all: [b]1. Immovable object/unstoppable force[/b] The question is flawed. For an object to be immovable, it would have to have infinite inertia, meaning it would have to have infinite mass. By the laws of this universe, that can't happen. Same thing with an unstoppable force, which would require infinite energy. So really, it boils down to the question "can God do what can't be done?", which is an illogical question that can't be given a logical answer, whether positive or negative. It's like saying, "If KFC twelve piece bucket, Oregon backlash swimmingly? CHECK AND MATE, SIR." On the other hand, I guess it's plausible that he could create a universe whose laws would somehow allow for both immovable objects and unstoppable forces, but that hardly makes for exciting debate on either side. NEXT. [b]2. Can God be both all-powerful and good if there is evil in the world?[/b] If we're talking about the Abrahamic God and the Biblical definition of "good" (aren't we always? Doesn't this get boring for anyone?), then yes. But let's talk about that definition for a moment, which I'll estimate as stating that something is "good" if it is, ultimately, sooner or later, somehow pleasing to God. The idea that God loves humans--maybe the most important in the Bible--pushes us towards our next conclusion, that loving God is good, and from there that humans having free will is good, and from there that obeying his commands is good, and from there that being generous, loving others, not punching people (generally)... the whole moral system as espoused by the Bible, is good. The point is this: that moral system is not the definition of "good" that we are arguing about; it is a derivation of that definition that exists expressly for the benefit of human beings. To one degree or another it most certainly reflects the character of God, but [i]it does not apply to God[/i], nor is he restricted by it. So no, he's not evil for allowing evils to occur within humanity even though he could stop them. [i][Fair warning: I'm about to get all preachy on you, but I'm not trying to "convert" you via emotional appeal or whatever. I'm just making a case for my side of this oh so dapper, gentlemanly debate, and emotional value is deeply connected to the logic of this case. If this just ends up making things messier in the coming posts, then know that that wasn't my intent.][/i] God sees further and deeper than us. He knows the people who, according to the Bible, he "knit together in the womb", he knows the pain of women who were raped, impregnated, and then shunned from their culture for it; he knows the pain of children who were forced to become soldiers and now get headaches if they go too long without seeing blood; he knows about the billions of people who would be murdered, many in his name, during the short lifespan of the world he created; he knows about the billions more who would wriggle out of screaming women's vaginas, live for 60 or 70 years, and then die without ever once having heard about him. He knows and feels all of this. He knew it and felt it before he kickstarted the whole thing off with a few words, and, unless you want to argue that God's memory fades over time, he will always know and feel those things, even into the coming age of "heaven" when apparently all of his followers will be sitting on clouds and playing Kenny G songs on our harps. And yet, having counted the cost, he decided it was all worth it. So yes, in the end, there is no apparent contradiction between the notion of an all-powerful god and that god embodying the Judeo-Christian notion of "good". But! Let's go just one step further: God decided that this universe is good, "but is it the best possible universe? Couldn't he have done better than this?" Excellent question, thank you for asking, but I don't have an answer. And neither do you. God knows more than us (read: everything), but even if he doesn't exist, we still don't know enough ourselves to even begin to make a call like this. Maybe every other alternate variation on this universe really would have been worse than this one; maybe the existence of this amount of suffering really [i]is[/i] exactly the amount we need to "build character" or whatever. Or maybe it's not. Maybe God could've created a universe that had both free will for humans and absolutely no suffering, but he chose not to because he has an even bigger plan that literally can't be comprehended by the human brain (not that his current one as mentioned in the Bible really can either, but that's neither here nor there). Logic falls apart at this point; it doesn't work on this level, it wasn't supposed to, and pretending it does is irrational and just leads to really dumb internet arguments. Oh man where did this wall of text come from. I DON'T WANT TO BE THIS ANYMORE. EDIT: Just realized that this was indeed just an epic necro. All the same to me though, I guess. Sup Baron.
  4. John

    Shameless Plugs!

    Here's a video I made in my After Effects class last semester, given the task of making a ten-second countdown. It's pretty simple, but I still like it alright: [url]http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1275815413984&subj=1187910724[/url]
  5. John

    James Cameron's FernGully

    [quote name='Sangome'][FONT=Microsoft Sans Serif][SIZE=1]I personally do not care if it is "unoriginal", especially since "originality" is something very hard to achieve in this day and age, when practically [I]everything[/I] has been done at some point or another.[/SIZE][/FONT][/quote] And yet every major entertainment industry still manages to consistently release products that are more than just a dense pile of cliches. Except Broadway (BOOM, roasted :bdance:). Not every movie needs to focus on a brilliant storyline and engaging, well-rounded characters in order to be quality entertainment, and most of them don't. But the backbone of any narrative film is still the narrative itself, no matter how much focus is placed on style or other concerns. In the same way that the production values need to be at least high enough for the audience to be able to visually and aurally discern what's happening on the screen, the narrative needs to at least be strong enough to pull the viewer into the world of the film and draw their sympathies in whichever direction the filmmakers desire.
  6. John

    Japan Is Not Funny Anymore

    Awful writing and characterization has turned me away from many Japanese games that were probably otherwise really fun. The World Ends With You is definitely the worst offender here, not only in terms of just how bad the characters and dialogue were, but just how muchof it there was, and the fact that you can't skip [I]any[/I] of it. I couldn't even trudge through the first in-game week of that crap before I stopped playing. Stupid characterizations and over-the-top anime-style animations (as well as all the grinding) kept me on the edge of quitting for most of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, even though it was otherwise a freakin' sweet game. Advance Wars: Dual Strike suffers a similar problem, but that game is just too awesome for the heinous writing to stop me from playing. Besides, its dialogue is generally skippable. Of course, sometimes non-Japanese games suffer the same fate with me. I got past, like, the first level of God of War before I said, "This is stupid. I'm not a thirteen-year-old," and quit. It baffles me that I seem to be the only person in the world to hold this opinion. On the other hand, one thing that I find fascinating is how the Japanese treat the English language. I'm not talking about Engrish, but often when they're giving some creative work an English title or name, they just put together weird combinations of words, usually not even making any grammatical sense, that a native English-speaker would never have thought of. The band name "Melt Banana" is a good example of this.
  7. John

    Gaming Nintendo announces DS successor

    Well, I'll give 'em one thing: the Nintendo of this console generation has definitely made speculation a lot more fun. The DS managed to make a perfect harmony of innovation and traditional fun, and that allowed developers to go in a ton of different directions (and go they did). It'll be hard to trump, but I think those guys have got it in 'em. But really, part of me kinda wishes that this information hadn't even gotten out yet, because it's so little to go off of that all it does is drive me mad trying to make something solid out of it.
  8. [quote name='Stephanie'][SIZE=1]So my boyfriend is planning a surprise for my birthday and apparently ALL of my friends are involved. I'm frightened but incredibly curios. @_@[/SIZE][/quote] I think I feel you. I once had a surprise birthday party where my dad covertly had all of my best friends come over, despite the fact that a lot of them didn't really associate with each other at all. Room full of high schoolers who are barely acquainted + nothing to do but sit around + parent hanging around in the next room + host who is just very bad at parties and party-hosting = awkwardness. Fortunately, I found an air compressor and brought it into the room, which kinda got things kickin'. That's a party tip I'll keep to my grave.
  9. John

    James Cameron's FernGully

    [quote name='Sara'][FONT=secret font!][SIZE=3]You probably hated Beanie Babies, too, didn't you? :rolleyes:[/SIZE][/FONT][/quote] I liked Beanie Babies as a kid, I don't hate [I]Avatar[/I], and I'm sure you know what I actually meant in that post.
  10. John

    James Cameron's FernGully

    [quote name='Lunox'][FONT=trebuchet ms] Ah, backlash. It's a wonderful thing.[/FONT][/quote] I guess I'll try to be more impressed by the same stuff other people are impressed by from now on...
  11. John


    I'm strictly a t-shirt and jeans guy, and it's what I wear pretty much everywhere unless the situation strictly calls for another style of dress (showering or sleeping, for instance). I've also got long hair simply for the fact that I never felt like getting it cut (although on some days it does look kinda cool, depending on its mood). In most areas of my life, I almost always tend towards the practical and simple rather than the fancy because I think it's more personal, sincere, and humble. Also, makeup weirds me out so much. It's not exactly a dealbreaker or anything, but any amount of it (even just some eyeliner) makes a girl look significantly less attractive to me. Even the concept of it is weird--that women should alter their faces with all these crazy liquids and powders so they'll feel more attractive; I've heard it quite aptly described as "real life Photoshop". By saying this, I don't mean to sound condescending to people who wear makeup or to imply that it's wrong to do so, I'm just expressing my personal quirks on the matter (although I do think you should consider how right I generally am about everything and act accordingly).
  12. John

    What have you won?

    [quote name='Sara'][FONT=secret font!][SIZE=3]What did you have to break down? I feel like this must be a typo, but I can't figure out what you actually meant. Peg?[/SIZE][/FONT][/quote] I think "breaking down a leg castle" is what the kids are calling hip-hop dancing these days (which would make sense given the increasing consolidation of science fairs and urban dance competitions in today's schools). [SIZE=1][COLOR=Silver] [COLOR=White](That was a really bad joke and I apologize to all of you.)[/COLOR][/COLOR][/SIZE]
  13. John

    The Valentine's Day Thread!

    Valentine's Day was definitely at its best in elementary school, when it revolved around getting to put sweet-*** decorations on a paper sack and have it filled up with candy.
  14. John

    That Time of the Month Thread

    On a scale of "mildly upsetting" to "I am putting you on my ignore list", how weird is it that I am reading this thread right now? Wait, don't answer that.
  15. John

    Gaming Mass Effect 2

    Some people call it an RPG because they're too lazy to type the "A" at the beginning of "ARPG". A few call it an FPS because they don't know what "FPS" stands for at all.
  16. John

    James Cameron's FernGully

    [quote name='James'][FONT=franklin gothic medium]Ironically, you could boil most movies down to the above formula. Some of the greatest movies of the last few decades have also been incredibly formulaic.[/FONT][/quote] Using a formula is one thing, but what we have here is the same method that highschoolers use to avoid getting caught for plagiarism in their essays. Just sayin'. Also, I don't know how I forgot about this, but "UNOBTANIUM". Did Cameron just put that in the script as a filler term and forget to search-and-replace it later or something?
  17. John

    Vans Warped Tour 2010

    rotlung, you just invalidated anything you've ever said and anything you ever will say. I mean, talk about unpardonable sins...
  18. John

    James Cameron's FernGully

    [quote name='Lunox'][FONT=trebuchet ms]The point is, Cameron put a pretty neat spin on an old story[/quote] A [URL="http://www.instantrimshot.com/"][COLOR=Gray]tailspin[/COLOR][/URL], maybe. [/FONT][quote name='Lunox'][FONT=trebuchet ms]To those who dismiss the quality and creativity of the visuals/special FX-- um...like, lol. I don't even know what to say. Either your brain doesn't function properly and doesn't find breathtaking landscapes/fascinating plant life beautiful or you were pissed off by all the neon. idk.[/FONT][/quote] Everything looked predictable, like something you'd see in an alien motivational poster or hotel room.
  19. This still doesn't top "sea kittens".
  20. John

    James Cameron's FernGully

    As everyone has said, the narrative elements are cliche. I had heard that before I watched the film and thought I was prepared to deal with it; it's usually pretty easy for me to sit through mediocrity. But this movie [I]really[/I] upped the ante in that respect, so much so that at some points I actually had a hard time not stepping out of the theater for a break. It simply cannot be overstated how [I]painfully[/I] generic the plot and characters are. However, telling a good story was never the ambition of [I]Avatar[/I]. Like any well-behaved Hollywood blockbuster, it's a big, cash-fueled spectacle meant to stun and bedazzle audiences, and it does a decent job of this. The visuals look realistic enough, but let's face it: Jurassic Park came out in 1993, set the benchmark for CG realism, and, despite astronomical advances in computing technology, hadn't been surpassed in over fifteen years. Maybe this movie finally did that, but they're waaaaay too late to be commended for this. The art direction wasn't bad, but it wasn't all it was hyped up to be. Lisa Frank doing prog rock album covers. I think the one aspect of the movie that's actually commendable are the action sequences. I felt that they were fun and well-paced, in stark contrast to the modern standard set by Michael Bay's indecipherable epileptic fits of jump-cuts and whip pans, and I was actually getting excited during the battle scenes in spite of myself. I think time will treat the film well, though, and it may even make for a fine cult film when the pains of the crappier elements of the movie have been dulled by ten or twenty years.
  21. John

    This is Where We Brag About Our New Toys

    Asking for gift cards or cash is [I]unacceptable[/I]. "Practicality" has no part in Christmas gift-giving and gift-getting.
  22. John

    This is Where We Brag About Our New Toys

    I don't do wishlists for Christmas. I think it kills some of the Christmas Magic if you can look at a present and know what's inside, and asking people for specific items also inevitably gets my hopes up, so even if I get some great gifts that I didn't ask for, I'll still have a twinge of disappointment since I didn't get some of the things I [I]did[/I] ask for. Still, I'm told I'm hard to buy for, so for the past two years I've sent out a short list of themes (e.g., "liquids", "facial hair", "things MacGyver would use") that my family can interpret as they see fit to find gift-buying inspiration. Half of them usually just ignore the themes, but they can't really complain that I didn't send out a list. :d This year's haul included (but was not limited to): - A custom-made tartan mustache pillow from my sister - A USB turntable (magnificent. I've got so much unlistened vinyl sitting around since my old record player kicked the bucket a while back.) - A case of delicious pineapple soda, which only my brother from Austin can get ahold of A good year.
  23. John

    Gaming The Empty Pockets Thread

    Iji is excellent. I really need to play it again, as I only finished it once (and I played psychopath style, lol). I don't think anyone else would see this comparison, but I think the game plays a bit like a 2D Deus Ex, in terms of combat pacing and upgradability. I'm also fond of the Chzo Mythos games. [IMG]http://www.smarrone.com/arcade/media/icons/ngame.jpg[/IMG] [B]N[/B] ([url]http://www.thewayoftheninja.org/[/url]) N is not only my favorite flash game of all time, but one of my top three or four favorite games, period. The fact that it was made in flash and yet is so taut and responsive is impressive, and the powerful, minimalistic art design hits me right in my aesthetic-bone. But what really gets me is how the developers made so much with so little. All you can do is run left, run right, and jump, there are only a small handful of enemies and terrain objects to choose from, and the level design is restricted to a pretty small square frame, but they still made [I]hundreds[/I] of unique levels that cover a wild variety of playstyles and gameplay dynamics. I've never seen anything quite like it before or since.
  24. Thanks in large part to the indie game explosion of the last few years, more and more excellent, free games are being developed today, and I think it's high time we have a thread about them. So go ahead and tell us what you've been playing for free lately, be it web-based, desktop, mobile, or whatever. (And be sure to post a picture too, because every thread's better with pictures.) [IMG]http://www.g4g.it/g4g/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/spelunky_01.jpg[/IMG] [B]Spelunky[/B] ([URL]http://www.spelunkyworld.com/[/URL]) This is a great little platformer released about a year ago that centers around exploring procedurally-generated caves, collecting gold, stealing idols, saving dames, and killing cave creatures. The controls are tight, the art is wonderful, and the difficulty level is just right, but what really ties it all together is how well the procedural-generation algorithm works; it's so polished that it never really traps you in a spot you can't get out of, and the gameplay elements work so well together naturally that when they're thrown together (somewhat) randomly, you'd swear some of the clever situations you face were designed by hand. Impeccably polished, mercilessly addicting.
  25. John

    Reputation System: Yes or No?

    I could go either way on anonymity, but if I had to choose, I'd say I'm for anonymous rep since it might make for more fun forum conversation. And let's give it up to Petie for making all the gears turn so this can work. Well done, m'boy. [IMG]http://web.mit.edu/ryangray/Public/Gnus/thumbs_up.jpg[/IMG]