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Of Carbon and Silicon
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Of Carbon and Silicon v2.0 now online!

I said last time that I was looking for a new place for my website. Well, I haven't found one yet. But, I did take the liberty of creating Of Carbon and Silicon v2.0 on Blogger. The new URL is http://spinymcspleen.blogspot.com/ . Not hard to remember, eh?

Well, needless to say, I shan't be making any further entries on this blog here, where you are now. I'll be posting some of the best past entries from Carbon and Silicon v1.0 (this place) on the new page over the course of the next month or so.

Anyway, nothing else is changing. I'll still talk about the same type of thing I always have here, there. See you there, then.

There is a chasm,
Of carbon and silicon,
This software can't bridge.


Posted by theniftyperson at 8:02 PM CDT
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Well, it couldn't last forever, I suppose.

Hey, I'm writing in this thing again! When was the last time? Like, back in September, wasn't it?
Anyway, I'm here to mention some changes that might take place to the website.

After I'm finished here, I'm backing up all of my website's files, saving them all to my hard-drive (even though that's where they started out, they did change quite a bit here, so some of them are unrecognisable from the HTML documents I uploaded originally). Reason: I'm looking for a new web host. Two reasons.
Reason One is that I'm running out of space and fast. I can't put up any of the webpages I want to put up without sacrificing an existing page to make room for them.
Reason Two is that, don't quote me on this, but I think Lycos is keen to kick me out. Not personally, of course. It's just that I noticed recently that the free Tripod accounts are being scaled back even more. If one were to create a new free account now, one wouldn't be able to use many of the tools that I used to create Spiny McSpleen's Nifty Website. There isn't even support for raw HTML anymore (which is how I made my entire website: from scratch). Now, I could be lucky and be allowed to keep my free account with all of my access to the recently-restricted tools (which includes this blog, I might add)... but, they could also decide to be bureaucratic and suddenly remove my website from the Internet... or at least make it impossible to edit anything on it.

In any case, I've already identified Blogger as a new place for Of Carbon and Silicon (I'm not switching The Universal Reset... I write in it far less frequently than I thought I would). Now, I just need to find a place for my website. Like I said, this changeover was a long time coming. I just need more space and I'm not willing to pay money that I don't have every month just to maintain a website.

After all, my current Tripod account has been active for seven years! That's the same amount of time Link spent in the Sacred Realm when he pulled the Master Sword out of the Pedestal of Time! One can't expect things not to change after a while.

Again, though -- Of Carbon and Silicon and Spiny McSpleen's Nifty Website aren't dying. They're just being... re-incarnated? I'll post another entry, both on the homepage and here once I've found a new host and am preparing to make the changeover.


Posted by theniftyperson at 9:54 PM CDT
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
And now, for something completely different...

You know, there are many people in the country today who, by no fault of their own, are sane. Some of them were born sane, others became sane later in their lives. It is up to people like you and me, who are out of our tiny, little minds, to help cure these unfortunate people of their sanity. You can start in small ways, with pingpong ball eyes and a funny voice; then you can paint one half of your body red and the other half green; and, for no particular reason, you can go, "NERR-NERR-NERR!"; and you can jump about in a bowl of treacle going, "SQUAWK-SQUEERK-SQUARK-SQUACK-SQUAWK!"; then you can roll about on the floor going, "P'TING! P'TING! P'TING!"

Thank you for your time.


Posted by theniftyperson at 6:35 PM CDT
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
A philosophical treatise on leadership

"Stuffy title much?"
Yes it is, and it probably doesn't accurately reflect the content of this entry. So, anyway, if you didn't just get bored to death by the title, here is what I have to say about stuff at the moment.

I'm sure you've seen those campy "motivational" posters that bosses like to put up around their workspaces to inspire their underlings to quit playing the "tasering-that-gnome" minigame from the questionable renter's insurance website and get back to work. Well, several such posters line the walls of the corridor I walk down to get to my maths class every Tuesday and Thursday. I never really took notice of any until today... precisely why, I have no idea. Nonetheless, I inexplicably took notice of a poster portraying a lion over the word "Leadership" and a list of traits that a leader should have. The first trait was "Leaders never falter."

Now, it could be that I'm a student of philosophy and, as such, have simply been re-wired to split hairs, but it seems to me that the qualification, "never", in this trait is something of an absolute (that is, "never" has the meaning of "not ever", making it impossible to deviate from a predetermined path), thereby making this trait impossible to achieve.
We are not robots. We have not been programmed with a concrete set of parameters and subroutines which allow us to never show fear, anxiety, or indecision. As such, even the most well-composed person, in a position of leadership or not, will exhibit one or all of these many times throughout their life. However, if one happens to be a leader -- say, the President of the United States -- it is their responsibility to pretend as though they are as unflappable as that poster says they should be. The mark of a great leader is to appear calm and composed in the face of almost certain defeat. Can one honestly say that Winston Churchill never once exhibited signs of stress? The Luftwaffe was regularly destroying parts of his country, for God's sake, never mind the fact that his own life was in constant jeopardy, simply being opposition to Hitler. Regardless, he never appeared to show stress when giving speeches or making public appearances.

So, in conclusion, I would say that the next printing of that "Leadership" poster should be edited to add the following qualification...
"Leaders never appear to falter."


Posted by theniftyperson at 1:53 PM CDT
Sunday, 18 September 2011
The Incredible Crash Dummies: Spin's Junkyard Adventure

That's what I've decided to call my new adventure game. Based on Tyco's super-ultra-uber-m4d 1337 nifty action-figure line from the early '90s. The premise is that Junkman (the leader of the villainous Junkbots, who were introduced in 1992) has kidnapped Slick and disassembled him, scattering his parts across his lair's compound, the Junkyard. It is now up to Spin (the player-character) to reassemble Slick and defeat Junkman to once again bring relative peace to Crashville.

"Wait," you say, "You're making an adventure game?" Yes, I've got m4d 1337 computer skills. But most importantly, I have a handy little application called Game Maker, which makes it very much easier to make small games like that without needing to know any sort of programming language.
Of course, I still don't quite know how to do everything with Game Maker, so I'm not too sure how the "defeat Junkman" bit is going to work... I may have to make the primary objective to just reassemble Slick.

Now, I've already made a complete game using NES-like sprites. However, one finds it difficult to see the sprites, for their being too small. Spin is only 8x16 pixels in that one. So, I decided some time ago to make a different version with larger sprites. That's the one I'm currently working on. After a couple of false starts, I finally have all of one level done and most of another. Since Slick is in four parts (head, torso, arms, and legs), there will be four levels. Each level is in two parts.

I'll put some screenshots of it up at some point... perhaps even in their own webpage. Hopefully, I'll be totally done with the game before Q4 of this year. Since we're in Q3 already, I'd best get back to work, yes?


Posted by theniftyperson at 5:51 PM CDT
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
New pages in the works

I have a number of prototype webpages in development or planning at the moment. Chances are, I'm not going to end up launching more than one of these in the near future... after all, it's me we're talking about -- the one who promised that The Sims page was nearing completion a couple of years before the actual page went live, the one who promised a revised Mario page to launch a week after the Luigi page went up and it still hasn't appeared! So, I'll just throw these out here and see which ones happen and which ones don't.

Star Trek: Voyager: this one is in the planning stage right now. That is, the point at which I'm still writing the text.

Revised Mario page: this one I promised to put up ages ago, but it's still in the development stage. That is, the point where I'm looking for pictures and putting the finishing touches on the HTML.

Garfield: a page about the cartoon strip, Garfield. This one is very much in the planning stage, but more in the "Am I Really Going To Make This?" phase. There may be too much information on Garfield to properly pare down and still have it make sense. Plus, I'm not terribly sure about a Garfield TMRB section... there might not be enough notable minutiae on that topic.

Revised GoldenEye 64 page, v.2.2: even though I just finished overhauling the GoldenEye 64 page, I think it could benefit from one of those snappy new Navigation menus, a la The Incredible Crash Dummies page. In fact, most of the pages on the site could do with one -- I've been wearing out your mouse-wheels and arrow-keys long enough, yeah?

USS Enterprise: a page devoted to all ships, real and fictional (with an emphasis on the fictional) by the name "USS Enterprise" or a variant thereof. Actually, to tell you the truth, I just now came up with that idea. Like right just now. Couple of seconds ago. I mean, it's a good idea, right? Yes? No? Anybody?

Right. So, that's that, then. Perhaps one of these will appear on the website one of these days. Perhaps not. But probably so.


Posted by theniftyperson at 2:00 PM CDT
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
And now, a moment of philosophy

I was recently involved in a significant home-improvement project, during which time I allowed my mind to wander. Such a mind-numbing task as trimming the fringe on a new bit of carpeting rather requires one to do something to stop one's mind shrivelling up. So, I thought about my recent philosophy final (one which contributed to an overall final mark of B-plus, I might add). One of the things my professor said at the outset of the course was that, by the end of class, we would be able to formulate a supportive or contradictory response to the following statement: "You cannot force your values on someone else." As I sat on the floor, no doubt failing to exercise proper safety procedure for handling a carpet knife, I realised that I had weaselled my way around that statement. It was one of five essay options for the final, but of the three that I chose, responding to the statement was not amongst them. I discovered, much to my dismay, that the reason I passed it over was that I didn't know how to respond to it. I hadn't learnt what the professor said I would. However, I did come away with enough knowledge to figure out where I went wrong.

So, respond to this statement: "You cannot force your values onto someone else." Since this is too difficult to do at the moment, I shall start by thinking of all the times American values have been forced onto other cultures.

The Christian immigrants to America found the natives to be barbaric and unenlightened. Whilst the natives rightly saw the Europeans as invaders and dealt with them as such, the Europeans decided to control them by treating them as animals and rounding them up into reservations (after pushing them back further and further towards the west coast until they could be pushed no further, that is) or capturing them and "domesticating" them by teaching them Christianity.

The Puritans had strict rules regarding leisure... mainly, anything not work-related was against God's will, unless it was on the Sabbath -- in which case, anything that was work-related was against God's will. A person in a Puritan state could be jailed or even executed for disobeying the rules. For instance, playing cards or throwing dice was considered witchcraft, for which the proper sentence was death. Reading any material other than the Bible was considered blasphemy, for which the miscreant could be put to death or not, depending on the circumstances.

Of course, both of these relate to religious morals, which is a totally different branch of philosophy. However, there really are only two kinds of morals, when you get right down to it... religion and government. You can choose to follow the word of God or the laws of Man. No middle ground exists. If you want to live as a part of society, you must follow one or the other. Some might argue that the family unit also has a moral code, but it is not substantially different from religion or government. Say that a mother and father are both devout Catholics. They will raise their children to be Catholic. However, the son reads Sartre one day, decides that religion is a farce and he wants no further part of it. The only direction he can go from there is to follow the government.

Ah... but I've talked myself into something of a paradox. This all assumes that there is a true distinction between church and state. In many cases, this has proven false... or, at least, these two moral paths have been eerily similar. Perhaps the son who reads Sartre is in fact the son of a Muslim (Sartre's ideals may be forbidden in Islam, but human nature is to seek out that which is forbidden). If he attempts to denounce Islam, chances are that he will be killed. This is because of the radical theocracy which has been in play, particularly in the Middle East, since before Sun-Tzu's time. The church controls the state in a theocracy.
But, let's change this theoretical family back into Catholics. No matter how much Protestants want to contest this observation, all Christian denominations are offshoots of Catholicism. Furthermore, since America was founded on the basis of religious freedom, it would not be a stretch to say that America, itself, is built on religion. Somewhat similar to King Henry VIII hammering religion into the framework of England when he founded the Anglican church (just so he could get a divorce, I might add), religion is a base part of America. It would also not be a stretch to say that the framers of the Constitution were all Christians. As such, they were guided by their own religious morals when they wrote the document, itself. Therefore, it is necessary that the church and the state in America are not altogether separate, with the very basis of American government rooted in Christianity. Furthermore, in modern-day elections, much of the popular vote can be won by appealing to certain religions. Say that I, Spiny McSpleen, run for United States President. There are certain blog entries here that my campaign advisors would insist that I delete if I want to win the religious vote. However, my opponent has already found the entry I made on 32 Octember 20X6, saying that religion is stupid. It doesn't matter what I say about any other issue -- abortion, foreign policy, economics -- I've already lost the religious vote.
So, I've rambled a bit. The point is that church and state are not separate in the United States. Not at all, not a bit. It's only when the child of a Wiccan is taught about Moses in history class that the state wants to distance itself from the church. So, in America, anyway, religious values and government values are likely to coincide more frequently than a Sartrean should like.

I believe, before I went off on that tirade, I was trying to come up with a somewhat more un-religious example of America forcing its values on another culture. Right now, as I type, there is a war going on where the United States amongst others are attempting to bring democracy to the Middle East. A popular question in my old American Government class at high school was, "what right does America have to waltz into a third-world country and ram democracy down their throats?" The answer is: they have no right.

In a sense, I've responded to the question. "What right do I have to waltz into your life and ram my values down your throat?" The answer is: I have no right. To force one's own values on someone else is immoral. Linking back to our theoretical Catholic family, they can suggest a set of values to their children, but they cannot and should not force them to adhere to it for their entire lives. Like the United States trying to force-feed democracy to a warlike theocracy that's been infighting for centuries, it is unjust, immoral, and wrong.


Posted by theniftyperson at 2:54 AM CDT
Friday, 5 August 2011
ANFSCD Episodes that Never Were

For those who don't recall (or, more likely, for those who didn't care) I had a radio programme by the title of And Now for Something Completely Different for two years, beginning in 2008, on an actually rather stupid little radio station in Lincoln called KZUM. For a number of reasons, Completely Different was forced to end last May.

Well, anyway, I was looking through the folders on my desktop to see if I could delete some of them and I came across the folder where I kept all of my Completely Different stuff. Actually, most of the things in there that refer to my show are abbreviated "ANFSCD", but I never used that anywhere else, owing to its being too long to remember properly. I couldn't very well call my official website's URL "anfscd.tripod.com" -- who would remember it? Of course, you can kind of pronounce it "AN-fe-skid", but I digress.
I found a text document with a list of theme shows I would rather have liked to do. In fact, I even began to assemble material for some of them. Here are a few of the better ones...

Halloween 2010: Had I stayed long enough to do a third Halloween show, it may have consisted of The Ring by Hans Zimmer, Poltergeist and Alien by Jerry Goldsmith, The Great Pumpkin Waltz by Vince Guaraldi (I probably would have opened with it), The Monster Mash (because, what's a Halloween radio show without that old cliche?), Jurassic Park by John Williams, and The Mummy Returns by Alan Silvestri.

Homestar Runner: There's actually rather a lot of music involved in the Homestar Runner productions. I had already assembled a playlist for it, comprised of all of the musical Quote(s) of the Week. I remember telling myself to only download things that were freely available and not to pirate anything from the cartoons, themselves (with my phones-to-mic audio cable). I don't know exactly what I would have played alongside Homestar Runner, because what I got didn't come out to be anywhere near two hours of material... besides, what good would it be to have a two-hour radio programme comprised of little 30-to-90-second sound clips? Still, I'm sure I'd have gotten at least one person ringing the studio who actually knows where the music came from. A few of the songs I have in the list are "Cheer Up, Coach Z" from Decemberween Short Shorts, "Everybody to the Limit", "Trogdor" from dragon, the "Warbly Camp Song" from Teen Girl Squad #11, "Not Talkin' 'Bout Butter" from Marzipan's Answering Machine 13, and "Save the Last E-Mail for Strong Bad" from alternate universe.

Sim Jazz: For a while there, I was right in between a blues show and a jazz show. To that end, I considered that Completely Different needed a jazz episode, just to acknowledge that very questionable artistic situation. The only game/television/film series I know of that has any substantial amount of jazz is the Sim series. For a long time, jazz played an important role in Maxis games. For SimCity 3000 and The Sims through The Sims Unleashed, most of the game soundtrack was jazz-related (Unleashed used a crazy, mixed-up variant known as zydeco)... it turned out, either intentionally or not, that much of The Sims soundtrack was jazz. Neighbourhood view, the "Latin" radio station, the Kenny G-esque "Smooth Jazz" (or, "sex-jazz", as I call it) from The Sims Bustin' Out on GCN, et. al. -- then, factor in the Jazz station from The Sims 2: Nightlife and SimCity 3000, all of this jazz amounted to at least one episode's-worth of music.

James Bond Games: If one may presume to brag, one of my more exceptional ideas was an episode based entirely on James Bond games. Only Blood Stone and GoldenEye Wii were amiss during my show's run, so I could still have made a jolly decent two hours of it. Unfortunately, this was before I discovered that YouTube is something of a dumping-ground for pirated music, so the only progress I'd made toward this idea was to record some of GoldenEye 64's soundtrack and one song from The World is not Enough with my own equipment. I actually gave up on this idea in late 2009 and just integrated the tracks I had already stolen into the second James Bond show.

Hm. It makes one think, doesn't it? "What could have been, if...?" Well, anyway -- I'm done for today. Return at some point, yes?


Posted by theniftyperson at 3:10 AM CDT
Saturday, 16 July 2011
What the Helvetica?!

Everyone knows Helvetica -- it's the dichotomy of typefaces: corporations hate to love it, font enthusiasts love to hate it. But, if you happen to be one of the five or six people this side of the Crab Nebula who doesn't know what Helvetica looks like, consider the following. Target, Staples, CVS Pharmacy, JCPenney, Sears Roebuck & Co. All of the above have corporate logos rendered in the 54-year-old typeface, Helvetica. Most people find it to be largely indistiguishable from Arial. Certainly, you know that one. Of course, there are differences. A typography buff would tell you to look at the letters R, Q, a, e, and t in order to tell one from the other. Arial is a bland, straight sans-serif. Helvetica looks like it could become a serifed font if it tried a bit harder.

Anyway, I, personally, detest Helvetica. I also detest Arial. Did you know that much of the post-Stalin Cold War propaganda on both sides of the Iron Curtain was printed in Helvetica? That's an old freakin' typeface right there. For some reason, giant faceless corporations all throughout the world like to employ Helvetica in all of their printed materials -- particularly tech companies. Their logos are in Century Gothic or Tw Cen MT and their corporate language is in Helvetica. Even Nintendo has been guilty of that on a few occasions.
Nonetheless, I never came to realise just how much I hate it until I received a bit of junk-mail yesterday. Not only was it the snailmail version of spam, an unsolicited waste of paper, but they had the audacity to print my name in Helvetica! Usually, it's Lucida Sans or Times New Roman -- I mean, Times New Roman is just as much of a cliché, but it's preferable to generic old Helvetica! I could instantly tell what the typeface was, mainly because of all the capital Rs in my name: "JEFFREY PERRY".

Anyway, I took this to be a sign. When big business has such disdain for the average consumer that they employ Helvetica to unnecessarily advertise to you, you are no longer a person. You are a consumer identification number in a barcode someplace. As far as the company is concerned, a number is scanned, a name is printed, a letter is sent, your money is received, lather, rinse, repeat.
Let's hear it for capitalism...

Still, I suppose it could have been worse... they could have printed my name in [shudder] Arial, or [shudder-shudder] Comic Sans.


Posted by theniftyperson at 2:10 AM CDT
Monday, 4 July 2011
TMRB: American Independence Day

As you may or may not know, July the 4th is American Independence Day. In the United States, it is generally celebrated by the lighting of colourful explosives, the drinking of beer, and the butchering of the national anthem by some "popular" singer who thinks the song doesn't already have enough notes. This is how the day plays out in numerous American municipalities...

You put Arabian petrol in your Japanese car to drive to the German-designed park. You set up your Taiwanese lawn-chair or unroll your Pakistani beach towel. Perhaps you eat a hamburger from beef made in Mexico with melted English cheese. All the while, you are listening to an orchestra conducted by a Swede, using German and Japanese instruments to play a Russian song about a French war. Finally, as the Canadian storm-front closes in, you get to watch Italian fireworks launched by Germans, Haitians, Greeks, and Irishmen, lasting a grand total of 22 minutes (which you know by a quick glance at your Swiss watch). Finally, when it's all over, you get to wear a hole in your Sri Lankan shoes, walking over a bridge built by Guatemalans and Scotsmen, back to your Japanese car to waste your Arabian petrol in a purely American traffic queue.


Posted by theniftyperson at 11:24 PM CDT
Thursday, 16 June 2011
Fun With Google: One-letter keywords

Google is widely regarded as the most intuitive search engine/innovative software developer in the world today. If you want something done, chances are that Google has the app for you... or if they don't, type what you want into their text-line search bar and they'll find it for you using a complex algorithm of most likely searches, keywords, and boolean operators. However, Google is also not without entertainment value. Most people will turn to the search engine when they're bored or otherwise without entertainment. Go to Google right now (or, perhaps after you've finished reading this) and search, "i'm so bored right now". See what you get.

However, in all its complexity, Google's Instant feature can yield some interesting results as you type. Suppose you're there to search for "luigi's mansion 2". On most Internet connections, once you've typed "luigi", you'll already see Google search results for that keyword. You can finish typing your request, or you can start scrolling immediately to see what's relevant and what isn't.

Then again, on some faster Internet connections, Instant will start displaying results after but a single character is input. Therein lies the purpose for today's entry. For my first trick, I will take each letter in my name, "Sebastian", and input each into Google Search separately. Let's see what happens...

S: Southwest Airlines
E: eBay
B: Bank of America
A: Amazon.com
S: Southwest Tennessee Community College
T: Translate (Google's own app)
I: Ikea
A: America Online
N: Netflix

Just for the deuce of it, let's search for the whole word, "Sebastian", now.
This is a bit tricky, though... it seems the top search is for the Wikipedia "disambiguation" (list) page. So, searching for "Sebastian" has led us into a meta-search, inasmuch as its first suggestion is another search engine.

So, Google is not totally infallible. Yes, that's all.


Posted by theniftyperson at 4:17 PM CDT
Saturday, 21 May 2011
The Doomsday Entry

"We're still here... that's not news."
--Scott Simon, NPR's Weekend Edition, 21 May 2011

I should say at the outset that, some time ago (like, maybe six or seven months), I gave up broadcast television. I decided that I was paying some bureaucracy too much money to watch advertisements and C.S.I. So, to save money, I had my cable service disconnected. To that effect, I may be somewhat less informed about things than I have been in the past.

Right, that having been said, did you know that, back in 1994, some devoutly religious guy with a radio station, a calculator, and way too much time on his hands came up with the exact date of Doomsday. The day when the faithful would ascend to Heaven and the rest of Humanity would continue suffering, or some such thing.
Hey, guess what? That day was May the 21st, 2011.
Hey, guess what else? We're all still here. Quelle surprise, n'est-ce pas? Well, everyone except the 125,000 people who die of all conceivable causes everyday.
The point being that this guy with the radio station, the calculator, and such grand amounts of free time as to make one's teeth hurt, managed to convince thousands of other religious people of his conclusion. Mind you, this conclusion came after he failed to accurately predict that Doomsday would come in November of 1994. Nevertheless, people all over America began to believe that the world would end nine hours and forty-seven minutes ago. Pamphlets were distributed, posters were put up, billboards were created, caravans of the devout travelled to a particular area so it would be easier, presumably, for God to find them. In at least one extreme case, a man used a polished silver dagger to kill his family and himself in advance of the End of Times.

Dateline: 2358 hours, 20 May 2011. Anxiety sets in. Bible verses are read. Emergency baptisms are performed.

Dateline: 2359 hours, 20 May 2011. Anticipation amongst the faithful reaches a fever pitch. Some cultists ingest tablets of potassium ferrocyanate.

Dateline: 0000 hours, 21 May 2011. A moment of, "Wait. What?"

Dateline: 0001 hours, 21 May 2011. People start wondering, "Maybe Jesus forgot to reset his watch for Daylight Savings Time?"

Dateline: 0100 hours, 21 May 2011. People start to realise that nothing is happening. The consensus? "Our prayers saved us!"

I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate just how farcical organised religion is. There are so many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people who are taught by a few confidence artists that the words printed in a single (albeit very old) epic novel are to be taken as the Absolute Truth. For this reason, these confidence-men have the masses in their pockets -- if they say something is going to happen because it has been "ordained" or it's part of "God's Will" or "God's Plan", suddenly, you have throngs of people milling about singing Amazing Grace and reciting ten Our Fathers at the drop of a hat.
I don't care to go too far into this, since it's rather against my principles to discuss religion, politics, or Star Wars at length in mixed company. But, suffice it to say, something's screwy here. Certainly, there are advantages to organised religion. A prime example is that a religious person would go to church on Sunday and instantly be within a very large social group with the same commonality. A methodist, say, would be amongst other methodists. Each has the same religious belief, leading to instant acceptance of any new person into the group. Why? Because, it's assumed that any man or woman whosoever should enter a methodist church would, quod erat demonstrandum, be a methodist, him- or herself.
However, as with anything, there are pros and cons. The major con in this case is the pliability of the thought and reasoning process. If the vicar believes in what he preaches, he tends to project his own enthusiasm, which may lead to an alteration in the most basic reasoning functions of his flock. Suddenly, the answer to the question, "Why am I here?", changes from, "because my dad and my mum did the nasty 23 years ago", to, "because God has a plan and I'm somehow a part of it". Then, of course, in any well-trained flock, you're going to have some, as society calls them, "extremists" who believe that this is the only religion and the only way to look at God and that any other viewpoint is fundamentally incorrect. This view has led to more wars in the history of Mankind than I care to think about.

I'm not a religious man, myself. Don't get me wrong, though, I do believe that something caused the universe to come into existence. The two interactive atoms at the head of the Big Bang didn't just appear out of nowhere -- some external force had to create them. That's pure and simple logic.
People have given this force a name to make it less impossible to perceive: God, Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, what-have-you. That's fine -- society has always been way into giving labels to stuff. It'll always be that way.
However, I don't believe that the force's name should be invoked as the sole purpose for starting a war, inciting rebellion, or instilling fear.
"Repent now, lest God cast you into Hell for all eternity!"

That's the principal reason why I'm writing this.
In Gene Roddenberry's utopian setting for Star Trek, there isn't really any discernable religious view. Yes, yes, Star Trek is fiction, this is reality, and all that, and all that. But, really, when you get right down to it, religion is a list of things that you can't do. "Thou shall not kill", "Thou shall not covet thy neighbour's possessions", et cetera. When are people going to realise that they don't need religion to know the difference between right and wrong?
What do they have? Science. Astronomy. Microcellular analysis. I'm sure that Starfleet's greatest scientific minds have come to the same conclusion I have -- that "God" is the force which ultimately set the Big Bang into motion. This force has also acted upon countless other astronomical bodies, including huge, great, heavy things that speed through Space at a thousand miles an hour; and stars around which orbit planets. This is where Doomsday is. Not in some calculation by a religious guy, but in the atomic decay within the Sun or in the trajectory of an asteroid. Eventually, either the Sun will go supernova or a huge, great planetoid is going to crash into the Earth, wiping out all life, faithful or not.
I'm not saying that religion is bad. In fact, belief in the afterlife is extraordinarily helpful when faced with cosmic disaster. But, really, I sincerely doubt that real life will happen like some El Greco painting -- angels descending from Heaven to take the faithful away, Hellfire erupting from secret staircases where the damned are led to eternal suffering by red blokes with pitchforks.

In fact, perhaps Doomsday did come, after all. Perhaps those 125,000 people who die of death every day were all religious this morning. I'd certainly call the current human condition in some places around the world, "suffering". Perhaps Earth, itself, is Hell and the fact that we're all still here is evidence that we're going to continue our suffering -- not at the end of Satan's pitchfork, but at the bullets of our own guns and in the blast zones of our own nuclear missiles. We're doing well enough punishing ourselves... we don't need Hell's demons to help us with that.


Posted by theniftyperson at 9:38 AM CDT
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Great Moments in Chronology

One hundred forty-eight years ago was the first Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for, oddly enough, "May Five"). Whilst, at the time, it was considered a celebration of a great victory by the Mexicans over the French, nowadays it is considered a celebration of beer and a time for Mexican breweries to reflect upon their second-quarter earnings.
But, that's not the greatest moment in chronology. Not nearly!

2,921 days ago, digital calendars all across America read "05/04/03", to denote the arrival of May 4th, 2003 (this is in contrast to the rest of the civilised world, where 05/04/03 was seen 29 days prior -- or 2,950 days ago -- on April 5th, 2003).

2,190 days ago, digital calendars everywhere read "05/05/05", to mark May 5th, 2005.

20,440 days ago, people were writing "5/5/55" (May 5th, 1955) on their cheques.

1,460 days ago, American digital calendars read "05/06/07" -- May 6th, 2007. 1,428 days ago, the rest of the world's digital calendars read that same number, but on June 5th, 2007.

1,465 days from now, America's digital calendars will read "05/10/15" (May 10th, 2015).

I'm sure there's more, but, quite honestly, I've never been too keen on the number 5. Perhaps, if you have so much spare time it makes your teeth hurt, you can look up random stuff about the number 5 in chronology. The Wikipedia article on 1955 seems as good a place to start as any, yeah?


Posted by theniftyperson at 9:56 AM CDT
Monday, 21 March 2011
To paraphrase a novelty shirt I saw the other day...

Last week sometime, I entered a Target store (which is somewhat like a Wal-Mart, but with business hours and lower ceilings) for the purchase of a number of tee-shirts. I discovered in the same section, a shelf of novelty shirts... you know the type: "I'm with stupid ->" or "Greasy Dan's Diner and Filling Station: Eat Here, Get Gas", or for the ladies, "Hey, I'm up here."
Well, in between a Pac-Man board and a 1UP mushroom, I found a shirt with the heading, "10 Reasons Why Kirk is Better Than Picard".
I'm probably taking my life into my own hands by saying this on a blog visited occasionally by Trek anoraks, but...

Pfft! No, he's not.
Allow me to turn the tables and remix a list which has probably already been printed on a tee-shirt and sold to 32,647 people.

Ten Reasons Why Picard is Better Than Kirk

10. Four words: "tea, Earl Grey, hot".
9. When dealing with alien girls, there's a thing called self-control.
8. Has the best autopilot system in Starfleet: Data.
7. Have you seen "Chain of Command, Part I"? Three words: "bald James Bond".
6. Has enough composure and patience to not escort Wesley to the airlock.
5. Three more words: "Warp nine. Engage."
4. Picard. Doesn't. Make. Every. Word. Its. Own. Sentence.
3. "Resistance is futile"? Eh, not so much.
2. "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra".
1. The first Starfleet officer to make a red shirt look fashionable.


Posted by theniftyperson at 2:01 AM CDT
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Ah, so THIS is what the 21st century looks like...

Some time ago, I was debating whether or not I should replace my long-dead mobile phone with an iPhone, a Droid, or a BlackBerry. Well, it turns out that I didn't go with any of the above. I tried out several demonstration mobiles at the local electronics purveyor and discovered that, as per usual, I was woefully misinformed as to the performance of three finalists versus the other smartphones on the market. Whilst it was neck-and-neck at times between the Droid X and the HTC Incredible, the Samsung Fascinate edged out ahead of the competition once they were in sight of the post. Leaving the horse-racing metaphors in the proverbial dust, I ultimately chose the Samsung Fascinate. I liked its archetypal "smartphone" shape -- not as sharp as the Droid X, not as round as the iPhone. The virtual keyboard with Swype was a nice touch, too... stops one accidentally butt-dialing Pantsburg, don't you know.

As with any new gadget, the learning curve was somewhat high upon its triumphant emergence from the box. Particularly Swype... for a man who has spent the past seven years of his life tapping impossibly tiny virtual keyboard keys on the Touch Screen of a Nintendo DS, Swype is the greatest invention since ROM cartridges. One simply draws one's finger across the keyboard, trailing a path through the letters one wishes to type, then as though by magic, the word appears in the text field. I do have an idea of how Swype does what it does, but I shan't bore you.

Now, this may seem hard to believe, but I have just turned 23 and have never sent a text message. I was in high school when texting became the institution that it is today... I always saw people (girls, mainly) walking about the grounds, writing something with their mobile keypads that probably contained at least one instance of "lol", "omg", or "cu l8r". On one occasion, I thought that I should like to send a text message and receive a reply, however texting does tend to cost money -- something which does not come in great abundance.
But, I figured that, if I am to move up in the world, I'll need texting ability. To that end, my new plan involves unlimited texting for an actually very reasonable price. So, yesterday, after the mobile had completely finished charging, I sent my first ever text message -- it was to my cousin in Alaska. I actually don't know if his plan includes texting, but we shall find out soon enough, yes?
After all, I might become a really popular bloke one day -- one who needs a 21st century way to communicate things in a short period of time. Texting is the way to do that.

I recall my mother telling me, on the eve of January 1st, 2000, how her generation had been promised such things as jetpacks, flying cars, colonies on the moon, and visophones by 2000. Well, it's a bit delayed, but the smartphone with Skype functionality is, for all intents and purposes, a "visophone" (that is, a video-phone -- kind of like the viewscreens on Star Trek). Thanks to incessant congressional lobbying by various groups who like their money and dislike any kind of change in automotive manufacture, flying cars proved impossible. And, thanks to a near total cut of any aerospace research funding by the United States government, colonies on the moon are no longer in the stars, either. However, all is not lost...

On various occasions, I've mentioned "Trek Tech" -- technological advances with roots in Star Trek. One of the most influential pieces of fictional technology from the series has been the PADD (personal access data display), which was first introduced in The Next Generation. PADDs could display anything -- warp core schematics, security protocols, duty rosters, scripts for a stage-play, the works of Shakespeare, what-have-you. The smartphone is a real-life iteration of the PADD. But, it's also similar to the communicator and the tricorder. The communicator, obviously, is in the telephony (they are "smartphones"). The tricorder was notorious for being the almighty, omnicient data storage and scanning device that could do anything Gene Roddenberry wanted it to do. That's what apps are for... perusing the Android Market (analogous to Apple's App Store), I, personally, came across speech-recognition language translators, remote keyboards and mice for PCs, phone locators and lockouts which can be remotely activated by calling the app's special number on any land-line, the same but activated by e-mail, satellite locators with augmented reality... and, of course, your standard Foursquare, MySpace, Pandora, and Angry Birds. Soon enough, the smart-phone will rival the tricorder, if not surpassing its abilities.

I've downloaded two apps so far, both of them were free. Perhaps you've heard of them... the first is called "SoundHound", which advertises itself as the world's only viable song identifier to support whistling, humming, and singing. I haven't had an opportunity to test it yet, but I intend to put it through its paces at the Chinese buffet tomorrow (I could swear they were playing an "Orientalised" version of Thunderball the last time I was there).
The second is called... something. I know it has the word "Piano" in it. Anyway, it functions as a small MIDI-based piano with 3-note polyphony. The feedback was mixed -- some claiming it to be a waste of time, others claiming that it is a great teaching tool. Me, I plan to use it strictly for composing purposes. If I'm ever at a location where there is not an actual piano, I'll be able to use the piano app to help me write music. I rather need to see the keyboard in order to assign musical notes.

I intend to post the following feedback message to Verizon's webpage for the Fascinate...

It's your typical smartphone. It looks nifty, costs less than competitors, and does everything you'd expect a smartphone to do. The camera's nice, too.


Posted by theniftyperson at 1:08 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, 29 March 2011 12:45 AM CDT
Friday, 18 March 2011
What's so great about slot machines?

Ah, the slot machine... a casino staple since the 1950s. What's the first thing you're likely to see when you set foot onto the casino floor? About a hundred or so slot machines, neatly arranged in rows (or columns, depending on where you stand). However, the slot machine's style is going to change in every place you go. Some casinos have proprietary designs, others have stock designs made for anyone who'll buy them. It's sort of like television... most networks have programmes which can only be seen on that particular network, but there are a number of programmes (new and old) which are syndicated and available for viewing on any network that will have them.

...But, they're all the same really. Television shows and slot machines. The mode of delivery with a television programme is the same, no matter what kind of device you use -- it's an audiovisual transmission which you view with your eyes and hear with your ears. Regardless of whether you watch it on a CRT monitor from the '80s, an unnecessarily large LCD screen from 2009, or an expensive 3D TV, it's the same thing. It doesn't matter if you watch on your mobile phone, your PSP, your computer, Hulu, YouTube, CBS.com, Netflix, whatever -- no matter where it is, the programme is still the same audiovisual transmission which you see with your eyes and hear with your ears.
Likewise, slot machines are all fundamentally identical to each other. The mode of operation is to pull on a crank to activate flywheels with pictures on them. If the pictures line up where the flywheels stop, a payout is given. Regardless of the style on the casing (tropical fruit, Monopoly iconography, manga girls with katana or nunchaku, a distractingly bright spinning Wheel of Fortune wheel attached to the top), it's still going to be the same fundamental principle in operating the machine. Some machines are computerised, some are contained entirely within JavaScript or Flash. The only difference is that the programmer may have a say in how frequently payouts are given. You still pull a virtual crank (often by pressing a button on the casing or a key on your keyboard), you still watch pictures scroll by on virtual flywheels, and you still get some kind of prize if you line the pictures up.

I suppose it's no different from The Incredible Crash Dummies, when you talk about fundamentals. Most of the Crash Dummies would explode when you pressed their impact buttons, but some were more appealing than others. Even though Vince, Larry, Slick, Spin, Axel, Dash, J.R., Wack, Flip, Pro-Tek Slick, Pro-Tek Spin, Chip, and Dent all performed the exact same function, there were ones that I liked better than others. Why? I preferred Spin's indigo colour to Dash's mustard yellow. I really didn't like Chip or Dent, mainly because of their Leno-style cleft chins.
A casino patron might be more attracted to slots with hot girls painted on the casing than an identical machine painted to look like the Old West.

There... I think I managed to stop this entry looking like a criticism of one of the advertisers.


Posted by theniftyperson at 5:22 PM CDT
Thursday, 10 March 2011
The most crappinest... and happy Mario Day

Excerpt from The Mind's Rubbish Bin - Homestar Runner Edition:
The longest hiatus between Strong Bad Email updates began in October 2009. Following the release of "videography", updates to this section inexplicably stopped. As of 10 March 2011, the hiatus continues.

No one knows precisely why, but Matt and Mike Chapman (known also as The Brothers Chaps, or TBC) have not made a single update to the Strong Bad Email section of their critically-acclaimed Flash cartoon website, HomestarRunner.com, since October of 2009. In fact, since the hiatus began, only four updates have been made to the website, in general. The April Fool's Day cartoon, "Xeriouxly Forxe", the matching homepage, "A Decemberween Mackerel", and "Which Ween Costumes?". Un, deux, trois, quatre... just those four. To be fair, though, they did make a YouTube-exclusive "demonstration" of Strong Bad's videography "skill", "Coach Z pukes in guy's toupee". It lasts 19 seconds and only features Coach Z, Senor Cardgage, and the voice of Strong Bad, but it does exist and it was made concurrently with the "videography" email.

Speculation has run rampants... er... rampant on this subject -- potential reasons for the inexplicable lack of SBemails have been more far-fetched than the other. Maybe someone died? Maybe someone had a baby? Maybe someone was arrested? Maybe the economy got so bad, they needed to get real jobs? Maybe they're just not feeling it anymore, like, the vibes dried up, man?

Whatever the reason, I tend to think that Strong Bad needs an email that he cannot refuse to answer. To that effect, I recently sent the following message to Strong Bad's email address...

Dear 58,
When are you going to stop checking emails? You passed your prime around email 164 and totally jumped the shark in email 200.
Peace,
Cory Dannerson

Let's break it down:
"58" is basic, numerical 13375p34k for "SB". That'll give him an opportunity to call me a nerd (which I am).
SBemail 164 was called "getting old", wherein Strong Bad attempts to salvage the "youth vote" by having a marketing meeting regarding ways to improve his image. Saying that one is "past [one's] prime" is essentially a reworded way of saying "you're old". So, I just restated Andy Hsiao's entire email by making a meta-reference to it.
Next, to "jump the shark" is a TV term with roots in Happy Days. TV lore goes that in order to salvage their dwindling viewership, the writers for the programme decided that the best way would be a gimmick where the Fonz jumps over a shark on water-skis. To "jump the shark" has come to mean any gimmick intended to attract more viewers... a typical case is when a main character is killed, two main characters get married or have a baby, or show attempts to "restart" by making an entire series into a dream had by a main character. Programmes accused of "jumping the shark" typically end at the close of the next series. Having the Poopsmith break his vow of silence to sing Strong Bad's 200th email intro song could be considered "jumping the shark", as well as having the 200th email itself addressed to Homestar Runner.
"Peace" is just sort of your average thing you say.
My sender name, "Cory Dannerson", is a combination of three inside jokes: the male name "Cory", the male name "Dan", and the suffix "-erson". Occasionally, a picture of a guy in a t-shirt labelled "Cory" shows up on the website. "Dan" comes from the name of a bloke who interviewed the Brothers Chaps for his tech blog. "-erson" is the uncreative stock last name suffix given to a few characters in Teen Girl Squad (Brett Bretterson, Mrs. Tompkinsrobotmomerson, Mrs. Commanderson, et cetera).
 
In my opinion, this is the perfect Strong Bad Email. He has the opportunity to, A: call me a nerd, B: contradict me and attempt to prove me wrong, and C: make fun of my name. Plus, it was written strategically, so it would not exceed two lines or three sentences, sans the greeting and the signature.
 
Of course, now that I've mentioned all this, the whole website will probably shut down, given my current run of luck.
 
Also, today is Mario Day 2011! I totally missed Mario Month last year (it was March of '10, or MAR 10... that won't happen again for 99 years).

Posted by theniftyperson at 5:45 PM CST
Thursday, 3 March 2011
The Incredible Crash Dummies 20th Anniversary

As I mentioned in a previous entry, the supremely nifty action-figure line from 1991, The Incredible Crash Dummies, turns 20 this year. Of course, this is a highly momentous occasion here at SebasTECH. To celebrate the event, I shall be giving the Crash Dummies page a makeover (not that I wouldn't have done it anyway), consisting of new headings and a new banner. Also, something rather unorthodox...

I've recently come into possession of a freeware application known as Game Maker. At its simplest, one can use this programme to create a game where you click on bouncing fruit to raise your score. At its most complex, one can create a 3D platformer. My level of skill with the programme is about halfway between those two. Enough, however, to make a decent top-down Zelda-esque adventure game.
To that end, I'm presently working on a game I call, The Incredible Crash Dummies: Spin's Junkyard Adventure. I already have a working beta version, but I'm somewhat dissatisfied at how Third-Generation the graphics look. So, I'm redesigning all of the game's sprites (those little pictures of stuff that make up the game) to look somewhat more Fourth-Generation (rather Super NES-level).
I fully expect Spin's Junkyard Adventure to be finished by late Q2, perhaps early Q3. Of course, this is coming from the same chap who promised a redesigned Mario page last year sometime.

Anyway, I'll talk more about it when there's something new to report.


Posted by theniftyperson at 3:56 PM CST
Monday, 28 February 2011
Trek Tech II: "Watson" goes where only Sci-Fi has gone before.

As you may be aware, last week on Jeopardy!, there was a contest which will prove to be quite an historic event. It was, of course, the contest between the two all-time Jeopardy! scoring champions, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, and the IBM computer system named "Watson". This contest has been put on YouTube in various forms -- most of the viewer comments concern Skynet and the silicon or computer uprising. But, caught up in the novelty of having an artificial intelligence defeating the two men with the greatest amount of TMRB-level knowledge in the entire world, people seem to have forgotten something.

"Watson", whilst cutting an imposing square silhouette on the Jeopardy! stage, was created to understand natural language. That is, idioms, colloquialisms, puns, and any sufficiently abstract thought which is created by the human brain and put into vocalised words. What does that remind you of?

Star Trek, of course. When Commander Riker creates a holodeck programme, he does so by explaining his desires to the computer in generalised concepts... "But, computer -- blondes and jazz rarely go together." The computer interprets his statement as a command to change the obligatory nightclub bombshell's hair colour to something other than blonde.
From what I understand of how "Watson" works, it would parse the command and strip it down to its base parts. In the case of Cmdr. Riker, "Watson" would find "blondes...jazz...rarely" to determine that something is wrong with the scene. Of course, the bartender or the jazz bassist could have blonde hair, so it would postulate that a man referring to "blondes", plural, would be talking about women with blonde hair. Since it already knows that the scene is wrong, the determination that it is the hair-colour on the woman in the scene which is wrong would give it enough information to change the scene accordingly.

Or, in the context of its Jeopardy! skills...
The Starfleet library computer is foremost a reference tool. Say, perhaps, that Lt. Ayala asks the computer who the most prolific new-age composer of the mid-21st century was. After thoroughly researching the database of composers it has on file, it would return the response, "J Sebastian Perry".
"Watson" would find the keywords, "new-age composer... most prolific... late-21st century". Finding that, from the list of 21st-century new-age composers it has on file, J Sebastian Perry composed 47 more pieces of music than the runner-up, Jerry Martin, that he must be the most prolific.

At any rate, the basic idea behind "Watson", as I understood it from the developer interviews, was to make a superencyclopaedia that could be interacted with using natural language. Simply put, it does not have the capability (at this stage, anyway) of asking its own questions... outside the format of Jeopardy! responses, that is.
Why is this relevant? Because the basic requirement for machine "consciousness" (also known as "sentience") is that the intelligence be able to ask philosophical questions and expect meaningful answers to them.
Self-awareness is largely accepted as another requirement for machine consciousness, but I don't believe it should be. A computer can be programmed to use personal pronouns such as "I" and "me" without having any sentience at all. I can make my speech synthesiser say, "I like toast", but that's because I, Spiny McSpleen, typed it into the spoken text field. Self-awareness is too easily falsified.
I suppose that a computer could also be programmed to ask a philosophical question and only to accept responses that the human programmer wants to hear. However, if the computer can ask the question without being prompted to do so and the programmer can attest that he did not tell the computer to do it, that qualifies, in my book, as an artificial sentience.

One could say that "Watson" is sentient by its ability to learn from its mistakes, but that trait is native to all artificial intelligences. Even Sims in The Sims 2 and 3 have enough smarts to learn what their fellow Sims like and don't like and how to behave around them. You can't call it an "artificial intelligence" with any credibility if it doesn't learn.

The point is that "Watson" is more like the Starfleet library computer than HAL 9000. It is an artificial intelligence. Granted, a very complex intelligence... but intelligence alone only goes so far. It is not an artificial sentience or artificial consciousness -- it has no personal agenda, no carbon/silicon biases, no clandestine plans for world domination. It's a rack of servers full of data from Wikipedia, the Internet Movie Database, dictionary.com, perhaps even TMRB. Terabytes of text. Simple, plain, old text.

Letters... and words... AI gets absurd. I just gotta jump back?

Yes, "Watson" probably even knows how each of Strong Bad's computers met their respective demises.

So, before you write another "Kill 'Watson' Before It Kills Us" rant on another tech blog, take a second or two and consider what I've said.


Posted by theniftyperson at 10:40 PM CST
Thursday, 24 February 2011
Yeesh... we ARE getting old, aren't we?

I speak, of course, to my generation. Generation "Y", The Millennium Generation, The Children of the '90s. That pretty much includes anyone who was old enough to play with TIGER's Inspector Gadget figures in 1993. I call us the Fourth Generation, because our first gaming console was probably the Super NES.
Anyway, I've just come to remind us of one inescapable fact...

...We're getting old. Whilst it seems as though it was just yesterday that we were children, many of us now have children ourselves. You know the old saying, "I'm not getting any younger", right?

"Wow," you say, "Depressing much?"
Or, "You're just finding that out now?"
Or, "Tell me something I don't know."
Or, "Quit putting words in my mouth and get on with it!"

I was on YouTube the other day and came across a VHS transfer of the one and only episode of The Incredible Crash Dummies, written by Bill Kopp and "Savage" Steve Holland. It's in three parts, since uploaded videos can't be more than 2 GB in filesize or 10 minutes in length.
So, in the comments section, someone suggested that the film be remade and the series upon which it was based be revived. I realised at that point that it's been eighteen years since the episode was aired! Eighteen! Someone born on the original airdate will graduate from high school this year!
The Incredible Crash Dummies action-figure line is 20 years old this year, too. Q4 1991 was the release date of the original Vince and Larry series. That's old enough in some people's books to be collectibles. On eBay right now, there are Spins, Slicks, and Spare Tires, all mint on their cards (how, I do not know) going for 45 quid each! The Crash Test Centre playset, mint in its box (again, how, I have no bleedin' idea) is going for five hundred quid! Wack with the lawnmower will sell for upwards of 80 quid! Dash with the... car he came with (whichever it was) has a starting bid of 150! Axel, separate from the Crash Car, is going for 50! Unfortunately for collectors like me, all the stupid people who were only asking for the price on the original tag have sold their collections to the smart people who don't care about the crash dummies so much as the money they can get for their sale. You know the type -- the guy who lives in his parents' basement and has stacks of toy collector pricing guides completely spanning floor to ceiling on one wall.

The Incredible Crash Dummies were a major reason why the 1990s AD was the best decade on Earth since the Cambrian Era. Of course, there were other factors as well...
Reasonably-priced toys from all of my favourite franchises (except Mario, which came later), digging for "dinosaur bones" at recess in kindergarten -- which led to a world-class hole in which to stand (which happened to me, at least), being endlessly entertained by Pac-Man and Super Mario World, and finally being able to control James Bond near the end of the decade. There's loads more, but it's only stuff that happened to me, not to everyone else.

Nonetheless, the '90s were nifty, they've been gone for 12 years, get over it, right?
Here's to the next best decade. Na zdorovie.


Posted by theniftyperson at 11:20 PM CST

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