August 12th, 2009


From Twitter 08-11-2009

  • 00:15:53: @miscellaneaarts Remove the word "latch," and that sentence takes on a whole new meaning!
  • 08:09:51: Heard a commercial for some experimental drug that's supposed to reduce alcohol dependence. So alcoholics should become pill poppers?
  • 08:15:45: Can the people who talk about "small government" ever actually agree on which parts of the government are unnecessary?
  • 08:16:31: I hear that the winners of this year's Teen Choice Awards are Surliness, Hating Your Parents, and Staying Out All Night.
  • 08:17:21: It is a sad sign that one of the trending topics is "Friendfeed Cialis $1." I think that means the spammers have won.
  • 14:02:27: Why is there no store number on this Dunkin' Donuts receipt? I need it for the survey!
  • 14:12:53: @michaelianblack But doesn't everyone at the DMV do that?
  • 14:15:12: @miscellaneaarts Eh, I'm pretty used to off-color humor on mine. That's what happens when you follow people like @michaelianblack.
  • 14:18:17: @huggythuggy Because the Bible also says that the uninsured deserve to die. It's in Paul's third letter to the Republicans.
  • 14:19:05: @huggythuggy Health care would have been a waste for him. He had magical healing powers, remember?
  • 14:19:56: @oz_diggs Better steer clear of your blog, then! {g}
  • 14:20:30: RT @oz_diggs There are kalidahs on my blog.
  • 14:21:03: There are actually some on mine, too.
  • 16:47:59: Dr. Oz kind of scares me.
  • 20:50:50:
    Lakshmi rides a ham sandwich for Burger King.
  • 23:44:24: The Simpsons staff defended the jockey elf thing as something that a lot of other shows did later, listing South Park as an example.
  • 23:44:46: I think the problem is that South Park was never supposed to be realistic, while The Simpsons was at one point.
  • 23:45:20: And Matt Groening said he liked the magic jockeys, even though he was vocal about not liking to see General Sherman wink.
  • 23:48:20: @3x1minus1 Wait, nobody sings in the commercials, do they?

Tweets copied by


What did they ever do to you?

Video games generally encourage the player to kill just about every living thing they see, and role-playing games are certainly no exception. When I'm playing one of them, I get into the habit of whacking anything that I run into in a random encounter. But is that really reasonable? I'm not saying you shouldn't kill the demons of pure evil and the like, especially since sealing them away never really works (and, for that matter, death isn't always a deterrent to their wicked ways either). But, for instance, one of the enemies in Final Fantasy VI is a stray cat. Does such an animal really need to be killed immediately? Come on, even the SPCA usually gives people a chance to adopt the cat first! And even with some of the more ferocious creatures, isn't it quite likely that they just want you out of their territory? Yet running away from the encounter means no experience points, and sometimes even the loss of money. You're rewarded for killing wild animals that sometimes don't even attack unless you do first. Is that really a good lesson to teach our youth? I think one reason I like the 8-Bit Theater comic (which is based on the original Final Fantasy) is that it acknowledges the heroes (well, most of them anyway) are jerks.

The original Phantasy Star does have the option of talking to some of the aliens you encounter instead of fighting them. When the communication is successful, your would-be nemesis simply says a trite line of dialogue and leaves, but at least it's a start. Tunnels of Doom, a game that I used to play on my old Texas Instruments computer when I was a kid, gave the option of negotiating with monsters. In true American spirit, however, "negotiation" really meant "bribing." Don't get me wrong; I enjoy slashing and burning various video game monsters. I just sometimes think it would be rather more ethical if you had other options (not counting running away, which tends to be frowned upon).

Writer's Block: Proven by Science

Do you believe everything has a scientific explanation?

Wouldn't it pretty much have to? If science is "[t]he investigation of natural phenomena through observation, theoretical explanation, and experimentation, or the knowledge produced by such investigation," then any rational explanation is a scientific explanation, right? When people believe there are things that science can't explain, that suggests to me that they don't think there IS an explanation for them. As much as people talk about faith, it seems like belief in God or another supernatural being generally occurs because the believer thinks there IS evidence of such an entity, not because there isn't. Now, that's not to say that science has explained everything YET, or even that it ever will, but is there any way we can know ANYTHING except through observation and experimentation? Just because we don't understand something doesn't mean there isn't an explanation for it. But why listen to me? I know nothing.