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Photo Dump

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These have all been edited at least a bit. I did a little adjustment on most of them to bring out the actual natural colors. Many are in 1080p, while some are adjusted for a 16:10 monitor instead. It would only take a little cropping to get them to 1080p, so feel free if you like one for a desktop.

 

Nerdy

Nintendo is Going Back to Cartridges?!

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Everyone still has a bad taste in their mouths about the N64 still being a cartridge-based system while the industry was heading swiftly into optical media. Sure, the carts had faster load times, but the graphics were going to be better on a CD pretty much regardless. Nintendo, Sony and with the PS2/Game Cube generation, Microsoft threw in their hat, bringing another optical system to the arena, and Nintendo followed suit. Next, the PS3/360 era fought massive wars over a new format: Sony’s Blu-Ray vs. the Microsoft-supported HDDVD. The more technically-powerful disc won out, even if the 360 sold more. Finally, we got the “current” gen with the PS4, One, and Wii U.

Nintendo’s been kinda lagging behind in sales for a while now. That’s clear. Wii and Wii U were both solid, if underpowered systems. But they’re doing something different now. Something old. Something… possibly brilliant. Thing is, they’re being called cartridges, but that’s not exactly what they are. They’re basically memory cards, and this is, frankly, brilliant. Why?

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Nerdy

What if Anakin’s Story Were Different?

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I wanted to write up a bit of a response to this video, but I was already starting to go a bit over what would have been allowed on Youtube’s comments.  To summarize, it asks what would have been the result if Anakin Skywalker has been found just after birth and taken in as a Jedi then, rather than at a much older age. Now, his attitudes and ideas may have changed greatly, or they may have morphed into something similar with different circumstances, still leading to his downfall to the dark side. After all, the majority of Sith Lords were raised the right way, from a very early age. Going so far back as Ulic Qel-Droma, and possibly further before the Sith were even a thing known to the Jedi, otherwise good and proper Jedi have fallen to the dark side, while at least one example of an older person being taken in as a padawan has managed to avoid falling completely to the dark side. At least permanently. Luke was the son of a Sith Lord, was improperly trained when he was an old man at 19, had unchecked rage, and learned the lessons of light vs. dark on his own without a Jedi Master or even Knight to guide him!

So enough about nature vs. nurture.  Let’s assume that Anakin ends up turning out very different from his canon self. This is partially irrelevant and leads to a completely different galaxy from the one we know, regardless of whether or not we get a “Darth Vader”.

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Nerdy

There Are More Than Four Colors!

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So there’s this video that posits only four colors are necessary for a map. The key issue is that it assumes that countries and states must be contiguous. This isn’t true. For an easy example, look at the U.S.A. Alaska is all alone up northwest of Canada. The theory is that there is no configuration that can create a map requiring more than 4 colors. This is simply incorrect! I made a very crude drawing showing why.

As you can see, Swarzia is split into two geographical locations, split by Nolor. If Northwest Swarzia were another country, this could work with four colors. Shifton could be Red just like Swarzia and NE Swarzia could be yellow, letting Melitus be blue instead.

The theory only works when you consider a “country” a contiguous landmass. We know this isn’t true, especially among allied nations. In fact, look at the Navajo/Hopi nations in Arizona.
I know, I used a GGP Grey video despite the guy having serious misunderstandings about the electoral college system and why it’s necessary for preserving the American ideal of protecting the minority from the majority.

Ultimately, it’s possible to have a map that actually requires more than four colors. The problem isn’t in Numberphile’s math. It’s in the application of that math with specific constrictions that don’t apply to real-world politics or borders. I get the proof, but I disagree that it applies to real situations. Not everything is a perfect sphere with 9.8 m/s/s applied to it. The problem is that in my example, crude as it may be, Melitus is capable of touching four different other nations, some of which also touch each-other.

It’s an artistic proof, but it’s realistic. Alaska is evidence enough that maps may, with the right borders, require more than four colors.  Now imagine if Shifton took a column of Borgar, but left part of Borgar as part of its parent country, and Borgar squeezed out a corridor of Swazia that neighbored Melitus. It gets worse. Much worse.

Political Crap

Your Body, Your Choice, Your Money

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A friend of mine recently asked on Facebook: “Should the government help pay for an abortion for a rape victim?” My simple answer is a flat “no”. The more nuanced answer is a question: “What makes rape different from theft, assault, murder, or rape that doesn’t produce a child?”

Let’s clarify by sharing a personal story. Several years ago, I had a 1995 Honda Civic. I loved that car. It was inexpensive, both to buy and to drive. It got 33mpg average, hitting peaks over 40mpg on really long trips. It looked a sight, and after a rear-ending, I got enough money to get the bumper fixed as well as some extra to get it repainted. I should have left it looking like a shedding snake because it was stolen on December 24th that year. It was stripped and dumped about 15 miles north of where I lived. Well, that’s a shitty Christmas, right? It gets worse. Not only did I lose the car, all the time and money I put into it, as well as several personal items like a pool cue that I felt made me unstoppable, I had to pay for it. All of it. My insurance at the time was PLPD, or basic coverage. Even if I’d met my deductible, the company still would have given me no coverage for theft. Mistake, I know. I was out a car.  I was also out several hundred dollars on top of the car.

Why?

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Humor

The Grammys – Why Beyonce’s Fans are Whiny

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The Grammy Awards is a… prestigious musical award ceremony for only the… best musical performers of the previous year.

Okay, fuck that. The Grammys are designed for a circlejerk of the most played pop artists, giving them a chance to cry on TV while they hold their little gold statuette and say bad things about Republicans for a few hours.

Apparently that whinging chubby girl Adele won just too many awards for fans of Beyonce.  I say “fans” very lightly, because most of them only care about her because she’s non-white and has more money than you, me, and 500 of our closest friends will ever be close enough to get slightly aroused by. This is only a story, and one that I even heard about, because apparently the British warbler broke her award in two pieces because she thought Beyonce’s dick wasn’t wet enough this year. Apparently, being, and I type this with gritted teeth despite it doing absolutely nothing to my fingers, “talented”, Adele simply doesn’t deserve so much respect when there’s a WOC that needs another vacation home!

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Political Crap

“Reasonable” Accommodation

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I found something on Wikipedia today that just drew me right back into the thoughts about how ridiculous things have become when it comes to accommodation for various minority issues. In this case, disability:

In January 2015, Kmart agreed to pay $102,048 and other consideration to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission disability discrimination lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, Kmart offered a job at its Hyattsville, Maryland, store to a candidate with kidney disease on dialysis. The candidate advised the hiring manager that he could not provide a urine sample for the company’s mandatory pre-employment drug screening because of his medical condition, and requested a reasonable accommodation such as a blood test or other drug test that did not require a urine sample; Kmart refused to provide an alternative test and denied the candidate employment.

That’s fairly reasonable I suppose. We’re not talking about millions of dollars, and ultimately, Kmart isn’t really hurt all that bad by the suit, though, admittedly, it’s not doing all that well as a company anyway. Well, it seems reasonable at first, but let’s dig a bit deeper.

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Website Stuff

Quick Addendum

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I notice something on my website a lot. I use tons of pre-made crap for most of what I put up. All open-source and free, as you will, but either the theme or WordPress is trying to get info from people. Maybe it’s an addon. I’m not sure how to track it down and smash it. For now, though, if you’re even reading this, I implore you to use Ghostery. It’s an addon for the popular web browsers and it blocks unwanted tracking and cookies. I use it everywhere, and I wouldn’t go anywhere online without it.  I don’t want your information, and I don’t want others to get it. Use Ghostery and uBlock Origin on all pages. Turn off uBlock for websites you want to financially support, but leave it on otherwise. Stay safe, everyone.

Political Crap

Everything is a Remix (But You Still Have to Pay)

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I just finished going through an interesting short series of Youtube videos called “Everything is a Remix“. They’re well-written, filled with interesting ideas, and for a moment, even made me question the concept of modern copyright and patent law more than I already do.  Make no mistake, I don’t agree with the corruption that has latched itself onto modern copyright and patent law. It’s become an easily-abused system that abandons the classic idea of making sure creators are credited and properly rewarded for their novelty and replaces it with one that punishes creativity when it uses anything even slightly derivative of existing work. Have a look at the link. If you like any of the exploratory shows on Youtube, such as “SciShow”,” Vsauce”, or even the clickbaity but still interesting “TodayIFoundOut”, you’ll probably like this as well. I know I did.

And this is where the problem comes in. Like many personalities on the internet and even elsewhere, the message of “Everything is a Remix” gets muddied after you finish that short series and want to move on. After a little exploration to find out more, I found the creator has a different channel from the one I first saw the series on. I found it originally through a search under TheRebelSound’s channel. I’m guessing this was a reupload. I figured, like with most Youtube channels I like, I’d check out the original creator’s channel to bring in some ad revenue. I then quickly discovered that, also like many other Youtubers, he’s branched off into a new series, titled “This is Not a Conspiracy Theory”. It’s the channel main video even. So I watched it, because, hey, conspiracy theories are always interesting, even if they’re completely convoluted. (more…)

Music

Octavius Demos

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Some of my old band, Octavius’ demo recordings:

Old Recordings:

Desolate Abyss

Midnight’s Child

Predatory Instincts


New Recordings:

Midnight’s Child

Predatory Instincts

Desolate Abyss