Wednesday, November 19, 2014

MEGA-STRESS ATTACK: An Update on What I'm Doing PLUS Some Science AWESOMENESS!

            (Why is there no theme song?!?!?!  Oh, that—I'm not doing a "theme song," per se; it IS there, but it's more of a "theme video."  Just put your favorite nerdy song on in the background and remember to stop/pause it when it comes time to play the video in this post.)

            Hi, everyone!  Just want to give an update quickly, first of all……  Just recently, as early as the beginning of this month (November 2014), I went on a trip to Pittsburgh and to a particular area in Virginia to visit family (and, indirectly, celebrate my HALLOWEEN BIRTHDAY!).  Here's a quick bullet-pointed synopsis of what happened on that trip:

  • Stayed overnight at parents' place on my birthday; thought I lost my keys at their house (but I didn't; they were in my apartment).  I could not watch the two hour Halloween Ghost Adventures special because: A.) Mom and Dad (Mom, especially) don't like the paranormal investigation stuff very much, and B.) I had to "learn about responsibility" again, because I took too long to finish my chores before leaving my apartment without my keys.  Le sigh.
  • First night out, sister treated everyone (parents, me, herself and her SUPER NERDY boyfriend—he will need a special codename for me to use on this blog sometime soon.  I don't know what, but I'm sure he doesn't want to be a Dalek.  Suggestions appreciated!) to some of the BEST sushi ever!  If you're in Pittsburgh, go check out Fuji Sushi.  Yes, it's out of the way a bit, practically in a strip mall sort of plaza, but it's so well worth it!  The chef dude runs the business, and I think he trained world-class sushi chefs!  Or is it national sushi chefs with high-level reputations?  I don't know; what I do know is that he is an ARTIST and a master Jedi at his craft!!!!  Those rolls were so damn goooooodddd…..  It's like eating extremely tender unicorn meat without the sparkles!  (Rating: OVER 9,000 WHITE-POINT STARS OUT OF 5!!!)

  • There NEEDS to be a Hello Bistro out by me; seriously, there MUST be a location that's within walking distance of my apartment, dammit!  Not just in a major city, but someplace that is accessible to myself and my family.  It's a salad bar sort of chain restaurant (run by the Eat'N'Park people, but with MUCH better quality), similar to Saladwerks, but they have four different types of lettuce mixtures, dude!  FOUR, including Kale!!!!  If there was one right next door to me, I would certainly eat there everyday for lunch, especially if it means I get to lose mass!  (It's mostly for the awesome and delicious healthy salads that have a ton of toppings available.  For example, if you want chicken, you'll be offered 3 differently prepared chicken options!  I give it 4.3 plungers out of 5!)

  • I got to see my grandfather and grandmother; grandfather looked like a skinny vampire in his 8,000's.  He needs to get more sun and more exercise into his daily routine!  But I was happy to see him and talk to him, give updates.  My hair-on-fire story did not give him a heart attack, fortunately.  I also got to have ice cream cake with them!  YAYS!
  • Got presents: $50 USD ThinkGeek gift certificate (I used it already to get a unicorn drinking horn, a flask with the ethanol molecule on the outside of it, a Death Star ice mold, and a 50-year calendar keychain.  The package just arrived on Monday, November 17th!); new stereo headphones; a book for Fate Accelerated Edition (roleplaying game that is simple to use to get started in the roleplaying gamescape); one copy each of Doctor Who books—The Silent Stars Go By, The Coming of  the Terraphiles, and (drum roll please!) a book I'm only halfway through because it's huge that Papa Spock also wants to read once I'm done…. Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale, by Russell T. Davies & Benjamin Cook (basically e-mails and texts sent back and forth between the two during the writing of Series 4 and the specials between Series 4 finale and Matt Smith's Series 5, giving insight into the creative process Russell implements when writing or rewriting.).  Thank you, family! ♥

             Anyways, with that said and done, I have a few short points to make:
  • Why are the Christmas things coming out when it's frickin' November?!  It's not Christmas yet!  So quit yer Christmas sales advertising and decorating already!  Several people already have their Christmas lights up BEFORE Thanksgiving!  That's not how holidays work, people!  It's Labor Day, then International Talk Like a Pirate Day, then Columbus Day, Halloween, Election Day, Thanksgiving, Yule, and THEN Christmas!  In fact, the Pennsylvania Lottery is already selling (through their registered vendors) Christmas scratch-off tickets.  Really?!  Really!  Do the fall-themed stuff first, dammit!  Then do the whole "IT'S CHRISTMASTIME!" advertising the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  Just go look it up on a calendar and stop confusing the ET's!

  •  I'll be doing presentations at a seminar series (well, three presentations that make up one huge one) about social media and what not to do on social media (with the first one being this Saturday, Nov. 22.  On Gallifrey.  Because Whovian.).  The first one is also the same week as the annual apartment inspections.  Can anyone say OVERWHELMED?!?!
  • I finally figured out my religious beliefs: I'm a Non-Narcotic Experimental Bloggessian, who also worships Davros as a member of the Church of Skaro.  If you need clarification on the second part, ask Holy Dalek or Mother Duderior on the Twitters; I'm too busy attacking the mess of inspections, appointments at home, the seminar presentations, and a dentist appointment.  (Some Commandments for the Church of Skaro: Thou shalt use verbs that end in ATE!  Thou shalt antagonize Republican Dalek for his abuse of Auton usage inside the US Government to sway public opinion, because YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG, REPPY!  Thou shalt use caps lock on Twitter, for Daleks shout everything, and because CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL, YO!)

            That's all I can rant about for now.  Because that stuff you see in the bullet points?  That's not the topic of this blog at all.  I'm serious: ranting and raving and foaming at the mouth aside, it is absolutely imperative (and mandatory) that I share something with you……


Someone Please Make This a Permanent Perpetual Reality!

            It all started with a visit to the Bad Astronomy blog on Slate, where I quickly skimmed through the posts of the European Space Agency's (ESA) probing of a comet (Which begs the question: should we fear aliens anally probing us?  I'm sure there are horror films that the extra-terrestrials have where it's the ET's getting anally probed by us for visiting our planet…..  Wow.  I just re-read that and realized something: We're the horniest bipedal sentient species on Earth.  We need help.) before seeing this one separate AMAZING blog post of PhilPlait being AMAZED at this one video of music and science being combined in awesome ways that could only BLOW YOUR MIND!!!!  (Seriously, it's music-science porn; your brain is going to get a blowjob from watching it.)  Here's the TL;DR version:
I came online.  I saw.  My mind was blown so hard it became a singularity again.
I shared it; it got shared from my share.  I must overshare!

            The I-have-time-to-go-through-this version: I saw this video and I couldn't help myself—I HAVE to share this AMAZING magic with y'all, so you can also witness the awesome creativity and beauty that is the magic of music and science combined! (Actually, you have 2 options: Phil's blog breaks it down scientifically with nerdy awe and appreciation, whereas I'm only going to go "OHHH . . . . MYYYYY . . . . . . GAMMA RAYS!" and sing praises of its magic, so if you want the how-the-FUCK-did-they-do-that?! stuff, go read his post!)

BEWARE!  Your mind will orgasm with science-y goodstuffs!  (Trigger warnings: lightning/electricity, fire involved, high pitches near the end of the video.)

Here's the awesome super-high-definition YouTube video of it (with alternative Vimeo link if something doesn't work like it's supposed to):

(Yes, the settings for the video definition go higher than 1080p!  I had no idea that video quality in general was capable of this surprising feat!  Of course, it needs epic Spartan-level internet connection speeds paired with a damn-skippy Jedi-Master level computer processor and graphics card to do the MAX-DEF levels….  The library is neither equipped nor helpful with those parts.  I know; I've tried!)

            The first time I watched it (on Phil's blog post), I was like this:

Seriously, I was.  I loved it!  I loved the music, I loved the fun science stuff (FIRE KEYBOARD AND TESLA COILS WITH CHAINMAIL BODY SUITS!!!!) and it just tickled my geek so much I couldn't stop watching it (despite only having an hour on the library computers)!  I actually went and shared it with the God of Awesome (Spartan friend Jesse) in Facebook IM and he was like, "That was so awesome that I went and shared it!"

            That's all I needed to verify the AMAZING-ness of this video.  (Please, @midnight, if you haven't already shown the video on the show yet, DOO EET NAO!)

            There should be more of these music videos out there!  Yes, it's the Internet; there will be other videos like that on the Interwebz.  But it's stuff like this music video that should be used in the classroom to say to the students, "HEY!  Science is cool, and so is EDM music!  Check out this combination!"  There's just so much magic (YES, IT'S MAGIC!!!) that went into this video that I want it to go viral if it hasn't already (If it has, let's make it go viral again!).  Just tweet this amazing magically awesome video with the hashtag #SciencePlusMusicEqualsMagic on Twitter to get people to look at it!  Share it on all of your Facebook accounts!  Do whatever it takes to get your family to watch it, even if you only have a cat hawking up a hairball onto your lap and a giant metal chicken next to you to count as family.

            It's stuff like this that gets me thinking "It's a science unicorn!!!!!"  I love it just as much as I love my new unicorn drinking horn.  If I have to recommend anything INSANE, watch it over and over again, until it's permanently burned into your temporal lobe (memory center of your brain) so you don't always need internet to look it up to relive that magic!!!

I should inform you that I am not sick from the magic overdose yet; if I did, I would do this:

Heehee!  That's all I have to share for now.  Please, go back to the video and enjoy that magically scientific-musical tacquito all over again, because it SO EPIC that I've run out of positive adjectives to describe it!  BLAH BLAH BLAH POSITIVE STUFFS BLAH BLAH NON-EXTERMINATION LIST BLAH BLAH BLAH SCIENCE NERDY LUFFS AND OBSESSIONS BLAH BLAH!!!!

(By the way, exactly how do I put together that fire keyboard thing?  I love it so much!  Linkin Park should include it in their next show or whatever!  *continues babbling praise*)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

GAMERGATE: Why Making a Fuss Over Gaming Feminism is Ridiculous!

            Hey, readers!  This is my "remotely released" blog post that shares MY views on "Gamergate," and why this is absolutely a waste of our time and energy.  This blog post was drafted on October 30th (and finished on October 31st), 2014, the night after I found out about this so-called "scandal"—that's what "Gamergate" is, right?  Because only real major scandals can have the "gate" name.  In fact, on that note, does anyone think that Bill Gates is more than one scandal in human form?  HAHA!  #ReallyBadJokes
            Anyways, I feel, that as a female Nerd who enjoys playing video games, I should speak up, sharing my point of view.  Yes, it's MY OPINION, which is neither right nor wrong!  So stop trolling and pay attention!
            As always, I have provided you with an theme song for this post: the full Deus Ex Human Revolution soundtrack.

BREAK DOWN THE GATES!!!  Why Not Everything Needs a "Gate" Involved

            Let's begin with the first item on my docket: Do we HAVE to inflate the "scandal" factor in the most RIDICULOUS topics in the media?  Not everything is a scandal; in fact, most is just bad planning and design and what-not.  Seriously, "Bendgate" and "Hairgate" should not even exist.  So what if you get your hair caught in your iPhone6 and it bends in the pocket of your skinny jeans?  That's your own Davros-damn fault here!  Because who would be placing the ear piece right on their hair?  It should be brushed out of the way before using said device as a phone (which I'm sure is rare nowadays; just fucking call the device a tricorder already!  Because we can do everything else with it, INCLUDING MASTURBATE!).  I do that with my Obamaphone (which is not a sign of socialism, conservative fuckers!) already!  I brush my hair out of the way before doing anything with my pointed ears!

            As for "Bendgate," well…..just don't wear skinny jeans.  They were out of style before they were even IN style.  The only reason why they were invented was because the designer had to come up with some sort of pant-like garment for fashion runway shows and the twig-like models (who have a body mass index less than 1, I'm sure) had to wear them; they have no real function in our lives except to make us super uncomfortable and unable to bend over and pick up the loose change that falls out of our pockets.  There's no need for skinny jeans (or this "gate" nonsense associated with video games and tricorders) anyways, in this universe.  In a parallel/alternate universe, maybe; but this is not that universe, because if it were, the products that are of concern would be designed a LOT better.
            In any case, only give a real high-level scandal the "gate" watermark.  PLEASE!  No more first-world bullshit powered by our selfish narcissistic desires for top-notch quality-made products that (in order to obtain in the first place) we would have to shell out millions of dollars to purchase in this market.

The Real Issue: "Gamergate" Is Just a Sexist Response To Gaming Feminism

            So, the night before drafting this post, I was watching Colbert Report, and he shared the super-hyped story  how many male gamers are issuing death threats against female gamers who want ladies to stop being thrust into the objectified damsels-in-distress role in many of the video games that are made for a male-dominant market.  I have to say, I agree with those ladies; I disagree with the response the guys are giving them.
            Seriously, anyone who reacts negatively to this statement is a sexist pig who should never be in a relationship with another woman, because they are sure to be abusive to her.  They are already programmed that way, so maybe it IS the game developer's fault in the first place—WAIT, WAIT, this is confusing and I'm not medicated when drafting up this post, so let's try again……

            A large number of the video games created for Nerds have historically been designed for the straight male half of the Nerd race (which, until recent years, was stereotypically painted as the socially awkward weakling), because that was what the companies assumed would be the majority of their market make-up; I'm sure those companies were run by old sexist geezers in the first place, saying that "running a business is no place for a woman," and sticking them into the secretary role.  And therefore, because of this mentality, those video games were designed for the male brain, which crave not only food and being able to display male dominance gestures (which include guttural roaring while firing off an automatic machine gun like Al Pacino), but also sex from women whenever they want.  It's empowering to them, especially after having been bullied by the intimidating jocks in the real life environment.  Playing those games are their way of getting that self-confidence and, in their mind, taking that power back from those Cthulhu-damn jocks!

            However, with the more recently abundant acceptance that ladies should be treated as equals to men, this mental processing is being challenged; the virtual social hierarchy (and the many places in the world still believing that science and religion are equal, as well as certain places in Asia and on the workplace's payroll) is one of the last bastions of a patriarchal social structure where men can have all the power and women they want, believing that they are akin to objects, "things" that don't feel anything and are made to be used without need for asking for permission and worry, because women "are more submissive and not as tough, without having a single original thought in their heads."  This kind of thinking is not acceptable anymore, especially as society continues to develop.   Yet it's frustrating that many men think it's still okay to make cat-calls and wolf-whistles to women who walk by them on the street.  Oi!  We're not your sex dolls, okay?  If you want to display that behavior, do it at a strip club!

            So, of course there are video games like Grand Theft Auto and whatnot that have strong male leads and "weak" female NPCs (non-player characters, for those not familiar with gaming lingo) in today's world.  Because the video game market is not changing fast enough to support the idea of using a strong female lead that isn't just a sex icon.  That or gender-neutral video games such as the one where you play a gust of wind…….or say, has anyone ever heard of flOw?  That one is gender-neutral!  There are whole species of plants and animals that are without gender living on this very same planet; why do we still have gender-specific games where the exciting sexist action games are geared towards men and the frilly boring "bake a cake" or "raise a puppy" games are geared towards women?  Our world has CHANGED; it's time the nerdy gaming market should do so as well!

So, What the Fuck Again?  Getting to the Points……

            Why have this assumption of a narrow market that is mostly made up of male Nerds in need of a confidence boost that only exists in an artificially constructed world?  Why not expand the mentality to other genre games?  There are games out there that are indie, and games that have strong female leads.  When I was playing the Beta for LP Recharge (that is now available as an app for tablet devices and for sale for actual MONEY—neither of which I really HAVE!  Why leave the poor female nerd out of all the fun by not making it available for free on Facebook anymore?!  Can't we just pay for the ad-free portability instead?  It will allow for a wider audience/market, at least!), I had the option of playing a strong female lead character—which I did.  And it was awesome!  I could play my customized character the way I wanted to.  Why can't we have similar games like that out there, for Xbox/Playstation/Nintendo/Sega consoles?

            We must change the gaming landscape and market, stimulating an evolution and growth that allows gamer diversity in the marketplace.  Though I'd love to fuck with the current gamescape by releasing a game that has ONLY strong female leads that rescue "wimpy" nerds from the clutches of evil, we should start small; we should allow female characters to not just be a standby in the scene, but rather be a part of our team, and be playable.  This line from the Halo Reach release panel says it all:

            However, the solution I presented isn't the problem here: it's the reaction that male gamers have to the possibility of a female-equivalent gamescape (which is a gaming market landscape, in case you haven't figured it out yet), by issuing insults and death threats to those females who speak out.  Why do that?!  Why be programmed that way?!  We're not your pixelated bitches!  (Technically speaking, sometimes I am a pixelated bitch, but I'm not your submissive pixelated bitch!)

            Isn't it against the LAW (especially in California) to issue a threat?  Isn't it wrong anyways, if there isn't a law against issuing threats?  Especially "terroristic" threats of school shootings?  In what way does it make sense that it's "okay" to do that in response to us ladies (or lady Nerds) speaking up for equal more accurate representation in the virtual universe?  Because, gamer dudes and guy Nerds, in case you forgot, we ladies are a formidable gender for one reason and one reason only: we.  Have.  VAGINAS!!!  And our vaginas are dangerous and wily.  They are the gateways of NEW LIFE!  Yes: WE BEAR YOUR CHILDREN, BOYS!  And those hormones that rear their heads every month exist for THAT very reason!  That and our mother bear instincts are the reason why your genes are still in the gene pool (provided that your genes make up part of the DNA of your spawn)!  You think we're weak and submissive?  Threaten the safety of our offspring and we go She-Hulk on everybody's asses!  #EdenSmash

            So, "Gamergate" (aka, the Gamescape Waste-of-Time) is just plain ridiculous.  There's no good reason for males to be like, "Whoa, wait, FUCK YOU TO DEATH, BITCH, BECAUSE WE DOMINATE THIS WORLD!" and for them to be programmed that way in the first place.  Open up your minds, bros.  (And I think legal weed should help in that respect.  Just not too much.)  Or else the next time you're online, all the ladies will definitely be fragging your ass in Call of Duty/Modern Warfare/Halo/Destiny/whatever because of how much of a dick you just had to be.  And I'll gladly be one of them once I can figure out how to play first-player-shooter games a lot better (without being the victim of every other "death" in the game)….

            Anyways, that's it for my rant here.  Let's all breathe a sigh of release, drink some delicious dessert wine in celebration of my 24th birthday (which was this past Halloween, if you haven't read my previous post), and share the love.  And while we're doing that at the same time as my partial absence, I hope y'all
(without being fucked over like in this video!)