Wednesday, November 29 gave rise to...

Quick Way To Lose Friends In Your Major*:

  1. Tell a class full of them that you're doing a research project on the effects of the media on a person's perception of cosmetic (plastic) surgery.
  2. Make them watch a video that you say is 10-15 minutes long, but is actually 50 minutes in length, and has more viscera and gore than Saving Private Ryan or pretty much any horror movie I've ever seen, Hostel included.
  3. Make them answer a survey afterward that just fucking sucks, I mean damn what a poorly written, overly wordy survey.
  4. Leave the class without saying thank you, just pick up your shit and leave, don't even stay around for questions or to talk to the people who missed part 1 of your survey and will probably fuck up your results somehow.

*This wasn't me, I simply observed it. I was one of the people who missed part 1 of the survey.

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Monday, November 27 gave rise to...

Study Shows Workouts Can Help Depression!

Link to Lifehack entry

Forbes Article

Apparently Duke funded a study to explore this shocking new territory in the field of medical psychology!

...And no one is surprised. Seriously, is this news to anyone? I haven't worked out in the last two and a half weeks because of my injury/lots of school work to be done (the load is much lighter now, thank you), and my mood has suffered tremendously.

Okay, as obvious as this might be, the article does actually provide some decent insight into the why of it, plus good tips that people who don't exercise really ought to follow (start off small, do it regularly), and it's not a very long or difficult read.

Known benefits of exercise:

  • Look better
  • Live longer
  • Be stronger
  • All known benefits of not being depressed

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Saturday, November 25 gave rise to...

Of All The Albums I Purchased This Year,

I can't name one off the top of my head that has been from 2006.

If I can find one, I'll post it here and talk about why it didn't suck.

Edit: Islands - Return To The Sea

Reason it didn't suck: It was the Unicorns basically.

And Whitney, Don't Call Me Bobby is still the happiest song of the year.

And another thing: This isn't to say that I haven't listened to a good amount of new music in 2006, I just haven't gotten to the point where most of the records I heard were to be records that I had to own.

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Sunday, November 19 gave rise to...

From Sunday To Sunday:


Yeah, that's 37 hours of gaming. Pretty much a job.

Note: most of this was done before I started getting serious with the schoolwork.

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Friday, November 17 gave rise to...

Setting The Pace For A Friday.

I've wanted to write a lot more than I did this week.

For starters, my scabs are gigantic and hard. The wound on my hand that I took a picture of the day I got into the bike accident is ridiculously hard and thick.

Here's a friendly reminder for those of you who forgot about it, or missed it!

Fuck, this really

This week has been kind of hellish at school. I have a 12-15 page paper due on Tuesday of next week (November 21) and I haven't actually started writing it yet. I spent a few days this week begrudgingly working on a transcription of a group meeting I had three weeks ago. One might be surprised at how long it takes to transcribe 10 minutes worth of discussion between 4 people. For me, I estimate that I spent 4 hours working on it, split up over a number of days where I couldn't bear to pull myself away from Final Fantasy XII.

Which is one of the most fantastic games I've ever played. A lot of the people I know who like games, but don't like traditional console RPGs because they "are gay" or "all you do is select things in a menu and watch your guys do stuff" might appreciate this game more. It was directed by Yasumi Matsuno, who is the guy behind Tactics Ogre and Final Fantasy Tactics, the latter being one of my other favorite games ever.

What this game retains from Tactics aside from the same in-game universe, is a feeling that every move in a battle is important, and that there are many factors that can affect the flow of even the most basic battle. In past Final Fantasy games, one might have gone through a basical battle by having two of their party members select attack, a third would cast spells, and a fourth would heal these party members. Well that isn't completely gone, because of course you still attack and cast, but present in this game are the elements of time and distance.

Now you might say "yeah man I saw time in a previous Final Fantasy game you know you had a meter that filled up and when it filled you could attack but that is basically the same as any other final fantasy you know so I still think this one is gay," but this is handled differently. You attack far more frequently, and everyone has the same timer. In fact, your attacks are so frequent that often times you really don't have the time to sit around and think about what your next move is going to be. The gauge fills up that fast. The distance between your party members and an enemy or group of enemies matters too. Spells have different ranges, depending on what kind of weapon you use (ranged weapons vs. melee weapons) your attacking distance matters too.

I'd link to a YouTube video to further illustrate what I'm talking about, but the framerate on YouTube isn't really cutting it for this game, and everyone knows that since the advent of YouTube no one can be bothered to download a video file any more, or even go to another site that doesn't work quite as well even if the quality is much higher.

Basically, if you like Final Fantasy games, you should play this game. If you like tactics or strategy in games, you should buy this game. And lastly, if you're one of those people who has been turned off to the Final Fantasy series or console role-playing games in general because of the classic turn-based fighting system, you might want to give this a try. I hesitate to call this game a single-player console MMO, but that's what it feels closest too. Only without the hideous addiction.

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Wednesday, November 15 gave rise to...

The Problem Of Leisure.

I haven't had time to do the entries I want to do this week.

I can't remember the last time I had this much school work due in such a short amount of time. Granted, I haven't procrastinated as much as I used to, but there's more work this time.

I remember a year or two ago reading an interview with Topher Grace (the new Venom in Spider-Man 3, star of That 70's Show). He was asked a question about his favorite cereal, and he mentioned that Cheerios aren't too wonderful on their own, they are bland; but, they are excellent for "cutting" some of the more powerful cereals with.

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Saturday, November 11 gave rise to...

Weekend Update.

Hello out there. I thought I'd take some time before going out tonight to write a blog post, updating you, the reader, on my life and recent activities. Mainly, my entire life has been consumed by a bike accident that happened on Thursday morning before class. I got pretty messed up, and for the icing on the cake, I managed to hit a deer about 18 hours later, and now my car will be at a body shop for two weeks.

Here are a couple of pictures of me after the accident:

Fuck, this really


And before that, well, the week wasn't too cool either.

This week I started messing around with the API for and the API for Facebook - which I cannot figure out. I don't know how to work with keys and just don't get enough about programming to do anything useful with the Facebook API just yet. I have some basic plans though. I want to make the Favorite Music list on Facebook update with a user's weekly artist chart. I never list music on Facebook, because what I listen to changes a lot from week to week, and I have a suspicion that if I listed music I might pigeon-hole myself into some certain genre in some people's minds. Moreover, I think that it's ridiculous to have a list of music that's longer than the rest of your profile. No one can get a good idea of what you like if you list everything you've been listening to since you started to develop your own tastes. So yeah, that all is on the back-burner for now.

In 9 days I have a 10-15 page paper due that I haven't started. The content of the paper shouldn't be too hard, but I have to interview Best Buy employees. If you've ever worked at [my] Best Buy then you might understand why I am reluctant to do such a thing. Recall, I worked on the Geek Squad for a year. If I get strapped for cash (and take another bike fall, but this time hit my head), I might even go back.

Last night I went to a party with a bunch of people who I like. It was cool. Despite not having a car, things worked out because people were kind enough to make space in their schedule / homes to help me out.

Tonight, who knows.

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Wednesday, November 8 gave rise to...

Thoughts on the cosmological argument for the existence of God.

The cosmological argument for the existence of God is pretty cool. I was reading about it tonight in a blog post at Cosmic Variance, which is really one of my favorite blogs of the now.

1. Every effect has a cause.
2. Nothing can cause itself.
3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length. (This is the one part I'm not so sure about - if in fact there was some God out there capable of producing anything it desired, it might very well just make an impossibly infinite long causal chain. This too is a problem though, because to just say "GOD MAY PRODUCE ALL OF THE FANTASTIC SHIT HE DESIRES TO PRODUCE" doesn't really help if you're trying to make a logical argument for God. Besides, this isn't my argument, this is Aristotle's argument, and he's fucking dead.)
4. Therefore, there must be a first cause; or, there must be something which is not an effect.

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Saturday, November 4 gave rise to...

Why I Migrated From to Google Bookmarks.

I've supported since I knew of it. It's been over three years. Recently, while reading lifehacker, I found out about a program for Mac called dead.icious. It's function is to help the user go through their delicious bookmarks and find the ones that are dead, or broken. I've been gathering bookmarks on delicious for a while now. When I first started, I was pretty excited about the whole "social bookmarking" thing, and it was the first site where I had seen tags used. Tags have since become huge in software for the web. Long story short, I was adding many, many new links to my bookmark library. Later, Useff introduced me to a Firefox extention called Foxylicious which would import my bookmarks from delicious into a regular bookmark folder in Firefox, which gives the effect of localizing all of one's delicious bookmarks so that they can be used at any given time. At this point, my use of delicious wasn't just to find new stuff - I depended on it as my bookmarks folder. It was convenient because this way, I could access my bookmarks from anywhere I wanted to.

Let's get a little closer to the present date and time; specifically, yesterday. I saw that program called dead.icious and decided to look into writing a similar program for linux, since it was Mac only. I started fooling around with the delicious API and doing some routine web searches to learn about how others had utilized it. In short, I didn't want to reinvent the wheel. Along the way, I was picking up bits and pieces about Google's bookmarking tool which was basically modeled after Wanting to learn more about this led me to a program someone wrote that allows you to import your delicious bookmarks into google bookmarks. I decided to try this to see how they compared to each other. I found a Firefox extension that is very similar to foxylicious, but in my opinion, superior. True, it doesn't save your bookmarks locally, which may be construed as a negative for some users. But on the other hand, it's prettier, faster, and ultimately more convenient than the combo of foxylicious / delicious because it allows me to set up hierarchies in the folders it creates, which allows me to have folders within folders by adding a / to any tag. This makes everything a lot cleaner and easier to read. It's a real pain going through a long list of bookmarks trying to find what you want. It's so much easier when they're organized into smaller folders that are hierarchal and more specific. Anyway, I didn't exactly reach my original intended goal of writing that program, but I still managed to do something positive. Oh, and I got rid of all my dead and useless bookmarks.

Google Bookmarks
Google Bookmarks Button Extension to Google

Screenshots of the Google Bookmarks Button Extension are available at the extension's homepage.

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