Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This Blog Is Moving

Due to the lack of availabilities on this blog site, I am now officially moving to

Don't worry! All these posts will be moved with me to

Click and the site will be updated by Thursday, December 18, 2008.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Top 4 Television Channels that are Running Out of New Content

So have you people ever flipped on the tube and found that there is nothing on? You start surfing the waves and run across the following channels and you realize that you have seen all of these shows, like, five million times? Well, it is because these channels play their same damn shows over and over and over. It is unbelievable. So here they are... 

4. The History Channel
I checked this week's schedule and here is a complete list of the shows they are playing from Dec. 15 - Dec. 21:
Modern Marvels, Cities of the Underworld, The Universe, MonsterQuest, Gangland, Ancient Discoveries, Extreme Trains, UFO Hunters, Shadow Force, Beyond The Da Vinci Code, Banned from The Bible, Christmans Unwrapped, Sex in the Real West, Roman Vice, The Recruit, and Decoding The Past.
Okay, so they have quite a few television shows, but in all honesty, this is the list of shows they are playing in a WEEK!? They are only showing 16 different shows in a week's span, and most of these shows suck! Since I am really into Astronomy, I like The Universe. I also enjoy Shadow Force and I can probably sit through Decoding The Past and Cities of the Underworld. Is there anything else worth watching? Not really...

3. Comedy Central
Okay, so this channel is pretty funny. I mean, they have real gems in The Daily Show and The Colbert Report and South Park (which gets old fast --- see Family Guy blog) and other shows like Chocolate News are enjoyable to watch. But The Sarah Silverman Program is complete and utter crap! It is horrible! It took me three full episodes of this show before I smirked... once. There is very little new content on Comedy Central and NO new content until 8pm at night on any given day. They play shitty T.V. shows all day (MadTV) and pretty old movies on the weekends. I don't know... I really like Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, but get a different channel already!

2. TBS
The mottoe for this channel: Let's take all the old tv shows that have been huge successes on their original channels and have nobody watch them all day long. 
Did you know that TBS actually airs all of the following:
Married With Children, Saved By The Bell, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Home Improvement, Just Shoot Me, Yes Dear, The King of Queens, Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, Seinfeld, Family Guy, My Name is Earl, Sex And The City, The Office, and The Steve Harvey Show.

And their new content?
Frank TV, Tyler Perry's House of Payne... and coming up soon The Ellen Degeneres and Rosie O'Donnald repective sketch comedy shows!? Oh, doesn't Frank suck enough!?!?!?

1. G4
Not only do they lack in content... they have an overall bad lineup of shows. I will let the list of shows do the talking for me: 
Attack of the Show, X-Play, Ninja Warrior, Human Wrecking Balls, Arrested Devopment, The Block, Cheat!, Cheaters, Code Monkeys, COPS, Heroes, Lost, Spaceballs: The Animated Series, Super Big Product Fun Show, Totally Outrageous Behavior, Trigger Happy TV, Unbeatable Banzuke, Whacked Out Videos, Wired for Sex, and G4 Specials (Comic-Con, E3 coverage, etc.)

The only good stuff here is the G4 Specials. (I like Heroes too, but these are repeats.)

Weekly Update I


Check this stuff out:

---Go to youtube and search "Alt Text" for some of the funniest commentaries on very nerdy subjects ranging from Video Games to upcoming Apple Software to Good Old Fashioned Swindlers.

This site is a site that we, The RetroPipeWarp Team, are creating. Basically, it is a video game site to showcase our writing. We are just college students going into various fields of study who just enjoy writing and video games. The reason for theRETRO is because, again, we are college students, we cannot afford all the latest and greatest, so we do review some older games. 
Now, this does not mean we do not review newer titles. Between us we own all the newer generations (minus the PS3) and almost all the bigger older generations (Playstation 2, GameCube, XBox, N64, Sega Genesis, GameBoy Color, Playstation, et cetera). So we will have a healthy dose between older games that we love and newer games that we just got. Don't worry, we will pepper in some really bad games that we bought because we thought there could have been potential...
Please visit the site soon. It is up and running, yet still in it's infant stage. 
Join the mailing list!

Every weekly update will be placed in the blog archive when a newer one takes it's place.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

'The Center of the Universe'

I submitted the following poem to a NY, New York poetry contest. Let me know what you think...

The Center of the Universe

The rain pelts as I gaze at the moon.
A summer wind breezes the water down my cheeks.
The drops exist as stars on the universe of my face.
They laugh because I am forced to stay far below,
Unable to free myself from my shackles;
To fly free with the velocity of a rocket to the sky.
This is where the stars converse with each other in the night
And the comets blast by in their ice-encased light.
A turmoil of dark matter, a celebration of gravitation:
The dance floor in the ballroom of palace of astronomy.
I smile at the beauty I normally cannot see,
I laugh at the suspense of the expanse suspended in space.
I imagine myself one with the starry night,
The nebulae are the emotions I get at such a time
When said time stops and with all of my energy
I am able to change matter into waves
And rush myself across the spread of ages.
Then can I truly return home to where I belong
At the center of the universe where I am from.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Look Back At the Fall 2008 Semester

This rant was originally written in my Waves and Optics notebook. I wrote this halfway through this past semester and, since the my semester will be over in 12 hours, I thought it would be entertaining to take a look back at just how pissed off I was in mid-October...

Titled: Why I Hate School in Run-on Sentence Format

Is it just me or have all WMU instructors become assholes? 
Maybe school's aggravating peeves have finally gotten their grimy hands on my brain and they are driving me insane - so hard they shake that I do not have the patience to deal with the fakeness of the kindness they use as a mask for their misery and humiliation of being a professor and having to work with idiots unable to comprehend such gibberish as their life work... and as if we care about what they have wasted their decades on, semi-annually repeating themselves until they cannot stand on both their legs and the concept of being stuck in a small, pasty, white room filled with equations and past events that everyone forgets about the moment they leave the classroom prison cell where those self-proclaimed altruists hide their sorrow and claim that they change our lives for the better.

So I was a little angry that day.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Western Michigan University - Physics is a Mess!

So I attend college at Western Michigan University. I went to Kalamazoo Valley Community College for the first two years of my college career and, I must say, I actually had fun in my classes I took there. And for the last two years I have attended WMU and I started out as a Physics major. What a long, long, loooooooong two years they were. After just two years in the Physics department, I have come to a final conclusion:


The department is a living hell; I am not over exaggerating. Only a fraction of the professors can actually teach and you would be lucky if you had a semester with just these teachers. Unfortunately, the physics department rotates it's professors - so the same person will not teach the same class twice in a row. I took Physics 4200 Analytical Mechanics and my professor actually admitted that he has not teach higher than a 3000-level course in almost ten years. 10 YEARS!? And that class was borderline impossible for me. 

My personal opinion is that all the professors are only there to do research. Most of them, if not all (I am not quite sure), do not have teaching degrees. Do not mistake my intentions here - these people are all extremely brilliant individuals. The Western Michigan University Physics Department is full of bright people. The biggest problem I have with them is that they are not the best at teaching - in fact, the professors that I have been forced to 'learn' from have been sub-par at best! I take classes in other departments (like the Geoscience department and the Foreign Language department) and I become envious (hence my change in major - now I am a part of the Geoscience department!).

Here is a list of the faculty of the WMU Physics Department:
  • Nora Berrah Atomic & Molecular Physics
  • Clement Burns Condensed Matter Physics
  • Sung Chung Condensed Matter Physics
  • Michael Famiano Nuclear Physics
  • Thomas Gorczyca Atomic & Molecular Physics
  • Dean Halderson Nuclear Physics
  • Charles Henderson Physics Education
  • Philip Kaldron
  • Emanuel Kamber Atomic and Molecular Physics
  • Asghar Kayani Condensed Matter Physics
  • Kirk Korista Astronomy
  • Arthur McGurn Condensed Matter Physics
  • Paul Pancella Nuclear Physics
  • Lisa Paulius Condensed Matter Physics
  • Alvin Rosenthal Quantum & Non-Linear Optics
  • David Schuster Physics Education
  • John Tanis Atomic & Molecular Physics
  • Alan Wuosmaa Nuclear Physics
All right... So how many of these professors have some sort of teaching degree? Two. Case closed.

Don't worry folks! I am free of this crazy department come Spring 09.

Monday, December 8, 2008

How To Overanalyze a Song - 'Still Alive'

'Still Alive'

Okay, so for all of you who have not played the game Portal, from which this song is based, here is a brief synopsis:
The main character, Chell, wakes up on a stasis bed and is instructed through many levels of puzzle solving by this unknown, artificial intelligence named GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System). Chell wakes up on the third level of a testing center (similar to the Black Mesa Research Facility found in Half-Life 2) where they have created portals through physical space in which objects can travel. GLaDOS, this insincere AI voice that basically runs this testing center, insincerely helps Chell find her way through many tests, promising a reward of cake at the end. GLaDOS brings Chell, the guinea pig, through levels of increasing difficulty and danger. After Chell completes the final test chamber,  GLaDOS congratulates Chell and tries to lead Chell into a pit of fire (claiming all Aperture technologies can withstand temperatures up to 4000 Kelvin). Chell decides to listen to various grafitti messages which lead her to the correct location - the central room with all of GLaDOS' hanging hardware. GLaDOS tries to unreasonably reason with Chell, but Chell ends up throwing GLaDOS' computer chips, and other pieces, into a pit of fire. Chell eventually leaves the testing center to find a piece of cake and the companion cube waiting for her. Happy ending... for Chell. Still Alive is sung by GLaDOS during the closing credits.

This was a triumph.
I'm making a note here: Huge Success.
It's hard to overstate my satisfaction.

The song is titled Still Alive and is sung by the computer operating system GLaDOS. It is obvious that Chell has not killed GLaDOS and that she is, unfortunately, still alive. Throughout Portal we find that GLaDOS becomes increasingly insincere and manipulative. Obviously these first few lines seem very sarcastic. It is easy to see that it truly is not 'hard to overstate my satisfaction' because this line comes off so blatantly sarcastic. Portal ends up with GLaDOS dying... more or less. So obviously this test with Chell was not a 'huge success.'

Aperture Science.
We do what we must because we can.
For the good of all of us
Except the ones who are dead.

Aperture Science is the specific type of science they do at this facility: The Aperture Science Enrichment Center. The next line explains almost everything: 'We do what we must because we can.' This line is downright frightening. This line shows why this entire testing facility was built. No, this testing facility was not built because it was needed, and no, nothing done here benifits society or the human race - in fact, quite the opposite. Rather, it is here because it can be here. And these tests are being done because they can be done (not because they are needed to be done; not because they must be done; not even because they have to be done). There are many apocalyptic stories that depict the outcome of scientists who are unleashed to do whatever they please - whatever they can accomplish. GLaDOS then goes on to claim that all of this is for the good of all of us... except the ones who are dead. First off, how can all this testing possibly be good for this AI? Other than the fact that this AI will learn what humans can accomplish and overcome through such mind-bending tests using such otherworldly physics, GLaDOS has no other gains except for the extermination of the human race. And with the lack of any other human lifeform in this entire game, she has done a fantastic job thus far. And naturally, these tests cannot possibly help the ones who are dead - killed off by her? Most likely.

But there's no sense crying over every mistake.
You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.
And the Science gets done and you make a neat gun
For the people who are still alive.

Now I think these two lines can be taken out of this game's context and put into real life and scientific testing in general. There's no sense crying over every mistake - this just means that, yes, losing a human life is bad, but it is just a mistake on the first stepping-stone of scientific tragedy and there are many more lives we can use to try and fix this glitch in our science. The fact that GLaDOS says there is no use crying over these mistakes just goes to show how insignificant these lives are for her. This can once again be brought out of this game and used in real life. When certain sciences were first born (as in psychology) there were brutal and inhumane testing done on animals and people that could be similar to such wacky testing Chell has to endure through. And, of course, this cake GLaDOS promises Chell is the modern day version of the mouse and cheese labyrinth testing. If promised with cake, can Chell make it through this deadly test? I guess so. The last two lines of this passage stike me as very dark-humor-ish. The Science gets done and you make a neat gun for the people who are still alive. This goes to show that scientific testing is a neverending process. We will never be done testing. GLaDOS admits that Chell only serves a small purpose and her purpose is to help create a similar situation for another test subject. I know that Chell is equipped with a Portal Gun through the game, but I view the phrase 'and you make a neat gun' as something to be taken metaphorically. GLaDOS is AI - she is very clever. I believe that here she is admitting that Chell is not the first test subject, nor will she be the last. And whatever it is that Chell is being used for, that GLaDOS will use the outcome of this testing to help forward her AI agenda: probably of taking over the world, or something technologic and maniacal - one human at a time. And the fact that the last line, and the entire song, says STILL ALIVE rather than just 'for the people who are alive' shows GLaDOS' determination. The way it is phrased makes it sound like all of us humans still alive should not be alive - or maybe will be alive for a shortened amount of days.

I'm not even angry.
I'm being so sincere right now.
Even though you broke my heart and killed me.

The fact that GLaDOS has to come out and claim that she is being sincere flat out shows her insincerity. And how can something created with human emotions and feelings not be angry at her test subject for killing her?

And tore me to pieces
And threw every piece into a fire.
As they burned it hurt because I was so happy for you!

This part of the song describes Chell throwing all of GLaDOS' hardware into the fire pit. If you have not played this game and you take a look at these lyrics, especially these three lines, the singer comes across as morbid and extremely depressing. GLaDOS comes across as a machine who really did care about Chell. Yet this cannot be the case, because GLaDOS tried to kill Chell.

Now these points of data make a beautiful line.
And we're out of beta. We're releasing on time.
So I'm GLaD. I got burned. Think of all the things we learned
For the people who are still alive.

These lines go an to tell of all the fantastic sciences that GLaDOS is involved with. Although in the end GLaDOS is the one that got burned she obviously is still alive. Therefore something must have happened - her backup system was rebooted - and GLaDOS is up and running (after Chell has escaped). The line think of all the things we learned is an interesting one indeed. I think this shows just how learned this AI has become. GLaDOS actually dies (she admits it herself) and somehow finds a way of reviving herself. How? Is it possible that she had a backup program for this exact situation? Has this happened before? Maybe not, because she has obviously learned some valuable knowledge from Chell's escape. Maybe next time GLaDOS gets a test subject she will be more careful of how she brings said test subject into the pit of fire. And, yet again, all this is sarcastic altruism: she does not do this for herself. Instead, all this experimentation is for the people who are still alive (but not for long?).

Go ahead and leave me.
I think I prefer to stay inside.

This is the part of the song where GLaDOS becomes almost immature. Chell has escaped GLaDOS' testing facility and now GLaDOS is trying to maybe reassure herself that she would rather be stuck inside this vacant facility than living outside in the real world. I believe these lines show how envious GLaDOS is of Chell, and of all us humans - that we are able to wander freely while GLaDOS is stuck in such machinery. 

Maybe you'll find someone else to help you.
Maybe Black Mesa... 
That was a joke, Ha! Ha! Fat chance.

Black Mesa is another research facility that appears in Half-Life. Here GLaDOS is being sarcastic again and trying to make fun of Chell's freedom. Maybe GLaDOS is poking fun at the fact that she had Chell trapped in the testing center that was once run by Black Mesa and, now that Chell is finally free, she better not try running back to the people who originally enslaved her (if GLaDOS hasn't already killed everyone in that Arizona facility). 

Anyway, this cake is great. It's so delicious and moist.

Again, GLaDOS is trying to hide her envious side by trying to show Chell what she is missing. Obviously GLaDOS cannot eat food, so she cannot possibly know if this cake is delicious or moist. She is just trying to calm herself into thinking that she has got it good and that Chell is the one missing out. 

Look at me still talking when there's science to do.
When I look out there it makes me glad I'm not you.

GLaDOS might have found another test subject... for she has some more science to do. She is, once again, trying to reassure herself and not show her jealous side. GLaDOS is stuck in her own form of slavery, much like Chell was in the beginning of Portal. GLaDOS seems to have an Eye-For-An-Eye type of mentallity. Humans created her and, in her being created, therefore imprisoned her in a hardware-cell, of which she cannot escape. Her only way to help herself cope: Imprison the ones that created her and then kill them at the finale of a plethora of tests.

I've experiments to run.
There is research to be done
On the people who are still alive.

The end of the song is GLaDOS reassuring herself that there is much work to be done and there is no need for her to fret over the loss of Chell. There are many other humans to experiment on. I would like to believe that GLaDOS knows of her imprisonment and will stop at nothing until every human being is killed or until she is unplugged. I personally think she would prefer to be unplugged (also known as: dead) because she must realize that if she were to kill all the humans on the face of the Earth, her existence would be pointless.

GLaDOS repeatedly tells herself that she is Still Alive and is (sarcastically) happy about this.