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5401  Media / The Soundroom / J.K. Rowling rumored to be writing mystery novel on: August 24, 2007, 10:12:00 AM
http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/2007-08-19-rowling_N.htm

I'm sure you all have seen the news this week saying that Rowling is starting work on a mystery novel.  

One thing I will say is that in order to write a compelling mystery novel, an author must be skilled at creative plot twists and convincing red herrings.  Rowling's proven her skill with red herrings and plot twists with the Potter books.  She's also very good at setting the scene and mood without it getting too wordy  So I do think she's very capable of writing a good mystery novel.  Plus, when it comes to mystery and detective novels, I've always preferred British over American.  Sherlock Holmes vs. Phillip Marlowe?  I'll pick Holmes every time.  

On the other hand, people may probably be disappointed because it's not Harry Potter.  

I'm curious whether Rowling is going to gear the mystery novel more towards adult readers.  It'd be nice if she did, because she's a skilled writer, but many adults won't read Potter because of the whole "it's for kids" stigma.  Plus, in terms of mystery novels for the teen and tween crowd, not even the almighty Rowling can compete with the likes of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys in my opinion.  

I'm curious to see how it turns out.  

Discuss.
5402  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Jesus Camp on: August 23, 2007, 07:53:12 PM
Quote from: "Dave"
You know, I don't recall hearing about any atheist camps, actually. Ever.

And I don't remember atheists asking for tax breaks in the middle of war.

And I don't ever seem to recall atheists knocking on my door and asking me if I want to convert myself to their views.



True, but atheists have done things like try to get the "one nation under God" bit changed on the flag pledge and stuff like that.  They too throw tantrums and fits when they feel stuff "offends" their points of view.  Many atheists I've met think anyone who believes in God is a complete moron for placing faith in some intangible.  

No matter what belief system you subscribe to, nobody's hands are clean.  

But this isn't about atheists vs. God-fearers or other such things.

All I'm saying is that the kind of stuff we see in these extremist Christian profiles is stuff we may see in others regardless of belief system.  Cultural brainwashing happens all over the world.  

In my opinion, no matter what the belief system, over-zealous fundamentalists frighten me.  Fundie atheists freak me out as much as fundie Christians, fundie Muslims, fundie Hindus, fundie anything.
5403  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Jesus Camp on: August 23, 2007, 05:44:47 PM
Pat, I hate to say this but even if people haven't seen Jesus Camp, it could still end up as a mudslinging thread where "normal" people sling mud at those "damn fundies."  And the fundamentalist believers could then come back and say secular folks are "faithless" or "unenlightened heathens."  

Even on a video game forum like RPGfan, threads about religion and politics tend to bring the heat.  

Although I'm not familiar with the documentary, I am aware that this "brainwashing" is something that happens all over the world regardless of belief system.  Whether you're Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Atheist, Satanist, whatever, it's not uncommon to see organized operations of overzealous extremists doing things in the name of their belief system that may violate common sense.  I won't deny that good intentions are at work, but sometimes good intentions can manifest themselves in unhealthy practices.      

I just think documentaries like Jesus Camp or even movies like But I'm A Cheerleader about camps where parents send their gay/lesbian children to be brainwashed straight again (and therefore be free of sin and not be smited by God) are more overt because Christianity is possibly the most widespread belief system in the world.  Perhaps more covert Satan Camps or Atheist Camps or things like that exist out there.  And with Internet media being what it is, we're just more aware of things like this.  

Organized belief systems are a powerful thing.  They can bring peace, order, and hope into peoples' lives.  But they have also been the sources of many brutal wars.

In any case, I do feel bad for that father whose family's words were manipulated by the media editor.  He seems a reasonable person (I can only tell so much about a person from a secondary sourced email message) and the way the film was edited will paint him and his family in an unfairly negative light.
5404  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #666 on: August 23, 2007, 12:26:18 PM
I'm in the Cathedral Ship in Xenosaga DS.  A dungeon that I complained about as being stupidly long I now complain about as being stupidly short.  

Oh well.
5405  The Rest / General Discussions / Your Video Game Band Name on: August 21, 2007, 08:40:31 PM
Dave, I almost wanted to call my band (well music/comedy duo) Zombies Ate My Neighbors after one of the silliest survival horror games of all time, but I think Godzilla Vs. The Smurfs was the better choice.  

Maybe I should alter my video game band name to Xenogears of War.  That makes it shorter, stupider, and nonsensicaler.
5406  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment Part 7,894,673,589.3 on: August 21, 2007, 02:51:14 PM
United States Canada Mexico Panama Haiti Jamiaca Peru...

The countries song was my personal favorite Animaniacs song.  And "Everything you say the monkeys won't do" with Dr. Scratchensniff was funny too.

But my song of the moment is Nutritional Facelift by Dysrhythmia.  I've been listening to the No Interference album as my bedtime music for the past few days and that song always jumps out at me.  Dysrhythmia's an instrumentals only band so no lyrics.  And I must say, Dysrhythmia comes up with some of the best song titles.  Only Dysrhythmia would come up with song titles like Running Shoe of Justice and Nutritional Facelift.
5407  The Rest / General Discussions / Your Video Game Band Name on: August 21, 2007, 01:29:09 PM
For any kind of band name, I wouldn't even try for something "good."  All the good band names are taken, so I would go for something totally stupid and nonsensical like

Fei Fong Wong and the Gears of War.

Although a power metal band dedicated to Phantasy Star named Skyhaven would be kinda cool.

And for what it's worth, the guys in the power metal band DragonForce are video game nuts (guitarist Herman Li likes to do weird picking techniques to make his guitar sound like video game bleeps and bloops) and there was a classic game on Saturn called Dragon Force.
5408  The Rest / General Discussions / Growing out my hair; need advice on: August 20, 2007, 02:16:10 PM
No, we will NOT have a chorus singing George Thorogood's "Haircut" song.

Get a haircut and get a real job
Clean your act up and don't be a slob
Get it together like your big brother bob
Get a haircut and get a real job


Anyway, in addition to keeping your hair trimmed (cut off the split ends and allow the hair to grow healthy instead of straw-like), keeping it clean (unwashed hair can smell funky), and all that, be prepared for the "growing pain" stages.  Up till about 6 months, it's going to poke out all over the place and be an utter mess.  You'll never be able to get it to look tidy.  So if you want to grow your hair long, you have to be patient during that awkward hair stage.
5409  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Ar Tonelico II on: August 18, 2007, 05:16:07 PM
I could not get into Ar Tonelico at all.  And go figure huh, I've studied psychology intensively, am working on becoming a school guidance counselor, and am nuts about dating sims/love adventures.  I too thought the game was kinda blah and not enough was done with the intriguing setting.  

The soundtrack was exquisite, though.  Though I found Ar Tonelico to be a generally mediocre RPG, the music was definitely a cut above.
5410  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #666 on: August 18, 2007, 11:15:36 AM
Tatsuya Sudou and Tatsuya Suou can be the most confusing.  It makes more sense in the Japanese version because each of those two use different kanji to spell Tatsuya.  

Another part of the name confusion comes from the godawful English translation of Persona 1 where characters were given American names.
5411  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Tactics Ogre on: August 18, 2007, 11:09:27 AM
Tactics Ogre easily has one of the most intriguing stories ever presented in an RPG.  It's a surprisingly mature storyline, especially given the time when the game was created/released.  From what I understand, many elements of FF Tactics take influence from Tactics Ogre.

The worst part about Tactics Ogre is easily the level grinding.  

And Kachua rules.
5412  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #666 on: August 17, 2007, 03:10:28 PM
Quote from: "Dade"


So....are you a masochist first and a bassist second, Neal?

I dont think I've ever known someone to choke down that much Xeno in this short of a time frame.


If I WAS a masochist, I've have played Xenosaga II WITHOUT a Gameshark.  I Gamesharked my way through all the Playstation 2 installments, so I got through them relatively quick.  Xeno 1 took me about 35 hours, Xeno 2 and 3 were about 25 apiece.  

I've spent 110 or so hours on a single playthrough of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment.  So my Xenosaga marathoning isn't *too* bad.  

Heh, if anything I was a Memories Off masochist this summer.  Not only did I play and review two of the games, I also previewed the latest one and reviewed a bunch of the soundtracks.  

Anyway, I'm putting Xenosaga DS aside in favor of an advance reviewable copy of a DS game I got from a beloved publisher.  I can't really say any more about it till I write up a preview for the site.
5413  The Rest / General Discussions / Game Journal #666 on: August 16, 2007, 07:43:26 PM
I'm a couple hours into Xenosaga I-II for DS.  It's a Japanese import I snagged cheap.  Game's alright.  Music and sound effects are atrocious.
5414  Media / Anime, TV, and Movies / Recently Viewed Movies Episode 2: The Vampire Bites Back on: August 15, 2007, 09:59:13 PM
The one thing I liked about the Simpsons movie is that it didn't try too hard to be this epic larger than life spectacle.  It was, for all intents and purposes, an extended length episode.  Ralph could have had some better lines, though.  

Code:
We thank you Lord for this almighty penis
is still my favorite part.  

Anyway, I saw Potter 5 in the theater today.  Good film.  Obviously, it's a Cliff Notes version of the book but it was good.  Helena Bonham Carter was superb as Bellatrix.  Pity she wasn't used more.  And the girl they cast as Luna... Wow!  she nailed the part and looked good doing it too.  Umbridge was probably the most vile character in the Potter mythos and they cast her well too.  She was vile.  

I loved the music in this installment.  The only think I found odd was
Code:
towards the end when everyone was flying on thestrals.  All the thestrals were visible.  Shouldn't Ron's, Hermione's, Ginny's, and Neville's thestrals been invisible since they couldn't see them?  Only people who've seen death can see thestrals.  
5415  Media / The Soundroom / The Recent Musical Purchases Thread on: August 15, 2007, 09:51:31 PM
I was browsing a used CD store whilst killing time before the Potter movie.  I ended up buying a couple of good punk CDs from the $1 clearance rack.  I got Andiamo by Authority Zero and an MxPx live bootleg.  I didn't know anything about Authority Zero but what did I have to lose for a buck?  It's a good CD.  It's punk the way I like it: energetic and socially conscious.  And MxPx is MxPx.  Amazing band.  "Chick Magnet" has a simple but oh so fucking awesome bassline.
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