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5491  The Rest / General Discussions / April Fool's history lesson on: April 01, 2008, 10:21:17 PM
All things considered, it is pretty interesting the stories behind holidays.  I mean, I find Valentine's Day as it currently stands an absolutely sickening commercial holiday, but the story behind it about St. Valentine is a tragic one, and IMO good story.  The basic gist of it was that St. Valentine was martyred in Rome for marrying Christians and back then, aiding Christians was a punishable offense.  He was imprisoned and I *think* he was then sentenced to death when he tried to preach Christianity to the emperor.  There are obviously more details, though I'd be interested to know what the dialogues were between St. Valentine and the people whose lives he impacted.
5492  The Rest / General Discussions / April Fool's history lesson on: April 01, 2008, 04:28:05 PM
When the principal did the morning announcements today at the school I intern at, she gave the history of April Fool's Day and I was like "whoa, I didn't know that."

Anyway, back in the 16th or 17th century, the coming of the new year was celebrated on March 25th and the ribaldry continued for 8 days until the herald of the new year on April 1st.  Of course, that all changed when the Gregorian (I think) calender was first adopted, but those who still celebrated the new year on April 1st were called the April Fools.
5493  The Rest / General Discussions / RPGFan Gaming Journal: The Road to Infinity on: April 01, 2008, 07:27:58 AM
Sigma Star Saga also had a decent story.  

And everluck, yeah by me it is.
5494  The Rest / General Discussions / RPGFan Community Photo Thread: 2007 Edition on: March 31, 2008, 03:03:29 PM
Hence why I went by the stage name "Neal Nerdypants" during that show.  http://rumg.rutgers.edu/~rumg/photos/12_1_06/index.html

I don't wear those pants often, only when I'm playing live and want to be the center of attention.  They're bright orange and I love them.  I get asked about them a lot, though.  I got them from Polo/Ralph Lauren online and it was the last pair in stock.
5495  The Rest / General Discussions / RPGFan Community Photo Thread: 2007 Edition on: March 31, 2008, 02:50:13 PM
Pat, +1 on what the others said about your kid.  He does not want to clean up his mess and will be stubborn and willful about it.  

Deg, if my friends Skunk and Rock Star Phil were to have a baby, it would probably look like you.  They're two of the coolest guys I know.  

This is probably my favorite picture of me on the intarwebnet.  It's from December 2006.  I have much shorter hair now.  http://rumg.rutgers.edu/~rumg/photos/12_1_06/neal3.jpg
5496  The Rest / General Discussions / RPGFan Gaming Journal: The Road to Infinity on: March 31, 2008, 02:27:02 PM
Quote from: "Tooker"
as well as a DS game called Contact.


That's a good find since that game's tough to get these days.  Still, I hope you like the game better than I did.  I couldn't get into it much at all and my review reflects that.
5497  Media / Single-Player RPGs / what is your addition to the console rpg formula? on: March 30, 2008, 09:26:39 PM
Xenosaga I*II for DS allows anywhere/anytime saving, but scattered throughout locations are gold EVS points that offer free healing to the party.  These EVS points are where you'd expect to find save points.  So that's a game where you can eat your cake and have it too.
5498  The Rest / General Discussions / DICE NEEDS HELP- advertising class questionnaire! on: March 30, 2008, 09:25:13 AM
Okay I'll bite.

1. Do you smoke cigarettes?
No.  I quit smoking almost 10 years ago.

12. If you do not smoke, why not?
I quit because the habit got expensive and it made my clothes and hair smell bad.  

13. What brand of cigarettes first comes to mind?
Parliament

14. Name some other cigarette brands/companies you have heard of.
Camel, Marlboro, Pall Mall, Salem, Kent, Merit, State Express 555, Newport, Kool, Planet Lights, American Spirit, Nat Sherman, Winston, Drum and other hand-rolling tobaccos; various Indonesian kretek/clove cigarettes like Krakatoa Kretek, Djarum, Jakarta, (Yeah, during some of my college years, I hung around the local smoke shop quite often).

15. Have you noticed any recent against smoking advertisements?
Yes.  Those "truth" advertisements are really annoying.

16. Have you seen/heard of the series of Stupid.ca advertisements?
No.

21. What’s your opinion of cigarettes?
Not fond of them, but there's a lot of things in this world I'm not fond of.  I do wish more American cigarette companies didn't put additives in their cigarettes.  

22. What’s your opinion of cigarette products?
Do you mean like promotional products like T-shirts and stuff?  If so, not my thing.  I'm not really into alcohol or cigarette clothing.  I'd rather not be a walking billboard... except for my favorite bands.  

23. What’s your opinion of cigarette companies?
They're a big business.  Like all big business, be it tobacco, fast food, confectionary, etc, they engage in shady practices and manipulate consumers.  

DEMOGRAPHICS

24. What is your gender?
Male

25. What is your age?
26-30

26. What is your current occupation?
student

27. Approx. Annual Income:
[Under $4,999] (at least until I graduate)
5499  The Rest / General Discussions / Watershed Games on: March 29, 2008, 09:00:58 PM
Tetris.  That was a watershed puzzle game.  I cannot think of a video game that's more universally loved and played by people from 6-60 all over the world.  If Tetris is not a watershed game, I don't know what is.  Tetris ushered in an era of puzzle games.  Games like Puyo Puyo employ Tetris-esque mechanics.  Tetris was revolutionary and still remains awesome.  Greatest video game ever in my book.

Eusis mentions the important Sierra and LucasArts adventure titles, but if you're going to go to the OG, then you have to mention Zork.  That's the game that started the genre.  Sure the original Zork was a text adventure, but at the time there was really nothing else like it with an involved storyline with conundrums to figure out.

I'd probably say The Sims is a watershed title as well.  It definitely revolutionized computer gaming and hooked millions of people who otherwise wouldn't even play video games.

As far as JRPGs go, FF7 definitely.  There's the JRPG era before FF7 and the JRPG era after FF7.  FF7 opened the floodgates and took the genre from niche to a force to be reckoned with.  I certainly wouldn't be an RPG fan were it not for FF7.
5500  Media / The Soundroom / The Recent Musical Purchases Thread on: March 29, 2008, 08:46:04 PM
I bought music.  Last month I bought "Tales from Mianus" by Fallen Hero.  They're a pop-punk band led by a buddy of mine and they're hysterical live.  

And on iTunes I just bought "Regeneration" by Ascension Theory.  This is an album I had intended on buying for years but never got around to.  

I also bought "Skullgrid" by Behold... The Arctopus.  What a fantastic album.  It's a beautiful amorphous mess.  This is one crazy band.  It's like Arctopus, Dysrhythmia (who share a bassist with Arctopus), and Direwolf (a solo project of Arctopus guitarist Mike Lerner) are a triumvirate of instrumetal (spelling intended) that just puts your brain in a blender.

I really want to see Dysrhythmia and Arctopus live.

EDIT:  I also splurged on The Machinations Of Dementia by Blotted Science.  They're an instrumental metal project with guitarist Ron Jarzombek (who's f'n awesome), bassist Alex Webster (IMO the best metal bassist out there; amazing jazz fusion funk slapper guy too.  Is there anything he can't do?), and drummer Charlie Zeleny of Behold... The Arctopus.  The album is a brain-melting amorphous mess that is like a heavier version of Dysrhythmia.
5501  Media / The Soundroom / Song of the Moment Part 7,894,673,589.3 on: March 29, 2008, 07:16:37 PM
I was at a multi-band show last night and between bands, the music playing through the PA off of someone's iPod was this thing called The Moog Cookbook.  It's basically modern (and some vintage) songs done on a Moog synthesizer.  My favorite was the Moog Cookbook version of "Black Hole Sun."  It's instrumental so no lyrics.  Fantastic rendition.
5502  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Questions about PS3 or 360 on: March 28, 2008, 05:09:59 PM
Quote from: "Blace"
Right now the 360 is dominating when it comes to JRPG's. It has Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Enchanted Arms (also on PS3), Eternal Sonata, Phantasy Star Universe (PS2/ PC as well), and FFXI (also on PS2/PC).


In addition to the 360 RPGs mentioned here, there are some upcoming ones like Last Remnant (also scheduled for PS3), Infinite Undiscovery, I think there's a new Tales game in the works for the 360, I *think* there is a sequel or two of Blue Dragon in the works, Cry On (another Mistwalker title), and a few I'm definitely blanking out on.  

Is it enough to please a die hard JRPG fan?  Probably not, since the PS3 is a Japanese console and by default will have more Japanese software.  But for someone who enjoys games from both Japanese and Western developers, then the 360 is a good bet.  And there are some JRPGs that are exclusive on the 360 like the Mistwalker stuff.
5503  The Rest / General Discussions / Faith kills on: March 28, 2008, 04:56:53 PM
I shall repeat myself once again.  

Quote from: "Dincrest"


But I digress.  If you want to get into a whole discussion about faith and religion, we can do that in another thread or in PM.  I [was] merely responding to being called out.  

This thread is about a girl who did not deserve to die.  Regardless of what we believe we can all agree that what happened to this girl is awful.  To suffer with an untreated medical condition the way she did, that's just saddening.  No amount of prayer is going to increase the body's production of insulin.  Diabetes runs in my family, so I see how it affects people's health and lives.  Poor girl.  She barely had a chance to live.


We can all agree to disagree about beliefs, belief systems, faith or what have you.  Can we leave it at that, and all agree that what happened to this girl was just horrible?  

Even just looking at the parents' denying medical attention to the kid's severe ailment, in many states that constitutes neglect which is one of the big three deadlies that comprises child abuse (the three are physical abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, neglect).  That is law.  If you were a guidance counselor or social worker at this kid's school, would you call child protective services on this family?  I would, due in no small part to knowing the gravity of diabetes, since it runs in my family.  Diabetes left untreated is bad news and this family was unwilling to give their kid proper care.  Faith aside, these parents sentenced their kid to death.  

The sad other side of the coin is that child protection agencies are so overwhelmed that chances are they may not even give this case priority and by the time they get around to it, the damage has already been done.

Man, I tell you, advocating for the best interests of kids is difficult.  Especially when you have parents such as these who use metaphysical excuses to deny their kids proper care.
5504  Media / Single-Player RPGs / what is your addition to the console rpg formula? on: March 28, 2008, 04:34:09 PM
Good look on Phantasy Star 4.  One thing it did that I wish more JRPGs did was have combat a little different in vehicles rather than on foot.
5505  The Rest / General Discussions / Faith kills on: March 28, 2008, 08:02:41 AM
How so?  Everyone believes in something.  I also happen to be atheist.  I don't believe in or place faith in an external intangible idol (read: God).  I believe in existential humanism.  I believe in people's ability to control and change their lives and destinies.  It's like Albert Camus said "are you satisfied with the world you've created?"  You create your world based on your actions.

As Prime Mover said, an atheist has faith in the non-existence of God.  And if, as Damian said, you can only place faith in something unverifiable, this is it.  

I, as a human, do place faith and beliefs in something.  I place faith in change/evolution, because as the human species grows and changes as its done since the time of cavemen, science and logic has changed and evolved as well.  

And what about self? People can have faith in self.  And if you want to say you can only have faith in something unverifiable, then self is it.  Everyone's been seeking "self" since early mankind.  

And even when people are faithless and disillusioned (particularly due to horrible circumstances), they look for something or someone to believe in.  They seek out faith in something, be it humanity, self, God, whatever.  When people feel that God or humanity or whatever's forsaken them, they seek out something else to place faith in.  Faith is an important aspect in the concept of humanity.  I have faith in the complexity of humanity and humanism.  

But I digress.  If you want to get into a whole discussion about faith and religion, we can do that in another thread or in PM.  I'm merely responding to being called out.  

This thread is about a girl who did not deserve to die.  Regardless of what we believe we can all agree that what happened to this girl is awful.  To suffer with an untreated medical condition the way she did, that's just saddening.  No amount of prayer is going to increase the body's production of insulin.  Diabetes runs in my family, so I see how it affects people's health and lives.  Poor girl.  She barely had a chance to live.
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