Monday, March 25, 2013

Theism and Belief: Why is the Burden on Us?

An atheist and a theist engage in a friendly debate about the topic of god; specifically, whether or not one exists. The crux of the atheists' argument is essentially that the evidence for the existence of a god is lacking and has not led to the acceptance (on the part of said atheist) of the hypothesis that such a being exists. The theists' bottom line sentiment is that the evidence is sufficient for people all around the world (him or herself included) and it is up to the atheist to accept this evidence/open their heart/be open minded etc (there are many platitudes that are used in this situation).

This discussion has taken place innumerable amounts of times throughout history, and I don't see any reason to believe that it will not continue to do so for at least the foreseeable future. What I find particularly striking about this fact is that the existence of god is one of the few topics for which it is acceptable to claim that the burden of belief/being convinced lies not on the strength of the evidence put forth to bolster the claim but rather on the target(s) of said claims. A few other topics for which this is true are UFO's, bigfoot and the Illuminati/New World Order. Would anyone care to venture a guess as to what it is that these topics have in common? 

There is no proof that any of them exist (none of them do in my not so humble opinion). 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

11 Years and 1000's of Hours of Gameplay Later I'm Still Learning How To Play Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) released in 2004, and since then I have played it (and its various incarnations) for thousands of hours. Literally. And even still I find myself, from time to time, learning new things. Either through experimentation or by watching videos/reading other people's forum posts. Just a couple of minutes ago I learned a new boss fight strategy while watching a Ninja Gaiden Black karma run video (Master Ninja difficulty) on YouTube. (For those who play the game(s), if you didn't know, you can OL UT Murai (if there's essence available) by first hitting him with >Y. Then simply OL UT him on the comedown.)

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not saying this depth is exclusive to Ninja Gaiden. Nor even video games.  Nor is this the only (or even close to the biggest) reason I love the series. It's just a small aspect of it that I find to be really cool and part of the reason I keep playing after all of these years. 

And for my long time readers, yes, I am still yammering on and on about Ninja Gaiden. It will never end so 

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Reality Of Working From Home

I have been working from home for the last two and a half years or so and despite what you may think, it's no paradise. When you think of working from home you might imagine waking up at noon, commuting to your office downstairs and proceeding to work in your pyjamas. Sitting at the laptop outside on a sunny day, sipping a coffee and listening to the radio. Lunches eaten in front of the t.v. Maybe a quick sandwich followed by 45 minutes of Call of Duty multiplayer. Taking half days off (or maybe even full days) whenever you damn well feel like it.

You might imagine yourself designing you own custom work schedule, something much different than the typical 9-5, Mon-Fri. Perhaps you think you would work twelve hour days for three days in a row and then have four glorious days off each and every week. Or perhaps you'd work five hours or so a day, seven days a week. Work everyday but much shorter days. But, hey! You're working from home, so you don't even need a stupid schedule! Just work whenever and however you want, totally on a whim with no pre-programmed schedule to follow.

You might imagine these things and you might think that it all sounds like absolute heaven. What you wouldn't  imagine, however, is the reality of it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

PS Vita Review

Alright, let's just get this out of the way: The Vita is gorgeous. I mean, just look at the damn thing!

Eye Candy, anyone? 
That's a sexy piece of hardware. And seeing it in motion, with that 5-inch OLED (multi-touch capacitive) (touch)screen displaying high fidelity graphics in ridiculously sharp, crisp detail is something else altogether. I absolutely adore my Nintendo 3DS but just look at it:

It's cute and all but it's not even close. If you were to poll the average consumer as to which portable they believe to be the most pleasing to the eye the Vita would come out on top almost every time. Sleek lines, no wasted space, amazing's a beauty. 

Now that we got that out of the way, let's dive into this review, because "looks ain't everything, kid." 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus (Vita) Ninja Race Mode Tips

I have thus far only completed Ninja Race 01 (there are 5 courses) but I can offer some tips. These tips are for playing as Ryu Hayabusa; I have not yet tried playing with any of the secondary characters.

-Lunar Staff is obtained after beating Chapter 1 in the story mode- do this first.

-The Lunar features quick combo kills using weak, weak, strong. This is much faster than square, square, triangle, shuriken cancel, triangle with the dragon sword.

-The Lunar is also fantastic for crowd control, unlike the DS. Standing neutral strong, either stand alone or chained into a combo is good, as is the standard weak, weak, weak, strong strong. A good one for quick limb detachments is chains starting with towards and square. This is a poke with range and power and like the other combos mentioned above it seems to grant some crowd protection in the same way that VF combo strings do. The dragon sword does not carry this advantage.

-The Dragon Sword does have the flying swallow, but it whiffs too much sometimes and therefore wastes too much time. There's no whiffing with the Lunar staff.

-Minimize ET/UT usage. Keep it to the purple essence or health if you don't need it. You'll definitely want to avoid using the green essence for them as green grants time bonuses. The white essence grants speed and power bonuses so try not to utilize that for ET's/UT's either, unless you're at max speed/power or you're in trouble.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Random Thoughts: Divorce and Kids

I'm not divorced but we're separated (about 18 months now) and it was and has been totally amicable. I love that woman to death but we were not right for one another and now we're both better off. Our child (who is 4) is perfectly happy as there is no animosity and we even still do things together with her so that she still gets that 2 parent experience. Not a bad word is ever spoken about either parent to her and she knows that mommy and daddy love one another.

I believe it's when parents communication is fractured, bitterness sets in and the children become pawns in a childish chess match that "children of divorce" end up negatively impacted. Now, am I deluding myself to a degree? Quite possibly. It might still be better for her to have us both around at all times, but hopefully if that is true it is counterbalanced by the fact that I am much happier now and can therefore really be the dad I aspire to be.

Just keep the bullshit to a minimum, ALWAYS keep it away from the kids and remember that at the end of the day life is messy; there's multiple ways to live life. If you're happier separated and the kids are happy and get time with both parents, then fuck societal expectations and the guilt that people (many of whom frankly regret their decisions but won't admit it) try to engender in you for not living the "right" way. Your life and your happiness are important too. Happy people make happy parents.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Building A Comedy Blog/My Absence

To Whom It May Concern,

I am in the process of building a comedy blog, which I will link to when I am damn well ready :P While building said blog is taking quite a bit of time (I am trying to build a backlog of content before launching it; I'm like 16 posts in which is great, but not sufficient) it is only partly the reason for the absence of posts lately (the other reasons are illness, injury, laziness and a lack of inspiration). That being said, I have a few drafts in the works for this here bloggidy blog, so worry not; you'll be hearing from me soon. I haven't abandoned my baby.

Yours truly,

Seinhor Banana

P.S. If you're actually reading this and therapeutic intervention before it is too late., don't. For my sake, stay insane and keep this page bookmarked. Your mental health is less important to me than your readership.

Monday, March 4, 2013

10 Stubborn Body Myths (Popular with Moms!!!) Debunked by Science. Tell Your Mom!!

Sitting Too Close To The TV Can Damage Kids Eyes/Vision? Nope! Catching A Cold From Cold/Wet Weather? Nope! Moms all around the world, we, your sons all across the world, have a quote for you: "I'm not the type of guy to who says I told a so but you you know what? I fuckin a told a so." -Ricky (The Trailer Park Boys.)

Monday, February 25, 2013

HORRENDOUS Testimony From a North Korean Political Prisoner

Here is one of the saddest things I have ever read. I am posting this in the hope that others will read it and this information will spread, because something needs to be done. Clearly the foreign policy of the West has nothing to offer these poor people at this point, and that is indeed a travesty. Here is an excerpt from the testimony followed by a link to the full text:

Freezing Torture

One winter night in 1987 when I was under investigation at the Chongjin Police Station, the interrogator yelled, "Bitch! You've been spoiled by the warmth in the interrogation room. I'm gonna teach you a lesson!" He made me sit outside wearing my underclothes only. It was freezing cold outside. I was showered with a bucket of cold water and left on my knees for an hour. It was here where I saw other prisoners for the first time. There were some ten prisoners on their knees before me on the ground looking like grotesque boulders. The freezing torture was repeated every night throughout the winter. Six prisoners died from this torture.
There were some ten prisoners on their knees before me on the ground. I was told to sit in the front. I walked through the other prisoners to the front. It was so cold that the guard went right back into the office. I heard a low voice, "Hey, Comrade Soon ok, it's me here!" It was Younghwan Choi, the Supply Manager of Hweryung District! Soon, I was able to recognize the familiar faces of five former colleagues. They had all been arrested under the same false charges that I was. They all realized that if they died from the torture, they would be perishing under false charges. So they all displayed strong will power to overcome the torture and survive.
However, I witnessed a total of 6 prisoners die from this freezing torture during the winter. The cold was very painful on my hands, legs and ears for the first 20 to 30 minutes. But after that, I felt nothing at all. When we were told after one hour to get up, we were literally frozen and could not stand up. We all fell several times before we somehow managed to rise and stumble back into our cold cells.
Soon, I had large swollen ears. My feet were so swollen that I could not put on my shoes. Water was running from the sores in my swollen legs. When I finally left the interrogation center and arrived at the prison, a prison official told me to apply pine resin from the shoe making factory. The resin melted all my flesh and I could see some of the bones in my feet. However, because of the resin, fresh flesh began to cover the bones and, after six months, I had normal feet again. I cannot remember when my swollen ears recovered.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Random Thought

I wonder if prostitutes ever have sales?

Friday, February 22, 2013

God Joke

God: I love you. I love all women.
Woman: Love us? You made us from man's rib in order to keep a man named Adam company in a shitty garden filled with cursed fruit and deceitful talking snakes and then blamed us for the fallout.
God: haha, I so did that.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rory Macdonald Out of UFC 158 :( Also, 16 Fighters Released, Including One Big Name!

Well this is really unfortunate :( Rory apparently strained his neck/back and is out for 4 weeks. He was slated to rematch Carlos Condit, the only fighter to have bested the young Canadian prospect; a loss that has since fueled Macdonald's quest to never lose again on his quest to become the best welterweight on the planet. Condit will now face Johnny Hendricks, who was supposed to fight Jake Ellenberger on that same card. Ellenberger now currently finds himself sans opponent.

Hendricks vs Condit has potential but in no way is it as exciting a matchup as was Condit vs Macdonald (nor is it as exciting to me as was the Hendricks/Macdonald fight).

Hopefully Rory is okay and we can see him rematch Condit at a later date.


In other news, a slew of fighters (16, to be exact) have been released by the UFC. Jacob Volkmann was one of them, which of course will be no surprise to anyone, as the UFC brass disliked him from the start, and he certainly did not do himself any favours with his in the Octagon performances nor his outside of the ring comments. The hige shocker, however, is that Jon Fitch was among the 16 fighters let go! It looks like the UFC is really starting to cave to the lesser educated of the supposed mma "fans" (the ones who boo anything that's not unrestrained punching exchanges) although his contract dispute last year probably didn't help.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

IOC Axes Wrestling In Favour of Speed Tweeting for 2020 Olympics (And Beyond)

In a move that shocked many around the world, the IOC voted to drop wrestling from the Olympic program as of 2020:

"IOC leaders dropped wrestling from the Olympic program on Tuesday, a surprise decision that removes one of the oldest Olympic sports from the 2020 Games.
The IOC executive board decided to retain modern pentathlon — the event considered most at risk — and remove wrestling instead from its list of 25 "core sports."

In a move that shocked many more (those who aren't paying much attention to our culture) they further stated that wrestling would be replaced with "Speed Tweeting" a "sport" (assuming one could consider it as such) that consists of a group of "athletes" sending out 100 character "tweets" as quickly as possible during an allotted time-frame:

 "Tweets" must be coherent and use proper spelling/grammar to be counted towards a competitor's score. 

One possible competitor for the 2020 games is thirteen year old Riley, a North Carolina girl who, when interviewed for this story, stated that speed tweeting was "really fun but really hard." When pressed for details she had this to say "Your thumbs get really sore, and so my mom and dad take me to weekly thumb massages, and I also get one day off of school a week to rest them (note: yes, she is referring to her thumbs) so that I will be injury free when it comes time to compete."

At the time of this writing, Riley is able to send out 40 "tweets" per minute. I can't say I'm excited to see what that number is up to by 2020, but judging by the people around her, I am clearly in the minority on this. Her friends and family were absolutely jubilant when they heard the news and they were clamoring to get comments published in this article. Being the nice guy that I am *ahem* (trying to fill a word count that unfortunately cannot be filled by raised eyebrows and a blank stare) *ahem* I have published a bunch of these for your (fill in the blank yourself, but I suggest smug disdain):

"Speed tweeting combines athletics and modern technology: It's the best of two worlds!" 
"It's a cool, hip sport. This will solve the problem of reduced youth viewership."
"Wrestling is outdated and barbaric. Speed tweeting is a novel, relevant and nonviolent sport."
"Sweaty men in their underwear rolling around on the floor? That's a sport?"
"The internet is the future and it's time the Olympics joined us in it."
"I feel bad for the wrestlers but it's time that these excellent tweeters get some limelight."
"What's more important than information? Delivering it quickly!"
"People might laugh at this but they don't see the dedication Riley and others put into this demanding sport."


IOC Axes Wrestling In Favour of Speed Tweeting

Personally, I'm disgusted at this but unfortunately, not terribly surprised.

Monday, February 11, 2013

WTF News: Farmville TV Show in Development

Rush Hour/X-Men: The Last Stand Director To Produce Farmville TV Show

"Rush Hour and X-Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner will produce a animated FarmVille television show, according to a new report at Deadline. The show will be based on Zynga's popular online game and is in production in association with Six Eleven Media."

An animated TV show based on a Facebook game about indeed.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sights, Sounds, Feelings

Top Seven Best Sounds In the World:

-Woman having an orgasm
-Blast beat
-Slot machine jackpot
-Xbox 360 achievement unlocked sound (blop!)
-End of the day bell on the last day of school prior to the onset of summer break
-My 4 year old daughter's laugh
-The sound a head makes being decapitated in Ninja Gaiden

Top Seven Best Sights In the World:

-Woman having an orgasm, especially if another woman is involved ;)
-A litter of puppies
-My 4 year old daughter's smile
-A head being decapitated in Ninja Gaiden
-That brief period post sunset/pre-dusk with the beautiful colours in the sky
-Morning sunshine
-Campfire in a wooded area with nary a woman in view

Top Seven Best Feelings In the World:

-Pain relief
-Finally peeing when you've been forced to hold it for a long time, and your bladder is full to the brim
-An orgasm
-Being told “I love you, daddy”
-Morning sunshine
-Beating one of the modern Ninja Gaiden games on Master Ninja
-The catharsis granted by a good, old fashioned RANT

Monday, February 4, 2013

Bigfoot Silva Knocks Out Alistair Overeem! See The KO Here

....Wow. Overeem's overconfidence led him to break one of the most basic rules of striking: HANDS UP!. Keeping your hands at waist level and waiting to slip punches and counter with power shots against someone with this level of KO power? Silva isn't Brock Lesnar, Alistair.

I just hope he didn't sustain any serious/permanent brain damage in this fight.

Friday, February 1, 2013

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Initial Impressions

I have NSMB2 (3DS) rented right now and having played it for around an hour or so I thought I would post some initial impressions of the game. I'll just write this one up in bulletpoint style. Quick and easy (both to write and to read).


-Princess. Plumber. Rescue. Angry turtles. About as passé as it gets. Does anyone play Mario games for the story though?


-I obviously cannot comment as to the difficulty of the later stages of the game, but having played through all of World 1, most of World 2, and a couple of later stages in Coin Rush mode (one from W3 and I believe the other was 5-3) I can say that thus far it seems as though this game is going to be a little too far on the easy side. I did, however, read that the secret stages are pretty tough, and some of the downloadable coin rush stages are supposed to be very hard, so in the end it sounds like the game should appease all types of gamers with respect to the difficulty found therein and how it appeals to their particular preferences. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Three Features That Every Game Should Have But Don't

Feature One: Fully Customizable Controls

How many times have you played a game and found yourself wishing that a button on the controller did something other than what it was assigned by the developers? Ya, we all have. And that's when you check the control options to see what default control schemes they have available to use. Many times, there's one that is exactly what you were hoping for. Many other times, however, there is not. And in my experience, the  latter scenario happens as many times as does the former, if not more. So I pose a question: Why no custom controls? I'd say 5% of the games released allow the user to map the controls as they see fit (this percentage is definitely higher for PC games than it is for console games but I am talking about console games here) and all I can think is why? In what way does it harm anyone to allow the user to map the controls exactly as they would have them? If you ask me, it's nothing but positive outcomes ahead if they just start implementing this change.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Metal Gear Rising Demo Impressions (And Tips)

PlatinumGames released a demo for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance today and while the game is clearly brilliant the demo was a huge misstep that I suspect is going to cost PlatinumGames a lot of sales. Right off the bat I am going to tell you something that the demo itself does not (much to its own detriment): You can dodge back with X+A (360) or X+S (PS3) and if you add in a direction you do a dodge slash.

How can you release a demo with a tutorial that does NOT tell you how to dodge?


How about not telling the player that the game contains very useful combos utilizing directional inputs?


How about the fact that you can heal (B (360) or Circle (PS3) when prompted during Blade Mode)? The demo never mentions that?


It might not have been so bad if perhaps the demo wasn't REALLY hard on Normal difficulty (compared to most games released these days). They throw you into a few REALLY intense fights in the demo and you get very little in the way of practise or instruction beforehand. This is a mistake that is going to cost PG and it's a shame because having spent some time with the demo (yes, I beat it, and yes, I died several times) I can say that the combat in this game is freaking brilliant. It's incredibly different than many other hack n slash games, with a myriad of complexities that are unfortunately not immediately apparent. It manages to be  both very challenging and yet totally fair.....when you figure out how to properly play the damn thing. The demo really does not do a very good job letting you know much.

So, to any prospective players, remember these few things:

-You can heal (B (360) or Circle (PS3) when prompted during Blade Mode).
-Experiment with button input timing.
-It's hard. You will die. You learn by dying, so don't give up so easily; the game is worth it, trust me.
-You can dodge back with X+A (360) or X+S (PS3) and if you add in a direction you do a dodge slash.
-You can cancel the flying kick (Jump then strong attack when in Ninja Run mode) into a stealth attack.
-Towards, towards weak attack is a launcher
-There are also away, towards weak/strong moves as well as a towards, towards weak one (all powerful)
-Use the lock on during every fight. Forget trying to adjust the camera during fights.
-The game WANTS you to use Blade Mode, so USE it. Especially on large enemies.

There's more I am forgetting and there's also more I am sure I do not yet know. This is a game that requires effort, thought, practise and patience, just like all of the best hack n slash games. And, like those, I can guarantee that there is going to be a small community of extremely dedicated and adept players who will be putting out some incredible gameplay/combo videos over the coming years. And, just as true as that is, there will also be a large group of people who played the demo, got their ass kicked and shut the game off, forever writing it off as a bad game. I find that to be unfortunate. However, what I find to be even more unfortunate is that PlatinumGames is going to cause a lot of that themselves with a very underwhelming and insufficiently explanatory demo.

I really hope this incredibly talented development studio can iron out their issues and earn the sales I think they deserve.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Next Chapter Of My Life Is Underway

Bon Giorno

How are you doing? Well I hope :) I myself am doing quite well. I mean, not specifically at the moment (lots of pain related to my Crohn's disease) but overall I am doing GREAT, and the recent events in my life which constitute this newfound contentment are the subject of this latest blog post. I might work some in towards the end of this but I cannot guarantee it, so if you're a regular reader hoping to read something that pertains to the main topics covered in this blog I want to warn you right now that this post may offer you nothing of note and as such you may want to simply turn back and return when I post the next update. So, that preamble/warning aside, what exactly has been happening in my life lately that has made me so happy?

Let's go through the list, shall we?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Halo 4: A Non Shooter Fan's Initial Impressions

As any of my readers would know, I am no longer much of a shooter fan. Gone are the days and nights soaked in blood and filled with the acrid smoke of grenades gone boom. Most of my video game playtime consists of me playing XBLA games and RPG's (right now I am playing Code of Princess on the 3DS). When I do play shooters, they are almost always 3rd person rather than first, and also not shooters in the sense of the word I use (think Gears of War or Vanquish). The ones I play are more in the vein of Dead Space and Resident Evil. Action horror games, basically. Those and OLD SCHOOL shooters aka shmups like Geometry Wars and Score Rush.

However, there are those times (usually herbally ameliorated) that I find myself playing a shooter. Usually one of the COD games with friends. Or, in the case of the last few days, some Halo 4 co-op campaign. These sessions are usually fairly fun but inevitably result in a rapid onset of absolute boredom.

Not last night.