Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More CS

I've been relatively busy with the events of my life but haven't we all? I guess I almost forget about my blog but fear not, I haven't been entirely neglectful. Here are some more CS screenshots, I've been playing a lot more and I'm actually marginally improving. It's incredibly fun to play CS stoned, yet it's a double edged sword. While I sometimes go on great kill streaks, sometimes I go four or more rounds with nothing. Sometimes I play super focused and other times I'll get distracted, whatever.

I normally play on those 24/7 dust, dust2, office, etc servers with the extended amount of maximum players. I figure it's good practice. You know that some studies have found that people who play a lot of twitch games like unreal tournament or CS or something like that have better reflexes than the average person. That is with like 20 hours a week of playing or something, but still it makes sense that the more you play the faster your brain can process stimuli. It applies outside of video games too, I think it really applies to quick decision making where you have to weigh out the possible outcomes. The rapid pace of the game helps your brain. When you spend time playing video games, look at it like exercise for your brain and cognitive skills. Still get physical exercise too though, you'll probably be happier if you exercise. I know the few times I actually work out I feel better afterward. Have a good day guys.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blonde Redhead Concert

Yesterday I went to a concert with some friends. Blonde Redhead were headlining, with another man opening up for them: Pantha Du Prince. But there was a third band playing that opened up first, Blood Feathers. The show began exactly at 830 which was very considerate of the performers; last time I went to that particular venue I had to wait an exorbitant amount of time before anyone began performing. This show however was absolutely fantastic. I haven't been to many concerts recently so this totally blew me away. The middle performer, Pantha Du Prince, played continuously for over a hour. I didn't even realize his set was that long cause I was so captivated by his music. It was a fantastic social outing.

The show ended around midnight; my friends drove and I took the train. We said our goodbyes and took our respective methods of transportation home.Walking around a city at night is always an experience. I only had to walk two or three blocks from the concert to the train station so it was relatively pleasant. Some man asked me if I needed to find a place to stay for the night, I guess he thought I was homeless or something. I said no thanks. Another man offered to sell me cigarettes but I don't smoke and told him so. The train ride was quite though. Last time I was on the train I was drunk with all my friends and we joked around with a police officer; I think everyone else on that train was drunk too. I'm grateful that I'm allowed to do all these wonderful things. I hope you guys get infinite satisfaction from all your endeavors too. Have a good one and love your fellow man.

Friday, October 8, 2010


So I only have one class today at my local community college; it's at 12:00 pm but I slept through it. So I decided a couple days ago that I was going to go into the city with my friends today cause it's friday. They're not leaving for a while so I could have went to class and made it with plenty of time to spare but it's nice to relax sometimes too. It's going to be columbus day this monday in america so I get a four day weekend, which is pretty nice I guess. I'm not gonna do much until I hang out with my friends; I'll just get high and listen to music for a while. is down. There goes my favorite torrent search engine; I seriously don't use anything else. I really liked their services, I hope whoever made it go down contracts a terrible disease and ceases to exist. P2P shit isn't even that bad. So what if your multi-million dollar piece of shit media that you probably don't care about, all the lawyers and CEOs and whoever care about is the money, gets a dent in sales. I really wish people would stop trying to regulate the internet, it seriously is an impossible task. It's like trying to completely eliminate crime, but then again, if it is like crime, there should still be like police or not. I actually don't think there should be.

update: 9 oct.
Sorry for the quality; took it with my 2mp cellphone camera

I mean so what if unregulated data goes through the internet every day, what's the harm? In the paper the other day the US government foiled a pretty big ring of hackers, like 100 here and 100 in the UK or something. They targeted smaller companies cause they were less sophisticated and began collecting credit card numbers and selling the numbers on the black market. Stuff like that I guess is necessary if you really fuck with people but is downloading stuff stealing? I don't think so. When there is a digital copy of something, that chunk of data should be able to be re-copied and distributed as the user sees fit. Once done so it is completely impossible to recollect said data or attempt to control it. Torrents are so useful for completely legitimate reasons too; had the torrent of the Half life 2 cinematic mod, which is 10 GB. Because so many people where seeding and leeching it, it only took like an hour or two. I'm not sure what I can do about it though, times like these I feel really helpless. It's not all doom and gloom though, not until our government passes some internet control bill which is similar to China's censuring system but much more powerful. If this system is put in place, the US government will not only have the power to completely block undesirable websites, but outright delete them off the face of internet existence. That's right, deleting websites entirely. Sure, websites have been shut down before, but this seems pretty encroaching. What happened to the constitution? I'm pretty sure at least some of you guys have heard about this before. Even so, that's like a micro problem compared to the rest of our country. I wish all the serious problems in the world would be solved so humanity could begin colonizing space. Or invent immortality or something great like that. I think humanity could do it eventually if we're given the chance. Have a good one space farers

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My last CS office game

I'm ok at CS:source; I think it's really fun regardless of how well I'm doing. But more often than not I don't do too well. Here are a bunch of screenshots I took in my last CS office session.

I could post some more screenshots from different games. I think I'm only going to post ones that stand out to me, particularly striking images. Should be a nice project.

Monday, October 4, 2010

penn museum of archaeology and anthropology

So a couple weeks ago I went to the penn museum of archaeology and anthropology in Philadelphia. It's very nice; it only costs $6 with a valid college student ID. But they have lots of special promotions and such for discounts. Even so, full price is $12 which isn't terrible. The museum has three floors and myriad exhibits. I spent two hours in the China and Greek exhibits alone. There's a full fledged Egyptian temple on the second or first floor that I didn't get to see. I had to do a small paper on one of the rooms and its layout, I figure I'd share it here cause it's so short:

Leading up to the main Chinese exhibit, there is a small, rectangular room displaying several Buddhist pieces from both China and Japan. In this small segue varying statues, tapestries, and sculptures are on display. Buddhism didn't enter China until the early first and second centuries A.D. through trade with India. Note that Buddhism wasn't always tolerated in China; it conflicted too much with existing Confucian ideals to be widely accepted. It, however, did become increasingly popular and prevalent throughout China's society. Translating the Sanskrit Buddhist texts and combining their meaning with existing Taoists ideals allowed for a more cohesive conversion to Buddhism. Chinese Buddhism is very mystical and religious. There are many ceremonies, traditions, offerings, and other religious rites that permeate throughout Chinese Buddhism.
The main room is fairly large, round, and has an incredible ceiling. There is symmetry pertaining to the orientation of the exhibit. Many pieces have a direct counterpart standing on the opposite side of the room. It culminates into a visually pleasing perception of the room. Two massive murals dominate the background, focusing your eyes towards the center. In the middle of the room there is a large, perfectly spherical, forty-nine pound crystal ball on a beautifully molded wave of metal.

Every piece has an uncanny level of detail. The time and effort required of these pieces must have been extensive and it shows. Beautifully crafted statues portray great religious figures performing sacred deeds. Processions of men, horse drawn chariots, and several other creatures were meticulously carved into pedestals and statue bases. There's a story for almost all the displays. Even though there are many different pieces on display, most of them fall under a distinct category. Religious, ceremonial, and/or royal. Several statues, figures, etc. were explicitly meant for the deceased to ensure a safe passage into the afterlife, such as horse or camel statues, ornate figurines, miniature buildings, and other traditional items. Many other displays are overtly Buddhist. Countless statues depict Bodhisattvas representing certain qualities like the sun, moon, compassion, protection, etc. The huge influence of Chinese culture created a unique blend of Buddhist and Chinese ideals. A predominate amount of the display was originally intended for the royal Chinese aristocrats and rich. Most of the goods deliberately for burial were labor intensive and expensive to make. Commoners did not have the luxury of posthumous gifts. One particular aspect of Buddhism that carried over into Chinese culture, the emphasis placed on the power and symbol of the lion, has led to an interesting result. As grave markers and guardians, figures of lions were placed at the entrance of burial tombs but, lions are not indigenous to China. The lion statues don't quite look like lions, which has become a trademark of these Chinese works of art.    
Accentuating the symmetry of the room, several sets of grave markers are on display. Usually made in pairs, these ceremonial pieces were reserved for those that could have afforded them. The two sets on display both have a matching pair of male and female figures. Several key differences differentiate the male and female figures from each other. The female statue has horizontal lines running across its puffed up chest while the male has vertical lines running from its chest, down across its body. In the center of the room are three benches. They form a triangle with the giant crystal ball in the middle. This item existed for no other reason than sheer opulence. The last empresses of imperial China is said to have adored the massive crystal. The crystal is believed to be the second largest in the world.
The multitude of pieces spanning over multiple millennia from countless dynasties are a wonder to behold. Through trade routes, an ancient idea spread. It caught hold off an entire nation and profoundly changed all of history. The Buddhism that spread through China was amorphous and free flowing; it branched off into numerous different schools all throughout the east. Eventually reaching Japan, the concept of Zen Buddhism was formed. The whole exhibit wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for the influential power of human thoughts and ideas.
As a whole, the exhibit accomplishes a lot. The emphasis of religion is stressed through the mass amount of religious items on display. Everyday people would travel to temples filled with sacred items to pray, make offerings, seek advice, etc. Monks would devote their entire lives to Buddhism through countless means. Some would take to the temple life, they would spend their days reciting sutras, performing ceremonies, and helping their temple, among many other things. Religion infiltrated every aspect of their lives. In connection with religion, people were also infatuated with the afterlife. The royal built massive burial sites and filled them with a myriad of different goods and items. The number of statues and ceremonial items that adorned the grave sites clearly shows the importance of the afterlife to the ancient Chinese people. The Chinese culture begins to unravel before you as you explore the exhibit. With the use of many different religious and ceremonial items, a piece of ancient China begins to comes back to life.

The museum really is quite impressive, the entire area is beautiful; but I guess that's the general impression you get when you walk around an ivy league campus. There's the website, it should talk about the new exhibits and specials they're having. Hopefully you guys found my interpretation of the China exhibit interesting, have a good one.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

So, I guess I just made a blog

Well, I don't have a facebook, twitter, or any other social-networking site account so it's whatever. I do what most college aged people do; I'm pretty average. But I don't think that makes anyone's opinion invalid so I guess an informal blog would be the best way to go to kinda dip my feet into the social website medium, it's not really my forte. I have a typically average existence, I go to my local community college but I'm very happy with my place in the world. Considering a majority of people are struggling to survive day to day I figure being a young American with parents that have jobs is incredibly well off, in the global sense.

I'm going to community college for computer science, I think it's really interesting. I wonder what it's gonna be like to finally be on my own one day. Hopefully there's some kind of graduate program I could get into after I get a bachelor's degree in some technological field, I want to be a PhD one day. But that's a pipe dream I guess; or not. History class is great though, I can't ever get enough of ancient civilizations and humanity's past. People don't change really it seems to me. Ancient China and Egypt are some of the best civilizations to study, with India being up there too; they're my favorite. I don't read as much as I should, maybe if anyone who comments suggests any good books we could exchange favorites or something, I don't know. My day's pretty much already over; I went out yesterday and stayed up till very early. I went with my friend for a long car ride and that was about it. I enjoyed myself though; we listened to some Azeda Both on the way to our destination. They're good in my opinion but maybe you guys could decide for yourselves( ). I figure I'd talk about something other people could relate to also, music is pretty universal.

I haven't really seen any good movies lately. I saw an anime called Metropolis and then I watched the original 1930s version cause it was on some list of movies to watch before you died so I watched it. It's german and was the most expensive silent film ever made, 5 million marks I think. It was pretty good; nazi's loved the film though. Directors kinda abandoned the film as such, but that was when the nazis were still active. The film now is actually really impressive, the set pieces are really neat but I don't speak german so I looked up the plot on wikipedia. It's a nice movie.

I guess this is a sufficient first post, good bye.