Thursday, May 24, 2007

What the Hetts?! #13: A Double Whammy

Yes, yes...As the result of my having found two stories thus far today, there will be not just one but TWO stories for this week's "What the Hetts?!" To get the original story click on the header.

1) Internet Taxes

The story came through Slashdot. Apparently there are some over in Washington who feel that it would be a good idea to tax the internet. So our internet connections and what we shop for online could become susceptible to various taxes...Actually, it seems as though depending on where we live, we may be intended to voluntarily cough up cash for stuff we buy online--at least according to this article we are. And this would make that essentially voluntary taxation an enforced thing.

The other aspect of this debate is that some in Congress want to enable the government to tax internet access; here I think they mean mostly broadband. One member of our wonderful Congress even claims we could see taxes on e-mail. I'm a bit irked.

"What the Hetts?!"

2) UK School Ignoring the Holocaust

This one also came from Slashdot. Apparently there's a history department in the UK that's ignoring the Holocaust. It's because it's afraid of encountering anti-Israel sensibility in certain segments of its Muslim student population. Apparently there's been some "resistance" (from the article) over the teaching of the Crusades, which are covered by local mosques differently from how they're covered in the classroom. Lastly there was even a bit of resistance from Christian parents who wanted the Israeli-Palestinian conflict taught a certain way.

It's good to note that, as Snopes points out, this isn't a UK-wide ban on Holocaust teaching and it's only one history department. Still, it's sort of scary.

"What the Hetts?!"

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Playing Games in Spanish

So some of you may know that partly in preparation for Mexico I've been running things in Spanish. This means my G-Mail account is set to run in Spanish, so while the e-mails are English, the interface isn't. Which is good. I'm also running a strategy game, The Battle for Wesnoth in Spanish instead of English. It's got a fantasy theme so the usefulness of the vocabulary may be debatable. Still, anything helps, I say. The screenshot above is an orc talking about the player's Spanish. This is great. What makes it even better is that some of the dialogue's untranslated, so the characters speak Spanish, then English, then Spanish again. Quite humorous.

The translation: Look! I see a boat! Humans are coming! We can squash them! (I actually had to look up aplastarlos, the word which translated as "squash them."

Click on it to get a larger (more readable) version.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tetris Attack for the WIN

So, anyone in the family who remembers how we used to rock at Tetris Attack, I present to you this clip. It isn't Tetris Attack; it's what Tetris Attack was in Japan before it got the Yoshi theme put on it for American shores (for the record the title of this game is Panel de Pon, but gameplay-wise it's exactly the same. And the people playing it are...amazing, to say the least. I recomment watching at least two minutes of this to get the idea of how awesome these people are. I'm pretty sure they'd beat me into the ground any day.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What the Hetts?! #12: Pee Where You Will?

A man was recently electrocuted. That's not so unusual, but here's how he did it: he peed on his Playstation 2 gaming system while it was still plugged into the wall! Apparently it also rendered him unconscious about ten seconds. I guess it's not exactly what I'd have done or the outcome I'd have seen coming, but it's still rather unusual. Why on earth you'd pee on your game system is beyond me. The original story, which I believe was linked from Kotaku, can be found at Fox News.

"What the Hetts?!"

Well, that piece is back now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Swing of Things

In an effort to get back in the swing of things with this blog I'm going to try and do two regulars: 1) What the Hetts?! on Thursdays. I've got a couple that could appear tomorrow. 2) Christian Theology Board Game on Sundays.

Hopefully I can establish a decent habit for this stuff before I go to Mexico. Once I get there the second may not be so realistic but I might still manage the first. If need be I could probably shift What the Hetts?! temporarily to a weekend day. I've basically been gaming, lazing around and (somewhat) reading this summer, having finished Neuromancer and moved on to The Fountainhead. I just passed page 200 in that book, so I've got a little under 500 to go. Neuromancer is good if you like a science-fiction caper. It won, like, three big science fiction awards, and is quite well-written. I'm not sure I caught every detail of the plot, or exactly what was going on everywhere, but it's quite an enjoyable ride.

As for The Fountainhead, I know it's supposed to be in part a distilling of Ayn Rand's philosophy, though she apparently doesn't intend it to be primarily that, at least from what I hear...At any rate it appears to be about architects and their lives and careers, and it's at least pretty well-written so far. Not sure how much of her philosophy I'm going to agree with in the end. I already know it partly involves rejection of the supernatural, so pending the revelation that God is not supernatural I'll have to disagree with that part. But some elements of it I might agree with.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Finals Are Over

Hooray. Also, there's a game now in development which looks to be an awesome piece of freeware, entitled The Underside. It's sort of like Cave Story (which is a game pretty much anyone reading this could play, and their kids could play it too in my opinion.) However it plays a bit differently, despite stylistic similarities, and emits a much quirkier and offbeat sort of atmosphere. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. Here's a trailer video from the author, courtesy of YouTube:


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

There's $20 I Didn't Know I Had

Tonight is the last night of finals--after 10:00 tomorrow morning I hope to have everything that I need to do for finals done and over with. I just got done re-reading the philosophy of the philosophy of religion paper I'm writing and I'll be starting either that or history backlog reading at 9:10. It might have to be the latter, as blowout hour starts in seven minutes and I'm not exactly hankering to write an essay while five different hip-hop songs invade my room at once.

Also, when I applied to be on team for Fall 2007 Encounter retreat, I had to turn in $20 to help cover expenses. But I got rejected for the team for Fall '07, so there was an e-mail from Fr. Jim reminding the rejects to pick up their $20. So now I have $20 that I forgot I had. Yay. I'm guessing the Encounter people wouldn't use terminology like rejects, and I don't really mean it in the really negative sense; I'm using it purely in the actual realistic sense--I didn't make the team. It's all well and good though as I'm not really sure at least at this point that I should be serving on team anyway. (You already know this probably, but don't post anything that could spoil anything about Encounter.)

Also, I had a conversation with someone the other day about the experience of seeing my Bible, saying "I should read that" and then not reading it. And how that happens on a ridiculously frequent basis. Then I had another conversation with another friend about it. Then I got fed up. So I'm trying to read it more.

I can hear blow-out hour beginning. Time to visit the Cove, then start whatever I decide to start.