Random Nonsense Archive

  • Alright, I’ve got nothing against James Cameron, effect-heavy top Box Office hits, or the Na’vi, but Avatar was not my cup of tea. Granted, this is a DVD review, but […]

    Avatar: The Extended Collector’s Edition Review

    Alright, I’ve got nothing against James Cameron, effect-heavy top Box Office hits, or the Na’vi, but Avatar was not my cup of tea. Granted, this is a DVD review, but […]

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  • The other day, I saw a commercial that bragged that their product was "over-engineered". They used the term like it was a selling point. Now, as I've said far too many times before, I'm an engineer... Well, I WOULD be an engineer, if after I had gotten my degrees I had actually sought out an engineering job. As it is, I'm an IT specialist and phoney baloney journalist with two very expensive pieces of paper hanging on my wall. But it DOES give my opinion a little more weight when I suggest that "over-engineered" is not something you should be necessarily be looking for in a product if you are a consumer.

    Over-engineered

    The other day, I saw a commercial that bragged that their product was "over-engineered". They used the term like it was a selling point. Now, as I've said far too many times before, I'm an engineer... Well, I WOULD be an engineer, if after I had gotten my degrees I had actually sought out an engineering job. As it is, I'm an IT specialist and phoney baloney journalist with two very expensive pieces of paper hanging on my wall. But it DOES give my opinion a little more weight when I suggest that "over-engineered" is not something you should be necessarily be looking for in a product if you are a consumer.

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  • As a knowledge vector, the Internet is peerless. You can inject data into people's brains whether they want it or not. So I knew from the start that I was going to learn things once I started floating around in the ol' intertubes. But I really thought I'd already had a pretty firm handle on what could and could not be funny. As usual, I have been proven wrong. Read on for a list of five things I never thought that I would laugh at... in no particular order.

    Things The Internet Has Taught Me To Laugh At

    As a knowledge vector, the Internet is peerless. You can inject data into people's brains whether they want it or not. So I knew from the start that I was going to learn things once I started floating around in the ol' intertubes. But I really thought I'd already had a pretty firm handle on what could and could not be funny. As usual, I have been proven wrong. Read on for a list of five things I never thought that I would laugh at... in no particular order.

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  • In case it hasn't been made entirely clear already, we here at BrainLazy love the indie community. Our primary focus is on games, but indie movies and music are great, too. The only problem is that being an independent maker is tricky. Not only do you have the obvious monetary and marketing hurdles to overcome, but you have to live in constant fear of losing your following by becoming too successful; the dreaded "Selling Out." So you must keep your interactions and products carefully moderated and limited. But I want more! And I want to see what you can do with serious resources. So I propose a solution. Don't sell out, rent out.

    Indie Makers: Don’t Sell Out, Rent Out

    In case it hasn't been made entirely clear already, we here at BrainLazy love the indie community. Our primary focus is on games, but indie movies and music are great, too. The only problem is that being an independent maker is tricky. Not only do you have the obvious monetary and marketing hurdles to overcome, but you have to live in constant fear of losing your following by becoming too successful; the dreaded "Selling Out." So you must keep your interactions and products carefully moderated and limited. But I want more! And I want to see what you can do with serious resources. So I propose a solution. Don't sell out, rent out.

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  • Politics. Right next to religion, political views are among the most painful things to discuss. They aren't so much topics as pre-made arguments, like hot pockets full of anger and grief. As we enter adulthood we are expected to pick a side, so that when the time comes we'll know what issues we're supposed to support and which ones we're supposed to shake our fists at. I hate everything about politics, from the way it splits us up as a nation to the fact I can never decide if "politics" is plural or singular. And thus, like all things I hate, I'm going to talk about it/them.

    Politics

    Politics. Right next to religion, political views are among the most painful things to discuss. They aren't so much topics as pre-made arguments, like hot pockets full of anger and grief. As we enter adulthood we are expected to pick a side, so that when the time comes we'll know what issues we're supposed to support and which ones we're supposed to shake our fists at. I hate everything about politics, from the way it splits us up as a nation to the fact I can never decide if "politics" is plural or singular. And thus, like all things I hate, I'm going to talk about it/them.

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  • The Internet has done a lot of good for the world by making information easily available. This means that questions seldom need to wait long to be answered, curiosities are put to rest quickly, hobbies are nurtured in ways they never could before the 'net. There is, however, the dark side of information availability. Blissful ignorance is all too easily dispelled. I now know what “Two Girls One Cup" and “GoatSe" are, for instance, despite vigorous attempts to un-know. One of the more irritating side effects, though, is the sharp increase in self-diagnosis.

    Self-Diagnosis

    The Internet has done a lot of good for the world by making information easily available. This means that questions seldom need to wait long to be answered, curiosities are put to rest quickly, hobbies are nurtured in ways they never could before the 'net. There is, however, the dark side of information availability. Blissful ignorance is all too easily dispelled. I now know what “Two Girls One Cup" and “GoatSe" are, for instance, despite vigorous attempts to un-know. One of the more irritating side effects, though, is the sharp increase in self-diagnosis.

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  • San Francisco recently decided that they had no other choice but to outlaw the happy meal. Now, the Happy Meal has a special place in my heart (Right next to the cholesterol deposits.), so this news sent me in a few different directions. Rather than simply pick one and and hone it into something worthwhile - you know, the way a professional would do - I decided to take two half ideas and mush them together. So now, for your enjoyment, the twin Happy Meal rants of Decoychunk.

    San Francisco Happy Meal Double Feature

    San Francisco recently decided that they had no other choice but to outlaw the happy meal. Now, the Happy Meal has a special place in my heart (Right next to the cholesterol deposits.), so this news sent me in a few different directions. Rather than simply pick one and and hone it into something worthwhile - you know, the way a professional would do - I decided to take two half ideas and mush them together. So now, for your enjoyment, the twin Happy Meal rants of Decoychunk.

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  • There are some people out there who are ruled by reason. They make their decisions based on logic, carefully weighing the facts and coming to conclusions that have sound, realistic foundations in reality. Others opt for a more... subjective interpretation of reality. These folks like to believe that things like emotion and fairness have an effect on physical phenomena. It is not above them to, in some cases, assume that reality will adjust itself to fit their whims or expectations, rather than vice versa. In extremes, neither point of view is terribly workable. And when they clash? There can be only one outcome.

    The Shovel of Logic

    There are some people out there who are ruled by reason. They make their decisions based on logic, carefully weighing the facts and coming to conclusions that have sound, realistic foundations in reality. Others opt for a more... subjective interpretation of reality. These folks like to believe that things like emotion and fairness have an effect on physical phenomena. It is not above them to, in some cases, assume that reality will adjust itself to fit their whims or expectations, rather than vice versa. In extremes, neither point of view is terribly workable. And when they clash? There can be only one outcome.

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  • The world isn't perfect. In fact, some parts of it are SO not perfect that even talking about the imperfections will get you dirty looks and cold shoulders. This presents a problem if you are the sort of person who wants to actually do something about the various injustices and inequalities out there, or at least make them more visible to those who can. In the past, there was a tool available to deal with these sticky situations. It was called satire. You could mock, parody, and exaggerate the issue at hand until the absurdity was glaringly clear. Evidently, you can't do that anymore.

    The Death of Satire

    The world isn't perfect. In fact, some parts of it are SO not perfect that even talking about the imperfections will get you dirty looks and cold shoulders. This presents a problem if you are the sort of person who wants to actually do something about the various injustices and inequalities out there, or at least make them more visible to those who can. In the past, there was a tool available to deal with these sticky situations. It was called satire. You could mock, parody, and exaggerate the issue at hand until the absurdity was glaringly clear. Evidently, you can't do that anymore.

    Continue Reading...

  • There is little doubt that consoles are the main driving force behind the world of video games write now. PCs break new ground and innovate, and they continue to set the bar for excellence, but outside of MMOs if you really want to make a ton of money, your best bet is the console. It is also no secret that Apple computers are only just beginning to re-appear in the gaming world. With Steam for Mac there is hope for the Apple fans in the future to start getting a more respectable gaming catalog, but the very fact that they ever lagged is baffling to me. Apple SHOULD have become the undisputed leaders of gaming by now. Why? Well, lets follow the logic.

    iPod360: Apple and Gaming

    There is little doubt that consoles are the main driving force behind the world of video games write now. PCs break new ground and innovate, and they continue to set the bar for excellence, but outside of MMOs if you really want to make a ton of money, your best bet is the console. It is also no secret that Apple computers are only just beginning to re-appear in the gaming world. With Steam for Mac there is hope for the Apple fans in the future to start getting a more respectable gaming catalog, but the very fact that they ever lagged is baffling to me. Apple SHOULD have become the undisputed leaders of gaming by now. Why? Well, lets follow the logic.

    Continue Reading...

  • In order to stay alive, there are very few requirements. Food, water, and shelter are the big three. If you are speaking on a species level, sex goes on the list, too. Most animals are content taking whatever they can get, but the human race has gotten pretty darn good at survival, so we added one more thing to the list of necessities. Variety. The varieties of shelter, drink, and kink are all valid article fodder, but today I'm focusing on food, and the evidence that we are looking WAY too hard for the next thing to eat.

    The Top 5 Foods That Should Not Be

    In order to stay alive, there are very few requirements. Food, water, and shelter are the big three. If you are speaking on a species level, sex goes on the list, too. Most animals are content taking whatever they can get, but the human race has gotten pretty darn good at survival, so we added one more thing to the list of necessities. Variety. The varieties of shelter, drink, and kink are all valid article fodder, but today I'm focusing on food, and the evidence that we are looking WAY too hard for the next thing to eat.

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  • A few months have passed, and I've once again formulated a short list of questions that are more or less impossible to ask in civilized society. So I call upon you, the anonymous masses of the Internet, to weigh in. We'll consider these questions asked and answered anonymously.

    Questions I Can’t Ask

    A few months have passed, and I've once again formulated a short list of questions that are more or less impossible to ask in civilized society. So I call upon you, the anonymous masses of the Internet, to weigh in. We'll consider these questions asked and answered anonymously.

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  • As a dozen comedians have pointed out, when we are young, none of us know how the world works. Everything is strange and confusing, but that's okay, because we don't have to know that sort of thing. That's what grownups are for. They run things. Surely they wouldn't end up in charge unless they had some idea of how things were done. Then, years later, there comes the most terrifying moment in your life. Maybe you are on your way to work, maybe on the way out of the store. Whatever the case, a younger person calls you sir or ma'am, and you realize that you were wrong. There ARE no grownups. There are just kids who got older, and that means that no one has a clue.

    Rites of Passage

    As a dozen comedians have pointed out, when we are young, none of us know how the world works. Everything is strange and confusing, but that's okay, because we don't have to know that sort of thing. That's what grownups are for. They run things. Surely they wouldn't end up in charge unless they had some idea of how things were done. Then, years later, there comes the most terrifying moment in your life. Maybe you are on your way to work, maybe on the way out of the store. Whatever the case, a younger person calls you sir or ma'am, and you realize that you were wrong. There ARE no grownups. There are just kids who got older, and that means that no one has a clue.

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  • People think that politicians can turn a nation around overnight. Not that the people are to blame. They think that because the politicians all say that. By now, though, I think we should all realize that turning the nation around overnight just isn't possible. A nation is a very large, very powerful thing, made up of many very angry, very loud people. That isn't a situation that screams "politically nimble." That's okay, though. You know why? Because America didn't become a superpower by being nimble. It got there by being glacial. America, my friends, is a juggernaut.

    USA: Juggernaut

    People think that politicians can turn a nation around overnight. Not that the people are to blame. They think that because the politicians all say that. By now, though, I think we should all realize that turning the nation around overnight just isn't possible. A nation is a very large, very powerful thing, made up of many very angry, very loud people. That isn't a situation that screams "politically nimble." That's okay, though. You know why? Because America didn't become a superpower by being nimble. It got there by being glacial. America, my friends, is a juggernaut.

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  • Believe it or not, not everyone on the planet is as interested in the world of video games as I am. This can be a problem, since I spend an awful lot of time talking about games. Inevitably I bring up one of gaming's greats and I get nothing but blank stares from the less informed of my associates. It has thus been useful to come up with a few more generally known analogs from other industries to give people an idea of the role a given developer or company plays. At first this was just for the benefit of my less game savvy friends, but it quickly became an interesting thought exercise. Let's see what I've come up with, and see if you agree.

    Hollywood Analogs: Tim Shafer is Woody Allen

    Believe it or not, not everyone on the planet is as interested in the world of video games as I am. This can be a problem, since I spend an awful lot of time talking about games. Inevitably I bring up one of gaming's greats and I get nothing but blank stares from the less informed of my associates. It has thus been useful to come up with a few more generally known analogs from other industries to give people an idea of the role a given developer or company plays. At first this was just for the benefit of my less game savvy friends, but it quickly became an interesting thought exercise. Let's see what I've come up with, and see if you agree.

    Continue Reading...

  • Recently I was talking about an upcoming enhancement to an excellent web game called Super Meat Boy. One half of the design team is a fellow called Edmund McMillen. He's a game designer, legendary in the Indie community, who has helped create some of the most creative and memorable games of the last few years, so I mention him a lot. The problem is, I didn't call him Edmund McMillen. I called him Edward Cullen. Repeatedly. It would be bad enough that I'd gotten his entire name wrong, but Edward Cullen is the sparkly vampire from Twilight. That's not just a slip of the tongue. That's a symptom.

    The Twilight Infection

    Recently I was talking about an upcoming enhancement to an excellent web game called Super Meat Boy. One half of the design team is a fellow called Edmund McMillen. He's a game designer, legendary in the Indie community, who has helped create some of the most creative and memorable games of the last few years, so I mention him a lot. The problem is, I didn't call him Edmund McMillen. I called him Edward Cullen. Repeatedly. It would be bad enough that I'd gotten his entire name wrong, but Edward Cullen is the sparkly vampire from Twilight. That's not just a slip of the tongue. That's a symptom.

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  • Certain body parts are more important than others. Everybody knows that. On human beings, scientists are always tooting the thumb's horn, and obviously the erogenous zones get a lot of attention. When it comes to animals, the focus tends to lie on the parts that are either the most delicious or the fluffiest. The part that no one ever talks about, but everyone seems to care about, is the lowly eyebrow. Humans, animals, robots? If it has a face, it better have eyebrows. And here's why.

    The Secret of Robot Acting: Eyebrows

    Certain body parts are more important than others. Everybody knows that. On human beings, scientists are always tooting the thumb's horn, and obviously the erogenous zones get a lot of attention. When it comes to animals, the focus tends to lie on the parts that are either the most delicious or the fluffiest. The part that no one ever talks about, but everyone seems to care about, is the lowly eyebrow. Humans, animals, robots? If it has a face, it better have eyebrows. And here's why.

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  • It should be clear by now that there are an awful lot of things that drive me nuts. My mindless rants are about 85% of the content of this site. I realize, though, that most of it is off the wall, pointless, unwarranted nonsense. That's why I get so excited when something comes along that completely justifies my hatred. These are people and groups that have buried their message so deep under layers of madness and blind fervor that their lunacy is clear to anyone that isn't drinking the Kool-Aid. Let's look at a few, shall we?

    PETA, Fox News, and Fundamentalists: Justified Hatred

    It should be clear by now that there are an awful lot of things that drive me nuts. My mindless rants are about 85% of the content of this site. I realize, though, that most of it is off the wall, pointless, unwarranted nonsense. That's why I get so excited when something comes along that completely justifies my hatred. These are people and groups that have buried their message so deep under layers of madness and blind fervor that their lunacy is clear to anyone that isn't drinking the Kool-Aid. Let's look at a few, shall we?

    Continue Reading...

  • One point I've established again and again here is that I'm not, shall we say, "skilled" with children. I've never had a younger brother, nor have I got a child. The result is the expectation that everyone I interact with will be of a maturity greater than or equal to my own. This isn't hard, since I still gleefully fart in public. That said, there are still those with enough disregard for their own children to subject them to me. Those situations seldom end well, but I've recently learned of an upside to such events.

    Skipping A Generation

    One point I've established again and again here is that I'm not, shall we say, "skilled" with children. I've never had a younger brother, nor have I got a child. The result is the expectation that everyone I interact with will be of a maturity greater than or equal to my own. This isn't hard, since I still gleefully fart in public. That said, there are still those with enough disregard for their own children to subject them to me. Those situations seldom end well, but I've recently learned of an upside to such events.

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  • People always talk about pandering like it is a bad thing.Granted, it doesn't have the best origins. Technically pandering was initially a synonym for pimping, and as we all know, pimpin' ain't easy. These days we associate it with taking the easy way out in terms of popular opinion. Just heaping on the equivalent of bacon and chocolate sauce. It gets a bum wrap from critics, and politicians are perpetually accused of it. The thing is, is taking the easy way out really a bad thing?

    The Positive Side of Pandering

    People always talk about pandering like it is a bad thing.Granted, it doesn't have the best origins. Technically pandering was initially a synonym for pimping, and as we all know, pimpin' ain't easy. These days we associate it with taking the easy way out in terms of popular opinion. Just heaping on the equivalent of bacon and chocolate sauce. It gets a bum wrap from critics, and politicians are perpetually accused of it. The thing is, is taking the easy way out really a bad thing?

    Continue Reading...

  • The other day I watched a fair chunk of the Emmy Awards. Mostly I was hoping that Conan would win for the Tonight Show, just so that the most awkward moment in television history would occur. Conan accepting an award for a show that he was fired from on the very network that fired him? Classic. Alas, it was not to be, but watching did give me a look at the truly idiotic state of genre classification these days. It is time to set some of this mess straight.

    Genre Confusion

    The other day I watched a fair chunk of the Emmy Awards. Mostly I was hoping that Conan would win for the Tonight Show, just so that the most awkward moment in television history would occur. Conan accepting an award for a show that he was fired from on the very network that fired him? Classic. Alas, it was not to be, but watching did give me a look at the truly idiotic state of genre classification these days. It is time to set some of this mess straight.

    Continue Reading...

  • I recently had a Sunday afternoon filled with laundry and cleaning and the other assorted trappings of civilized life that prevent you from going out and actually LIVING. As such, I was left to the mercy of daytime television. Now I've pointed it out before, but at some point in the past TLC went from being Discovery Channel Lite to The Tumor Removal, Fertility Abnormality, and Mental Disorder Channel. Regardless, officially love this channel because it has made me fully aware of all of the problems I don’t have.

    Problems I Don’t Have

    I recently had a Sunday afternoon filled with laundry and cleaning and the other assorted trappings of civilized life that prevent you from going out and actually LIVING. As such, I was left to the mercy of daytime television. Now I've pointed it out before, but at some point in the past TLC went from being Discovery Channel Lite to The Tumor Removal, Fertility Abnormality, and Mental Disorder Channel. Regardless, officially love this channel because it has made me fully aware of all of the problems I don’t have.

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  • Evolution has served humanity well, despite the fact we were genetic underdogs. We don't have big teeth or fearsome claws or long necks or the ability to spray stench, but we still managed to come out on top. Granted, we did it mostly by being the only ones smart enough to figure out where the top was, but that in no way diminishes the achievement. We owe it all to this big brain and the fancy tricks it lets us do. But like all complex computational devices, the brain isn't without its bugs.

    Evolutionary Side Effects

    Evolution has served humanity well, despite the fact we were genetic underdogs. We don't have big teeth or fearsome claws or long necks or the ability to spray stench, but we still managed to come out on top. Granted, we did it mostly by being the only ones smart enough to figure out where the top was, but that in no way diminishes the achievement. We owe it all to this big brain and the fancy tricks it lets us do. But like all complex computational devices, the brain isn't without its bugs.

    Continue Reading...