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[1.0] Quotes

“The truth is a hassle” – Mo Rocca

“This is the way I did it and it worked so I didn’t think anymore” – Prof Land

“It’s fun to program in assembler; so manly” – Prof Land

“I majored in the most unmarketable major of all: Sociology.” – Alysha Cryer

More Chrono Trigger Revealed

I wrote a long time ago in It’s A Binary World 1.0 about all of the symbolism in Chrono Trigger. That game was extremely deep for a video game, but Square (now Square-Enix) has been known to have some very intellectual aspects to their games. Before, I spoke of Massamune, the gurus of time, and how certain aspects of the game spoke to racism. This time I uncovered another metaphor in the video game by watching a movie.

Yesterday I saw Constantine. I didn’t know until yesterday that it was based upon comic books. The movie was ok, perhaps 6 out of 10, but I’m not a big fan of movies about the occult. It’s not so much that I find them evil or blasphemous, they’re just not my bag. At any rate, I learned yesterday that, according to occult teachings, Satan has a son. I’ve never heard anything like this at church or even in religous books before. Personally, I find it a bit silly because I think it takes the dichotemy too far. God is good and Satan is evil. God lives above and Satan below. God has a son, so Satan must also? I don’t know, it seems a bit weird to me; a bit too contrived. But I digress…

Apparently Satan’s son is named Mammon. Any devout player of Chrono Trigger such as my brothers and I would have felt something resonate in them upon hearing that name. When I first heard it during the movie I kept trying to remember why that name was familiar to me. At first I thought it had to do with Revalations, but then I remembered that at Gog and Magog. I remained stumped for quite some time. Then it suddenly came to me, Schala was using the Mammon machine to summon forth Lavos’ power. The effect of this on her was to make her evil and, although I haven’t played the game in ages so I can’t remember for sure, demonic. It makes sense now for the machine to be called the Mammon machine because, by summoning Lavos, she was, in effect, summoning forth the son of Satan. It was that event which began the chain of events leading to destruction in 1999, in the game’s timeline.

While I’m at it, I think I wrote about this before, but I can’t remember – it is obviously symbollic that Square chose 1999 as the time for the catastrophic events in the game. I remember even those who didn’t express concern over the year 2000 still having some thoughts in the back of their mind, wondering if 31 Dec 1999 would be their last day. Also, I know there is a creature in the game called a Golem, which I recently found out is a Hebrew mythological creature. Next time I play through the game I’ll have to take notice of what the Golem is and then see how that matches up to the Jewish creature.

Exciting Weekend!

I’m quite excited about this weekend. My fiancee’s sister is up with her friend and my brother flies in tomorrow. We are planning on spending at least Saturday together in order to have a good time and take a break from Cornell. Saturday night is also the final hockey game of the season. It should make for a good game and they usually have a little something special for the last game.

I also have residual excitement from launching a forum on my server for my family and a wiki site as well. I am also excited about the public forums I will be creating for drop the bomb productions surrounding the videos there as well as for general video production topics. I am slowly turning this lowly server into a hub of sites. Fortunately, when I relaunch the site near the end of the year, I’ll be running on a much nicer piece of equipment. The processor will be able to handle a lot more and it’ll have a lot more RAM as well.

Well, I’ve got to get some sleep for the weekend ahead.

Check out this beautiful picture



page17

Originally uploaded by hiromama.


I didn’t take this picture, rather I found it on flickr.com, a cool new online community for hosting pictures. It’s based completely on open source software, which is pretty neat. But it’s a little hard to explain exactly how it works. Basically it links people’s pictures together in a complex network similar to facebook.com does for college students.

They have a neat little feature where I can blog from their site about any picture I find. This saves me the hassle of linking to the picture, loading up my blog, and making a post. It does, however, limit my abilities. For example, I can’t choose when the post will be up on my site or anything like that.

Still, it was worth trying once.

Also! Check out the other post I made earlier today!

“Please See A Psychiatrist…”

That’s what the computer told my fiancee. “You have been classified as having the symptoms of being bipolar,” it continued. A friend of mine had recently taken an online diagnosis using the school’s health website. I felt it was bogus and told him so, but to drive the point home my fiancee and I decided to take the test ourselves.

We answered all of the questions from her point of view, but we didn’t do this in a, “let’s mess with the system” sort of way; we genuinely filled out the answers. I knew the diagnosis would be less than perfect when it simply consisted of multiply choice questions like

  1. I sometimes do this
  2. I always do this
  3. I do this every full moon

I don’t know about you, but when given surveys like that, none of the answers seem to fit me well. I always have to go with the “best fit”. And usually it’s more of a second order approximation. So, anyway, the computer told her she had better see a psychiatrist because she was displaying symptoms of bipolar. No one knows her better than me, except maybe her parents, and if there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that she is NOT bipolar. She is definitely consistent in her moods, desires, and wants – as consistent as any “normal” human being.

The important thing to remember whenever you use a website such as www.mayoclinic.com or www.webmd.com to self-diagnose you have to remember that there is no good substitute for a doctor. Look at it this way, a doctor goes to school for quite a number of years beyond undergraduate before being able to open up a practice. Even then, the doctor is mostly guessing at what is wrong with you based on your symptoms. Many times it takes a few diagnosis before the doctor can know what’s wrong with you because nearly every disease has the same symptoms. Take it from someone who’s been a “victim” of these websites, use them only for researching a disease a doctor has told you that you have. Don’t use it to try to see what’s wrong with you or you will go crazy. Seriouly, you could have flu symptoms and it will look like you’re dying of ovarian cancer, even if you’re a guy. 😉 So how could a web page survey do much better at diagnosis? It cannot look for symptoms you don’t know to tell it about. A doctor and observe you and see what’s going on. A web site relies on your answers and biases. If you are a person who believes your are ill you will answer more negatively than a person who believes everything is alright.

And, of course, there are the weird algorithms because none of the answers we entered should have signalled bipolar. They were all consistent and normal.

Bottom line – don’t get freaked out for no reason until you see a doc.

Excellent

The upgrade went off without a hitch. The new features are pretty neat, although I’m trying to see how to get back my original template. Overall, the new features are a great improvement over the previous version of the software, but, as usual, there is some getting used to with the new features. Still, the folks at Word Press have really outdone themselves. Definitely check them out if you have the luxury of your own server and want to blog.

upgrading your blog?

Well, they have released a new version of my blogging software. For the first time ever I will be upgrading a blog. In a way, it’s a very good thing because I’ve been putting off learning how to backup my databases for a few weeks and part of the upgrade process is to backup the database files. It will be interesting to see how things change. I know they have built in some stronger spam filters, but I haven’t had any trouble with that, yet. Of course, this is a relatively new blog, so most search engines probably don’t know about it yet. I will probably be upgrading today, so if the blog is inaccessible, I may be in the middle of an upgrade process.

Numa Numa Guy gets recognition!

The Numa Numa guy, who I wrote about in my first blog here, was on the news today on MSNBC. He was also on VH1’s best week ever. Whether he intended to have this video shown all over the internet, or whether it was accidentally put into his file sharing folder, he is now a huge celebrity on par with the Star Wars Kid.

It’s pretty interesting how these videos explode online. First of all, they are only being passed along by word of mouth – either emailing your friends about this crazy website or through IMs. Yet, soon everyone knows about it. I’m hard pressed to find any engineering students who don’t know what Numa Numa is. In fact, while waiting in line to see Mo Rocca, someone was singing along to Numa Numa. It was a cool conversation peice. Yet, it’s the Tv news who’s always slow to report on such things. Anyone who goes to see Numa Numa based on the the tv coverage is a late adopter. These are the people who didn’t buy DVD players until almost everyone had one.

I’m curious to find out if Keith Olberman will talk about Numa Numa tonight. He usually covers these weird things – he’s covered all of the Jib Jab political cartoons.

Why Linux Magazines aren’t so unbearable to read

Usually with a magazine, I feel a little sad reading it. In middle and high school I was subscribed to Electronic Gaming Monthly. Each month they would detail all of the new games coming out; their features and how to do certain tricks here and there. Since I was too young to purchase them and my parents believed in being frugal when it came to video games, all the magazine could do was make me lust over games I could never have. The same goes with most PC magazines. They talk about this or that software for Windows and it is often too expensive to get it.

With Linux, however, 98% of the time all of the software they describe is available for free! So if they talk about this great new music program, I can download it and check it out for myself. If they talk about the latest updates to GIMP (Linux’s answer to Photoshop) I can update for free. It makes for a much happier experience for me because I can experience what they are talking about instead of just passively reading about it.

[1.0] Happy Valentine’s Day

I have posted two different posts in my blogs today. So you get twice the fun. Access the other one here.

What is Saint Valentine’s Day about anyway? I wanted to share this with you since I found myself wondering the same thing…

In researching the answer, I compiled facts from these three sources, Saint Valentine, Wikipedia Entry for Saint Valentine, and Wikipedia Entry for Lupercalia.

As the Wikipedia entry suggests, we know very little about Saint Valentine. Just like Saint Nicholous, it seems most of our holidays center around lesser known Saints. However, with Valentine even less is known. However, the British website does present us with some theories. Apparently, the Roman Emperor Claudius II had anulled all marriages and engagements in order to get men to go to war. I don’t see what real effect this would have had on soldier morale. Just because someone declares my marriage invalid doesn’t mean that I would stop loving my wife. It seems like the types of laws our Congress sometimes passes without thinking.

At any rate, such a law was not going to find a lot of popularity among the clerics of the early Christian church. Cancelling people’s marriages probably had the unintended effect of “cheating” on wives since they were no longer wives, as well as some other potential societal and moral problems. Thus, the British site tells us, Saint Valentine performs underground marriages.

The Emporer catches wind of these covert operations and when the Saint doesn’t recant, he is martyred. Conviniently, since he was performing marriages and other love things, he is killed on 14 Feb which is the day, in ancient Roman culture, where boys would draw girl’s names from a pot and get to be with that girl all night at the festival. They would often end up getting married from this interaction.

As I pick up from the Wikipedia article, it is more likely that the date was fabricated by the early Catholic church eager to replace Lupercalia with a Saint’s Feast Day as they had done with Easter and Christmas. Since his deeds had to do with love, they chose him to replace the Roman celebration of fertility and love.

In the 1800s in the United States, the holiday was commercialized and now we send each other cards and chocolate. Just like the Easter Bunny and certain elements of Christmas don’t make sense outside of commercialism and a reversion to the pagan holidays they were meant to replace, Saint Valentine’s Day has very little to do with this mysterious man.

Valentine’s Day

I want to wish all of my readers a very happy Valentine’s Day. If you do not have a significant other this holiday, do not feel sad as you see all the couples about. If Valentine’s Day is about love, it need not be about love between lovers. Share your love with your parents, siblings, and friends. Let them know that you care about them (in whatever way is appropriate for the relationship q;o] ) and enjoy it.

NOW BE WARNED THAT YOU MAY (OR MAY NOT) FIND THE FOLLOWING A BIT “MUSHY”

Valentine’s 05
Your eyes ensnare mine and they cannot escape;
Once I look into them I am stuck until you release me.
Your embrace is many times more powerful than the uber-chemist’s exstacy.
A hug from you is so addictive I cannot help but come back for more.
Your body is so soft, Chinese silks are trash by comparison.
Your food is so delectable as to be fit for Kings.
You are so awesome that I must share with the world all of your charms,
lest I explode from keeping them all inside.

Happy Valentine’s Day, My Love!

[1.0] g33k stuff

First of all, I’m pretty happy that Linux Format Magazine (UK) ranked my distro, Fedora Core 3, as the second best of all the distros. Additionally, they expect it to edge into the number 1 spot with the release of Core 4 this may. q:o) More info on those reviews in a future post.

Second, if you’re programming in the C programming language you will definitely want to check out Kwrite. My partner in ECE 476 was using some expensive commercial software that does some special formatting and apparently Kwrite does it too! For example, I can shrink down block statements to get a good overview of the code by clicking on a [-]. Neat!

Great Friends

I want to give a huge thanks to Katie Cheng who dropped what she was doing Friday night to give my car a jump. Even though I hadn’t left the lights on in the car or anything, the car refused to start, leaving me stranded at Best Buy. It was near 10p and Katie didn’t mind coming out in the freezing cold with her car to help me out.

Also, thanks to Benny. Even though I was able to get my car started to go to Sears to get a replacement battery, he was ready and willing to help me out too.

Thanks for being great frieds!

Welcome to your Lucid Dream

Yesterday I was doing looking for the website to Wikipedia and came across Wikibooks, which happens to be run by the same group, The Wiki Media Foundation. Since I knew what Wikipedia was, I decided to see what Wikibooks was. Well, the same way that Wikipedia attempts to be an encyclopedia which anyone can contribute to, Wikibooks is like a library written by everyone online. I’m not so sure if I will ever use Wikibooks in the near future, but Wikipedia is a pretty good resource to use.

It just so happened that this month’s featured book on Wikibooks was a book called Lucid Dream. This caught my eye for one reason only: in Vanilla Sky, Tom Cruise’s character, David, orders the Lucid Dream package from the cryrogenics company. (DO NOT CONTINUE UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN THE MOVIE AND/OR DON’T CARE ABOUT SPOILERS!) As you know, the whole point of the movie is that everying occurring in the movie after the club scene is just a movie of sorts playing in David’s head. He thinks it’s real because the mind cannot tell the difference between a dream and reality. But why was it called the Lucid Dream package? When I saw the movie I was so caught up in the revelation that a full quater to (maybe) half of the movie had not even ocurred and was just a computer glitch that I didn’t even think twice about the Lucid Dream. Even the second and third times I saw it, I was busy trying to catch the foreshadowing and really trying to figure out what the movie was about. Like a good piece of art, the movie is up for interpretation. It was purposely made to have a vague ending. When David wakes up, we once again hear “open your eyes” and are unsure of whether he was dreaming the whole thing, had woken up in the lab, or had restarted his dream. It was both frustrating and beautiful at the same time. (END OF SPOILERS)

So what IS a Lucid Dream? I only read the introductory section of the Wikibook, but the practive of Lucid Dreaming is dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming. It’s something you can become awesome at instead of it just happening every once in a while. I don’t know about my readers (and you are free to use the comments feature of the blog to enlighten me) but I have unintentionally had lots of lucid dreams. It used to happen a lot more often when I was a young child in elementary school, but I remember controlling parts of my dream down to the last detail, even “rewinding” my dreams and redoing certain scenes if I felt they could be improved.

It still happens to me, but it’s very rare nowadays since I usually don’t get enough sleep either due to school work or because I stay up with other pursuits, such as writing a blog. However, when I do get to sleep until my body wakes itself up, independent of alarm clocks, fiancees, or other external stimuli, I find that the last half hour to hour before I wake up, I’m usually lucid dreaming. I’m usually in a state somewhere between sleep and wake and am able to control certain aspects of the dream. As I progressively wake up, I’m able to control more of the dream, but I am also less asleep and more awake just daydreaming. Finally, just before I wake up, I’m basically just daydreaming and waiting to get ot a part of the dream where it bores me and I feel like getting out of bed.

I don’t know if it’s being back in academia and having my mind stimulated, the excitement of having this new blog, or what, but I feel like I’ve been blogging on a level that I haven’t done in months. As a quick reminder I’ll probably be saying daily for a week or so, don’t forget that this blog will go inactive when my server goes down, but you can continue to read my blog at blog.ericsbinaryworld.com and once I get my server up at the new site, I will migrate my blog over to this server.