Thursday, February 23, 2006

Age of Microsoft

I don't normally partake of anything Microsoft in my personal life, but Age of Empires DS: Age of Kings seemed like a winner. The maddening nature of RTS games had been jettisoned in favor of the elegance of turn-based combat. Being a huge fan of Advance Wars: Dual Strike (still the superior title), I used some trade at EB Games to pick up AOE:DS.

During the Battle of the River Crossings in Japan (1159-1160), I faced a fearsome opponent: Yoshinaka, a distant cousin who'd led a surprising revolt against the ruling Taira. Little did I know, he was in league with the dark forces of Microsoft. As I took the main bridges, cornering him, he used his special power: CRASH THE NINTENDO DS SYSTEM.

Now, admittedly, all the commanding officers in the game have special powers - but this is just ridiculous, wouldn't you say? I suppose the Mark of the Beast (Microsoft logo) on the packaging should have been a warning.

To be honest, I don't even want to play the game anymore. I have never had a hand-held game crash on me. Ever. In my whole life. From the thumb-battering Mattel blip-fests of the 70s to the Lynx and a whole slew of Gameboys, not once have I seen a game freeze. Reports on the web have revealed that this crash can cause a fatal error in the gamecard. It can never be used again. My own gamecard seems to function after a hard reset. Others haven't been so lucky.

So where do I want to go today? How about to a planet that isn't infested by Microsoft? Or perhaps back to EB Games, before my copy of Age of Empires DS is... history.

New Word: copstipation

Main Entry: cop-sti-pa-tion
Function: noun
Date: 21st century (2/23/2006)

1: abnormally delayed or infrequent lane changes usually caused by the presence of a police car on the freeway.

This has got to be the single most irritating phenomenon on the freeways. In my experience, it seems that highway patrol cars tend to exceed the speed limit (obviously in pursuit of evil). Yet, a large number of police cruisers (attempting to avoid their crime-fighting duties on surface streets) drive approximately 1 or more miles under the posted speed limit on the freeway. The clog of moronic drivers (terrified to "pass") that collect behind this police cruiser is completely maddening. One is forced to contemplate this passive-agressive stance on the part of the city police. What message, exactly, are they trying to send us through this behavior?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Intelligent Warming?

Is anyone else amused when evangelical Christians suddenly embrace science? Why this sudden fear of global temperature increase? It was in the news this week - a consortium of evangelicals have united against this human-generated apocalypse. But why now? I'm tempted to say its because of all the SUVs they've purchased to haul around their personal Armies for Jesus (e.g., their brainwashed children). Are they feeling the pang of personal responsibility instead of hiding behind their faith?

This reminds me of the bumper-based war of pursuasion that rages on our roads and highways. First came the Christian fish symbol - an identity badge. I am not sure why it became important to announce one's faith to other motorists, but I suspect it may act as a warning for the rest of us. The response of the rationals was to give the Christian fish legs and place the word Darwin inside the body. The Christians, without much thought, responded by forcing their fish to consume the legged fish of Darwin, while also placing the word Truth inside the body of their icon. Clearly, the debate, if it could be called that at all, died at this moment, since the Christians stole a concept from biology ("the big fish eat the little fish") and thus, seem to have inadvertantly defended Darwin's ideas about natrual selection. It seems logical that if you reject the life sciences, you can't in turn leverage the life sciences to make some sort of point about an irrational worldview. As the evangelicals continue their bid to repurpose our language (e.g., turning theory into a naughty word), they also seem quite willing to repurpose science to do their own, inscrutable bidding.