Dancing With The Stars: MARIO Freestyle

Okay all of you nerds and geeks out there, I–as also an official N.E.R.D. girl–have found one of the BEST things ever found on the YouTube world! Sadie Robertson and her partner Mark Ballas performed a freestyle pick on week 11 of this season’s DWTS and absolutely let both their inner child AND their inner geek show with this master mix of the original Mario Brothers theme music! Watch below for crazy stunts and a SALUTE to nerds everywhere!

Geekly Yours,

Admin OC-3P0 (retro specialist)

Ciao for now peoples!

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A quick blog

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to get internally isolated from the rest of the world?

What I mean is that it feels like you’re physically in the real world, but suddenly your mind gets lost and you don’t know why it does this. My mind is like this.

It sucks, feeling like all of a sudden, you cannot partake in the real world. At random, this feeling separates my attention, sucking me into a vortex that I don’t recognize; I never remember what happens during this “fazing out” from wherever my mind vanishes or the real world. It’s like my brain goes into white noise or an area where nothing exists, and yet I start feeling my chest constrict and my body going into fight or flight mode.

The real world will vanish, but my body is still seemingly able to respond to the panic, despite my ignorance of the cause. I’m glad it does, to be honest. If not, my friends would probably think that I need to be hospitalized or that I’m insane.

Also, it’s hard to admit when this stuff happens. Normally the responses are pretty polarized: either extremely in-your-face helpful or completely ableist. Just because one is vocal about it doesn’t mean they are seeking attention. Just because someone says, “yeah, I have anxiety,” but appears to be normal, doesn’t mean the anxiety isn’t real. Just because it isn’t visible doesn’t mean it’s not real.

 

Mental illness is just as crippling as physical ones.

 

This has been a PSA

Hell Schedule: Coping with an Internship

Greetings fellow Geeks and Peoples~!

The past week I started an internship with one of my educational Alma-maters: the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization. I graduated from the Diploma Programme in 2015 and now I am a communications intern! How exciting~.

One challenge: I am now having to balance my 2-year part-time job, university credits, an on-campus club, and this internship. This is gonna be one hell of a balancing act, because on top of the aforementioned, I have a social life that I would like to keep. Kinda hard to that with only one day to yourself, isn’t it?

Either way, this was just a brief update. I know I don’t post as much as some would like, but I must say that whoever reads this, I’m glad that you do read it.

Stay strong, people.

~Ocie

Music Junkie: K-Pop

There isn’t a point in complaining about something when the only things listening are a brick wall and a parrot.

Hey, all! It’s been quite a while since I’ve been on here, but, as the saying goes: Life waits for no one. With college, a part-full-time job, an unpaid internship, becoming an officer for a group on campus, and trying to budget for the new year, I’ve gotten myself up to my ears in work of all sorts.

Today’s Music Junkie Focus

However, I have had some time to do my music thing: making it, loving it, listening to it, and analyzing it. Today, I wanted to analyze a group of people whom I have joined, being K-pop fans. K-pop is the popular culture in Korea, consisting (mostly) of music and trends set up by famous labels and performers. The big labels I’ve seen and studied are the Monster 3: SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, and JYP Entertainment. These three labels release many of the top-ranking artists in the Korean music industry, training them from young ages and making groups to then perform in a conceptual fashion.

Crazy K-Pop Fanatics

As I’ve said, K-pop is simply Korean Pop Culture, just like American Pop Culture consists of trends aesthetically and musically. But, K-pop performer fans (or fandoms) like to take things a little too far sometimes. Here is what I mean. K-pop music fans grow fond of certain groups, and within those groups choose a bias (or favorite member) to cheer for during the group’s endeavors. If something happens to the bias member that the fans don’t like, they complain and rant and whine to the record label as if their pleas and crying will be taken into account.

I’m not saying that I don’t react when my favorite member of a group gets fewer lines than the others in the song; because I do. What I don’t do is comment on the internet with the hopes that my complaining and dislike will fix the already produced product of the song or album.

I will use a few music groups that I know from the industry to demonstrate my point. The first is a group best known for cutesy concepts that portray the members as playful and childlike for their title tracks, while their B-sides are more sexy, powerful, seductive, and edgy.

TWICE: JYP’s Cuteness Bombshell

A 2-year-old group that is popular because of its vocal variety and catchy, cutesy Title tracks, TWICE (트와이스) is normally considered the girl group to beat. Musically, they have a diversity of voices and each of their title tracks has reached number one within no more than a week.

TWICE’s latest release is called SIGNAL. The lyrics translate to the members trying to get noticed by a crush but don’t understand how they’re not taking the hint. People got mad over this song simply because of how much each member participated vocally.

The top three (label-ranked) vocalists of the group are JiHyo, NaYeon, and JungYeon. JungYeon’s vocal style is different from the other two, having a bit more bite to it than a cutesy sound; and so, she frequently has fewer lines than JiHyo, NaYeon, and another vocalist, Mina. SIGNAL did the same pattern as the rest of TWICE’s title tracks: Jungyeon got 4th place in line distributions, but it’s not because she lacks the skill or anything. She simply just doesn’t have the sound that JYP (the vocal director) is looking for, and so she has fewer lines. This same situation works for Tzuyu. Her voice has a very mature feel to it, and so it doesn’t always fit the song in the way the vocal director would like. Her lines are often few in the title tracks, except for SIGNAL.

However, people go berserk (and I politely did so) over the fact that JungYeon consistently gets fewer lines in title tracks, but always has that one song where her voice shines as a B-track in the album. Fans don’t have to like the product, but businesses sell what the market wants. And that’s where it ends, I have to say.

BLACKPINK: YG’s Rookie Rocket

This 4-member girl group, BLACKPINK (블랙핑크), is a very hyped group with a fanbase that exploded upon their debut in 2016. Their latest song “As If It’s Your Last” (마지막처럼) is a mix of tropical house music and thumping baselines. As If It’s Your Last is vocal heavy, with a catchy chorus that is very repetitive and an English Rap part. One of the Vocals, JiSoo, had a smaller vocal exposure in this single than in others of the past. And out of 5 songs, she has never had the most lines, which has caused an uproar in BLINKs (the fan base).

But not only does this song have fans in a fit; so does the member line-up of the group itself. YG Entertainment only lists the general parts for each member, meaning the performance or idol category they have been trained in or are assigned to do/be. The line up is as follows (Written in the English fashion, not Korean fashion):

  • Jennie: vocal, rapper
  • Rose: vocal, dancer
  • JiSoo: vocal, visual
  • Lisa: rapper, dancer

So as it can be seen, the girls’ respective parts are considered general instead of the crazy lead vs. main crap that I’ll explain in a different post. But, it is the particulars that have the BLACKPINK fanbase in a civil war: who is the best? Who is second? Who should do what? How should YG arrange the parts? It’s all stuff that is uncontrollable by the audience, but yet has them screaming and fuming. It’s pretty ridiculous.

I also disclose the fact that not all fans of K-pop groups are idiotic and have tunnel-vision for their biases. Many, though, fall into the stubborn and unrelenting category from my personal observations.

Again, I can’t say that I’ve ALWAYS been logical, but I keep my opinions to myself. I do this because I know that the record labels aren’t going to listen my opinion whether it is alone or coinciding with a group’s. There isn’t a point to complaining about something when the only things listening are a brick wall and a parrot.

2NE1: Disbanded, but Still Standing

Another YG Entertainment girl-group, 2NE1  or 투엔니원 (said like the English number 21), was a ferocious and powerful in-your-face group with immense vocals, unique dancing, and experimental music styles. Though, most of 2NE1’s songs were a mix of R&B and House/Dancehall music, the group nevertheless was a big money maker for the label. A similar problem like BLACKPINK and TWICE appeared in this group as well.

The 4-member, currently disbanded, girl group has vocals, dancing, modelling, TV, and music down to a science. Each member has her own cute charms that makes her desirable to the public. Bom, meaning spring, has an interesting R&B voice that is both powerful and entrancing (though now she is not with the label). CL, standing for Chae Lin, has a distinctive voice that catches rhythm like a spider web does insects and seemingly flawless English-speaking skills. Dara has an impeccable mezzo-soprano register with beautiful projection and can rap. And finally, Minzy has a great, husky voice for R&B and can dance like she lacks a skeleton. (Seriously, her dance skills are crazy, sometimes I forget she has bones.)

However, one of the biggest complaints was that YG showed favoritism when creating the group’s songs, down to the title tracks. CL almost always got the most lines or the most memorable parts of the songs, with Minzy usually taking second place or tying the position with Bom. Also, it came down to Dara’s voice being so edited that it sounded alien or inhuman, and Bom’s register being forced to perform higher than its natural comfort zone.

No one knows exactly why this group disbanded, but needless to say, fans of YG Entertainment don’t want what happened to 2NE1 happen to the label’s new and only girl group BLACKPINK. Many 2NE1 Blackjacks (fans) have supported BLACKPINK and wish them the best. But YG Entertainment doesn’t have the best track record for employee treatment (and frankly, neither does JYP Entertainment).

That’s A Wrap

To conclude, my point is that if you are ever watching a YouTube video that’s K-Pop or K-pop related and you read the comments (like I do), this has been your warning. The rants and whining will begin, and even if they are heard, another group will consequently rant and complain. This is a never-ending cycle. But you don’t have to take part. Just enjoy the music you like and PLEASE try to keep a level head. K-pop is still a business at the end of the day.

This is Ocie signing out. 안녕! 감사합니다!

Mental Struggles

Typically I try to avoid posts like these, but I feel like even those in the Geekdom Realm are more than able to relate to the concept of this post. An iffy topic like this isn’t always easy to approach, mind you. I had to think long, hard, critically, and preparedly in order to write this article.  So here goes everything.

I suffer from anxiety, and it is high-functioning anxiety. This means that my anxiety is typically managed by me trying to do other tasks, or that managing my anxiety looks like I am dazing out into space. On the outside I appear, in all aspects, completely fine and problem-free. While on the inside, I am full of insecurity about the stupidest of things. And I know these things are stupid, but I can’t just turn off a switch to worry them, and medication doesn’t help fix the problem rather than it helps control it.

Whether or not you believe that anxiety is all in my head. Or that I am saying this simply because I may want attention or more followers. I can tell you that you are more than welcome to think as you will. I can’t stop you.

But, my anxiety is not the only problem. Sometimes, things like anxiety and depression go hand-in-hand. When they tend to overlap, it starts to make me feel as though I am incompetent, unable to be the person that I am asked to be. And it doesn’t matter sometimes, because it could get so bad to where it seems like your bed is your only friend and that sleep is your only escape from it all.

Please, for any of you who think that this kind of illness isn’t really a disease, please take into consideration that humans adapt to the environment to which they are exposed. Your environment effects how you talk, your word choice, your body language, your choice of fashion, your eating habits… It has such an effect on the majority of your life that you don’t notice it.

I notice mine, because my worldview will change when the anxiety kicks in. The way I see the world turns into a complete 180-degree opposite viewpoint. That, my friends, is scary beyond compare. When my entire mood changes for no obvious reason, and then I cannot figure out what has triggered the ongoing feeling, I get scared for my life.

So, I say again. PLEASE don’t brush off mental illnesses or just say, “Take your medicine”. You’re not helping the problem. You’re part of the problem by doing that. Even if you’re not quite convinced of the validity of mental illness, that is unimportant. What’s more important: your view being correct or making sure someone close to maintains the will to live? Even for just one more day?

This marks the end of my PSA.

 

Ophiuchus and his Omission from the Zodiac

Ophiuchus (Oh-FEW-cuss) is the least-known sign on the celestial equator for the sole purpose that he isn’t mentioned in the Western and Sidereal 12-signed zodiac systems. More often he is omitted in Western Astrology with the occasional appearance in the Sidereal, depending on the interpreting astrologer. Further research on this opened the door of my mental curiosity and thirst for knowledge, so I decided to delve further into the rabbit hole on the subject. Let’s start with the basics about Ophiuchus before moving on to reasons why he was omitted, other than the obvious.

Who (or What) is Ophiuchus?
The story behind Ophiuchus is an interesting one, primarily for the reason that the constellation seems to be generated from the story of a (supposed) ancient being. Ophiuchus is known as the Serpent Bearer, thanks to the Greek translation of his name, when being referred to astrologically and in mythology. His presence in the Tropical Zodiac line of progression seems very out of place to those who study the standard Western astrology; his placement being almost exactly beneath the constellation of Scorpio.

His past indicates one of secrecy, but not performed by him. And this is where the omitted sign piqued my interest. To explain, the synopsis of the story behind Ophiuchus’ existence in the celestial equator is nothing more than this:

The gods of Greece watched over Ophiuchus and his developments in the medical sciences. However, when they discover of his unusual methods, along with his extraordinary string of good fortune, Hades proposes a deal to Zeus to makes sure the gods maintain authority over man.

What do the Greek gods have to do with anything pertaining to a constellation? Back in Greek mythology, that is how the constellation of Orion appeared in the midnight landscape. Orion’s death was an unsightly accident that never should have happened, and so to honor his leaving of the “material” world, he was forever embedded into the celestial sky to be looked upon by his lover, Artemis. Ophiuchus has a different story, seeing as he intimidated the gods.

But, it wasn’t that he made the gods wary that caused his death; a discovery that would upset the current balance of the time is what caused the Fates to take him away. What is meant by that is Ophiuchus had supposedly found a way for humans to “live forever,” so to speak. This sparked the realization that if humans became immortal, some of the gods would no longer be necessary. Where would they go? How would they still exist?

This recipe to immortality was supposedly found in snake venom–nowadays known as the recipe for antivenom and others like it–and this was a novel and radical idea at the time. And, still referring to Greek Mythology, associating with the serpentine kind often affiliated a being with the Gorgons (think Medusa). When someone is associated with the not-so-nice Gorgons, suspicions are bound to rise. Also, despite being referred to as evil, one important, but lesser known, fact about serpents and snakes: they’re very intelligent, creating the ability of cunning.

So, Hades, Lord of the Underworld and Warden of Dead Souls, convinced the almighty Zeus to rid the human world of Ophiuchus and his potential of creating a “level playing field” between god and man. Instead of just allowing him to die, Ophiuchus was memorialized in the sky as the constellation “the Snake Bearer” to remind the mortals that you should not go beyond what the order of the universe states.

The Traits of those under Ophiuchus
The Snake Bearer Ophiuchus is probably one of the luckiest, if not the luckiest, along the celestial equator. When referring to the Zodiac, the traits of Ophiuchus are either alarming or enticing.

Positive traits owned by Ophiuchus are extremely high IQ’s, “freedom fighter” syndrome, justified altruism, authenticity, insatiable desire to know things, prosperous blessings, special treatment, trustworthiness, and likability. These are mostly categories and groupings of traits found from various sights during research.

The double-edged sword comes from the Negative traits under Ophiuchus: secret enemies, rebellious to a fault, judgmental thought processes, and ego problems. (Again, this list is an abbreviated list of categories that were deemed fitting of the majority of traits found for the Snake Bearer.)

Knowing the qualities isn’t enough information to use, though. The tendencies of those with an Ophiuchus “guidance” are prone to have lives that exist on Easy Street; and they can easily develop the problems of impatience, unhealthy narcissism, and constant separation. These problems can evolve from both the good and the bad of the omitted sign.

Hypotheses for Omitting Ophiuchuz

For those who may know, the Tropical Zodiac was deemed to be created by the Babylonians. Whether or not this is true is beyond my amateur knowledge. However, whichever society or civilization it was that decided to create the Tropical Zodiac, the people within it didn’t seem to like Ophiuchus.

Within the understanding of the Zodiac, each Sign has distinct or discernible traits that create its identity as that Sign. Also, each sign gets about the same amount of opportunity for power as the others. Ophiuchus, in a similar way to Pisces, takes traits from multiple signs on the wheel, except that Ophiuchus is historically viewed as one of higher value than the little fish, Pisces; the rationale is due to his lifelong streak of luck. This trait, passed down from Greek mythology, permeated the essence of Ophiuchus and the understanding of the Sign’s power: the ability to give one an exceptionally prosperous lifestyle.

With this knowledge, it can be understand why Ophiuchus would be omitted. Such a great power given to a Zodiac Sign seems unfair, which is a hypothesis as to why he isn’t allowed to be part of astrological system. But, to add to the argument, Ophiuchus has the trait that makes having enemies inevitable: easy, natural success.

Ophiuchus’ amicable nature and lifestyle of good fortune is a volatile mixture of information for the other constellations on the celestial equator. The Snake Bearer would be the only Zodiac sign based upon the idea of an actual person in some sort of mythology–don’t overthink and assume that Aquarius, the Water Bearer, is in relation to this because it represents a human. Those given the “cursed blessing” of possessing Ophiuchan traits are often already set apart.

Therefore, it can be assumed that one reason to omit Ophiuchus from the Zodiac is to maintain the idea that humans are flawed. The constellation of Ophiuchus is deemed to be the optimal kind of person according to its backstory. Granted, there are people who strive to be the idea of optimal or perfect within their individual perspective, but since what should and shouldn’t be considered optimal or ideal is a subjective matter, the easiest way to keep the Zodiac even remotely objective is to leave out the idea of perfection.

To show an argument, the twelfth Zodiac Sign, Pisces, is stated to gather traits from the previous eleven houses (Signs) in the Tropical system. However, which traits are gathered is stated to be an uneven amount that is ruled by the Sign’s element, orientation, and modality (all of which are for people fancy the study of astrology). Since Ophiuchus is assumed to be a so-called “perfect” sign, this would disrupt that balance, because Pisceans are nowhere near perfect; neither is any other Zodiac Sign.

The second hypothesis is the more logical-minded one: the creators of the Zodiac believed that having thirteen signs was an omen. Thirteen (13) is often dictated as an unlucky number, hence Friday the 13th being a dreaded day for the superstitious. Not only is 13 considered unlucky, but it is hard to have an even split when there isn’t an even number of items to divide. Having thirteen signs instead of twelve would disrupt the mathematical and systematical balances that helped create the Zodiac, aside from the mythology and social trends of the time.


So, there is an analysis of the Zodiac after a long period of hiatus for which I apologize. This article was an interesting research project and a fun one to write. I hope to post more in the near future.

Signed,

Ocie

The Upcoming Election

I know this isn’t very geek related, but it is a pertinent issue that has been flooding, assaulting, and raiding every aspect of social media. The upcoming election is holding the VA primaries March 1st, and I’m seeing people on my Facebook page saying things like, “if you support [pick a candidate] then unfriend me.” Truthfully, I think this is a childish way to act over beliefs and ideals. I may be an idealist myself, but I am not an ass like these people.

You guys, my nerdly audience, never seem to respond for whatever reason. But I’m still going to say that you’re more than welcome to put in your two cents without any retort from me.

Thanks for reading!

~Ocie

Non-spoiler Movie Review of “Star Wars: Episode VII”

The continuation of an age-old, legacy, legendary American film has finally surfaced.

As a part of the fandom, I went to see Episode VII: The Force Awakens with my nerdy-geeky dork squad of a family. I am typically a harsh critic, but I have to say that there wasn’t much to criticize in Episode VII. We’ve all enjoyed our little fangirl (and fanboy) moments of our favorites Stars Wars franchise movies, from the snowy Battle of Hoth and the destruction of the Death Star to the backstory of Darth Vader. The seventh installment of this wonderful and nostalgic franchise is nothing short of the expectations, even to the overly critical Jedi that have followed the faith since the first release of Episode IV in 1977.

My Overall Rating: Recommended at 5/5.

Since this is a non-spoiler, I won’t go into too much detail until a good while after the theatrical release. I won’t try plot points or important characters, but I cannot guarantee such whims.

Part One: Adaptation and truthfulness to the original set up. Disney (R) elected director JJ Abrams collaborated with George Lucas to think of a way to portray the next story arc. In my personal opinion, I believe that the story was both nostalgic and refreshingly unique in its own way. There is a combination of old and new that  (I hope) will please the wide age range of its loving and adoring fans.

Point Two: Character Setup and Complexity. As mentioned previously, the character combos are amazing, bringing together the old generations and the new. Sometimes, Disney characters have the underwhelming tendency to be flat and static, but the company really pulled through at maintaining the complexity and multiple facets of the franchise’s iconic character stylings.

Finally, Point Three: The appeal towards the Generation Gap. J.J. Abrams’ adaptation to Kennedy’s question “what makes Luke Skywalker” gave, at least me, the idea that Abrams truly wanted to keep the mystery and tradition in this film. There may be a few scenes that seem a bit clichéd, but I still think that there’s more to look at than just the “repetition” of the old movies.

The Beauty of Foreign Language

Здравствуйте, люды! Hola, gente!

Hello, people! I know I haven’t been on in a while, but that’s what college does to you! Above, I typed to you all in Russian and Spanish. I am a current Language Pathology major up at university studying Linguistics and Foreign Language.

So, I wanted to ask all of you a special question: How do YOU use language? Do you prefer to speak, write, or draw?

Right-Brained or Left-Brained?: Conundrum Solved

The concept of “left” and “right” brain. Many great thinkers and people were discovered to possess traits of both sides.

Hello people, today I would like to discuss something of great importance to me, and to a class that I was once part of: Theory of Knowledge. My instructor told us to evaluate the validity of this concept. It wasn’t something I knew of very well at the time, but it fascinated me to the point that I continued researching the concept.

It turns on that the whole “right-brained or left-brained” concept was used by the culture in order to separate people into categories. This means that this concept is flawed and ruled by social culture. We all live in this culture, and we’ve all been told that STEM (Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering) are where the money is being made; but that would single out the more creative and artsy people. So the artsy people then created STEAM, which includes the Arts and Music, to combat STEM.

When in all reality, all subjects are important. Not only that, but the matter of right- vs. left-brained thinking has been pronounced meaningless: it no longer matters that one person is logical over creative. In the above infographic is a short list of people (Steve Jobs, Marissa Mayer, Albert Einstein, and Dong-Hoon Chang) and each of the people had traits from the right and left brain lobes.

So, allow me to reach a point: this society is stuck in a tradition that is inaccurate. The inaccuracy can be fixed by future generations, but they must be taught that they are not divisible by how they think by the current generation: US.

In the United States alone, we have slowly started to deem arts and more social classes as “add-ons” that simply get in the way of “critical learning” because schools have been more focused on how smart we can make our students. Nowadays, one has to be both smart and innovative in order to be wildly successful. That involves the skills of STEAM, which is the combination of all learning, from logic to inspiration.

I truthfully hope that this post enlightens people, educators, and learners alike.

Thank you all for reading.

Marriage Equality, Social Explosion, and a Fireworks Show

Good morning The Geekdom. Sorry that I’ve been so late to the party, but since I am I’ve decided to wrap up three important current events in one post. So, please, bear with me.

Topic 1: Marriage

On 29 May 2015, the Supreme Court dictated that the forbiddance of homosexual marriage was unlawful and unjust, and officially declared any marriage or knot-tying between any two persons valid in all 50 states. I deem that a step forward in today’s economy (and I understand that not all of you will agree with me). But, nonetheless, if the USA is supposed to be the “land of the free and the home of the brave” as stated in our national anthem, then we have to honor what that says, even if it means sacrificing certain opinions to guarantee the freedom we seek.

After all, freedom doesn’t come free. 🙂

I understand as well that I am surrounded by many Christian believers who are disgusted by this act of justice, who are also saying that it is not “true love”. In that case I must argue the opposite. Homosexuals, Bis, Pans, and asexuals cannot control for whom they have feelings, and there is scientific data and evidentiary support backing it up. So, to reply to their disgust: It is not your life so why does it matter to you? Just let people be happy.

Topic 2: Social Networking

Upon the revelation of marriage equality being legal, the social network’s bandwidth nearly exploded as hundreds of thousands–straights and gays alike–celebrated their victory in public. It seems to be the start of a revolution.

In lieu to Facebook and other networks being bombarded by the lovers, another riot has broken out over the social media nationwide. The Confederate Flag, which is the symbol of Southern pride and hospitality, is deemed to be racist because of the Charleston “massacre” earlier this year. Granted the event was tragic, but no grudges were held against the man who killed the nine churchgoers. Nor did the meaning behind the Confederate Battle flag change because of it.

Many folks from the darker skintone don’t see that the people who have stimulating conversations with them and respect the “rebel” flag are not racists or trying to make them feel appreciated because they are second class. Like every flag this one has a history and is a symbol that is often misinterpreted by people of society. Me, personally, I never saw it as racist. I never thought race was a social separator until I discovered racist children and adults bullying those of the darker skin.

Due to the offense people have taken to this symbol of heritage, many major stores are planning or have already taken action. They’re removing it from all large-scale outlets. Though, they don’t realize, the more you forbid something, the more it is desired. You can’t force a nation to do anything if you show no respect for opinions.

So, to wrap this up, I don’t understand why people refuse to see that, despite people who are racist are flying this flag, so are people who think that racism is crap. I mean, I have dark-skinned family members who fly that flag.

Topic 3: 4th of July

Strangely I am transitioning into the American national holiday known for fireworks and beer. Why? Two reasons:

  1. 4th of July is like an early birthday celebration for me. One that I don’t have to plan.
  2. It’s the easiest present for my Aunt, who was born on July 4th.

But, I realized that this national celebration relates with the previous topic: pride in my nation. Because, if the Confederate Flag was to be illegal (and it is a sign of celebration of upbringing (that isn’t necessarily racist)) then shouldn’t having any pride in this country be considered illegal? It’s just a question.

Anyway, I should sign off for now until I find a new topic to post about. If this sparks up a debate, please be respectful of those you are arguing with. Thank you.

Namaste.

~Ocie

Mixing the Generations

Okay. I am an older generation mentally and by heart, but I’m very adept to new age equipment.
I still read books, I still watch 90’s cartoons, and I even enjoy movies from the 70’s and 80’s. My music taste is from the grungy, in your face 1990’s and yet I can manipulate the technology of today’s generations of the 00’s and the 2010’s.

So I can probably say that you might be wondering why I’m  posting this, well as a geek i have fonded myself with specific niches and hobbies that I feel are acquired to my mental processing. One of those niches would be technology. At 17 years old i have basically mastered Windows OS 8.1, the latest Microsoft Office software, and the pathways of the Samsung Galaxy smartphone series. Needless to say that I have definitely been through hell trying to understand them as I fiddled with the spawns of Evil starting out.

This post, “Mixing Generations,”is all about the ways older generations can possibly be up-to-date in a rapidly advancing, competition investing, world of enterprise.

So allow me to officially begin. Older generations are often seen as outdated and the newer ones as misunderstood, when in all reality both are the latter of this spectrum. Each have their ideas which are novel and strange to the other because of the way society advances and changes in the blink of an eye. But sometimes, I believe these barriers can be broken if people become more open minded to the ideas of now and the simplicities that they can become.

For example, I am typing this post on the new Galaxy S6, or at least it is new for the time that I’m writing this, and come from an old soul mindset with a different set of values than the kids of today. I know this system as if I’ve had it for months now and it’s only been two days since my upgrade was gotten.

When I was younger, I had to work for what I wanted or just not get it, and was taught that money is a privilege to not be thought of lightly. I didn’t have much then and still don’t, but I don’t strive to have the best in order to top someone else or to be seen as “cool”. That’s not in my nature.

Many of my friends and family operate like this, too, but are not technologically inclined like I am. The easiest way to overcome this wall is to see things through the eyes of the youmger generation so that we older generations aren’t left to choke on the dust of their wheels. Granted, it’s  not easy to change the way traditions are viewed, but it’s worth a shot.

If this upsets any of you readers, I dearly apologize; if it inspires, then I’m glad. This kind of transition will, of course, take time to commit and involve those of generations past, but it also puts us as a nation, and as people, one step closer to an understanding national community.

Thank you,

Ocie

A Complete Head Transplant?

Okay, I’m sure the title line was interesting or disturbing enough for you to ask, “WTH is going on here?” Well, let me tell you:

An Italian doctor, Dr. Sergio Canavero, is a medical associate in neurological surgery. He is determined to do a full head transplantation surgery on a volunteer patient, 30-year-old Valery Spiridonov, a man who is suffering from “Werdnig-Hoffman disease”.

This particular surgery, from the article I read (and have attached), takes almost 36 hours and 150 medical people to complete! Wowza that’s a lot of people to work on one man.

And better yet, Spiridinov knows the consequences could be “worst than death” but still continues to offer himself as guinea pig. I guess he has nothing to really lose! The Russian man (I’m saying this because it’s easier than saying his name) could basically be considered legally insane after the operation because his psyche could be permanently destroyed. He’s taking the circumstances better than I would in his shoes.

Canavero says that the “professionals are wrong” about head transplantation and that it is now fully capable of being fulfilled with a success. I sure hope he’s right. As a doctor, Canavero is literally taking a gamble with life and death here; I know I would most definitely crack under this kind of publicity and pressure.

So, to get this Italian man’s point of view, watch the nine minute TEDx Talk below and let me know what you think. Also, a link to the article talking about Dr. Canavero. http://www.sciencealert.com/world-s-first-head-transplant-volunteer-could-experience-something-worse-than-death

Ocie

Sexuality: An Exhausted Topic to Continue

Hello all my fellow people, followers, and outcasts! A warning to all who continue: This post has been researched, understood, interviewed, and discussed beforehand by my own power. If you choose to proceed, I mean to demean no person and am trying to make a point. Commenting of your point of view and arguments is accepted and expected from any and all who read.

Without further ado, my post.

Today, I’m going to discuss a topic that has been on my mind for a while now: sexuality.

I already know the dangers, politically and socially, that come as a package deal with this topic, and I still choose to continue on. Firstly, to state my opinion, I think that the idea of sexual racism has been overextended and is far beyond its “necessity” of argumentation. It’s not a debate, it’s fact, that people have different chemical balances within the brain that are irreversible and cause them to behave differently than others; but that doesn’t mean that these people are inhuman, of wrong decision, or (from certain religious perspectives) committing an open sin.

That kind of closed-minded lens is exactly the reason why many people I know feel uncomfortable to admit their sexuality or even try to admit they believe they could be the wrong gender. What world or nation are we if we simply single out what is unappealing to us individually?

We cannot blame one individual for not appealing to our tastes and beliefs because we are not that person. Each of us is a unique and beautiful person on our own in this mine field called Life. And it is not pleasant at all to constantly feel like you’re on trial for something you cannot help. However, just because we don’t like one thing, or we are not “wired” the way that the other person is, does not give us the right–as a public–to bash them or turn it into a high-intensity “debate” that brings nothing but hostility, stupidity, and a wedge of segregation into play.

I agree with the pop singer Jessie J and her outlook on this topic.

I want young people to know that they can belong – whatever your culture, your religion, your sexuality – that you can live life how you want to live it and feel comfortable how you are. ~Jessie J

I’ll admit straight out that I am no longer Christian like my family. I am not atheist, though. And even when I was a Christian, I saw the arguments over this topic, for lack of a better terminology, stupid and downright idiotic to continue. That, my friends, was almost 6 years ago, when I discovered that one of the kids older than me was homosexual, and that one of my ex-boyfriend’s parents was a lesbian. I was cool with it, because it wasn’t my place to judge how they lived their lives.

Later on, I learned about the chemical “imbalances” that caused the different kinds of sexuality, and accepted that I couldn’t change it and embraced the many friends that I later discovered were either homosexual or some other kind of sexuality that I didn’t completely understand. But these arguments? They have got to stop. It is absolutely boorish, short-sighted, and judgmental to just say that just because someone isn’t heterosexual automatically makes them a human being who has made wrong choices and refuses to follow the path that Life meant to create.

As far as I see it, Life is simply a series of obstacles and obstructions that are meant to cause us to look into ourselves and question what the world decides to tell us is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable. It makes truly no sense that people are still trying to make an argument about Gay Rights or ban Homosexuality and others of the such because it’s something that can’t be changed or eliminated.

It may not be “normal” but it is very much “human” and should just be dropped as a topic for arguing.

So, to prove that I researched both sides of this case, I’ll elaborate on the Pro-Hetero arguments that I personally believe are not able to be argued about.

1. Homosexuality goes against religion, as said by Leviticus 20:13.

Okay. So that’s what the Bible says. But I’ve heard of the Bible being comparable to the Constitution of the United States, but in reference to Christian followers. That book is too old for Christians to try to date, and it has been translated individually so many times that it is nearly impossible to know the true meaning. So, allow me to pull out my own counterargument: the necessary-and-proper clause.

This particular clause was assigned to the Constitution of the United States, stating that if the country saw it “necessary and proper” to apply an action that was not explicitly stated in the Constitution, that the government would be allowed to carry out said action. The Bible, in my opinion, should be no different. Also, we live in a very diverse society and culture in the U.S. and should embrace the statement that was made by the Founding (Christian) Fathers about “all men were created equal”.

2. Homosexuality is a choice and an open sin towards the Lord Almighty.

I cannot emphasize this enough: A PERSON’S SEXUALITY IS NOT THEIR CHOICE! It has been scientifically proven, and yet old-fashioned “bumpkins” with overly-conservative mindsets refuse to even look at collected data and test results that physically show that any sort of sexuality is not a choice. Like I’ve said before, you can’t blame someone for something that displeases you. Likewise, a person should not be judged by something they cannot willingly control.

3. Homosexuals are a disgrace to the idea of what makes a human being.

And, yes, I have heard many religious and traditional people yell this aloud before. This is probably the most flawed argument I have seen out of the three I have to dissect.

Flaw #1: this is faulty because any -sexuals are still humans and cannot further disgrace what we have already disgraced of ourselves as a society.

Flaw #2: trying to answer a question with a philosophical controversy. It doesn’t work. There is not much anyone can say that can convince me (a very avid philosophy student and sociopolitical activist) that a different mental balance can “disgrace” an already multicultural and diverse population.

Flaw #3: the word “disgrace”. That only disgrace that would exist is the fact that this sentence was just uttered.

Now, I’m not bashing anyone’s beliefs. I’m just pointing out my research and understanding of a topic that shouldn’t be as controversial as trying to figure if a zebra is black-on-white or white-on-black. It’s like skin color, you can’t change how you were born.

And that, my people, is a NERD’s perspective on another social misconception and political debate.

Junkie Vent–> Music Discrimination

Hey G33ks, Nerds, and fans of all sorts that have rallied here! I’m back for probably this week. So, I entered my school’s talent show and went with a song from Paramore being the #parawhore I am. At first I was going to perform Carole King, but in the back of my mind I was sure I was going to screw up, so I went with Plan B: Some nice punk-rock.

The downside to this is that my mother thinks it is screamo, which irritates me deeply because the only thing she seems to consider music is country and 80s-90s rock and roll. To her, everything else is screaming. (This also might be partially because her hearing goes in and out.)

As a newly found Buddhist, I am supposed to let this go and let it be. But I find that hard to do. Also, as a passionate music enthusiast, I refuse to let anyone try to dictate my music style in any way, shape, or form.

So, there is a good side to this rather negative post. The reason I’m saying this is because I drew inspiration from my friend Tim, a hardcore heavy metal rocker. 🙂 He says to listen to what you please, even if it angers people (and I’m making this far less colorful). Thanks for reading, my beloved audience. I hope you embrace who you are.

Ocie

A Relationship Like TV

Alright my N.E.R.D.s and g33ks, I have finally been able to relate my life to a TV show. Or at least to television in general.

I’m not sure if I have said this before, but I have a big family thanks to my parents being divorced: I have a full-brother, half-brother, stepbrother, and a stepsister. I care for each of them in the same way, regardless of how long I’ve actually known them.

I hope I can make this a sweetly short post so I don’t bore anyone, because really there isn’t much to say on this behalf. So, I’ll start now:

My relationship with my full-brother Dakota is kind of like the relationship of Ishizu and Marik Ishtar from the anime “Yu-Gi-Oh!”. Marik is the one who is rebellious, curious, and cunning while Ishizu is experienced, caring, and compassionate. She cares for her brother greatly. As do I.

However, this relationship is a two-way mutuality–Dakota protects me as I defend and look out for him. I try to guide him, usually he ignores me but I remain persistent as always. I try to show him the good of the situations, or at least giving him the support of knowing it isn’t the worst.

But my brother is the big eleven, and with my being seventeen he’s stressed out just like I am. I’m leaving him (albeit temporarily) to go to college and I won’t physically be there to give him an emotional boost. However I also won’t have my biggest supporters at my side when I go back to school (plural because of my mother as well).

So, to end this mini-speech, I say that my brother(s) and I don’t fight often, and even when we do it blows over in about a day. 🙂 Not exactly like the Ishtars, but I think it’s close enough.

Another Music Junkie Post

Hey all you NERDs and G33Ks! I’m a music junkie, and I’ll admit that I am in love with Paramore. A lot of my friends are, too. I don’t think people should really be judged or humiliated by what bands they do or don’t listen to. I like punk rock, grunge, post-grunge, and metal, and finally.

I find it funny when my classmates or family members try to predict me listening to only country music, because it’s not true. They just don’t want me to grow up yet. Ha. I feel like any of you have felt that way at least once: people judging you by your music tastes, or trying to predict them? It’s bogus. Humans are, in majority, NOT telepathic, so why should we try to be?

I’ll go out and say that the bands who have helped me out the most in life seem like polar opposites; they are Rascal Flatts and Paramore. Being a Flatthead I know that RF is a country/soft rock band by category under the label Big Machine Records; however, being a Para-whore (because I’m obsessed) I also know that Paramore is a punk-rock band with a bit of a pop twist as of their self-titled release from the label Fueled By Ramen.

I try to make these post entertaining and often inspiring, because I feel that people like us–the misfits–take way too much crap, and therefor see no reason in trying to reduce our status to the equivalence of mere slugs. I also know that there are people out there which similar, if not the same, interests as us Misfits.

I listen to hard music, and I sing along with it even if my vocal styling doesn’t quite match. Why? Because I believe in the uniqueness and authenticity of people should be allowed to be existent, not just hoped for. I know I am only one person, but I try to encourage this because I have been down that rut and I hope none of you readers have to, or that I can help you with it. After all, :), we have to stick together, don’t we?

Yours, OcieOMG

Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged Clip

Hello G33kdom inhabitants! As probably one of the final posts of the 2014 year–despite not posting very many–I ran into a very interesting and personally very funny video from the Abridged Yu-Gi-Oh! series. It is during the final duel when the gang gets virtually trapped within the computational realm of computer animations controlled by the evil-but-attention-deprived Noah! It’s funny (at least to me). 😛 Watch below.

Reading Fiction is a Social Experience

Holy shizz-biscuits, nerds and bookworms EVERYWHERE! This article i s freaking amazing! Check out the link below about an Emory student’s science experiment about the psychological affectations of reading Fiction-like novels. It also explains why literary fiction is better psychologically than popular fiction!

via Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Still Read Fiction – Mic.

Admin Ocie

Feminist Diaries #2: Modern Feminism and Everything Wrong With It

This is why I can say I’m a traditional feminist. I’m a true gender #geek and I will proudly say that I have nothing against Barbie dolls or girlish things, and that upbringing DOES in fact play a crucial role in how a child ends up being.
However, I DON’T agree with the neo-feminists out there who are trying to masculine-ize females to make them be viewed as tough. That is not how it works.
Nothing is wrong with the color pink, I just don’t think it looks good on me. But I USED to be an extreme girly-girl, now I am a subtle tomboy. Now I am admitting that I am a feminist, one who supports females of ALL types and preferences WITHOUT JUDGMENT.
I am not afraid of admitting I’m a female and that I grew up with baby dolls, Barbie toys, My Little Pony, Dora the Explorer, and playing dress up. It’s nothing bad.

~Ocie

Here’s A Controversial Canned Promotional Poster For The First Mario Strikers Game

OMG, this is actually good though! At least the first one anyhow. Sure it is a little aggressive, but back then kids were nothing but that and they still are today! My commentary is simple: The first one should have been let through for the promotional factor around it. Soccer is a much loved sport and I believe the reaction promotes taking your anger out on a fictional character of whom to us cannot experience pain and suffering unless programmed otherwise.

The second poster is just flat out funny and will be seen as something I personally (at first) found truly harmless to younger kids. And then I remembered that nowadays Nintendo would probably get in trouble for that now. 🙂

~Ocie

My Nintendo News

Nintendo was clearly defiant back in the day and it shows with this aggressive promotional poster for the original Mario Strikers which launched on the GameCube back in 2005. It’s fairly obvious why the poster was eventually canned, but it’s certainly a good one.

mario_striker_banned_posterThanks, Michelle

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Handsome Jack: How bad is he really?

So, if you ask anybody who has played Borderlands 2 what they think of Handsome Jack, they’d probably let you know just how much they hate him. They’d tell you things like “He’s a monster,” “He’s a terrible parent,” and “He really doesn’t know what a hero is.” At least, that’s what people who have played Borderlands 2 will tell you. But ask the same question to someone who has played the newest addition to the series, Borderlands the Pre-Sequel, and you might get a more mixed reaction. Just warning you now, there will be spoilers for Borderlands 2 and Borderlands the Pre-Sequel in the coming paragraphs.

Now, the first time you see Jack actually kill someone in the chronological form of the story is when he kills the Meriff of Concordia in Borderlands the Pre-Sequel, which i will now address as BL1.5 to save time and space. However, this kill doesn’t start out as one. In fact, if you chose to play as Wilhelm, Jack actually tells you that he doesn’t plan to kill the Meriff, just get the information he has. However, not everything goes according to plan. When Jack and the player(s) actually pay the Meriff a visit, he surrenders the information he has and then Jack turns to leave. And it is when Jack’s back is turned, the Meriff draws a pistol, a Jakobs revolver if I remember correctly, and fires three shots at Jack. It is only after the Meriff tries this little stunt (Which wouldn’t have worked even if the Meriff had shot Jack because then the player most likely would have shot him) that Jack fires a series of five shots from his plasma wrist gun thingies, three of which actually hit the Meriff before he falls. Now, this seems morally justifiable, but the problem really comes with what Jack says next: “Woooooah, that was… invigorating!” So, he did kill in self-defense, but was it bad that he enjoyed it?

Next example is also from BL1.5, and it involves when Jack and the player(s) return to Helios. The player has just helped the four scientists in R&D and you’ve met with Jack, Lilith, and Roland in Jack’s office. You’re just about to go down to fight Zarpedon when Jack says he has one thing left to do. He has the player turn a switch and his bookcase slides away to reveal the scientists you just rescued, including Dr. Gladstone, in an airlock. Jack explains that Gladstone told him that one of the scientists might be working as a mole for Zarpedon. As Gladstone begs Jack to spare them, Jack opens the airlock and the scientists are all sucked out into space, Gladstone being the last to go as he clings to the side of the venting chamber, only losing his grip when the pressure change makes his head explode. When this happens, Lilith is outraged by Jack’s actions, while Roland at least acts like he’s ignoring it, and Wilhelm actually says that it seemed like the right thing to do. What do you think? Was the chance of an enemy mole worth the cost of five people’s lives?

Now, there are several other deaths at Jack’s hands as the story goes on, but I’m not going to get into all of them right now. Maybe in a followup post I will though. What really gets me is that when I first started playing BL1.5, I still saw Handsome Jack as the villain of Borderlands 2. But as I played through BL1.5, I started to see him more as Jack, the lowly Hyperion tech nerd who just wanted to prove he was right. And boy did he, the proof being the final scene where Jack strangles, not chokes because he explains that there is a  difference, his boss Tassiter with his watch chain. Be careful, pocket watch chains can be dangerous. So, tell me what you think, even if you haven’t played all the Borderlands games. Was what Jack did to the scientists, to the Meriff, to the Vault hunters, even to his daughter, his attempt at trying to reach a greater good? Comment your opinion on this and the games themselves if you want. And keep an eye out for more Borderlands posts in the future.

Jack (not the handsome one)