Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Cool Guys Don’t Look At Explosions

Yeah, cool guys really don’t. Even when they’re Mark Wahlberg.

It’s Friday night in my country, and I got nothing better to do than posting an update for my blog. I mean, that is something special, considering the great irregularity in which I keep you up to date about my nerdy hobbies and my internal workings. So what happened in the last days?

I was quite busy on my World of Warcraft character, farming and buying Runecloth to boost my reputation with the Darkspear Trolls, and now I can call myself proudly “Akinya of Sen’jin”! The title was long overdue and is anything but special, but I’m still proud of it. Next project: Argent Champion. I’m not looking forward to all the Scholo / Strat runs…*sigh*

In other news, I’m getting more and more impatient during my wait for Champions Online. Cryptic is teasing me and all the other sad people who didn’t win a beta key in one of the many free-give aways with more and more “candy”, like previews of different Power Sets, interviews about Nemesis and Omega system, and other very diabolic tools purely designed to increase the already cosmic hype about this digital entertainment creation. Stop doing that, Cryptic, or I’m sending you the bill of my psychological treatment.

Meanwhile, somewhere else in MMO-country, BioWare is starting to turn on the marketing machine for Star Wars: The Old Republic. With appearances on the PAX and the Gamescom (where I also will be, yay!), BioWare is hoping to increase attention for its newest product in the Old Republic timeline of Star Wars. Someone should phone their CEO and tell him that every sentient MMO-fan is already watching this product more carefully than his own child. Still, BioWare announced gameplay demo’s and the earlier named conventions, and I hope that there will be enough pods at the Gamescom, so I don’t have to stand in line behind some fat, stinking Star Wars freak who keeps reciting quotes from some secret DVD bonus content, just to impress all the other nerds in a ten yard radius, hoping a girl who digs his fetish will hear it and lay down with him beside their Midichlorian-powered fire, while I have to endure this all waiting for my turn to rip people apart with a lightsaber. If there’s a God, such a scenario will not happen.

Furthermore, my brother got bored of pew-pewing people as a vacuum-cleaner-gun-wearing bovine hero, and decided to pimp our Wii collection with Wii Sports Resorts and some new Wii MotionPlus stuff. I promise a review of the game at the end of this weekend, but from the short moments I’ve spent with it, I can tell you that bashing people with a foam sword was never so funny as in Sports Resorts.

And lastly, I’ve completed week 2 of the hundredpushups.com – program. Coming Sunday, I will do my first exhaustion test to see how far my tiny biceps has increased in kinetic force, and on what level the program will continue for me. Excitement abound, and you will read all about it here!

Well, that’s it for the Friday update. Make sure to come back next Sunday for the next update, and I wish you all a great weekend. Be careful on the alcohol!

Signed,

Aki

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Reporting in!

Heya chaps!

Long time no see, or read, whatever you prefer. Yeah, I’ve kinda ignored this blog for a while, but now I’m back! Why? Well, so you can read what is going on in my life at the moment, and so that I can fall asleep tonight with the happy thought that there are people who actually CARE about the stuff I post here. Yeehah!

First of all, I’m enjoying my break from the university at the moment. I’m off until August 31, and I’m using the time to catch up on some old hobbies. Lately, I’ve put some love again in my Troll Shaman on WoW, with my latest addition of four new items in one Naxx25 run! Still, I feel like WoW is dying for me, even though I like healing in raids. Maybe it’s more than normal that you start losing interest in something you’ve been doing for four-and-a-half years, right? Nevertheless, my current occupation in WoW is learning the trick to “play” the Auction House, and I’m already making some minor profit on vendoring / reselling items. It’s quite an awesome feeling to log in on your bank alt, and see that you have 150g in your mail, and two hours later you check it again, and you have 100g in it. Can we spell “Ka-ching”?

While we are on the topic of MMO’s, I’m quite hyped about Champions Online at the moment. Being a closet fan of City of Heroes, I was waiting for more games in the superhero genre, and Champions Online seems to be the next best thing in that, still very small, niche of MMO’s. Even though my inside sources tell me that CO still struggles with quite some issues, I still want to play this. And tell me, which MMO came out just perfect? No my little fan boys, even World of Warcraft was, and is, flawed.

In other news, I’ve started to do something more for my physical well-being, and I’m currently following the training scheme from www.hundredpushups.com , training you six weeks long to achieve those magical one-hundred consecutive push-ups. Right now, I’m in week 2 of the program, and I’m already noticing the effects. Let’s see if I can make the one-hundred, shall we?

So, that’s it for now. I’m gonna write a bit more short fiction, just to chill out. So, catch you later, chaps!

Signed,

Aki

SocialVibe

You might have noticed the little box on the right. Well, my kind visitors, that little critter is SocialVibe, a new feature of WordPress, granting me as an author of a blog to do something good. But what is it, actually?

The cause I support is called “To write love on her arms”, a non-profit institution focused on helping youth all around who struggle with depression, self-injury and the thought of suicide. Currently, the organisation is gathering funds for the installation of ALIVE IM, an instant-messenger “help line”.

All YOU have to do is click the “Help Now!” button, and do what is asked from you. Don’t worry, the whole process is anonymous, and doesn’t cost you a single buck.

This is made possible by the support of UpperDeck, producers of collectible cards and card games. I thank them for making this possible.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go on and write love on her arms!

Signed,
Aki

Status Report

Politics? Done.
English? Done.
Spanish? Grrrrr!

Yeah, my exams are going well. But Spanish tomorrow will probably demoralize me, causing a -5 despair penalty on my next Study Marketing check…sigh…

Signed,
Aki

Japantag 2009

One week left until having to endure an entire week of exams, so what does lil’ Aki do? Nope, he’s not studying…he had some off-the-hook fun at the Japantag 2009 in Düsseldorf, Germany!

The Japantag (english: Japan Day) is an annual festival organized by the city of Düsseldorf to celebrate the unique relationship between Germany and Japan (which is about more than just covering each others back in some World War almost 70 years a go). All along the Rhine, you’ll find stands and shows, and to go out with a bang, the day is concluded by an awesome fireworks show.

My personal reason for going to the Japantag, however, is not just my interest in Japanese society and culture, but also my fascination for the strangests hobbies around: Cosplay and Japanese fashion. Now, don’t be scared: I will probably never dress up as some Anime character myself, but I love to so people investing their spare time in creating brilliant and beautiful outfits. I had the chance to marvel at some truly masterful outfits this year, but sadly, my eyes also had to endure terrible pain and agony caused by chubby little girls who felt like dressing up in mini-skirts and far too tight tanktops. I hope that the memory will fade some day…

Anyway, I had a damn good time this year. I had the chance to see people that I hadn’t seen for ages (still, Laura, we still have to meet up again!), laugh about silly jokes, eat gross food and fall asleep at 4 AM this morning with a feeling of pure satisfaction and delight.

Unfortunately, I haven’t received much photos yet, but I can give you this one:

haru markus japantag 2009

Can’t you see, posing is my specialty!

I’ll update this blog as soon as I have some new pictures, so stay tuned!

Signed,

Aki

The Geek Pit

People who know me know my geek-potential, which is quite high. So, to figure out how geeky I truly am, they ask me questions like: Ninja Turtles or Power Rangers? Pokémon or Digimon? Dungeons & Dragons or Tunnels & Trolls? Well, most of the time, I just ignore queries like those, but one question just keeps coming back:

“Aki, are you more in the Star Wars or the Star Trek camp?”

Frankly, I don’t even know. So, to see which of these two franchises can conquer my heart, I’ll have them duke it out in The Geek Pit: Star Wars vs. Star Trek! In a three-round epic battle, we will see which science-fiction brand is King of the Hill! A word of caution: I do not base this fight on any objective perception and empirical study, just on my bare gut feeling. So in case you’re not sharing my opinion…don’t try to find out where I live.

Round 1: Creativity

When it comes to science-fiction, I like my shows to be in some way original, and not just as some carbon copy of something I have seen a million times. Both Star Trek and Star Wars are the foundation of many of our modern sci-fi clichés, but what was their “catching phrase” when they came out, and which one was better?

When Star Trek aired in 1966, it had some very creative stuff: spaceships flying at post-light speed called “warp”, alien races that were either friendly or extremely deadly, and the technology to “beam” objects and living beings around. Later on, Star Trek discovered that their fanbase was largely made up of PhD’s and semi-scientists, so they could turn it up to eleven and add even more half-true technobabble, giving the franchise the reputation for being quite a “realistic” outlook on how our future could look. However, this made the show also very, very heavy and somehow even truly philosophical, which is not exactly what you want on your Friday evening while enjoying a cold beer.

Eleven years later, the first Star Wars movie aired. Before going into premiere, George Lucas organized a private presentation of the film for the crew and their friends and family. After the movie ended, George’s wife just said: “What an amount of bullshit” (or something like that). Well, miss Lucas, apparently science-fiction fans just LOVE bullshit, since the franchise is the best-selling movie series after James Bond and Harry Potter. What makes Star Wars stand out is the unique combination of science-fiction technology and space-faring heroes with classical fantasy elements like the quest of a Chosen One and an order of noble knights using a mysterious power (the Jedi and the Force). Definitely, Star Wars is a lot more epic than its rival: it has the bigger space-fights, the more dramatic one-on-one-duels and that gritty feel to it. All in all, the whole concepts and ideas behind this brand are more accessible to the broad public than Star Trek is.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I love my share of intellectual talk about the probability that a worm hole could end in subspace, causing a spaceship to be reduced to nothing but quantum particles. But let me tell you where Star Wars has the cutting edge when it comes to creativity and shaping the science-fiction genre, next to epic storytelling and revolutionary shots: lightsabers. Say whatever you want, but lightsabers are the coolest thing that ever came from a director’s mind. So, I have to say…Round 1 goes to Star Wars!

Round 2: Coming of age

Now, we all know that both franchises are old: Star Trek turned 43 this year, and Star Wars is just ten years younger. However, my question is: how did both franchises evolve over time?

The Star Trek franchise spawned six television series and about a dozen full-length feature movies, each exploring different parts of that big Star Trek cosmos. Until today, nerds fight about who is the best captain, and what ship was the most awesome. But in the end, all that matters is that Star Trek was one heck of a productive franchise in these last 43 years, and…the women on the show got more gorgeous! Nichelle Nichols a.k.a. Uhura from the Original Series was not THAT special, but just look at Jeri Ryan a.k.a. Seven of Nine. Damn, if all Borg looked that HOT, I would get myself assimilated ASAP!

Certainly, resistance to this IS futile...

Certainly, resistance to this IS futile...

Now, women are not everything (but, frankly, quite much), but Star Trek did quite some other stuff to keep itself alive, with its latest spawn being the new Star Trek movie. Even though most Trekkies (including me) are disappointed, the movie did manage to give Star Trek a young and more action-packed face. This franchise isn’t dead yet, even though it limits its presence mostly to telly shows and big-screen movies.

Star Wars, on the other hand, made sure to fully use every medium available, and did especially well on the novel and comic book market. Also, the “new” trilogy gave the whole saga an even more epic presentation, giving Lucas the chance to show the world what he really had in mind when he started filming the original trilogy way back in the seventies. Also, media coming out under the label of “Expanded Universe” keeps the cosmos of Star Wars growing and growing, elaborating on existing storylines and adding new ones. The television show “The Clone Wars” used quite an original animation style to depict the events between episode II and III, and novels and comics based around the movies just keep coming.

However, Star Wars didn’t change much in these 33 years. Where the Star Trek franchise actually at least tried to look like it changed (changing crews, ships and locations in the universe), the galaxy of Star Wars just remained the same for the ignorant observant. So, I’m afraid I have to cut Star Trek some slack here. Round 2 goes to Star Trek!

Final Round: Memorable characters

No matter how good your plot is, no matter how expensive your special effects are: if your characters are dull and boring, your story is an instant failure. Luckily, both Star Trek and Star Wars are rich with thrilling personas, races and factions. But which brand has the coolest of ‘em?

When it comes to Star Trek, most people will think of either Captain James Kirk or Captain Jean-Luc Picard, as they are the hallmark of the different captains. In pop culture, these two have become the reason for the geekiest of discussions: which captain is better? However, Star Trek has some other quite interesting characters, like Scotty, Data, Seven of Nine (forgive me, but…RAWR!) and the hologram Doctor. Unfortunately, most of these never really got into the common mass media, and stay quite unremembered outside of the nerd-o-sphere.

Enter Star Wars, a brand that managed to create the most stereotype of sci-fi bad guys, who’s most renowned quote gets abused so often in pop culture it’s not even funny anymore: Darth Vader. Who DOESN’T know him? His suit, helmet and voice are more than remarkable, and what bad guy can say he has a theme like him? Pure awesome! But we’re not done yet! Who’s green and never heard of grammar, but kicks your ass anytime? Oh yes, Jedi Master Yoda! Another character that gets quoted so often and somehow everyone tries to speak like the little gnome, but fails miserably due to being educated in linguistic structures. Even sidekicks like Admiral Ackbar made it into pop culture just because of one damn line!

So, I hate to break it to you, but this final round just has to go to Star Wars. I think we have a winner!

STAR WARS WINS!

But don’t worry, Trekkies, it’s not like I don’t like your stuff. If you just had light sabers and Force powers, instead of technobabble and Vulcans…

Signed,

Aki

Quick update

Yes, I feel guilty for forgetting to upgrade. But here, I brought you a video! A bigger update will come this weekend. Be prepared!

Signed,
Aki