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I usually talk about video games, TV shows and music. I also give advice and reviews. Have fun!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

29th of February! (and a moment of silence)

Today's the 29th (happens only once every four year.. you've probably heard this over a dozen times by now) so I thought I'd make a special post to commemorate this day.

Students praying for victims of the shooting

Having come home from a long day at school I wanted to find something to entertain you guys. During this quest, I saw one of the headlines at TIME and decided to take a look. It was about a school shooting in Ohio a few days ago. Long story short, a teen (who did not attend the high school where the shooting took place) decided to walk into the school cafeteria and shoot into a group of ten students, wounding quite a few of them and killing three. The suspect (T.J. Lane) appeared in court earlier and people are still perplexed as to why he did it. He didn't know these students, he didn't have any mental problems (or so it seemed), he was just your average everyday kid.

Whatever prompted him to do such an unspeakable thing, my heart goes out to all those students, faculty and families that have been affected by this. I myself have never been in such a situation so no, I don't know what it would have felt like to be one of the students involved, but I can guess that I would be incredibly terrified and traumatized. It's sad that the younger people of the new generation resort to random crimes like this. What's even sadder is that this is not the first, nor last time that something like this will happen.

We see stories like these everyday, they are on the news for a few days and then it's gone. We forget about all these young adults who had such a bright future and it was extinguished in seconds because of one person's (beyond) horrible act, or how just a week ago the only worries they probably had was about exams or their social life. All these victims just join the long list of other people who lost their lives because of unfair actions. Their names and faces stop mattering to the general public save for their loved ones and we learn to move on. Sometimes I think we forget that each and every person that was killed or murdered is not and never will be part of some "statistic". No, they were each very unique people that soon have everything special about them washed away as time passes. I hope some of you guys keep this in mind.

So yeah, sorry for this sad post. I just felt like I had to make it. And RIP to all the victims of this unfortunate event.

Hope everyone's February has gone by well! I can't believe it's already March!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon: A short review

A few days ago I went on a lovely trip to the north of Spain (more on that later). I thought I'd take a book for the 5-hour ride there. I decided to take a copy of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King, a book I've been wanting to read for quite a while. It is a relatively short book compared to his other works, and I can gladly say I read it from beginning to end successfully.

To sum it up, this novel is about 9-year old Trish who gets lost in the woods after she takes a little break from her arguing mom and brother. Her worry deepens as she is not found by the rangers after the 2nd day.. then the 3rd... In fact, she is left to survive by herself in the strange woods for more than a week with nothing but her Walkman and a mental conjuration of her biggest idol, Tom Gordon, to keep her company.

As a 9 year old with an avid imagination, Trish's fear of the dark and the unknown increases as she is left alone in the woods for days, forced to sleep out in the open. She keeps quite a strong head for the first few days, prioritizing her safety before her childish needs. That is not to say that a little bit of her childishness does not slip out at times, with her being impatient to be found and making rash decisions (that result in dire consequences). It is only after a week or so has passed that she begins to teeter on the border between sane and delirious. To make it worse, a mysterious monster is living behind corpses of beheaded animals throughout the woods. Fear begins to take hold of her as her young mind conjures up wild images of this "monster". She is left to use the small quips of advice that her divorced parents had given her (and her common sense) to survive. You will soon find that you are rooting for her to come out alive, although her chances of survival become thinner and thinner as time passes.

A kid lost in the woods, you would think is not the most original plot. But what makes this story so good is the way the author places himself in the eyes of a frightened young girl, reviving the irrational thoughts and emotions we have as children, when we are so uncorrupted and naïve. The allusions to the "monster" that continues to stalk Trish adds an even bigger fervor of horror to the story. Even at the ending, Stephen King does not clarify what this monster (who really did leave behind corpses and watched Trish at night) was. Was it really just an extended metaphor that reached out to the depths of Trish's innocent mind, corrupted by the shadowed evils of the woods? These questions leave us to ponder the central theme of innocence and growing up even after we have finished the book.

In a way, this sort of correlates with his other novel Misery, where the protagonist is forced to endure hard and terror-filled circumstances in order to survive. What is quite different is that Trish is alone (except for her hallucinations), while Paul Sheldon (from Misery) must fake is affection for his deluded caretaker Annie Wilkes.  There is no outright violence or gore, yet the author was able to set the mood for a very tense and horror-filled story.

All in all, this was an amazing read. It will give you a great taste of Stephen King's writing. I hope you guys enjoyed this review!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Some Feel-Good Music!

February always gets me down for some reason. Even though it's supposed to be all Valentine's Day-ish and all. So I've put together a few songs that really cheer me up. Hope this will be a good segue into lovely March (which is supposed to transition in to spring.. finally)!

Rehearsals have been quite heavy lately, I hope I'll get some more time to write posts for you guys! School is getting harder and harder... you miss one day and there is so much to catch up on!

Hope everyone enjoyed the music!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Online "Grounding": A response to Facebook Parenting

A few days ago, a video was posted on YouTube that went viral within a day or so.
To sum it up, a father of a 15 year old girl named Hannah found out that she had ranted about her parents on her Facebook page and blocked them, thinking he wouldn't find out. Too bad her dad's worked in IT for years. Needless to say, he found out about her posting to all her friends about how she was treated like a "slave" because she had chores and demanded that she get paid for them... well, that and a lot of other things. You can watch the full video here:

Now, I understand that she is only 15 (I remember when I was 15 years old like it was yesterday) and may be going through a lot at that age. But in my honest opinion, that really is no way to talk about your parents. What angers me the most, however, is the fact that she didn't even directly say these things to her parents. No, she chose to completely humiliate her entire family by letting hundreds of her "friends" know about her personal situation. And for what just cause? I can't think of what was going through her head at the time.

About the punishment. As in, the whole "publicizing your daughter's life and angry ramblings to millions of people all over the world, while conveniently making your Facebook profile easy to find". At first, although I was shocked at the girl's be havior, I was rather iffy onwhether what her dad did was really fair. Take it from me, I'm no parenting expert but once a video like this goes viral, there really is no turning back. I wonder how this might affect her life?

At the moment, I am assuming she is probably furious at her parents. But I do truly believe that it will benefit her overall in the long run. Help her become a better person. And kids really do need to know how to treat their parents (and others) with respect and gratitude. Trust me, I myself hated doing chores but I realized my parents' selfless contribution to me was so much more that it really was the least I could do.

And to end on a happy note, I hope everyone enjoyed Valentine's Day yesterday! I think my stomach is still feeling a bit hurty from all the chocolates but... hopefully it gets better.

What do you guys think on this topic of "Facebook Parenting"?

Friday, February 10, 2012

New Amnesia Game?

I came across an article that hinted at a sequel to Amnesia: Dark Descent. If you go to their website, you can see a "teaser" image that links to a Google map of China, which is most likely a hint to their next location. I gotta say, I was pretty excited and I hope any fans out there are as well! There's not much more information released at the moment, unfortunately, but hopefully it'll get updated soon.

In my opinion, Amnesia is one of the coolest indie-horror games I've played. I'm looking forward to the sequel so much!

Anyways, Valentines Day is coming soon and obviously my school is blowing it out of proportion. I hope everyone, single or in a relationship, has a great V-Day (or Single Awareness Day). 

I apologize for the short post, but I am just really tired from rehearsals and a long week. And I feel a cold coming. So here is a visual representation of my favorite part of Valentines' Day.

Happy February to everyone!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Foster The People

I thought that instead of my normal boring updates, I'd do a specific post on one of the bands I really like, Foster The People. Now I'm going to be honest and say I first came to know them from their hit "Pumped Up Kicks". No, I did not know them before they were famous.

When it comes to bands, I usually focus on the style-aspect rather than the band history, as in the whole "the drummer went out with the lead singer and one cheated on the other, blah blah". I didn't even know the main singer's name from Panic! At the Disco (my #1 band) until only a few months ago. I love how FTP have a very upbeat and energetic style and it is very easy to listen to. Lyrics are also pretty nice when you actually listen to them! Overall, they always come out with songs that always make me happy for some reason.

Anyway, here is one of the songs I really like. Pumped Up Kicks won't be here, because everyone probably has heard that one.

Hope you guys enjoy the song as much as I do!

Friday, February 3, 2012

How to: Win an argument online

You are about to read possibly the stupidest how to guide ever. But with the dawn of the Internet era... etc... it's necessary to have one of these. It's not really something they teach you at school. If you follow this guide, it is 100% guaranteed to let you win an online argument, leaving you with an empty satisfaction in knowing that you have, in fact, accomplished nothing of value. But that's besides the point! :)

Me, back before the Internet wasn't really a "thing".

How to win an online argument. By Hannah.
Things you will need:
  • A lot of free time
  • A very good knowledge of grammar and vocabulary
  • Your computer
  • The ability to make up facts and still make it sound legitimate
  • The ability to use big words that make absolutely no sense in your context
  • Optional: a few your momma jokes to keep you going

1. Remember that debate isn't about being right, it's about winning the argument. It's not about addressing the points, finding a compromise/general agreement or "resolving" things. No, it's you winning. And them losing.

2. Stand strong in your statement. Don't ever change direction. Don't be swayed by any impressive facts that s/he pulls out. Say they are all fake, even if there are dozens of well-publicized studies on it. In fact, don't even open any links or articles they send you. As I said, it's not about who's right.

3. Don't try and make them pity you. Making up a sob story about growing up as an impoverished child in India will not make them go easy on you. Nope, that will actually fuel them to attack you in the most vulnerable spots, them being the "pity me" stories you are spinning.

4. Make inconsistent analogies/relation your argument with controversial topics. You will find a way to tie your opinion with these somehow.
"So you're calling me a blind whale because MW3 is better than BF3?" (makes them look pretty stupid and childish. Hehehe)
"Yeah, and some people are against the idea of terrorism. You think they should go to jail too?" (They will back off once they realize they have stepped into controversial territory)

5. If you think you're losing after they provide a long, detailed response that is bound to get everyone to agree with them, don't back down. But change your tactic a little. Try and convince everyone that your opponent is making a big deal out of a little issue. Portray him as a 12 year old who spends way too much time on the Internet. 

6. Find the littlest things that accidentally slip out and connect them to his personal life. Over-exaggerate or make up scenarios that puts him in a humiliating position.

7. No matter how wrong you are, no matter how right he is, you have to stand tall. Be confident, tower over him and call his rebuttal "absolutely the most primitive and moronic answer I have ever recieved." Act like you feel sorry for him. Whatever it is you do, try and dominate them.

8. Remember, no compromises. "Let's agree to disagree" is not the end. Nope. Always have the final word. Everyone knows that once one of the arguers don't respond, they have lost.

9. If all fails, just correct every spelling/grammar mistake they make. Make fun of his username. Throw in some "Your mom" jokes.

10. Do not give away your age/race/gender at any point. Or else they will start pulling out useless statistics about each demographic, which frankly you don't need.

So there you go. Enjoy all the virtual applause and glory you will get after you win your first Internet argument!