Friday, May 31, 2013

Hockey Playoffs

The hockey playoffs are currently going on.  My favorite hockey team is my home team, the San Jose Sharks.  They can play well during the regular season, but during the playoffs, they always lose.

In fact, they are one of twelve teams who have never won the playoffs.

The sad thing is that the Sharks currently have a "making the playoffs" streak.  With nine consecutive years and nothing to show for it, they are #1 in the category of "currently making the playoffs and not winning".  Washington is #2, with six years, and Vancouver is #3 with five.

Question: Is it better or worse to root for a team who never makes the playoffs, or a team who always makes the playoffs and loses?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ghost of Thornton Hall Videos

Here are some bonus videos, for Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall.  First, here's a video of all the scary scenes, put together.

And here's a video of the audio bloopers from my commentary.

And here is why Nancy would be a bad firefighter:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thornton Hall Hauntings

I have a follow-up to last week's post about the haunting scenes in Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall.  I managed to get all the hauntings recorded, except for two. No matter what I do, these hauntings don't happen.

1. Blurry images of people in the parlor
2. Shadow when leaving the parlor to the hall


EDIT: I went through the video files for the game, which conveniently have all the parlor scares listed as "PAR_Scare02", "PAR_Scare03", "PAR_Scare04" and so on.  I watched all the parlor videos, and it turns out that Haunting #2 listed above...doesn't really exist. Not in the video files I saw.

I managed to record the first haunting, from the video file itself. It'll look weird, because it won't have the inventory and stuff at the bottom of the screen, but it's the best I can do. Fortunately, I was able to find the matching audio file (PAR_AScare_SFX), so at least the audio and video will sync up properly.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Captive Curse - Kidnapped Girls

People have asked me a lot, "What happened to the kidnapped girls in The Captive Curse?". According to the legend, the monster has been kidnapping girls for centuries.

On my most recent playthrough of the game, I took time to read The Captive Curse book, found inside the culprit's backpack (at the very end of the game).  This book points out that the just a legend.  None of the girls who were allegedly kidnapped actually existed (except the Freiherr's daughter).  They were all made up.

I accept this answer, even though there are problems with it. Keep in mind that Nancy's mystery is to solve the current monster sightings.  She wasn't brought in, to solve a cold kidnapping case from hundreds of years ago.  And even if she did figure out what happened to the Freiherr's daughter, it really would not have that large of an effect on her current case.

On the other hand...Nancy had a tendency to solve old mysteries, while solving current ones.  Message in a Haunted Mansion has her finding treasure from an Old West bank robbery, both Danger by Design and Haunting of Castle Malloy deal with spies in World War Two, and in Secret of the Scarlet Hand, she learns what happened to the ancient Mayan scribe whose writings mysteriously went unfinished.  That's the oldest murder mystery she's solved.

I dunno. That's what I have to say on the matter.  Now enjoy the first preview they made for The Captive Curse, which fooled most fans into thinking the monster in the game would be a werewolf:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thornton Hall Hauntings

Someone suggested that I make a video of all the spooky/haunting scenes in Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall.  A complete list of these scenes can be found here.

But I don't have an account with the Her Interactive forums.  Could one of you readers do me a huge favor and just copy/paste the list in a comment here?  Please?

[Edit] And someone did it! Thank you!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Nancy Drew Memorial Weekend Sale

They released a Nancy Drew newsletter recently, talking all about the Nandy Drew Memorial Weekend sale!  You can get any physical game for 25% off.

Also, the newest Nancy Drew game is now available. Along with it is the trailer for the next game, Game #29, Nancy Drew: The Silent Spy. It looks pretty amazing!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Problems with The Captive Curse

When I think about it, the ending to Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse makes no sense.  For those of you who don't remember that game, here's what happens:

[Culprit] kidnaps Lukas and locks him up in the dungeon.  Nancy frees Lukas, and he leaves the dungeon.  The door automatically locks behind Lukas when he leaves, which means Nancy is trapped inside.

[Culprit] then knocks Nancy unconscious with one punch.  [Culprit] throws Nancy into a pit.  Nancy manages to escape the pit, and she returns to the dungeon.  At this point, [Culprit] appears and talks to Nancy.  While [Culprit] gives a villanous monologue, Nancy opens the door to the pit and traps [Culprit] inside.  The end.


There are so many questions I have about this.  Let's tackle them in the order they occur.

1.  Why did [Culprit] lock Lukas in the dungeon?  It's not like Lukas poses a major threat to the monster, or anything.  My best guess is that [Culprit] wanted to lure Nancy down to the dungeons, but that's kind of iffy.

2. Why did the door automatically lock behind Lukas?  Did the culprit somehow lock it, after Nancy went inside?  How?  It's not like that door has a key.  Why couldn't Lukas unlock the door?

3. Where was [Culprit] while Nancy freed Lukas?  Judging from where Nancy gets knocked unconscious, [Culprit] entered the dungeon from the hidden passageways.  But if that's true, it would have been impossible for [Culprit] to manipulate the doorway on the other side of the dungeon.

4. Why does [Culprit] knock Nancy unconscious, then throw her in a pit?  As [Culprit] later explains in the monologue, the plan was to kill Nancy, because she is the girl in the dress.  Why didn't [Culprit] kill Nancy right away?

5. Why is [Culprit] completely unsurprised, when Nancy escapes the pit?  You think [Culprit] would at least show some emotion at seeing Nancy again.

6. Why is [Culprit] still wearing the monster costume and hanging around in the dungeon?  There is nothing there for [Culprit] to do.

7. Many people have wondered about the fact that Nancy defeats the culprit, by trapping [Culprit] in the pit.  After all, Nancy just escaped from that pit, no less than a minute ago.  It's clearly not a safe place to hold someone captive.

8. Speaking of "captive", why is the game called "The Captive Curse"?  What is this curse, and what does it have to do with captivity?  I thought the game was about a monster who kidnaps women.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Nancy Drew Walkthroughs

My official video walkthrough for Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall is currently being uploaded to Youtube.  The next step is to write a text walkthrough, for GameFAQs.


I want to finish work on my Nancy Drew: Legend of the Crystal Skull speedrun.  My speedrun-strategy for the game is about 80% complete.  I need to chart out the final 20%, do a test run to make sure everything is okay, then record the official speedrun.  I think I can beat the game in under an hour, if I'm lucky.

I'm also interested in doing a speedrun for Ghost of Thornton Hall.  The new "quick convo" feature is perfect for speedrunning.

Another thing I wouldn't mind doing is a continuation of the 2013 Scary Nancy Drew Games marathon, with the earlier scary games in the series (Message in a Haunted Mansion, Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake and Curse of Blackmoor Manor).  I think I know a way to livestream the game and get them on Youtube, although there will certainly be a drop in quality.

I'm not sure which Nancy Drew project to tackle first.  Thornton Hall walkthrough?  Thornton Hall speedrun?  Crystal Skull speedrun?  More scary games livesteams?  Which one do you readers want to see?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sherlock Holmes Spec

Recently, I applied for a job as a writer for a visual novel.  I made it to the second round of applications, before getting rejected.

I still want to write a visual novel, though.  Here's a spec I wrote for a Sherlock Holmes visual novel.  I'd love to be able to turn this into a full game for the iPhone or something like that.


SCENE: 221 Baker Street.  Sherlock Holmes is resting.
Holmes: Ah...
Holmes: A quiet night of rest, after a long journey.
Holmes: This is exactly what the doctor ordered.
(A slamming noise is heard.)

Holmes: Hm.  It appears my friend Dr. Watson has a different prescription in mind.
(Watson bursts into the room.)

Watson: Holmes!  Why didn't you tell me you were back from Liverpool?
Holmes: Good to see you, too, Watson.  How have you been the past fortnight?
Watson: Awful!  Simply awful!
Watson: Things have been intolerably dull since you went on holiday!
Holmes: It wasn't a holiday.  I was there to solve a case.
Watson: Yes, and that's the third case in a row that you've solved without my help.
Watson: I'm starting to feel like you have no need of me at all.
Holmes: Don't be silly.  You know I always enjoy your company, Watson.
Holmes: However, I am afraid that there will be no solving of mysteries tonight.
Holmes: I'm still a bit tired from my trip back to London.
Watson: Nonsense!  It's been over a month since we last solved a case together.
Watson: Why don't we look through The London Times?  They usually report on plenty of unsolved crimes.
Holmes: Read the Times if you must.  I intend on resting.
(Watson reads from the newspaper.)

Watson: increase in vandalism downtown...
Watson: A Miss Barret lost a valuable piece of jewelry...
Watson: Ah, here we go!  A young woman has mysteriously gone missing!
Watson: Sounds like a case worthy of your intellect, Holmes.
Holmes: Interesting...
Watson: What's this?  You know something about the kidnapping?
Holmes: No, Watson.  I find it interesting that you aren't more concerned about the second headline.
Watson: The lost piece of jewelry?  Interesting?
Watson: Pardon me for asking, but what's so important about a woman losing one of her trinkets?
Holmes: That particular woman happens to be your sister-in-law.
Watson: WHAAAT???
Watson: (reading the paper) Miss Olivia Barret, of...
Watson: Why, you're correct, Holmes!  That IS Mary's sister!
Holmes: ...Sometimes your powers of deduction amaze me, Watson.
Watson: Well, if Mary's sister is the victim, we HAVE to help her!
Watson: Mary will never let me hear the end of it, if we don't.
Holmes: Go on, then.  Tend to your relative.  I will remain here.
Watson: Oh, no you don't, Holmes.  You're coming with me.
Watson: This is one case we can't afford to fail.
SCENE: Barret Residence. Holmes and Watson are outside.

Holmes: I still don't see why I had to come all this way to find a missing piece of jewelry.
Holmes: She probably dropped it behind the bureau when she wasn't paying attention.
Watson: Hm...
Holmes: What is it, Watson?  Is something amiss?
Watson: No, it's just...
Watson: The last time I was here, I told Olivia about our adventures together in Dartmoor.
Holmes: Yes, the Baskerville Case.  What about it?
Watson: I may have been...less than honest when describing the case.
Holmes: Oh?
Watson: I changed a few details here and there.  Just to make things more exciting, you know.
Watson: It probably won't come up, but if it does...
Watson: Could you please humor her a bit?  If she asks about our previous cases, that is.
Holmes: Of course, Watson.  I understand completely.
Holmes: I'll try my best not to embarrass you in front of your relatives.
Watson: Oh, excellent!
Watson: But I'm sure it won't come up.  They've probably forgotten all about my detective stories by now.
SCENE: Barret Residence. Holmes and Watson are inside.

Watson: Olivia!  Jolly good to see you again!
Olivia: John Watson!  It's been an age since you last came by!
Olivia: And you must be his faithful companion, Mr. Shomes!
Holmes: That's Sherlock Holmes, actually.
Olivia: It's so good you're here, John.  We need your brilliant detective skills right about now!
Olivia: Why, if anyone can help find my necklace, it's you!  You're the smartest man in all of England!
Olivia: I still remember last Christmas, when you told us how you single-handedly saved Queen Victoria's life!
Holmes: ..."Changed a few details here and there", eh, Watson?
Watson: Heh heh...
Watson: Indeed, Olivia.  We have come here to help you.
Olivia: That is such a relief, Doctor!  With you on the case, my necklace is as good as found!
Olivia: If there's any way I can help you, please let me know!
[A list of conversation topics pops up.]

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Michael is the President of the English Club

Here's the song that was written about me, when I was in college:

The picture is of a t-shirt I got for Christmas, while I was the English Club President.  The photo itself is from a family vacation to Disneyland.  Specifically, it's me at Ariel's restaurant in California Adventure.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Desktop Backgrounds

I don't have a background picture for my desktop.  Instead, my computer randomly cycles through all the photos in "My Pictures".  Currently, the "pictures from my last four vacations" folder is the largest, because I still haven't gone through that folder and deleted the pictures I don't want.

My "videogames pictures" folder hasn't been updated since, um, 2010.  I'm currently going through the Nancy Drew website and downloading all of their wallpapers.  Some of the ones I've seen are pretty interesting.

Shadow at the Water's Edge Group Photo - Why is Rentaro so angry?
Shadow at the Water's Edge Concept Art - For some reason, I think Takae looks really tall in this picture.  I guess she had me fooled, concerning her height, because she spends most of the game seated.
Secrets Can Kill Group Photo - I didn't know Daryl has writing on his shirt.  What does it say?  And what's up with Daryl's veiny arms?  The Hulk is looking a little scruffy, but I have to admit that the unshaven look works for him.  Hal, if the whole doctor thing doesn't work out, you have a career in modeling, my friend.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I know I've got about fourteen comments to respond to, in my recent series about Catholicism, but let's take a break from that this week, okay?

They've got a new Superman movie coming out.  I must admit that I know little-to-nothing about the modern Superman comics.  I'm more familiar with the 1940's Superman.

From what I can tell, the modern Superman movies all featured Lex Luthor as the main villain.  Maybe that's why those movies haven't done so well.  Personally speaking, I don't think Lex Luthor is a very interesting villain; I haven't seen any storylines with him that were engaging.  Other people have a problem seeing Lex as a villain, because he was such a sympathetic character on Smallville.

Well, Lex isn't going to be in the new Superman movie.  Instead, the main villain is going to be General Zod.  Zod wasn't in the 1940's Superman, so I know nothing about this character.

It's probably a good movie to have a new villain in this movie.  The Spider-Man and Batman movie series have a new bad guy every movie, right?  Maybe they could continue this trend, and the next movie will be Superman VS Mister Mxyzptlk.  I would absolutely see that movie.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Priestly Celibacy, Part 2

People seem confused by what I said about priestly celibacy two days ago, so let me try rephrasing things.

1. Priestly celibacy was a practice of the Church at the time of Jesus.
2. Mandatory celibacy became a practice of the Church hundreds of years later.
3. It is untrue to say that celibacy was invented by the Catholic Church, just because it was formally instituted long after Jesus' death.

That's the main point I'm getting at.  I'm sick of people saying the Catholic Church is full of sex-hating weirdos who made up the idea of celibacy.

The truth is that celibacy was not something people made up in the Dark Ages.  Celibacy has been around since the beginning of the Church.  In fact, the practice of priestly celibacy existed long before the Catholic Church; it happened in the ancient Greek religious practices.

One of the commentors asked me to give Scripture passages, to back up the practice of celibacy.  The best place to learn about this topic is 1 Corinthians, Chapter 7, where St. Paul contrasts married life and virginity.  The general premise is "married life is good and pleasing to God, but the celibate life is better".

Now, if you prefer something that comes directly from Jesus, take Matthew 19 (specifically verses 10-12).  Here, Jesus discuss people who live celibate lives, for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.  Many translations use "being a eunuch" in place of "celibacy" for this passage.  And while you're on Matthew Chapter 19, read alll the way to the end of the chapter where, again, Jesus talks about those people who give up important things (including wives) for his sake.

The best recommendation Jesus gives for priestly celibacy is the fact that he himself never married.  The Virgin Mary is the second major figure of the early church who lived a life of celibacy.  The other major figures include Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Paul.

People debate whether St. Joseph (the foster-father of Jesus) or St. John the Baptist were celibate. Some say that St. Joseph was a widower who had children from a previous marriage, and others say that St. John the Baptist was married to St. Mary Magdalene.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

God's Power

Today's question is this:
Just a thought, but do you think that maybe Jesus came to the earth as a male because in His time, men dominated over women completely? It's just a thought - I'm not pushing right and wrong. And another thought. If Jesus had come to our earth if we had a matriarchal society (led by women - sorry if my spelling sucks), would it be possible that He might have come as a woman? It might've been just what those people related to. :)
We have seen that priests must be the same gender as Christ, who is the model for all priests, due to the fact that he is the perfect mediator between God and humans.  Therefore, if Christ had been born female, it logically follows that the priesthood would be all female.

The question raised today is about the power of God.  God is omnipotent, which means that he can do all possible things.  People debate over whether or not God can do impossible things, such as create a donkey that is also a human.  "Changing the past" is sometimes listed as an impossible thing, because you can change the past to create a contradiction.

It is possible that Jesus' birth could have occurred differently.  Jesus could have been born in a different place, in a different time, or to a different mother.  Indeed, some people believe it would have been better if Jesus had been born under different circumstances.  There are many reasons why Jesus was born in the specific way he was.  One of these reasons is that God wished to act "in accordance with the Scriptures", which foretold that the Son of Man would be born from David's line, in the city of Bethlehem.

Things become tricky, when you try to explain why God/Jesus did one thing, instead of another.  It is best to say that God acts fittingly in all things, although alternative actions exist.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Priestly Celibacy

I don't think I mentioned this earlier, but I'm keeping track of the comments on my blog, so I can respond to the points people are making.  I think I have about ten comments to respond to, at this point.  Today, I'll tackle this one:
"Ok, for the record, this is like trying to argue that Jesus made the decree that priests couldn't be married. He didn't. In fact, that decree wasn't made until HUNDREDS of years after Jesus died, like most arguments that the Catholic church holds sacred."
There are many ways to respond to this.  For one thing, the Bible does include Jesus speaking favorably about priestly celibacy.  For another thing, there is no reason why the Catholic Church can't talk about things that Jesus did not mention specifically.  That does not negate the Church's authority or make it irrelevant.

But let's respond to this objection from a historical standpoint.  Our commentor mistakenly believes that priestly celibacy was invented, hundreds of years after Jesus died.  That is false; priestly celibacy existed as a practice long before it became a mandatory practice.

In the beginning of the church, there were both married priests (like St. Peter) and non-married priests (like St. John). Different places had different rules about celibacy. Some places had mandatory celibacy for priests, some places had mandatory celibacy for bishops with optional celibacy for priests, and some places had optional celibacy for both priests and bishops.

Hundreds of years later, it was decided that every place should have the same rules, in regards to celibacy.  The model they picked was mandatory celibacy for all priests, and this mandate is still in force today. The other models of celibacy all existed with Church approval in the past, which means it is possible (though unlikely) that the Church can return to them.

In fact, England is currently asking if they can adopt a different model of celibacy, due to the influence of the Church of England on their country. I read their petition, and they made some good points, but I believe their points were poorly presented, which might hurt their chances of getting the petition accepted.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Legend of the Crystal Skull Speedrun

I'm working on a speedrun for Nancy Drew: Legend of the Crystal Skull.  Here are some things that I've found out.

1.  If the first eyeball you get is the one in the trophy, Henry talks about it. If you get a different eyeball first, Henry doesn't say anything.

2. When Nancy first calls Bess, she mentions Renee and the tracing left behind by the Skeleton Man.  But if you call Bess early on, before Nancy meets Renee or finds the tracing, Nancy doesn't mention those things.

3.  Oddly enough, you don't need to make tracings, in order to solve the tracing puzzle. All you have to do is visit the mausoleum with charcoal and paper in your inventory.  You can immediately turn around at that point and enter the tracing puzzle solution, without getting any of the tracings.

4.  You don't need to look at the hoodoo symbols on Renee's wall, in order to solve the hoodoo puzzle. All you have to do is look in her book.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Souls and Sacraments

Earlier, I talked about the priesthood.  The Catholic Church teaches that a man's soul is changed, when he becomes a priest.  Specifically, an unremoveable mark is placed upon his soul.  This is what allows a priest to distribute the sacraments, which is the primary function of a priest. 

A key point that I emphasize is the fact that a priest produces the sacraments in the person of Christ.  This is not symbolic or figurative.  The priest literally becomes Jesus Christ, at the moment a sacrament is produced.  When he says, "I baptize you" or "this is my body" or "I forgive you", that is not the priest speaking.  It is Jesus speaking (hence the switch to first person).  Only Jesus' power can produce a sacrament.  A priest cannot produce sacraments, out of his own power.

What is a consequence of the fact that priests work in the person of Christ? One is that priests have to be male, because Christ was male.  Both male and female can represent Jesus; only male can literally be Jesus.  That is the official teaching of the Catholic Church, in regards to producing sacraments.

Earlier, I stated that men's souls are different from women's souls.  The Church has not said anything on the subject, but we can use logic here.  Becoming a priest leaves a mark on the soul.  Only men can become priests.  Therefore, only men's souls can receive the unremoveable mark of priesthood.  That is one difference between men's souls and women's souls.

To be honest, that's probably the only difference between men's souls and women's souls.  But this is just me talking here, not the Church.  We know there are differences between men's bodies and women's bodies, and we know that the body can affect the soul (and vice-versa). Therefore, it is possible that a female body causes the soul to develop differently than a male body does.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

Good news!  Phoenix Wright 5 has been renamed Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies.  The English version will be released this fall.

A few thoughts:

1. I suppose it's a good idea not to use the title Phoenix Wright 5.  It's the fifth game in the series, but the fourth game starred someone else.

2. The game will be download-only.  Some people are bothered by this, but I don't mind. Then again, I have no idea how downloading games works on the 3DS.

3. I'm not sure if the title refers to Phoenix and his law partner, Apollo Justice, or his new partner, Athena Cykes.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Equestria Girls Trailer

Two months ago, The New York Times reported on an upcoming TV show called Equestria Girls.  You might have tried to block this event from your memory.  It featured hideous artwork of the My Little Pony ponies, turned into strange-colored humans.

Those New Yorkers couldn't leave well enough alone, so they recently made a second news report, this one featuring a trailer for the Equestria Girls movie. The movie will serve as a lead-in to the TV show, sort of like Jimmy Neutron did in 2001.

So...Princess Twilight Sparkle is turned into a human and goes to high school, where she faces off against the mean popular girl.  They compete to become Prom Queen, and Twilight falls in love with a hunky guy named Edward Cullen.  At least, that's what I gathered from that trailer.  You can correct me, if I'm wrong.


Yesterday, I discussed a major point I've been building up to: the fact that men and women can do different things, while still being equal.  The existence of an all-male group doesn't take anything away from women, in the same way the existence of an all-female group doesn't take anything away from men.

That's true in general, but what about the specific case of the priesthood?  Does an all-male priesthood take away from women?  No.

Some people argue that the all-male priesthood does take away from women, as it deprives them of spiritual graces, positions of power within church hierarchy, and the ability to run a church.  This is clearly false, as there are women who have all these things.  Also false is the idea that lies underneath this argument, which is "priests are better than non-priests".

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have people who argue that "priests are exactly the same as non-priests".  This is also false.  The people who favor this argument see no reason why women can't become priests, as they feel there is nothing special about it.  If the priesthood is just a job, women should be allowed to be priests.  After all, many women can do a better job than men at community organizing, public speaking and other things that priests do.

I think I'll stop for comments at this point.  A problem we're seeing is that people have an incorrect notion of what the priesthood is.  What do you readers think?  What does it mean to be a priest?  How are priests different from non-priests?  And if you disagree with the statement that the all-male priesthood takes nothing away from women, what does it take away from women?

Saturday, May 11, 2013


I think we've talked enough about soulmates.  Let's move on to complementarianism, the superior alternative to soulmate theory.

In soulmate theory, the idea is that two soulmates complete each other. In complementarianism, the two romantic partners complement each other.  They go well together and work together to build a strong relationship.

Typically, in a relationship, you see people do different things, based on their strengths.  For example, in my relationship with Shana, she tends to be the one who does the cooking, because she went to culinary school, and I once burnt macaroni and cheese.  The fact that Shana is good at cooking doesn't take anything away from me, or make me lesser.  We're different, and it's logical for her to do what she's good at, while I do what I'm good at.

This is the mindset that the Catholic Church has.  Men and women are different, and one such difference is that only men can become priests, while only women can become nuns.  This doesn't take away from one gender or make one gender better than the other.  The two genders have different roles, but ultimately they complement each other and work together for the good of the whole.

You can see this mindset in other places, which is why I brought up the topic of secondary differences between men and women.   Currently, in the United States, people believe that women are naturally more caring and nurturing than men.  Because of this, the US Court system favors women in custody disputes; the idea is that children should be raised by their mother, not their father, because women are more caring.

Your thoughts?  Do you like complementarianism?  Does it make sense?  Should I stop being so philosophical and go back to talking about things like videogames and movies?

Friday, May 10, 2013

More on Soulmates

Judging from the response I got, a lot of you readers think soulmates exist.  I was not expecting that, to be honest.  I believe there can be two people who, based on their personalities and life experiences, would make a good romantic couple.  But I do not believe there can be two people who are fated or destined to be a romantic couple, based on the condition of their souls.

I have three main problems with soulmate theory.  I believe that it represents a flawed notion of souls, romance and fate.  That, and it's kind of silly to think that the cosmic forces behind soulmates--who allegedly control the entire universe--have nothing better to do than play matchmaker.

1. Soulmate theory demonstrates an incorrect understanding of what souls are, and how they work.  According to soulmate theory, your soul is incomplete until you meet your soulmate, at which point the two souls are joined and completed.

This is wrong.  People are born with complete souls.  A person's soul can be in very, very bad shape, but it is never missing parts, or lacking pieces.  Furthermore, it is incorrect to say that two people can have their souls join together, when they first meet.  Soul-binding events are not that casual.  In fact, in the Catholic Church, the only thing which can permanently and irreversibly join two souls together is the sacrament of marriage.

2. The idea of soulmates represents a flawed notion of romance.  You might have heard the phrase "opposites attract".  Soulmate theory follows this rule; in order for two people to be soulmates, they must be as different from each other as possible.  That way, each soulmate has what the other soulmate is lacking.

I believe this is false.  Two people who are polar opposites do not make a good romantic couple.  In fact, shared interests are a necessary part of a good relationship.

Some readers also mentioned same-sex couples.  If you follow the idea that soulmates must be as different from each other as possible, it is impossible for same-sex couples to be soulmates.  Many people dislike this particular aspect of soulmate theory.

3. I believe soulmate theory has an incorrect understanding of fate, but I don't think I can discuss this in detail without going way off-topic. Let's just say that, if two people are in a relationship because of fate, that undermines the entire relationship.  Relationships built on love are far superior to relationships built on fate.


Those are some of the reasons why I do not believe in soulmate theory.  I believe in a lesser version of soulmate theory: the idea that two people can make a good romantic couple, based on their personalities and other factors.  That's certainly true.  But to say that these two people are fated to be together, because their souls are opposites?  No.  That is untrue.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall (Blind Playthrough)

I was up late last night, talking to my girlfriend, so I didn't have time to write a blog entry in my current series on men and women and soulmates and so on. Instead of that, I'm going to share the first three videos of my blind playthrough of Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall.

Because I'm kind of sick, I won't make any new videos for the playthrough today. And I probably won't make videos on the day after. I'll just upload the videos from the 2013 Scary Nancy Drew games marathon. I have to upload those videos sometime, right? It feels weird to upload them after I'm done with Ghost of Thornton Hall.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Soulmate Theory

I think the next step in this week's discussion of men and women is to discuss complementarianism. That is a large word, so I'm going to lead up to it, by discussing "the soulmate theory".

You're probably heard of soulmates before.  The concept pops up all the time in romantic movies.  The idea is that two people are "soulmates", which means they form the perfect romantic couple.  These two people were specifically made for each other, and they go together so well that almost become one person.  They "share a soul", so to speak, hence the term "soul-mate".

The idea is that your soul is incomplete, until you find your soulmate.  He or she is the missing half of your soul; your soulmate fills up what is lacking in your own soul.  For example, take Call Me Maybe.  In this song, Carly Rae Jepsen talks about how she is incomplete, until her soulmate comes along and makes her whole; she says, "Before you came into my life, I missed you so bad, and you should know that".

The idea of soulmates is popular, but it is accused of being anti-feminist for these reasons.

1. It starts from the position that women and men are incomplete without each other.  This upsets people who believe women are complete by themselves.

2. Since the two genders provide and lack certain things, this would mean that men and women are not equal.  Men have things women don't have, and women have things men don't have.


I think that's enough for today.  What do you think of the concept of soulmates?  Is it good or bad?  Are there problems with it?  Is it anti-feminist?  Can we come up with a variation of the soulmate theory which avoids some of its problems?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Secondary Differences

The response I got yesterday seems to be rather positive, so I'll continue talking about the secondary differences between men and women.

I've got a list of four things, which people sometimes say are differences between men and women.
  • Women are more caring and considerate than men.
  • Women listen more than men.
  • Men are more protective than women.
  • Men are more aggressive than women.
Question: Are these statements true or not?

I know at least one reader who believes these statements are false.  She argued that men and women behave, depending on what they are taught by society.  That is true, but society is not the only thing which helps shape people's behavior.  Biology can also play a role in determining how people act.  In fact, many people take pills to directly change their hormones (and indirectly change their behavior).

So I want to hear your thoughts.  Are some behaviors more feminine than others?  Are there some behaviors which are naturally male?  Or are men and women mostly the same, even though they act differently for various reason?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Differences Between Men and Women

Yesterday, I asked if women are different from men.  The consensus seems to be "yes", but there seems to be no consensus on how much the two genders differ.  So let's explore the issue some more, by looking at the ways men and women are different.

There are primary differences between men and women.  These differences are gender-specific.  For example, only men can grow beards, and only women can give birth.  People can pretty easily agree on these differences, even though rare exceptions exist.

There are also secondary differences between men and women.  These differences are sometimes gender-specific, but not always.  An example would be "men are better at sports than women".  You could argue that this is true in general, because men's bodies develop muscles differently than women's bodies.  This is the reason why sporting events, such as the Olympics, distinguish between men's sports and women's sports.  However, it is false to say that athletic ability is gender-specific. There are many non-athletic men, as well as many athletic women.

People often disagree on the primary and secondary differences between men and women. A good example is the ability to vote.  A hundred years ago, people thought that voting should be gender-specific.  That was incorrect.  Men and women are the same, when it comes to the ability to vote.

What do we make of the differences between men and women?  The truth is that men and women should be treated equally, despite their differences.  They should only be treated differently, in situations that are gender-specific.  This is both a logical and a moral imperative.

I'm going to pause here for comments.  Am I saying things which make sense?  Or am I totally off-base?  I'll talk more about this topic tomorrow, and eventually I'll get to the point that the Catholic Church believes the priesthood is gender-specific.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Are Women Different Than Men?

There was quite a response to my recent blog post on women's ordination.  It tends to be a controversial topic, even though I'm pretty sure that the Catholic Church is the only major Christian denomination in the United States which doesn't have female priests.

Since people are interested, I think I'll write a series of blog posts on it this week.  Let's start with something simple.

Question: Are women different than men?

I'm interested in hearing what you readers think.  Here are three answers I've heard:

1.  Yes.  Men and women are totally different. It is like men are from Mars, and women are from Venus.  They have a hard time getting along and understanding each other.

2.  No.  Women and men are exactly the same.

3.  Men and women are different, but they are mostly the same.  Biology tells us this is true; men and women have 45 chromosomes in common, with 1 chromosome being different.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Sword in the Stone

I really like the Disney movie The Sword in the Stone.  A few years ago, I decided to read the book version.  The book was okay, but most of the jokes and humor were ridiculously obscure.  I wish I had a copy of the book with footnotes, which explained all the references I didn't understand.

I'm told that Walt Disney got the rights to make a movie out of The Sword in the Stone in the late 1930's, when that book was at the top of the bestselling charts.  The author went on to write more books in the series, while the Disney movie got put on hold for a long time (about 20 years after the original script for the film was finished).

My favorite part of the movie is the big battle between Merlin and Madam Mim.  It turns out that the Madam Mim plotline is not in the original book.  It only appears in the censored version of the book.  It's in the movie, because Mr. Disney never had access to the uncensored version of the book during the 30's and 40's.

I find it interesting that modern editions of the book leave out the plotline which a third of the movie is based on.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Priest's Soul

In the news this week, a woman in Kentucky has claimed to become a Catholic priest.  This is, of course, an utterly ridiculous claim.  Dressing up like a priest and putting on a show does not make you a priest.

The truth of the matter is that the Catholic Church cannot make a woman a priest, even though some of its members would like to.  Whenever the sacrament of holy orders is performed on a woman, it does not take effect.  That is to say, her soul remains completely the same and does not change one bit.  When the sacrament of holy orders is performed on a man, it takes effect, and his soul changes to conform with that of Jesus Christ the priest.  The priest's new soul is what allows him to delegate the sacraments in the person of Christ.

Jesus Christ, who knew that only a male soul (like his) could be united to his in priesthood, decreed that only men could become priests.  In the same way, Jesus Christ knew that only a female soul could be united to his in a spiritual marriage, and he decreed that only women could become brides of Christ.

That is the reason why women cannot become priests.  It is contrary to the nature of the female soul.  Needless to say, people who don't believe in the soul or the ontological change of the priesthood find this explanation uncompelling.  They tend to argue that the ban against female priests is a human invention, with no basis in the reality of the soul.  They say that Jesus did not allow for female priests, because he was conforming to the culture of the time.  Two problems with that argument:

1. There were female priests in the culture of the time.
2. Jesus never cared about conforming to the culture of the time.  In fact, he preached quite eloquently against being led by the world.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Deadly Plot Device: Chapter One

Yesterday, I mentioned a Nancy Drew story that I'm writing. It's another parody story, like Weirdness at Waverly Academy and Secrets Can Chill.  This one is based on Nancy Drew: The Deadly Device.


Dear Dad,

Is it kind of weird that I'm always writing letters to you, even though we live in the same house? I think that's kind of weird.

Anyway, the wealthy owner of a research facility in Colorado has asked me to investigate a cold murder case. It seems that Niko Jovic, a brilliant researcher, was killed while on the verge of announcing a groundbreaking scientific theory.

The murder weapon? A Tesla coil that Niko was working with. I don't know who this Tesla guy is, but he's at the top of my suspect list now.

I'm calling this case "The Deadly Plot Device". See you soon.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013


One of the things that the Nancy Drew Clue Crew recently decided is that Mel Corbalis (from Warnings at Waverly Academy) should date Henry Bolet (from Legend of the Crystal Skull).  They would make the ultimate Nancy Drew Goth couple.

I kind of want to write a story about Mel and Henry, or "Menry", as some now call that pairing.  But I can't devote a lot of time to writing a new Nancy Drew story; I should finish my current story first.  So instead of a whole story, let me just write four paragraphs.


Mel stepped out of the taxi and onto the campus grounds.  The University of Virginia hadn't been her first choice for a college, but it was the only one she could afford to go to.

"If only I got the scholarship," Mel muttered, referring to a college scholarship that was offered at Waverly Academy.  "I could be at Stanford right now.  Instead, I'm stuck in boring old Virginia."

As Mel pulled her luggage out of the taxi, she caught sight of a young man with dark black clothing.  Unlike every other guy Mel had met, he was wearing more makeup than she was.  When he ran his hand through his unruly black hair, Mel caught sight of a detailed skull tattoo on his well-defined arm.

"Huh," Mel said, looking over the hunky stranger.  Maybe Virginia wouldn't be so boring after all.