Thursday, February 28, 2013

Questions about the Conclave

Q: Pope Benedict XVI resigns today. Who gets the pick the next Pope, and how?
A: All the cardinals who are of voting age will gather together in a closed meeting and vote.  This meeting is called a conclave.  It does not end, until a new Pope has been chosen by a two-thirds majority vote.

Q: What if the cardinals vote, and there is no clear winner?
A: Then they must vote again. When Blessed John Paul II became Pope, it was on the eighth vote of a conclave.

Q: What if a cardinal does not want to vote for the next Pope?
A: All cardinals of voting age are required to attend the conclave, if they are not prevented by extenuating circumstances, such as fatal illness.  The cardinals can vote on what counts as a legitimate extenuating circumstance.

Q: Do the cardinals have to choose a cardinal as the next Pope?
A: No. The cardinals can select any baptized male as the next Pope.

Q: Does that mean they can elect someone who is not a priest?
A: Yes. Should this happen, he would be made a priest (and bishop) before becoming Pope, as the Pope is the Bishop of Rome.

Q: Is it likely that the cardinals will elect a non-priest as Pope?
A: No. This has not happened since 1513.

Q: Who will the cardinals pick as the pope in the upcoming conclave?
A: It is best to wait and see who they pick.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 15)

Here is Chapter 15 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy explores the teacher's lounge and gets a phone call from Mitch Dillon.

---

Nancy looked around the now-empty study hall. With Connie out of the way, she could now enter the Teacher's Lounge. Using the key she had taken from Aunt Eloise's, she opened the door and went inside.

Grabbing some of the pastries off the table, Nancy looked around. There was a bookcase, a map, many file cabinets, and...wait.

Nancy's detective senses were tingling. They directed her towards one drawer, out of the sixteen drawers. They then led her to one file, out of the dozens of files in the drawer. The file, which belonged to Hal Tanaka, contained a copy of his Senior Essay for English class.

Nancy instantly recognized it as being taken, word for word, from the book in Jake's locker.

"Hal's a plagiarist, and Jake knew it!" Nancy said. "MOTIVE!"

Nancy wasn't too concerned about this, to be honest. In all of her mysteries, every character seemed to have a motive. It wouldn't be much of a mystery if only the culprit had a motive, right?

Nancy made her way to the computer, and logged on with Aunt Eloise's ID and password. There wasn't much to look at, besides a list of passwords and Aunt Eloise's email. The printer said it had something in the queue, so Nancy decided to print it out.

It was the security file, for the night of Jake's murder. According to the file, all of the suspects were probably at school that night. It didn't narrow things down at all.

Nancy sighed and left the teacher's lounge. Immediately, her cell phone rang. According to Caller ID, it was Mitch Dillon of Dillon HVAC calling.

My copy of Secrets Can Kill says that he's the culprit! Nancy thought excitedly. She answered the call.

"You'd better stop your nosey nosing, or it'll get bent way out of shape!" a nasally voice said.

"Hey, Mitch," Nancy said. "Sounds like you're having a rough day."

"Wha?" the man said. "How did you know my name?"

"Caller ID," Nancy said. "So you're the school's air conditioning guy, right? Why'd you kill Jake?"

"I...I don't know what you're talking about!" Mitch said. "I didn't kill anyone!"

"Did he insult the air conditioning?" Nancy asked. "Did he think it was too warm or something? Is that it?"

"I didn't kill anyone!" Mitch repeated.

"Yeah, but you threatened me," Nancy said. "How do you think the police are going to react when they find that out? I bet they'll be upset."

"And now you're threatening me," Mitch said. "Leave me alone, unless you want to end up like Jake."

"I'm not worried," Nancy said honestly. "I made friends with the judo master hall monitor. She'll protect me!"

"We'll see about that," Mitch said. Then he hung up.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

DragonBall Z Kai (Again)

Last week, I wrote about DragonBall Z Kai, and someone posted an awesome comment, so I decided to continue the discussion.

First off, there is good news.  DragonBall Z Kai is being continued!  They recently announced that the series is going to continue, through the Buu Saga.  The announcement came from Japan, but they say that the new episodes will only appear in non-Japanese countries.

And here's the bad news.  I'm not sure I support this.

That would bring them to my favorite part of DragonBall Z, which is Season 7.  I love that season.  It's almost a complete break from the rest of the series, which is all about drama and fighting.  Season 7 is about all about comedy and romance.

But if they try to remove all the filler from Season 7...

...I think they'll have about four episodes of real material.  They don't get around to mentioning Majin Buu--the main villain of the series--until the very last episode.  You could literally skip the rest of the season, and your understanding of the main plotline would not be hampered.

I'm hesitant to see what DBZK will do to my favorite season. If the series is faithful to its "eliminate all filler" motto, the season will be decimated.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Live Novels: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Here's a fun little video of me playing Live Novels: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  I wanted to check out this game, because I like Pride and Prejudice, so I downloaded the demo.



As it turns out, the game is somewhat interesting, but too glitchy to work properly.  In fact, a game-ending glitch occurred during the tutorial, making it impossible for me to progress.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 14)

Here is Chapter 14 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy talks with Connie.

---

"Okay, no big deal," Nancy said. "I'll get Connie to come fix this soda machine. I've done that before."

Nancy made her way to the study hall, where Connie carried out her important Hall Monitor duties. Nancy wasn't sure what those duties were. They clearly didn't have anything to do with halls, seeing as Connie wasn't in the halls. They also didn't seem to have much to do with monitoring.

"Hey, Connie!" Nancy said.

"What's up?" Connie asked.

"Your medallion has a symbol which means 'Crane'," Nancy said, suddenly sounding intellectual. "And Crane is the name of the judo school from the poster on the gym."

"Funny, I never noticed," Connie said.

There was a pause.

"...That's it?" Nancy asked. "That's a major plot point, and you're just going to brush it aside like that?"

"What do you want me to say?" Connie asked. "I don't know anything about martial arts!"

"Yeah, but maybe you know something about marital arts!"

"Marital?"

"Yeah, maybe you're getting married!" Nancy said. "I heard you cancelled your Sadie Hawkins date with Daryl Gray, so you could take Jake instead! What's up with that? I thought you said you hated Jake!"

"Hey, a girl can make mistakes, can't she?" Connie asked.

"You broke up with a guy you like, so you can date a guy you hate," Nancy said. "That seems like more than just a mistake, if you ask me. It sounds like a motive!"

"I didn't kill Jake Rogers!" Connie said. "And I don't appreciate these wild accusations! If you keep up with this misbehavior, I'll use judo to keep you in line!"

"So you do know judo!" Nancy said.

"Rrrrrgh!" Connie said.

"Oh, and someone set off the soda machine alarm in the gym again," Nancy said.

Connie stood up and flipped over the table in front of her, in one smooth motion. She stomped out of the room and towards the gym.

"Gee," Nancy said to herself. "I wonder what got her so angry."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

DragonBall Z Kai

I have finally watched some of DragonBall Z Kai, the 2009-11 remake of the DragonBall Z series.

It's a nice remake, in that they cut most (in some cases, all) of the pointless filler material that was added to the original show.  The majority of the original show was filler, to the point where every episode of Kai is made up of two to three DBZ episodes, put together.

Why wasn't the original DragonBall Z like this?  The show is so much more interesting, with good pacing.

They also retranslated the dialogue in Kai.  Now the characters swear a lot more frequently.  There are more frequent musical interludes.  But at least there aren't five-minute flashbacks in every episode!  That's a major plus.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fabricated News

We here at “Fabricated News” were just given an exclusive preview of an upcoming Xbox 360 first-person shooter, entitled Major Problems. It’s the story of a man named General Armadine, who gets framed for crimes he didn’t commit.

This game takes place in the dense forests of South America, near some ancient Mayan ziggurats. The army has established a strong fortress in this location, because apparently ziggurats make great army bases. The first half of the demo has you playing as the General, who needs to sneak into a ziggurat without being caught by the guards.

The second half of the demo has General Armadine going throughout the ziggurat-base, looking for the crucial evidence which will prove his innocence. All he finds are falsified records. He quickly sets them on fire, to destroy them. The smoke from the fire draws the attention of nearby guards, who appear and promptly arrest General Armadine.

The moral of the story?

cigarette-warnings

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Three Things: Papal Edition

1. Question: What do we call it, when the Pope stops being Pope?  I used the word "retire", but that's obviously not accurate, because that makes it seem like he's retiring from a job.  After all, the priesthood isn't a job.  He's always going to be a priest, no matter what.  He's just not going to be performing active ministry as Bishop of Rome anymore.

The official word that Pope Benedict used was renuntiatio.  It's where the English word "renounce" comes from, although it usually gets translated as "resignation".  So I'm going to go with that, and say the Pope resigned.  It's not a perfect description, because he didn't submit a resignation to anyone, but there you have it.

2. Some people are making a fuss about the possibility of an African Cardinal being elected Pope.  People say he will be the first black pope.

Wrong.  There have been three Popes from Africa.  Most popes have been Italian, though.

3. Some people have also asked if Pope Benedict will be able to use papal infallibility, post-retirement.  No, he will not.  As Lumen Gentium states, the Pope enjoys infallibility in virtue of his office.  Logic dictates that when he ceases to have the office, he ceases to have infallibility.

Fun fact: Pope Benedict XVI has been Pope for eight years. In that time, he has made a grand total of zero infallible statements.  Infallibility is not something that gets used lightly, you know.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Political Change

Well, the election season in the United States is long since over, and all the new politicians are now in office (along with many old politicians).

I'm disappointed, because nothing seems to have changed.  The politicians are still making decisions, based on whether something is Democratic or Republican.  I would prefer a system, where people make decisions based on whether something is right or wrong.

During the election year, both parties promised that many things would change.  And yet, their behavior has not changed one bit.  I am not longer inclined to trust a politician who promises change.  Instead, as a good Catholic, I am only going to put my trust in one type of change.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 13)

Here is Chapter 13 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy does some investigation.

---

Nancy left Maxine's and yawned. She was finished talking with everyone for the time being, which meant it was time for some minor investigation. Her first destination? Aunt Eloise's house.

"Auntie El must have hid the key to the teacher's lounge somewhere in her house," Nancy said to herself. "Think, Nancy, think. If you were a book-obsessed librarian, where would you hide a key?"

Nancy thought for a moment.

"In the VCR!" she said. "Nobody would think to look there, because people stopped using VHS tapes in 2001! It's the perfect place to hide something!"

Nancy went to Aunt Eloise's side room, which contained an elaborate TV case surrounded by rows of books. Nancy turned on the TV, but all she got was static. She looked around for a remote, but she didn't see one.

Nancy slammed her hand against the TV. A book fell off of a shelf, and opened up. Inside the book was a hidden key to the library.

"All right!" Nancy said. She left Aunt Eloise's house, then went back to Paseo Del Mar High School. She had been to most of the school by now, but the one place she hadn't visited was the victim's locker. As you might expect, it was locked.

"What's the combination?" Nancy wondered. She consulted her copy of Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill to learn that it was 5253. When you're sending a text message and you spell the word "Jake", those are the numbers you press. Nancy tried entering that combination, and it worked.

At the top of the locker was an empty cassette box, a book entitled English Essays Through the Ages, and a magazine about judo. Apparently, a mysterious masked contestant entered the local men's judo competition and beat everyone without much effort.

"Interesting," Nancy said. "I didn't know Batman lived in Florida."

At the bottom on the locker was a newspaper about a break-in at the local pharmacy. The culprit had stolen some drugs that were also steroids.

"Wait a second!" Nancy said. "If Batman lives here, why didn't he stop the robbery? And come to think of it, why didn't he prevent Jake from being killed?"

Perhaps Batman was only in Florida for vacation. In any case, Nancy knew she was a cooler superhero than Batman, so she resolved to be the first one to solve the case. Besides, thanks to the fact that she had the book the game was based on, she pretty much knew all the answers ahead of time.

"Since I know Hulk Sanchez is abusing steroids to make up for his injuries, I'm guessing that he stole the drugs from the pharmacy," Nancy concluded. She went to Hulk Sanchez to confirm her suspicions. The Hulk was still standing in a corner, playing with a football.

"Can you tell me about the drug store robbery?" Nancy asked.

"Why would I know about that?" Hulk responded. "All I know about is football."

"Oh," Nancy said. "Then, do you know why Jake had an empty cassette tape in his locker?"

"Why would I know about that?" Hulk responded. "All I know about is football."

"Are you a boy or a girl?" Nancy asked.

"Why would I know about that?" Hulk responded. "All I know about is football."

"Oh, dear," Nancy said to herself. "I think he's broken. Don't worry, Hulk. I'll go get help."

Nancy turned around to go get someone, when she tripped over her shoelaces again and slammed into the soda machine.

*BWWAAAAP! BWWAAAAP!* went the soda machine.

"D'oh!" Nancy said.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Next Video Walkthrough

I was unsure as to what my next video walkthrough should be.

One game I want to play is Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon for the Nintendo DS. I like the Fire Emblem games.  But I'm not sure if anyone wants to see me do a walkthrough for one.  It's a strategy RPG, which is really different from the sort of games I usually play.

So, my question to you blog readers is whether or not you'd like to see me play Fire Emblem or some other RPG.

In the meantime, I'm going to do a walkthrough for Pajama Sam 4.  Happily, it turns out I can still play this game on my computer.  Also, recording a walkthrough for it is really simple!  That's because it's an old game.  It runs at 640 by 480, at a maximum speed of 10 frames per second.  My recording equipment can handle that, no problem.

Actually, the slow speed is part of the reason why Pajama Sam 4 is so bad.  If you watch the video walkthrough, you'll see how slow and choppy the animation is.  Some scenes have perfect animation, but most scenes will have the characters randomly opening and closing their mouths, at a rate of one mouth movement every two seconds.  This is opposed to a character's mouth moving during every second they talk, which is what happens in real life.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lumen Gentium (Part 4)

Okay, time to finish my discussion of Lumen Gentium.

The Catholic Church has an eschatological nature, which means it is geared towards the final things: heaven, hell, death and judgment.  Life on Earth is not the end-all and be-all; our lives on Earth must be directed towards eternal life.   Until then, we are like pilgrims, travelling in a foreign land, hoping to return to our proper home (namely, heaven).  "The Church...will attain its full perfection only in the glory of heaven, when there will come the time of the restoration of all things."

Earlier, Lumen Gentium discussed how all members of the church are connected to each other. This naturally includes the Church in Heaven, whose members are more closely united to Christ than the members of the Church on Earth.  They "establish the whole Church more firmly in holiness, lend nobility to the worship which the Church offers to God here on earth and in many ways contribute to its greater edification".

Of particular note are the saints and angels, who have been honored since the beginning of the church.  The lives of those who have faithfully followed Christ serve as an inspiration and guide to all.  Our fellowship with the dead in general, and devotion to the saints in particular, is well and good, but it must not be abused.  Abuses would include worshipping someone in place of God, or, as is seen far too often in funerals, making unwarranted claims about whether or not someone is in heaven.

The document moves from the saints in general to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is known as the Queen of All Saints.  She is, undeniably, the mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ, and she is therefore united to him in a unique way.  Her union with God, in the work of salvation, is made manifest in a myriad of ways and places, such as her immaculate conception and relation to Eve, the annunciation, the death of Jesus, and her glorious assumption.

Mary's salvific influence does not impede or detract from the fact that Jesus Christ is the one and only true mediator between God and humans.  Nonetheless, by God's pleasure, she has been placed as our mother in the order of grace.  She offers intercession and guidance for us, by leading us closer to Christ; "By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and cultics, until they are led into the happiness of their true home."

The church honors Mary as exalted above all the angels and saints.  Devotion to her is unique, compared to devotion to the saints, but just like devotion to the saints, it does not detract from adoration offered to God; rather, it purifies and intensifies divine worship.  When the Mother of God is honored, the Son is rightly known, loved and glorified and all His commands are observed.

Lastly, Mary is the sign of created hope and solace to the wandering people of God.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 12)

Here is Chapter 12 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy checks in with the people at Maxine's Diner.

---

Nancy ran away from Paseo Del Mar and took refuge inside Maxine's Diner. Daryl Gray was still working by himself there. "Hey, gorgeous," he said. "How's it going?"

Ugh... Nancy thought.

"Daryl, stop flirting with me," she ordered. "I'm here to ask you about the other students at school, not to be your love interest."

"Why not?" Daryl whined.

"Because, frankly, you're not that interesting," Nancy said. "Let's start with Connie Watson. You know her?"

"Not very well," he said. "She keeps to herself. I always thought there's something mysterious about her. Kind of the same way I feel about you."

"Keep that up, and I'll mysteriously slap you in the face," Nancy said. "Connie asked you to the Sadie Hawkins Dance, then cancelled?"

"Yeah..." Daryl said. "It was weird. I mean, a girl cancelling a date with me? But what was ever weirder, she took Jake instead of me."

"She probably just didn't want to date a slimeball," Nancy said. "Now what about Hal Tanaka?"

"He's a Japanese exchange student," Daryl said. "He's always focused on grades and studying. He says he wants to become a doctor. Personally? I'm a Doctor of Love."

"Ah," Nancy said. She always wondered where the title for the movie Dr. Strange Love came from. Now she knew. "Finally, what can you tell me about Hulk Sanchez?"

"He's a big shot at the school," Daryl said. "And with all the football scouts at our games, he's been under a lot of pressure to perform. Sort of like how I—"

"Later," Nancy said. She walked away, considering whether or not to put Daryl on the top of her suspect list, just for being annoying. Nancy made a beeline for the booth with Detective Beech, then flopped in a chair.

"Uncle Steve, what's up?" she asked.

"Not much," Detective Beech said. "So far, I've been sitting here for the past hour, drinking coffee. Any progress on your end?"

"Well, I've talked to all the students at Paseo Del Mar," she said. "All four of them. And they all have motives for killing Jake. It seems that Daryl, Connie and Jake were in a weird love triangle, surrounding the Sadie Hawkins Dance."

"Interesting," Detective Beech said. "What about the other students?"

"Hulk hated Jake," Nancy said. "That's because Jake stole Hal Tanaka, the Hulk's biggest football fan. So it's safe to say that Jake, Hal and the Hulk were also in a weird love triangle."

Detective Beech put down his coffee cup. "Let's get to the important point," he said. "Did any one of them mention Jake's notebook?"

"The notebook?" Nancy asked. "Oh, right, I forgot about that. I'm more focused on finding the killer than finding the victim's diary, to be honest."

"Nancy, I need—I mean, the police need that notebook!" Detective Beech said, slamming his coffee on the table.

"Calm down, Detective B!" Nancy said.

"That's Uncle Steve!" he said. "And I need that notebook before the day is over!"

"Okay, okay, I'll get the notebook!" Nancy said. "Just relax! And stop drinking so much coffee. I think it's hurting your nerves."

Friday, February 15, 2013

Godzilla (1998)

Yesterday, I got to watch Godzilla (1998) on VHS, with the various children at the homeless shelter.  I remember the first time I saw that movie.  It was the first PG-13 movie I ever watched; in fact, we rented it from the video store, for my 13th birthday.

Here are my thoughts on watching it for the second time:
  • The reporter in this movie had a really familiar voice, and it took me a few minutes to realize that he's played by the guy who does Kent Brockman on The Simpsons.
  • Godzilla is really, really good at dodging in this movie. He dodges missiles and torpedos, like it's nothing.  For such a big target, he's deceptively hard to hit.
  • Is there a reason nobody bothered to check if Godzilla was really dead?  I mean, it's a monster movie.  You always want to make sure the monster is dead.
  • As the movie goes on, the politicians get involved. First, they bring in the Mayor of New York.  Then, then they bring in the Governor.  Then, they bring in...no one else.  Was the President on vacation at the time, or did he just not care about New York?
  • Some of the reviews I'm seeing for this movie are unnecessarily harsh.  It's a Godzilla movie; of course it doesn't have a plot much deeper than "a giant monster attacks New York".  Were you honestly expecting this movie to rival Hamlet in its complexity?
My final impressions?  It's an action movie with lots of CGI and things exploding.  If you like that, cool.  You might like this movie. The kids certainly seemed to enjoy it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. I've added music to my iTunes program.  For three of the CDs, iTunes decided to list each song as part of a separate album.  Now scrolling through the "albums" section takes forever.

Actually, scrolling through the "albums" section always takes forever.  I don't own albums; I own songs.  90% of the albums I have on iTunes contain only one song, which makes listing them as separate album rather pointless.  Is there an option which only lets you see full-length albums?

2. I put in an order for a new laptop, and hopefully, it'll arrive by the end of the week.  I think I will use this computer only for video recording work, and use my previous computer for everything else. That should result in my new computer lasting a lot  longer, right?

3. Oh. It's Valentine's Day. Huh.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

General Hospital

It's official: I'm hooked on General Hospital.  My favorite part of the show is the vampire plotline, which I thought was stupid, until I learned the story behind it.

Apparently, in the 90's, there was a show called Port Charles.  One of the plotlines in that show was a takeoff of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series.

By complete coincidence, the main actors from that show are now on General Hospital.  The producers have decided it would be fun for them to reprise their old roles, from the decade-old vampire series that no one really remembers or cares about anymore.

Brilliant.  90's-era vampires, instead of Twilight-era vampires?  I approve.

I feel kind of bad for the actor, who plays John McBain.  He's had that role since 2003.  But now, all of a sudden, he's Caleb the Vampire King again.  He's actually doing a surprisingly good job, playing both characters at once.  They have different voices and everything. Lucy Coe is also doing a good job, as a crazy woman.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pope Benedict Retires

Important news, everyone! Pope Benedict XVI has announced that he will retire on Feb. 28th, due to age.  He is 85 years old, and his body is not strong enough to keep going through the demands and busy schedule that rest upon the Pope.

There are two pieces of information that strike me as relevant at this time.

1. When Pope Benedict was Cardinal Ratzinger, he once turned in his resignation; he claimed that he was getting old, and he wanted to spend the rest of his life living quietly, working on his books. Pope John Paul II turned down his resignation at that time.

2.  Pope John Paul II fell ill near the end of his life, and he was forced to scale back almost all of his activities.  Cardinal Ratzinger advised him to resign, due to illness.  As Pope Benedict XVI, he has occasionally affirmed his belief that a Pope who cannot fulfill his duties due to age or illness should resign.

Here is the text of his official announcement:
Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tangled

Yesterday, everyone agreed that Tangled is a pretty fantastic movie.  It earned more money than every other animated Disney film (except The Lion King). But even though I like it, I am not willing to concede the point that Flynn is more kick-butt than comedic relief.  Maximus (the horse) kicked way more butt than Flynn ever did.

But let's not argue. Instead, let's watch a version of the love song from Tangled, with ponies taking the parts of the two main characters.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Disney Dudes

Okay, so I want to talk about Disney movies for a bit. I've noticed that, recently, they seem to be a bit unbalanced in terms of gender.

The female heroines tend to be made in the modern, kick-butt, girl power image.  But the male heroes seem to be made in the dopey and useless Homer Simpson image.  I'm trying--and failing--to think of one recent Disney Dude who was a strong male lead.  The Prince from The Princess and the Frog was basically just comedy relief, and same thing is true of Flynn Rider from Tangled, and I don't think any of the males in Brave were important enough to even get names.

Does Wreck-It Ralph count?  Hmmm...yeah, let's say he counts.  Otherwise, I'd have to reach back to Tarzan or Hercules to find a kick-butt, guy power Disney Dude.

...Is "guy power" a thing?  I know "girl power" is, but I've never heard of "guy power".  I hope "guy power" refers to something good, and not something like "waste every Sunday watching football".

Anyway, I'm getting off-topic. Let me summarize.
  1. I liked Hercules.
  2. Winnie the Pooh is nice, but he is not a Macho Man
  3. Judging from his muscles, Wreck-It Ralph must work out a lot.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgewoth

Today, I'm posting videos for the fifth and final case of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth.  This is a spin-off to the popular Phoenix Wright series.  I'm still kind of on the fence about this game, even though it was made in 2009.

Doing the video walkthrough was kind of difficult.  About halfway through, when two of the main characters are introduced, I ran out of energy and motivation to finish the game.  And judging from viewer responses, they kind of feel the same way.  People love Phoenix Wright, but his poorly-translated brother series is much harder to love.  It's hard to peel through the layers of "blah" to find the good game inside.

I'm going to employ the band-aid strategy here of getting through the pain as quickly as possible.  So I'll be posting many videos per day, until it's done.

After this, we can get to the much more fun Phoenix Wright 3.  I figure I'll switch back and forth between doing Phoenix Wright and other games.  So, it'll be a game, a Phoenix Wright case, a game, a Phoenix Wright case and so on, until Phoenix Wright is done.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Internet

Hey everyone,

I'm back to having no Internet, except for the free Internet at McDonald's.  Until I get a connection up and running again, I won't be able to do any blog posts.  Sorry about that.

-Michael

Monday, February 4, 2013

New Computer

I kind of want to get a new computer. I'm getting a bit fed up with my current computer.  To be honest, I never really liked it; as people who watch my videos were quick to point out, this computer has worse audio quality than the previous one.

I guess I can afford to buy my own computer, for the first time in my life (as opposed to getting cheap hand-me-downs from other people).  But all the computers today are running on new systems that I have no idea how to use.  If I had to come up with names for some of the new operating systems, I'd either go with "Touchscreen App Mania Frenzy" or "OMG Let's Replace All the Text with Incomprehensible Pictures!".

This is my current problem.  I don't like my computer that much, but I don't like the new ones much either.

What would I do with a new computer?  I'd pretty much use it for recording videogames for Youtube, and for writing.  My iPad can pretty much take care of other stuff I use the Internet for, such as checking email, reading stories and watching videos of cute animals. That's the entire point of the Internet, right?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Lumen Gentium (Part 3)

Today, I will continue my discussion on Lumen Gentium.  Sections 5 and 6 are about the universal call to holiness and the religious state.

The Catholic Church and all her members are called to be holy.  There are absolutely no exceptions to this principle.  Holiness is a participation in the divine nature; it is a fulness of the Christian life and the perfection of love.  People express their holiness in many different ways, depending on their strengths, rank and status, but in all cases, holiness is a gift, and the holy person confirms himself to the image of Christ in seeking the will of God in all things.

This is, I think, one of the elements of Vatican II that people have misinterpreted.  Some people think the Catholic Church is just a group of social workers.  True, the church feeds, educates and houses more people than any other institution on the planet, but if you think that is the primary mission of the church, you are putting the cart before the horse.  The church's goal is the salvation of souls.  A person does not become holy, by doing social work; a person does social work, because they are holy.  Trying to separate holiness from good works is utter foolishness; holy men and women "must devote themselves with all their being to the glory of God and the service of their neighbor".

The document mentions certain types of holiness, such as martyrdom, suffering from oppression, and celibacy.  This leads into a discussion of the three evangelical counsels: poverty, chastity and obedience, which were recommended by Jesus in word and in deed.  People who live in the religious state, such as nuns or monks, follow these counsels, either by vows or sacred bonds.  By taking these vows, they are "totally dedicated to God, loved beyond all things".

The evangelical counsels are recommended to all people, not just religious.  In all times (and especially today), people have been shocked that Catholics honor poverty, chastity and obedience so highly.  The truth of the matter is that exercising these virtues is an excellent way to become less attached to the world and more attached to God.  They are not contrary to nature or otherwise harmful; it "does not detract from a genuine development of the human persons, but rather by its very nature is most beneficial to that development."

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 11)

Here is Chapter 11 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy meets Hulk Sanchez. All right, it only took eleven chapters for her to meet all the characters!

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Nancy left the library and turned right. The halls in Paseo Del Mar were slightly difficult to navigate, but she eventually found herself in the gym area. Someone wearing a sports jersey was standing in the corner, playing with a football.

"Woah, a new girl in school!" he said. "Do you realize what destiny has brought you today? Yours truly, Hector Sanchez! But you can just call me 'The Hulk'."

"Hulk Sanchez?" Nancy said. "I've heard of you."

"Everyone has!" Hulk said proudly. "I'm the quarterback for the #1 team in the state! Soon, it's college ball, and then the pros! Show time!"

"No, I heard that you were injured, and you're using steroids to cover for it," Nancy said.

Hulk looked enraged. "That's a lie!" he said. "Who'd you hear that from, Jake Rogers?!"

"Uh..." Nancy said. She couldn't exactly say she read it in a book, but Hulk didn't seem to care. He already decided Jake was behind the nasty steroid rumor.

"Jake Rogers was a loser," Hulk confirmed. "No one liked the dude. Even if he'd lived, he was headed for trouble."

Hulk waved a hand at Nancy. "Sorry, can't talk now. I gotta get to practice. Later."

He then resumed his important business of standing in a corner. Nancy stared at him for a few seconds, then sighed. Just like Connie and Hal, Hulk could only talk for a little while before he ended the conversation. It was almost like he was a robot, who could only talk for two minutes at a time.

"What can you tell me about Connie Watson?" she asked.

"Oh, she hangs out at the gym a lot," Hulk said, acting as if their previous conversation hadn't been broken off. "She's one of our best athletes! Cute girl, too. Heard she's been having some money problems, though."

"Really," Nancy said. "And what about Hal Tanaka?"

"That dude is always studying!" Hulk said. "He's a huge fan of mine! At least, he was until he started hanging out with Jake. After that, he stopped coming to my games, saying that he was 'busy'."

"You sound upset about losing your biggest fan," Nancy noted.

"I am!" Hulk said. "It's all Jake Rogers' fault! That little worm had a locker right next to Tanaka's, and he somehow turned him against me! And on top of that, Jake spread rumors about me doing steroids! Those are rumors, as in, not true at all!"

Hulk dug his fingers into the football he was holding. Nancy could have sworn she saw the stitching on the football pop.

"Oh, wow, look at the time!" she said. "I gotta get going, before you hurt somebody! Ha ha, bye!"

Friday, February 1, 2013

Pony Princess

In the news this week, Entertainment Weekly spoiled the ending of this year's season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Wait...this year's season is over already?  It's only February!  Dang.  Let's hope next year has more episodes.

Anyway, the big surprise is that the main character of the series is going to become a princess.  Among other things, this means she is going to be a pegasus unicorn now.  Wow.  90% of all fanfics and fanart are now obsolete.

Oddly enough, the TV Guide description we have of the episodes says nothing about the whole princess ordeal.  It says it's an episode where the main character messes everything up, then has to fix it.  That was pretty much every Jimmy Neutron episode.  And every Kenan and Kel.  And Bewitched.  And...okay, a lot of TV shows have run plotlines like that.  Not too many have resulted in coronations, though.