Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, everyone! I'm celebrating with my family.  Mom and Dad got a new dog to replace Snickers.  His name is Buster, and he's a pretty nice dog.  He chews too much on random things, though.

I'm not 100% sure if Buster likes me, yet. He likes my sister much better than me.  But she picked him out as a puppy, so I guess that makes sense.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Next Videogame Walkthrough

To follow up on my previous post, I have no idea which videogame walkthrough I'll do next.

I recorded a 25 minute playthrough of Big Bird's Hide and Speak, but I'm not entirely happy with it.  The video is sort of long and rambling, and my memories of Sesame Street are more incoherent than I thought.  At one point, I started ranting about how Ernie is a complete bum who never pays his fair share of the rent, and Bert should have kicked him out of the apartment years ago.

Seriously, Bert.  Find a new roommate.

I'm in California right now, where all my old gaming systems are.  I kind of want to play a game for one of them, but I don't know if I have enough time.  Even if I marathon-played Fire Emblem Path of Radiance or Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, I could probably get through half the game, if that.

I don't have my microphone with me here, so I can't do live commentary.  That's also something which is preventing me from playing a game at the moment.  So...yeah.  I don't know what will happen.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ned Nickerson

The other day, I was wondering how Ned Nickerson became Nancy Drew's boyfriend.  Is there a Nancy Drew book where the two of them become a couple?  I know for a fact he wasn't a character in the early books of the Nancy Drew series.  Which book is the one that Ned first shows up in?  Does he become her boyfriend right away, or does that happen in another book?

I decided to look up the answer to my questions about Ned and...well, it's less exciting than I hoped.

In the original book series, Ned was a guy who spent a lot of time around Nancy.  And that's about it.  They're just friends who go out a lot.  When a new publishing company took over the Nancy Drew series in 1979, Ned got upgraded from "good friend" to "boyfriend".  I guess you could say Nancy and Ned sort of became a couple by default.  They went out on dates a lot in the first series, so the next set of publishers made them a couple.

...That is not the romantic story I was hoping for.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fanfiction First Names

I want to complain about the naming system they use over at fanfiction.net, the Internet's main fanfiction website.  For some reason, their naming system does not use full names.  They only use first names.

For example, "Bart Simpson" is listed as "Bart S.", "Nancy Drew" is listed as "Nancy D.", and Harry Potter is listed as "Harry P."

I don't understand why they can't just use the full names for every character.  Is it really better to replace "Mickey Mouse" with "Mickey M."?  I can't tell you how many times I've seen a character list and had to guess at the character's last name.

The "first names only" system completely falls apart, whenever there's a character who is known by their last name.  Anyone like Mr. Darcy or Professor Layton or Dr. Frankenstein gets their recognizable name shaved off, in favor of the first name no one knows.  The "first names only" system also dies, if there are multiple characters with the same first name.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Alphabetical Videogame Walkthroughs

The current set of videogame walkthroughs I'm doing is alphabetical.
  1. Ace Attorney 3
  2. Awakening 2
  3. Azada 2
I believe this alphabetical trend must continue.  We must pick a game which starts with "B" for me to play.  Here are the games I have which fulfill those requirements.
  • Backgammon 
  • Beauty Lawyer Victoria 
  • The Black Cauldron
  • The Blackwell Convergence
  • The Blackwell Deception
  • The Blackwell Legacy
  • Blackwell Unbound
  • Big Bird's Hide and Speak 
  • Big Nose the Caveman 
  • Botanica: Into the Unknown
  • Boktai: The Sun Is In Your Hand
  • Boku Dracula Kun (I'm Kid Dracula!)
  • The Book of Legends 
  • BurgerTime 
I don't really feel like playing any of these games at the moment, though. So I'm going to let you guys decide!  Vote for which game you want me to play--or nominate another game that starts with the letter "B"--and the walkthrough will hit the Internet on the second week of April!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Awakening: Moonfell Wood

It seems that people enjoyed my video walkthrough for Awakening: The Dreamless Castle.  That's the fairy tale game, where Princess Sophia wakes up after an enchanted, hundred-year sleep.  She escapes from the magic castle, which has goblins and things.

I recently started my walkthrough for the second game in the series, Awakening: Moonfell Wood. Princess Sophia's adventures continue, as she meets the Fairy Queen and learns why all the humans (besides her) have disappeared from the kingdom!






Sunday, March 24, 2013

Conscience (Part 2)

It seems I lost people with my blog entry on the conscience yesterday.  Dang.  Let me try explaining again, in more general terms.

When we're talking about conscience rights, there are two groups of people that are problematic:

1. People who take them too far.
2. People who don't take them far enough.

I don't want either group to write the laws about conscience rights.

No matter what the laws about conscience are, it is important that they are correct.  Whenever a country has mistakes in its laws about morality, it tends to result in immoral (i.e. evil) behavior.

[Challenge: Replace "conscience rights" with something else.  Those two groups of people can be problematic, for pretty much anything.]

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Conscience

Lately, I have been worrying a lot about the conscience.  There are a lot of lawsuits and legal discussion in the United States right now, on the topic of conscience rights.  What worries me are two types of people.

First, there are people who say that the conscience is irrelevant or non-existent.  These people are in favor of eliminating all conscience rights.  Generally, these people tend to do evil things, and I suspect they want to eliminate all forms of conscience, because their own consciences condemn them.

On the other hand, there are people who say that the conscience is of extreme importance.  These people are in favor of allowing all conscience rights.  This is good, because humans can direct themselves towards goodness, only in freedom.  However, I've noticed these people often include evil things, on the list of rights the conscience allows.  This implies that they are not using the conscience correctly, but they are using it as an excuse to justify evil actions.

I wonder which of these two groups is more dangerous.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 24)

Here is Chapter 24 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. It's the final chapter!

---

Dear Dad,

The police managed to show up and arrest Uncle Steve. Let's not invite him to the next family reunion, okay?

I met the real Detective Beech. He wasn't too happy to learn that someone had stolen his identity. The trial hasn't come up yet, but I imagine Fake Beech will spend a long time in jail, just like Mitch Dillon.

As for the people at the school, the Hulk decided to bench himself for two months, until his ribs healed. He still spends all of his time, standing in the corner of the gym. He claims that he's keeping himself in shape by practicing with his football, but I'm not so sure.

Daryl Gray apologized to his father for stealing classified government information, then selling it to a murderer. As a result of his misdeeds, Daryl has been grounded until he graduates from college. As part of his punishment, he has been forbidden from going on dates with girls. In other words, nothing much has changed for him.

Hal Tanaka came clean about the essay he plagiarized. He failed his class, but he still got a scholarship for medical school, so he seems pretty happy. He says he can't wait to visit his family in Japan over the summer, as long as he can "avoid the crazy pink bento lady". I have no idea who he's talking about.

Connie Watson became a one-woman crime fighter, when she started using her judo skills to stop students from misbehaving in the halls. With her as the Hall Monitor, nobody will dare to break the rules or set off the soda machine alarm again.

Aunt Eloise is still happy with her job as the school librarian. She recently put in an order for a lot of books by some woman named Carolyn Keene. She's really excited about it, although I'm not sure why.

Anyway, it seems like everything is back to normal at Paseo Del Mar, so it's a job well done for me! I'm going to hitchhike back to River Heights, so this letter will probably arrive before I do. See you soon!

Love,
Nancy


PS. Would it kill you to call me sometime? I'm the only person I know who contacts her father exclusively through letters.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 23)

Here is Chapter 23 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy catches the culprit. Hooray!

---

"Hello, Nancy," Detective Beech said. "I just thought I'd check up on you and see how you're doing with the case."

"No, no, no!" Nancy said, furiously flipping through her copy of Secrets Can Kill. "You can't be the culprit! You're not even in this book!"

"Say what?" Detective Beech asked, jumping into a funky pose.

"Rrrrgh!" Nancy said, throwing her book on the floor. "What, is this a remake of the game? Is that it? They remade the game and changed the criminal?"

"Nancy, you're not making sense," Beech said.

"You're the culprit!" Nancy said, pointing an accusing finger at Beech. "That's why you're so obsessed with Jake's notebook! It's not his notebook at all—it's yours! And when he tried to blackmail you with it, you killed him!"

Detective Beech frowned, then pulled out a gun and pointed it right at Nancy. "I was hoping it wouldn't come to this," he said. "If you knew everything, why didn't you go straight to the police?"

"I did!" Nancy said. "Aren't you a policeman?"

"Duh! No!" Beech said in a snotty voice. "I made up the entire story about being undercover, and you fell for it, hook, line and sinker!"

"Then...you're not really my Uncle Steve?" Nancy asked. She felt the urge to cry. "YOU MONSTER! You're going to kill me like you killed Jake!"

"I didn't kill Jake," Beech said. "That was all Mitch Dillon, my former partner. I'm no killer."

"You're pointing a gun at me right now," Nancy said.

"I'm not gonna kill you," Beech said. "I'm going to lock you in a refrigerator, where you'll get very cold! Don't you know secrets can chill?"

Nancy shuddered at his horrible and rather stupid-sounding plan.

"Enough messing around, though," Beech said. "Where's my notebook?"

"It's in the safe, behind the curtain," Nancy said.

Beech stepped away from the doorway and went to the hidden safe. "What's the combination?" he shouted.

"Beech is a dummy!" Nancy said.

"B—e—hey, wait, these letters aren't even in English!" Beech said. "They're in—waaah!"

Aunt Eloise's home security system, made by the Massive Overkill Company, kicked in the instant that Beech entered the wrong password. A small jail cell fell from the ceiling and landed on top of the fake detective.

"Get me outta here!" Beech yelled, shaking the bars and finding himself trapped.

"Not a chance," Nancy said. She picked up his gun, which he had dropped when the cage fell. "Not until the police arrive, Detective."

Detective Beech growled in frustration as Nancy dialed 911.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 22)

Here is Chapter 22 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy solves the endgame puzzles, and I use the word "VHSes" instead of "VHS tapes".

---

Nancy went to the school library and searched for 5253 on the computer system. There was one result: a book entitled Under My Chair, by Jake Rogers.

Nancy went up the stairs and went to Jake's personal study area, below the periodic table of the elements. Seeing the chart caused Nancy to suddenly realize that Jake's random clues weren't random after all! The things he wrote, like K, Hg and H were all elements!

She reached under Jake's chair and found a metallic box, with many buttons. Nancy soon deduced that she would have to push the buttons in the proper order to get the box open. But what was the proper order?

"I must have to put all the clues together," Nancy said. "I'll put all the elements in order, and match the instructions that came with them, starting with the symbol written on the matchbook from Maxine's and—"

Nancy stopped shortly. That was way too complicated. Instead, she turned around and threw the box down to the first story of the library, where it hit the ground and smashed open.

"All right!" Nancy said. She went downstairs and picked up the box. Inside was another VHS tape.

Nancy took the tape with her back to Aunt Eloise's. She looked around the room for a bit, and wondered why her aunt had a VHS player, but no VHSes. Shrugging, Nancy put the cassette in the player and watched it on the TV.

"Hey, sports fans!" a male voice—obviously Jake's—said. "Guess what our student body president has been up to lately? He's been stealing blueprints and files from his daddy's top secret aerotech company."

Video footage of these things played onscreen, and Jake kept narrating. "What's he been doing with this classified intel? He's selling it to Mitch Dillon, our local HVAC guy. Don't know what a guy like him is doing with government secrets, but hey! Both he and Daryl are willing to pay me a bunch of money to keep quiet."

"Was Jake Rogers blackmailing everyone in Florida?" Nancy asked.

The video cut out for a bit, then came back on. "Hey, great news!" Jake said. "I figured out what Mitch has been doing with the government papers. He's selling them to this loser!"

Onscreen was an image of Detective Beech.

"Yep, now I can blackmail him in addition to Mitch and Daryl," Jake said. "Isn't life great? Better yet, he just left his notebook full of important information at Maxine's. I stole it, and I'm gonna make him pay through the nose to get it back.

"This tape is my insurance policy," Jake said. "It's always good to have plenty of backups, in the blackmail business. But I doubt this guy will give me any trouble. He's probably just gonna give me a ton of cash."

The tape ended there. A few seconds later, the front door to Aunt Eloise's house slammed.

"Aunt...Eloise?" Nancy asked. She walked over to the entranceway. Standing there was Detective Beech.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 21)

Here is Chapter 21 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy gets help from Aunt Eloise.

---

"I'm close to finishing this case," Nancy announced to Detective Beech. "I found one of Jake's videos, containing blackmail material for all the students."

"Good to know," Beech said. "Was there anything in the video about Cold Coffee Daryl?"

"Er, no," Nancy said. "But you saw the way Daryl ran out of here when I mentioned Jake to him. Jake was probably blackmailing him, too."

"Find out how Jake was blackmailing Daryl," Detective Beech said. "And find Jake's notebook! That's the only missing piece of evidence!"

"By the way, remember how Mitch Dillon threatened me?" Nancy asked. "Now he's trying to kill me. He led me into the boiler room, when it was about to explode!"

"Okay, we'll take Dillon into custody," Detective Beech reassured Nancy. "But we can't hold him there, without any hard evidence like Jake's notebook!"

"Why is this notebook so important?" Nancy asked. "For all we know, Jake used it to keep track of fantasy football scores or something."

"He didn't play fantasy football; he played dungeons and dragons," Detective Beech said. "They're pretty much the exact same thing, though. In any case, we won't know if the notebook is relevant or not, until you find it. So get going!"

"Yessir, Detective Steve!" Nancy said, saluting.

"That's Detective Beech," Beech said. "I mean, Uncle Steve. We're still working undercover."

"The diner is empty besides for us," Nancy said. "Do we really have to use code names?"

"Yes," Beech said. "Code names are cool."

"Then why don't I get a code name?" Nancy asked. "Everyone's been calling me by my real name."

"Only policemen get to have cool code names," Detective Beech said. "If you find the notebook, though, I'll see if I can get a code name for you."

Nancy got up and left the diner, muttering to herself about weird uncles who were obsessed with notebooks. On her way to Paseo Del Mar High School (or as the kids now called it, Paseo Del Murder), she got a text message from Aunt Eloise.

Nancy, the next puzzle you have to solve is kind of hard to figure out. You need to use all of the weird clues Jake left in the school.

Nancy texted back, You mean the clues like Hg:L3?

Exactly, Eloise texted back. Also, type in Jake's locker combo on the library search engine.

How do know all this? Nancy texted.

There's a copy of this game's strategy guide in the school library, Aunt Eloise texted. I read it one day when I was bored. Anyway, keep safe, and don't accidentally set off my home security system!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 20)

Here is Chapter 20 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy confronts two of the suspects.

---

Nancy went to the gym to talk to Hulk Sanchez. For a busy football star, Hulk certainly seemed to have a lot of free time. He spent the entire day in the corner, playing with his football.

"Hulk, I found one of Jake's blackmail videos," Nancy said. "You stole steroids from Vandelay Pharmaceuticals, didn't you?"

Fortunately, Hulk decided that he should confess everything to the girl he had only known for an hour or so. "Yes, I did," Hulk said. "After my injury, I was in so much pain...but I had to keep playing football in order to impress the scouts! I had no choice!"

"You could have chosen to be honest and not break the law," Nancy said.

"I regret what I did," Hulk said. "The steroids didn't help me at all. I was still in a lot of pain, and that jerk Jake Rogers started blackmailing me!"

"What did he make you do?" Nancy asked.

"More like what didn't he make me do," Hulk said. "I had to drive him everywhere, do his errands, deliver his secret letters to Daryl Gray..."

"Secret letters?" Nancy asked.

"Yeah, he and Daryl Gray were sending each other letters," Hulk said. "But they had me deliver them, instead of giving them directly to each other. I guess they wanted to keep it a secret."

Nancy shook her head. "Don't you know that secrets can kill?" she asked.

Nancy took this information directly to Daryl Gray, at Maxine's Diner. As usual, the diner was empty except for Daryl and Detective Beech.

"Daryl!" Nancy said. "I've got a bone to pick with you!"

Daryl frowned. "Don't tell me you want a restraining order against me, too!" he said. "That's the fourth one this week!"

"That's not it," Nancy said. "I want to talk about you and Jake Rogers."

"The kid who was murdered?" Daryl asked. "I didn't know him at all. He worked here at Maxine's, but his shift was opposite of mine."

"If that's true, then why was Hulk delivering secret messages back and forth between you two?" Nancy asked.

Daryl's eyes grew wide, and his voice grew hissy. "That—that—you shouldn't know that!" he said. "Those could have been for school! Maybe we were working on a project together!"

"You just said you didn't know him at all," Nancy pointed out. "Stop lying, Daryl!"

"You have no right to butt into my personal life!" Daryl whined. "I'm not talking to you again! I'm leaving now!"

Daryl actually did get up and leave the building, with tears in his eyes. Nancy shook her head at his theatrics.

"Daryl, Daryl, Daryl," Nancy said. "Don't you know that secrets can kill?"

Detective Beech called to Nancy, from across the diner. "Did you just make that boy cry?" he asked.

"Yes, Uncle Steve," Nancy said.

"Good for you," Beech said. "I never liked that guy. He always served the coffee way too cold."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 19)

Here is Chapter 19 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy confronts two of the suspects.

---

It was getting close to the end of the game, so Nancy decided it would be best to talk to all the various people before solving the final puzzles.

First up was Connie Watson. "Hey, Connie!" Nancy said. "I learned that you're the masked competitor who won the male judo competition."

Connie stared hard at Nancy, then nodded. "Yes," she said. "That was me. I know it was against the rules, but I'm proud of what I did. Girls shouldn't be excluded from sports, just because certain people think they're less athletic than boys."

"Good for you," Nancy said. "But more importantly, Jake was blackmailing you about this, wasn't he?"

"Yes," Connie sighed. "He made me break up with Daryl and go out with him. Like I told you earlier, he was a total creep!"

"Did you kill him?" Nancy asked.

"No!" Connie said.

"Whoever killed him beat him up pretty badly," Nancy said. "A judo champion would have little trouble beating up another person."

"I did not kill Jake!" Connie said. "I hated him, and I made no secrets about it, but I didn't kill him!"

Nancy gave Connie a suspicious look. "I hope you made no secrets about it, because secrets can kill."

Nancy moved on to the room with Hal Tanaka. "Hal, I found the video footage of you copying that essay," Nancy said. "Jake hid it in the boiler room."

"Thank goodness," Hal said. "This is a huge relief for me. Did you destroy the tape?"

"No way," Nancy said. "It's evidence that Jake was up to no good. Do you know what this means?"

"The police will want to see it?" Hal guessed.

"No, it means I can blackmail Jake!" Nancy said. "Blackmailing the blackmailer! It's a genius plan!"

"You can't blackmail Jake," Hal said. "He's dead."

Nancy nodded solemnly. "Yes, Jake was killed by someone he blackmailed," she said. "I guess the moral of this story is that secrets can kill."

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Movie Previews

I went to see the new Oz movie the other day.  Here are my thoughts on the previews I saw:

1. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Macguire are co-starring in The Great Gatsby.  I never read that book, but I did read one of the modern-day versions of the book, which I disliked.  I also disliked the movie preview.  Don't get me wrong; I love the idea of Leo and Tobes teaming up to make a movie.  But this is clearly not the movie for them.

No, I want to see them in a comedic buddy film, like Weird Science or Rush Hour.  Maybe a Sherlock Holmes comedy is in order.  Leo and Tobes could make a great Sherlock and Watson.

2. Half of the previews were post-apocalyptic.  Hollywood is fascinated with the end of the world, it seems.

3. Morgan Freedman was in two previews in a row.  It confused me.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Cover Art for Ghost of Thorton Hall

We now have the cover art for Nancy Drew: The Ghost of Thorton Hall.  I might have nightmares tonight.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Habemus Papam!

We have a new Pope!  Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  As predicted by some, he was an unpredicted choice.

Long live Pope Francis!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, Episode 1 (Part 2)

Let me continue my discussion of Where's Josie?, the first episode of Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space.  Last time, I got a little bit off-topic by complaining about Bleep, the worst character on the show.

I'm having a hard time, figuring out a good way to describe this episode.  The problem is that the plot makes no sense.  The villain kidnaps Josie and replaces her with a robot clone, for absolutely no reason.  It's not like he's seen her or any other humans before.  He just sees her and thinks, "Hey, there are aliens on our planet now. I'm going to steal this one and lock her in a dungeon."

The villain never says anything in the episode, so we never learn why he kidnapped Josie.  We also never learn how he built a perfect robotic duplicate of her, in less than three minutes.  I'm not sure it's possible to build a working android, only five minutes after seeing a human being for the first time.  This villain must be really good with robots.

Fortunately for our heroes, they soon realise that Robot Josie is a fake, when she falls into a river and gets short circuited.  After filing a missing persons report at the local police station, they go to the villain's lair to get Josie back.  There, they find robot duplicates of themselves, and a chase sequence ensues.  Get used to chase sequences in this series; there are a lot of them.

In a poorly-executed plot twist, it is revealed that the police are robot duplicates, as well.  The robot police arrest our heroes, but Josie and the Pussycats quickly break out of jail.  Then, they find a fire hose and use it to kill all the robots.  That quickly brings an end to all the trouble with robot duplicates.

But what about the villain?  Since his plans which made no sense have been foiled, he attempts to escape.  Now, we've established that the villain is a mechanical engineering genius, who can build functional robots in less than ten minutes.  What is his clever escape plan?

Stand in place and hope that people mistake him for a statue.

...No, seriously.  That's what he does, in order to avoid the police.  He pretends to be a statue.

Needless to say, the escape plan fails.  The villain is arrested, and our heroes take off in their spaceship.  Alexandra decides she wants to hear some music on the radio, but she presses the wrong buttons on the computer, and their spaceship gets sent off course. Whoops!  Looks like they won't be going back to Earth any time soon!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The New Pope's Nationality

The conclave to elect a new Pope is taking place right now, so I feel that this is a good time to make some remarks about a popular topic: which country the new Pope will come from.

Unlike previous conclaves, a lot more attention has been given to the new Pope's nationality.  I am here in America, where all the reporters believe that the world needs an American Pope.  Barring that, the reporters want to have a black Pope, because America has a black President.

I tend to cringe, when I hear American reporters say things like this.  It's very discriminatory, to say that your country is better than every other country in the world.  Also, it is ignorant to say that the Pope needs to be from a certain location.  The truth of the matter is that it doesn't matter which country the Pope comes from.  The list of requirements for a good Pope does not include any reference to where he comes from.

In fact, even if they do elect an American Pope, it will not be long before the American media declares that he is a bad Pope and a poor choice.  The media has tried to cripple every Pope in the public eye, for the past several centuries.  I see no reason why this would change.  Even when there is a relatively popular Pope, such as Blessed John Paul II, the media is very much set against the Catholic Church.

I urge everyone to ignore the media's reports and guesses about who will become Pope. Historically speaking, they're always wrong.  If you go back eight years and see the reports about the previous Pope's election, you'll notice that nobody thought Benedict XVI would become Pope.  Heck, go back to the 1903 conclave; Pope Saint Pius X only gets a passing mention as a possible candidate.  Instead, they skip over him to talk about the American candidate, Cardinal Satolli.  Satolli wasn't from America, but he was the first Apostolic Delegate to America, making him the favorite candidate in America at the time.

Who is the favorite American candidate this time?  That would be the Cardinals from Boston and New York.  Who is the least favorite American candidate this time?  That would be the Cardinals from St. Louis and Los Angeles.  I have heard nothing about the Cardinals from San Francisco and Chicago, so I would say they are neutral, in terms of popularity with the American media.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space, Episode 1

Remember in May 2012, when I talked about watching Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space? I finally got around to watching the first episode of the series, which is called Where's Josie?.

I am amused that this is the pilot episode of the series, yet the episode gives no explanation for why a teenage girl band is floating in outer space. Deal with it.

In any case, Alexandra messes around with the ship's controls, and they end up crashing on a strange planet. There, they meet Bleep. Bleep is...well...I don't like him.

You know how this series is in outer space? Apparently, the producers thought that wasn't a big enough change to the show. So they added Bleep as a new main character. He's a cute and wacky alien sidekick. Or at least, he's supposed to be. In reality, he's kind of ugly-looking. His major joke--the fact that all he can say is the word "bleep"--gets old very quickly.

Don't take my word for it, though. Judge for yourself if Bleep is a cute-looking character.



If there's one thing about this series I dislike, it's Bleep. In fact, I would suggest changing the theme song's lyrics.

Josie's on a rocket ride
Pussycats are by her side
Bleep Bleep is a horrible mistake
Come along and join the chase
It's the Pussycats in outer space

Our heroes immediately accept Bleep as their new friend who will live with them, forever and ever. Alexandra cements her role as best character, by being the only one who doesn't instantly like Bleep. I'm surprised that none of them tried to capture, kill and eat Bleep, seeing as they've been lost in space without food for who knows how long.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Death at Fairing Point

I probably should have mentioned this sooner, but I'm doing a video walkthrough for Death at Fairing Point: A Dana Knightstone Novel. The last video goes up today, and you can see the first three videos right here:







I'm going to play the second game in the Dana Knightstone series, but first, I'm going to upload Phoenix Wright 3, Case 2, at a rate of four videos per day.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Equestria Girls

We've had a little bit of news about Equestria Girls, the spin-off series to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  This TV series is aimed at older audiences.  The premise of the series is that our favorite pony friends have somehow become humans, and they're now going to high school.

Here is artwork of the new series, which comes from The New York Times.


Click for the full-sized image, if you dare...

...That is just creepy.  I mean...no. NO.  How did no one on the show's development team notice the hideous character designs?  I'm not sure what scares me most: the cheek tattoos, the pony ears, or the boots that are larger than their heads.

The sad part, in my opinion, is that the Internet has thousands of pictures, with the ponies drawn as humans.  Heck, even I tweeted a picture like that.  The producers had no shortage of humanized pony material to draw upon for inspiration.

You know what, forget Equestria Girls. I'm going to pretend that the following picture has the offical human versions of the ponies.  Because unlike the real thing, this picture doesn't give me nightmares.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday News

In the news today, Portland is in debt to the tune of $25 million. The Mayor has asked every department to reduce its budget by 10%, and he's looking through the suggested budget cuts now.

The various departments sent in what I would call "phony" budget cut suggestions.  Instead of suggesting things which can be cut, they sent in a list of their most essential, important projects.  This includes maintaining the largest reservoir, the mounted police, and...

Wait. Portland has mounted police?  I've never seen our Mounties!

Oh, man, I know where I'm going to visit, the next time I head into the city!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. Historical fact: The Golden Age of Ireland took place during what historians call "the Dark Ages".  I can only presume no Irish historians were consulted when this term was adopted.

2. So what are future historians going to call the current era?  I'm going to be honest and say that I think the popular term "post-modern" is dumb.  I doubt the term will still be in use two hundred years from now.

3. Also, what's up with progressivism?  I mean, how has that ideology lasted more than five years?  After all, if you're a true progressivist, then you have to reject all past progressivists for being "in the past".

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 18)

Here is Chapter 18 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy finds the secret videotape.

---

Nancy returned to the school and went to the boiler room. The door was locked with a Braille keypad, but that didn't stop our favorite detective! She knew the password was "note", thanks to the list of passwords on the school computer.

Nancy stepped inside the room, and took the elevator down a floor. The doors opened, and she stepped out to see the boiler, producing a dangerous amount of flames.

"It looks like it's going to explode!" Nancy said.

Nancy shook her head. This was the fifth time that year an anonymous note had led her into a death trap. She really needed to ignore letters from criminals from now on.

"Okay, how do I get out of here?" Nancy wondered. The elevator button on this floor had been destroyed, and she could see no other exits. In front of the boiler were three levers, which were locked together with a chain.

Nancy suddenly remembered a hidden clue from Maxine's Diner.

The bolt cutters you must take
Or you could be the next Jake


"The bolt cutters!" Nancy said. She took them out of her incredibly large pocket and threw them into the boiler. The metal melted and clogged the hole at the bottom of the boiler, cutting off the gas supply. The fire soon died down.

"Hmmm..." Nancy said. The fire was out, but she still didn't feel safe in this room. She looked around a bit more. In a corner was a Maxine's drinking cup, as well as a pack of Maxine's matches. Nancy had no idea why a diner would sell matches, nor did she understand the meaning of the strange symbol written on the inside of the pack.

Nancy checked the other corner of the room. Now that the boiler wasn't boiling hot, she could actually get close to this part of the room. There was a VHS tape leaning against a grate here. Nancy picked up the tape, then moved the grate aside. It looked like she would have to crawl through the ventilation system to escape.

Nancy climbed through the vents to the upper floor. Once she got out, the first thing she did was return to the maintenance room and cut off all gas flow to the lower levels. She also wrote a note, explaining the situation, and put it in the room so the next maintenance man to use the room (hopefully not Mitch Dillon) would see it.

After that, Nancy went back to Aunt Eloise's house, which was the only place that had a VCR (Very Convenient Recording). She played the tape, which was a video shot by Jake Rogers, containing his various blackmail plots.

First, there was a video of Hulk Sanchez putting drugs in his locker. Nancy wasn't sure how Jake managed to film this from inside Hulk's locker, without the football star noticing anything.

Second, there was a video of the masked mystery contestant from the all male judo competition. The masked man removed his mask to reveal that he was actually a woman. Connie Watson, to be specific. She put her judo trophy in her locker, then walked away.

Why would she remove her mask, in order to put something in her locker? Nancy wondered. You wouldn't expect someone to remove their disguise in a public place like a school hallway.

The tape ended with footage from the library, showing Hal Tanaka copying his English essay from one of the books.

"That was certainly a very well-hidden thirty second tape," Nancy said.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 17)

Here is Chapter 17 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy gets a mysterious message.

---

"I think the real killer is Mitch Dillon," Nancy said. "He called me and threatened me."

"Interesting..." Detective Beech said. He took a sip of coffee. "Mitch's name came up in the course of our investigation, but we couldn't find any solid evidence. I wonder how he learned you're on the case."

"I don't know, but he sounded deadly serious," Nancy said. "What if he comes after me?"

"You let us worry about Mitch Dillon," Beech said. "You just focus on finding Jake's notebook."

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you're more concerned about finding that notebook than solving the murder," Nancy said.

"I told you already, the police suspect that Jake was involved in selling drugs," Detective Beech said. "If we get his notebook with all of his contacts inside, we could bust a major drug ring! We need that notebook!"

"Fine, fine, I get the picture," Nancy said. She got up and walked out of the diner.

"Nancy, wait!" a voice cried.

Nancy turned around to see Daryl at the counter, waving his hands. "What is it you want now, Daryl?" she asked.

"I got something for you," Daryl said.

Nancy walked to the counter. "This better not be a trick..." she said warningly.

"It's not!" Daryl said. "Sheesh, you're just as uptight as your uncle!"

Nancy cast a side glance towards Detective Beech. "Uncle Steve?"

"The other week, he lost a notebook or something," Daryl said. "He freaked out. Started screaming at everyone here. Anyway, someone left this for you."

Daryl slid an envelope across the counter. It had NANCY DREW written on top. It also had Mitch Dillon's business address printed in the upper/left corner. Nancy opened the letter and read it.

I have the key to your mystery. Meet me in the boiler room, under the school. TELL NO ONE.

"Well, that's certainly an ominous letter," Nancy said. "But I guess I don't have a choice."

"A choice about what, Babe?" Daryl asked.

"Don't call me that," Nancy ordered. "I have a boyfriend, and he's not you."

"That's what all the girls say," Daryl pouted.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Cinderella

Back in August, I posted a video of myself reading an old version of Cinderella.



Cinderella is a nice story, but there are some problems with it. Specifically, with Cinderella's fairy godmother.  The first time Cinderella meets her is on the night of the ball.  Presuming the godmother was there for Cinderella's baptism, this means she sees Cinderella about once a decade.  What kind of horrible, negligent godmother is this woman?

And Cinderella's father!  Does he not see his daughter get routinely abused by his new wife and stepchildren?  Even if you say that the abuse started only after his death, this still leaves the question of why he would marry into such an obviously horrible family.

Maybe he had a fatal disease, and he was desparate to find anyone to be a mother to Cinderella?  Or maybe he thought he could reform Lady Tremaine?  Or maybe he was just a really bad judge of character.

Your thoughts?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill (Chapter 16)

Here is Chapter 16 of my fanfic, Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Chill. Today, Nancy talks with Hal Tanaka and Detective Beech.

---

Nancy went to visit Hal Tanaka. The studious Japanese teenager was currently writing an essay.

"Hey, Hal," Nancy said. "Look, I know you're innocent, but let's go through the motions anyway. I just learned that you plagiarized your senior essay, and Jake knew about it."

Hal's face immediately fell. "Yes, Nancy," he said. "I am...so ashamed."

"You could expelled for plagiarism," Nancy said. "Why'd you do it?"

"I'm taking too many classes right now," Hal said. "And I can't drop any classes, because I have to become a doctor. I didn't have time to write a full essay!"

"I see," Nancy said. "So what did Jake do when he found out?"

"He blackmailed me into doing his homework for the rest of the year," Hal said. "Now I have even less time to write essays!"

"But now that he's dead, you have your free time back," Nancy said. "And nobody knows about your plagiarism escapade. Sounds like a pretty good motive to me."

"I did not kill Jake Rogers!" Hal protested. "I value human life!"

"You're still at the top of my suspect list," Nancy said seriously. "Well, to be honest, you're #3 on the list, because I put all the names in alphabetical order. But you're still near the top!"

With that cautionary warning, Nancy turned around and left the room. She also left the school, going straight for Maxine's Diner. It was time for her to check in with her useless sidekick for this case, Detective Beech.

"Yo, Detective B, what's up?" Nancy said.

"Not much going on at my end," Detective Beech said. "I've been sitting here, drinking coffee, keeping an eye on the diner."

"I, uh, appreciate the help," Nancy said. She had no idea why he thought it was important to guard an empty diner, but then again, he was kind of odd.

"What's new on your end?" Beech asked. "Did you find the notebook yet?"

"No, but it turns out that Hal Tanaka was being blackmailed by Jake," Nancy said. "And thanks to information from Jake's locker, I'm pretty sure that Hulk Sanchez is taking steroids to help out his football game."

"Do you think Jake was blackmailing the Hulk, too?" Beech asked.

"There's more," Nancy said. "Connie went out with Jake, even though she really didn't want to. I'm guessing he blackmailed her into doing it."

"So he was a serial blackmailer!" Detective Beech said.

"I'm not done yet," Nancy said. "Two minutes ago, I got a text message from Aunt Eloise." Nancy held up her phone so Detective Beech could read it.

Jake Rogers was a monster. He blackmailed me into ignoring his overdue library book fines! Now those twelve cents will never be repaid! I don't know what to do!

"Jake Rogers was a bad kid," Beech agreed.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thorton Hall Release Date

Her Interactive has announced the release date for Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thorton Hall.


Seems exciting! I'm getting a tragic love vibe, from this screen. Well, that and another image the Nancy Drew folks posted...

Friday, March 1, 2013

Next Video Walkthrough

I just finished uploading Case 1 of Phoenix Wright 3.  It's a pretty exciting case.  In fact, it's much more exciting than a tutorial has any right to be.  Usually a tutorial is an easy segment that doesn't have anything to do with the real game; all it does is set up the game mechanics.  But in this game, the tutorial is one of the important cases, plot-wise.

I also like this case, because Mia Fey steps up and fulfills her role as the major lawyer-heroine of the series.  She is a good character, and it's a shame she doesn't take the spotlight more often.  In fact, most of the time, she gets treated as gratuitous eye candy who doesn't really affect the plot.  (See Case 3 of this game for an example of this).

The commenters on the video walkthrough say they like how the game references the Harlem Shake.  I think that's a popular dance or something.  Since the game came out in 2007, I doubt that the reference is intentional. People seem to enjoy it anyway.

It's also an interesting case, because it sets up how Phoenix Wright first met Mia Fey, five years ago.  The college version of Phoenix Wright is completely different from the lawyer version we're used to seeing.  In college, he was sort of a crybaby who wore an ugly pink sweater all the time.  It's interesting to see a completely different side of the main character of the series, even if it's a less-than-impressive view.