Monthly Archives: June 2013

If I could live forever…..

I’d do everything in my power to keep that a secret. Should anyone find out about it my neverending time on Earth could be very unpleasant. To prevent that I would wander from place to place, eventually visiting every country on the globe. Yes there are several countries that are extremely dangerous and in some cases not possible to visit, but a country that is a living hell today may be just find tomorrow and the reverse is also true. Look at Croatia, twelve or so years ago it was a warzone but now it is enjoying rising popularity as a vacation spot. Then there is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which once had five star hotels and was the “Breadbasket of Africa” (granted it was not a pleasant place for the natives) but is now a politacally shattered country with a decayed infrastructure. By living forever I could see conditions in the world evolve over the years, I would even see empires rise and fall.

What would I do as I wander the globe? Most likely I would help people in need. This would range from random acts of kindness to more substantial things that would change peoples’ lives. I would do all of these things anonymously, lest people become to familiar with me. On the other, it might be cool to become some kind of urban myth of an immortal do gooder. 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/daily-prompt-mere-mortal/

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I’m Back

Just returned home a few hours ago. Disneyland was very nice, I’m glad I decided to go (I had had prior arrangements but those didn’t work out). I was sweating for much of the time even though the sun wasn’t too hot, but it was much hotter than I’m used to in Washington. Waiting in line wasn’t as bad as I thought, on the other hand I don’t do rollarcoasters so I didn’t have to wait for Splash Mountain which takes like an hour of waiting. The range of rides I can handle are limited, the fastest thing I could go on was the Pirates of the Caribbean ride which had two or three fast drops. I steered clear of the Tea Cups, I probably would have puked on the Mad Hatter. I went on them at Disneyland Tokyo when my family lived in Japan during the 90’s (no, I don’t speak Japanese), and I can still remember how sick I got. For the rest of the time I went on stuff like It’s A Small World Afterall and the Pinocchio ride. While on the former I played a game of “count the obsolete ethnic stereotypes” and lost track before leaving the first room; taking two Sociology courses makes you do stuff like that. The fez is so pre Mustafa Ataturk.

If there is one thing I am troubled by it is the increase of corporate oligopoly, and no where is it more blatant at Disneyland. For those of you who didn’t hear, Disney purchased LucasArts a couple of months ago, effectively annexing Star Wars and Indiana Jones into the Magic Kingdom. There was always the Star Tours attraction, but now Star Wars merchandising is everywhere and TomorrowLand may as well be called “Galaxy Far, Far Way.” Even more disturbing was a poster for Stark Industries from Iron Man, a quick web search revealed Disney also owns Marvel. But hey, I had a fun time with my family and it’s easy to see how Disney got so damn rich.

We didn’t land in LAX or go through Los Angeles, so we didn’t see that many interesting figures. One that I did see was a guy outside Disneyland with a sign rambling about “sexual perversion” and “corporate greed.” The latter makes perfect sense, but I’m not sure what sexual perversion would be associated with Disney. Most likely the picketeer was one of those people who can look hard enough and find phallic towers in the Little Mermaid and S E X written in the night sky on the Lion King. People will believe anything about Disney: http://www.snopes.com/disney/disney.asp

Overall I had a really good time and it was a great vacation. 

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I’ll be on hiatus until Thursday

I’ll be vacationing in California for the next few days and I probably won’t be on here until I’m back home.

On a slightly related note, tomorrow is also the one year anniversary of a mission trip I went on in Costa Rica (which is where the picture of my page’s background was taken). It was a lifechanging experience, and it has changed the way I view the world forever. The purpose of the trip wasn’t to preach to people, instead we did a wide range of service project. Most prominent of these was building a home for a young couple and their baby. For our standards the home would not be one we would think of living in, but by the standards of the slum that it was built in it was the best home one could ask for. By an even greater coincidence, when I return home it will be the first anniversary of building their house.

Man, I remember waiting excitedly about getting to go on that trip; it took a year of preparing and fundraising and didn’t seem like it would ever come. Here I am a year later and Costa Rica seems like a distant memory. Time sure flies when you live your life.

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My morals

For me, morality comes from a couple places. Primarily I go with my mind, if I feel something is wrong I don’t do it. If I don’t see something wrong with it I just might. Much of what I feel is right or wrong is influenced by my Christian belief, which for me is largely a personal faith but I believe helping the less fortunate is an important part. I don’t to use this blog to discuss religion or politics, but this is relavant for the Daily Prompt. I also think a lot of philosophy is really good, I like the Existentialist belief that that is immoral to do something just because you were ordered to; but I’m not a big fan of life being completely devoid of meaning and purpose.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/daily-prompt-morality-play/

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Got My SAT score

It was a 1310, which is below average but above passing. Most of what brought it down was math, but turns out that I only got half credit for my essay because I wasn’t able to write a full lenghth of two pages. I can type quickly but I’m not so good at writing by hand, if I had more time I would have knocked it out of the park. Thankfully I have two letters of recommendation and the grades to show I am an adept writer. Besides the SAT is an estimate of how well you’ll do if you haven’t started college, and I’ve got two years down. My ACT score is likely better, but I need a score ASAP so I will have to settle for what I got on the SAT.

It feels so good having my score in, especially since my depression has come back somewhat since it was Graduation Day yesterday. With an SAT sent out I am yet another step closer to transfering; and getting graduating with a degree that would take precedance over the AA I couldn’t earn. 

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A Tale of Three Primates

Here’s a joke that got a friend of mine in trouble in Boy Scouts!:

A gorilla, an orangutang, and a monkey are walking in the jungle (yes, I know gorillas and orangutangs don’t live in the same areas). Soon they chance upon a shiny metal object stuck in the mud. They pull it out of the muck and wipe it off. When they do that a large genie comes out of the lamp and says:

          “I will grant you each one wish. It may be whatever you desire.”

So the gorilla says:

          “I wish all the other gorillas in the world were female, super hot, and attracted to me!”

          “Your wish is granted.” The genie said.
Then the orangutang said:

          “I wish all the orangutangs in the world were female, super hot, and attracted to me!”

          “Your wish is granted.” The genie said.

Then it the monkey said:

           “I wish those two were gay!”

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/daily-prompt-funny/

 

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Sorry Microsoft, Sony still won

If your a gamer you know about all the rediculous crap that Microsoft wanted to pull for the XBox One (unless you’ve been hiding in a Vault, but if you’re reading this I doubt that’s the case). Suffice to say these policies caused a huge uproar on the internet, with only die hard fanboys defending them, no doubt because they don’t want to give up playing new Halo installments. Well I have just read that MS has listened to consumer’s complaints and have gotten rid of the once a day sign in rule and playing used games will be no different than it is now.

All that is great, but one problem: I still won’t be able to play anything. They confirmed that there will still be a one time connection needed, and sadly even that is too much for me. I live in an area where you can’t get on LIVE because there isn’t any internet that is good enough, so I don’t think I’ll even be able to do that. It’s bad enough that I have to miss out on DLC for any new game because they don’t have it for physical purchase like they used to. Even if I found a way to, I’m still turned off by the whole next-gen Kinect needing to be on business. It’s just creepy. Besides I just don’t care for the console taking over the living room. If I want to watch TV I have no problem turning off my console and grabbing the TV remote, the fact some people apparently consider that an inconveniance says much about the times. So for these reasons I’m still going with PS4. I always liked XBox over Play Station but Sony won this time around. 360’s achievements are much better than PS3’s trophies, but that’s not enough to keep me from getting a PS4. Now PS has much better exclusive titles, I was never a huge Halo fan and Gears of War and Fable are really good but not must haves.

I’m not excited about the next generation by any means, I just don’t want to spend a couple hundred when I feel that the current gen systems haven’t quite reached full potentional. Most of the upcoming games I’m looking forward to (AC: Black Flag, GTA V, couple others) are for current gen, so I plan to hold off getting a PS4 until most everything is next gen.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/06/19/xbox-one-drm-used-games-reversal/

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Met my goal for my last quarter!

Grades aren’t scheduled to be posted until tomorrow, but I checked today and they were all posted early for me. I got a 4.0 in every class, which was my goal for my last quarter. I’d figured I would meet that goal since all three classes were pretty easy and I’d already gotten 4.0s from each professor. Now I am finished with community college as a Presidential Scholar. I’ve made the President’s List and the Dean’s list a couple times, but taking harder classes like math, biology, and Spanish brought my GPA down noticably; so I’m very happy to have made it back on now. Tomorrow is also when my SAT score will be released, I have my fingers crossed for that. The ACT scores could come out any time between now and into August, so I will probably have to settle with sending in whatever I got for the SAT.

Another step closer to transferring! 

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Tagline? Bah!

You know what? I don’t need a tagline! Certainly don’t want one, thank you. Why would I wan’t to reduce myself to some cheesy one liner? Maybe if I was 007, some ’80s action star, or Freddy Kruger I might; but I Iike to think I’m more complex than any of them. If I chose a tagline, I fear I would be defined by said tagline. However if I really must have a tagline (which I don’t) I guess it would be djgarcia94 | The Most Interesting Man In the World. Only there’s one significant problem with that, someone THAT interesting would need a tagline less than I do.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/daily-prompt-tagline/

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The Legacy of Viking Art

The peoples we refer to as the “Vikings” are the Germanic cultures known as the Norwegians, Swedes, and Danes, collectively called the Norse. Most today know them only as pirates, which is what the word “Viking” roughly translates into, and many were pirates, but the Norse were also farmers, fisherman, merchants, and many other occupations. However it was piracy that they first became notable for as they raided monasteries and villages in Scotland, Ireland, and England (and master pieces like the Book of Kells narrowly survived their pillaging). They made their merciless raids from their highly mobile ships, which brings us to their first art form we’ll look at. Not only were their long ships well designed from a functional standpoint, many of them were also floating art exhibits. One of the first long ships to be evacuated intact is the Oseberg Ship. The book notes it’s beautiful interlaced beast designs that frame the margin of the ship. Such designs will ring a bell with anyone who looked at the Kells page earlier in the chapter, as well as the jewelry from other Germanic tribes in earlier chapters. One striking detail not discussed is the gorgeous metal dragonhead, decorated with a similar aesthetic, but appearing far more abstract. The Oseberg ship has some enigmatic features as well, such as a bucket with a figure who looks suspiciously similar to Buddha. Here there are below:
Oseberg Ship Head

Buddha?

Such images made it possible for the Norse to travel all over their known world, evidently diversifying their art while they were at it. At first they were content with raiding and trading, but soon they tried their hand at conquest and colonization. The Danes nearly conquered all England, fictionalized Bernard Cornwell’s excellent Saxon Series, and colonized the Faroe Islands. The Swedes set up a successful colony known as the Rus, which would eventually evolve into Russia. Most successful were the Norwegians who conquered Normandy, founded Dublin and Iceland, and set up ill fated colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland. Wherever they went, they took their fine art with them. Despite our image of them as brutal killers, they seemed driven to beautify the items around them.

Runestone

Runestone 2

Runestone detail

The Norse made such a profound impact so it is little wonder today they are more myths than men. The sagas and poems they left behind actually seem to reinforce that. Both their actions and their art have served as inspiration for artists ever since.
References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norse_arthttp://libmma.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/compoundobject/collection/p15324coll10/id/41994

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