Saturday, November 29, 2008

Food Log Thoughts

My English teacher was a kind and cruel man this last unit. He was kind because we were assigned a project on food. However he made us also log our eating, which I found to be quite disturbing. For those who do not know me very well, I heart food. Not love. Not like. I freaking heart it. For all you obsessive compulsive myspacers and facebookers, you know what this means. To heart something is like the greatest heart a person can have. One can heart their girlfriend, wife, or dog, but I heart food. (Edit: In order to remain alive I must say that I also heart my girlfriend...more than food...yeah)

At the moment I have almost 20 days logged and I figured that I would be at least sort of healthy. I found that instead I have eaten large amounts of fish and meat. How much you might ask. All I can say is that some people would consider me a carnivore. Which is not necessarily bad I guess, but only a few days on this list did I eat things that could actually be qualified as salads or fruits. Also I found that even though I say that I don't like Japanese food that much ( at least to those around me who consider myself a food racist), I ate Japanese food at least half of the days logged. Mind you this is over Thanksgiving Break so half of the time I was eating the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes mix (which ironically I have been preparing the way that my Japanese grandma showed me). Even more disturbing is that I found that most days I only eat 1-2 meals. These meals can range in size from a pack of natto to a giant feast that could probably feed at least 5 people. These feasts generally consisted of meat, fish, meat and fish, rice, and also a strange random thrown in item like a poptart or something similar. I doubt many people know what natto consists of and those who do know, I know you are incredibly freaked out right now. In fact, I found that one day I actually ate 8 packs of natto. It was my sustenance for the entire day and trust me, thats a hard thing to do with natto.

This information over a short amount of time has led me to wonder about 3 things. 1) Am I a food racist?, 2) How did I survive a day only eating natto, and 3) How am I not incredibly overweight. I find my current diet quite dissatisfying. Though I love Japanese food and most of it is quite healthy, I now feel that I should really expand my food comfort zone. Though I can eat basically anything that is edible, tastes good, and is either cheap or free, I feel like I am being limited by my current Japanese food spree. It has definitely made me consider eating salads, especially since I live in the freaking Salad Bowl of the World. Additionally, I figured that maybe I should lay off the natto because even though it is supposedly super healthy, it causes most people to freak out because of the look, smell, and texture. Not the best meal to bust out in front of some weak stomached people. Plus the natto tends to deprive my diet of anything but soy and salty soy sauce which probably isn't the greatest source of nutrition. Lastly, I haven't really figured out why I am somehow not super overweight. I eat tons of meat apparently and exercise not as much as I should in my opinion. Plus I lack sleep, which apparently can cause one to gain weight. After much thinking I figure that I should just not think about this subject too much because it just led me to images of a old grey me that resembled Jabba the Hutt.

Overall, I must thank Mr. English teacher man for his assignment because it has made me realize that I should probably eat something that isn't meat, fish, or Japanese food a heckuva lot more. Though I luckily had mostly either home made or restaurant made food that was pretty healthy in general, I can really improve my overall health by something as simple as making random epic salads that are basically 5 feet tall and contain every known salad ingredient known to man. Thank You Sir. Your food preaching ways have reached my mind and hopefully my short high school attention span will not destroy the progress that has been made.

What seemed to be even more important though was that this list made me realize that maybe if we were mandated to record our eating in order to get health insurance or something, that a lot of people would be pretty screwed with that. In our modern times we can survive of Mickey Ds and cup a noodles for basically our entire existence, though that existence might be kind of short if one tried that. I feel that people, especially America, really need to realize what they are eating. Maybe if they realized that soda is basically an acid for the stomach and that they've never really eaten a hamburger, food consumption will shift towards the better. Or maybe they might just say what the hell and munch on their big macs and slurp down that oh so tasty high fructose syrup of death. I have no idea. We cannot devolutionize our society in order to make people eat healthier. This would cause massive riots by corporations and unhealthy people alike. Can you imagine a giant riot of unhealthy Micky D slaves? It would be like a freaking zombie movie, except worse because zombies are already dead and just require a headshot. Living Micky D slaves like crack addicts would be freaking out, going through withdrawals, looking for that Big Mac that is just waiting to cause their brains to give them their dose of happiness. Whats even worse would be the after effects of this. I mean without that Big Mac to give that dose of happy people might go to drugs and sex to fulfill this addiction. Do you want to deal with a doped up generation of Big Mac babies? I sure don't.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gameboy Music Creation

Gameboys can create wicked good tunes. Yes, the ORIGINAL Gameboys in all their grey plastic with all its 1989 glory. Though an underground music scene, Gameboy music exists and thrives. One might wonder how exactly something so low tech compared to its more modern evolution the Nintendo DSi can do such a thing. Compared to the DSi which has a 2 LCD screens (1 of them a touch screen), 2 cameras, a microphone, and 256 mb of flash memory, the original Gameboy seems like a ancient ancestor. Below are detailed technical specifications from Wikipedia for both systems.

Technical specifications for Original Gameboy

CPU: Custom 8-bit Sharp LR35902[36] (Z80-clone) core at 4.19 MHz which is similar to an Intel 8080 in that all of the registers introduced in the Z80 are not present. However, some of the Z80's instruction set enhancements over the stock 8080, particularly bit manipulation, are present. Still other instructions are unique to this particular flavor of Z80 CPU. The core also contains integrated sound generation
RAM: 8 kB internal S-RAM
Video RAM: 8 kB internal
ROM: On-CPU-Die 256-byte bootstrap; 256 kb, 512 kb, 1 Mb, 2 Mb, 4 Mb and 8 Mb cartridges
Sound: 2 Square Waves, 1 programmable 32-sample 4-bit PCM Wave, 1 White noise. The unit only has one speaker, but headphones provide stereo sound (for further information, see Game Boy music)
Display: Reflective LCD 160 × 144 pixels
Screen size: 66 mm (2.6 in) diagonal
Color Palette: 4 shades of "gray" (green to (very) dark green)
Communication: Up to 2 Game Boys can be linked together via built-in serial ports, up to 4 with a DMG-07 4-player adapter. More than 4 players is possible by chaining adapters.
Power: 6 V, 0.7 W (4 AA batteries provide ~35 hours)
Dimensions: 90 mm (W) x 148 mm (H) x 32 mm (D) / 3.5" x 5.8" 1.3" (in)

Technical specifications for Nintendo DS
Mass: 275 grams (9.7 ounces).
Physical dimensions: 148.7 x 84.7 x 28.9 mm (5.85 x 3.33 x 1.13 inches).
Screens: Two separate 3-inch TFT LCD, resolution of 256 x 192 pixels, dimensions of 62 x 46 mm and 77 mm diagonal, and a dot pitch of 0.24 mm. The gap between the screens is approximately 21 mm, equivalent to about 92 "hidden" lines. The lowermost display of the Nintendo DS is overlaid with a resistive touchscreen, which registers pressure from one point on the screen at a time, averaging multiple points of contact if necessary.
CPUs: Two ARM processors, an ARM946E-S main CPU and ARM7TDMI co-processor at clock speeds of 67 MHz and 33 MHz respectively. The ARM946E-S CPU processes 3D rendering and the ARM7TDMI processes 2D rendering for DS games and Game boy Advance gameplay.
RAM: 4 MB of Mobile RAM
Voltage: 1.65 volts required
Storage: 256 kB of Serial Flash Memory
Wireless: 802.11 + Nintendo Original Protocol
Wi-Fi: Built-in 802.11 Wireless Network Connection (802.11b compatible with WEP encryption support only)[22]

Despite this enormous gap in technology, the original gameboy can make amazing music with the help of only two mods: a Flash Cartridge with Little Sound Dj or Nanoloop and a Prosound modification. Custom painting may also be desired in order to give it that extra "cool" factor. Luckily for all those technically challenged and lazy musicians out there Nonfinite offers pre-modded systems. These simple modifications make the Gameboy a viable instrument by adding a much higher quality 4-bit sound. The Prosound modification makes the output louder while reducing hiss and the Flash Cartridge with the music interface programs allows any musician to make music in no time. The Little Sound Dj is essentially a sequencer designed for the 4-bit processor, which can also be used with a variety of samples including the famed TR-808. Nanoloop on the other hand is a step sequencer that loops 16 1/16 notes with a incredibly easy interface. Gameboy musicians tend to use these two programs, though others do exist, and usually describe Little Sound Dj as having a slight learning curve. However, the program's both have their merits.

Though music can be made on other Gameboy systems, the original system is the best in audio quality and "retro" feel. This Gameboy artist's site probably has the best description of the different sounds that can be obtained. Hopefully, as this musical scene grows more excellent artists will experiment with the sonic possibilities that can be obtained. I have already heard one excellent band called Pornophonique. They describe themselves on the site as "gameboy meets lagerfeuer" and have a most excellent sound. I suggest checking them out and keeping your eyes open for any new groups utilizing the Gameboy as an instrument.

Monday, November 17, 2008

PETA Video Games?

Cooking Mama, The Unauthorized PETA Edition: Mama Kills Animals

PETA made a video parodying Cooking Mama. It is basically a giant scheme to make people realize the horror of eating meat. I don't think I can make any politically correct comments on this so I'll just let you check this out.

Play the full size version on

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thoughts of High School

During this last week I have gotten to miss school. Lots of school. The sad thing is that this time spent not at school sucked. Having a small allergic reaction cause autoeczematization on one's entire front side of the body is no bueno sir. However the good part of this is that I had tons and tons of hours to think about things. I thought about things that ranged from the random pointless things that emerge from the male mind such as why women are so difficult to topics that actually seem worthwhile to write about. The one that seemed to stick in my mind the most is the idea of identity and society in general from my view as a high school student.

Identity has interested me lately. As a high school senior, one must think about identity a lot when contemplating how to bs an essay to get into college, bs an essay to get an A in English, or bs to someone to pretend to know something you haven't the faintest clue about. Of course I am exaggerating a bit, but it really is quite interesting. What I find the strangest is that colleges actually base their entrance upon such essays that require the fragile high school mind to reflect upon their short lives and find meaning. I find this especially humorous due to the fact that they are asking people who have lived less than 20 years. Not to mention the fact that everyone changes over time, though it may depend on their situations and personality. What this leaves colleges with is an essay that may show how much someone wants to succeed now, or at least how good they are at pretending they do. Ah the fun of the high school essay.

High school is not meant to make a person magically enlightened. If anything it is a sort of system to supposedly prepare one for the world that exists outside of the sheltered high school community. This thought was strange because almost a year ago, I had an intense MySpace message chat going on about this very topic with my friend Rhea. We both were rather fed up with school, the concept seemed incredibly boring to us. However, through our messages we determined that in a way high school was a necessary.

We figured that high school is nothing more than a kind of microcosm of society that the older and supposedly wiser adult conspiracy had created to control and force feed us youngsters the rules they had put down. Everything that the real world has exists in high school, though in a lesser form. There are always stoners, overachievers, dealers, stealers, perverts, losers, winner, etc. Additionally, the high school government/student council was very much like our own ruling government and the ones who make the rules. In this sense, school was almost like a gauntlet. It didn't really determine what kind of person you were because there were plenty of good people in every clique, ethnic group, intelligence level, etc.

What high school did do was put everyone into a larger environment. This larger environment was very much like the world. It had all sorts of people from different backgrounds and different strengths and weaknesses. This gauntlet can best be described as the Battle Royale effect. These giant pools of maturing teenagers are given the chance to "learn". Those who can survive through the trial and make it to the real world, the ones who drop out cannot seem to handle the standard brainwashing that society has set in place and choose to remove themselves from the testing system to instead try their luck at the real world.

The ironic thing about this chat that went on for a while was that we were new high school juniors. We had been pointing these things out mostly from our limited experience and much was probably based on either emotion, or the need to feel like a rebel. Such strangeness, these high school days of self discovery. Such primitive animalistic instinct buried within our dated system of education.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama Aftermath

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

The Onion documents the horrible tragedy of losing one's lives to Obama Mania. Watch and weep at the sadness that the supporters find when there is no more race left to run.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Social Networking Killing Socialness?

I have always wondered why people have this weird sort of obsession with social networking sites. Recently Facebook seems to be the biggest and most addicting of them all. I have seen kids literally just sit on their ass and stare at the computer screen without blinking for over 5 minutes long. They stare at picture of their friends, comment, write on the walls, and of course use the pointless applications that seem to be a giant popularity contest. I fear for what Facebook is doing to the youth of the nation. Mainly because Facebook has become something more than a web application that allows one to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances. It has become a social phenomenon that allows people to gossip, rate each other, and talk to each other semi privately just like the real world. What sort of damage will this cause to the youths growing up in todays technological society?

First off, Facebook cannot replace the good old forms of communication that we have always relied on. Though some may find actually seeing people and making noises at each other to communicate primitive, it has always been essential to social development. By basically grunting, squealing, bickering, whatever you want to call it, we humans have developed out own society of rules. Social interaction is in some ways even more important than learning because it can be used in any situation. This is why I find this whole social networking obsession kind of creepy. When the youth of today are more into their Facebooks than actually meeting people, what will happen? Will we begin text messaging instead of talking to people right next to us? Will we slowly dumb down the society we live in until even novels are created in a language that is filled with abbreviations and colloquial chit chat? Whatever happens, it will forever shape the social landscape of the world. Maybe people in the future will refer to 2008 as the good old days when people actually talked to each other. Or maybe they'll just refer to it as the dawning of the new age of communication. An age of Facebook and text messaging. A cold new age of digital social ties.