“Absorbent and yellow and distracting is he…”

"Absorbent and yellow and porous is he!"

Ah yes, Spongebob Squarepants, the invertebrate who lives in a pineapple under the sea, has been making waves as of late. If only Joseph Campbell were around, he would immediately intuit that Spongebob was a Sponge with a thousand faces.

The Sponge with a Thousand Faces.

I have watched Spongebob Squarepants ever since it first aired on Nickelodeon in 1999, and still catch episodes when I can on Netflix, snatching twelve or so minutes to wolf down cereal while I snort soymilk out of my nose from Bob’s ridiculous-ness. That may be a bit of hyperbole, but frankly, the show is pure genius; one that is able to deftly straddle diverse demographics, bringing children, teens and adults together, all to watch the antics of a spineless fry cook sponge and his idiotic starfish bestie, Patrick. It also carries the distinction of being one of the only ’90s cartoons still running, and that is saying something. I own a few seasons, and have always enjoyed the show’s quick pace, the insane animation, the plots involving his terrible driving at Boating School, his job working as a fry cook for miserly Eugene Krabs at the fast food restaurant the Krusty Krab, his wacky friends like Sandy Cheeks (HA!) and Patrick Star, and his cranky neighbor Squidward Tentacles. The names are a hoot, the stories downright crazy. Which is also why I do not understand all the fuss about the supposed effects the show has on 4-year-olds.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Don’t hate the game, hate the player.

Games have been a ubiquitous part of our culture since time immemorial.

So THE USA TODAY posted an article on 9.15.2011 about a study regarding the connection between violent video games and violent players. It was conducted by Villanova University professor Patrick Markey, and was picked up by Kotaku the very next day, who added some interesting things to the conversation. So here are some deets, and my take:

According to Markey in THE USA TODAY, “Video games are not simply good or bad for everybody,” he says. “But for some individuals who have certain dispositions, if they play video games they’re much more likely to be negatively affected.”

Markey co-authored a study that was published in the Review of General Psychology, and was also presented at an American Psychological Association meeting.  His data includes responses collected in 2009 from 118 participants, and in the study half of them played violent games and the other half played non-violent video games.

Personally, I feel that this distinction is a hard one to make, and I would love to get my hands on the list of games used for the study. Even games like Pokemon or Critter Crunch are embedded with violence, but it is minor and certainly overshadowed by fatalities, pimp slaps and head shots.

One of the things gamers have had to deal with for quite a while now is the perception of violence portrayed in video games and how it might affect the gamers. This is a question which has been raised time and time again; when film was introduced folks were worried how it would affect the youth, television came out and the same debate raged, heck, even comic books took a hit and created their own self-governing and regulatory tool, the Comics Code Authority, that worked to sanitize and scrub the offending violence out of the comics, making the suitable for youth. But can you truly take the violence out of a cultural product? Isn’t it produced by culture, and therefore simply inseparable from the very environment in which it was created?

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Gaming

NEW SERIES!: “…and I learned something.”

Spotlight On: The Tulsa Race Riots of 1921.

Tulsa race riot of 1921.

As the librarian in charge of ordering for our adult graphic novels section, I try to really cover as much ground as possible. Along the way I discover quality books which often inspire, amaze, and educate, and a recent selection did all of that and more. Syncopated: An Anthology of Nonfiction Picto-Essays, ed. by Brendan Burford, was such a book. Although I found it to be a bit uneven, as there are so many diverse stories with unique approaches and styles, they all were wonderful in their own right, but the one that resonated with me and stuck with me was a short piece by Nate Powell entitled, “Like Hell I Will.” It is drawn in black and white, which is ironic, for it tells the powerful story of the race riots in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the early part of the summer of 1921.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under "...and I learned something."

It took this story to entice me back to blogging.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?! Although this may be old news to some, many of you might not know about this Gizmodo article by Alyssa Bereznak and her now famous date with a world champion Magic: the Gathering player, Jon Finkel. To further elaborate, Mr. Finkel is a top-level player of said fantasy trading card game (MTG for short), and even had a card printed with his likeness. Now throughout this article Ms. Bereznak desperately tries to soften us up by leading with factoids such as: she was drunk and signed up for OKCupid, an online dating site, she is a nerd so it’s cool to trash other nerds, and she is judgmental. Okay, point(s) taken, but this article truly made me angry. Not throw-a-television-through-a-plate-glass-window angry, more like a slight gnashing-of-teeth-and-rolling-of-the-eyes angry.

 

I mean, I consider myself a nerd, I really do, especially in light of this particular game, which I have been playing intermittently for over 15 years. I find that the players are quite diverse; some are business owners, some are lawyers, teachers, librarians, older, younger, even a girl or two, you name it. And I understand that her article was to be considered a treatise on how shallow we can be, especially when it is one nerd judging another. But Finkel? He’s a super nerd, a nerd god. I mean, a WORLD CHAMP? Do you even know how much these folks can earn playing a game? I am sure she wouldn’t look down her nose at a World Poker Champ, or someone who just won 100K playing pool, or bowling, so what is the deal? She even said this: “One person’s Magic is another person’s fingernail biting, and no profile in the world is deep enough to account for that.” So she wants online profiles to encapsulate everything about a person, every quirk, each foible, all of the diverse things you may be into, or do, should be listed. That is an insane idea, there is no way you could (or would want to) list everything in what should be a snapshot of yourself. The whole point is for people to be intrigued, to want to get to know you better, to fill in those mysterious gaps themselves. That’s the relationship part of the whole thing. Why even spend time with someone you already know EVERYTHING about? Where’s the fun in that?

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Gaming

Videos & Links from the toilet that is the Internetz.

Yup, that’s right; I strained the flow of chunk stuff that flowed through the Tubes which make up teh Internetz and sifted until I hit gold. And here it is:

First off, funny fan-boy bait for everyone!

Harry Potter in the Hood (NSFW)

 

Hilarious videogame called I’m NOT Drunk!. Propaganda or parody, it is still funny!

Chinese WoW playing gets confused with Real Life

A World of Warcraft Intervention!

An excellent documentary called Second Skin about MMO’s and their effects, is now available. Here’s a little taste, via Kotaku.

Plants vs. Zombies music video! WARNING: Extremely catchy song.

And of course, the effects said video has on a toddler.

Super Mario Bros. protest by “real” Italians. Fuggedaboutit.

College Humor remains hip with their take on social networking via the musical Web Site Story.

Japanese fashion gets a little crazy with the Gyaru fashion trend (thanks Japanator!), and UK Teens emulate it, much to everyone’s dismay. WTF England, wtf.

And Harper College Library has perhaps my favorite Library tour video OF ALL TIME.

Now for the random ramblings in link form, from Japanese mythology to scientific gaming!
Japanese mythological creatures called Tanuki use a specific body part to great effect. Here is some neat artwork, via Japanator.

Gaming is the new scientific frontier, according to this researcher.

The innovative game Scribblenauts deserves a lot of credit, especially from Information Specialists!

UK author Helen McCarthy hips us to Manga Cross-Stitch, a great book for all of the crafty otaku out there!

And according to this msnbc article, screaming obscenities may indeed be a pain killer. Great, so now that’s what I’ll tell the cops at 3am.

That is all.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Playin’ catch-up with links and posts…

Combing the Internetz is hard work! I thinkI may need Valve to send me something from Team Fortress to help kill the crap and save the good stuff.

Team Fortress 2 mail in coupon

Total Eclipse of the Heart. LITERALLY.
Srsly frakkin’ FUNNY! A LITERAL VIDEO TRANSLATION of that most famous and insidious of ’80’s songs, Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler. Behold the glory!

Live Action PITFALL
As part of the 2009 Come Out & Play Festival in NYC, the live-action Pitfall Tournament was a hit. Now that’s total immersion!

Augmented Reality Zombie game
A project from Georgia tech and SCAD-Atlanta brings us a new AR game, which is a composite that mashes up hand-held peripherals, table surfaces, holographic technology, and SKITTLES. Oh yeah, Skittle-Bombs away!

Star Trek/Wars
After I saw the “new” Star Trek, it reminded me of something…but I couldn’t figure out what.

Steampunk Light Box
If any of you have ever had a hankering to start up a DIY project, this one seems interesting and not too difficult.

GUNDAM
Anyone who’s kept up with news out of Japan knows they have a thing for robots, and apparently, the bigger the better, like this life-size Gundam model which stood outside of Odiaba for a few months before being moved away. Pink Tentacle has some amazing night shots!

The Recently Deflowered Girl
Of course we all recognize the work of artist Edward Gorey, but did you know that he tamed up with Ms. Hyacinthe Phypps to create a manners book for women who are deflowered in myriad situations? Neither did I, until now.

Well, I hope this has been as enlightening for you as it has for me. Goodbye.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Been a long time comin’…

…but I been thinking, I send soooo many posts to other folks through private email channels, why not send ’em back out to the masses? So since you (didn’t) ask for it, you got it! I will now attempt to document my backlog of links, thus permanently archiving them in this ephemeral blog post form until the transience of technology erases everything from memory. Oh well, here goes:

The Gay Comics List:
This site is freakin’ awesome! For any fans of GLBT comics, Libraries and Educators alike whoa re looking to beef up their collection and/or awareness, and anyone else who just likes the beef cakes, this is an excellent source.

FUCK YOU, PENGUIN:
Caution, if you like LOLcats, then you’ll hate this. Or you might love it, I dunno, maybe you’re just messed up in the head. Either way, do not drink milk while reading this site, cuz it WILL COME OUT YOUR NOSE.
LOLcats? A dime a dozen.
Raggin’ on pictures of innocent animals? Priceless.

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:
Of course, who doesn’t like McSweeney’s? Unless you AREN’T a pretentious Douchebag, you obviously worship the site. Well either way, read the Internet-Age Syllabus and Course Overview, before I get angry. And you won’t like me when I’m angry.

FLUTTER:
If you thought Twitter was brief, well, you were right. But Flutter just might be our next Microblogging fix. Or not, you decide.

Well, that’s all for now, but trust me when I say, there are LOTS more to follow, so stay tuned!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized