Hang-On [1985] |Arcade| HONORABLE MENTION

Following in the footsteps of Pole Position, Sega’s racing game Hang-On gave the player a high-speed over-the-shoulder (or more accurately, behind-the-car) racing game with sharp turns and endless AI opponents. Hang-On added something new to the mix, though. The player sat on a motorcycle-shaped seat that they had to tilt to the left or right in order to steer in-game.

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The Essential Japan Travel Prep Guide

There is a lot of information that goes into planning a trip, and the further away that destination is (not just in terms of distance, but in terms of culture, foreign language, etc.) the more daunting the task can be. While preparing for a trip to Japan, I have been discovering that there are many pieces of helpful information that I never even thought to ask about. But now that I’ve learned a wealth of knowledge about preparing for a trip, I want to compile it here for any fellow first-time travelers (and for my own reference). I’m going to sort it chronologically so that you won’t be overwhelmed with all the things that need to be done. On the contrary, if you take it one step at a time, then it will be very easily manageable. And of course, the earlier you start the better. So without further ado, here we go.

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Racism and the “New” Identity Politics

“Only white people can be racist.” This is the conclusion drawn by many activists of the modern day, who exert their various energies toward the goal of attaining justice for society. The reasoning goes that racism is prejudice plus institutionalized power, so only white persons can be racist. Let’s look at whether this is true and what it really means.

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Super Mario Bros. [1985/09/13] |Famicom|

I’m pretty sure you already heard that music in your head before playing the audio file. It is burned into all our brains! The impact that Super Mario Bros has had on modern culture is astounding. And why shouldn’t it be? SMB defined the platformer genre and inspired generations of games. Although not the first platformer, it stands in history as the iconic grandfather of platformers and is the earliest memory I have from my childhood. Before I could even speak full sentences I was already defeating Bowser. Click “read more” to go down the pipe and take a look.

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Contest! Win up to $100! (It’s a lot easier than you think.)

UPDATE: I have selected the essay winner! From a staggeringly large pool of 1 (one) entrant, I have chosen John Everett as the winner! John submitted an essay that was only two words long (“The End”), but since there were no other contestants, this essay was by far the best. John will be spending his $100 prize money on a self-congratulatory party with cake and ice cream.

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Do you want to win some prize money? Of course you do! With $100 you could buy almost 400 chicken McNuggets. All you have to do is write a brief essay. No, don’t run away! It’s MUCH easier than it sounds. All you have to do is write a 500-word essay (that’s less than one page!) on a short book I wrote. The book is available from Amazon for cheap, it’s only 100 pages long, and the essay topic requires imagination more than it does research (and you have three months to write the essay). Think about this: most people who see this post won’t even think about entering the contest because they’ll be afraid of writing less than a page about a short book. The odds are already in your favor if you’re still reading this.

Here’s how to participate in the contest.

  1. Read Everett’s Ultimate Commentary of the Bible: Volume 1: Genesis Chapter 1, 3rd Edition, available from Amazon. It’s only 100 pages long. Don’t sweat it.
  2. Write on one or more of the questions in the essay prompt below. Be sure to read the contest rules below the prompt.
  3. Submit the essay to me and complete the bonus tasks for additional winnings (see the “Winnings total” section below).
  4. Sit back and wait for the winner to be announced. If you win, you will be contacted via email.

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Hello, 2017!

Hi, everypeoples! I am happy to be back after a month off and I have a lot of writing plans in store for this year. Let’s see how they turn out.

My first goal is to finish my Bible commentary for the book of Genesis and publish the book version by the end of the year. This will mean that I have to write a chapter’s worth every week for 49 weeks, with a couple weeks to spare for editing, etc. I’m not sure if this goal is ambitious or foolhardy. We shall see. I am still working on my Japanese flash cards a little at a time. The most challenging part is trying to find Japanese subtitles and then trying to find a copy of the Japanese media I need to make video clips. Since I don’t have a deadline for this project, however, there’s no worry. I will still endeavor to write my Games Appreciation articles and try to get up to 1987 by the end of this year. Playing “every” game ever made is a tall order, and to be honest, once this semester of school started I almost entirely stopped playing video games except on Sundays; even the ones on Steam. I’m afraid. Please send help.

I am also still updating my tumblr, although I will be taking off this January because tagging posts is exhausting. I really wish tumblr had an auto-tagging feature. Even if I needed to delete some of the generated tags and add new ones, that would be better than nothing. Anyway, I’m still studying Japanese, I’m starting to study Hebrew, and I’m losing more and more of my hair every week.

Me in November 2009 vs. me in November 2016.

It’s amazing what seven years will do to a guy. I look like an old man now. Anyway, in between all this I’m going to school (still!) and now I pretty much only have my upper-level major courses to take. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately it’s a very long tunnel and it costs thousands of dollars in tuition money every year. Oh, I’m also enjoying some light reading. I’m currently reading Augustine of Hippo’s The City of God.

It certainly doesn’t seem right that a 700 page book can be considered “light reading.” But believe me, after slogging through Thomas Aquinas, anything will seem light. Since last year I have added two new pages to my blog: Recommended Reading and the Store. In the first you will see all the media that I recommend, including books, movies, and more. (I will only recommend something if I have actually read or seen it, in case you were wondering why there’s something great missing.) And in the store you’ll see a list of all my books that are for sale on Amazon. You can also see a list of the books on my Amazon author page, but it’s less organized. If you’d like to get me a late Christmas present or an early birthday present, buying and reading one of my books would be the perfect gift. So far I have earned over $3 in royalties from book sales. At this rate, I’ll be a millionaire in just 55,555 years! Oh, and this blog is ad-supported, but I have only made $0 from ad revenue so far, so I won’t count that. Anyway, money is nice. It buys food, which is one of the finest things in life. Something to consider.

I don’t know what new page or feature I might add in 2017, but I’m excited about the possibilities. As always, any feedback you may have is much appreciated.

Peace,

John

Genesis 1:24-1:31

Genesis 1:24

And Elohim said “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kind: livestock, and creeping things, and beast of the earth according to their kind,” and it was so.

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים תֹּוצֵ֨א הָאָ֜רֶץ נֶ֤פֶשׁ חַיָּה֙ לְמִינָ֔הּ בְּהֵמָ֥ה וָרֶ֛מֶשׂ וְחַֽיְתֹו־אֶ֖רֶץ לְמִינָ֑הּ וַֽיְהִי־כֵֽן׃

way-yō-mer ‘ĕ-lō-hîm, tō-w-ṣê hā-’ā-reṣ ne-p̄eš ḥay-yāh lə-mî-nāh, bə-hê-māh wā-re-meś wə-ḥay-ṯōw-‘e-reṣ lə-mî-nāh; way-hî-ḵên.

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Genesis 1:20-1:23 Commentary

Genesis 1:20

And God said, “Let the waters teem with [swarms of] creatures that have life, and [let the waters bring forth abundantly] birds that fly above the earth in the open firmament of the heaven.”

Literally: And God said, “Let the waters swarm a swarm of living creatures and birds that [may] fly above the earth in the open firmament of the heaven.”

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֔ים יִשְׁרְצ֣וּ הַמַּ֔יִם שֶׁ֖רֶץ נֶ֣פֶשׁ חַיָּ֑ה וְעֹוף֙ יְעֹופֵ֣ף עַל־הָאָ֔רֶץ עַל־פְּנֵ֖י רְקִ֥יעַ הַשָּׁמָֽיִם׃

way-yō-mer ’ĕ-lō-hîm, yiš-rə-ṣū ham-ma-yim, še-reṣ ne-p̄eš ḥay-yāh;

wə-‘ō-wp̄ yə-‘ō-w-p̄êp̄ ‘al-hā-’ā-reṣ, ‘al-pə-nê rə-qî-a‘haš-šā-mā-yim.

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Genesis 1:14-1:19 Commentary

Genesis 1:14

And God said, “Let there be light sources in the firmament of the heaven to divide a space between the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.”

וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֗ים יְהִ֤י מְאֹרֹת֙ בִּרְקִ֣יעַ הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם לְהַבְדִּ֕יל בֵּ֥ין הַיֹּ֖ום וּבֵ֣ין הַלָּ֑יְלָה וְהָי֤וּ לְאֹתֹת֙ וּלְמֹ֣ועֲדִ֔ים וּלְיָמִ֖ים וְשָׁנִֽים׃

way-yō-mer ’ĕ-lō-hîm, yə-hî mə-’ō-rōṯ bir-qî-a‘ haš-šā-ma-yim, lə-haḇ-dîl bên hay-yō-wm ū-ḇên hal-lā-yə-lāh; wə-hā-yū lə-’ō-ṯōṯ ū-lə-mō-w-‘ă-ḏîm, ū-lə-yā-mîm wə-šā-nîm.

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