Beauty and Virtue

This was my final project for CHI 443, Modern Chinese Culture Through Film. It didn’t turn out nearly as well as I would have hoped, but I think it would be a waste to not share it. Video after the jump.

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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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If You Vote, You Have No Right to Complain

Imagine that you made a bet with someone. It doesn’t matter what the bet is over–it may be the outcome of a football game or the toss of the dice. But whichever game, and for whatever reason aside, you and a rival enter into a wager. The stakes are as follows: The loser’s house will be burned to the ground. Now, assuming that you take the bet, you are aware that you are entering a wager where someone’s house will be burned down. To such a bettor, the desired outcome is a house burning down. Of course, you will surely wish that it shan’t be your house, but you will wish that a house burn down. You’ll just wish it’s the house of your rival. Notice I have said nothing of intentions or motives. Morally speaking, it does not matter why you are taking the bet. Maybe you need the winnings for emergency surgery or to make your car payment. But the reason does not matter. No matter what the outcome, someone’s property will be destroyed for the benefit of a short-term gain by the winning party.

It is despicable to take a bet where you know that no matter what, someone’s house will be destroyed. What would be more despicable still would be to delude yourself into thinking that your rival will be better off, and/or that the destruction of his house is either secretly benefiting him or the charred rubble is just an illusion. Of course, if you were the loser you would not fall for this assurance; you would recognize the lie for what it is and you would want your house back. If this situation seems absurd, it is only because I have substituted the words “house” and “wager” for “liberty” and “vote.”

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My Funeral: A Request

When I typed in the title of this post, I immediately thought about how if I were still a minor, some authority figure would find this post, misconstrue its title to mean that I’m suicidal, and then there would be a big hullabaloo about it. I feel an odd mixture of relief that no one cares because I’m an adult, and sadness that no one cares because I’m an adult. Anyway, when I do eventually kick the bucket, this is what I want my funeral to be like.

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Beauty Beauteous and Age Aging

The idea of exactly what beauty is or what nature it has is a topic beloved by philosopher and poet alike. Is beauty an entity unto itself, or is it a part of a greater whole? This is the topic of an essay I recently wrote based on a two poems by Shakespeare and William Butler Yeats. Read more after the jump!

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Misanthrope Man, Mk. II

There comes a point in every man’s life when a judge forces him to deliver a written apology to a man he’s assaulted. This is that letter:

Dear Mr. Smith,

First of all, Hi! How are you? I hope the wife is doing well. In fact I know she is, but that’ll have to wait for another court-mandated letter. In the meantime, give her my love (or just leave the back door unlocked so I can continue to do it for you). How about the little tyke Junior? That’s great. So happy for you. Anyway, I’m writing to respond to the incident that happened in Joe’s Tavern last week. I trust that you have been released from the hospital by now. So let’s jump in, shall we?

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