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Pendragon: Raven Rise *UPDATED*

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I finished the ninth book in The Pendragon Adventure. As usual, I loved every word of it, and was stunned by the ending. I don't know why these books are in the children section of every book store I go to; they have violence and language and are usually over 500 pages long. Are children becoming more mature or is the book-rating system becoming more lax?:?

Anyway, I have loved this series. There are ten books in all, with only nine out so far. What it's about is a boy named Bobby Pendragon (no relation to Arthur Pendragon) who lives a comfy life is taken by his uncle to another part of the universe. A few details:

1. His entire family, as well as every record of their existence, vanishes without a trace.

2. There are others like him. They're called Travelers. They can move across the universe in spacial rides called flumes. They are omnilingual (meaning they understand every language as their own), and they have persuasive powers.

3. He has to lead these Travelers to prevent the parts of the universe (called Territories, which are like certain times on certain planets. Each Territory has its own special attributes, such as special technology or rituals or medicine that isn't found on Earth) from falling into chaos at the hands of a powerful and brilliant enemy called Saint Dane.

The story is so in-depth and amazing. One of my most favorite series of all time. Pick up the first book, The Merchant of Death, if you don't already read this.

Here's a link to the main website: http://www.thependragonadventure.com/

For Matty: Bible "Problems"

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A certain user has recently taken issue with one of my previous blog posts, and during the flame war that ensued he brought up the subject of the Bible being disproven by science. Naturally, I told him to bring up anything he wanted. What I got suggests to me that this user has not even so much as opened a Bible, let alone studied anything about it. So I'll be going over his suggestions and maybe he'll drop in for a comment or two.;)

"Let's see, the age of the universe,"

It seems the user is under the impression that the Bible mentiones the age of the universe, anywhere. I must ask for a verse. If there is none, then I must ask how the user got his information.

"geocentrism vs. heliocentrism,"

Same as above, really.

"the shape of the earth,"

Ah, one of those. I'm sure he is aware of the fact that the word "flat" is barely even in the Bible, and when it is, it's talking about property, not the planet. But perhaps he doesn't mean flat? After all, he never mentioned exactly what shape the Bible supposedly claims the Earth is. Maybe he thinks the Bible says the Earth is a triangle. But again, let's see some verses. I'm anticipating a hyper-literal translation.

"humans made in god's image,"

Science has disproven this? I don't know about everyone else, but I'd certainly love to know how, considering that science can't say "Yay" or "Nay" on anything immaterial.

"etc..."

Let's see the etc.

"In any case, let me leave you with a couple things. First:

http://marcussantiago.net/stuff/openlettertoreligiouspeople.gif "

I can just taste what's on the other side of that link. Let's take a look-see. . . .

"An open letter to religious people: You are idiots and I hate you."

Ah, yes. The unique taste of bull****. The title alone is enough to know that the user has effectively linked me to an idiot. I would link the comic, but sadly, it is full of offensive content and cursing, so GameSpot will not allow me to give you the enlightening picture. You'll be forced to click the link. I would respond to the picture, but really, it isn't worth my time. The only reason I'm even talking about it is to give the readers a sort of idea of what I'm up against.



"This comic's approach was appealing to me at first what with my bitterness about religion due to the opposition to ESCR"

I'm sure the user is aware the ESCR has been an obsolete science for quite a while, since we now know how to make embryonic stem cells with skin cells instead of embryos, and that this form of ESCR is not opposed by religious people. I'm also certain that the user is aware that religious people have never opposed any other form of stem cell research, including adult stem cells, which have long-since been preferable to embryonic stem cells in almost every way. But then, that puts me in a tight spot: If the user is well aware of religious tolerance toward so many other methods of stem cell research, then why does he oppose religious people because of their opposition to just one form? My guess is that the user has bought into the miracle cure hype that has accompanied stem cell research since its inception.

"but even with that I can still see that when I think about it I disagree with the approach of hating people just because they're religious, especially knowing religious people who seem intelligent..."

Bravo! So it seems that the user has linked me to an incredibly offensive picture. . . .for no reason at all! The good thing is, he doesn't seem to buy into it, though that idea remains to be confirmed.

"when it comes to the religion debate, to ask you if you've seen the "Penn and Teller: BS" episode on The Bible";

Apparently the user is under the impression that two unfunny political critics/comedians are decent sources on ancient texts.

"I haven't,"

Then I must wonder why it has been recommended to me? It appears the user has assumed it disproves the Bible before he himself has seen it.

"but I've seen various clips from it and am planning to watch it soon,"

Ah, various clips. Now it makes perfect sense.

"and have already seen their episode on creationism, which also goes into some science vs. religion stuff."

That's good to know! Of course I make it no secret that I do not have issue with evolution, and that I even criticise some forms of creationism, so I don't think I'll be seeing that episode either.

I eagerly await your comments.

Are people seriously still voting for Ron Paul?

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Seriously.:| All over the Internet I'm still seeing messages like "LULZ MCCRAZY AND OSAMA ARE GOING TO WIPE THERE BUTT WITH THE CONSTITUTION AND DESTROY THRE COUNTRY VOTE FOR RON PAUL!!!!!!" and "LULZ IM NOT GON BE STUPID LIKE MOST AMERICANS IM GOING TO VOTE FOR RON PAUL AND SAVE THE CONSTITUTION!!!!"

I mean, give it up already. There is no chance in hell for Ron Paul to win. Why do people insist on wasting their votes on a good candidate that just didn't make it? Though Paul's isolationist ideals and his conspiracy-bordering theories kinda turned me off to him.

Oh, and McCain '08.8)

My Thoughts on Adam

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I finished Ted Dekker's book, Adam. Summary (possible minor spoiler alert):

The book is about a forensic psychologist who criticizes religion and is obsessed with finding a serial killer known as Eve. With him are his ex-wife, who divorced him because he focused on Eve more than her, a pathologist who seems to share in his obsession, and a few other characters who don't come into the story much.

Eve uses some unknown virus that looks similar to meningitis to kill his victims, all female, all Catholic. He kills on every new moon, and plans his killings so very carefully that the police never find any trace of him that he doesn't want them to find.

The psychologist, Daniel Clark, finally gets a break and corners Eve on a bust of one of his hideouts. But Eve shoots him in the head, and he is killed instantly. Eve gets away, while people close to Clark try to revive him. After twenty minutes, they succeed, and he wakes up screaming.

He doesn't remember what happened to him, or even being shot. He becomes plagued by panic attacks and hallucinations (?) of Eve, and is desperate to try and remember Eve's face so he can catch him. So desperate, in fact, that he wants to kill/revive himself again. This desperation is multiplied when his ex-wife gets kidnapped by Eve.

(MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD. My spoiler tags won't work.)

The story opens with a seemingly unrelated newspaper article that details the kidnapping of two young children, a boy named Alex and a girl named Jessica. Similar newspaper articles appear throughout the book, detailing their lives, but their significance to the story isn't revealed until later in the book. The children are taken at a young age by a woman who makes a new religion, called Eve's Holy Coven, which is a Satanic mixture of Christianity, Satanism, Wicca, and other pagan religions. In doing so she summons Eve, a demon who possesses her and makes her beat the children, which is all part of a complicated rite of admonishment for her sins. The children eventually escape the crazy woman, and find new lives for themselves thanks to the help of a priest. As they grow older and more adjusted to the real world, Alex, who wants to be a priest, begins having horrible night terrors, waking up screaming every night to the point where he has to sleep with duct tape over his mouth, and he begins forming habits that were present in the insane woman who kidnapped them. Jessica forgives him for his problems, and doesn't tell anyone; after all, problems would be normal for what they experienced. But when Alex loses his chance at priesthood after revealing that he believes God does not exist, he grows incredibly depressed and eventually frightens Jessica into finding out what he does when he's alone.

She finds him in the middle of beating himself just like the crazy woman did with Eve's Coven. Alex eventually runs away, and is not seen again by Jessica or anyone else.

As for the story, when Daniel Clark kills himself two times (with the help of the pathologist, Lori Aimes) and finds a boy in a small room Daniel determines is his inner conscience (and not anything supernatural, as he's still an atheist at this point), he is told by the boy that he made Eve a promise, and didn't keep it. Now his ex-wife will die. On Daniel's second suicide, the boy reveals to Daniel that he is Eve, and puts Daniel through horror before he revives again. Daniel eventually finds his wife, and Eve, but he gets kidnapped himself. Eve (who reveals his name to be Alex) offers Daniel a chance to become "good friends" with Eve. Daniel, who thinks it's all a mind game, accepts, and becomes possessed by Eve himself. His ex-wife, who escapes, calls on the aid of the priest that helped Alex and Jessica many years before. The priest reluctantly accepts, and performs an exorcism on Daniel while Alex watches. Alex is not a bad guy in this story. He doesn't like Eve, and wants her gone. But he is forced to do as she says.

(HUGE-ASS SPOILER NEXT!)

After some frightening events with exorcism going wrong, Lori Aimes appears and reveals to Alex that she is actually his sister Jessica. After some moving scenes Alex takes a vicious whipping from Eve, who still possesses Daniel. This gives the priest time to finish the exorcism. Eve vanishes, Daniel is freed (but in bad psychological shape), Alex goes to jail, and Jessica becomes a teacher.

/SPOILERS.

My thoughts:

I don't read horror/suspense novels. This is my second one. I really liked it, but it is true what reviewers say: The ending was sub-par and disappointing. The story was extremely detailed, going into real methods used by the FBI and by forensic scientists. I think I'll read more of Dekker's books after this one, but I really hope he does better with the endings on those. That is my only real complaint.

That's more like it.

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TheologyWeb has finally given my friend his Christian tag back.

In other news, remember that story I wrote? About the wall? I mentioned it to my psychologist, who wanted to read it. So I sent it to him, and not only did he like it, he slightly edited the first paragraph (you can read the edited version on my wordpress blog) and said I should try to get it published!:o

I'm Rather Pissed at TheologyWeb.

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TheologyWeb is starting to get on my nerves. Not because it's slow, or the community is stupid, or anything like that; the administrators are labeling a user I INVITED as an atheist when he has demonstrated that he is a Christian, has been vouched for by two users (myself included), and has been supported by users of all beliefs on the board. Why does the TWeb administration do this, you ask?

They think his posts are more like an atheist's.

That's it. He asked some questions, and some user with a grudge decided he doesn't post like a Christian, therefore he must be an atheist in disguise. Now he can't switch his faith tag that shows he's a Christian; he has to wear an "atheist" tag. Which is not what he believes.

What the hell?! I decided that some users there post like atheists. Nevermind that their tags say "Deist" and "Agnostic;" they must be lying. Change them! Or how about mine?

I formally demanded an administrator to fix this, as I am insulted by the way my friend's being treated, as I'm the one who invited him there in the first place, and now he's getting the finger. I was told it was being sorted out. That was nearly two weeks ago. Now "the ball's in his court," whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

Buncha Updates. . .

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In case you're wondering, the last blog post is still being worked on, but I've moved the project to my new Wordpress blog. Also critique my choice in skins.:P I changed blog sites because Blogger is acting slow as hell, and the community. . . . .ech. The Wordpress features are much easier to use.

I ordered a new Dell Inspiron 1520 laptop a few weeks ago. It won't be here until July. . . .but I'm looking forward to it.

I found a new author that looks promising: Ted Dekker. He's a Christian author, and his books are on a secular level like I have never seen in Christian books before. . . .and they're creepy. Very creepy. The man is obsessed with evil and its role in God's creation. His books get so vivid that some Christian accuse him of being a false Christian. I bought one of his newer books, Adam, the other day. I also bought the Holy Trinity of fiction stories: The Lord of the Rings. I figure it would be best to read them now, since I have never read them before.:P

I've been looking for a job. So far, I've applied to three places (there aren't many places to work near my home), and I've gotten no calls back.:(

My step-dad's being an asshat again. This time, he is going after me. Apparently, since he had to work two jobs through high school, so should I.:| He believes I'm getting a "free ride," and he's threatening to leave if I don't pay for at least some of my way through. . . .hence why I'm looking for a job. But that's not too bad. At first, he wanted me to pay rent for my bedroom and for the food I eat and electricity I use. He then said I should be looking for a psychology internship. . . .as if

1: A first-year student in a community college can actually apply for one (and get it), and

2: The majority of psychologists are looking for interns (they're not).:roll:

I volunteered at the Jacksonville Zoo again, today. We worked in booths in the parking lot for a cIassic car show. I worked six hours in the blazing hot Florida summer sun. I loved it. We had free green tea all day. So did everyone else who was there; worker or guest.

I think that's about everything. . . .

Oh, and when I get my laptop, I will very likely make a new GameSpot account.

I'm Doing Something Big. *UPDATED AGAIN*

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A couple of months ago, I made a topic on OT called The Evils of Religion, where I listed 123 wars and conflicts that were cIassified as religious in nature in the Encyclopedia of Wars. My thesis for that topic was to show that religion is not the cause of the majority, or even many, of the difficulties of history.

Now, I'm doing it again. But this time is a bit different. This time, I want to list their combined mortality rate.

Yes. I'm going to attempt to find the combined casualties of 123 historical conflicts. Which means I need to find their individual rates. Starting tomorrow. >____>

The list:

Albigensian Crusade, (Estimated death toll: 200,000-1,000,000, source)

Almohad Conquest of Muslim Spain (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Anglo-Scottish War (1559-1560) (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Arab Conquest of Carthage (Estimated death toll is unknown, but is considered to be over 40,000, source),

Aragonese-Castilian War (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Aragonese-French War (1209-1213) (Nothing on this can be found, let alone the death toll.:?),

First Bearnese Revolt (Estimated eath toll cannot be found),

Second Bearnese Revolt (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Third Bearnese Revolt (Estimated death toll is unknown, but the leaders at the time exaggerated it as 22,000. Source),

First Bishop's War,

Second Bishop's War (The death toll of the Bishop's Wars is about 1,000. Source.),

Raids of the Black Hundreds (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Bohemian Civil War (1465-1471) (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Bohemian Palatine War (See: Thirty Years War),

War in Bosnia (Estimated death toll is 97,000. Source),

Byzantine-Muslim War (633-642),

Byzantine-Muslim War (645-656),

Byzantine-Muslim War (688-679),

Byzantine-Muslim War (698-718 ),

Byzantine-Muslim War (739),

Byzantine-Muslim War (741-752),

Byzantine-Muslim War (778-783),

Byzantine-Muslim War (797-798 ),

Byzantine-Muslim War (803-809),

Byzantine-Muslim War (830-841),

Byzantine-Muslim War (851-863),

Byzantine-Muslim War (871-885),

Byzantine-Muslim War (960-976),

Byzantine-Muslim War (995-999) (Estimated death toll for the Byzantine-Muslim wars cannot be found),

Camisards' Rebellion (See: Thirty Years War),

Castilian Conquest of Toledo (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Charlemagne's Invasion of Northern Spain (Death toll cannot be found),

Charlemagne's War against the Saxons (Estimated death toll is 4,500. Source.),

Count's War (also known as the Count's Feud. Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Covenanters' Rebellion (1666) (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Covenanters' Rebellion (1679) (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Covenanters' Rebellion (1685) (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Crimean War (Estimated death toll is 277,173. Source.),

First Crusade,

Second Crusade,

Third Crusade,

Fourth Crusade,

Fifth Crusade,

Sixth Crusade,

Seventh Crusade,

Eighth Crusade,

Ninth Crusade,

Crusader-Turkish Wars (1100-1146),

Crusader-Turkish Wars (1272-1291) (The combined death toll of all the Crusades is approximately 1.5 million. Source),

Danish-Estonian War (Estimated death toll cannot be found; may not have been disclosed),

German Civil War (1077-1106) (Also known as the Austro-Prussian War, the estimated death toll is 53,000. Source.),

Ghost Dance Uprising (Estimated death toll is 350. Source.),

Siege of Granada (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

First Iconoclastic War (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Second Iconoclastic War (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

India-Pakistan Partition War (Estimated death toll is 200-1,000,000. The most educated guess is 500,000. Source.),

Irish Tithe War (The exact estimate is unknown, but I found a figure of 242 murders. Source.),

Japanese invasion of Malacca (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Great Java War (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Kappel Wars (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Lebanese Civil War (Estimated death toll is 150,000. Source.),

Wars of the Lombard League (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Luccan-Florentine War (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Holy Wars of the Mad Mullah (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Maryland's Religious War (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Mecca-Medina War (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Mexican Insurrections (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

War of the Monks (Estimated death toll cannot be found),

Mountain Meadows Massacre,

Revolt of Muqanna,

Crusade of Nicopolis,

Padri War,

Paulician War,

Persian Civil War (1500-1503),

Portuguese-Moroccan War (1458-1471),

Portuguese-Moroccan War (1578 ),

Portuguese-Omani Wars in East Africa,

Rajput Rebellion against Aurangzeb,

Revolt in Ravenna,

First War of Religion,

Second War of Religion,

Third War of Religion,

Fourth War of Religion (See: Third Bearnese Revolt),

Fifth War of Religion,

Sixth War of Religion,

Eighth War of Religion,

Ninth War of Religion,

Roman-Persian War (421-422),

Roman-Persian War (441),

Russo Turkish War (1877-1878 ),

First Sacred War,

Second Sacred War,

Third Sacred War,

Saladin's Holy War,

Schmalkaldic War,

Scottish Uprising against Mary of Guise,

Serbo-Turkish War,

Shimabara Revolt,

War of the Sonderbund,

Spanish Christian-Muslim War (912-928 ),

Spanish Christian-Muslim War (977-997),

Spanish Christian-Muslim War (1001-1031),

Spanish Christian-Muslim War (1172-1212),

Spanish Christian-Muslim War (1230-1248 ),

Spanish Christian-Muslim War (1481-1492),

Spanish Conquests in North Africa,

Swedish War,

Thirty Years War (Estimated death toll is 3 million to 7.5 million. It is sometimes exaggerated as 11.5 million. Source),

Transylvania-Hapsburg War,

Tukulor-French War,

Turko-Persian Wars,

United States War on Terror,

Vellore Mutiny,

Vjayanagar Wars,

First Villmergen War,

Second Villmergen War,

Visigothic-Frankish War.

If anybody would like to help by posting the death toll of any of these (plus sources!!!), even just one of these, I would be very grateful. It will take me a long time to get all of it together, but if I finish it, it will be the biggest thing I have done (which isn't much of a compliment towards what I've done, sadly. ).

UPDATE: As you can see, progress is slightly difficult. I know I won't be able to find the death toll of every one of these wars (that's just not humanly possible with the info we have), but I hope I can do better. I have to leave soon.

One thing I have noticed, however: Some of the above wars are listed at least TWICE. For example, the Fourth War of Religion is also known as the Siege of La Rochelle, which is also known as the Third Bearnese Revolt, which is also listed near the top. I doubt this was an intentional mistake, but that means that there are actually FEWER religious wars than I thought.

UPDATE NUMBER 2: I found a nice few websites and I did the Crusades (their death toll is by the last Crusade, and they are all combined). I'm still having a problem, though. I can't find the results for a lot of these; more than I had anticipated. So here's what I'm going to do: Once I'm finished, I'll take the highest death toll I find, and apply it to all the wars I cannot find. So for example, if the highest death toll I find is 2 million, then I'll assume 2 million people died in ever war I could not find a death toll in. I'll be sure to post how it is ONLY an assumption, and not necesarily rooted in any facts of the matter.

UPDATE NUMBER 3: I removed the Brabant Revolutions from the list, due to the fact that I cannot find any underlying religious causes for this conflict nor can I find any religious motivation for it. Therefore, as far as I'm concerned, it does not belong on the list. The Thirty Years War is the most devastating on this list, with casualties as low as 3 million and as high as 11.5 million, and has produced the highest death toll of any religious conflict of all time (unless you're an idiot who believes the Holocaust was caused by religion). However, the 11.5 million deaths have been greatly exaggerated, so I am going with 7.5 million, the next highest best estimate.

UPDATE NUMBER 4: I'm on the "M"'s. I removed one conflict from the list due to the fact I cannot find a single result by the same name, that I haven't posted.

I apologise for my anti-drug activism.

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Since I'm apparently GameSpot's most ignorant user for being against something people only want so they can sit around and huff all day about how the Man is evil and how hallucinating opens your mind, I have seen the err of my ways and I formally apologise to any brainless pot junkie who may have been offended by my true insults.

I must also confess that I am actually insecure and afraid of the wonderful intelligence of high school dropouts who seem to be too high to use the word "your" in its possessive sense. Because, after all, no smart person has a third-grade knowledge of English grammar. Only ignorant people know how to spell or use something as silly as a comma. Druggies, on the other hand, have surpassed the plane of intelligence into something that can only be described as "superific."

I also realised that the tens of thousands of scientists on the matter are wrong and that drugs don't really harm your brain, but it's just a coincidence. After all, drug-toting scum typically like to drink, smoke, and all sorts of other things that would damage your brain, so the drugs must not really be causing it. Heck, drugs must actually be GOOD for your health, especially when taken without restriction or consent from a doctor, who obviously has no idea what he's doing, because, let's face it: Drugs are good, m'kay?

I also must admit the fact that drugs only harm the user (which they don't, as seen by the point above). All those years I have had around drug users in my own family were made up by me in order for me to blindly hate a substance that totally doesn't make people into violent morons with no life. The families who enter therapy because of another person's drug usage are also nothing more than government propaganda designed to brainwash children toward an agenda that, apparently, would do nothing but harm the government.

So I am truly sorry, my pot-huffing, crap-sniffing peers, for calling you names and trying to do something with my life. I'm truly sorry for thinking you're a worthless sack of crap when the truth is that all college students do drugs. Let's be BFFs.