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cronomagus36 Blog

Some albums I've bought lately, among other things

Hey every, Crono here, and has it really been almost half a year since I last posted a blog? It looks like I missed my chances to blog on my birthday (I turned 17 on May 21st) and on my third anniversary on Gamespot (May 27th), which is a shame since I was thinking about posting a special blog talking about all my good memories on Gamespot. It's hard to believe that I joined this site just after I turned 14, about to finish middle school, and now I'm about to be a Senior in high school in September. :?

Anyway, I guess you guys can take this blog as a sign that I'm still alive, since I haven't been too active in the last couple of months (the Legend of Nintendo died again a couple months ago, so the only places I've really been posting are at the Music Is Life Union and All-Out Nintendo).

For those of you who share my taste in music, I've bought a couple of new albums over the last two weeks, so I figured I'd share them here:

LondonCalling.png
London Calling by The Clash

Songlist:

  • London Calling
  • Brand New Cadillac
  • Jimmy Jazz
  • Hateful
  • Rudie Can't Fail
  • Spanish Bombs
  • The Right Profile
  • Lost in the Supermarket
  • Clampdown
  • The Guns of Brixton
  • Wrong 'Em Boyo
  • Death or Glory
  • Koka Kola
  • The Card Cheat
  • Lover's Rock
  • Four Horsemen
  • I'm Not Down
  • Revolution Rock
  • Train in Vain (Stand By Me)

ThankYou.jpg
Thank You by Stone Temple Pilots

Songlist:

  • Vasoline
  • Down
  • Wicked Garden
  • Big Empty
  • Plush
  • Big Bang Baby
  • Creep
  • Lady Picture Show
  • Trippin' On a Hole in a Paper Heart
  • Interstate Love Song
  • All in the Suit That You Wear
  • Sex Type Thing
  • Days of the Week
  • Sour Girl
  • Plush (Acoustic)

GreatestHits.jpg
Neil Young's Greatest Hits by Neil Young

Songlist:

  • Down by the River
  • Cowgirl in the Sand
  • Cinnamon Girl
  • Helpless
  • After the Gold Rush
  • Only Love Can Break Your Heart
  • Southern Man
  • Ohio
  • The Needle and the Damage Done
  • Old Man
  • Heart of Gold
  • Like a Hurricane
  • Comes a Time
  • Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)
  • Rockin' in the Free World
  • Harvest Moon

VanHalenII2.png
Van Halen II by Van Halen

Songlist:

  • You're No Good
  • Dance the Night Away
  • Somebody Get Me a Doctor
  • Bottoms Up!
  • Outta Love Again
  • Light Up the Sky
  • Spanish Fly
  • D.O.A.
  • Women in Love
  • Beautiful Girls

MTVUnplugged.jpg
MTV Unplugged by Alice in Chains

Songlist:

  • Nutshell
  • Brother
  • No Excuses
  • Sludge Factory
  • Down in a Hole
  • Angry Chair
  • Rooster
  • Got Me Wrong
  • Heaven Beside You
  • Would?
  • Frogs
  • Over Now
  • Killer Is Me

Incesticide.jpg
Incesticide by Nirvana

Songlist:

  • Dive
  • Sliver
  • Stain
  • Been a Son
  • Turnaround
  • Molly's Lips
  • Son of a Gun
  • (New Wave) Polly
  • Beeswax
  • Downer
  • Mexican Seafood
  • Hairspray Queen
  • Aero Zeppelin
  • Big Long Now
  • Aneurysm

I should note here that since I bought Incesticide, I have all of Nirvana's studio albums along with one of their live albums. :cool:

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Anyway, for those who are still reading, I'll hopefully start to become more active here throughout the summer, so let's hope for more blogs to come (and if any of you guys are in unions that you think I'd like, go ahead and tell me in the comments!). I don't really have anything planned this summer, at least not in the month of July. Once August starts, I'll be off to go to BSA Summer Camp for a week, and then I'll have some band stuff going on the week after that (which I'm looking forward to, since I'll get a chance to audition for band next year and ask out a girl I've had a crush on for a long time now).

What do you say we close this out with some useless information?

  • Roald Dahl was so disappointed with the movie Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory that he refused to have any more films made out of the book while he was still alive.
  • Back in 2010, a British woman had such a bad migraine headache that she developed a case of "Foreign Accent Syndrome". Now she speaks with a Chinese accent.
  • Cats spend nearly 30 percent of their lives grooming. They spend about 65 percent of their time sleeping.
  • The U.S. dropped a higher number of bombs were dropped on Laus during the Vietnam War than all of Europe during World War II.

That's all I've got for now, see you guys next time. :D

-Crono

Music Rant #3: My Problem With the Radio

Looking back, it's been quite a while since I last made a blog, and even longer since I made one of these Music Rants ("Hey guys it's Crono I'm going to make a big series of music rants even though I'm really only making 2 in July then never doing any again hahahaha"). I figured it's about time I got started on these rants again, and I figured there's no better way to begin than with an issue that I've been thinking about a lot lately: the radio.

Now, let me make one thing clear: I don't flat-out hate listening to the radio, and I actually do tune in to some local rock stations when I'm in the car or sometimes when I'm just sitting around at home and want to listen to something different. But whether it's some clas-sic rock station or a country station or a "today's best music" station, all radio stations have one big problem: they all focus entirely on playing very mainstream music to their target audiences, and this in turn has warped the music industry into the mess that it has become.

I think the biggest contributors to this problem are all these new, trendy stations that promise to play "the best mix of everything" or "today's best music." Now, you guys probably know my musical tastes pretty well by now and can tell that I object to all the talentless garbage that plays on the public air waves. But that's not the only problem that I see here. The bigger issue is that all of these radio DJs are really just taking these brand-new musicians who seem the most likely to fit in with the modern age demographic (in other words, your Justin Biebers, your Rebecca Blacks, or your Lady Gagas) and playing their music constantly because the DJs feel that this is what will get their station more attention.

Now, I can understand that this is the easiest way for a radio station to become popular with the in-crowd. But let's stray away from the posers with the number-one singles and the multi-million iTunes downloads to take a look at the newer musicians who weren't so lucky with the record companies. The music industry is a competitive place, and every day there are probably thousands of new bands and music groups forming all around the world trying to score a record deal or get their new songs on the radio. But it's pretty clear that only a select few of these musicians will get any airplay on the radio, and these will be the ones with the shallow love songs, the eternally young-looking faces, and the trademark haircuts. The music industry gets more and more cliché by the day, doesn't it? And so the story ends with all the talented, original performers being forever hidden in the shadows of some teenage money-magnets with incredible luck.

But even with all of these trendy radio stations that get the most attention from the today's generation of youth, all of the rock n' roll radio stations, or any radio stations that play music several decades beyond their time, are also large contributors to the problem. Every time I tune in to one of my local rock stations, I hear something along the lines of "Rock n' Roll's greatest hits" or "the best of old-school rock n' roll." Now, don't these slogans sound awfully familiar? If they do, it's because these stations are no better than their newer counterparts; they have the exact same strategy of playing mainstream music to captivate their audience. The only difference here is that the music played is several years older, because most of it is used to appeal to a different age group (well, unless you're a rare exception like me, a teenager who listens to music that my parents grew up listening to).

The thing is, this problem on the radio has been going on for decades now. Just ask Frank Zappa, who's actually a lot better at explaining the situation than I am. But we basically have the same issue of record companies selecting what music should be seen as good and hip by that generation and then radio DJs secretly conveying that the quality of all music is determined by its popularity. Fast-forward to the present, and we'll see that only a select percentage of the bands to exist during that time period get any airplay on the radio, and even those bands will only get their most popular songs featured. For example, I can hardly remember any time where I've heard a Pink Floyd song on the radio that isn't "Money" or "Comfortably Numb".

It's really quite sad to think about, but if the music industry doesn't change its stance soon, not only is rock n' roll going to die (and I dread the day that happens), but decades from now we're going to have "old-school" radio stations playing the cliché, corrupted pop garbage we have to deal with now while all the cool, new radio stations continue to play whatever other cliché fad dominates the music industry in the future.

Do you remember lying in bed
With your covers pulled up over your head?
Radio playin' so no one can see
We need change, we need it fast
Before rock's just part of the past
'Cause lately it all sounds the same to me
Oh oh oh oh, oh oh

See you guys next blog.

-Crono

oh my god skyward sword 7.5 RAGE

I'M DONE WITH GAMESPOT.

I can't believe that despite everything I've heard about the game being amazing from other sites, one single video game website would dare give Skyward Sword a score lower than a 9 or a 10! Nintendo Life loved it, Destructoid loved it, Gametrailers loved it, GameInformer loved it, so why not Gamespot?

RAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!

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The following is a pretty accurate respresentation of what you've been seeing from Gamespot users in the unions, forums, and video review comments regardingTom McShea's review for Zelda: Skyward Sword. Heck, the review has over 2500 comments, and the review only came out 2 days ago. I wasn't a member of Gamespot back when the Twilight Princess review was written and the game got a score of 8.9, but by the looks of it (and because the game got an even lower review score), the community reactions are even worse.

I think it's a bit sad by now that so many users are flipping out like this over the game's review when, giving the site's history of corruption and giving average scores to extremely hyped games, they probably should've stopped trusting Gamespot's opinions (and the opinions of ALL 'professional' game reviewers) a long time ago. Personally I've given up on listening to the voices of these 'professionals' altogether, because I've realized that no matter how high or low of a socre the game gets, it's only the reviewer's opinion, and the review is not right or wrong because of this.I think people are definitely flipping out way too much about the Skyward Sword review considering the game hasn't even come out yet. For being a community of people who are determined to buy the game no matter what happens, I think everyone who's reacted this way needs to calm down and weigh in on the game once they experience it firsthand.

Now let me get this straight; I do not think Tom McShea's review of Skyward Sword was particularly good review at all. Now, I'm certainly not the best reviewer in the world, and there's no way I would want to base my career off of writing video game reviews, but there were several aspects of the video review that made it less than stelar. Throughout the video, gameplay footage of the game is censored by an anti-spoiler message, and Gamespot has said that they won't show the complete review of the game until it is actually released. This determination to not spoil any important aspects of the game makes it so vague and undetailed that I hardly feel I've gained any actual knowledge of the game by watching the video. The review is also brutally nit-picky, and in a true Tom McShea fashion, over half the review is spent babbling about the same aspects of the game (namely, the controls) being flawed. So, do I think the review is good? No. Do I agree or disagree with the review? I don't know yet, I'll find out when I play the game for myself and decide.

So my point with this whole rant is that what the video game critics say is not necessarily right or wrong at all. Only time will tell if Skyward Sword is really a good game for youin particular, and while I know that McShea's review is not going to sway your decision in buying the game, I don't think you should let the review anger you so much. In the words of how my English teacher described an essay I read in clas-s: "This is an example of what I like to call elegeant bull****."

-Crono

Games Saved My Life: A really cool website I found

Hey guys, Crono here. It's been a long time since I blogged, but what excuses do I have that haven't already been used? I've just been kind of slacking off on these lately, even though I do have a few ideas for Useless Blogs or Music Rants that I haven't gotten around to writing yet, and even though it's a month away, I hope to do something special for my 2 1/2 year anniversary on this site.

But that's beside the point. Today, I wanted to tell you guys about this really cool website I found thanks to EarthBound Central. The site is called gamessavedmylife.com, and it's basically a website full of articles people have written about how video games have changed their lives or helped them cope through tough times. Here are a few stories that I've read so far:

I think stories like this really help end this "Video games as an art form debate". You see all sorts of stuff on the news about how playing FPSs caused some teenage idiot to go on a shooting rampage or kill innocent people, but then you look at the lives of these people who used video games as an escape that helped them overcome their problems and become better people. There are people who can say that reading a good book or watching a good movie helped change their life or really affected them emotionally, and it really is a beautiful thing when you see that video games can have this same effect on people.

Check this site out, some of the stories are really touching.

-Crono

My Junior Year So Far

Before I start this update on school and all that stuff, I just wanted to say that my last blog, "6 Things I DON'T Want to See From Nintendo in the Next Generation" ended up getting featured in the Gamespot community spotlight! That's awesome! I never imagined that rant getting all the positive feedback that it did, so thanks to all of the people who read and commented on that last blog. You might also see me repost a few old Legend of Nintendo rants in my blogs in the days to come, just so some non-LoN members can get a chance to see more of my 'work'.

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Anyway, for those who don't know, I'm currently a high school junior and got my school year started on September 2nd (it was actually on the first for Freshmen). I just figured I'd make a short (or possibly long, knowing me) blog about how things have been going so far. Although my schedule basically imploded on itself earlier this week, things have gotten better. I've already been enjoying myself more than my Sophomore year, and I look forward to the rest of my time as a Junior. Here are all of the clas-ses that I'm taking right now along with what they've been like so far.

Before School: Jazz Band

I've been playing the trumpet for about 5 years now, but I have almost no experience whatsoever with jazz music. But on a whim I decided to audition for jazz band at the end of sophomore year and got accepted in, and although I have to be at school at a brutal 6:25 every morning (meaning I wake up at 5:30 every day now), I'm glad I decided to join. I may be 3rd trumpet due to my lack of experience, but I'm with all 3 of the other trumpet players that I'm with in my 3rd period band, so we'll be a good team throghout the year. I've been having a lot of fun with the music and we've had a lot of good laughs so far, and later this year, we'll be going on a trip to California, which'll be a lot of fun for sure.

1st Period: Japanese-3

It looks like last year was a good time to be taking Japanese 1 and 2, because the third course of the language hadn't been offered until this year, so I get to take the clas-ses all in sucession. All my other Junior friends who had any interest in Japanese took it as Freshmen, meaning that they have a lot of catching up to do before they have all their skill back. The only problem is that the teacher (who is the same one that I had last year) is on their side and is probably going to spend the rest of this month or so reviewing stuff before we finally start anything new, so I've been pretty bored in first period lately since I can just breeze through the work we've been given and want more challenge as promised. At least I know some people in the clas-s, unlike last year when 97% of the people in the clas-s were racist Korean guys that only talked with each other.

2nd Period: AP English Language/Regular U.S. History

This may be a little hard to explain. Basically my second period is on a rotating schedule, so I'm going to be in AP (Advanced Placement) English on Mondays and Wednesday, U.S. History on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and some weird combination of both on Fridays. I have the exact same peers in both clas-ses, which is both a good thing and a bad thing since I do have one of my longtime friends and a nice guy I just met in that clas-s, but almost everyone else in the group is a bunch of idiots, and it really blows my mind that these guys are even in an Advanced Placement clas-s. The English clas-s seems pretty promising so far and I have the same teacher that I did last year, but the U.S. History teacher doesn't excactly seem to interesting for the most part. Oh well. Also in English, we're writing essays on the persuasive techniques used in different McDonalds commercials, and right now we're doing an essay on this one here. Check it out. :P

3rd Period: Wind Ensemble

Or, for those who don't know what that means, advanced band. Last year, we had only one band in the school with about 70 students in it of mixed skill and maturity levels, so this year our teacher decided to do things a little differently and have this higher-level band that people audition for. I made it in, and just like Jazz, I'm glad I did. The Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble have a pretty similar group of people, and we've had a really good time so far. Plus we only have about 40 people in the Wind Ensemble instead of the massive group of 70.

4th Period: Pre-Calculus

And here my troubles began. I've had a lot of problems with arranging my math clas-s for the last two weeks, so I'll just keep things as short as I possibly can. Basically, I started out in a pretty small Pre-Calculus clas-s in one 'house' of my school with a pretty cool temporary teacher (the original teacher I was supposed to have got a job at a different school just before September). But just this Tuesday, an adminastrator announced that due to budget reasons and because we had the smallest math clas-s in the school, our 4th period was going to shut down. So I spent an entire stress/anger-filled day trying to figure out exactly what I could do with my schedule, because in order to keep my schedule intact, I would need to take Pre-Cal in 4th period even though the only other 4th-period clas-s was full. So for a while, it looked like my only option was to drop Wind Ensemble and take the clas-s in 3rd, which really sucked after how much I was enjoying band thus far. Thankfully, things got better after my mom and band teacher talked to the principal and got things all fixed up. The principal knows that I'm a talented and well-behaved band student and understood that I wanted to stay in the clas-s, so she had them make an exception in that full clas-s so I could keep everything else on my schedule, which is a huge relief.

The only problem is that I have a LOT of catching up to do since we barely started learning anything in Pre-Cal in that other group, so I'm way behind and have quite a bit of homework to catch up on before I can get any sort of understanding as to what we're doing. But I'm sure it'll all work out soon enough.

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There you have it, that's my Junior year so far. Like always, I've been playing a few different games lately as well. I bought Final Fantasy VI for the SNES a few weeks ago, and I've been enjoying what I've played of it so far. I haven't played it as much lately, mostly because I've been hooked on replaying Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door for the Gamecube, one of my favorite games even though I've honestly never beaten it. I will get around to playing Final Fantasy some more though, since I've heard a lot of people say great things about it.

That's about all I can think of right now, so I'll see you guys later. This is Chronomagnuschromemagnumbanana36, signing out.

6 Things I DON'T want to see from Nintendo in the next generation

With all of the evolving technology in the video game industry over the last few years, a lot of new ideas and concepts have been introduced by console developers and game developers alike. In some cases, we've seen some great innovation in games during this generation, which I hope to see more of because I'm tired of popular games these days just recycling the same aging gameplay elements over and over again. But the game industry has also seen a lot of negative change lately, and because of this it's no wonder that we see a lot of older gamers complaining that "video games were a lot better when they were growing up". Because I've been sticking mostly with the Wii and DS during this generation, I thankfully haven't had to deal with most of these issues because Nintendo hasn't really marketed itself as a trend-follower for the last few years. But with the 3DS already being out, the Wii U being on its way, and the next generation of video game consoles most likely starting in the next year or two, I have to look at some of these modern trends and wonder if Nintendo still plans on staying off those roads. So without further ado, here are 5 modern trends in gaming that I DON'T want to see from Nintendo in the next generation.

1. Moneymaking scams with Downloadable Content.


This is what you payed for. But it'll cost you 50 more bucks for the full game.

Now, let me make it clear that not all forms of DLC are necessarily a bad thing. I'm okay with games like Guitar Hero or Rock Band releasing "track packs" of extra songs so gamers have more things to play a few months after the game came out. What I'm not okay with is greedy developers releasing games and charging an extra $10 or so on things that should've been included with the game already. Take all these newer fighting games (like Mortal Kombat 9 or Marvel Vs. Capcom 3) as an example. I constantly hear about all of these fighting games coming out, and about a week or two later, the developers reveal that they're releasing new characters or new costumes available for download on Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network for a "small" price. So maybe about 10 dollars isn't such a large amount of money, but it is when we're talking about a game that you've already spent 60 dollars on and we're being charged even more money for content that should've been included with the game anyway. Thankfully we haven't been seeing this on the Nintendo side of the gaming world, and I really hope we don't have to see this on the Wii U in the next few years. I'd rather wait a few years waiting for Nintendo to release a complete Super Smash Bros. game than get in a year and have to spend more money on extra characters and maps. Take a look at Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It may have been delayed multiple times and didn't come out until the Wii's third year on the market, but at least it was an awesome game full of hundreds of hours worth of content, and because of that, people still play it today.

2. The death of local multiplayer.


At least with this I don't have to deal with 12-year olds swearing at me with their headsets.

Let's face it: The Wii's Nintendo Wi-Fi connection is passable, but it's nothing compared to the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live. But the Wii's online play really doesn't matter that much to me because I personally spend most of my multiplayer gaming on local multiplayer modes because not all of my friends have Wiis and not all of those who do can play them online. So it's good for me to see that games like Super Smash Bros. Brawl and New Super Mario Bros. Wii have such good local multiplayer. The Mario game even gets a lot of complaints from players because it doesn't have online multiplayer, but I really don't care. Personally, I'd rather be playing in the same room with my friends so I can just punch them if they throw into a pit for the fifth time. So Nintendo, while I think it would be great if you improved your online capabilities with the Wii U and 3DS, I don't want you to ruin me and my friend's chances to play video games together. And speaking of multiplayer…

3. Having such a focus on online multiplayer that single player comes second.

While multiplayer is an important feature to have in games within a certain genre (fighting, shooters, etc.), single player is what should really come first. There are many games on the market today (Call of Duty being a prime example) that come out with a new installment every single year because the developers simply put everything into online multiplayer mechanics and hardly even tried to make the single player worth the player's time. If I had to choose my personal favorite First-Person Shooter, Half-Life 2 would definitely be the first choice, because because the game has a long, fun, and well-designed single-player. Out of the Wii and DS games in this generation that have both single-player and multiplayer options, Nintendo and its good third-parties have done a nice job at making both gameplay modes a solid experience, with a few exceptions.

*Cough

*Cough*

Huh? What was that? Anyway, I personally hope that the Wii U continues in this sort of manner rather than making multiplayer the most important part of its games and leaving the single player in the dust.

4. A lack of variety in the system's library.

I'm going to sound like a whiny Wii fanboy when I say this, but the reason why I personally think the Wii has the best library of this console generation is because it has great games from a lot of different genres. There are the No More Heroes games for action fans, the Mario Galaxy games for platformer fans, Super Smash Bros. Brawl or Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars for fighter fans, World of Goo and Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros' Treasure for puzzle fans (the latter is more of a Puzzle-Adventure, but you get the idea), and so on. The reason why you don't see me playing the 360 (when I still had one) or the PS3 is because almost every single big game on each system is a dull brown-and-gray shooter of some sort, which is a type of games that doesn't really interest me. Sure, there are exceptions like LittleBigPlanet for the PS3 and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts And Bolts for the 360 (which I've heard isn't so great anyway), but the problem is that those two systems have game libraries that almost entirely appeal to the early-teens-and-older crowd, while the Wii manages to have several games for everybody (yes, even your Grandma). Let's hope this sort of variety can be seen in the Wii U in the next couple of years.

5. Other system features being more important than the games themselves.

Sure, it is nice being able to watch movies or store pictures with your game console, but I think that these features are getting to be too much of a focus nowadays. Microsoft and Sony have spent good parts of E3 conventions introducing their system's new capabilities to play Blu-Rays or post on social networking websites. Gaming forums also had TONS of Wii gamers complaining that the Wii couldn't play DVDs, although the new Netflix channel makes up for this a little bit. But are we forgetting what really matters here? It'll be fine with me if Nintendo builds DVD/Blu-Ray players into the Wii U or lets you take pictures and play music on your 3DS; I honestly don't care. But I can't stand to see other system functionalities overshadow the video game libraries of game systems, because without a solid library of games, everything else is meaningless, or at least that's the way I see it.

6. Gamestop Pre-Order Scams


Buy it later and get 99% of the game. Pre-order now and you get that extra 1%.

I'm sure by now everyone's seen these new Gamestop commercials. They just seem like any old game commercial, but at the end you'll hear some pre-order deal like "Get the in-game [insert weapon here] when you pre-order [insert game here] at Gamestop". Here's the thing: All of these special weapons that you get from pre-ordering these games are within the game already, and they're just sort of locked away unless you pre-order the game and get a code to unlock it from Gamestop. In other words, you're paying several extra dollars to get something that should've already been in the game in the first place. This is very similar to my first paragraph about Downloadable Content scams. It's not just greedy developers, it's greedy game retailers that are screwing us over with content that we should've gotten already from spending $60 on a new game. So far we've only seen this sort of scam with Xbox 360 and PS3 games due to the Wii not having DLC in their games, but PLEASE Nintendo, do the community a favor and don't start pulling this sort of crap on Nintendo fans as well.

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Well, there you have it, 5 modern gaming trends that I don't want to see from Nintendo in the next generation. I'm sure there are several more things I haven't thought of that you guys can add, so feel free to mention anything in the comments. There are a few things that I certainly would like to see with the Wii U and the 3DS, but I think the things that I don't want to see would matter even more, because no matter what happens, I don't want to see Nintendo sucking up to what all the "hardcore gamers" want, like some geeky high school kid trying to be cool before realizing that doing so just makes him look like a complete moron.

This is Chromemagnumchronobananamagnus36, signing out.

An update on everything that you don't really need to care about

Hey everyone, Crono here. As you can see, I've gotten back into the routine of making blogs lately, although it's all been the Music Rants that I've just started writing along with a useless blog I made yesterday. So I figured I may as well make a blog about the rest of the stuff that's been going on lately, although things have obviously been less busy during summer vacation, which is a good thing. Anyway...

I probably haven't mentioned it, but I've been out of school since June 20th, and I'll be starting again on September 1st (summer vacation just gets shorter and shorter every year!). I'm mostly free of homework, but I do have to read a few books for an AP (Advanced Placement) English clas-s that I'll be in during Junior year. I have 2 read two books of my choice, along with two from this list:

1984 by George Orwell (Just started that this week)
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

I've already read another book of my choice, The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. A great book if you're looking fora reasonably long novel to read. Like I said, I'm reading 1984 now, and I might read Fahrenheit next, but if you guys would rather recommend a different book from that list, feel free to steer me in the right direction.

I've also been going on a few outings with my boy scout troop this summer, along with weekly meetings and Order of the Arrow (which is basically boy scout honor society) meetings. From June 26th to July 2nd (a whole week) I went on a summer camp trip to Camp Bonaparte in Tonasket, Washington, which was a pretty fun time other than some "technical difficulties" with a merit badge. Last weekend I went to a place called Skomakowa (Skoh-mah-koh-wah) in a state park in southern Washington, which was also pretty cool.

I've also been watching a few movies lying around the house just for the sake of entertainment. Here are the ones I've watched this summer off the top of my head:

  • Toy Story 1 (I might watch the second today)
  • Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
  • Men in Black
  • Stand By Me
  • Spider-Man (I might borrow the sequel from one of my friends, though)
  • Shrek
  • Zoolander
  • Most of the Harry Potter movies, shown on TV

I might also be seeing the new Harry Potter movie in theaters this weekend with my mom and maybe my friend.

I've also been playing a few different games this summer. I put Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story on hold for a while since I'm trying to focus more on the Game Boy Advance this summer. On my GBA, I've beaten Pokemon Sapphire Version, Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, and Kirby: The Amazing Mirror, and I just started Zelda: A Link to the Past/Four Swords today. On my consoles, I've beaten Kingdom Hearts II and Super Mario Sunshine, and I'm playing Zelda: Majora's Mask and EarthBound right now. After beating Majora's Mask (I'm a little bit past the Great Bay Temple right now), I'll be buying Final Fantasy VI for the SNES, and after EarthBound, I want to replay Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door for the Gamecube. And I've occasionally been playing Rock Band and Mario Kart Wiiby myself and with my friend just for the fun of it. Wow, that's a mouthful. :P

I think that's about all I have to say for now, so I close this out with some useless information to make this actually worth reading. :P

  • The creator of Twinkies, Jimmy Dewar, ate 40,177 Twinkies in his lifetime.
  • Dr. Seuss's first book was rejected by 23 publishers.
  • The Beatles were rejected by the first two companies they auditioned with, both of them saying that The Beatles were "talentless" and that "guitar music was on its way out".
  • The baseball glove, the electric range (stove), the electon microscope, standard time, and the zipper were all invented by Canadians.
  • Finland has the most islands of any country (179,584).

That's all for now, see you guys next time. 8)

-Chronomagnus Banana 36

Useless Blog: Engrish

Hello there everyone, it's been a while since I did one of these useless blogs, hasn't it? Well, this is one that I've been planning to do for quite a while, but I wasn't able to make it since I couldn't add pictures to my blogs until a few days ago. This blog will be based on a site called engrish.com, a site full of pictures of badly-translated signs, clothes, and other products from countries like Japan and China. Basically, it's the Failblog of translating. Today, I'll be showing you some funny images from a few different sections of the site for your amusement. ;) (Note: I am not at all affiliated with or being paid by Engrish, I'm just sharing images here for the entertainment of myself and all of you guys.)

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Let's start off with some signs:

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Now onto some video game screenshots:

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How about some clothes?

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And now for some vending machines.

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All right, that's all I've got for now, but I hope all of you enjoyed it. :D There were some really funny images from the site that I would've liked to share, but they were a bit too explicit to be posted here. If you want to see what I mean, check out the site's "Adult Engrish" section. Don't worry, there's nothing pornographic or anything in that part of the site, it's just R-rated stuff that has strong language written on products or suggestive restaraunt names.

I'll be sure to share some more good Engrish in future blogs if I find any. 8) See you guys later!

-Crono

Music Rant #2: Shock Value In Music History

Before I start this off, I'd like to make an awesome announcement. I'm now able to post blogs WHILE using WYSIWYG editor! This means that, along with using different font sty|es and colors, I can also provide links and images in my blogs. So soon enough, I'll be able to make a useless blog that I've been meaning to make for you guys for a long time. 8) But first, I'd like to make another one of these rants since I've had this sort of thing on my mind for a while. Enjoy!

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Unless you've been living under a Modern-Day-Music-Industry rock for your entire life (depending on how old you are), you've probably heard of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. Featuring Ozzy Osbourne on vocals (for their earliest and most well-known years, anyway), Tony Iommi on guitar, Geezer Butler on bass, and Bill Ward on drums, Black Sabbath is known by many to be the world's first heavy metal band and the band that got the whole genre started (some people say Led Zeppelin was the first metal band, but I've always considered them to be Hard Rock). The band has had many lineup changes over the years, since every vocalist they've had can't seem to stay with the band for more than ten years at a time. Ozzy Osbourne is clearly the most well-known Black Sabbath singer because he was WITH THE BAND when they wrote (remember the italic text, it's important) popular metal songs like Iron Man, War Pigs, Paranoid, and Never Say Die. The band has also had vocalists like Ronnie James Dio (known better for his other band Dio) and Ian Gillan (known better for being the vocalist of Deep Purple) after Ozzy's leave. Ozzy then went to form a band called Blizzard of Ozz that basically turned into his solo project after Randy Rhoads (the guitarist of the "band") was killed in a plane crash at the age of 25. Ozzy's solo project spawned many famous songs since the start, including Crazy Train, one of the most famous and rather overplayed metal songs of all time. Today, Ozzy is the most widely-recognized musician in the heavy metal genre.

But let's cut the boring music history lesson right here and ask a question; Where did his fame really come from? Ozzy was well known for being a "madman" in the eyes of parents and religious groups around the world, andalong with having serious drug-and-alcohol abuse problems at one point of his life, he's also known for biting the head of a dove, being an "anti-christ" and a "satanist" (if you ask religious groups), biting the head off a bat during a concert, and urinating on the Alamo while drunk and wearing his wife's dress (I'm not making this up). Another thing I should mention is that Ozzy Osbourne did not write the lyrics of instrumental parts in most of his own songs. Ozzy does not even play any instruments, most of Black Sabbath's songs were written by the band's bassist (Geezer Butler), and his solo songs were usually written by the various musicians he's worked with since the 1980s. While I do like Black Sabbath and most of Ozzy's solo music, I find it hard to deny that most of Ozzy's fame came more from the controversy he's caused over time and less from his actual music.

But Ozzy Osbourne isn't the only musician to achieve fame for this reason. Let's take a look at the Sex Pistols, a punk rock band with a reputation similar to 'Sabbath's: They're often considered the world's first Punk Rock band and as one of the most influencial music groups of the 20th century, even though the only produced one studio album in their time ("Never Mind the Bullocks, Here's The Sex Pistols"). And like Ozzy Osbourne, the members of The Sex Pistols are known for their crazed antics; back in their days, they were drug addicts and alcoholics, they were arrested multiple times for various acts of violence and drug-related crimes, and they produced music with very rebellious and anti-political messages. And they were extremely stuck-up.

The Sex Pistol's music was also extremely simple. Their songs featured incredibly simple drum beats, the same three chords being played over and over again on the guitar, obnoxious vocals, and the same notes being played over and over again on the bass. Many people know Sid Vicious, a member of the Sex Pistols who temporarily replaced the band's singer and bassist, as "not being able to play a single note of music". This brings me to my point; The Sex Pistols is another great example of a band that achieved fame more for their insane behavior than for their actual music.

This is what really got heavy metal and punk rock to the popularity they have today; The genres are both surrounded by lots of controversy started by concerned parents and devoted religious groups. These groups of people often thought they could put an end to this music that was 'killing their kids', and what they really ended up doing was causing the music to skyrocket into popularity. So if you ever want to become a famous musician these days, all you really need to do is gain basic instrumental skills and act like a total maniac in public - Actually, now that I think about it, what you really need to do to gain music popularity these days is get a stupid-looking hairsty|e and write an atrocious song about how much you pity yourself and want girls to cling to you. But let's save that for another rant.

-Crono

Music Rant #1: Clean Versions and Music Censorship

If you looked at the title of this blog, you'll probably notice how I called this "Music Rant #1", meaning that there'll probably be some more of these in the future. As many of my friends on this site would know, I'm a huge fan of rock n' roll and heavy metal music, and have stated my opinions on several bands and different genres of music around here. But in this "series" of blogs, I'll be talking in detail about my opinions on different music-related subjects because I'm just that stuck-up. :P Anyway, let's get this thing started. Chances are I'll be mentioning certain songs or articles in these blogs, and I'm limited to just posting the URL rather than adding a link due to my limited blogging abilities. Sorry about that. ---------------------------------------------------------- This time around, I'll be talking about censorship and "clean versions" of songs in the music industry. In this day and age of music, there's explicit music everywhere, in almost every genre, and companies like VEVO and iTunes are forced to take a little bit of action on their parts in making the music "cleaner" so angry parents won't complain about their children listening to music with the same explicit language they'll be hearing every day at their public schools anyway. Radio DJs also have some difficulties wtih playing such music on their stations because the music that some stations play has to be "radio-friendly" enough. A good example of this would be the song "**** You" by Cee-Lo Green: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17eSUnQ-_ek (In case it wasn't obvious enough, the song contains explicit language.) This song has gained some popularity in the last year, and as a result, many radio stations have the desire to play the song for more people to hear. The problem is that the song is too vulgar for the innocent ears of our poor children, and so to find a way around this issue, a "cleaner" version of the song called "Forget You" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKxodgpyGec) was later released, with the F-bombs in the song being replaced with the word "forget", which, in the context it is used in, hardly makes any sense with the original words of the song. The "S-word" (the one that sounds like "shoot") is shortened to a mere "Shhh" sound, and the "N-word" is removed entirely from the song, which throws off the rhyming in the verses. This brings me to the reason why I hate seeing censored versions of songs: It just ruins the original meaning behind the song. Some artists use profanity to express emotions in some of their songs, that's just the way it is. But when this profanity is removed from the song, it just seems like the song is emptier and the meaning that the song once had is taken away with the words. I'll provide some other original songs and their clean versions below just to give some more examples of this: "The Pick of Destiny" by Tenacious D: Original Song - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y118d6kycAc Clean Version (from VEVO, naturally) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h27xucvYtRs "BYOB" by System of a Down: Original Song - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_ruRSCW7B4 Clean Version - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUzd9KyIDrM&ob=av3e What do you guys think about this? You guys are entitled to your own opinion, so feel free to state it and criticize me for mine in the comments. See you guys in the next blog, be it a music rant or a regular blog. Hopefully it'll be sooner than 20 days next time. :P -Crono