Hi humans. Here’s my first vlog in over half a year. It’s a bunch of clips that Ed and I filmed throughout the month of June 2012, all thrown together into a compilation.
Hi humans. On the way back from summer classes today, I drove past this car. The funny thing about this is that this demolished car was in the left turn lane in the middle of the street, but there was nothing else around it. Meaning, there was nothing around it for it to have crashed in to. My speculation is that it was going so fast that it broke the gravity barrier and did a nose dive straight into the ground; upon impact, the extra gravity released and the car fell back upright. Ed’s speculation is that it crashed into another car, but the other car already got towed away. I like my guess better.
Hi humans. This is once again another response paper that I wrote for my literature course this past week. The topic was on the setting of As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. If you want more information about what response papers are supposed to be, check out last week’s blog post about The Awakening by Kate Chopin for a description.
Summary: William Faulknerâs As I Lay Dying tells a story of the Bundren familyâs journey from their home town to Jefferson, a distant village. This trip spurs into action upon the death of Addie Bundren, the mother of the family, as her last dying wish was to be buried in Jefferson near the rest of her relatives; she is placed in a coffin and carried to her destination via wagon. During the journey, we learn more about each member of the family and get a better sense of their relationships with their mother and each other. While traveling, the Bundrens face a series of obstacles, both related to the health of the coffin and to the needs of the family members. These unfortunate events include a flood that nearly washes Addieâs coffin and dead body away; the complete replacement of the team of mules due to a drowning; and a secret plot by one of Addieâs sons, Darl, to incinerate her body by lighting an entire barn on fire. Eventually, the family arrives at Jefferson and successfully buries Addieâs body. In the conclusion, we find that Darl has been tagged as insane, and Addieâs former husband, Anse, has already found a new wife. Impressions: Although this might not be one of the best books Iâve read, it will definitely be one of the most memorable because of the premise of the story â a family carrying their dead mother to a different location for burial is quite a distinct and original plotline for a novel. One thing that stuck out to me was the meaning and power of presence of Addieâs body. She states that throughout her life, she has found the love and intimate relationships between herself and her family members (husband and children) to be meaningless and empty. From her familyâs perspective, she was probably seen more as a liability than as a loving wife and mother, and it seems like this continued on after she died, but to a greater extent. I also felt the sense that Addieâs dead body was powerful enough that it was as if she was still alive, but equally empty as before. She was able to create a scene multiple times, forcing people to risk their lives to save her, and emitting a stench that brought together crowds; there were also air holes drilled into her coffin, as if she needed to breathe. Critical Analysis: The literal setting of As I Lay Dying occurs on a trip to Jefferson, a village where Addie wishes to be buried, and where her husband Anse can finally acquire a set of false teeth for which he has been longing. However, the central point of the mental struggles and obstacles of the Bundren family seems to be the coffin, which is why I believe a secondary and more implicit setting of the book is within and in the environment surrounding the coffin. The conflict of the book seems to begin when the coffin is being constructed and prepared. To begin, the coffin is built in front of Addieâs bedroom, which gives off the impression that her family is waiting for her to die, and is eager to see her fall. When she does finally pass away, she is not even placed in her coffin in the proper orientation, and she gets holes accidentally drilled through her head. These dysfunctional changes to the coffin seem to set off the dysfunctional events that are soon to affect the Bundren family. The coffin then becomes a brooding ground for even more problems for the family. The first problem they encounter is almost having the coffin swept away by the flood waters. The near loss of the coffin signifies the near loss of the family â itâs as if the slipping away of the coffin resulted in the slipping away of the Bundrens mules, and if the coffin had not been saved, they would have lost more. Later in their journey, when Darl attempts to incinerate the coffin, it was as if he had identified the coffin as the source of their troubles and wanted to eliminate it. However, Jewel risks his life and saves the coffin, as he understands the simple destruction of the coffin would not bring all these problems to a proper resolution, and their troubles would not come full circle. The burial of the coffin, as a result, represents the proper end to the Bundrensâ dysfunction, and a return back to the setting of normalcy before the construction of the coffin. Although questionable as to whether it is considered âback to normalâ or not, Anse has fulfilled his wish of acquiring his false teeth and has found a new wife, so things seem to be going better, at least for him. Works Cited: Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. New York, NY: Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1930. Print.If you want to take a look at last week’s paper, you can click on the “Academics / Homework” category to be taken to an index page of all blog posts that include papers I have written for homework.
Hi humans. For the past week and a half or so, I’ve been playing Singed, the Mad Chemist. Singed is a melee, off-tank disruptor based primarily off ability power. In the current meta game, Singed would normally be played either solo top or middle lane on Summoner’s Rift. However, I am going to focus on Singed in Twisted Treeline, as that map is where he really shines. For an extremely long time, I used to hate Singed. If I were to name a list of champions I hated the most, Singed would always be #1. Even when I started playing him a little bit on Summoner’s Rift, I still didn’t like him very much because I felt as if I wasn’t being very effective at using him. After browsing some websites and forums, I saw a consistent theme that Singed was extremely overpowered on Twisted Treeline, and should always be banned in competitive ranked play. He seemed to be a strange champion to be overpowered; I understood that he was basically a bulky ability power bruiser, but I didn’t see what made him more special than other bruisers. But, of course, I love playing overpowered champions so I can get easy wins and confuse my opponents as to why they feel so weak compared to me, so I set my mind to playing Singed for at least 10-20 games and really finding out why he was so effective on Twisted Treeline, then exploit those advantages. After playing a few games, I realized that Singed is unlike any other champion I have played before. In most of the disruptor champions I play, I have to actively scan my opponents pick off weak targets, and try to deal as much damage as possible within a short period of time while still surviving the fight. This places me in an edge-of-my-seat, aggressive state in team fights, as I am basically out for blood. When playing Singed for the first time, I entered the game with a very similar mindset. After playing him for a few more games, I realized that not only is Singed a different type of disruptor, but he needs to be played with a completely different mindset. Singed players should always have a “trololol” attitude in the back of their minds when playing. They should never get too aggressive or try to deal nukes of damage. Instead, they should play in a relaxed manner and run around, enjoying the scenery. Singed’s primary damage output is damage over time, so if you are not patient and not relaxed, you will start overextending and playing Singed incorrectly. So you can get an idea of what Singed is able to do, we’ll start by going over his abilities. Singed’s passive ability is called Empowered Bulwark. This innate ability allows Singed to receive 25% of his mana as health. This allows Singed to build ability power and utility items, and still become extremely bulky and tanky without having any straight defense items. There are some good items that go along with this passive that I will mention later when I go over my build. Singed’s Q and his primary damage output is Poison Trail. By spending 13 mana per second, Singed leaves a trail of poison clouds, each with a radius of 20, that deals magic damage per second. Enemies entering the cloud will take damage for the next three seconds; remaining in the cloud will continue to renew the duration of the damage over time. Singed’s W is Mega Adhesive. As the name suggests, it produces a puddle of glue on the ground that slows enemies walking over the glue by a significant amount. The speed reduction lasts for one second after enemies leave the radius of the puddle. The placement of the puddle has a relatively long range of 1000, which allows Singed to be able to catch up to enemies even if they are a good distance away. Mega Adhesive is an extremely powerful instant slow; at level 5, it slows enemies by 75%. Singed’s E is Fling. This unique ability throws enemies over Singed’s shoulder and places them a short distance away behind Singed. This is different from Volibear’s flip, as Volibear’s enemies land immediately behind Volibear. If used properly at the right angle, Fling can be used to throw opponents over walls (which is an extremely effective strategy on Twisted Treeline that will be discussed later). Fling also deals magic damage on impact. Singed’s ultimate is Insanity Potion. Upon activation, Singed enhances his ability power, armor, magic resist, movement speed, regeneration, and crowd control reduction. Basically, it turns Singed into a more powerful, bulkier version of what he was before. I have read in various locations that it essentially the equivalent of instantly temporarily increasing your level by 2; I’m not sure how accurate that is, but nevertheless, it’s still extremely powerful. All of Singed’s abilities work extremely well together. For example, an enemy might approach you to attack or harass. Turn on your Poison Trail so when they come into range, they get poison and start taking damage over time. Once you begin running away, if they decide to chase you, they will constantly be refreshing the duration of their poison, and consistently be taking more damage over time. Once they realize they are suffocating and are effectively killing their own self, they will probably disengage from the fight. This is when you turn the tables and start chasing them. Landing your Mega Adhesive will slow them enough for you to catch up to them. They will most likely keep on running away; when they reach the edge of your glue puddle, wait one second, then fling them back into the puddle to extend the duration of the slow and land them back into your poison. At this point, while your slow and fling are on cooldown, keep chasing the opponent, either by running slightly ahead of them or right next to them so they are constantly exposed to your poison. If they are too fast, activate your ultimate for the movement speed boost and to finish off your opponent more quickly with increased damage on your poison. Keep on running around them until they realize they have no chance of getting away and decide to fight. When they start attacking you, run away and make them chase you again through your poison. Repeat this process until they are dead. Yes, you just won a fight almost exclusively by running around like a headless chicken. There are some other strategies on Twisted Treeline that are extremely effective that make Singed overpowered, especially against champions who have no ways of dashing through walls. Singed should usually be played in the top lane. When enemies come close to you, angle yourself with your back against the wall to the dragon’s den and wait for them to close in on you. When your opponent reaches within the range of Fling, throw them back into the dragon den. Champions with dashing abilities will have to wait for their dash to come off cooldown to return into the lane. If they are out of mana or energy, they will have to spend precious time stuck in the dragon’s den before being able to return to the lane and continue getting last hits on minions. If they don’t have a dashing ability all together, they will have to walk all the around the outside border of the dragon’s den through the jungle to get back in lane, wasting tons of time (only to have you do it to them again). If they are smart, they will stop trying to harass you in fear of getting thrown over the wall again; this means you have effectively created a situation where you are free from harassment while you get minion kills. Another important strategy on Twisted Treeline is to always capture and secure the Wraith’s buff, which gives +20% movement speed. The Wraith’s buff is found in the inner two zones of monsters in the top jungle; it should not be a huge problem to monitor and get these buffs, as you should already be laning in the top lane anyway. Keep in mind that this buff only exists on Twisted Treeline, and not on Summoner’s Rift – this is one of the reasons Singed works better in Twisted Treeline than in Summoner’s Rift. As you saw in the example above on how to get kills with Singed, the most important stat you have is movement speed. This will allow you to prevent anyone from getting away from you when you chase them, and prevent anyone from catching you when you are the one being chased. This massive movement speed buff will make you so threatening that people will start to avoid you all together; when they see you nearby, they’ll start running right away to get a head start, and if they are near walls, they will Flash over them just to prevent you from initiating a fight. Finally, the last overpowered strategy that I was able to come up with (for now) is to always drag team fights into the jungle. The jungle lanes are very narrow, and Singed’s Mega Adhesive is relatively wide; throwing down your puddle of glue will essentially block off an entire jungle lane for five seconds. Because of the large range on Mega Adhesive, you will be able to throw your glue down across the concaves and convexes of the jungle, allowing your team to catch up without having to run in circles around walls hoping to predict your opponent’s jukes. Your adhesive will not only prevent opponents from getting away, but it helps your allies disengage from the fight when they are low of health without having someone chase them. I build Singed primarily with straight ability power and utility items. My starting item is always Sapphire Crystal – not only does it give me mana, it also gives me extra health and durability due to my passive. I also occasionally grab a health potion to help out with the initial first blood level 1 team fight that usually occurs at the beginning of most Twisted Treeline matches. For boots, I am usually split between Boots of Speed or Mercury’s Treads. I get Boots of Speed a majority of the time because, as mentioned before, movement speed is very important for Singed. Note that I get Boots of Speed and not Boots of Mobility, because the extra movement speed bonus on Boots of Mobility only works when you’re outside of combat, and the most important time when you need extra movement speed is when you’re in combat kiting opponents. However, if my opponents have heavy crowd control effects (such as stuns, silences, and disables), I get Mercury’s Treads for the tenacity. The first two items that I build unconditionally are Rod of Ages and Rylai’s Crystal Scepter. Both of these items work well for turning Singed into an off-tank, as they both give good amounts of health. Remember that Rod of Ages works nicely with Singed’s passive, as, not only does it give health to begin with, it also gives bonus health because it gives mana. Rylai’s Crystal Scepter allows Singed’s poison to have a slowing effect as well. Even though it’s only 15% for area-of-effect abilities, that is usually enough to make kiting your opponents easier, or making it possible to even kite them at all. And of course, both items provide ability power boosts, which increase Singed’s damage output. I always get Rod of Ages first before Rylai’s Crystal Scepter because Rod of Ages has a passive stacking ability that provides more stats the longer you have it (up to a cap, but the sooner in the game you get the stats, the better). The fourth item I get depends on how the game is going and who my allies are. If I have at least one ability power ally, or if the game is going relatively normally, I get Will of the Ancients, which provides an ability power boost and an aura that gives surrounding allies ability power and spell vamp (remember, auras also work on yourself). Because almost all of Singed’s damage is based off abilities, the spell vamp will significantly help you increase your sustainability. Frequently, an opponent will start chasing you when you are low of health and they are full; by the time they have chased you for several seconds, you will be back up to about half health, and they will have lost about half of their own health – you are quite literally leeching off their health. If the game happens to be going one-sidedly in my team’s favor, or if my allies are building a lot of heavy defense items, I will get Rabbadon’s Deathcap instead of Will of the Ancients to make sure our team can continue dealing out heavy damage. If I get Will of the Ancients fourth, I usually end up getting Rabbadon’s Deathcap as my fifth item anyway; its ability power boost makes your poison a lot more threatening. Although it is very rare to have a game with Singed go on long enough to get your sixth item, it’s important to consider what items to get if it ends up happening. In the games where it happened to me, I usually resorted to getting a straight defense item, as, by that time, my opponents were also dealing pretty heavy damage. Three straight defense items that I like to get are Force of Nature, Thornmail, and Guardian Angel. Force of Nature not only gives you health regeneration, but it also gives you movement speed, making Singed even faster. Thornmail works well with Singed because, with the build mentioned above, Singed will have a lot of health; this means he’ll be able to return a lot of damage to most champions based on attack damage, and can frequently defeat many AD carry champions passively by standing there without even attacking them back. Guardian Angel is more or less a troll item; it’s annoying enough to kill Singed once, but then he respawns, spews out more poison and glue, and is fast enough to run away before you can kill him again. Reiterating the most important point as mentioned earlier, if you have the proper “trololol” mindset when playing Singed, he is definitely a fun champion to play, especially when you think about how badly you are annoying your opponents. Although it’s not likely to ever see a Singed in competitive ranked play, as he is banned in most games, if you want to try him out, you can play him on some normal games and watch your win/loss ratio skyrocket.
Hi humans. This is probably one of the silliest and strangest errors I’ve seen someone make when it comes to food service. How do you accidentally put a strip of bacon on top of the entire sandwich and not notice before closing the box? Anyway, I’m not complaining. It’s a free bonus bacon strip.
Hi humans. As I stated in a previous blog post, I’m going to start posting my homework from my summer classes like I used to for my regular classes from previous semesters. The only class for which I’m consistently writing papers and essays is my literature class. Unfortunately, the books that we need to read aren’t exactly that exciting, so the resulting homework most likely will not that exciting either, but it’s still more content that I can put up on my website. This assignment is called a response paper – we write a summary of the book, our impressions on a particular aspect, and a critical analysis of the week’s topic. This week’s topic was theme, or the overarching idea that is present throughout the entire work.
Summary: Kate Chopinâs The Awakening features Edna Pontellier as the main character, a Victorian woman who adventures through concepts forbidden to females and conflicting against ideals at the time â self-exploration, freedom, and independence. Edna has a husband and children for whom she must care, but instead, chooses to rebel against what society expects of her and pursues her own emotions and desires, a process referred to as âawakening.â Edna begins to ignore her family responsibilities and develops a relationship with Robert, a man with whom she falls in love; he gives her a feeling of liberation from the constraints placed upon her by the idea of her husband possessing her. As her awakening develops further, she begins to acknowledge her internal desires for creativity, and begins to satisfy her primal needs. Unfortunately, at the end of the book, Robert leaves her, as he respects societal ideals more than his relationship with Edna. Her feelings of solitude become so overwhelming that she eventually commits suicide. Impressions: I felt Chopin was able to take the concept of the lack of womenâs freedom and portray it well into a fictional story that incorporated the many different consequences of the societal norm. Not only did she give an example of the ideal woman of the time through AdÃ¨le Ratignolle, she also created an understandable metaphor of what was the opposite extreme would look like by connecting the ocean to freedom and independence. The struggles Edna Pontellier faces throughout her awakening are realistic and believable; it is likely that many Victorian women who questioned societal ideals went through very similar thoughts as she did. The consequences of Ednaâs actions are also not farfetched, and appear to be what one would expect from someone in the process of rebelling against the accepted norms of society. Critical Analysis: A primary theme of The Awakening is the solitude that comes along with the lifestyle of Victorian women, both those who comply with the ideals like AdÃ¨le Ratignolle, and those who go against ideals like Edna Pontellier. Those who are in compliance with the idea that husbands possess their wives and their wives are responsible for tending to their family feel solitude because they are distant from their true selves. They are oppressed from expressing who they really are, and are told to fulfill their duties without tending to their own emotional desires. Failure to fulfill these urges keeps them distant from self-discovery, and they feel alone and separated from reality because they are unable to express themselves. Those who rebel, like Edna, still feel solitude because they are rejected by the rest of society for pursuing what is considered taboo and unacceptable. Although she was able to feel a sense of accomplishment by achieving her own sense of self, she no longer had others to be with her along the way. Although she developed a strong relationship with Robert Lebrun, Robert was still in tune with the norms of society and did not want to establish a further relationship with Edna, even though the love was mutual. He continued to acknowledge that Edna belonged to her husband, and he was to not breach that relationship by interfering with Edna. His ultimate compliance was clearly demonstrated when he left Edna to her own at the end of the story, and Edna was left to achieve her own awakening by herself. Works Cited: Chopin, Kate. The Awakening. New York, NY: Bantam Classic, 1981. Print.I finished this last week and my instructor already scored it as 50/50, so if you’re looking at this to actually learn something about The Awakening, the stuff I included is accurate and written well enough to meet my instructor’s standards.
Hi humans. First of all, thanks to everyone who congratulated me for reaching over 5,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 300,000 video views. A handful of people have asked me if I’m going to “celebrate” this “milestone” by making a special video, doing a giveaway, or doing anything special or different in general. Unfortunately, the answer is no. The reason for this is that, to me, 5,000 subscribers isn’t exactly a great accomplishment, especially considering how long I have been producing online media content. I also have a lot of good buddies who are YouTubers as well, and the number 5,000 looks like ant feces compared to their subscriber counts. On top of that, even though I have 5,000 subscribers, only about an estimated 10% of them actually consistently watch my videos. I came to this conclusion because a majority of my videos that I don’t post elsewhere – that is, I upload it, and don’t tell anyone through any other social media outlet that I did – only get a couple hundred views, and usually don’t get more than 500. When I post links to my new videos on other places and post them on my website, the number of views on my videos usually triples or quadruples. Thus, I can easily conclude that my direct YouTube subscribers aren’t my biggest audience, it’s my blog readers and other social network followers. By no means does this mean I’m disappointed, and I am definitely not going to stop making videos at any point. When I post videos, I usually either do it for fun, or for video editing practice so I can sharpen my skills when I’m working on bigger and more meaningful projects with other bigger content producers. I just wanted to quickly address this issue because a noticeably large number of people were mentioning it to me, and I felt they deserved a response. My feelings about my subscriber or video view counts will not significantly affect my future video making, and I will stay consistent to what I have done in the past.
Hi humans. During late May, my buddy Ed Lam (also known as Grainyrice on the Internet) went on an international vacation across multiple oceans. During his trip, he took a handful of photographs. He sent them to me a while back, and I didn’t know what to do with them, so I decided to put them on my website. The second image shown below was cropped and is currently being used as the background image for my website. It’s not much different than the one I had before, so if he sends me more photos, I might change it again soon. Usually, when I put someone else’s photos on my website, I give them credit via a link to their website, profile, or portfolio, but Ed has nothing of the like, so an unlinked credit will have to do.
Hi humans. Last year, I was able to take summer classes at my community college to get some really easy transfer credits for my main university. I planned on doing that this year as well; if you read my blog post from two days ago, you know that I recently took my first day of class for this summer semester. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be quite that easy this semester. I’m taking nine credits’ worth of class (which is the same as last year), but this year, I have two online classes instead of one. One of the online classes is a literature course, where we have to (literally) read the equivalent of one book a week (I say “equivalent” because sometimes we have to read poems or short stories, but on those weeks, we have several of them to read). Fortunately, the due dates for my second online class are staggered such that one entire unit is due every handful of weeks, rather than having small assignments due every few days. This literature course is a lot more intensive than I was hoping for, and I ended up having to cram a ton of stuff earlier today because the due date for five different assignments was today at 5 PM, and I found out about all the assignments on Tuesday late afternoon. This doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to be spending less time posting stuff on my website, but it does mean that this migration process is going to take a lot longer than I had hoped because I’m going to have a lot less opportunities to sit down and do a lot of time-consuming work related to something that isn’t as urgent as my academic work. On the bright side, if any of the papers I write for this class end up being interesting, I’ll post them on my website like I used to a long time ago when I wrote interesting papers more frequently in the past.
Hi humans. “Ed, I played a game with Nocturne today and went 4-4-0. Do you know why I had 0 assists?” “No, Adam, why did you have no assists?” “Because I was the only one on my team who got kills.” I thought that exchange I had a few days ago with my buddy Ed would be a good introduction into my small rant about how terrible the matchmaking system in League of Legends is, and why there is no “This Week in League of Legends” today. If you’re actually reading this blog post and not completely skipping it, it most likely means that you know something about League of Legends. You probably know that League of Legends is a team game, regardless of on what map and which game style you play. When I was a lower level, this didn’t matter too much to me, as, even if some of my allies went AFK, I was good enough that I would still be able to carry my team to victory and win team fights at severe disadvantages. Unfortunately, now that I’m level 30, most of the people against whom I play are decent enough that I can’t completely roflstomp them while playing with one hand and eating a banana with the other. So, I actually need the help of my team mates. This is where League of Legends’ incomprehensibly stupid matchmaking system comes in. Ever since I was a low level, for some reason, I would always be paired up with stupid people who wouldn’t know how to play, and go up against people who always seemed to be organized and cooperative with each other. This still seems to be the issue, as it seems like every time I solo queue, my allies seem to be missing the part of their brain that is responsible for common sense and teamwork. Usually, on Twisted Treeline, when my allies are even slightly below average, I can carry the game and win by building Volibear as an off-tank DPS fighter. As you can see in the image above, for me to go 2-10 in a match, my allies have to be so terrible that they need to go back to the special needs class in elementary school. Still frustrated, I solo queued up for another game. Our team had two attack damage carry champions, so I decided to play Blitzcrank. The problem this time? The opposite team had a Yorick, who is generally seen as underpowered, but, who, as I just found out, is more or less a direct hard counter to Blitzcrank. Gonna try and pull someone with Rocket Grab? Yorick summons one of his pathetic minions in my path and make me miss my grab. Gonna try and knock someone up? Yorick summons three of his pathetic minions in my path and prevents me from getting anywhere near my target because of unit collision. To top it off, the opposing team had a Mordekaiser who thought it would be a great idea to target me with his ultimate every single time. And it actually was a great idea. You know why? Because when I respawn as Mordekaiser’s slave, I RESPAWN WITH A MANA SHIELD. Yes, Mordekaiser’s ghost slave maintains my passive ability, and when I get low of health, I produce a mana barrier and stay alive even longer so I can destroy my own team even more. After getting infuriated, I decided to try a new build – I sold all my items and bought 30 sight wards. Then I rage quit the game. (It seems like my allies surrendered shortly after – my match history shows defeat rather than a leave.) After taking a short break, I decided to give it one more go and try to carry the game myself with Nocturne. It didn’t end up any better. I get close to getting a kill? Out of nowhere, my ally Jax Leap Jumps onto the enemy with Empower active and takes the kill. When I move on to the next opponent, Jax Leap Jumps over a wall to safety while I get killed. I rage quit that game too. So what does all of this have to do with not having a “This Week in League of Legends” ready to be released today? My excuse is that I’ve been too busy either playing with the world’s worst gamers or sucking myself to have enough time to even consistently try a champion enough times to be able to write a blog post about him/her. So this is my substitute League of Legends blog post for this week.