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Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

October 26, 2006 Leave a comment

Yesterday I went with my “Ethical and Existential Questions” class on a field trip to the St Anna’s Chapel next to the graveyard. A guy came and explained how different burials normally go about, and then we went into the cremation chamber and saw a coffin which was going to be cremated later, and then we got to see some already burned ashes, as well as the refined version. Some girl in the class fainted, and soon we left the building.

Now we’re supposed to write some kind of paper on all of this, and I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to write. I can write that it was interesting seeing the ashes or something and that I didn’t know they had to refine the ashes after cremation, but that’s about it. I could also write something about why I’m not really scared of death and why I think other people are.

I finally did my presentation about the afterlife last week by the way. Went pretty well, considering I barely wrote anything and just really spoke off the top of my head. I also showed the poll from the PP forums and talked about how interesting it is that in the West people are afraid of nothingness which they think will happen after death if they are atheist/agnostic, while in the East people are actually longing for nothingness if they are Buddhist/Hindus.

Oh well. I’ll make an update when I’ve written the task.

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There is no truth, there are no rules, there’s no plot here, it’s TWISTED!

October 18, 2006 1 comment

Dark have my dreams been of late. Not really, in fact they have been really cool, but that would’ve been a good way of starting the blog entry, wouldn’t it?

What is bad however is that I’ve overslept a lot lately. That might be because I get way too little sleep nowadays, but I have another reason too. For some reason, I get really cool and epic dreams which I don’t really want to wake up from. For example, I took an extended nap during my 6 hour break today in one of the two dedicated resting rooms we have in school. The first hour or so I couldn’t really sleep, and I kept waking up before I could go into serious sleep, due to SMSes or the nurse who despite the red “occupied” lamp was suprised to see someone in there. After that, however, I managed to get some serious sleeping out of the way. I had set the alarm for 12.50 so I could run away and get my free lunch in the cafeteria (yeah, we don’t pay for lunch), as they start taking away the food at 13.00. However, my awesome dream and probably the fact that I had slept for long enough to be in deep sleep when the alarm rang, I totally missed it and had no memory of it ever ringing. When I did wake up about an hour later, I had my cellphone in the bed next to my chest.

Me oversleeping is definitly defendable though – you had to be there. I had an awesome dream about two crimelords or something, and I for some reason took the role of one of them. It was like a mix of The Specialists, Faces of War and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Multiplayer. My dreams tend to take place in specific game engines, although it’s a mix of them most of the time. Anyways, I think it was a team of me and two other from the PP TeamSpeak against clan people, and I had to get a laptop out of a warehouse to an extraction point alive. Note that the actual extraction point was a green circle with an arrow floating in the air pointing at it. Just like Faces of War. As I placed my defending soldiers (also FoW) at good positions, I proceeded transferring files from the computer to the laptop, and then ran all matrix like, and tried to be in the air as much as possible, as in a mix of bunnyhopping and The Specialists. When I got to the extraction point the dream ended and I woke up. I had to pay to get a sandwich and a Coke.

My point with this was partly that it’s interesting how life is so easy when you’re having a dream like that. Obviously there are annoying and stressful dreams, but there is nothing nicer than having a really careless dream where there’s nothing disturbing you at all. I pity those who never dream during their sleep, they are missing out on so much.

Which takes me to the next subject, where I got the blog entry title from. It’s a song about the importance of dreams, and it quite perfectly decribes my own feelings and thoughts about them.

Blind Guardian – Straight Through The Mirror

Can you tell me
Is there any other way?
I cannot hide it
I have doubts
I’m not afraid to stay
I’m here
When the curtain falls

(Extend to see more…)

Read more…

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Eluveitie

October 10, 2006 Leave a comment

My brother-in-law Samuel recently gave me an album and an EP by Eluveitie from his mp3 shop. AT first I just listened to maybe one or two songs, but two days ago I decided to listen through the album. WOW. I love Folk Metal, and it’s even cooler when they sing over half of their songs in Helvetic Gaelic!

On the album, there’s bass, drums, guitars and…

* fiddles
* Irish flute
* tin whistle, low whistle
* bass-shalm
* bass-crumhorn
* gaita (celtiberian bagpipe)
* uilleann pipe (Irish bagpipe)
* hurdygurdy
* accordion
* 10-stringed mandola
* accoustic guitar
* bodhrán

That’s right, hurdygurdy and metal. Check out their page here. On Spirit, the best songs in my opinion are Uis Elveti and The Endless Knot, but every song on that album has amazing parts in them.

I’ve recently realised that I mostly like music with somewhat of an archaic sound in them. Be it folk/viking metal, classical music or a nursery rhyme, I always manage to fall in love with the melodies who have roots going back to before the 20th century. Back to before the world was so mechanic, stale and so close to its end.

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The Return of the Black Death

October 5, 2006 3 comments

And so the autumn comes with all its new game releases. Recently aquired games include CivCity Rome, Company of Heroes, Faces of War, Splinter Cell Trilogy (199 SEK or $24, woot!) and Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault.

It feels so good to finally leave MMORPGs behind me, and probably forever for that matter. I’ve finally come to realise that MMORPGs are slowly killing all of gaming culture today. Each week I see more and more people succumb to the horrible plague that is World of Warcraft. Those who don’t play it are mainly people who are too poor to afford the monthly fee, or people who are already too addicted in an even shittier MMO.

I really hope there will come a point where people will realise that they are playing the same stupid quests, doing the same instances over and over and paying hundreds of dollars per year for it. That gaming once was about skill, about fun and about fair play. Not about paying a chinese gold farmer to give you enough money to buy a purple-lettered item on the auction house so you can do even more damage with your stupid rogue against people 20 levels below you who have literally no chance of beating you.

The concept of Massive Multiplayer Online games is great, but when you add an RPG element to such games, it automatically starts using the formula time and money invested = successfulness. Like I read in PC Gamer a few days ago, MMOs take 30 hours of gameplay and drags it out over hundreds of hours to make more money. If World of Warcraft was a single player game with 50-60 hours of gameplay, it might have been a good game, but the multiplayer aspect of the game is really quite unneccesary.

To leave that sorrowful subject, I can happily tell you that I’ve been playing a lot of Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory lately. Both the Co-op and the Versus modes are absolutely fantastic. There’s not many more satisfying things than sneaking up on a heavily armed opponent and breaking their neck and then sneaking away again successfully. I also got Faces of War, the multiplayer demo is great in itself. It’s like an RTS where you can directly control certain units, and the shooting range of your units actually make sense. You can put a sniper in a tower and he’ll be able to shoot over the entire screen, but not if there are objects obstructing the bullet’s path. Beautiful.

I also tried Company of Heroes, but apparently random people are expected to get ridiculous lag problems over hamachi, and the online play is a joke in itself. Oh well. I’ll play the single player campaign, but a game with such a shitty netcode isn’t getting my money. I’ll buy it the day I’ll actually be able to play it online.

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