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Welcome to BZPower!

Hi there, while we hope you enjoy browsing through the site, there's a lot more you can do if you register. Some perks of joining include:
  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
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Enjoy your visit!

Zatth Blag



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A Mystery Explored, and A Heads Up On Things To Come

Posted by Zatth , Jun 20 2015 · 120 views

And so, it is done.

I had a blast returning to the universe that started me off on creative writing back in '07. However, I'm always looking to improve (and trust me, I know I have A LOT to improve upon), so if you have any comments, they are very much appreciated. This Epic was fun to work on, and if nothing else, as I was nearing the end, I realized I wanted to work on some other project, similar, but different.

Which brings me to tomorrow.

Tomorrow I'll unveil a video that's meant as a teaser of sorts for this next project. I won't lie, it's super ambitious and bizarre (the project, probably not the video). I'm deathly terrified of sharing it, because while it could go well, it could also go terribly.

I guess I'll only know when I post it.

So tomorrow I'll post the video/teaser, and starting on Monday, I'll upload a chapter a day. I feel it's the best way to give an idea of the project; I feel like posting a chapter a week will make it seem very discombobulated and it might lose its steam.

So yeah. A Mystery Explored is done (for now), teaser tomorrow, and the new project begins on Monday.

I hope y'all liked A Mystery Explored, and will enjoy this new little something.



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Feeling In An Odd Mood Today

Posted by Zatth , Jun 19 2015 · 74 views

Just one of those weird days where I've got a lot of emotions. I cried from sadness today. I got angry. I got deflated. I wrote. I edited a silly video. I remembered my friends and colleagues (at least the people I call my friends, who knows how they see me). I filmed a serious video. I laughed at some stuff. I balled my fist at others. I felt powerful and important. I got taken down a notch. I got some good news. I read sad news. I planned out parts of my schedule for the next six months. I was reminded how fleeting life is and how quick it can be taken away.

I dunno, a lot of stuff in the last 24 hours.

So I'm gonna re-post a blog post from a while back, and amend it a tad.

Smile back at someone today
Give someone a compliment
Help someone out in some way
Hug your loved ones, tell them how glad you are for them to be here
Give yourself a few minutes of the day just to yourself
Wake up happy for what you have. Strive for more, even if it's a little or a large goal, but go at it
Thank your friends, your family
Take 30 seconds or more to ponder on your current existence. Look at what you're thankful for. Think about what you want. Decide to learn something new, or change something about yourself today.
Cry, laugh, do whatever you need to.
This too shall pass.
Our time here is limited, so spread the love, y'all.



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Hope's In The Horizon

Posted by Zatth , May 28 2015 · 214 views

So I just got back from watching Tomorrowland, and I'm feeling kind of giddy and... I dunno, but I wanted to write a little something. Let me say, first off, as just a movie Tomorrowland isn't anything spectacular or game-changing. It's a movie, yeah, but that's about it.

However, as info on the movie was leaking out slowly a few months ago, it caught my eye that it was planned as a sort of "origin story" for the Tomorrowland theme park at Disney; the thinking was that other parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, etc) already had origin stories of sorts through previous movies, so why not do the same for Tomorrowland?

I remember going to Disneyworld as a 9 year old (I remember because that's when I saw the Metro at the LEGO store) and falling in love with the Tomorrowland park. I truly thought, more than at the other parks, that what was around me was functional, that this park was the future, and that this was all waiting to come to be. Granted, I've always been a bit of an unhinged dreamer, but this park, I think, had a strong impact on me that pushed me to sci-fi. Years later I found myself seeking out many of these stories and authors, reading Verne, Douglas Adams, a lot of Isaac Asimov, and I was interested and all, but I didn't get it. I think, looking back, I had no one to explain or talk me through these stories and their context, and so I never really got them. Seeing the "future" was one thing; reading (Especially for someone for whom English was a second language) was a bit tougher.

Around the time I was 12 I began reading dystopian novels for fun (my thinking was, "Hey, we're gonna probably read 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Brave New World in school so why not get a leg up?) As people saw me reading these, they engaged in discussions with me, which made these realities more palpable and real than anything else.

No wonder, then, that I've never questioned the state of the future in the minds of our generation.

What I mean by that, is a phenomenon we all know well: it appears that our conceptions of the "future" are based around dystopia, technological ruin or acceleration, starvation, desolation, disease, self-destruction, etc. I read a great article a few days ago that compared previous generations, that saw a man land on the moon, that got to discover how planets looked for the first time, that actually strove to go out there, while we got stuck with a world that saw the destruction of two shuttles, the canceling of funding, and the idea that "inventing", of any kind, wasn't really a lifestyle. And so, in a way, we've become a generation that sees the "future" through bleaker lenses. Just as sci-fi is used to examine the world through another sense (and, in a way, reflects the real world of the time), the stories of Asimov were bright and futuristic, while the stories of our time are much sadder.

And then a movie like Interstellar comes around. I loved reading what Christopher Nolan had to say about it, and how it strove to use science to inspire viewers to not give up, to continue with the idea that there was still something out there to explore. It's true that Interstellar was grounded in science as much as it could, but the marriage between scientific reality and artistic lenses made it a hodgepot of all types of interests coming together to say "Hey. The world and the future looks bleak. But there's still hope."

And then Tomorrowland comes along. And throughout the movie it became clear that it was similar to Interstellar, but more accessible as it is aimed mainly for kids. And yet, if you approach the movie the same way you do Interstellar, you're still left feeling elated, feeling hopeful. The final scene of the movie features
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suggesting that no field is superior to the other, that it's the task of math, science, the arts, all together, to create the future.


I know that, at a time when it seems like the future isn't gonna get better, it's hard to dream. But I am so happy for Interstellar and Tomorrowland; they produced in me a similar effect that 9-year old Pablo got at that park of the future, the difference being that now, as an adult, I have agency to go out there and make my dreams a reality. I am glad for these movies, because they offer hope for a population that is comfortable, or grew up with, sadness and dystopia as the norm. And I am so happy that there's a little bit more hope in the horizon :)


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Nick Bluetooth and Kek Powerizer

Posted by Zatth , May 21 2015 · 313 views

If you have followed Team Farm Animals and the various exploits of our ragtag group, you will no doubt be well acquainted with our general silliness from BrickFair VA. Well, here is some extra content for you all to enjoy! (Courtesy of Sumiki!)




And in case you're wondering, yes. If you attend BFVA, there is a great possibility, if you so wish, to partake in our silly and not at all funny exploits.

We'll see what joke we can come up with and then repeat so often that the phrase 'beating a dead horse' doesn't begin to describe it.



#Galidor2015 #confirmed


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An Evening with Neil Gaiman

Posted by Zatth , May 01 2015 · 238 views

So as luck would have it, I live right by D.C. (explains the BrickFair VA connection), and so when I first heard of An Evening with Neil Gaiman, I (literally) jumped at the chance to see one of my favourite authors.

I just came back from the event, and wow.

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Granted, the guy was very humorous. If you've read Good Omens, fear not, the man is a witty in real time as he is funny in his prose.

I'm just floored by his answers, his philosophy, his ideas and explanations. It's great to meet those you're a fan of, but he really blew me away. He also made me want to work even more on my writing, so this is a sort of apology to my parents/extended relatives/anyone else who hoped someday Pablo would grow up and get a real job (granted, my major is in Language Arts for Education, but I'm just using it as a way to do both); I ain't quitting' on this yet.


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PROMPT TIIIIIIIIIIIME

Posted by Zatth , Apr 20 2015 · 406 views

Hello, friends! Now that I'm done with a 48-page research paper I handed in for one of my classes (the one on the Sagrada Familia and the Library of Congress), and my remaining assignments are either presentations, papers, and a childcare manual, I've gotten back into trying to write and read daily, to make it into a habit again! But as a way to stop myself from using the excuse that "I don't know what to write about today", I want YOU ALL to provide me prompts!

They can be prompts for BIONICLE short stories!

They can be prompts for Off-Topic short stories!

They can be prompts for poetry or prose!

Heck, it can be a combination! Anything you'd like to see me write, I'll do my best to tackle! Who knows, I might actually be proud of the end result and share it somewhere here?

Thanks, y'all. Any and all prompts will force me to turn this into a habit, and get me to make more art :)


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"When you build the Game of Thrones..."

Posted by Zatth , Apr 12 2015 · 275 views

"you win or you die. There is no middle ground."
- Aegon the Conqueror (at some point probably)

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(In case you're wondering, yes, I did procrastinate all of my classwork for three days and turned my dorm room into a studio where I made a fully modular Iron Throne that can be disassembled and rebuilt on any dorm chair, as well as making the Valyrian steel sword Ice. Because procrastinating for Game of Thrones is always worth it.)


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On Friends, Art, and Life

Posted by Zatth , Apr 08 2015 · 293 views

So this has been a crazy good week and a half.

For those who didn't know, we had our National Forensics tournament in Portland this past weekend. We flew from DC on Tuesday, and arrived that night. Unfortunately, we spend our days leading up to the tournament in a hotel preparing, so I knew from the get-go I'd be stuck inside a hotel with no chance to visit or see anything. When I got a message from Micah (Kakaru) I sadly told him this, and let him know that I'd be stuck at the hotel.

Micah, being the wonderful human being that he is, said he wouldn't mind driving down to meet up with me at the hotel. A few hours later that Wednesday night, and Micah and I were catching up at the lobby of the hotel. We spent an hour talking about BZPower, BIONICLE, LEGO, making art, and a lot more stuff. If nothing else, I got to improve the first impression I made at NYCC (I was so excited at the Bonkle booth that I stumbled into a fake potted plant and some BZPers and looked like a total buffoon). Micah also gave me a Hero Pack like it was no big deal, and I have to admit that the visit kept me elated the entirety of the prep days at the hotel. It reminded me the kind of wonderful people that BIONICLE fans are, and just how wonderful some people are. Micah totally rocks.

However, this was also going to be a bit of a weird and important final tournament for me. Forensics is a unique activity, because it allows us to perform and speak about topics that we're passionate about. For me, this took the form of my Program Oral Interpretation on Jaime Garzon. For those who didn't know, I started off this year with a piece on a Colombian comedian and historical figure that was murdered in 1999 for not only speaking the truths others didn't want to hear or couldn't say, but also for working for peace and understanding between all Colombians.

For me this was an important project, since Jaime's story is very intimately tied with mine. When I was four, my parents brought me to the front out our building, giving me a white handkerchief, to wave at the black car carrying his casket. Fifteen years later, that grown up boy was about to lay to rest this year-long project. Over the past year, I watched all of Jaime's material online. I did research on him at the Library of Congress. I called and interviewed Jaime's brother, a close family friend. I became an advocate for the peace process in Colombia, and did all this because I knew Forensics would allow me to teach others about this wonderful historical figure, and about my hurting country. For me, the Nationals tournament wasn't about wining awards or accolades. It was about the last time I'd bring Jaime to life, the last time I could present my art to others, the last time I could be an advocate for this cause I cared so deeply about. My friends and team knew how much this meant to me.

I don't say this to brag, but I am happy to have advanced to Quarterfinals in POI at the National tournament, and being given the chance to perform my piece in an outbound. Though I dropped after Quarters, I had one audience member come up to me and ask me more about Jaime, telling me he'd look him up later on and watch his material. That to me was the best way to let my piece to rest; I knew I'd reached at least one final person, let someone else know Jaime had existed, and had become more of an advocate for Colombia.

But the end of the tournament was also so important for our entire team. Last year, we barely made it as the 5th school in the nation. Under any other circumstance, this would be amazing no matter what, but last year there was a toxic and sour attitude within the team, and the post-tournament dinner was quiet and filled with tension.

This year, 35 of our 66 slots broke to outrounds, breaking the university's record. We rose up from 5th to 3rd place, even after we lost a third of our team in December. This was a team that was united by self-realization and love for every team member. We were there for each other, as a true family that was passionate about its message and everyone in the team. By the time the tournament was over, every single team member was happy and glad with what we'd done. We'd turned around a failing program, and individually and collectively overcame these difficulties to show the nation that when we fell down, we got back up and rose higher than before.

Finally, I got confirmation of another big event in my life. Right before the tournament, I applied to study for a semester at Oxford University. I got an e-mail the day before the tournament letting me know I'd been accepted. This mean I will, for the first time, spend a semester away from home. For someone with a rare illness, who has been coddled by his parents and relied on a heavy support system, this means that the next semester will force me to grow up and live, truly for the first time, independently. I am scared but excited, as I know that this semester will bring me great personal growth that I have been lacking and yearn for.

All in all, this has been a crazy week and a half. A month and a half ago I was in a hospital, with my stomach burst open for an operation, not knowing what Forensics or life would herald for me. I am now feeling emotionally elated, having seen performances that changed my way of thinking, seeing friends from both the BIONICLE and Forensics world that reminded me that there is good in this world, and knowing that the future looks at least a bit brighter than usual.

tl:dr: Happy Pablo is at peace :)


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Just a quick reminder

Posted by Zatth , Mar 25 2015 · 291 views

Smile back at someone today
Give someone a compliment

Help someone out in some way
Hug your loved ones, tell them how glad you are for them to be here
Give yourself a few minutes of the day just to yourself
Our time here is limited, so spread the love, y'all :)


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Back from Barcelona

Posted by Zatth , Mar 17 2015 · 338 views

I have returned! The trip was fun, and yes, there will be pictures below.

We arrived on Friday at 11:45 pm, and spent the next two days in the Hilton Barcelona preparing for the tournament. Monday and Tuesday we competed, and we did well (we Sophomores crushed it, having five of our six class members winning 1st place in one of out events).

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(Pictured above: the Sophomores of GMU 4N6, and the people I love the most on the team)

By Wednesday, though, we were finally free to travel and visit places!

We walked for an hour and a half to the Sagrada Familia, and I was not prepared for it. Wednesday I focused just on the outside, but even that was astounding.
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We then returned back to our new apartments (conveniently located literally in front of Camp Neu), and prepared for Thursday.

Thursday I had a group go with me to the Sagrada Familia Archives for my project; we also used the time to visit the cathedral itself. Two things I want to highlight; the first being the stained glass and how the light made the inside literally change colours
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the second being how amazing and gorgeous the inside looks (and how it does replicate a forest)
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Needless to say, I cried. (I also got sweaty palms, but that was when we went up one of the bell towers. Fun fact: I discovered then that I have a fear of heights!)

We then spent the evening in the Gothic District, where I found the chance for a literary inside joke that only true (15)90s kids will understand:
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Spent the next day again in the Gothic District, which conveniently is right next to the beach
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(Look at these nerds)

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(CURSE YOU, SEA!)

The last day we went to Els Quatre Gats (and I began writing a meta short story right there and then, which I might post here in the future)
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We then ended the day by going to the Picasso Museum and taking some vague, heroic photos
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(Pictured here: a fool who thinks he looks cool).

In all seriousness, this was a wonderful trip. I got to see one of my fave buildings in the world, spent a week with my friends, and ate amazing. I can't stress enough how lucky I am to belong to such a great program, that dazzles me every day and lets me be thankful for what I have.

PS: While there, we filmed the pilot for our new sitcom, Pablo & Pablo. Below are two promotional images:

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