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Team J.A.F.



Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories Nov 13 2013 · 372 views
SCIENCE, Chemisty and 1 more...
So story writing for NaNo got interrupted by a scientific study.
See, I have this potential scene where the enemy is using electricity, and the protagonist is waaaaay out gunned. So (SPOILER) he decides to douse the baddie with water and use electrolysis (powered by the baddie's electricity) to split the H2O into H and O. Then he'd use a spark to make the gas explode around the antagonist, thus winning in an unconventional way and showing that he paid attention in chemistry class (which is actually a theme of the story.)
But of course, I then had to consider an important fact of would this work? At all? The electrolysis part is good (use electricity to split water molecules into individual atoms) but I wasn't sure if the resulting gases would actually combust. At first I thought that the oxygen would be the one burning; I watched some recent show where they increased the pure oxygen count and threatened to blow the entire place up with just a spark. However, this is partially wrong; for stuff to burn, one of the key ingredients is oxygen, which the combusting atoms could fuse to to form CO2 or something. (Still, I guess adding oxygen allows increases the combustibility of other materials, but on it's own, it won't do anything.)
Luckily, my scenario is saved because Hydrogen is like extremely flammable. Like, "Hey, I'm the primary element burning in the sun" flammable. Like "Hey, I filled the Hindenburg and you remember what happened when that got lit up" flammable. So my scenario holds. Kind of. To truly test it, I would need to see if turning the sprinklers on a person who was shooting out electricity would produce enough hydrogen to cause a sizeable explosion... but sadly I'm missing some of the key ingredients. (Any person with electrical powers want to volunteer?)
Still, I found some interesting articles of flammability. (I hope my Google searches don't raise too many questions; I'm researching for a fictional story, nothing more!!) Anyway, one article was how to tell if something is flammable. It went something like this?
  • Does it have a flammable symbol on the container?
  • Does it say the word "flammable" on the container?
  • Does it catch on fire when you light it with a match?
(That last one may have been an addition of my own.) But yeah, basically, not quite the scientific explanation I was looking for.
I also need to research the physics of jumping off a moving vehicle on the freeway and safely landing on the ground. I may stretch the facts a bit with that particular scene. (Somehow, I really love the idea of a fight scene jumping from car rooftops on a busy freeway... moving fast enough to cause problems if one hits the ground, but with the cars still driving close enough to each other... again, this is a hard one to test out IRL.)
And stuff came up so I'll probably be busy for the rest of the month starting next week, so I need to finish this story quickly. Shame I'm only just at the expected word count right now... still worried that the story will naturally end before I reach 50K.


I Guess The Bigger Question Is

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, News Nov 08 2013 · 503 views

Is there even an audience that still reads my blog at all?

Like no replies lately. Or maybe it's just that my content's been boring. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? CAT PICTURES? I MAY HAVE SOME OF THOSE ACTUALLY.

But I'll post a short list of borning updates anyway. :P
  • Nano: Have 12,000 words written. But I'm progressing so far in the plot that I'm afraid I might finish before I hit the goal. Like, my other related stories have only gotten to 30K-40K, and I'm not going to add in excess just for the sake of work count. Oh well.
  • PortLUG: I'm finally going to try and attend a LUG meeting for the first time. And see if I can help out for Bricks Cascade somehow.
  • I have a second job interview for tomorrow, so I should stop blogging and go think about that.
  • There's also that brick game on the Lego Movie site that I've gotten addicted to. That's probably not a good thing for productivity.
  • Also the new Lego Movie sets are so awesome. On one hand, I think a bunch of the vehicle mechs will probably only get short cameos in the actual movie. On the other hand, when else would we get city vehicle mechs? Lots of people don't like em, but I think they're great. Also there's a higher percentage of female figs in this sets, although most of them seem to be the damsels in distress. Still, so much want! Need to get a job just so I can afford these!
  • Oh right, interview, gonna stop procrastinating.


Of The Lego Marvel Game

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Nov 06 2013 · 276 views


Well, okay, that's a slight exaggeration, but still.

After reading about the game for months, I'm really eager to get it. But if I did get it, I would need the PC version, since I have no gaming consoles. (Heck, I can't even play it on my laptop; I'd have to use my parent's desktop.) If I could have, I probably would've preordered it and got the Iron Patriot fig... but that promotion didn't apply to the PC version. But I figured that was just the gaming company being picky about its perks. (I'm fairly sure they also shunned a few other gaming consoles too with this game.)

But then I tried to find the game in store.

Target did not have the game at all. Fred Meyers, which usually has a good selection, only have the major consule versions and not the PC one. Then I thought GameStop would be a good idea... I've got a few previous Lego games there. But no, PC is an online-order only! Walmart might have the PC game in store, but I have a thing against shopping at Walmart. (Well, okay, I went there a few times in Texas, but our local one is kinda shady.) So, in short, there's like no where that sells the PC version of the game in store.

So obviously they want me to order it online. And after seeing the prices of some other recent Lego games on Amazon, I decided to wait a few months or so before ordering it, because then the price is sure to fall. So yes, that means I'm still game-less for now, but it's for the best. (Oh, and I should've mentioned that I don't really have the $30 to buy it anyway, so even if availibility wasn't an issue I would be kinda screwed.)

Speaking of downloads, I've been getting into some J-Pop from various anime openings. I've got a small collection on iTunes (the only ungodly Apple product I'll ever touch, because honestly they did that part kinda well and even tho I have my issues with it I haven't found a worthy alternative... you know what, that's for another entry.) Anyway, I created my own custom Genre category to store them, called Anime. I've bought a few other J-Pop songs from iTunes and they're in the World or J-Pop genres. But I just downloaded another one, and it automatically got put into my custom Anime category. So I'm like WHA? I'm not quite sure how iTunes figured that out, although it wouldn't surprise me if the program's achieved Sapience and is secretly plotting against humanity and music artists.

So yeah, that happened.

Also, would you like me to blog about the animes I'm watching? I've done it a few times before but I don't know if there's an audience for it or not. (I'm primarily watching new stuff.) I'm also the kind who still lables anime as Japanese cartoons, so there's that too. :P



My Thoughts on Arguing

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Aug 20 2013 · 2,399 views
Serious entry, funny stuff later
So I guess there’s another blog war going on.  Oh boy.  But a few bits of it have annoyed me, and despite myself, I’m going to add in my words.  (And to be fair, I've only read a few entries on this issue, and I’m not going to pretend to be some sort of expert or anything.  Please hear me out before replying.)
So, to get to the bone of it, there’s a discussion over LGTBQA+ rights.  I should say something along the lines of “I’m a neutral party” but I’m just going to come out and say it.  I am in support of Princess Grr’s Gender Squad.  I do not like discrimination of any kind, and I think it’s an excellent idea to support those in the minority.  BUT that does not mean I approve of the way some people have been doing so.  (I’m not going to name names, and I’m not even sure if the people I have in mind are associated with Princess Grr.)
Anyway.  These people (I’m just gonna refer to them as Group A) fight fire with fire.  They see hatred and fight back with equally angry stances.  Now to step back.  This is not saying Group A doesn’t have a right to be angry.  This is not saying that they are completely overreacting.  But the people they are angry against (for scientific purposes, let’s label them Group B) are human too, and deserve to be treated with basic respect.  Again stepping back; this does not mean Group B is not in the wrong or that the issue should be ignored.  What I think is that this method of “discussion” is ineffective and should be gone about in a different way.
The way I see it is this; when Group A harshly puts down Group B for their actions, they are victimizing them.  Group A probably doesn’t see it this way, and their reasoning is probably legitimate.  But Group B won’t believe that legitimacy, no matter the facts.  They will feel victimized, and as such be less likely to listen to any further reasoning from Group A.  This doesn’t solve the conflict; if anything, it makes things worse.  Another analogy: Group B is acting like a bully.  Group A’s response is to bully them right back.  I don’t know what your elementary school education was like, but I was taught that this isn’t the way to solve conflicts.
Based off what Princess Grr wrote about, I thought the idea was to educate Group B about the issues of LGTBQA+ rights.  You don’t do this by villain-izing them right off the bat.  You open a reasonable discussion.  You calmly explain to them why their comments were hurtful or disrespectful.  I know I can’t say this for everybody, but I would like to think that most people aren’t actively trying to be down on LGTBQA+.  Perhaps they are ignorant of how their words and actions hurt others, and given a calm discussion, they will realize the errors of their ways. 
Yes, that’s an insanely optimistic way to put it, but why shouldn’t that be the first step.  This is a kids forum after all, and it wouldn’t surprise if people posting here don’t realize what their words are doing to people.  They’re likely to have a point of view based on their upbringing, and by outright telling them they are wrong and evil, they’re going to get defensive.  But if the first step... even if it’s just the first step... is to honestly tell them how you and others in Group A feel, then perhaps you will sow the seeds that will lead them to move past their outdated upbringing and become more progressive and opened to others who are different than they are.
Is this the only step?  Eventually, is verbal harassment the best solution for some people who won't change?  Here’s a quick story: one year in college, I got forced into a room with a guy and we ended up having several conflicting lifestyle preferences, such as when to turn the lights off and what temperature to keep the room.  We butted heads quite often, and I eventually went to my RA, who had us sit down and try to reach a settlement.  I was willing to make some sacrifices to match his, but he was utterly unwilling to admit that his ways were perfect and wouldn't budge until I did everything according to his methods.  Our sit-down went nowhere, and the eventual outcome was me paying to change rooms.
The moral of that story?  Some people are too stubborn or prideful to change their ways or beliefs.  No matter how much reasonable discussion is had, they won't yield to a new way of thinking.  In this case, more extreme measures might be appropriate.  I was really into the idea of hitting him hard on the head, for example.  (My RA advised me not to do that.)  In this case, said member might be asked to leave the community, if they are truly incapable of being open to others.  BUT such drastic measures are not the first step, and they should probably be avoided anyway.  The first step is to try and calmly talk it out.  That’s what my RA did, and that’s what they taught me about bullies in elementary school.  Want another metaphor?  Say that the problem is like a wound.  Clawing and scratching at it won’t make it better, and could actually make it worse.  Applying medicine will help it heal.
So let’s apply some medicine to this situation.  Let’s educate Group B about the LGTBQA+ community.  Let’s teach them to be friendlier and more open.  Let us not be like Malcolm X during the Civil Rights era, where we fight fire with fire.  Let us be more like Martin Luther King Jr.
We are all people.  Nobody’s perfect.  Some of us are wrong.  Some of us can be very wrong.  So help us correct the errors of our ways instead of shouting slander at us.  The shouting might be legitimized and make you feel better, but ultimately, it’s not going to solve the problem.
From what I read, Princess Grr’s Gender Squad is about using the metaphorical medicine to solve the problem, and I fully support that.  I hope that others in this argument can back down and start taking an approach like this.  Frankly I am disappointed that so many have taken the yelling approach instead.  Come on, we can be better than this!
I’m not saying this is the perfect solution.  I don’t know what the perfect solution is at all.  I just think that calm discussions are a better method than angry villain-ization, and I hope further discussions move away from the latter.
Anyway, if you do see some error in my reasoning, please politely let me know.  I’m willing to admit when I make a mistake, even if I don’t like doing so.  It’s strange to write this, because I am clearly a pessimist, but I think you should look for the good in people first before you judge them harshly.  My motto is to respect everybody equally, until they have proven that they do not deserve my respect.  Even if Group B is being disrespectful, try to help them change for the better before putting them under some sort of evil label.
Those are my thoughts for tonight.  Thank you for reading, and peace out.  :)


About The Monster Contest

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Aug 16 2013 · 373 views

I mean, man, it's incredible how the entries have turned out.  The MOCs seem to be rather high quality, with a few exceptions (AKA my entry) so that it's kind of hard to pick the best of em.  I mean, usually BBC contests aren't this evenly matched, right?  That, and most of the art entries are awesome... that was my best entry into this contest, and mine's being blown out of the water by some of the other ones.  The game ideas are fun, but I am really impressed at the music (and video) submissions; we have some talented people on BZPower, don't we?  I still need to sit down and listen to everything before I cast my vote.  Also, I haven't read all the stories yet, but I mean we had more literary entries than any other category besides MOCs, so that's pretty awesome too.  Library power, yay!
There is one thing I am disappointed about, tho.
A few people keep voting for my entries!  Sure, my MOC has nill, but I did get a few for my art piece and a few for my basic game idea and I guess even someone voted for one of my stories??  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?
I feel that there's another category that I'm missing, but I must be wrong cause it's not something I'm going to discuss here. I know I love bragging that I can delete comments in my blog by sheer force of will (or, y'know, cause I'm authorized to see those delete buttons here) but I will do so if need be.
But all in all, I'm impressed with this contest.  It would've been cooler to see even more awesome entries, but the ones that did make it through are pretty good.  Yay BZPower... Bionicle may be over but we can still keep it going strong.  TAKE THAT JACK STONE I DON'T SEE ANY OF YOUR FANSITES AROUND ANYMORE!
Also, I changed my avi.  I know Steins;Gate came out a few years ago, but I recently finished it and thought it was one of the most epic science fiction / time travel stories out there.  (Oh no I am liking anime too much now, goodness knows if I become one of those people who gets insulted when its refered to as Japanese cartoons!)


It's Just Four Letters

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Aug 08 2013 · 360 views

For the record, the xkcd comic were first posted in 2005, although granted Randall Munroe might have come up with the name before that.

I registered as xccj on this site in 2003, and I'd been using the same name on Lego.com since the late 90s.

I did not steal Randall Munroe's four letter name; he stole mine.

It's also not really an acronym but I did a whole contest about that back in the day so it actually stands for Xtra Carbon Copy Justice. You can thank Toaraga for that... and those of you who voted for that option.

Just to clear this all up. :P



Rejected (Maybe) Distillery and Pub

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Aug 03 2013 · 436 views

Posted Image

Cause my team would rather have blood sacrifices than parties with lightshows. :P I think. I dunno, it's not like we communicate or anything.

That one image totally isn't someone drinking; it's somebody tazing themselves in the mouth. Who it is is still up in the air.



Chima Fig Swap?

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Aug 02 2013 · 201 views

So I guess the latest round of Chima system sets is out.  There are a lot of cool fig characters that I'm interested in, and some that I'm not so much.  I'm assuming other people are interested in collecting Chima figs, and I know myself I'm uninterested in the BrickLink prices they fetch for.  I'm considering buying one of the larger sets (like that one wolf car / moving fortress one) which has some cool figs and some that I'd be willing to part with.
So is there anybody here who'd be willing to swap Chima figs at all?
Specifically, I want to get the female versions, and currently I haven't bought a larger set yet so I can't trade em right away... but potentially in the future?  Eh, thought I'd at least put this out there.  Thanks for reading.



Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Jul 23 2013 · 330 views

We make a team of elemental Toa.
Who's with me?


Why I Like Being a Lifetime Premier

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts Jul 21 2013 · 174 views

Back when I first bought premier membership, 6 months was like $6, 1 year was $10, and lifetime was $25.
So if it lasted for more than 4 six month periods (2 years) or the equivalent of 2.5 years, then lifetime membership would pay for itself.  (Assuming that BZP's life was greater than said 2.5 years.)
I've had it for 10 years.  Yeah, it's paid for itself.  :P
And that was before price increases!
Also, I clearly have very little of what some call "a life."
Anyway, probably won't blog too much cause it'll get lost in the oncoming flood anyway.  Enjoy the perks, everybody!

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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
~ Owl City

Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
~ Phoenix

I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
~ Foster the People

Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
~ Oh Land

On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
~ Train

But even the sun sets in paradise
~ Maroon 5

Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
~ Train (Again?)

So make now your ally, and leap before you look
~ Nothing's Carved In Stone

I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need.
~ Passion Pit

Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
~ Song Rider

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
~ One Republic

I live my life in shackles, but I'm borderline-free.
~ Tove Styrke

Silver Lake, Mercury Mining, This Mistake, No Silver Lining.
~ Alkaline Trio


Ha Ha

You scrolled to the bottom.

I now control your mind.