Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Blasphemy Day (Seriously, there is such a thing)

For too long has religion, in many places around the world, been a sacred cow that cannot be criticised without fear of reprisal, whether legal or physical. For too long have there been fines for blasphemy on the books in various countries (e.g. Ireland), clauses in constitutions that forbid blasphemous speech (also Ireland; see via, and even draconian measures-such as the death penalty-imposed on those who criticize religion (see here: and here: For too long have there been Muslim protests whose members carry placards that read "BEHEAD THOSE WHO SAY ISLAM IS VIOLENT" without sensing the slightest bit of hilarious irony. Now is the time to strike. We must protest these stifling and backward legal measures in the name of freedom of speech, one of the most precious freedoms known to man.

^The civilian version of what Blasphemy Day protesters
are taking to the streets over.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July to All Who Celebrate It

It was on this day, exactly 233 years ago, our country, then just a loose confederation of rebellious English colonies, officially declared its soveriegnity from the British Crown. On that historic day, fifty-five delegates from across the Eastern Seaboard convened in Philadelphia to sign their marks on one of the United States' most cherished documents. By then, the point of no return had been crossed. Had these independent minded men lost the war, they, in the words of the main character in the movie National Treasure, "would have been shot, hanged, and, my personal favorite, had their entrails cut out and burned." But, as most people know, this was not the case, and these thirteen colonies became a new nation, a beacon of freedom to all the people of the world and an ominous symbol to the monarchs of Europe.

It is today that many Americans go out and watch fireworks and eat grilled hotdogs, all in celebration of the signing of a document of succession (and due to the desire to eat hotdogs and gaze at fireballs in the sky, of course.), but other practices are, well, practiced. Some just laze around and watch movies from the 80's and early 90's. Others go out to eat a nice sit down meal. Still others just salute the flag.

My fellow Americans, whether at home, in the trenches, or simply living peacefully in other countries, I wish you a Happy 4th. We may be citizen of a country with a hell of a lot of issues, but it's still ours.

*cue fireworks behind me*

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Issues with Multiverse Theory

First and foremost, I would like to thank Doctor Logic for pointing out something about Multiverse Theory that was discussed in Paul Davies' book The Goldilocks Enigma, which spurred me to find the article I will post in this entry.

Multiverse theory holds that there are other universes besides this one. The drawback, according to this article, is that, if there are many, many universes, then some may have intelligent life, and some of those will possibly have the technology to create virtual realities. Since this is possible, our universe, given the truth of multiverse theory, could be a real life Matrix.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Proper Pronunciation of Cthulhu

^1. H.P. Lovecraft 2.Great Cthulhu

One of the greatest unsolved, and perhaps unsolvable, mysteries of all on the internet today is the correct pronunciation of one of the most famous names in all of horror and science fiction. That mystery is the correct pronunciation of "Cthulhu."

Let's start off with the basics. The first question one would most likely ask is this: "who or what the heck is Cthulhu?" And with that, we begin.

Cthulhu is a fictional being created by the writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft, a man widely considered by many readers to be the undisputed king of horror and the macabre. In the stories, Cthulhu is a high priest of an incredibly powerful alien race called the Great Old Ones, who, along with Cthulhu himself, are worshipped as gods by various cults around the world and beyond. They came from other planets and dimensions to Earth. Later, they went to sleep in the underwater city of R'lyeh. When Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones awaken from their slumber, a time when "the stars are right," they will rise to take their place as rulers of Earth, regardless of whether the human race will perish in the process.

Now that that is out of the way, we can concentrate on what really matters in the grand scheme of things: how to pronounce a fictional entity's name in the correct fashion. However, there is no simple, clear cut answer. According to H.P. Lovecraft, the correct way of pronouncing "Cthulhu" is in the language of the Great Old Ones, which is incompatible with the speech of humans. Therefore, the closest we can get to the correct is a mere approximation. According to Lovecraft, "Cthulhu" is pronounced Khlûl'-hloo. However, even this may not be correct, considering that Lovecraft was quite inconsistent with the pronounciation of the name of his most famous creation.
The mystery of the correct pronunciation of Cthulhu's name may never be solved, but that does not mean the mystery is bad or evil in any way. On the contrary, it provides nerds from all corners of the internet a topic to argue about with each other. It makes us... okay, you got me, that's pretty much all I can think of, and it's more neutral than good or bad. But at least some of you have learned something new, ay?

Monday, February 23, 2009

What Historians Think of 42 U.S. Presidents

It's official, we now have an objective criterion to determine who the best president was, and it is shown by clicking on this link: It shows the ranking of presidents according to a survey of historians.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Possible Problem with Obama's Stimulus Plan

Obama's stimulus package, which is in the congressional phase and is being debated as this is being written, is one that is in possession of grand ambitions. It offers trillions of dollars to at least save 3.4 million jobs. Money will go to such projects as repairing roads and "greenifying" our energy. It also includes grants to modernize our healthcare system by electronically storing our records. Money will be given to the U.S.'s public education system to prevent closures, cutbacks, and to repair school buildings and build new ones if this plan is enacted as is, at least from what this blogger last heard.

But the infrastructural provisions of the bill aside, the question of whether it will work arises.

The author of this post trusts that its readers have been to various stores at least once in their lives. Shoppers notice that there is a little label on many products; a label that states not that it is dolphin safe (well, unless maybe if it's a tuna can) or that the toy will not give children nightmare until they need therapy, but a label telling the shopper where the product was produced. The most common ones say that the inanimate commodity was made in China or Taiwan, with some saying they were made in India or Mexico.

"So what will happen if Obama's plan, one created in a country that has lost much of its industrial base, passes," asks some. The result is fairly obvious. Much of the money is going to be inserted into the paychecks of industrial companies, many of which will probably be foreign. Would it not be better to create a bill that will enhance America's industrial base and keep a maximum amount of tax dollars in their homeland?

I appreciate any feedback, critical or not. Maybe we can get a discussion off the ground.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This Day in History: The Inauguration of Obama

Today is the day history was made in the Beacon to the World. Barack Obama, the first black man ever elected to what is sometimes called "the most important job in the world," was sworn in as president. And Joseph Biden was sworn in as vice president, the first Catholic to have ever been sworn into that position.

After being sworn in on the Bible, as is customary, a speech was made by the now President Obama. The one thing a person would notice aside from the eloquence of the oration is the many ambitions the speech conveyed to the public. He said that it is time to utilize the clean power of nature to provide ourselves with electricity. He said that it is time for the United States to return to its place as the Beacon to the World by lending a hand to undeveloped nations and telling first world countries that they should not stand by while other human beings are living in hellholes. Aside from the points with which many can sympathize, there is also a strand of utopianism in the most recent inaugural oration. He claims that as tribal distinctions continue to crumble and the world becomes smaller, a new age of peace and prosperity will be ushered. Finally, he said that, after the hell that the Civil War and Segregation put together are, a black man was sworn in as president.

When the speech was completed, the president went into the White House to partake in what appears to be a nomination spree. Since I can only guess if he is continuing this or if he has moved on to other presidential matters.

What will this new administration bring? Will it keep its promises? Will it fail miserably and be derided in the history books? Only time will reveal the answers to these questions.

By the way, George Bush was shown clapping after the speech was completed. He must be thinking, "man, I wish I could make a speech like that."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Review

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was released in Semptember of '08. It was undoubtedly an ambitious project, meant to give every gamer the experience of being a Sith. Unfortunately, it fell short of what it could have been.

The story of the game takes you through the life and times of the adult known as "Starkiller," a man taken under the wing of Darth Vader as a boy after his jedi father was killed by the Dark Lord. Starkiller is trained in secret by Vader to become a full-fledged jedi in order to help Vader take down Emperor Palpatine. But there's more to this mission than meets the eye at first, but I'll stop now to prevent spoilage of the story.

Gameplay is not exactly great. The levels are flatout repetitive. Most take the form of slashing, choking, zapping, or tossing soldiers of various stripes for about twenty minutes, fighting a boss, killing more soldiers, and facing the final boss (usually a jedi). The only variation in this basic scheme is in the form of more or less bosses.

Aside from this is the overly easy gameplay. An average to experienced gamer would only die about seven times thanks in part to the abundant health packs throughout the game's areas, and most of those deaths will probably be met facing the early bosses, when the player is new to the game. But even these battles are made fairly easy by regenerating health packs in the area of the fight.

There is a basic customozation feature in the game in the form of changing outfits, upgrading your lightsaber with crystals, changing your hilt, and changing the color of your lightsaber blade.

As far as graphics go, they seem to be the average of the video game system whose version you buy. To see what I am talking about, look at some screenshots for the 360 (, the PS3 (, the PS2 ( , the PSP (, or the Wii (

In summary, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is something that could have been more, but fell short. On a scale of 1-10, a 5.

By the way, since this is my first review of anything, I welcome any constructive criticism that may help me write better reviews in the future.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Then and Now: An Intro to this Blog

In the beginning, there was nothingness (i.e. a nigh infinite collection of blogs that then and now satisfy the tastes of the web surfing masses). Then there was Nuts, Bolts, and More.

Nuts, Bolts, and More is a blog about everything and anything under the sun; from science to history to video games to the proper pronunciation of "Cthulhu;" the real "nuts, bolts, and more" of the universe and what makes living so grand.

I hope my very brief introduction to this blog makes the reader want to look at it in the future.