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About Fuzztrek

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  1. Fuzztrek

    Should we eat animals?

    I seem to recall having a thread on this topic once before. There seems to be a slightly more rational discussion about it now however (so maybe I should stay out of it? ;) I've come to conclude that, due to our physiology, we (the western world, at least) should be eating less meat if we are at all concerned about our health. We should also be eating less of many, many other non-meat things, the sum of which probably contributes to most common health problems (at least in the USA and Canada.) All of this is just suspicion because I'm not really compelled to go rummage through health studies that may or may not have some spin on them in a futile attempt to convince people I don't know of something (your health) that won't benefit me directly. Humans have been eating meat for thousands of years. But we haven't always been going into restaurants and ordering sheets of ham (in-joke.) We don't have to think about our food any more. When it comes to meat, we don't have to think about slaughterhouses or how the animal was living before it was killed. Most of us do not hunt or fish for our food. I don't think that going into a supermarket and picking up a couple pounds of ribs from a (possibly over-drugged, over-fed) animal is going to net you the same health benefits as tracking down a wild buffalo or even slaughtering a cow that you have raised on your own farm (where you know exactly what it ate and how healthy it was before you killed it.) As some have aptly observed, ethical arguments against eating meat quickly degenerate into a flame war. There's this notion that tucking into large, still slightly bloody chunks of previously frozen meat prepared, and maybe acquired in bulk by a woman on her weekly trip through costco, is the epitome of manliness. How dare anyone sympathize with these animals? Fools! Line up the baby rabbits for me, as I must prevent the surplus of meat that these pansies are sure to create in their touchy-feely ways. Heart disease and colon cancer be damned, there's no way I'll be robbed of my beloved meat! And so on, as some are immediately put on the defensive in an attempt to repulse those pushy vegetarians, always popping up at every turn like unwanted Jehovah Witnesses. Perhaps the threat to masculinity is stemmed from weight lifting (a "manly" activity)? Protein is vital to the activity, so perhaps a connection is made there. Unfortunately, I don't think eating the meat with out lifting the weights is going to positively affect your physique, so this line of thinking is flawed. It could also have something to do with hunting, a traditionally masculine activity, but few hunt for their main supply of food. I'm not really sure, but I do find these posts amusing. There are also those who find that it just tastes good, so what's the big deal about? And those too who will eat meat but refuse to hear about where it came from. I suspect that it's just easier to eat meat than to think about it. Like so many things... any processed food, really. And apathy runs rampant these days, so I suppose I can attribute such perspectives to that. I think my personal issue with meat eating can be extended to food in general. It's no longer respected. We reject healthy subjects in search of the most processed, artificially flavoured and coloured edible compounds attractively packaged and conveniently arrayed in our supermarkets of choice. We scarf down as much as we can as if we are on the brink of a year long hibernation. We have no notion of portion control, of moderation, or even of nutrition, despite widely available and free food guides (how many people actually know what a serving of meat or protein is? how many people know how many servings are recommended in a day? how many people actually follow these guidelines?) And, most importantly, we do not support local business and local farms. Perhaps, in terms of nutrition, the emphasis should be placed less on meat and more on "the other stuff": fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This way, the meat eaters are not as offended (no one is telling them to stop doing something, rather the exact opposite.) Now, I don't blame anyone for turning up their nose at the feeble offering of fruit that lies on the bottom rack of an in-counter refrigerator at McDonalds (slowly dehydrating apples and caremel sauce in a cup, anyone?) Nor at what is often presented at midrange restaurants... mushy, overcooked broccoli (fly infestations optional); pale, tasteless bell peppers; or limp, rotting lettuce. Indeed, it can be at trial to find better produce at a grocery store. Yet without knowing what the solid crunch of broccoli, crisp sweetness of peppers, or fresh vitality of lettuce is even like, is it any wonder poor substitutes are accepted and common place? So, in summary, demand better for yourself. Expand your palatte beyond meat and potatoes. Venture forth into the rich world of fresh food. It's okay. Unless you're going about it in a very unfortunate way, your penis will still be intact when you're done.
  2. Fuzztrek

    Alternatives to college degrees?

    I agree with Andrew Russell. I think you should do what you want to do as much as possible in life. Finding out what you want is hard. Be as specific as possible. Don't go to university or college if you are going to be miserable for four years of your life. It's a big gamble to think that you're going to get a payoff grand enough to justify that time. As for what you may learn in post-secondary, you can't assume that it will be more valuable than what you would learn out of it. In fact, you can't assume that you will learn anything at all if you already have a predisposition against it (i.e. if you don't want to be there, you probably aren't going to get as much out of it as someone who does want to be there.) Simply being there isn't enough. IMO, people passionate about what they are doing are always going to be better than people miserably putting in time, regardless of education. You trade one experience for another. At no point are you left with no experiences... it's like trying to empty your mind of thought. It's a good exercise to try, though ;) The way I see it, even if you go and hate it and end up dropping out you'll still end up with "experience". Maybe not experience that an employer will be interested in, but if that's your motivation you might not have any of these contemplations in the first place. So my advice is really to take some time and find out what you want, and to think about that word and what it means. Think about ways you can achieve what you want, and resist the temptation to conclude that there is only one way to get something. Who wants to hire that?
  3. Fuzztrek

    Flat screen monitors - should I give a damn?

    I recently replaced my 19" CRT with a very sleek Samsung SyncMaster 931BW. I had to replace my CRT, which was nearly 6 years old now, I guess, because text on it was getting really blurry. I'd have never known, however, if I hadn't looked at my sister's LCD and noticed how oddly readable the text was. Going back to my blurry splotches was not a pleasant thought. Anyway, the Samsung advertises a 2ms response time, though only when the monitor has it's "response time accelerator", or MagicSpeed, enabled. I can't say I notice a difference with it enabled or disabled, but then again I rarely run something that switches from black to white frequently enough to notice. I've never noticed any ghosting, however what little ghosting I have noticed on other LCD's isn't anything that would bother me personally. I think problematic ghosting is mostly a thing of the past (or of poor quality), along with dead pixels and other LCD horror stories. At the very least, the warranties are better and more merchants are offering relatively cheap replacement programs. My only complaint about the Samsung is that while it's horizontal viewing angles are quite incredible, vertical viewing angles are much less impressive. Not a big issue but finding the right tilt angle is more of an issue than it should be. Also, do not underestimate the wide screen. It's so sexy.
  4. Fuzztrek

    Dumbledore is totally gay.

    Oh, Rowling. You can try all you want to make your one dimensional characters more interesting, but it doesn't work after the books have been written.
  5. Fuzztrek

    "Best" villan or hero

    Kerrigan. Of course. I'm not sure if she counts as I wouldn't classify her as a hero or a villain. She's probably "meant" to be the villain, but she's not the epitome of evil. She doesn't have to be, and I think that's what makes her such a great character. She wins because she's so cunning, and how can you resist that?
  6. Fuzztrek

    Man shelf

    Tinfoil hat, anyone?
  7. Fuzztrek

    Great Game Soundtracks

    Starcraft!! So amazing. However, I'm not sold on what I've heard of SC2's soundtrack yet...
  8. Fuzztrek

    Apple blocks Open Sauce media players

    I like WMP11, but I find that it's audio quality is lower than iTunes. I'm not real big on audio terminology so I'm not exactly sure what the problem might be (and it should also be noted that I have crappy on-board audio), but iTunes seems to do a much better job at "smoothing over" artifacts in music that has been ripped from CDs. WMP11 doesn't hide anything, which is probably a good thing if you have a pristine music collection. I can't seem to get perfect rips with any of my optical drives, even using EAC. The thing that most annoys me about both the iPod and iTunes is how sluggish they are. My iPod usually has about a 2-3 second delay on the pause button, and skipping songs takes a few seconds each song too. I originally had a Rio Karma, which was really amazing at the time (it had gapless playback waaaay before the iPod.) Too bad Rio doesn't make mp3 players anymore :(
  9. Fuzztrek

    Tutorials: Helpful/Harmful.

    As a "n00b", I'd like to say that while I appreciate the idea of a tutorial, I find few to be beneficial. I think it really comes down to the skill of the writer to explain the concept behind the code. I abhor "tutorials in source", where poorly written code is made all the more unreadable by paragraphs of poorly written comments. In general, depending of course on the complexity of the code and the skill level of the reader, I don't think code should be taken apart to such a degree that by the time you're on the fifth line you can't even remember what the function was called. Assuming the reader is in fact literate and can interpret the basic syntax of the language, the author should never try to provide verbose subtitles for their code, as if translating a foreign film in a language that only just sounds like one they actually know. Sometimes, as a n00b, you can fall into another n00b's tutorial trap. This can cause needless frustration and is quite dangerous if you don't you way out fast enough. A tutorial trap is of course where a n00b has taken it as their personal mission to educate others on what they are presently learning. After all, why should two suffer when one can reap the benefits of another's hard work? Sadly, if anyone wins in this situation, it's not you. A telltale sign of the tutorial trap is when all the critical parts of the program are glossed over in such a way that makes you feel as though you should know what's happening, but you really don't. Meanwhile, the more trivial aspects of the code, like basic arithmetic and function declarations, are fully documented. The glass isn't half full, it's empty. Sorry. The n00b also has to beware of the "so-called beginners" tutorials. There are some great tutorials out there for beginners, but the "so-called beginners" tutorials need a category of their own. These are the ones that start out just fine, explaining things coherently enough. You might even start to appreciate the authors respect for his readers, for he's spared you of embarrassing banter and he's not insulting your intelligence by trying to explain a post-increment operation on an integer. If you're new at this, you might think you've struck tutorial gold. Poor you, and far from it. You'll come around when he or she turns viciously against you. That's right, all explanations screech to a halt halfway through when the author apparently got bored and decided that hey, if you didn't need banter and documentation on basic operators, you were probably set to finish things on your own. "It's just a simple matter of *insert extremely complex-sounding things here* after all, right? It's so easy, why did you even need me to write the the first part? If you need any help, I'll try to stifle my laughter, but no promises!" Great. Back to square one. Anyway, there are more, but I think I'm going to pull a "so-called beginners" here and assume that your imagination can finish this list on its own. And if you can't, well, you know... *muffled snickering* I'll leave all you n00bs out there with one last bit of advice: The LaMothe Premier Press Game Development Series. Those books are really seductive, and I blame their covers. That's about all the good I can say about them. Although I have many, if anyone reading this has authored a book in that series, I conveniently don't have yours and I'm sure it would have been a rare exception to my disappointment. Could I possibly also have a refund?
  10. Fuzztrek

    Starcraft 2 overhyped?

    I played SC2 at Blizzcon a bit. I didn't get to play as much as I probably should have for $100 a ticket (my own fault, I could have played it more) but anyway I am here to tell you that SC2 is a whole new game. It's not SC with different units and better graphics, it's a whole new game. And, of course, it's not War3 either. I think War3 worked really well for what it tried to accomplish. War3 was revolutionary in its game play, melding RTS and RPG together (I'm not saying it was the first to do this, I'm not really sure if it was or not, but to my knowledge it was one of the first, perhaps only, successful games to pull it off.) Starcraft 2 isn't trying to be revolutionary, but it's definitely a different game than it's predecessor. And, from what I saw, it will be well worth the wait for the franchise. If they had tried to make it several years ago when they were working on War3, I'm not so sure I'd be so enthusiastic about it. But I think the time is right for it now. And let's not forget that it hasn't even entered alpha yet. They still have a lot, a lot of work to do. And yeah, I can't believe how pretty this game is. The graphics already look release-ready. I'd have to say that Blizzard has only disappointed me twice with their art: 1) the water in WoW. It's just a sad excuse. 2) The portraits in War3. Embarrassing!
  11. Fuzztrek

    Data recovery tool?

    Knoppix has internet support, so you can transfer them to another computer on your LAN. If you have a secondary hard drive (or buy a new one to use as a replacement), you might also be able to use disk management utilities provided by the hardware manufacturer to do a direct partition copy from the old drive to the new drive. I did this with mine, and after it completed Windows was able to repair the file system on the new drive without locking up. I think I used a Western Digital utility that came with my new hard drive. You might also be able to write to a CD or DVD with Knoppix, but I've never tried it. This probably isn't that practical except for the most imperative documents.
  12. Fuzztrek

    Data recovery tool?

    I'd look into burning a copy of the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows and seeing if any of its included utilities can help you. The last time something happened like this to me, all I really needed was to get the files off the drive, as the drive was pretty old and needed to be replaced anyway. Also, everytime Windows tried to read from the drive, the drive either froze or locked up somehow. For this I just used Knoppix, a linux variant that boots from a CD. It doesn't support writing to NFTS drives, but you can read from them. Knoppix was able to read my drive just fine without it locking up or freezing. One of these should do the trick, or at least get you further toward fixing the problem. If nothing else, you can backup what you need before tinkering.
  13. Fuzztrek

    Harry Potter thread *spoiler warning just in case*

    It wasn't as bad as I thought it could have been, but *SPOILER! LAWL* I still maintain that Harry should have died (or remained dead, whichever.) I think it was kind of lame brining him back only so he could name one of his children Albus Servius. Poor kid. Of course it is a childrens novel, but that didn't stop the deaths of the others. The camping business was also a bit tedious, as was the random time intervals, which I'm sure is very difficult to get realistic in such a book, but it seemed to me that many weeks had passed before they had made any progress. And, progress usually seemed to entail some sort of race against the death eaters and Harry writhing in pain. Was everyone just standing around during the days when this wasn't happening? The epilogue seemed hastily written and I think would have been more effective, though perhaps less modern, as a past-tense narrative. Anyway, it was satisfying enough for the 10 years and 7 books it took to get here. I was impressed with her ability to pull out a bunch of stuff from the previous books as essentials in this final chapter. Although I believe she has said that she knew how it was going to end when she started writing the series (I don't see how she could not have,) I was somewhat surprised when the loose ends were tied up.. maybe because it seemed a bit shaky at first, and she had to add a bit of detail here and there.. So anyway, well done JK. Have my money!
  14. Fuzztrek

    Ignorance vs. truth

    People confused about facts doesn't annoy me as much as the ignorance some people show toward other people, or groups of people. I suppose this is because I've been surrounded all my life by people who think what comes to them in a mass-email is the law. I think that it's sad that most of the time I will let people blab on about whatever, something offensive no doubt, sometimes within earshot of the group of people they are insulting, and not object to it. I could care less whether someone thinks the powder inside light bulbs emits light or not (I might possibly ask them what they make of clear light bulbs :o) but cultural ignorance is a moral dilemma that I'm usually unprepared to act upon. It shouldn't really be that difficult, but I guess I just don't know how to handle the situation besides glare confusedly at the perpetrator ;) Maybe it's just too much effort. I make no effort to hide my apathy. But then there's the guilt. Oh, the horrible guilt.
  15. Fuzztrek

    Life Like Graphics Destroys...

    Quote:Original post by Promit You know, just because you haven't bothered to get outside your tiny little world and see some of the cool stuff happening in gaming, doesn't mean there's no cool stuff happening. Wake up. Pay attention. Notice innovation. There's plenty of games that aren't about hyper realism. The game industry today is more interesting than ever. I'm tired of the bs that comes up every so often, claiming that graphics is killing innovative games. There are so many cool games out there that feature alternative graphics. And some that are just crazy, but cool anyway. I'm afraid I don't have much patience for this type of discussion anymore. If you think graphics is leading to a dead end, or graphics is killing gameplay, or games today aren't innovative, then you're an ignorant fool and you have no business discussing game design or the future of the game industry. There are many, many games chasing non-realistic graphics, and innovating in graphics and gameplay both. Don't be blind to it, because if you are, you are hurting the very thing you want to encourage.Regardless of whether or not this was aimed at me (I'm sure quite a few people could benefit form reading it), I must admit I am very clueless about games and make a poor excuse for a gamer ;) Thanks for posting these though, it's quite refreshing to see that, like most things, if you look past what you're seeing on the front page everywhere, you can find unique fun things. Quote:Original post by Nathan Baum A "photorealistic" rendering of a badly designed dragon, say, will aways look worse than an unrealistic rendering of an expertly designed dragon. ... It seems obvious that Blizzard are not aiming for graphical realism in WoW. Even within the constraints of present-day hardware and the fact that it's a MMORPG, I'm certain WoW could look more "realistic" than it does. Furthermore, I'm certain that the stylized appearance of WoW was a conscious choice.Yes, this was my point exactly.
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