Ubiquitous Academicians

Archive for the ‘Nicholas’ Category


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The other day, I was preparing to structure a post condemning my writing partner, Ethan, for unjustly going after Hillary Clinton again and again, sometimes for what I consider to be minor faults. Then I realized something, something that is only furthered proved by her attitude during her most recent wins.

It’s all about the pride now.

Any candidate who had the good of the Democratic Party in mind would have, in Clinton’s position, stepped out of the race long ago to allow the obvious forerunner to hit the November elections with momentum and support. They would realize that prolonging the nomination is splintering and weakening the party. They would put their pride aside and do what is for the best of the Democratic Party.

Clinton’s not a candidate who has the good of the party in mind.

Even though she cannot win at this point unless she gets, perhaps, ninety percent wins in all the remaining states, she continues to pour money into her campaign and pretend that she stands a chance. The truth, however, is that she can’t stand to lose. She’s like an immature child in that she can’t accept lost, so she’s going to be sure to take her opponent, Obama, down with her.

This prolonged division in the party is allowing McCain to pull far ahead of both candidates (recent polls indicate that he would win against either.) And, at this rate, unless Hillary pulls out and throws support to her party and not her pride, we’re going to see another Republican—no, another Bush–sitting in the white house.


Your writer,

We really should write about something other than politics.


Written by Nicholas

May 14, 2008 at 6:28 am

On Lions and Donkeys

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Last Friday night, I watched Lions for Lambs, a political, thought-provoking film directed and starring Robert Redford. Lions for Lambs is put together quite interestingly; there are three section of the film which are transitioned between throughout the course of the movie. One section stars the aforementioned Robert Redford as a professor meeting with a gifted, but disaffected student. Redford tries to coax his student into participating more and attempting to make a difference in the world. The next section follows two soldiers spearheading a new plan in Afghanistan. These two soldiers were students of Redford, but, against his wishes, they decided the best way to make a difference would be to put their lives on the line. Lastly, we have a portion starring Meryl Streep, an experienced journalist, interviewing Tom Cruise, an up-and-coming Republican senator. Cruise’s character, who is one of the minds behind the new strategy in Afghanistan, is revealing the plans to Streep while simultaneously attempting to justify many of the United State’s failings in the war.

The movie itself is rather lacking. It is essentially made up of a number of lectures that use far too many words to explain relatively simple concepts, which can be a bit tiresome, and Tom Cruise continues to disturb me, but the underlying message is a good one. Lions for Lambs tells its audience that, in this day and age, every person should become involved in defining events of the time. The film explores both participation in political and military change, but it does not point either out as the definitive path, rather, it communicates the more general political or moral theme of participation in change.

I might not recommend this movie, but I can fully support the message behind it.

Your writer,

Written by Nicholas

April 13, 2008 at 7:46 am

The Return

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Before I go about writing the particular thoughts that come to me at this time, I’d like to offer an apology to all our readers for my recent lack of activity on the blog. Although I’m somewhat tempted to cobble together an excuse for my inactiveness, the simple truth is that I’ve been downright lazy. It’s not that I don’t wish to continue contributing to the blog, for I think of many ideas for it each day, but that I have a severe problem with procrastination. Let us continue on, though, with no further ado.

I would like to show you to a clear and insightful article written by Stephen King. This column, which King wrote for Entertainment Weekly, clearly demonstrates my thoughts on the predicament of video game violence, ratings, and the constant disputes centered around them. The column manages to address my foremost point of frustration with the argument to ban violent video games or make them illegal for minors: it is a double-standard. Brutal, disgustingly violent movies such as Hotel and Saw predominate in today’s film industry, and they are NOT illegal for minors to view. These films trump, in there vehemence, anything that even the most violent video games have to offer.

Secondly, the column looks at the continuous conflicts over video games in the context of the grand scheme of things. King rightfully points out that politicians love to use violent entertainment as a scapegoat to pin the fundamental problems of the modern world on. He also reminds us that many entertainment mediums have undergone similar scrutiny (comics, rock music, etc.).

Stephen King manages to debunk the ludicrousness of the anti-video game debate with great succinctness and eloquence, making this an excellent read for anyone remotely interested in the topical debate.

Lastly, if the subject of video game politics interests you even remotely, I’d recommend you pay a visit to Game Politics, a monumental resource on the topic of video games in relation to politics.

Your writer,

An afterthought: Thank you, Ethan, for managing, unlike myself, to keep up with this project of ours.

Written by Nicholas

April 12, 2008 at 6:15 pm

An excerpt of my writing

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I’ve just been trying to get an idea for a fictional piece of writing and I was simply messing around with some ideas. Anyways, here’s a little something I’ve come up with so far. Mind you, I don’t consider particularly polished, just trying to get ideas down.

The rapidly moving crowd seemed like little more then an afterthought in the whole of the scene’s décor. Rather, the unique visual scheme of the beautiful, illustrious sky seemed to be the fundamental attribute of the arrangement. To that – the sky – Adam Jacobs directed his attention always, hardly taking into account the others who bustled about him.

The sky was populated with but a few light and wispy clouds. It was not a true blue though, not perfect from a typical standpoint, but instead a grey interwoven with strands of pale blue. Each strand like a length of thread ripped from a spool or a note in a composition not held quite long enough, but it was beyond adequacy nonetheless. It was perfection that could appeal to a sense of realism.

Adam accepted realism. He lived in a world where dreams could ruin a man and goals played but a small part in accomplishment, and yet he still kept his head in the sky each day and every day.

He held tightly to his side a leather messenger bag, and adorning his body was a noticeably bland outfit. On his head sat a black bowler’s hat which he frequently adjusted. His face: rather hard to describe, though not due to an issue of nondescript. His walk was lacking in grace, but not awkward by any measure

Looking down from the fractured perfection of the sky, Adam fished his cell phone from his pocket in order to determine the time. The hinge of the phone swung open easily, for it had seen much use, and the time revealed itself to be two o’clock.

Time to get some work done, Adam thought to himself. He pulled his bulk out of the crowd that cluttered the sidewalk. Ahead and to the right was a narrow alleyway, the entrance of which was marked by a worn and diminutive sign. The sign depicted a hot mug of coffee, and faded letters below it spelled out “Black Cat Coffeehouse.”

Adam maneuvered himself into the alley. The sides were made of old brick and foul colored liquid slowly trickled down them. The sky, yielding to its sense of realism, determined that it would not even be worth attempting to illuminate the alleyway.

Pleasant, Adam thought without a trace of sarcasm.

My writer,

Written by Nicholas

March 2, 2008 at 12:09 am

I Despise the Oscars

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Okay, so I actually tend to quite enjoy watching the Academy Awards being the large film buff I am. However, though I was thoroughly entertained by Jon Stuart’s comedic antics and largely satisfied with the execution of the awards, I was frustrated with the arrogance, pompousness, and elitism of the awards just as I am every year.


I know exactly what you’re thinking: Of course they’re pompous, we’re dealing with pampered celebrities here. Get the hell over it.


I understand. I don’t expect the attitudes of movie stars to be changing anytime soon. However, that is not what I’m getting at here. Rather, I’m continuously frustrated because the awards that are held in the highest esteem of all, the Oscars, cater not to the audience of movies, but to the small pool of “proper” and “intellectual” film critics. Why should the practical definition of excellence in movies not be determined by the majority?


Politics: Oscar material. Racial discrimination: Oscar material. Philosophy: Oscar material. Homosexual relationships: Oscar material. Entertainment: not so much.


Now, don’t get me wrong. I very much enjoy thought-provoking films that deal with important and controversial issues in this day and age, however, inserting some controversial content into a movie shouldn’t lead to an automatic get-to-the-Oscars-free card unless the execution and entertainment value of the movie are up to par as well.


Aside from Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Juno, and a handful of other movies, the nominees and winners for the Academy Awards have been dramas. It seems that the Academy is very much willing to neglect an entertaining and well-done action film in favor of an inferior, but more “educated” drama.




Enough ranting though. I do not doubt that many agree with me, but I do not see the afore mentioned customs changing at all in the near future.


Your writer,

Written by Nicholas

February 25, 2008 at 11:08 pm

On a Dream

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I tend to dismiss those who attempt to interpret dreams. It seems that such people, for the most part, are too mystical, lacking in scientific application. They are often more akin to those who work with horoscopes. Because of this, I seldom dwell much on the contents of my dreams. I move on and forget them. However, I was witness to a somewhat interesting dream the previous night, one that I thought might be worth sharing for its clear message and interesting application of life experiences.

It began, like many a thing within the confines of my life, with a computer. Well, it didn’t actually involve any physical piece of electronic equipment, but one of the most frequently used computing processes was involved: Ctrl+Z. You see, in this dream, I found that I was able to make use of the Ctrl+Z process at will, using it to rewind my physical environment to prior positions.

Depending on the extensiveness of your computer use, you may or may not know that there is usually a limit to the number of times one can go about “Ctrl-Zing” in a program. In the dream, this problem plagued me many times.

Throughout the course of my dream, I accidentally ruined or destroyed numerous things within my environment (specifics fail to come to mind, though I vaguely remember a boat and a tractor) and would attempt to repair them by stepping back with Ctrl-Z, but I would never have an adequate number of them.

What fascinated me the most was the degree to which a computer process that I frequently use was worked into the dream. The only other time I witnessed a similar dream was after that Knights of Republic marathon, when I had a dream that made use of the interface…

Anyways, that’s another story for another time. I’ve probably effectively proved my lack of mental stability by this point, so I shall be off.

Your writer,

Written by Nicholas

February 23, 2008 at 8:23 am

Blogging on blogging

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The unfortunate but true fact is that the so called “blogosphere” is an oversaturated space. Aside from a handful of obscure topics, bloggers have touched on nearly every reasonable subject. The chances of creating a popular web log that can compete with any of the prime examples in its particular category are rare, especially if the author lacks exceptional writing skills and a bustling repertoire of fascinating life experiences to record. So, why is it then that we go about creating blogs? Why would someone like me, who knows the unlikeliness of producing a successful blog, still bother to translate his words into a series of pixels?

It’s not that I’m simply disillusioned and believe that my blog will make it to the top. I would like a healthy dose of popularity, but that is not what drives me to blog. What motivates me is getting my opinions, feelings, and beliefs out: translating the abstract, swirling nebulous forms of thought into the far more concrete structures of written language. For I find that I can better examine and process concepts when they are written.

There is, of course, another side of it altogether. Many people blog as a way to rid themselves of emotions that are bottled up within them. They may find it easier to go about said process through the written word rather than the spoken. This particular motivation does not concern me significantly though – I’m content keeping those feelings bottled up unhealthily inside…

To put it far more concisely, think of blogs as diaries or journals (which they obviously very much resemble.) One keeps their diary to themselves for the most part; a diary is not intended as public spectacles, and with that one is content.

Ha. Don’t let this deter you from continuing to read the work of my co-author and I, of course. I may be tempted to cry in a corner should you abandon this blog as a typical subject to read.

Your writer,

Written by Nicholas

February 21, 2008 at 11:04 am