Friday, March 23, 2007

Welcome MSNers!

I just received word that my story is receiving top billing at the MSN site.

Classics Never Die

If you liked that, check out Wednesday's blog entry for my personal videogame playing history.

And please, newbies. Spend some time here on Adam's Life. Check out some totally cool things to do with your cell phone. Or read an emotional, heartfelt appeal for environmental stewardship by guest blogger Jose. Or just type in a word in the search box at the top of the page to see if i wrote anything clever/brilliant about it. Chances are, I haven't. But you might get lucky and be mildly entertained before returning to the blogs people actually read.
What's Up Iran?

Iran Actin Crazy Again

Apparently afraid that Britney leaving rehab will steal away the world's attention, Iran captured 15 British sailors.

Very strange. Iran claims the Brits were in Iranian waters. The Brits say they were on the Iraq side of the line. Tensions are high. War seems imminent...

Wait a minute... where have I seen this before?

Tomorrow Never Dies
Bond, James Bond

Yes, that's right. This is totally out of a Bond film...

The encoder is used by media mogul Elliot Carver, as a tool to start a war between the People's Republic of China and the United Kingdom; this is to gain an exclusive marketing device to launch his new worldwide television network. He uses the encoder to send a British frigate, HMS Devonshire, off-course in the South China Sea, where Carver's own stealth ship is located. Carver's henchman, Mr. Stamper, sinks the frigate and shoots down a Chinese fighter plane sent out to investigate. The British thought they had been attacked by the Chinese, and Admiral Roebuck gives M 48 hours to investigate before they retaliate...
But who in real life could dream up such a fiendish plan to upset the Middle East just to generate a news story? What evil media genius is so desperate for ratings, that they would actually carry out such a diabolical scheme???? Only one. Yes. That's right...

Katie Couric

Katie Couric.

Yes, yes, I know. I had trouble believing it myself at first. "I loved her on the Today show," you say. "She's so warm and friendly! She wouldn't hurt a fly, unless that fly was hurting another fly, and even in that case, she would capture the fly in a glass and release it a block or two away."

But as my super intelligent investigation revealed, if you're looking for evidence, look no further than Katie's accomplice, Executive Producer of The CBS Evening News With Katie Couric, Rick Kaplan:

Rick Kaplan

Who happens to look suspiciously like...

Elliot Carver

...Elliot Carver!!!!!!!


Just read Rick's bio:

Most recently, Kaplan was president of MSNBC (2004-06), during which time the ratings for virtually every hour of the program day experienced double-digit growth. He developed new programs and worked to improve existing ones, including "Hardball with Chris Matthews" and "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," which recorded its highest-ever ratings during that time. Kaplan also produced major news events, including Election Night 2004.
That's right! He "produced major news events"! Including the 2004 election!!! I knew Bush didn't really win!

His bio also says he had a hand in "producing" the Persian Gulf War, the opening of the Berlin Wall, the 1989 San Francisco earthquake and the Los Angeles riots. Now that's a busy evil genius. Elliot Carver eat your heart out!!!

Clearly, we need to find Katie's stealth boat and blow it up before things escalate.

I am aware I'm putting myself at risk here even talking about this. In the tragic event of my death, it's up to you, loyal readers (all three of you) to follow this investigation through all the way to the end. Do not stop until the whole truth behind the conspiracy is revealed!

I sincerely hope that the 15 British sailors are released unharmed. One thing's for sure. We could definitely use James Bond.

[note, the original of this post was erased mysteriously. Katie?]

Thursday, March 22, 2007

No New Brady Babe

Well, it's official, there won't be another Brady baby. At least for now. Poor Tom will just have to make due with one. But at least I got to write this article about the whole ordeal.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Classics Never Die

Mario, Small Style

I've got a new article on MSN. It's about videogames. Check it out!

I got my first videogame system for Chanukah 1985... or maybe 1986.. or quite possibly some other Chanukah in the mid 80s. Anyways, regardless of the date, that first system was original Nintendo, complete with two controllers, a light gun, and the game Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt. I was a little kid. Like pre-multiplication tables little.

I remember that for the longest time, My mom and i (she was obsessed with the game too) thought that when Mario collected a "flower," he would simply change outfits. When my mom accidentally hit the B button and a fireball came out, we were shocked.

My older cousin, Jeff, became like a god to me when he beat the game before my eyes, running through levels and ducking into warp zones I never knew existed. A few years later, I called him late one night on the phone to ask him how to beat the final boss in Super Mario Bros. 2, Wart. "Catch the vegetables and throw them in his mouth," Jeff said. Of course! He's a genius!! I thought. He was my first role model. And while beating videogames may not be a skill admired in the adult world, it was something I strove to accomplish.

The Mario games were always my faves. I never was a Sonic guy or Mega Man kid. Somehow, I just identified with a plumber's quest to save a princess from an evil dinosaur. I think it's because, at the time, I wore Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls very similar to Mario's.

Over the years, different games stole my heart. I got new systems with wildly better graphics. I'll never tire of blowing up my friends in Goldeneye 007, red-shelling the face off someone in Mario Kart, or connecting on that deep pass in Madden.

But in college, my Junior year, it wasn't my Nintendo 64 that I brought with me. It was that original Nintendo, still in working order. I thought that its inferior graphics and simple gameplay would be less of a distraction to my studies.

Boy I was wrong.

Turned out, my old Nintendo was a bigger hit than the Playstation owned by the kids down the hall. Duck Hunt was a great way to meet girls. Many had played it as a kid, and even ones that hadn't soon became addicted to brutally gunning down those innocent pixelated ducks. I'd watch these sweet, nice girls turn into duckicidal lunatics before my eyes. I'm sure I could have written a paper for Sociology class about the effect of weapon use on the feminine psyche, but instead I just developed the pick up line, "Hey Baby, Wanna come to my dorm room and shoot some ducks?"

Duck Hunt
Duck Hunt Drives The Chicks Wild

My Senior Year, my roommate and I discovered Tecmo Super Bowl, the greatest sports game ever made for the Nintendo. The game only cosmetically resembled the game of American Football. But we'd play for hours straight, zig zagging down the field to avoid the awkwardly slow computer defenders. Because my Nintendo was old, some games wouldn't work unless I used Galoob's Game Genie, a device designed to cheat at videogames. We never used the published cheat codes, but sometimes entered random codes just to see if they would do anything. One code ended the game after the opening kickoff. Another code caused the halftime show to go berserk. "What's this next one going to do?" my roomate asked, "Give us four Dan Marinos?" Weirdly, that's almost exactly what it did. Every player on the Dolphins was suddenly Marino. Of course, we never wrote those codes down.

Tecmo Bowl
Note: No Real NFL Team Has Pink End Zones

Often, it was the weird quirks that kept us coming back to these games. In Super Mario Bros, we could dance at the top of a vine by pressing "up." We could bankrupt the computer players in Monopoly by trading them a mortgaged monopoly for all their money and all their properties. In Major League Baseball, we could go into the audience with a player and walk around. And the baseball, sometimes, would inexplicably levitate slowly towards the sky. In Wheel Of Fortune, Junior Edition, every puzzle was ridiculously easy-- things like "Mickey Mouse" and "Fourth Of July"... except one answer-- "Diacritical Mark," which even my roommate and I, two college students at a prestigious university, had to look up. And of course, in Contra, we enjoyed causing the other player grief by moving too fast and causing the screen to scroll, which erased the ground beneath the other player and caused him to fall to his doom. And I'm clearly not the only one who feels these things add to the fun factor. This guy's got a whole page full of cool glitches.

These are weird things that don't exist in so-called superior games today, but it made us love those old games even more. Sometimes, screwups are beloved. Like Silly Putty for example. Someone's mistake making rubber gave us one of mankind's greatest materials.

Maybe that's why I and so many others still enjoy playing these old games. They're like us. Flawed. Screwy. Terrifically ugly. But they, like us, are fun and full of heart. Except the Nintendo version of "Where's Waldo." Who came up with that one? Lame...

Worst Game Ever
Not As Fun As It Looks

I'd love to hear about your favorite classic videogames, and the glitches you came to enjoy. Leave a comment below.

P.S. I am apparently a character in the classic game Streets Of Rage:

Adam, Streets Of Rage Style
My Hobby--Bonsai?

If You Enjoyed My MSN Article, You May Enjoy This Facebook Group (Facebook Membership Required)


Some More, Unrelated Links:
Some People Have Wayyy Too Much Time On Their Hands -- Make A Sideways Room

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This Anti-Hillary Ad Is A Tad Harsh, Methinks

Then Again, Not As Harsh As This

I Don't Know If This Is A Well Known Site Or Not, But I Just Found It And Love It -- Fingertips Music

Might Be The Most Effective Anti-Drug Ad I've Ever Seen -- Spinach Back

Some News:

Owl-Themed Restaurant Attempts To Bring Peace To Middle East

Idiot Kid Finally Rescued Anyone else think there's got to be more here? How in hell does this kid think hitchhiking home was a) possible, b) a good idea? And how exactly did he lose his cap and glasses? The story just doesn't gel, unless the kid is just plain stupid. Which is possible, I guess.

And finally... Taco Bell Lion Improv!!! So cheesy. But fun! I wrote "I like Taquitos" and the audience seemed perplexed. But then the other lion saved the joke and the audience roared. Roared.. get it? Err... just check it out.
Navy Hires Crazy Criminal

Why'd the Navy hire Lisa Nowak, who's out on bail and charged with attempted kidnapping, and burglary with assault and battery?

All I know is, someone high up in government likes her.

Hint: He's known for hiring and firing people on a whim.

Give up?

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