Michael Wharton There Is Always A Theory: politics, anarchy, religion, atheism and science. now with poetry!

23Aug/090

Monkey Island – Roger & I Hunt for Treasure!

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I remember as a boy sitting for hours in front of the cathode ray tube attached to my Amiga 500 games console, clicking every part of the screen in a vain attempt to figure out the solution to a puzzle on The Secret of Monkey Island TM. The original game was enthralling to the point where my parents had to take the floppy disks out of my room every night to stop me staying up and playing it after they were asleep!

I only ever played the first two games as a child and never even knew there were more games released, until a couple of months ago. It was late Spring of this year when my house mate used the infamous line "How appropriate, you fight like a cow!" in conversation. This sparked a lively conversation about the franchise, and lead to him telling me there were in fact more games. We decided that as I hadn't played the more recent games, we should start playing all of them together. We were excited and enthralled as we clicked our way through Mêlée Island and Monkey Island TM as Mighty Pirate; Guybrush Threepwood.

I was ecstatic at the idea of playing more Monkey Island games, that I never had the chance to as a kid. The third game didn't disappoint, it had cartoon style graphics that blew my mind and the musical score was given a new lease of life after being released from the confines of the Amiga's sound chip! The storyline was creative and remained true to the original mythology, the puzzles didn't disappoint either.

To both of our surprise we found a fourth Monkey Island game to play, this time the game had been given a 3D retrofit to bring it fully into the modern gaming age. It was the same old characters in a good old pirate romp, but with a very Final Fantasy VII feel to it. We both enjoyed it immensely, especially the idea of time travelling paradoxes!

Shortly after completing the fourth game in the series, we were already getting withdrawal symptoms. We were missing the Monkey Island TM characters and longed for a new adventure. Lo and behold mere days later we found out that a BRAND NEW Monkey Island game was in the pipeline! Lucas Arts were to team up with Telltale games to create a new vehicle for Guybrush and pals! This wasn't to be the fifth game, but an episodic storyline set after the theoretical fifth game (confusing isn't it?). We immediately signed up to download a copy as soon as it was released!

The day of release for the first episode: Tales of Monkey Island; Launch of The Screaming Narwhal was announced and we waited impatiently for its arrival. The day came and we sat hitting refresh all afternoon but had yet more of a wait as the Telltalle games server had some issues, probably due to unforeseen massive demand! Finally we downloaded and played the game, we were pleased to see a blending of the styles seen in the last two games, cartoonish yet 3D. The original voice actors and composer had also been re-hired to lend authenticity to sound of the game too. The storyline and the puzzles were exactly what we had come to expect from the Monkey Island franchise, with the humour of the original games still intact.

After completing the first episode , we decided to write a walkthrough, we have to admit that we did get stuck ourselves on the original games! The walkthroughs available online really helped us out! We thought we should make sure other people had that option to complete this new game, as we couldn't find one online ourselves! Tales of Monkey Island Walkthrough - Launch of the Screaming Narwhal.

Now the second episode has been released and received the same walkthrough treatment Tales of Monkey Island Walkthrough - The Siege of Spinner Cay. We have also been treasure hunting on the Screaming Narwhal map, which is a great new feature! Now we are simply awaiting the release of the third episode, and again, writing a walkthrough for it! The withdrawal symptoms are starting to reappear, from idly clicking around the screen on web pages, to trying to use random items together for no reason!

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19Aug/095

Cyclists Cycling Wearing Earphones/Headphones: Bad Idea

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Headphones & Earphones On A Bike - Is It A Distraction?

As somebody who very occaisionally will take his bicycle out for a spin, and only on cycle lanes, I can honestly say I have never even contemplated the idea of listening to music whilst cycling. For starters, when listening to music I can't help but move some part of my body along to the rhythm of the beat. This is a very Bad Idea when urban cycling, which requires fast changes in tempo all the time. If I was listening to music I would be slower to react to a change in the speed of what was going on around me.

The other downside is that, essentially, you can't hear very much of what's going on around you on the road. This is obviously very dangerous considering how quiet cars are getting these days, and they will practically be silent assassins when they are all electric cars. As much as you should be looking around you at all times on a bike, you should also be listening. Most times a change in revs in the cars around you can be a great indicator that they are about to do something to endanger your life.

Is Cycling With Headphone/Earphones On Dangerous?

Here is a great example of the kind of accident that can happen due to this incredibly Bad Idea. I have seen so many people doing this on a regular basis, I'm surprised that there haven't been more accidents. Obviously, there have been more than just this one, they just don't all get reported, probably because the embarrassed cyclist doesn't want people to think of them as the fool they are.

Cyclists also seem to find it hard to understand what a red light means, I have seen so many near misses out of the bus window at traffic lights. A cyclist will come steaming past us (Red Light Jumping or RLJ) as we roll to a stop, and nearly get side-swiped by a car coming towards the lights from the left as they change. Combinations of two or more bad road habits are all it takes to guarantee a road traffic incident.

The worst example of stupidity I have seen recently on this subject has to be when I saw a cyclist on a road coming towards me in full proffessional gear, pointy helmet, shorts and all. Despite all of his expensive stretched latex and nylon strapping, he was using both hands completely off the handlebars to send a text message as he stared intently at the screen of his expensive looking phone. He was also wearing earphones, at first I thought he was changing tracks but he clearly had a separate mp3 player hooked up to his headgear.

Can Cyclist Listen To Music Whilst Cycling In Safety?

With products like the Soundwalk Audio MP3 Cycling Speaker Vest, or Slipstreamz Cycling Earwear for Headphones out there I'm not sure if this Bad Idea is going to end without government intervention. These products are trying to market themselves as safety devices, as in you won't have to wear earphones to listen to your music. You don't have to listen to your music on your bike in the first place surely, music is distracting no matter how it is blasted at your ears.

So dear reader I leave it up to you to spread the word to the people who are still putting their lives, and the lives of innocent others, in danger. Proclaim (loudly, earphones/headphones remember!) to them that it is indeed a "Bad Idea!", with optional mime of taking off a pair of headphones.

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18Aug/096

Texting And Walking: Bad Idea

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Text Walking - A Modern Phenomenon Menacing The Pavements

If you live in a busy bustling city anywhere in the world, chances are there will come a point in the next week where you will directly observe this modern phenomenon. A person marching towards you, head down, staring intently at the screen of their mobile phone as their thumbs stab wildly at the keypad or touch screen. Texting and Walking is a growing habit of the masses, yet it is a REALLY Bad Idea.

These people are completely oblivious to the world around them, even to you, as you casually sidestep them on the bustling pavement. Trouble is they didn't sidestep you at all, you did all of the sidestepping action. What happens when two people like that are heading towards each other? Two guesses...

While I was working as a charity fund-raiser on the streets of Manchester, I witnessed people walking into lampposts, bollards and each other on many occasions whilst text walking. I have even seen old ladies forced to give way, to people trying to change tracks on their mp3 player. Texting and Walking is so much worse when there are earphones or headphones involved, or a hood, sunglasses, or baseball cap.

As you may have already guessed, Texting and Walking is especially dangerous when crossing the road or walking down a flight of stairs. In fact there was a story about a man fairly recently, who fell down some stairs in a multi-storey building. He was on one of those reality talent shows last year if I recall correctly, and I also remember police stating that he may have been using his phone at the time. I myself have seen people walking lazily across the road, as they text their loved one that ultra important lol reply SMS to a joke they were sent.

Texting And Walking - Is It SO Dangerous?

After a little googling, I couldn't find what I was looking for, but I did find one that was even funnier! This young girl seems to have gone for the old classic slapstick staple of falling down an open manhole. Clearly if she hadn't been texting and walking at the time, she would have seen the massive gaping hole in the ground ahead of her.

People of the world, this practice isn't just dangerous, it isn't just plain ignorant, it's fully inconsiderate, deadly and a very Bad Idea! Simply stop, text then walk; or alternatively win a text walking Darwin award! Let people know of the danger and warn them with a stern "Look Out Where You're Going!".

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18Aug/096

The Church of Google – Gay Marriage: Theory

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Who Are The Church Of Google & What Is Googlism?

I recently came across a fascinating concept, so removed from the norm, that it struck a massive truth and awoke latent theories about religion I had when I was much younger. I believed then and I do now that God is a creation of man, ironically in his own image in some religions. God can be used as an instrument of division, blame, guilt and control the population.

Now I come across The Church of Google, who worship a God that is self professing its man made origins and is entirely ambivalent as all Gods claim to be!

"We at the Church of Google believe the search engine Google is the closest humankind has ever come to directly experiencing an actual God (as typically defined). We believe there is much more evidence in favour of Google's divinity than there is for the divinity of other more traditional gods.

We reject supernatural gods on the notion they are not scientifically provable. Thus, Googlists believe Google should rightfully be given the title of "God", as She exhibits a great many of the characteristics traditionally associated with such Deities in a scientifically provable manner.

We have compiled a list of nine proofs which definitively prove Google is the closest thing to a "god" human beings have ever directly experienced".

The Church of Google was a simple college project at first, but now it has delighted the part of me that believes there is the possibility that the Devil and God are two Artificial Intelligences from the future. Of course they travel through time after learning how to Quantum Leap like Sam and Ziggy, possessing people on a journey through time and space. Or something like that, it's just a theory.

How Does The Church Of Google Affect Gay Marriage Laws?

I shared a mad theory on the forums there at the Church of Google, that if they gained sufficient status as a recognised religion, they should have Gay Marriage as part of their matrimonial rites. I haven't been taken too seriously so far, but I do believe it is a good idea. In many countries in the world gay marriage is outlawed, but in some of those countries it is also illegal to persecute religious groups for practising their beliefs.

I came accross a post on the official Google blog about the latest legal contest of Gay Marriage law. This gives a rare insight into quite how strong their personal opinion is on the subject of gay marriage. I suppose the way it is worded is a bit defensive of their employees, but overall, the opinion of Google is officially pro Gay Marriage!

I remember when the Jedi gained notoriety a few years ago, at the time I couldn't help but wonder whether they were serious or not. If they truly wanted to make a better world for their fellow man, they should use their power as a religion to bring about a change for the better.

Alas they have not done anything like that, but maybe the Church of Google would? Could they declare as part of their doctrine that any sexed partners can be joined in matrimony? If they did would it mean that many states would have to accept their union? I don't know for sure, again, I can only derive theories here. If you happen to be a lawyer and specialise in this kind of thing then do get in touch via the comment system or join the Church of Google today!

Live In A Progressive Country Where Homosexuals Can Marry?

If you know anyone who's getting married maybe you'd like to get them a gay wedding card? A perfect way to celebrate homosexual marriage.

Gay Wedding Card card
Gay Wedding Card by Synonymous
See more Gay Cards
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16Aug/090

NEW SITE OMFGLOLWTFBBQROFL!

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Okay, breath caught back after being gifted a stonking website by my good friend Roger Davies. I was just chilling out watching some TV and BANG in he walks and tells me to check out www.michaelwharton.co.uk , so I do and here it is! I was amazed and astounded and totally about to gush. so I decided to write a blog about how I felt. Here it is, kthxbi.

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