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STS-135: The End Of An Era

Exploratory spaceflight puts scientific ideas, scientific thinking, and scientific vocabulary in the public eye. It elevates the general level of intellectual inquiry. The idea that we’ve now understood something never grasped by anyone who ever lived before - that exhilaration, especially intense for the scientists involved, but perceptible to nearly everyone - propagates through the society, bounces off walls, and comes back at us." - Carl Sagan


The Offspring: It's Time For An Intervention

Since 1984, The Offspring have released nine studio albums and have gone through various shake-ups in terms of band members. I first was introduced to them in middle school, and this California-based punk band instantly became one of my favorite groups growing up -- largely due to their Conspiracy of One album, released in 2000. Obviously, as my age progressed, so did my taste in music. However, a soft spot in my heart for this iconic band remained, largely because whenever one of their classic songs is shuffled while working out or driving, I am reminded of my childhood.

In 2012, The Offspring released their latest album, Days Go By. In all sincerity, there are a few "decent" songs present, but generally speaking, the content is largely generic in nature and none of the tracks really stand out from the rest. With that said, there is one song that has unfortunately become a guilty pleasure of mine -- Cruising California (Bumpin' In My Trunk).

Dexter Holland, the lead singer of the band (and molecular biology graduate student) was born in 1965. Perhaps I am in the minority with my reservations, but hearing a 48 year-old-man casually using the word "caboose" in his music comes off sounding creepy and weird, regardless of how catchy the song may be.


The Legacy of Friendship 7

Godspeed, John Glenn.

Real Men of Genius

Allow me to state this upfront, after trying the many iterations of Budweiser products -- ranging from Bud Light Lime to Michelob -- I can honestly say that this so called "beer" is comparable to horse urine in terms of flavor. With that said however, the marketing team for Anheuser-Busch...those guys are champions.

From the "Bud. Weis. Er" amphibians, up to those adorable Clydesdale ponies (which probably explains why the beer tastes like horse piss in the first place), it has become evident that these brewers from St. Louis, Missouri are not messing around. The finest example of the Budweiser marketing prowess would likely be their early 2000s advertising campaign, Real Men of Genius.

My personal favorite is the "Mr. Golfball Washer Inventor" ad. Seriously, guys. Google that ad.


Super Mario Kart: A Scouting Report

Approximately three weeks ago, I hooked up my Super Nintendo. While I no longer am an avid gamer, I'd say every six months or so, an inherently primal urge to play Super Mario Kart consumes me. During my latest 16-bit relapse, I decided that I would document key observations regarding the pros and cons of all eight characters featured in this amazing game.

Needless to say, I'm pretty proud of this.

Between hours of game time (honestly...hours. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit this) and data from a few websites as source material, I have formulated a somewhat comprehensive Super Mario Kart scouting report.

I have a strong affinity towards Princess Peach for reasons that I will not disclose publicly.

During the duration of my Super Mario Kart career, my character of choice has historically been Bowser. A few quick notes as to why that is:

  • Slow acceleration, but incredible top speed.
  • High weight allows for great handling. Important on tracks such as Ghost Valley or Rainbow Road where falling off the track is likely. 
  • High weight also allows for situations in which bullying smaller characters is possible. 
  • For some reason, I'm really good with lava ball shots. I always have been.

Perhaps in the future I may decide to expand upon this post with a descriptive scouting report on the various tracks, but that really sounds exhausting. With that said, I sincerely urge any of you to venture to my apartment and challenge me at this game. I'm not even kidding. I don't have many opportunities to play Battle Mode that often anymore, which is unfortunate.

Source Material:

A quick note on Rainbow Road: Shigeru Miyamoto, you are a legendary game developer. The industry will forever be indebted to you. However, that godforsaken track has ruined my life.