Tuesday, October 20, 2009
UMass Quidditch will be playing in the 3rd Annual Intercollegiate Quidditch World Cup this Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is being held at Middlebury College, VT. Opening ceremonies start at 9AM and games play until 6PM. The tournament is set up thus:
-Pools of 4 teams. Round-robin gameplay, the two top teams in each pool move on to single-elimination play until the finals.
-UMass is in a pool with Miami of Ohio, Virginia Commonwealth University, and no other than Middlebury College itself.
-There will be 4 fields of play.
-Also attending are Emerson, Harvard, Yale, Boston University, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Vassar, and like a ton of others.
You can watch it all online at http://www.collegequidditch.com/ and look for the feed under the news section.
Cheer on UMass Quidditch!! Or, like, your own team. Either way, see for yourself the fantasticsy of Intercollegiate Quidditch!
Also see this.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wawamako in the late stages of illness.
The team, however, carried on and evolved without him, becoming involved in King Phillip’s War, known as the “Flying Hatcheteers” to settlers. The established team faded away after the Pocomtuc were decimated, yet the tradition carried on through the centuries.
In 2007, UMass students Matt Drake, a direct decendant of Wawamako himself, and Maggie Henry, who purported a member of the Flying Hacheteers as an ancestor, decided the time was ripe to reestablish the team and take to the air once more, this time as the UMass Flying Minutemen. The first meeting in the spring of 2008 consisted of six people, none of whom (beside the founders) could produce any ancestry to the vengeful tribe. However, Drake and Henry showed no bias and persevered through the semester, and as fall rolled around new faces provided new opportunities.
The fall of 2008 presented a whole host of eager recruits, and though most had never heard of Wawamako, they were interested in the fledgling team. With about twenty regulars, the Flying Minutemen traveled to Middlebury for their first World Cup. Unfortunately, the 250 years between them and their war-like predecessors had softened them, and the harsh wind and unforgiving opponents thoroughly woke the warriors within the Minutemen. Determined to live up to their illustrious past, they challenged Amherst College to a two-game showdown in December of that year. The Minutemen, true to their heritage, took to the air and boxed the ears of Amherst with fisticuffs of strategy, though a sudden death round kept UMass on their toes.
UMass entered the spring semester with a rigorous practice schedule, eyes set for further glory. In April, UMass entered into the Patriot’s Day Boston Tournament alongside Emerson, Boston University, and Middlebury College. In a poetic upset, UMass avenged their World Cup defeat by shutting out Emerson 30-0, lost to BU in a close 70-110 game, and brought Middlebury to their first sudden death game, losing in the end 60-70. Hatchets remained sheathed, and all concluded it was a marvelous day of competition.
Having used the summer to spread the word and rest up for the fall season, the Minutemen returned to the pitch to find an enormous upsurge of interest from incoming first-years, swelling the ranks of the team to thirty regular members. They have planned to attend the World Cup at Middlebury, and even to host their own tournament before the year’s end. With ever an eye on the future and always an ear to the past, the UMass Quidditch Club is ready to face new opponents, friends, and challenges.
Also, check out the Promotional Video:
I left the dorm this morning, 8 o'clock, for work, and made it into the LGRC without incident. Before leaving at 11 for Greek, I checked the infection tracking website and found that the ranks of the undead had swelled to over 80. A cold shudder ran down my spine as I realized I would have to walk through campus during prime feeding times. However, I had no choice but to brave the masses.
I walked out, and immediately encountered a member of the undead. I stayed close to the wall, gun at the ready, but he made no move, and I walked on. A wiser man would have avoided the crowds, or hid himself well among them. I struck a bolder, and more unfortunate path.
I walked with the pond on my immediate left, when in the distance I caught sight of no less than 4 of the undead beasts shambling near the library. As if attracted by my gaze, they saw me and began to approach. I held my grenades and gun at the ready, and almost saw an opening to make a run for it, but they had surrounded me. I backed into the bushes by the pond, ready to take them on. They calculated their approach until they were no less than four feet from me. Eyes on all of them, I thought fast on how to get out of it. I would have to make a move soon, or else they would rush me.
And so I diud. I threw one grenade, but it was high and the zombie evaded the throw. I threw another, but it was wide. They moved in. I shot one last dart, one desperate hope for salvation; this one found its mark, and he fell. But there was no timee to reload, for the next one was on me. I was able to wrestl them off, and ryn to class, but not before he had taken a samole of my arm.
I sit heree, tring ti seew thhe keerys on ny keetyboarrd, buiut eveertthing is growwingg dimm for soomme reaasonn i thhink the only waaay to keep my hummanntiy abuot me is too aaquirre somee bbraaiinsss....
Hello Readers of this blog. I am here representing the Unified Human Resistance Association, or the UHRA. We think you deserve to know what happened here. During patrols, we heard scraping, screeching, and otherwise out-of-place noises coming from the room in which Mr. Chan, I assume, lives. Or, shall I say, lived. We knocked on his door, and after some fumbling and more scraping the door opened a bit. What came at us was no longer Mr. Chan, or anyone for that matter. He has become a zombie.
We are currently working on a vaccine for all infected individuals, however it is nowhere near ready yet. For now we have restrained Mr. Chan in a secure location until he can be treated. Do not be alarmed, he will not be harmed and he will be kept from harming others.
In other news, associates of UHRA witnessed a tragic event, namely the death and conversion of one Steven Craft, whom it has come to our attention you are also aquainted with. As we understand it, he was leaving an exam armed with a six-shot NERF gun. As he walked out of Bartlett, three zombies emerged from the bushes around the door. Mr. Craft, gun at the ready, prepared for the onslaught. He got one shot off, stunning the one closest to him. However, the other two ignored their fallen colleague, having eyes only for the strained brains residing in Mr. Craft's cranium. They fell upon him, and the UHRA witnesses saw no more of him, as all but the bright markings of his NERF gun fell beneath the tattered clothing of his attackers. We mourn our fallen comrade.
UPDATE: Mr. Chan has escaped from his restraints while he was in transit to his secure location. Luckily he did not infect nor harm his holders. We will keep you updated, as we have installed a tracker in his body and can monitor his actions.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I headed down to my first class, and saw another one of the oddly lifeless yet animated people walking across my path. He made no indication he saw me, and kept shambling on his way. From observation, I had noticed that the people suffering from these odd symptoms shared a single common attribute: they developed a single band of red around their heads. This individual was no exception. I thought nothing of it until I attempted to go eat lunch at Franklin.
A man, fairly tall, was crouched by a bush outside the building. As I approached, his head gave a sudden jerk, and I knew this reeking, dirty being had noticed my presence. I found his lack of personal hygiene wasn't the only thing wrong with him, a stream of blood was dripping from his mouth and I can only guess some poor creature lay in the bush by him. In addition, he shared the red mark on his head that others with the lifeless attitude showed. He slowly, ungainly, and surely stood, blocking my way into the dining commons. He approached, one food slightly dragging behind the other. I backed up, not wanting to tangle with some psychotic college miscreant. Despite his injured leg, he seemed to be gaining speed. Just as I was about to turn and run, I hear the sound of a snap of a NERF gun from behind the man. My attacker collapsed, as my savior reloaded his gun and motioned for me to come with him to the building.
"I take it you know what you just encountered" he said, shaking my hand.
I, shaking from the encounter, just shook my head.
"That there was a zombie. Bona-fide. Here, take this," he handed me a six-shooter, fully loaded. "and these," handing me two socks. "These are your weapons. They'll stun the bastards for 10 minutes, long enough for you to get to safety. Best of luck to you. Don't be squeamish." And he went off, presumably to help out some other unwitting civilian.
Now armed, I ate a hearty meal and set off to my next class. For, if we stop our routine and show fear, we let the zombies win! After class, I made my way to work at the library. On the way, I caught sight of another rank gentleman attempting to use a phone. He too wore the red mark of the zombie. I made my way past him, at which point he saw me. I ran up the stairs onto the plaza of the library, where I stopped and made a stand. Curiously, he seemed to calculate, tried to find an opening. Before he could strike, I threw one of my sock grenades and knocked him out.
I made it up the hill again without incident, but the way down for dinner was a different story. Passing the Dickinson dorm, I went head-to-head with another zombie, narrowly shooting him and getting away while I could. Just as we reached the door to Worcester DC, we caught sight of another zombie charging down the hill to where we stood. Only through the quick thinking of my roommate, Tim, who threw me bodily through the door, were we saved. I saw many a zombie skulk outside the windows, but inside I greeted my fellow humans (we had started identifying ourselves with red armbands). All seemed well for that short hour.
And now, I hear the sounds of humans roaming the night, bravely attempting to eradicate the threat, of zombies converging and devouring those poor souls, and whatever was left, rising again to join the ranks of those who were once its enemies. A chilling thought occurs to me: This time, 24 hours ago, there were 7 of these abominations. Now, there are no less than 58. The infection is spreading. As time goes on, I can only imagine that hope will grow dimmer. However, more are becoming aware of the threat, and are taking action against them. I am one of them. Let us hope that we can prevail over the scourge, for we are all that stands between the zombies and the world.
Nut up or shut up,
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
So. I sit here, in front of my computer, listening to some sweet music ("Skeleton Boy" by Friendly Fires, thanks Geen) when it hits me. This swine flu has been showing some odd symptoms, at least here on the UMass campus. I've seen some people acting a little oddly. People not taking showers. Stumbling a lot. Generally acting like they're just going through the motions. It's weird. It's like the life has been sucked out of them. Normally I'd make some reference to the Dementors of Harry Potter, but it just seems...out of place here. I'll be keeping you updated. Stay tuned...
Monday, October 5, 2009
Also new to this semester is my debut as an OIT Help Desk Consultant. Basically, I take calls from clients who are having troubles with their computers. Its a fun job, and I like the work atmosphere. The $400 check to start off the year didn't hurt either.
The returning element of this here champion's life is my Vice Presidency of the UMass Quidditch Club. This year is shaping up to be truly amazing, and I can hardly contain my excitement at how excellently the club is operating at the moment. There will be more about this in a later post, because I want to address the members directly. We are attending the World Cup, featuring about 20 teams from all over the US and one from Canada (McGill). In addition, we will be hosting our own Veteran's Day Tournament at UMass on November 7th, featuring a few intercollegiate teams. This fall is certainly a busy but fantastic semester.
Back to my classes, my Anthro class is one I have a great interest in. Its focus is reforming the current standardized-testing system of education, which perpetuates inequality and is, simply, broken. With a mother who teaches, I hear the ills of the education system day to day. My final project is a testimony project, taking the opinions and experiences of those who have gone through the system and presenting them to the public. I am quite excited for this.
Something that is certainly new is my seemingly up look on life. Simply put, I have friends, I am learning things I love, and I am doing the things that I love. In reality, is there anything more I can ask for?
I'll leave it here for now. Watch for the open letter to UMass Quidditch soon.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
It's been pretty eventful, and fairly awesome.
-Got the Twitter. http://twitter.com/ArgenteusDraco for all my updates.
-Saw Paramore and No Doubt in concert. To be honest I went for Paramore (who were excellent to say the least), but No Doubt certainly brought an amazing and energetic show.
-4th of July weekend in Kingston with Web 2 (Love you guys! I'll have to see you again soon), then Wilmington carnival and Tewksbury fireworks with Hudson friends and Walton, then Wilmington fireworks with Walton and Geen. Did I mention I love fireworks? Cuz I do.
-Recieved a test card for my Brown Belt 1st degree, I'll keep posted as the test draws nearer.
-Saw Enter the Haggis once more at the Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival in Northampton. Speaking of which, buy their album Gutter Anthems, it's wonderful.
And since the festival, I have been feeling fantastic. It seems a lot easier to be happy now. I've been helping out with renovations at my house, hanging out with my family and my friends from high school, generally having a great time.
The Tewksbury Quidditch League has been going along wonderfully considering it is in its first year. With only two more meetings to go, I am hoping to make the last one a magnificent event. Dubbed the "Tewksbury Quidditch Championship," I will be advertising to hopefully get more spectators. If enough people respond, there might possibly be 4 House teams...we'll see.
I leave you with this suggestion: the movie Galaxy Quest (1999), featuring Tim Allen, Sigorney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Enrico Colantoni, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell, Justin Long and Rainn Wilson out of nowhere. Its unexpectedly hilarious, and very good. Here's a sampler.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
-Scored a waitress's number, "just in case"
-Played in the Patriot's Day Quidditch Tournament on Boston Common, bringing Middlebury College to its first ever sudden death (UMass lost in the end)
Some footage here:
-Finished my first year of college (When did that happen?!)
-OH HEY MET BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY. I shook his hand, and he told us to "get rich, and dare I say it, CHANGE THE WORLD." Challenge accepted, Bill Nye.
Friday, April 17, 2009
The ending is cut off, but I picked up his sword and Caesar offered him mercy.
Following that, Caesar (played by Joe) gave a speech which ended in his assassination by Emily and Ariel.
And finally, as Marc Antony I gave a funeral speech for Caesar from Shakespeare's play, seen here:
I think it went really well, though we didn't get much of a chance to get feedback from the guests.
In other news, I have been turned zombie, and zombie I will stay. Sorry about the lack of a journal, there just hasn't been much activity this time. I defeated Dan, the guy who got me, but he came back out before some other guys coming up the hill snagged me. Of course, I got right out hunting with them and caught my first kill, so its all good.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The Romans, too, had this outlook. There was always a desire to, through advancement, return to a purer, simpler time. All throughout the time of the Republic, even while Roman power was extending far over the world, the Romans maintained a sense that at heart they were simple shepherd people working the farms.
The fact that I'm talking about the Romans makes it clear where my sights lie.
Anyway, back to pictures. I seem to have inherited my dad's passion for taking lots and lots of unnecessary pictures. The upside to it though is that among the many pictures there are always the few perfect ones.
I spend a ridiculous amount of time organizing memories, from tagging pictures to editing movies. However, I don't spend so much time that I don't have any to make memories. I think I keep a good balance.
I found this program for Vista that allows you to change your log-in screen to anything you want. So, my latest project has been creating a background highlighting some of my favorite pictures from the last few years. I'll tell ya, it looks really great and it customizes my computer just that little bit more.
I was only able to fit up to graduation, so I might rework it a bit. Anyway, the program is called LogOnStudio Vista, and I believe you can get it for XP too. It has a place where you can download premade images.
PS. This is the final entry before the outbreak. Stay tuned. For my past experiences with the zombie problem, look for the Lazarus Corp. Journals in my Facebook notes.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Shopping is a good time. If you listen to what the people shopping with you are saying. Also, if the people shopping with you are cool. Which has as of late been the case.
My friends, the ladies are on your side. At least, they have your best interests at heart. And with them at your side, you can have a wonderful time shopping. I went shopping with my friend Michelle over break, and I came out with a very affordable selection of new clothes that, if I may say so, made me look awesome. What's more, I didn't change my style too much, just made some adjustments.
Last week, I went shopping (clothes-trying-on?) with my friends Amanda and Zoe. Verdict: success!
The best part of clothes shopping with peer ladies: the reaction. A combination of their good taste and your willingness to comply results in you looking good. When I came out in some outfit, I don't remember which but it was one I would not have picked out myself, the reaction was resoundingly positive. Which is really cool!
Anyway, if you need help with style, talk to your friends. Or my friends, they might be helpful.
Please, Consider the Following:
This here is a webseries based on Floor 5 South at UCLA, and chronicles the adventures of this dorm of freshmen. Basically, it is the college-version of The Office, yet it is entirely original. While most college shows focus on the Greek life, Greek for example (which I am also a fan of), this webseries focuses on the dorms. And it is hilarious.
Every character has their quirks, yet they all could be people we've encountered in our college experiences. I've come to love or love to hate all of them, from the insanely abusive RA Marshall Adams I to the unassuming Danny B.
The show is worth checking out, each episode is only 5-10 minutes long. It's so absurd, you'll be laughing whether or not you've seen things like this in your college experience.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Don't you just love the soothing sounds of the Roman Republic? Remember how the catchy tunes of the old kings made you get up and dance? Well now you can get all the greatest hits of Rome on one record! Call now, and you can get The Shield of Aeneas, a collection of all of Rome's chart-topping moments!
For only three payments of 65.99 denarii, you can own the greatest moments of Roman history on one piece of bronze! It includes these memorable hits:
-"Mother's Like the Wolf" (Romulus and Remus)
-"Fat Bottomed Sabine Women" (Rape of the Sabine Women)
-"Walk This Way...and That Way" (Execution of Mettus)
-"Bright Side of the River" (Cocles destroying the bridge)
-"Cloelia (You're a Fine Girl)" (Cloelia's escape)
-"Three Little Birds" (Manlius and the sacred geese)
And even the recent hit, "Smoke on the Water" (Battle of Actium)
Order now and get a free set of god-forged war gear, including a sword, helmet, corselet, greaves, and spear!
*Also protects you against weaponry. Not for use on household turntables.
Now, this is all happening before Rome is even founded, how can these things be on a shield, you may ask. Well, it was sculpted by Vulcan, and he too has powers of prophecy, so he put all the greatness that would be Rome onto this shield. (If this seems confusing, try translating from Latin. The tenses...this happened in the past but it's written like we're there but these scenes take place in the future that is also to us past...WHAT?!! Thanks, Mr. Early.)
There's even more to this shield. Virgil was writing the Aeneid for a few reasons, and one of them was to praise Augustus. He achieves this very well by putting the Battle of Actium at the very center of the shield. This suggests to the reader that the Battle, which defeated Antony and Cleopatra and ended over a century of civil war, is the culmination of Roman culture. This event is the ultimate point of Roman history. Now, this is part propaganda in Augustus' favor, but it's still pretty cool.
So, if you want the greatest moments of the Roman Republic, the Shield of Aeneas is the way to go. If you want to know more about any of those "songs" I mentioned, leave it in the comments and I'll get back to you.
And now, Please Consider The Following:
The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan.
This collection of books, written for about the sixth-grade reading level, are a really great way to introduce kids to the world of mythology. The story focuses on Percy Jackson, a half-blood (that is, half mortal and half god) who is in danger from the monsters of mythology as he starts to find out who he is. As it turns out, mythological figures appear wherever the center of Western Civilization is, so America becomes the setting of the story. For example, Olympus is at the top of the Empire State Building, and the entrance to Hades is in Los Angeles.
He enrolls at a summer camp for others like him, from daughters of Athena to sons of Ares. Here, he meets a satyr, learns from Chiron, and comes to dislike Dionysis. Soon he is given a quest and is soon caught up in prophecies that put the weight of the world on his shoulders (yep, he appears too).
The series is fast paced, an easy read, and funny. If you are familiar with Greek mythology, you'll appreciate how the gods and other figures are depicted. Riordan does an amazing job taking the often conflicting myths and puting them in modern terms.
Four of the five books are released, the final one will be published May 5, 2009.
Bringing this back around, in the novel Percy is given a watch by his half-brother, a cyclops. Pushing a button turns it into a full-size shield, on which is depicted the adventures which Percy and his friends go through in the course of the story. Pretty sweet, huh?
Monday, March 9, 2009
The premise of the show, if you haven't heard, is that there has been a series of murders straight out of the crime novels of Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion). Detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) calls him in to gain some insight on the murders, but Castle finds it hard to take anything seriously, and so he tags along, as Beckett describes, "like a nine year old on a sugar rush." In the end, Castle returns to do research on his new heroine for the next series of novels.
Nathan Fillion is charming as ever, and really works the role of the fun, cocky, wisecracking novelist, and Katic keeps on par with Fillion in wit and strength. They work really well as a team; the dynamic is very interesting. As another detective put it, "A control freak like you [Beckett] with something you can't control? This is gonna be better than Shark Week." Castle knows people and can read them quite well, something that comes from his attention to detail in his novels. However, his total disregard for the rules could get him in trouble.
The show seems to be very character-driven, which I enjoy. Castle, though divorced, seems be close to his family, his daughter being as witty as he is. Even Castle's mother is hilarious.
Here is a preview of the first episode, if you missed it. And here is an interview with Fillion on the show. I am definitely looking forward to more of this show.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
So Friday, we went out to throw the frisbee around for a bit. Then there was some snowball chuckage, ending in a window getting smashed. My friend who did it was in complete disbelief, because it was just a snowball. No worries though, the girl (on my floor) whose window it wasn't too mad about it, we're all friends here. Then, my friend Tim and I watched Star Wars IV, such a wise decision. I haven't watched the movies in a while, and I can't get over how gritty the movie is, how real it is as compared to the prequels or to any movie really. And I love the droids.
Saturday was another great day, so we played some capture the flag. The melting snow provided some excellent mud, and there were a good number of slips and spills. Then, some tour groups came by the dorm, so I donned my toga and when I went to the window there were 60ish people outside. Then I got Tim's lightsaber, and just stood by the lounge while the people toured the hall. I got a great number of looks, I hope they got a good idea of college life.
Of course, we finished off the day with Star Wars V.
Today was quidditch practice, so I got all dressed up in my underarmor and cleats. The field? Muddy as all hell. My team won both games, but not before getting complete head-to-toe mudbaths. There is no way of getting the mud out of my shirt now, but it was very much worth it. Tonight? Obviously Return of the Jedi.
Please, Consider the Following:
If you enjoy a badass classic rock soundtrack, a Mustang car, shotguns, witty dialogue, demons vampires and all kinds of hell, you'll enjoy the show Supernatural, starring Jared Padelacki and Jensen Ackles. These two brothers go around the country killing ghosts, vampires, werewolves, all kinds of killer creatures. My friend describes it by saying that every episode is like its own horror movie. Someone dies in every episode. It's quite a fun show.
This here is my personal favorite clip from the show thus far. At this point, the brothers Sam and Dean Winchester have saved a ton of lives, but they've killed a lot of the people demons were possessing, so they're fugitives. While on a job, they get trapped because it appears that they are robbing a bank. Season 3, Episode 12 ends thus:
The musical cues in the show are fantastic. Also, here's a selection from one of my favorite episodes, Season 3 Episode 12:
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Mission Statement: I was going to base this off TMHS's, but I don't remember it. So much for hearing it every single morning for 4 years, huh? My intentions with this blog is simply to share interesting things I encounter in between getting my college education. I might tell you about the chance encounter I had with the burger bar last night at the DC and how I had the best burger I've had in a while, or that some snowboarders built a jump crossing over one of the paths out of the snow we got Monday. Whatever strikes my fancy.
As a bonus, I'll direct your attention to some thing or other that I find cool, which you might/might not already know about, and that you might/might not find cool too. Might be music, television, YouTube, story, whatever.
I'll start with this funny story from Livy's account of early Rome. The background is that Tullius Hostilius, third king of Rome, had defeated and annexed the territory of Alba Longa. He was now in a campaign against another territory, and he counted on the army of Alba Longa to help him in the war. During the battle, however, their king Mettius Fufetius (funny name, huh?) took his troops back until it was over. He then returned and congratulated Tullius on his success. The next day, during the celebration, Tullius called out Mettius Fufetius thus:
"Mettius Fufetius...were you capable of learning loyally to abide by your word, I should have let you live, I should have taught you myself. But you are not capable; no medicine can cure your mind's disease. So be it: your punishment may teach mankind to hold sacred the honour you have besmirched. Yesterday you could not decide between Fidenae and Rome: dountless it was a painful division of mind-but today the division of you body will be more painful still."
-Translation Aubrey de Selincourt, Penguin Books
And so he was torn apart by two chariots.
Oh, you Romans and your poetic punishments.
That'll be it for me for now, I have not much idea when I'll post again.
PS. When Humans vs Zombies rolls around again, this'll be the spot for the journal. Stay tuned!