TobyGames

TobyGames

TobyGames is one of three YouTube video channels from Toby Turner of Annoying Orange fame/notoriety. YouTube hosts countless walkthrough videos posted by gamers – if you get stuck in a video game and can’t figure out how to proceed or, in my case, if you have a young child who gets stuck in a video game and you can’t figure it out either (don’t laugh – Lego Harry Potter can be tricky), doing a quick search on YouTube is a lifesaver – or at least a timesaver. But TobyGames isn’t exactly about finding the best walkthrough videos – it’s about being entertained. In a nutshell, Toby Turner is a maniac. I think he’s best described as a sort of One Man Mystery Science Theater 3000 Meets Video Games. Here are some of my favorite TobyGames videos . . .     Surgeon Simulator 2013 Do you technically need a rib cage to survive? I also enjoyed the reference to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.     Skyrim – Frosty the Dragon What can I say? I think Toby’s version is better than the original . . .     L.A. Noire Videos Watching Toby navigate the gritty post World War II world of Los Angeles as a Detective in RockStar Games’ L.A. Noire is quite an experience. His driving skills do improve over the course of the game, but not by much. And he would undoubtedly be a much better detective if he focused more on the actual game than his alternative universe running commentary. But, of course, his videos wouldn’t be nearly as hilarious either. Here are three of my favorite clips from Toby Turner playing L.A. Noire: Episode 26 – Crazy Car Jump Best Moments: @ 3:15 – Following a short, reckless ride through the streets of L.A., the Crazy Car Jump in question @ 3:56 – “I’m a great driver” @ 6:24 – Another leisurely drive through the city @ 9:01 – Leisurely drive ends with a unique parking job   Episode 80 – Ran Over My Partner Best Moments: @ 0:33 – Toby discovers the carnage from Episode 79 (which happens to be his partner’s car) still burning on roadway @ 1:00 –...

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Nik Wallenda’s Walk Across Little Colorado Gorge

Nik Wallenda’s Walk Across Little Colorado Gorge

Tightrope Walker Nik Wallenda – of Niagra Falls fame – successfully walked across the Little Colorado Gorge in Little Colorado River Navajo Tribal Park on Sunday, June 23, 2013 (broadcast on the Discovery Channel). That’s a 1400 foot long walk over a 1500 foot canyon. GrindTV has the details of the walk. While I don’t share Wallenda’s theology – or his recreational pursuits, for that matter – this guy is an amazing reminder of what we, at our best (and craziest) are capable of. Here’s the full video . . ....

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Get More Sleep!

Get More Sleep!

I think the most striking item that emerged from the Michael Jackson wrongful death trial against concert promoter AEG Live last week is the extent of Michael Jackson’s sleep deprivation in the weeks leading up to his death. It’s already well-known that Jackson had grown accustomed to frequent propofol infusions to combat his insomnia, and that he went into fatal cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009 as a result of acute propofol and benzodiazepine intoxication. I’m not exactly medically trained, and I also admit that I didn’t follow that closely the general news coverage of MJ’s death or that of the trial of his personal physician, Conrad Murray, so maybe this was also widely known – but I guess I just wasn’t aware that propofol, as the CNN story states “disrupts the normal sleep cycle and offers no REM sleep, yet it leaves a patient feeling refreshed as if they had experienced genuine sleep.” But what really caught my attention in the coverage of Week 8 of the trial was the testimony from Harvard Medical School sleep expert Dr. Charles Czeisler.   Sleep and Memory What was so striking was the clarity and conciseness with which Dr. Czeisler explained the relationship between REM sleep and memory, something that I’ve always felt was closely correlative (cool, I think that’s the first time I’ve been in a position to slip that word into a conversation). From the CNN article: An adult should get seven to eight hours of sleep each night to allow for enough sleep cycles, he said. You “prune out” unimportant neuron connections and consolidate important ones during your “slow-eyed sleep” each night, he said. Those connections — which is the information you have acquired during the day — are consolidated by the REM sleep cycle. Your eyes actually dart back and forth rapidly during REM sleep. “In REM, we are integrating the memories that we have stored during slow-eyed sleep, integrating memories with previous life experiences,” he said. “We are able to make sense of things that we may not have understood while awake.” Learning and memory happen when you are asleep, he said. A laboratory mouse rehearses a path through a maze to get to a piece of...

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3 Drinkin’ on the Beach Country Songs

3 Drinkin’ on the Beach Country Songs

I think my favorite country songs are those involving alcohol and a beach. Here are three classics, or what I call Drinkin’ on the Beach Country Songs.     Toes – Zac Brown Band I like this live version of the song over the official video, which is rather goofy and distracts from the highbrow elements of the song . . . OK, there aren’t any highbrow elements of the song, and that’s more or less the point. But the official video is still goofy.     Some Beach – Blake Shelton Is it me, or does Blake Shelton look a little like Michael Madsen as Budd in Kill Bill Vol. 2? I guess you could consider this video then as the G Rated version of a bad day.     It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere – Alan Jackson & Jimmy Buffett Just one question – how can you drink on a beach and not invite Jimmy Buffett?  ...

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God 7.0

God 7.0

In my post In Defense of the Ego, I stated while making a larger point that: “Organized religion doesn’t quite have the most progressive record when it comes to elevating the individual – in the traditional conservative Christian worldview, for example, the ego and the sinful nature (all that’s bad, all that’s weak, all that’s suspect) are one and the same, and you were taught to crucify your ego in this life or burn along with it in the next.” I’m not here to bash anyone’s faith (as someone who believes in the supremacy of the individual, I encourage you to pursue your own authentic convictions whether they agree or disagree with my own). But I do feel that my own experiences of having survived and escaped an unhealthy evangelical upbringing have given me a valid opposing point of view. And in this  post, I intend to express that point of view – but hopefully in a fun and entertaining way.   The Dour and Immutable God Problem So one thing that I was taught – and which I think it’s fair to say is still the position of most evangelical Christians – is that God is immutable. Or, in other words, God doesn’t change. He’s timeless, the argument goes, the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Except . . . That doesn’t exactly correspond with history. I’m not just talking about human history either – I’m talking about Christian history. In fact, God’s views on everything from slavery and women’s suffrage to dancing and playing cards have changed dramatically over the last couple hundred years. Even his views on homosexuality and marriage equality seem to be – as the saying goes – “evolving.” But instead of debating and arguing my points, I thought it would be better to illustrate what I’m talking about by sharing a poem I wrote quite a few years back . . .   God 7.0 The beard is trimmer now and not as white, nor does it flow with such hostility as in those olden patriarchal days when, like a righteous keeper of the zoo electro-shocking beasts that dared his wrath, the Rock of Ages was wont to scowl and smite. His rage was once an early draft of...

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