Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Gentleman's Challenge

I have recently been issued a challenge. The challenger in question is the same person who requested the last article. Apparently she's now in charge of deciding what I do and don't write about. Yeah, I'm just as shocked as you are. Also, she's given me permission to use gender specific pronouns when referring to her, so it's totally on her if internet hooligans reverse engineer this data to kidnap her.
I lack a very particular set of skills

The challenge is to use seven specific words, all in one post. Now, I could easily just make a post that consists solely of those chosen words, but that wouldn't be very sporting, now would it? And if there's one thing I'm always doing, it's sporting, because no one here has more gentlepoints than me. So I am making a game out of this. I will use all seven words in this dubious post, but it is up to you, the reader, to try to guess which words were assigned. Now, you can rationally expect that the chosen words will be awkwardly shoe-horned in, so I will be awkwardly shoe-horning as many words as I can into this post, in an attempt to obfuscate the identity of the chosen words. Because I can't sport all the time.

Now, you may be wondering what it is that I'll actually write about. And the answer is that I have no idea. The purpose of this challenge was to be an enticing offer of a topic, but it's failing pretty badly at that. I mean, I guess that it inspired me to write this, but I'm not terribly happy about it. Hell, I've written two paragraphs so far, and the closest I came to a joke was maybe-threatening to kidnap my friend. So, as with all of my previous posts, if you fail to find this amusing, I implore you to blame someone other than me. I would consider that swell.

So, I'm sure you came here for a very specific reason. You told your computer to navigate to this particular locus of the internet so that it could tell your monitor to emit photons in a pattern that will react with the chemicals in your eyes in such a way that they sends signals that your brain processes as words, which your brain will react to with amusement, leading to the release of some kind of pleasure chemical. Probably dopamine, because that's what we always hold responsible for our pleasure. Now, as you read that monumentally lengthy linguistic construct, you probably noticed that those were all things that were indeed happening. Up until you read about pleasure chemicals. As you may notice, the pleasure centers of your brain are dryer than the 1920's, a joke that would actually make sense if it weren't for speakeasies. They are more parched than a thirsty barber. And for this dreadful lack of amusement, I apologize. On the behalf of my friend. Because it is totally and absolutely her fault.

Well, I can only deprecate myself for so long before it starts to get legitimately sad, so I'll see if I can find something else to talk about. Hmmmm... well, it's said that you should write what you know. And you know what it is that I know? Math. So I will now talk about math. I had hoped that it would never come to this, but my hands are tied. The Godzilla threshold is crossed. Calculus, algebra, trigonometry, geometry, abstract, applied, mathology... I'll talk about all of it. And there's nothing you can do about it. Well, I guess you could just go to one of the innumerable sites on the internet that's more interesting than watching me struggle in imaginary-time (It's the opposite of real-time, you see). So I guess I'll start with mathology, since that's something you've probably never heard of. This is because I made it up, completely independent of the mathology that Stephen Colbert apparently made up. You see, mathology is like mathematics, except it is a science, which means that it involves observation and experimentation. If you think that's stupid, that is because you are smart and right. Mathology is more or less math without all that pesky rigor or practical applications  The first rule of Mathology says that if a formula or equation works for at least 3 cases, then it probably works for all cases. Because all numbers are basically the same, right? Now that I've explained mathology to the best of my ability, I'll try to talk about something else. Any discussion of calculus would probably quickly devolve into me bitching about integration by trig substitution, which I am gruelingly relearning as of this writing. So... um... geometry? I think I found a general case formula that will allow you to quickly calculate the area of any regular polynomial of n sides, with each side having a length of s. The formula is as follows:
Note the use of degrees, rather than radians, indicating that I am no true mathematician.

Ironically, this formula has not been tested by Mathological principles. But if you feel qualified, I'd appreciate it if you could check my work. Furthermore, I've also derived formulas for... wait a second. I've already used the word that I was planning on using, so I can just abandon this train of thought. 

So, now that I can feel my will to write trickling away like an ebbing Tide, (Arm and Hammer is more prone to flowing.) guess I'll... do something? I guess I could explain the joke that I just made, because it's a well known fact that the most valuable jokes are the ones that necessitate explanation. You see, the tide is something that ebbs, but tide can also refer to Tide, which the internet assures me is a laundry detergent. Arm and Hammer is another laundry detergent, and it flows, which is the opposite of ebbing. This is because of comedy. Because this is basically just stream of consciousness now, here's a fun fact: some guy named "Armand Hammer" was apparently a major shareholder in "Arm and Hammer". It's not like he founded the company, so it wasn't named after him. On the other hand, I can find no mention of this on his Wikipedia page, so I am faced with the inconceivable possibility that lied to me. On yet another hand, for some reason, the real Armand Hammer sold alcohol during The Prohibition through some kind of legal loophole. While I would love to end this post with the arrival of that full circle, I still have at least one more word to write, and as the esteemed Hershel Layton always says, "A true gentleman may find himself faced with 99 problems, but he always ensures that a bitch is not among them."
OG: Original Gentleman

Whelp, it looks like I'm going to have to go to my fall-back topic. It seems that I have no other hoptions. That's right kids, it's time to talk about about Zero Escape again, because continually discussing a game whose greatness is mostly derived from shocking twists is a Grade-A idea. In case this is the first post you've read on this blog, I beg you to go back and read something different. I promise, most of my other posts are at least a standard deviation above this one when it comes to the facilitation of chuckles. But also, I'll explain the Zero Escape series. You see, in both games, you're kidnapped by a person in a gas mask who calls himself Zero, and then you have to Escape from wherever it is that he's locked you up. Both games have you playing a Nonary game, which has nine participants. The only way to Escape is to win the game. The two Nonary games have different rules, which I won't talk about because of spoilers I guess? The first game in the series is called Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, and if that isn't the right order for those three things, then I really couldn't care less. Just type "999" into Google. Tell'em Havoc sent you. He'll know what you're talkin' about. It is for the Nintendo DS. The second game is called Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, and is for the 3DS. Or the PSP Vita, if you're a chump, but I have faith in my audience to not be chumps. Since there's nothing I can really say about it that wasn't said in previous posts without giving away too many details, this section amounted to little more than egregious name dropping. Neat.

Now that my fall-back topic is expended, I guess I'll have to fall even further back to... Katawa Shoujo? Haha nope. Not gonna happen. I'd rather that worm come in here and eat you all alive. It would take a miracle more miraculous than a magnet made of rainbows  that looked like its father for me to talk about that again.
What's that bandage doing on that heart? I certainly don't know.

Have I mentioned how much I love the word "conflagration"? It's really one of my favorite words. It basically means "fire", but it sounds radder, badder, and nastier. A "fire" is something that you use to solemnly light a funeral pyre. A "conflagration" is something that use to drunkenly set your ex's house ablaze, then direct towards the constabulary when they start being a bunch of buzzkills. I just thought that it would be a good idea to surreptitiously introduce the word "conflagration" into this post, apropos of nothing.

But what I really brought you here to talk about is Pokemon. Competitive Pokemon battling, to be specific.  If you're wondering how competitive Pokemon battling differs from regular Pokemon, the adjective "competitive" indicates a battle between two human opponents who have their shit together. Level 100 Pokemon, optimized natures and EVs, and teams with coherent purpose are all hallmarks that set a competitive battler apart. Also, switching. To use a football analogy, keeping a Pokemon in when you have a disadvantage is analogous to receiving the ball, then somersaulting across the field saying "Sonic's the name, Speed's my game!". Actually, that analogy works pretty well for any sport. And if you know anything about competitive Pokemon battling, you know Smogon Universitythe authority in competitive Pokemon Battling. They rule the Pokemon battling metagame the way that Oprah ruled basically everything: They have no official power, but everyone just listens to what they say anyway. They have more street cred than a hippopotamus. Get it? Because they're hip. Anyway, despite the frequency with which I talk about how competitive battling ruined my ability to enjoy Pokemon, it's actually a blast, if you can get the hang of it. If nothing else, I probably have more fun reading about various Pokemon than I do actually battling, because that just results in tears. If somehow even less else, a team of EV trained top-tier Pokemon will surely be more than a match for your unenlightened friends, even if it would get you laughed off of Shoddy Battle. And, in the end, isn't life all about proving yourself better than your peers? I certainly think so. So if you're bored, and thinking of picking up a new skill, why not give Competitive Pokemon Battling a try? It'll probably help you understand what I'm talking about down the road when I inevitably start bitching about some Pokemon or another on this blog.
There are going to be so many new base stats to memorize! I'm so excited, you guys!

And with that, it seems that we're in the home stretch. All words have either been used, or can feasibly be fit into this concluding paragraph. While I'm sure I don't need to tell you this, I feel like I should for legal reasons: Do not try to guess the 7 words. That is stupid, this is stupid, and it's all stupid. But you're not stupid. I don't mean to insult your intelligence, but there's really no way guess which of the 1000+ words here I was assigned. It's like trying to define a triangle when you only have an angle and a side. So just bubble in "D. Not enough information given" with your number 2 pencil, and go to the next question. It's not too late to do something great with your life. Learn a language. Take up an instrument. Learn a computer language. Fall in love. Buy a stamp. Commit arson. Really, just about anything you could do would be a better use of your time. And with that, my dear readers, all the words have been used. The gauntlet was thrown down, so I picked it right back up, and used it to punch some words into submission, Brockway style (This reference assumes that you are intimately familiar with the Cracked Columnists). But I don't want this to be a precedent. I don't want people thinking that they can just challenge me to write with whatever conditions they choose, and I'll happily oblige. They say that artists produce their best work when working under constraints, but this place isn't about good work. It's about practice. We ain't talking about the game. We talkin' 'bout practice, man. We talkin' 'bout practice. You've been a lovely audience. Thank you, goodnight. 

Also, if you read this far hoping to learn about the musical TV special against the Doctor's orders that was promised by the label, then I regret to inform that you've been deceived. I just thought it was funny when Ryan North did it, so it would probably be funny when I did it, right?

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