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Do your part for science!

Hey guys, I need your help on this one. I'm a psychology major at UC Berkeley and I have a research paper due by the end of the semester. The problem is I still haven't actually done the experiment that the paper is suppose to be on. Not a problem!

This is where you all come in. I need you to read a short story (no longer than a paragraph) and answer 4 quick questions that don't even require a sentence.
Fast, harmless, and you'll be doing a great service for science... or pseudo science.
Either way Cave Johnson would be proud.
So just post here, and I'll pm you the story and the questions. Yes, a volunteer sample is a poor way to do actual experimentation if you expect to find reliable results, but damn it I'm a busy man.
We're done here
We're done here

Birthday Wish: Help me tame my hair

As some of you may know, My hair can get pretty out of control. Right now I'm taming it with pony tails and beanies, but it's becoming increasingly difficulty to do so. Truth be told I don't want to have it tied up like that all the time, it's just not healthy for anything going on in the head area, but the alternative right now is this.

 Interesting fact: My hair makes up 50% of my head's weight now.
 Interesting fact: My hair makes up 50% of my head's weight now.

So here's where I stand on it right now. No one likes the hair as it is right now without the ponytail. It's wild, out of control, and I'm pretty sure strangers think I might be rabid. The problem is I don't want to go back to short hair; as decisive as the long hair is, no one approves of the short haired version of me.

Right now I'm thinking of either getting a trim or having it styled. I live in Berkeley right now, and everything is expensive up here, including haircuts, so I don't really know if it's worth the price, or if it'll even help for that matter. The alternative seems like a better solution, but I don't know what to do with it myself. Yes, I know asking the community for advice isn't the best, but I'm out of options. I've asked friends and family for opinions, and this is literally the feedback I've gotten in return as far as possible styles to go with.

I'm not friends with the person who suggested this anymore
I'm not friends with the person who suggested this anymore

 Last time I got a haircut after donating my hair, the barber said she could give me the AFI haircut. After looking up the band, I really can't tell which one she meant... they're both so outrageous. Personally, I feel insulted.
 Last time I got a haircut after donating my hair, the barber said she could give me the AFI haircut. After looking up the band, I really can't tell which one she meant... they're both so outrageous. Personally, I feel insulted.

 Oh come on! Physics don't even allow for this!
 Oh come on! Physics don't even allow for this!
Hopefully some of you might have some good ideas that might help me out or put me in the right direction. In the worst case scenario, I figure at least it'll be worth some laughs to see what everyone comes up with. Really, getting my hair under control would be the best birthday present I ever received... actually I just got Portal 2 from a friend so second best.

Never not be playing video games?

Instruction ended today and next week is the last days of class, so it's final's time duders. Even so I just can't stop playing games. Well, I guess I can, but I choose not to. Maybe? I hope I haven't developed a problem here. That being said, it's not like I'm putting my work aside. On the contrary, I'm quite busy.

The solution?

I have Forza Motorsport 3 racing itself on my TV. I beat the season mode up to Year 8 myself, but now to get the achievement for a gold medal in all the events I'm just hiring drivers to race for me. A period where I shouldn't be investing time into games seems like the perfect opportunity to do just that. Part of me feels a bit dirty, and I know I have at least one friend who doesn't approve of the AI doing the work for me, but then again it has its perks. For one, it's like having an advanced screen saver running at all times. I also appreciate being able to actually look at the detail on the car models, something I never pay much attention to when I actually play racing games because so much of my focus is on the road. On the other hand I'm just waiting for Xbox #4 to die on me.
 Surely my consoles will forgive me on their death bed. Please tell me I'm not alone in doing these kinds of horrible things.

Old Game, New Box (Or, visiting 2008)

I have midterms from now until my birthday so I've been avoiding Giant Bomb because I know I'll just see my time fly by if I do, but I couldn't help but share this with everyone. I've been waiting for a while to buy Gears of War 2, and since it was 19.99 on Amazon, I couldn't resist. Here's what came in the mail.

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Not the Game of the Year edition pictured on the site, but a Platinum Hits version of it. Now, I don't like Platinum editions. Greatest Hits, Player's Choice, whatever. I just don't like them; I'm OCD like that when it comes to my game library, and I don't have a good reason for it. At this point I had two options: Return the game, or take the risk and unwrap the plastic and see what was underneath. Normally I'd take the safe route, but here's why I decided to proceed; a sticker on the inside box that said labeled Do Not Open Until November 7, 2008. That's the original release date of Gears of War 2.

Now, I'm already freaking out because I can't believe it's been almost three years since this game was released; as if I didn't feel old all own my own. With the outer box out of the way, this is what I found inside

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Victory! A non-platinum hits version of Gears of War 2 waited for me once I got past its uglier exterior, counter to how insanity seems to always be waiting for me past the friendly exterior of Berkeley girls. Let's take a look inside of the actual case for a few extra laughs and giggles shall we?

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Something about how i keep timelines must be completely broken, because I remember Fable II coming out forever ago and Gears 2 being relatively new, but Fable II came out just a month before GoW2. My mind is shattered, and at this point I just feel like I must be in the Matrix and the world is changing around me, but I have no way to prove it. Also check out that redeemable token for the Flashback Map Pack that's made completely worthless by virtue of the All Fronts token being included. I can't imagine why, but if anyone wants the code just tell me since I have no use for it. One last piece to finish off this adventure back to 2008.

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I love unboxing old items like this and being reminded about what's come and gone, and GoW2 is far from the oldest I've personally done. A few years back my friend brought a new copy of Perfect Dark (yes, the N64 game, not Zero) off of Amazon for 7 dollars. Now the price is up to 18.99 (still strangely cheap) but I recommend you buy yourself a copy if you want to experience time travel, because that is as close as we are ever going to get. Still I'm left wondering what the hell went on here. When the Game of the Year edition came out the case inside of the box was a version of GoW2, I know because I saw it at GameStop (for once their policy of opening games came in handy). This however just seems like Microsoft came across a forgotten warehouse of original copies of Gears or War 2 and started stuffing them into new boxes.

If anyone has similar stories to tell, or an answer to what's going on here, I'd love to here it.

What is your greatest sacrifice for games?

Since I've moved up to the Bay area for college I haven't had a car, so they've been out of my mind. The power of the engines, the sleek paint on a metal body, the interior design that matches the soul of the person driving the vehicle... Yup, not a single thought about any of that; until I talked to Ethan and remembered, boy oh boy, cars are like candy to me. Being as broke as I am right now though, I don't think I could afford gas let alone a new car. So instead I did the next best thing and spent $15 dollars on Forza 3. Plenty of cars, none of the soul crushing debt; well, for the most part. See in order to afford Forza 3 I'm not going to be eating a few meals this week. At the 15 dollars price point that isn't much of a sacrifice, but I've done worse for the sake of a game I've really wanted in the past, like buying Fallout 3 instead of using the money to buy a textbook for college.
 Video Games: Because I can't even drive this in my dreams.
 Video Games: Because I can't even drive this in my dreams.
So here's the topic of discussion duder's. Have you made similar sacrifices for games you've really wanted? Maybe it was something else besides games, like when I didn't eat lunch in High School so I could afford an amp (my electric guitar is kinda worthless without one). Maybe money wasn't sacrificed at all, but instead you lost an entire summer playing WoW. I don't have any real prizes to give away, but whomever submits my favorite entry will receive the first SlashseveN303's prestige award... I'll figure out what that actually is later.

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Ryan said it would never happen... Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts TNT

I'm not sure when TNT started getting banners from the community, but it feels like it started around a year ago. I remember Ryan tweeting the banner for that week's TNT, it was Street Fighter IV. I asked if TNT's would be decided upon in the future based on the quality of banner submissions, and suggested that it was time that I go off and work on a Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts banner. Then something occurred that has never happened before, or would happen ever again... Ryan responded. He said that while they would always enjoy seeing the banners, he doubted that there would ever be a Nuts & Bolts TNT.

Well here we are, a year later, and look who just tweeted that this week's TNT as Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts.

I'm sure that other people have suggested it as well, but I feel like it's because of my constant efforts that we finally have this TNT. Of course since I'm involved, the situation is not without its irony. See, since then, I've moved up to the bay area from southern California, and I left my copy of Nuts & Bolts at my house. Well... at least I'll be able to tune in tomorrow and watch others have fun.

So here's my question to you. Now that faith has been restored that any TNT is possible, what games will you be pushing for to have on future TNTs that you previously thought never had a chance?

Mass Effect 2 PC Code Giveaway Contest

Since I already own Mass Effect 2 and all the DLC on my Xbox 360 and I don't really need another copy of it on the PC, I've decided to give away my code in a contest. 
The rules are quite simple, just tell me what kind of Shepard you would make. Would you go with model Shepard or femshep? Does Shepard fight for great justice, or will people be get kicked out of windows on a regular basis? Perhaps that is great justice. What does the commander do in his or her free time? Maybe even a background story would be nice. Basically be creative, and my favorite entry will win! The contest will end at 12pm (that's westcoast time) and I'll contact the winner around then after I catch up on all the entries. Have fun with it duders!


If you were put in charge of a new Whiskey Media site...

...what would it be? It was a question I was asked recently and I found it surprisingly difficult to come up with an answer on the spot. For the most part Whiskey Media already covers the major food groups of my life: video games, movies, tech, comics, and anime.  
There's been a lot of discussion about what kind of sites we'd like to see, music being a popular choice for example, but I can't imagine having to listen to music all hours of the day to do reviews on every new album. Is it even worth it considering how broad and subjective music is? Even if you take reviews out of the equation you would still have to provide content, so would it mostly be news about bands? What kind of bands and artists does the site cover? Musical taste on these forums are diverse, so it would be difficult to decide on a genre to dedicate the site to. 
So instead I want to pose a different question, what kind of site would you like to run that isn't already covered? Here's some of my choices 
Slashing Riff dot com

This is the stuff that I can only experience in dreams... or a Guitar Center 
This is the stuff that I can only experience in dreams... or a Guitar Center 

I'm thinking these names up on the spot, so I know they kinda suck, but Slashing Riff would definitely be a site I'd like to run. I'm not even sure what kind of content I would put out or even what the wiki would look like, but I do know this; I love Guitars. Also I'm about as broke as a college student can get, which means that my dream of buying a decent guitar anytime soon will have to be put on hold for a very very long time. Still, with this site, we'd be getting in the newest models all the time to try out. Throw in some amps and guitar effects for good measure, and I might as well be a child in a candy store. As for content, maybe we could get in some local bands and musicians to try out the instruments, tell us how they feel about them, and even get in an unrelated interview for good measure. Now that I've given it more thought, maybe the wiki can connect guitars to their general models, the company that makes them, and even artists who use them. As for reviews, I have no idea what serious critics use to review how good a guitar is, but I know what my system will be; how well can I play Guile's theme on it?  
Also, all videos will be made using awful visual filters, effects, and transitions, similar to every bad internet video and PowerPoint presentation from the 90's. The plan is that Hipsters will come swarming in since I'm predicting they are due for a 90's retro indie cycle any moment now. After the first year, they'll move on, denouncing the site. We then change our video editing style to a normal sensible model, and our actual audience will be able to move in. This way we guarantee that Hipsters will never sully the forums, and we gain a large audience right way and later replace it with a permanent one rather than gradually building it up over time. Of course there is a good chance this will all backfire horribly and I'll never be employed again, but such is the maiden we call the internet.

Peak Clutch dot com
Yeah, I just made up a domain name using the same formula as Top Gear. Building on top of the idea of using a website for my own selfish gain, I would enjoy running Peak Clutch as a car website just for the sake of being able to test out top of the line cars that I'll never get the chance to actually own. I'm tired of life ripping cars away from me that should have been mine.   
 1969 Camaro SS
 1969 Camaro SS
 1968 Mustang Fastback
 1968 Mustang Fastback
 1996 Honda Civic Hatchback
 1996 Honda Civic Hatchback
A Mustang that was given away for free when I was two, a Camaro that was sold to be made into a monster truck when I was 10, and a Civic stolen in front of my driveway without a trace a year before I got my license. Yes, two out of the three would have certainly reigned havoc upon my gasoline budget, but the price of coolness is always steep! 
On top of being able to take around cars for a joyride, I would welcome the opportunity to actually learn more about them and how to figure out what's wrong when my car breaks down. We didn't have autoshop at my High School, and my dad never had a chance to teach me anything outside of how to change a tire. Now if only I had a car... 
Five Puppies dot com
Five Puppies would simply be dedicated to documenting cuteness in its purest form: puppies. Reviews would consist of a system of adorableness, meaning that our site will still use the five point system found on Whiskey Media sites, except this time with only one unit of measure, 5 puppies. On a side note, I once told Matt Rorie that there were no puppies on my blog; he was not amused. In fact he told me he was going to start doing heroine again, and I can't help but feel partly responsible. Hopefully this makes up for my horrible trespass upon his soul. Why would I want to run this website? Well for one, my mom was afraid of dogs, so I was never allowed to have one. Besides... 
    ... look how cute they are! Of course the interns working below me will be in charge of all the difficulties: bathes, training, picking up droppings. I'll just be there to bask in their love. I'd say we would also make a sister site called Five Kittens, but that domain seems to already be taken. 
So, what kind of site would you run given the opportunity?

The line between a perfect and awful day is surprisingly thin

So until this morning, I thought that yesterday was the best day of my entire life. Let's review!

I woke up that morning and decided not to go to class. I had ANOVA's at 8am, but I already knew the material. On top of that, I was up until 3am the last night working on a resume and picking out articles I've written for an internship at a website in San Francisco. So I woke up the next day refreshed and ready to go. I made my way on the hour long trip to San Francisco and was as happy as could be never having been there before. I was greeted outside as I arrived at the office so I didn't even need to buzz in. Perfection! I was let through inside, given a tour, and the interview process began. It was like a dream come true, and I feel like I did better than I could have expected for my first interview. After the interview I went back to my dorm, rested, and got some gaming in with friends. I did better than I normally did at Heroes of Newerth and was feeling pretty good about myself! I headed down to the dining common and the food was fantastic. Then, upon returning to my humble abode, a friend contacted me and offered me a place to live next year starting in the summer, which I was desperately searching for! All in all, it was the best day I've had in a long time. 
Now here's where hindsight decides to photo-bomb my day with its ugly head. Looking back on it all, I might have just been victim to a happy mood that day. First of all missing class isn't something I like to do without reason with midterms coming up, even though I love sleeping in. It was also hot outside, and I was wearing all black, which on top of being exposed to a place as crowded as San Francisco and the subway, might have led me to get this cold that I have today. Next we have the interview. Now at this point I was in a situation were a dream of mine had finally come true, which means I might have both been in high spirits, and acting a little bit stupid. I have to admit my brain wasn't working at full capacity, or anywhere near it. So while I was happy, maybe everyone who interviewed me actually hated me and I didn't care to notice. Now back at home I fell asleep, probably from a lack of food since I didn't eat breakfast or lunch, as well as the heat from traveling over two hours. As for improving my HoN skills; we also ended up losing that game, meaning that maybe it wasn't that I did better, but that my friend did uncharacteristically bad. What about the good food? Well, on top of having that dinner be my first meal of the day, the dining commons is pretty well known for not having great items on the menu, so maybe yesterday's adequate menu just seemed amazing by comparison. Finally to top it all off, while I do have an apartment now, I'll be sharing it with a crazy girl that likes to bug me about hillbilly music and The Room. So yeah, not so much a victory there. Also, without the internship, I can't really afford to live there this summer anyways, so I'll have to sublet my room and go back home anyways, except now with more work involved. 
Now I don't want to complain because I still feel hopeful about everything, but I just found it interesting how a slight change in perspective, in this case most likely brought on by having a common cold when it's hot, can change everything so drastically. I'd like to hear any stories similar to mine, but I'd especially be interested to hear if anyone's gone from having a really bad day and then looking back on it later to realize it was actually pretty good. 

 Here's a picture of me and a handkerchief, hoping everything will be alright
 Here's a picture of me and a handkerchief, hoping everything will be alright

New Releases January 23-29th

Tuesday January 25th

Dead Space 2 (PC/X360/PS3) 

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Publisher: EA

Developer: Visceral Games

The first Dead Space was a success story like no other in that it was able to create a new well received IP for EA when they were looking to branch out into new territory. While other attempts to achieve similar success would fail for EA, such as Mirror’s Edge and Dante’s Inferno, Dead Space was able to break out into the mainstream garnering success from gamer’s and critics alike. With bigger scares, more elaborate animations, and a new adventure for Isaac Clarke, it seems that Dead Space 2 is prepared to create that same success all over again. Review Scores in the 90’s don’t hurt either.


Two World II (PC/X360/PS3)

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Publisher: SouthPeak Interactive

Developer:TopWare Interactive

Things I’ve heard about this game from other people on the internet: It’s surprisingly good and better than the original

Things I remember about the original: It might have been the worst RPG I’ve played in my entire life.

Things I’ve heard from critics (not so many) so far… lies somewhere in between the differing opinions of the internet and myself.



Monday Night Combat is out on Steam today, and if it’s as good as the XBLA edition, it’s worth consideration.

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