Sunday, February 26, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Essay Outline

Book: Foundation Series
Thesis: The foundation's ability to be a major influence in the galaxy without military means is a result of the foundations effective manipulation of its soft power (Technology and political influence)

Introduction: The foundation series written by the author Isaac Asimov which falls under the science fiction genre illustrates many political aspects that are relevant in actual life especially in the areas of international relations in terms of how does a state dominate the international system. The book proposes the notion that military power is not the only way to become a dominant player in the galaxy but also through the combination of effective leadership, technological innovation and establishing a religious hierarchy that serves the foundation's purpose.
Opening Body: The story revolves around the Galactic Empire and a prediction made by a man called Hari Seldon with a background of psychohistory predicting the fall of the Empire. Seldons views were viewed as nonsensical by the empire which resulted on his exile along with all of his other followers who believes in the Seldon theory to a far and desolate planet in the far fringes of the galaxy called Terminus. Here Seldon wishes to establish a scientific haven in order to preserve humanity's achievement if the galaxy were to fall in a period of barbarism after the empire's fall. From there on the plot revolves around how does the foundation survives while it is surrounded by hostile natives which hopes to exploit and conquer the foundation itself. This paper will focus on the aspects which made the foundation thrive against all odds and became a dominant power while other planets fall into barbarism.  
Body Structure:

  1. Explains the role of the foundations leadership from Hardin to Hobber Mallow
  2. Explain on how does technological superiority of the foundation made it a dominant power.
  3. Explain how the foundation established a religious hierarchy centered in the foundation itself help to foster followers from outside its borders
  4. Explains on how all of this things connecting them with the thesis.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Tragic End?

The Mountain Cave

For this weeks entry the author seems to change his style drastically using what seems to me like water color compared to Karl Kerchl's previous work this one seems unique, he stated that this part marks the beginning of chapter 3 making me wonder whether he will continue with this style in his entries. As for me i preferred the previous illustrations. In this strip for me it shows that "something" is dying although it is unclear why as it mentions the possibilities of heat, fever and war as the cause for this creatures condition. In his final moments he said his goodbyes to his family although it is unclear where his families are, i assume that this creature will soon be dead kind of tragic. Im looking forward to finding out what this creature is in the next entries.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Video game Screenshot

Image Detail

Among all off the other games i played so far none of them has captured my attention more than this particular game and i hope to use this game for project space if my professor allows it. The Final Fantasy series has always been one of the top rated game in the RPG genre with a huge fan base all around the world with each sequel having a story uniquely their own. Final Fantasy 13 is the first final fantasy sequel released for the ps3 and this one doesn't disappoint hardcore gamers at all as this game boasts stunning graphics, stunning video cut scenes, deep story line, remarkable character and personality details and a unique strategic battle system that requires to plan out their attacks strategically in order to win battles throughout the game.
The Story revolves around a world called Cacoon floating in the sky above. It was built by a magical god like beings called the Fal'cie that provided safe haven from what people living in it believe a dangerous world bellow  called Pulse. Both of these worlds are managed by their own Fal'cie. The people on Cacoon fear Pulse therefore the government of Cacoon is ordering to expel anyone out of Cacoon if there are any contact with any living thing or object from Pulse claiming them to be contaminated this policy is called the Purge. Our heroine Lightning an ex-soldier of cacoon begins her fight with the government in order to save her sister who has been branded as an unwilling servant by a Fal'cie from pulse, making her an enemy of cacoon and its inhabitants. Lightning is soon joined by bands of allies and together along with her that got branded by the same pulse Fal'ciem, if you were marked by a Fal'cie your'e obliged to do certain tasks that Fal'cie reqired of you if you were to fail you would loose your soul and become a zombie like creature called ciet'h forever, complete your task and you will turn into a crystal and have an eternal sleep similar to dying. The story follows the heroine along with her comrades as they rally against the government and finding their focus before they are doomed of becoming a crystal or a ciet'h.
RPG's in general have a distinctly unique way on manipulating space whereas mainly players act as a third person controller which determines the characters action and movements throughout the game. The player may experience some degrees of freedom in controlling their characters as they progress through the story line. Space in this game are in general huge and open with complex and detailed map types however it only allows you to proceed in certain routes which directly relates to the story itself or complete certain side quests along the way. Another important aspect of RPG's in general is the notion of leveling up your characters as you progressed through the game that you will need to do in order to beat various enemies which gets stronger along the story. Enemy encounters are done in maps as the character proceeds to the terrain basically you could choose to battle enemies or ignore it completely however this kind of actions will cause trouble when battling stronger enemies where you need more complex skills to defeat certain enemies and bosses.
Space also plays an important role when encountering enemies whereas you are dragged to a new screen uniquely costumized for battle and players command their characters to make a specific combination of  attack in order to win such as melee attacking, healing magic, offensive magic, defensive abilities and staggering opponents, this requires the players to master the strategical battle aspect of the game and switch battle strategies constantly in order to win. Overall i chose this game because it is a unique and vibrant combination of use of space in stunning HD graphics, interesting plot and story line, strategic warfare and stunningly realistic characters with personalities making this game one of my favorite games. If youre looking for those features i mentioned above Final Fantasy 13 will leave you speechless here are some videos that illustrates my ideas of game play and graphics

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fan Fiction: Foundation Series

My first time ever writing a fan fiction and whats worst of it is for a novel that i don't particularly like! if it were not for the grades i wouldn't even consider it but i will do my best anyways. Well here it goes! please bare with me on this, the story takes place after professor Seldon's and all of the other supporters of the Seldon Theory are about to be exiled into Terminus using  Gaal as the main protagonist. He is the character i chose to use due to his surprising revelations upon arriving on Trantor that he along with other scientist are going to be exiled to Terminus. The method that i would use would be the position of a third person speaker instead of the first person method that Asimov used in narrating his stories.

It all happened so suddenly, as Gaal contemplated what was going on. Here he was a mathematician that was suppose to get a job under Seldon as a assistant lecturer in the University of Trantor soon realized that he was about to be exiled within six months time to an isolated planet based solely on one senile old man's farfetched prediction. He himself found it hard to believe that the Galactic empire with all its glory could ever fall. He scratched his head in frustration unable to process what was unfolding before him as he waited in Seldon empty dimly lit office room within the University. Trying to make sense of the situation only drives him to further frustration, several things comes to mind immediately as thoughts raced across his head: how could one coordinate a wide scale exodus of thousands of families into one remote planet in only six months worth of preparation? how would a population solely based on scientific research and people of science thrive at all? He paced the room anxiously awaiting Seldon's return, Seldon said that he has a short errand to attend to and said that he will only be gone for around 15 minutes. An hour has passed with no signs of Seldon at all, Gaal still has so many questions flying around his head and waiting seems to further agitate him.
After what seems like several hours way into the night finally Seldon emerged through the door with a weary face. He gave Gaal a weak smile before he seated himself to the nearest couch helping himself to pack of biscuits lying on the small wooden table. He took a deep breath and finally said "im sure, there is a lot of questions you would like to ask me, but i promise you there are more important things to concern ourselves within due time". Gaal finally asked "has the news spread yet to other scientists and their families that are working for you?" Seldon gave a light chuckle and said "thats exactly what im going to entrust you". Gaal was slightly upset at this point, here he is still many questions unanswered and Seldon seems to enjoy planning things for him to do without even as much consulting him with it.
Seldon begins to speak "massive migration on this scale has never been done throughout the galaxy's history, this will be the first. To this extent we should begin coordination at this very minute if we were to be prepared in six months time, there isn't a moment to spare" he then added "you along with other assigned people will go around and spread the news about our exile, to the people and families working under me" Gaal then interrupted "do you realize how long that will take? and how am i suppose to give them the news that they are soon to be exiled solely on your predictions alone", Seldon replied casually "you wont, encounter any problems while conveying the messages, as they all mostly men of science who clearly sees the validity of my theories. And believe me when i say the empire will be hounding and threatening the lives of people that are under me and exile is the only plausible option would be to accept exile". Gaal blurted out "isn't that selfish of you? your determining the fate of thousand of lives here! do you realize that you're asking us to leave our homes and most of our possessions based solely on a prediction, due to happen centuries of come!". Seldon stared blankly at the wall with a dark expression as though thinking about the notion himself he hesitated for a moment before finally saying "the fate of the entire civilization is in our hands, we will preserve all of humanities progress and achievement as the empire fall into barbarism. I stake my honor on it, the empire will fall with nothing to prevent it and the only thing we could do is shorten the length of barbarism. Think of all the human knowledge that will be lost the notion of progress and development that were to be lost if we don't undertake this important task. This is the only thing we could do to save the future of humanity". he continued "i will establish a functioning community there call it a refugee camp if you like of several scientists and their families protected by our technological advances as the empire slowly decays"
Gaal contemplated at Seldon's words there was a hint of truth and sincerity in his words so he finally gave his thoughts a rest at least for a while. Gaal finally interjected "ok, so what could i do to help?" Finally Seldon  smiled and said "your task my boy, is to travel as envoy along with other people i have assigned with to spread the words and find researchers capable of building an entire civilization out of limited resources. From there we could begin and talk about building a fully functioning society based on scientific research and development. But remember time is of the essence". Gaal spend the entire knight in seldon's office listening to his revolutionary ideas about starting a civilization from scratch, he had to admit that this man is of superior intellect his ideas are bold and eye raising and for the first time upon arriving at Trantor Gaal felt needed as he is a part of this grand scheme that will determine the fate of every human being within the empire's borders.
The next day on the spaceship terminal Gaal waited for the next flight that would take him out of Trantor which will ultimately begin his journey. Here he is a regional boy taking part in large plot to save humanity all of this seems exciting for him he took one last glance back to trantor before boarding his ship. He exhaled and said to himself "and so t begins" with a small smirk on his face.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Chinese Toilets...

The Swan and the Duck

Swans Are STILL Such Jerks

Need i say more on why exactly i "hate" swans? these creatures are just plain nasty and evil! poor ducklings.. swans have anger management issues seriously.. they're definitively on the top of my "animals you shouldn't mess with" list. Im guessing Karl Kerchl have issues as well with these creatures as he seem to enjoy portraying them as obnoxious animals that go "squawk" and chase after you.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

United Nations: Is it Effective?

A week ago the UN Security Council attempt to sanction Syria's current regime under President Bashar al Assad failed as a result of Russia and China's veto. This was a direct attempt to end the violent ongoing conflict between the anti government faction within Syria against the Syrian Military which resulted in the lost of hundreds of lives in a conflict which has lasted for nearly 11 months. The UN Security council in this case the US, Great Britain, France backed up a plan proposed by members of the Arab League asking pressident Assad to step down from the presidency or face harsher sanctions to its regime. However this proposal was diliberately vetoed by both China and Russia where many countries viewed as an outrage and unjust. This is an example and indication of the lack of UN effeciency to promote order and stability to its member states. The world cannot turn a blind eye in conditions where a state attacks its own people and deny's their people the basic necesseties of freedom. One could wonder where is the humanity behind all of this and the role the UN has in promoting universal values of human rights to its member states ratified by several countries upon entering the UN. Is this a indication of the failure of the UN ideal? It leads me to wonder where does the UN fault lies in this fiasco?
If we were to talk about the system itself we could see several critical flaws where in this case the UN Security Council itself calls all the shots concerning whether a resolution passes or not and these decission itself is monopolized by major powers such as the US, Great Britain, France, Russia and China. Ultimately this leads to the "monopoly" of UN resolotions despite majority vote. I beleive that all countries should have an equal representations in the coucil and decisions should be based on majority vote! Many conflicts in the past escalated because of a result of the UN inefficiency to uphold the basic mission of the UN  itself (Peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and social economic development) the world have witnessed the tragedies of the former yugoslavian republic and the genocide in Rwanda will the UN continue its past failures due to the lack of inneficiency to take actions? and will history repeat itselves?
The UN itself is established by the basic ideals of Universal norms of its member states which respect the rights of states and individuals within its jurisdiction. It hopes to create an institution which promotes trade, mutual development and equal prosperity to its member states. However the fault of its implementation lies in the area of legitamacy itself whereas the UN cannot directly interfere with its members domestic policy. This has led many countries in the past to take Unilateral actions against other states mostly in the basis of individual state interest without any single authority keeping them in check. Will a Universal government be the solution of the UN's inefctiveness? but under who's mandate will it fuction? During my time reading about this particullar international government there is still no acceptable solution to deal with these inneficencies however the most simple solution in the short term would be to abolish the UN security Council and turn it into a majority vote. But in the long run the notion of Universal Government should be a plausible idea..

The Foundation Series By Isaac Asimov


So i managed to read three of these book for more or less 5 weeks given time. Usually, I wouldnt consider the sci-fi genre at the top of my reading list but i was supposed to read it nevertheless (thank you professor!). Overall these three books are short by my standards since im used to bigger books, but the complexity, depth and time period sequencing in these books is not for your average reader! I myself had to go through the pages numerous times in order to understand what is actually going on! So in this entry im going to talk about these three books a little bit which i spend a significant ammount of time on.
The plot of the story revolves around The Galactic Emipire which territory stretches to the far reaches of the galaxy promoting order and stability and a prophet like charachter called Hari Seldon which predicted its downfall and decline while its remnants will eventually fall into barbarism. Hari Seldon prediction is considered treason by the empire's commision of public safety and eventually led him to be labeled as a traitor which ultimately led to his exile along with other people supporting his ideas as well as their families to a remote and desolete planet called Terminus on the edges of the emipre's borders. Here, Hari Seldon among with various exiled scientists tried to build a scientific haven preserving the emipires civilization by compiling a big book of knowledge called the Encyclopedia Galactica if the empire were to fall with the hopes of receeding the period of barbarism to come after the empire's downfall.
The story's depths revolves around the the complicated plot on how the foundation in Terminus survived and became a dominant power in the galaxy by promoting technogical know-how to various planets within its periphery, and by doing so subduing would be agressors which ensured its safety while the empire steadily decline. The character although numerous as the story progresses, also contributed to the story's overall depth by shaping the events that came into play and how those character's interacation resonated with the overall plot as events unfold. While there are too many characters to name overall which i found fascinating about these series is how each and every foundation leader contributed greatly in ensuring the foundation's survival either by detering hostiles or peacefull anaxation of other planets. For me two characters come to mind: Salvador Hardin and Hobber Marrow.
There is also a deep political aspect in this book which im quite fammiliar with which relates to the fields of international relations given my current major. It describes the aspects of hard power and soft power possesed by the foundation in which ensures its survival. Firstly by soft power i mean on how other planets depended on the foundation's technology for survival and by hard power would be the foundation's possesion of atomic energy which other planet feared as being atomic weapons. Ultimately this led to the foundation being an hegemonic power in the corner of the galaxy. Another political aspect which i found while reading these books is the politicians which shaped the foundations policy in relating with external threat where some people beleived the foundation should strengthen its military while others beleive that the foundation should subdue its enemies without any violonce. This corelates with true events we see happening on our world and judging by the overall political spect of this, Isaac Asimov must be inspired by the events happening during the cold war.
The story's overall suspense for me at least lies in the events unfolding when the foundation faces would be agressors and then later on detering them "peacefully". Overall this book has an overall plot where many readers will find overwhelming with information, too fast paced and a lack of significant characters. My guess would be that the characters the author made for this book only compliments the overall plot, and generally speaking it is likely that the plot itself is the story given the less ammount off  time the author gave in describing and developing some of the numerous characters in the book. My final conclussion for this book is clever plot, fast paced and unmemorable characters with my personal grade of 3/5 stars.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Things That Ticks Me Off..


Yup, you guessed it! its another weekly update from Karl Kerchl's work from From the last post i have mentioned on how the author is able to portray daily human emotions in his work which makes it a unique genre in itself well here is another example of this author's work. This time its about birds and one of my least favorite animals bats! its shows several birds humming contentedly in the morning while the bat is clearly annoyed due to the noise and began to curse the ":four letter word" hahaha... i think the author gets the idea by the basic fact that birds are a lot more livelier in the morning while nocturnal animals tend to be inactive during these times which the author interprets as trying to get a good afternoon nap!
i can totally relate to this! the one thing i hate more than anything is being disturbed while i'm trying to get a well earned sleep especially after staying up late! without a proper nap people tend to have a bad attitude (which includes me) so in this particular comic strip, i feel the bats pain:(
but if it "were" me i would have walked straight up to the person disturbing me and give them a piece of my mind! Whatever you do "You do Not Mess With Sleepy People!" or you could get hurt or face quite a temper;)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Higher Power: An Individual Perspective


Human beings are creatures that will never falter until they find the truth, it is always in our nature to be curious..
Questions after questions in ages past always emerged out of humanity's existence asking the very notion of humanity's purpose, what significance can a mere individual possibly have in this vast universe? how did we came to be in the first place? everything has to have a beginning.. even the basic notion of science claimed that "a matter could not exist without a catalyst" that lead many of us individuals to believe the basic notion of the "higher power". The divine entity that orchestrated the vast universe like a composer orchestrating his masterpiece, his tunes in accordance with one another in perfect rhythmic harmony. The highest peak to the lowest dept that exists in our earth to the every living things we see right in front of your eyes how can one basically claim that these things appear out of naught?
This Higher Power has humbled humanity for the past millenia, the very notion of worship itself emerges from our individuals inability to comprehend the greater work at play in setting our universe into motion. What is this greater power? it comes in many names Yahweh, Allah, Deva Buddha and many more but accepted universally as "god". Religion itself is a pathway which humanity itself has paved in order to remain in awe with this supreme being. Countless centuries of fighting have been rightfully justified in preserving the one true belief of the one so encompassing. Humans have waged war against one another on the behalf of this one divine being and in his name were many people slaughtered mercilessly throughout history. Has he always been there? watching us individuals brimming with benevolence as he gazed at his cherished creatures like many religious texts mentioned? one could wonder his very existence if one were to observe the corruption and injustice we see in the world today or was he simply not there? how could any individual believe something which is not physically present as a governing force determining the fate of the entire universe?
He works in mysterious ways people say, or is it simply that he is far too great for us mere humans to comprehend? people tend to find justifications for the things they cannot understand or challenge uncertainty by providing answers through the notion of rationale?
But what does this supreme being mean for me anyway? for me at least it comes from the feeling that there is something out there beyond metaphysics that you feel in every breath you take, every heart beat you feel and every vein pulsating in your body. The basic notion of knowing that us individuals are alive defines this feeling and it is my individual belief that one does not "look for god" but he" resides inside all of us" we are the representation of that harmony he had created which encompasses everything we see in front of our eyes 

Educational Decline Of California

Image Detail

Budget cuts to California's education system is increasingly becoming a dominant issue which could have severe negative implications for the state's future, in which it will ultimately lead to the decline of the number of educated professionals within the state. This policy will ultimately effect California's institution of higher learning by denying many students their right for accessible quality education to compete in today's globalized economy. Students have actively protested the budget cuts done by the state government in the form of active protests demanding the local government to take action against the ever increasing fees needed to pay for tuition's. There is also the issue of class reduction, the availability of classes and the reduction of professors where the irony lies in the fact that students continuously pay an increasing fee in order to get their degree. Me being an undergraduate student in one of California's institution of higher learning Calstate Northridge observed several negative implications one of them being undergraduate seniors finding it more difficult to find classes needed in order to graduate while the number of  student drop outs continue to increase day by day because these students can no longer cope with the tuition hike. This was a result of California's policy in further cutting an additional $600 million to the CSU system. According to the August 25th news article in 2009 from the "Daily News Los Angeles" California State University has slashed enrollment and increased tuition's by 20% and raised tuition fees almost 70% more than what students normally use to pay in 2007. Education is the pillar and foundation of the society we now live in and defines the very notion of progress and development, development cannot happen in places where the basic necessities of education is denied to its citizens! Education is every individual's right, and something people should fight for! For a country supporting the basic principles of Democracy the US has an obligation towards its citizens by providing them all equal opportunity! what will become of the US economy tomorrow if all the talented youths were denied the basic necessities needed for them to contribute for their country? it will be a bleak future indeed.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Evil Glare

 Date Night

hey guys! this would be my second weekly update on Karl Kerschl's work, there is still a semester worth up "mandatory updates" so you will be seeing a lot from this particular author in this blog until the end of the semester. Lets see now.. you were wondering why i put the "evil glare" for this title right? the third picture will pretty much tell you why!:D
This is what i would call the "are you trying to piss me off stare" the expression say's it all, it is the kind of expression my mom would give me for any so-called "misdemeanors" and a clear indication that im testing her patience to the limit and trust me its best to obey in these kind of situation to avoid getting lectured for more than an hour.. ok back to the main point, overall Its amazing how the author is able to portray human like emotions on animal's within his work which i find kind of neat! You must have seen these expressions in your everyday life, but it takes a lot of creativity to apply them to animal's as though they're human like by nature and personally i find this concept quite intriguing.. we always have this notion that animals are quite different from humans but by applying this interesting concept it's as though the author is implying that animals are like us! such as talking with their wife's, having to put their kids to beds and even having arguments with one another. It makes me wonder on where the author gets his inspiration for these pieces but i am certain of two thing; the author seems to have an affinity for animals and observing people's expression's (which takes sensitivity) i will be looking forward to what entries the author comes up next:)