Is World War III Inevitable?

A Short Commentary:

With so much going on nowadays, from terrorist organizations running amock to the previous “balance” of power in the United States being disrupted by the recent change in office, there seems to be many a reason to consider World War III as a viable possibility. North Korea has been trying to flex their muscles, among other things, and it’s collectively given people all across the globe something to worry about.

But don’t let it keep you up at night. There’s plenty of reasons to show no fear. The “superpowers” of the modern world, for the most part, have economies that have proven to be (relatively) stable. But let’s think for a short moment about exactly why WWIII is not an imminent threat, even at this turbulent moment in time.

The balance of power throughout the countries of the world is much like a very intricate machine, and its current state has been in the making for centuries. Being an American citizen, I have to say that our current President has made some pretty bold political moves since he took office on both the domestic and international levels. However, if one were to take a look back in history, the periods with the greatest amount of change and progress happened because someone “out of the ordinary” came along and did something that most people around them called crazy. Change does not happen without the willingness to alter the established rules in your favor. A great historical example of this is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He proposed a (peaceful) solution that was contrary to what everyone else thought would get results. And, while it was not a cakewalk by any stretch, Dr. King’s “unorthodox” methods did get groundbreaking, lasting results. Another historic example would be Ghandi.

Sometimes, as weird as it sounds to say it, it takes someone profoundly insane to combat a world of insanity. So while I don’t exactly “like” our President, I DO think that he might just turn out to be the right man for that job. Though he has a lot to do and prove before then.


There’s No Such Thing As Objectivity:

Objectivity Doesn’t Exist; There Is Only Subjectivity:

As weird as this may seem for a lot of people, there is no such thing as objectivity. And this makes sense upon further thought. Allow me to break it down…

You, whether you like to believe it or not, are the product of your parents. You probably share some of their ideas, too. But what about the rest? Well, they’re not your ideas (sorry for putting it bluntly). In fact, all of “your” ideas came or developed from sources that you have encountered over the course of your lifetime, such as school, your peers, exposure to some form of media, or, of course, your experiences. The experiences themselves are your own, but the ideas and conceptions that you gathered from them were already derived from something else that you had previously encountered. As for the ideas that your parents gave you, those ideas aren’t your parents’ ideas. They also came from a mixture of different sources that they encountered throughout their lifetimes.

The entire idea of something being “unbiased” cannot be true. Everyone has some sort of bias, because their entire way of thinking was shaped in a particular, unique fashion that someone else can’t possibly share. There might be a lot of similarities between two ways of thinking, but no two ways of thinking are ever the same.

By this point I’m sure you’re probably asking “So was there ever something objective?” And the answer is YES. Way back when the earth was still a huge, mysterious place and many ideas were still being discovered, it was possible for people to shape the world through new ways of thinking. In fact, it could still happen in the future. But someone with a way of thinking that far off of the norm only comes about every few generations. Einstein was a great example of someone who shaped the world through objective, undisputable thinking.

Don’t give up hope, though. Always look for answers in the world you know. Because I’m sure they are out there somewhere. And you might just be the next person to shape the world.

Dungeons & Dragons: Are the Bad Stereotypes True?

D&D Logo

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From Humble Origins:

Dungeons & Dragons, commonly referred to as D&D, was created in the early 1970’s by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. They were simply two guys who wanted to live out their fantasies in a “real” role playing game. Now, it’s a big thing. The small handful of starter books that once were all players had have now expanded into numerous options for not only starting a game of D&D, but expanding upon old ones.

I don’t have too much experience playing D&D, but I have played a bit. I would’ve played far more if I had the time to, but life’s circumstances cut my adventures short. My experience was just what I expected and even more. My group was a few close friends who wanted to start a club in high school. We got a sponsor from our cool art teacher who was long since familiar with the game, created our characters, and just like that, our party of adventurers was born. I felt a lot of freedom the moment our DM (Dungeon Master, someone who is chosen before the game starts) told us our starting scenario.

Before I go any further, I would like to address one or two of the bad stereotypes that people tend to associate with D&D. One of these is the link to Satanism and witchcraft. While it is possible to use spells and magic in D&D, and to make a character (such as a Cleric, who is centered around religion) follow a religion similar to Satanism, the game doesn’t come pre-configured for anything that promotes Satanism, or using magic and spells for the harm of others. It leaves it completely free and open for the players to decide, with the DM’s permission, of course. That’s the point of D&D, though: to allow players to live out their fantasies. And essentially, if the DM is okay with something, and all the conditions are met, it can be done.

Personally, I’m a gamer, and I’ve been gaming all my life. During my few short weeks of playing D&D with friends, I had more fun than any video game I could ever play. Why is this? There are a few reasons behind it. The first is the fellowship, the time I spent with my friends. The second is the sheer freedom that comes with playing D&D, which is generally limited when one is playing a video game. And finally, it made me use my imagination.

I know what you’re thinking: “God forbid I should have to use my imagination; that requires effort.” Right? (No? That was awkward.) But I felt similar before I started my game of D&D. I have no regrets, now that it’s all over.

But personally, I do not think that D&D is worth all the bad stereotypes that go along with it. D&D is normally only a “bad” thing if the players and DM want it to be. The only reason it would otherwise be a bad thing is if Ra, Cthulhu or some other mythological god decide to take out their wrath on you, and you’re not properly equipped to deal with it.

In that case, roll initiative and hope the DM has mercy on you.


The (Impossible) Fear that N. Korea Tries to Put In Our Hearts and Minds:

N Korea Flag

First Impressions, Anyone?

To some, this flag represents a country, just like any other flag. To others, it represents an example of oppression. Still, to others, it’s a homeland. It’s all they know. And there are some people, especially in the world of freedom and open information, who are afraid of North Korea and all the recent threats they’ve been making towards America.

And personally, I don’t blame them. Fear is the most likely first reaction when you’re dealing with a country who’s ruled by such an unpredictable individual. And it’s not just him; the ones who preceded him were just as unpredictable. But let’s break this down for a minute.

North Korea is behind the times with technology. This fact can be seen on any documentary that has been filmed by visitors (who actually got out alive). Their military, and many other things, are behind the times, and let’s face it, they put so much money towards hating the USA that they neglect the nutrition and wellbeing of their own people.

Furthermore, their only true ally is China. And at this point, even China seems to be getting a little fed up with them. If North Korea makes a move on the USA, launches a missile, or whatever they choose to do, there would be so many repercussions from numerous countries that, in my opinion, one would have to be insane to follow through with any of the threats they’ve been making.

Even though they are a potential threat, they’re obviously not enough of a threat to make the states implement “missile attack drills” at our children’s schools. And chances are, they probably won’t be that kind of a threat for a long time. So while you’re waiting for that ever so imminent missile strike, kick up your feet, try to relax, eat some pizza, and give yourself a break from the world’s nonsense for a while.

Dark Souls III: The Journey of A Knight:

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Dark Souls 3 Wallpaper

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Dark Souls 3 Boss

Challenge Lovers Welcome:

The first photo is a photo of the character from the game’s cover art. The second photo is a gameplay screenshot of when a player is arriving at the very first boss, Judex Gundyr, who you encounter very soon after starting the game.

Even though Gundyr is the first boss of the game, he is by no means a pushover, and many players, including myself, have died trying to beat him. Some players give up after several tries, throwing Dark Souls III to the forgotten games pile. But many people know the Dark Souls series, and how it is notoriously one of the hardest RPG games out there. And it’s probably safe to assume that not very many players come into the beautiful, dark world of Lothric expecting an easy play through.

There are several different classes that you can start as, each with their own strengths and weaknesses determined through the attributes they start with. I recently started a game as a Knight. Around fourteen hours later, I have made it to the fifth area, and have defeated four bosses along the way.

Something that makes Dark Souls uniquely difficult is the way it’s leveling and currency systems work together to force the player to make decisions and carefully plan each step they take. When an enemy is defeated, the player gains a small amount of souls, which are the currency of the game. When the player collects enough souls, they can not only buy weapons, armor, items, and spells, but can also choose to spend them in order to level up and improve their character’s attributes. But as I previously mentioned, each action, each step, and each evasive roll must be carefully planned and swiftly executed, because players lose all their souls upon dying. Players are allowed one chance to go to the place of their death and retrieve their souls, but if they happen to die again before retrieving them, their souls are lost forever.

For those who like a challenging gaming experience, the Dark Souls series is one of the finest out there, and I highly recommend it.

Horizon Zero Dawn: A Review:

Horizon Zero Dawn

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An Open World Lover’s Paradise:

Only a few weeks after its release, Horizon Zero Dawn has blown thousands away with its amazing, beautiful, open environments and fresh storyline. And while it’s 100% possible to live out a scene such as the one depicted, it does take a considerable amount of skill. Or a certain set of armor hidden in the world.

The world of Horizon Zero Dawn is a big one, and every inch of it has something to do or see. There are some extremely tough enemies lurking around, but a skilled and well equipped player would have an easy enough time dispatching them. However, enemies such as the Thunderjaw in the photo, remain a high threat enemy no matter how well equipped the player is, allowing for a constant challenge. However, if one just can’t seem to beat an enemy, there is an answer.

The developers put in a set of armor that completely negates massive amounts of damage. After taking enough damage, the armor’s shield will take about five seconds to recharge before allowing the player to take more hits without taking damage. To me, and many others, this was a complete game changer. Some players think the armor a blessing, and others a curse.

The armor aside, the game offers dozens of hours of gameplay with a lot to do, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who owns a PS4, since it is an exclusive.

Florida Lottery, Anyone?

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Florida Lottery

Heartbreaking Odds:

Wait! Before you buy that lotto ticket from your local Publix (or other store that sells lotto tickets), think about the decision you’re going to make. Sure, playing the state lotto is fun. But just what are the odds of striking it rich out of the state’s pocket?

Let’s see… There are six numbers that have to be correct in order to win big money in the Florida lottery. Let’s assume that ten different values are possible for each number (0-9). This would mean that there are 22,957,480 different combinations for someone to get on a Florida Lottery ticket. So someone’s odds of winning the lottery given any one particular ticket? 1 in 22,957,480. That’s quite a scary statistic.

On the other hand, there are few “valuable” things that a dollar can get someone these days. As always, it’s your decision. After all, you’re the one holding that dollar bill!

A World Within Our Own: Disney Cruise Line Review


A Short Chance At Happily Ever After:

This review probably won’t turn out to be exactly like most other reviews out there. Chances are, it’ll be at least somewhat personal, and perhaps even a bit philosophical at times. But I ask that you bear with me, because I went on a Disney Cruise only a matter of months ago, and Disney did not disappoint.

My cruise only lasted a weekend. We left on a Friday afternoon, and came back that Sunday. But don’t be deceived, a lot happened in that short time. Before I went on the cruise and boarded the Disney Dream, I wasn’t really psyched to go. I thought there wouldn’t be much for me to do, and that the activities would be mainly kid-centered.

However, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that I was wrong. The living arrangements were well kept, cozy, and high quality. The ship was well maintained, and the service was superior to anything else I had experienced in similar settings. And of course, they had things for everyone to do, not just the children.

For example, at Disney’s Castaway Cay private island, located in the Caribbean, activities such as scuba diving and jet skiing were offered to the adults. But this wasn’t my only pleasant surprise.

When I was on the ship, and on Castaway Cay, I felt (as weird and cliché as it sounds) a sense of peace. I felt as if I was in some sort of different world, and that the worries of my life couldn’t quite reach me. It was a wonderful feeling, and I’m sure one that Disney is aiming to give every guest who happens to sail with them.

All and all, I had a wonderful experience, and would recommend it to anyone, assuming it’s within the budget.

Private Prison Being Sued for “Forced Labor”

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Photo Editing by: Beecher Bruno

Old Prison.jpg

Is It Really A Crime?

While I’m sure you can guess that this isn’t the prison in question, there is a private prison that is currently being sued for forcing its detainees to work. Who are the detainees in the prison? Criminals? While some could call them criminals, they all are illegal immigrants that are facing deportation.

One major question that will have to be answered is whether or not this prison actually is doing something wrong. Under normal circumstances, prisoners lose all their rights as citizens, excluding basic human rights, and therefore CAN be “forced” to work. So that raises another question: were the people in the “detention center” technically prisoners?

It’s unclear at the moment what the answer to this question is, but the course of action taken by the courts will probably be determined by its answer. If they were prisoners, then the detention center did nothing wrong. If they weren’t then there will probably be some fines for the prison, and maybe even a few changes in the privately run prison system.


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