Tuesday, March 31, 2009

First screenshot of Madden 10

You are looking at the first screenshot, releasd today on the EA sports blog, of Madden 10. Due this August, the game development is now going full tilt. A few intricacies revealed by this pic that are differences from previous games:
1) Towel in Big Ben's pouch.
2) ON FIELD REFS! Bout time...
3) Chain gang on the side of the field
4) Depth perception from edges of the field to center of play.

According to information leaking, we are supposed to see an improvement called Procedurally generated Animations which means that players will only do certain things when it is appropiate. (CB throws his helmet at the sideline when he gets beat deep for a touchdown.) I liked Madden 2009, and hopefully they continue to improve the game, because Lord knows I will probably get this one too.

Friday, March 27, 2009


UPDATE: Oakwood defeated NCCU in the Championship finals Sunday morning, March 29. They have now won two straight. Congratulations!!!

College Bowl Nationals started today, and my Alma Mater, Oakwood University, are the defending National Champs. We had a great day today, going 7-0 through Round Robin play and all but guaranteeing a spot in the next round. We were dominant, outscoring our 7 opponents 2965-960 (see below). GO OAKWOOD! We play tomorrow night to go to the Final Four/Championship game Sunday morning! Check out all the festivities and stats here.

Oakwood (Hansberry Division):
Xavier03/27/09 9:15 am240 - 210W1133145
Lincoln - MO03/27/09 10:30 am535 - 115W2020335
Norfolk State03/27/09 11:30 am355 - 255W1312235
Central State03/27/09 1:30 pm590 - 55W2011395
Wiley03/27/09 2:00 pm310 - 135W1215215
Shaw03/27/09 3:30 pm500 - 115W1921315
Albany State03/27/09 4:30 pm435 - 75W1633290

2,965 - 960

Paine College (McCoy Division):

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Check out a cool podcast...

Theo of Theo's mind and real identity as well as Pulp Dogs (I am a contributor) has an entertaining podcast that has been going for a couple of months. He recently had me on as a guest and our conversation was so long it was broken up into 3 parts. We discuss a bunch of topics from the NBA MVP race, to local news and it's deficiencies,  cartoons,  sneakers, and cell phone carriers. Check it out here.

Also, I was very happy this morning to wake up and find out that James White (the greatest dunker in the world) described on this blog numerous times, has signed a MULTI-YEAR deal with the Houston Rockets. Congrats! And now I can't wait until the dunk contest. Transcript of Texts between me and Clifton this morning:

Me: In other news, James White was signed by the rockets for the remainder of the season..one step closer to the dunk contest.


Me: Now THAT I didn't know!! AAAAAHHHHHH! Lebron James James White Nate Robinson dunk contest next year!!

And so forth.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Church stance vs. parishioner life decisions. Do this, even if it kills you?

I was reading this article on CNN concerning the Pope's visit to Africa, specifically Cameroon. The Catholic church has a universal ban on Condoms because they believe sex is for procreation and, along with abortion, condoms are "artificial contraception", a "clear moral prohibition."
This has sparked some anger in Africa, especially in the Sub-Sahara region where AIDS and HIV is more prevalent then anywhere else on Earth. The Pope has repeatedly made statements that : "You can't resolve it (AIDS/HIV) with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem."
I am a bit confused by this statement. Does it increase the problem because it gives people a somewhat false sense of security when having sex that they are completely protected from HIV? Sure, Condoms are only effective ~90% of the time against pregnancy, so it would beg to reason that it would be less then 100% effective at containing and stopping the transmission of AIDS. However, I find it extremely interesting and somewhat disturbing that in an area as hard hit as this, the Pope has not only upheld what he has said previously, but has made the statement that condoms only make it worse? From a religious standpoint, I completely see where the Catholic church is coming from. They preach against not only pre-marital sex, but against contraception because they believe God wants us to procreate, but from a social and scientific perspective, it seems asinine to tell people in the hardest hit portions of the world by AIDS not to protect themselves even if they will probably die from there religious decision? It becomes less about morals and more about self preservation in my opinion. Someone from that region could do everything right, marry a good woman, etc. and still die from having unprotected sex with his wife. In this environment, a person could be a virgin and still be born with HIV, nullifying abstinence's protections for them against AIDS. Sadly, there is little balance on this issue when it comes to the "church", not even including Catholics. These are the standards and morals, and even if they do die from the HIV/AIDS rampaging through the region, they were "living right" and holding to what they believe in. A bigger issue here is that most denominations will keep mum about protecting yourself in situations such as this because as far as they are concerned, parishioners shouldn't be engaging in pre-marital sex to begin with. Abstinence is still the teachings of the day, with little or no adaptation to help or minister to those who have "already taken the plunge." I am honestly conflicted on this personally, because I know the counter argument here is that if the church begins to say "well, you should be abstinent until you are married, but in case you end up having a better prom night then you expected, be sure and wear a condom" the entire strength of message and evangelism falls apart, or at the very least is weakened. The last thing a religious instution or denomination wants to do is show vacillation in where it stands or allow a topic as important as this to be open to interpretation, so they put up the concrete barrier of abstinence and abstinence alone. I honestly don't know how the church should deal with this, and am glad I am not in a position where I am required to figure out a solution, but, I do see, that at the expense of the church standing firm on this, many young people are dying  and suffering due to not being better educated and helped by their church family. These topics should be discussed openly within the church, not brushed under a rug. I would think that in topics such as this, the church would want to put forth Biblical (or extrabiblical counsel) to help the youth in this serious issue within their lives. I strongly feel that in my denomination (SDA) these topics will HAVE to be dealt with, and I have come to the realization that the current generation in power will not be the ones to do it. It will have to be my generation. Thanks for reading.

Monday, March 16, 2009

NBA MVP Race: A 3 horse race in my opinion...

As far as I am concerned, the NBA MVP race at this point in time is between 3 players: Magic 2.0 (Lebron James), Jordan .75 (Wade), and Jordan .88 (Kobe). My scorecard has Bron and Wade as the frontrunners with Kobe a distant third due to his performance this season compared to last year coupled with him winning last year. Wade was behind Lebron in my opinion until about a month ago when he effectively lost his mind and started dropping monster games and carrying the Heat on his back. He might be a better shooter then Lebron James, and certainly is just as capable of taking over a game. So who takes it this year? My vote would probably at this point go to Lebron James because, like Kobe last year, he has his team ready to make a deep playoff run and is a bonnified Championship contender. At the time of this post, the Cavs are 3 games up on Boston in the East and seem to have the pieces (spot up shooters, ballhandlers, competent big men, and a superstar) to make noise and make it to the Finals this year. The league normally gives the MVP to the player it feels will make it out of the first round/make the deepest run in the playoffs. Dirk No-heart-iski is the glaring exemption. Now will the Cavs beat the Lakers? I have my doubts. I think that the Lakers have the pieces and the coaching to knock off the Cavs unless Lebron goes even more superhuman then normal and averages a triple double for the series (something I didn't think I would see in my lifetime.) It would also require that the Lakers absolutely DO NOT show up ready to play, and Kobe reverts to 2004 with his style of play that caught them a loss against the Pistons. I would love to hear who you all are voting for/ supporting for the MVP this year. What's your criteria for MVP? Best player on the best team? or Best player overall in the league?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why? A couple thoughts from the pit of despair.

As I sit and type this, I have just completed a grueling and somewhat devastating exam in Physical Biochemistry. Open book/ open notes, and one of the tougher exams I have had while in grad school. Do you know how frustrating it is to be asked a question that has nothing to do with your notes or is in the appendix of the book? I guess  the only solace I have is that most of the class did not finish the exam, and I was able to complete another portion worth 30 points. I have no idea how I did, and at this point, I am wondering what the underlying reasons I am pursuing a degree are. It's good sometimes to sit back and reevaluate where you are and what you are doing. I came to Grad School because a B.S. in biochemistry in this world economy was worth nearly nothing. I could have gotten a very nice job working in a local lab in Alabama, but my ceiling would have been 60 K or so. Good money, right? I want more, though. I want to be able to be completely comfortable in providing for not only my family with my wife, but also my parents. And 60K isn't going to do it. Shoot, I want to buy a Lexus LS460 when I have the means, and that would take over half of my yearly salary at the lab! I'm thinking 115-120 K would do me nicely. A nice size house, nice car, and a flatscreen with league pass. (I'm not picky!). But is money the only driving force for why I chose the outwardly dumb decision of coming to grad school? No. The learning and life lessons I am enjoying here far exceed what I expected. I am surrounded by people who are here simply because they love to learn. Imagine that! In elementary and middle school, you were there whether you wanted to or not. In grad school, your classmates are people who made the conscious decision to put themselves through academic hell while receiving meager paychecks to learn and place themselves in the position that they would be able to stop being acceptors of knowledge (K-16) and start being CREATORS. Once you have your research degree, you begin to create knowledge. It is an absolutely mind boggling thought. When you are published (Shout outs to Theo!!) you are in essence, creating things that people now will study and learn about that maybe they didn't know before. Your work might end up in a text book studied by kids in Middle or High School who don't want to be there! Awesome! Now if only I could pass this class.....