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E.T.’s Home Found in New Mexico

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via Yahoo

In September 1983, it was reported a mass burial of unsold Atari consoles and video games occurred in a New Mexico landfill. The game most associated with this event was the much-maligned Atari 2600 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. For over three decades many believed this to be an urban legend. However today, April 26, 2014, this burial was uncovered.

Based on the critically acclaimed 1982 movie of the same name, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial game is reported to have only sold 1.5 million copies despite a production of approximately 5 million copies. To make matters worse, many consumers returned the game citing general dissatisfaction with repetitive gameplay and poor graphics. Many observers have cited this game as one of the direct causes of the North American video game crash of 1983. To this day the game is regarded as one of the worst, if not the worst video game ever made.

Nonetheless a year ago Alamogordo, New Mexico officials approved an evacuation of the landfill. Then 2 weeks ago Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios and a documentary team began putting the plans in motion. Finally this morning was the moment of truth. Lo and behold, the landfill was indeed found and suddenly I have a craving for some Reese’s Pieces.

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The Madness Begins – SDSU Wins in OT

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Image via UT San Diego

It’s better to win ugly than to lose gracefully. Fortunately, the fourth-seeded San Diego State University Aztecs went with the prior.

SDSU had built a 14-point lead early in the second half; however, the 13th-seeded New Mexico State Aggies came charging back after a 14-4 run. With 16.9 seconds left, the usually reliable senior guard Xavier Thames mishandled the inbounds pass which eventually led to New Mexico State’s Kevin Aronis making the clutch 3-pointer and tying up the score 60-60 at the end of regulation. It was the fourth overtime game on the first full day of the NCAA Tournament.

However, in the end SDSU was victorious outscoring New Mexico 13-9 in OT. Up next the Aztecs face the North Dakota State Bison who beat the Oklahoma Sooners in overtime earlier in the day. Tip-off is at 3:10 p.m. PT on TNT. The Bison are a team best known for their offense averaging a nation-best 50.9 percent from the field. Nonetheless, I Believe…

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How I Met ‘How I Met Your Mother’

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Image via Entertainment Weekly

In the summer of 2005 I began seeing promos for a new comedy coming to CBS with the tagline ‘A Love Story in Reverse.’ Instantly I recognized a few of the actors and actresses: “Hey she’s from Buffy! Hey he’s from Freaks and Geeks! Hey it’s Doogie!” On September 19, 2005 I (and the rest of America) was introduced to ‘How I Met Your Mother‘.

The show had me at “Have you met Ted?” Actually, it had me the moment I heard Bob Saget’s narration. See, one of my favorite shows ever is ‘The Wonder Years‘. And HIMYM is essentially a modern take on that. Both shows have an unreliable narrator, an exceptional soundtrack, and a girl that was never meant to be “the one”. But unlike ‘The Wonder Years‘, we are told at the end of episode 1 that the woman our narrator is aching for is not his destiny.

Still, that first episode quickly cemented my infatuation with this show. I adored all of the characters and was fascinated with its unique storytelling. In fact, only one other series has ever knocked me out right out of the gate like HIMYM did (see: ‘Arrested Development‘). Nearly every episode from that first season of HIMYM was one I either could relate to or was inspired by. Whether it be drinking far too much and proceeding to make ill-advised phone calls resulting in strange encounters the next morning (‘The Pineapple Incident’), always striving to get great stories out of an evening with a friend (‘Sweet Taste of Liberty’), or throwing a last minute party in hopes that a certain someone stops by (‘Purple Giraffe’)…(don’t tell my parents), I could see myself in Ted Mosby.

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Image via HIMYM Info

One particular moment that stands out for me is from the episode ‘Okay Awesome’. In this episode Future Ted declares, “Clubs weren’t awesome. Clubs weren’t even okay. Clubs sucked.” Later on in the episode Ted admits to Marshall, “The problem is you can’t do any of that couples stuff unless you have someone to do it with. And the only way I’m gonna find that someone is by going out and doing stupid singles stuff with Barney!” I shared those exact sentiments all those years ago. Because while going out and participating in stupid singles stuff on the weekend was indeed good times, it wasn’t what I wanted to do every weekend. Ted’s words have always stuck with me because at the time the show seemed to be the only thing that understood how I felt.

Actually, there are a lot of moments from that first season that still stick with me. Aside from what I’ve already mentioned, another scene that’s preserved in my own personal television registry is the ending of the episode ‘Drumroll, Please’. It’s an episode that showcases everything I enjoy about romantic comedies. I can recall jumping up and shouting “Yes!” as Ted walked into Victoria’s bakery. That perfect moment of bliss provided me with this sense of optimism that I’d one day live out that scene in reality. There’s also that moment in the ‘Slutty Pumpkin’ when Ted and Robin are sitting on the rooftop when Nada Surf’sInside of Love‘ begins playing; perfectly capturing their individual dilemmas. Speaking of great music, ‘Barney’s Get Psyched Mix’ from ‘The Limo’ is a true highlight. Another Barney highlight that stands out is from ‘Game Night’ where we learn how the man went from giving “high-twos” to “high-fives” and are treated to an epic “Suit Up!” sequence. Then there are the equally as epic episodes ‘Nothing Good Happens After 2 A.M.’ and the season one finale ‘Come On’. Seriously, how good is this season? Come on!

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Image via How I Met Your Mother Wiki

However, watching HIMYM then was a bit of solitary experience. I just didn’t know more than one other person who watched it. Back then it was still very much considered a “bubble show”, on the verge of cancellation at any moment. So after the first season ended I made it a point to pick up the DVD and tell everyone I knew about the show. I remember one particular night I had thrown a get together at my place. It was around midnight and I had decided to go to bed. Still, I told those who were still around that they could hang out for as long as they wanted. They asked me what DVDs I had and I recommended they check out HIMYM. They agreed and I went to bed. Several hours later, despite it already being morning, they were still watching! To this day every time I hear about someone who hasn’t watched HIMYM I offer my Season 1 DVD.

Fortunately the show eventually overcame its “bubble” status conundrum and became a bona fide hit. In these past 9 years we’ve hypothesized ‘The Olive Theory’, held ‘Interventions‘, followed ‘The Platinum Rule‘, diagramed ‘The Hot/Crazy Scale‘, kicked out a naked man 1 out of 3 times, shouted “Woo!”, abided by ‘The Lemon Law‘, saluted “General Consensus“, walked 500 miles, donned a ducky tie, gone on a ‘Two-Minute Date‘, built sandcastles, dressed up as a hanging chad, examined ‘The Bro Code‘, and pulled off the greatest play of them all – ‘The Robin‘.

At the time of this writing there are only 2 episodes left. Still, throughout this final season we’ve been given glimpses of Ted’s future with his wife and those scenes have been nothing short of awesome. Actually, this final chapter of HIMYM reminds me of the first chapter of the movie ‘Up‘. We meet this wonderful woman yet unexpectedly we find our moments with her fleeting. Nonetheless, no matter how this show ends, I am content. Victoria, Stella, Blah Blah, Cindy, Zoey, Robin, etc. – all of these failures were merely Ted’s training grounds for true love. And though it’s finally coming to a close, this journey we’ve been on to meet the woman with the yellow umbrella whom Ted achieves his happy ending with has undoubtedly been Legen-wait for it

Jonathan’s Top 5 Episodes of HIMYM by Season

Season 1
1. The Pineapple Incident
2. Drumroll, Please
3. Game Night
4. The Slutty Pumpkin
5. Okay Awesome
Honorable Mention: Pilot, Purple Giraffe, Sweet Taste of Liberty, Return of the Shirt, The Limo, Life Among the Gorillas, Nothing Good Happens After 2.A.M., Mary the Paralegal, Best Prom Ever, Milk, Come On (I think I’ve made my feelings about this season pretty clear)

Season 2
1. Slap Bet
2. Swarley
3. Single Stamina
4. Arrivederci, Fiero
5. Something Borrowed
Honorable Mention: Ted Mosby: Architect

Season 3
1. No Tomorrow
2. How I Met Everyone Else
3. Sandcastles in the Sand
4. Ten Sessions
5. Slapsgiving
Honorable Mention: Wait For It, The Platinum Rule, Third Wheel, Everything Must Go, Spoiler Alert, Miracles (okay this too was just a really good season)

Season 4
1. The Front Porch
2. The Naked Man
3. Three Days of Snow
4. Murtaugh
5. Benefits
Honorable Mention: Right Place Right Time

Season 5
1. Girls Versus Suits
2. The Playbook
3. Say Cheese
4. Robin 101
5. Definitions
Honorable Mention: The Rough Patch

Season 6
1. Last Words
2. Hopeless
3. Blitzgiving
4. The Mermaid Theory
5. Glitter
Honorable Mention: Natural History

Season 7
1. Symphony of Illumination
2. The Burning Beekeeper
3. Ducky Tie
4. Tailgate
5. Tick Tick Tick
Honorable Mention: Trilogy Time

Season 8
1. The Final Page (Part 1 and 2)
2. The Bro Mitzvah
3. P.S. I Love You
4. Band or DJ?
5. The Time Travelers
Honorable Mention: Something New

Season 9 (does not include final 2 episodes)
1. How Your Mother Met Me
2. Vesuvius
3. The Lighthouse
4. Unpause
5. Bass Player Wanted
Honorable Mention: Gary Blauman

Florendo Fact: I named my first dog Teddy Mosby

Hi— I’m Ted Mosby. In exactly 45 days from now you and I are going to meet and we’re going to fall in love and we’re going to get married and we’re going to have 2 kids and we’re going to love them and each other so much. All that is 45 days away, but I’m here now I guess because… I want those extra 45 days with you. I want each one of them. Look and if I can’t have them I’ll take the 45 seconds before your boyfriend shows up and punches me in the face, because… I love you. I’m always gonna love you, til the end of my days and beyond. You’ll see.

-Dary.

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SSB X The Dirty Gentlemen

Soon, Strawberry Scented Burnout will be facing off against our dear friends, The Dirty Gentlemen. We will be honoring the ancient tradition of “Dodgeball” The sport in which two teams of human beings stand across from each other in death defying competition, sending a red rubber sphere hurling back and fourth over an invisible divider, precariously running and dodging, until one sad mortal makes a mistake and causes their existence to be meaningless by allowing the ball to touch a part of their body. These are the moments that try men’s souls. If you’re reading this, consider this your invitation to join the war. I will be captaining our growing SSB army against Ivan and Andrews forces. Join the fight!

dodge_ball_650x300_a01_1012(Image Via:Retro Land)

Check out the latest podcast from the Dirty Gentlemen featuring ME. Stay tuned to both of our YouTube pages and blogs for more details. Comment on the post or contact me on FB, IG, or Twitter if you’re interested in joining our free agent pool. Check the video below and subscribe to the channel! please do it, I’ll love you forever.

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My Favorite NES Soundtrack

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via ChuchMag

The very first console I ever owned was a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). I was 4 1/2 years old then and the 1980’s were coming to an end. But my lifelong affection for the sights and sounds of this 8-bit machine were only beginning.

Now before I even had an NES to call my own, I had already been exposed to the console thanks to my cousins. Whenever I would go to their house I’d watch them play Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. Because of that, the “Overworld” and “Underground” themes were as much as lullabies to me as say “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or “Hush, Little Baby”.

But it wasn’t until a year into playing the NES did my taste in games begin to really progress. And so at this point in my life, I would frequent the local Blockbuster nearly every Friday evening and rent a new game. One of those games was Mega Man 2.

Mega Man 2 is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable, addicting, and frustrating games I’ve ever played. I can recall staying up all night Friday to play, writing down the code after defeating a boss on my college ruled line paper, and finally going to bed around 1 a.m. On Saturday I’d wake up around 10 a.m., watch some Fox Kids, and begin the cycle all over again until I had to return the game Sunday (dat 2 nights, 3 days policy doe).

What made Mega Man 2 such a special game, however, was not only the exceptional non-linear gameplay, but also the soundtrack. From the moment you turn on the game (after 3 rounds of blowing into the cartridge), the opening title screen music immediately takes you into the year 200X. It begins as this hauntingly melodic piece until 43 seconds in when that synthesizer slide strikes and the tempo is suddenly turned up to 11.

Then there’s the moment you select what stage you want to play. The boss select theme itself is simply unforgettable and maybe my favorite 8 seconds in all of 8-bit.

Furthermore, the actual stage music is incredible. Each stage theme reflects its respective boss perfects. For example, Flashman’s music compliments the blinking lights of the stage while Heatman’s theme captures the hectic pace one has to endure as they hop their way through the level. Then there’s the beauty that is Dr Wily’s stage theme:

The Mega Man 2 soundtrack is an instant chiptune classic. And it’s an integral element that makes Mega Man 2 truly an 8-bit masterpiece. On a personal note, it was one of the first times in my life where melodies really had an effect on me. To this day, melody is the most important factor in determining what songs I enjoy. And that’s all thanks to the NES.

 

Honorable soundtrack mentions (and totally underrated Action/RPG games):

Crystalis

 

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

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Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1 Review

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via darkhorse.com

“I am a leaf on the wind…Watch how I soar.”

Those were the words of Hoban Washburne just moments before he (SPOILERS) met his demise in the film Serenity. They also serve as the inspiration for the title of the newest Serenity miniseries “Leaves on the Wind”. And while it’s been 9 years since the release of Serenity, the story itself begins just 9 months after the events of the film.

Whenever these comic book continuations of previous film/television franchises happen (e.g. Ghostbusters, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files), my biggest fear is that the tone and feel of the characters/settings will change. Yet although it’s a different Whedon (Zack) handling the scripting duties, none of the charm of the original television series or film has gone away. Furthermore, Captain Malcolm Reynolds, his crew, and the isolation of the 03-K64-Firefly class ship are all captured adequately by Georges Jeanty’s (who is fresh off from illustrating Buffy Seasons 8 and 9). 

After reading this issue though I couldn’t help but feel bittersweet about it. I know the stigma is that all Joss Whedon shows start off slow. The first dozen episodes of Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are evidence of that. But Firefly was different. Firefly was special. The 2 hour pilot episode is one of the best pilots I had ever seen. Frankly speaking, it should have lasted at least the 7 years Joss Whedon had originally envisioned. It deserved a better promotional campaign and to be aired in the intended order sequence. Nevertheless it was canceled after only 14 episodes. Fortunately, we got a fantastic film in Serenity and that quote from Wash. And now we have this miniseries. I can’t wait to see how this story soars.

4.5/5 – SHINY

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CM Punk: Best in the World…at Walking Out?

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WWE /  via http://cmpunk.com/

On Monday, January 28th CM Punk took his ball and went home.  The longest reigning WWE Champion of the modern era is no longer with the company he wanted to make “cool” again just 3 years prior. While there has be no official confirmation as to why Punk quit, the main reasons making the dirtsheet rounds have been the injuries he’s been dealing with , that he’s burnt out from the road, and his placement on the upcoming Wrestlemania 30 card where he would have squared off against Triple H. TMZ is going as far as reporting that Punk is specifically upset with the fact Batista (who just returned to the WWE two weeks ago after a four year hiatus) won the Royal Rumble and is already going on to main event Wrestlemania despite not being in wrestling shape.

Below is an excerpt from a 2011 interview CM Punk gave to WWE Magazine just a few short months after he almost left the company the first time:

This anger with your job has been festering for a while. Was there one moment backstage when you felt you’d had enough?

“I can name one off the top of my head. How about main-eventing a pay-per-view as the World Heavyweight Champion against Undertaker and then, a few months later, being in a dark match against R-Truth at WWE TLC? That’s pretty ignorant in my mind. This is the problem. We do this too many times to too many Superstars. It’s a startstop kind of thing. The company likes to spotlight certain people. Like, “This week, Kofi’s cool,” and then, the next week, “We changed our minds we like Dolph this week.” It flip-flops back and forth ad nauseam, and the next thing you know, the people couldn’t give a crap about either guy.”

Given the current state of WWE where the company refuses to push its biggest organically made superstar Daniel Bryan; where the “starstop kind of thing” mentioned above still has not changed; and where the man who was WWE Champion for 434 days was passed over in consecutive years so we could see the twice in a lifetime match-up between The Rock and John Cena, it’s difficult to argue against Punk choosing to part ways with his employer.

In fact this situation bares some similarities to the infamous incident in 2002 when Stone Cold Steve Austin walked out on WWE due to creative differences. Specifically, Austin was opposed to the idea of losing cleanly to then newcomer Brock Lesnar on a free and unadvertised edition of Monday Night Raw. Austin felt that after all he had given to the company and his main event status at the time that it was a bad business decision. And so Austin told Vince McMahon on the telephone that if that was the plan he would not be showing up to Raw. When McMahon didn’t budge Austin flew back home to San Antonio.

12 years later, however, Austin stated on Chris Jericho’s podcast that that incident remains his biggest regret in his Hall of Fame career. In retrospect, Austin says that he would have flown to Raw that night and spoken to McMahon face to face to deal with the issues at hand. Furthermore Austin stated, “It was stupid, Chris, because you have to own up to some responsibility and accountability and show up. Honor your deal. You’re packed with the boys and your job. So I should have showed up like a man, come up with a solution. Could have been a different solution, could have been just don’t even do the match, but show up and talk to Vince face to face, solve the problem in some way or fashion, and get through it like a grown man.”

This brings us back to the current situation with CM Punk. Whether you agree with what Punk did or not, the man is contractually obligated to remain in WWE until July of this year. Instead he told his boss he was “going home” just 2 months before the biggest show of the year.  He is disappointing his peers and, more importantly, his fans with this decision. Personally speaking, I was genuinely looking forward to seeing WWE live in 2 weeks because it was my first chance to see him wrestle since the Match of the Year contest he had against Brock Lesnar last year at Summerslam.

Overall, I too am frustrated with the current WWE product. And I’ve certainly been frustrated with Punk’s placement on the card since losing the WWE Championship to The Rock one year ago. And while he hasn’t necessarily been “buried”, I don’t believe he’s been given the main event opportunities he deserves. I truly feel no one in wrestling is as good as Punk as he is collectively on the mic and in the ring.

However, unless there’s a legitimate health reason for walking out, the fact of the matter is that Punk quit on his employer, he quit on the men and women in the locker room, and he quit on the WWE Universe. Nonetheless, here’s hoping that the “Best in the World” returns sooner rather than later to do his job and to prove why he’s earned that moniker.

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Ms. Marvel #1 Review

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via Marvel.com

Ms. Marvel #1, written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Adrian Alphona, is an outstanding debut issue. Featuring Marvel’s first Muslim lead character in an ongoing series, we are introduced to 16 year old super heroine in the making Kamala Khan. A clever and spirited young woman, it’s evident from the first panel that Kamala is simply trying to figure out her place in the 616 world. And in that sense, her story is a universal one. In fact, Kamala’s longing for a more adventurous life reminds me of a boy from a galaxy far far away.

However, as common as the desire to party with the popular kids and eat pork products is to most American youth, the fact that Kamala isn’t allowed to consume on said pork products is what makes the 4th iteration of Ms. Marvel unique. Still, while her heritage does play a significant role, it’s never a hindrance to the overall plot. Kamala’s dilemmas with her culture and her desire to not be restricted by its rules are extremely relatable. Personally speaking, as the son of immigrants from the Philippines and who at the age of 5 would cry to his mommy wishing he were blue-eyed and blonde, the opportunity to read and identify with a minority female character is refreshing. My hope is that kids and young adults, of all genders and ethnicities, read this series finding comfort in the diversity presented them.

In conclusion this was a very entertaining read.The support characters all have personalities and aren’t mere filler background players. The plot moves briskly, the dialogue is snappy, and the art is lovely. Sure there aren’t any action sequences to fawn over but not every issue needs to include a kick or punch. Nearly everything one could want from a modern day first issue is in this comic.

4/5 – Marvelous

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BACK AGAIN.

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Back from the depths like a laced out, custom built Cousteau submarine. Let’s just pick up and kick back where we left off like a Three Ninjas reunion and proceed to spread all the glorious funk for which we were once known…There comes a time for growth, there comes a time for change, and there comes a time to completely smack the world over the head with something no one saw coming. You guys have been the loyal faithful and the dedicated followers. It’s high time that we return the love and provide you guys with an outlet like none other. Begin to consider yourself well read, Be excited my brethren!

We hope you all have been well. Despite neglecting my duties on this here particular forum like the football god’s neglect the San Diego Chargers, Ryan Mathews to play a complete season, I Haven’t been sitting on my hands or partaking in absolute nonsense. It’s been a long and involved road, and for some strange reason, I thought that after joining SSB, I would somehow magically become less busy. Of course the complete opposite of that has occurred. The whole drive to hop on the horse here and get to business has been seriously lacking, but I will say that we are NOT going to give up on blogging. The new experience we will be a new inspiration to really take this whole form to a new plateau which inherently will result in us actually wanting to do posts multiple times a day