Reading Fantasy – What books should you start with?

So, are you looking to get into fantasy, or at least do a little exploration of this massive genre? In the video below, I go over some books that I think are a great place to start. I tried to curate the list to include titles that are diverse in terms of setting and style, so if one doesn’t appeal to you another might, and I did my best to talk about titles that are accessible for a wide audience and don’t require you to already have a large amount of experience in the genre to understand. This list, for…

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Katana: The Ultimate Sword?

Most people in the west have heard stories of the incredible cutting power and durability of the Katana, a symbol of Japan through two of its feudal periods. Some people can even tell about how their grandfather in World War II had the barrel of his rifle cut in half by a Japanese soldier with a Katana. Movies, anime, and video games put the sword front and center as something more than a melee weapon – it is simultaneously a warrior totem and the apex of swords. In many ways it is the image of the samurai, before all else.…

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Should I Vote for a Third Party in 2016?

Should I vote 3rd party in 2016?   The following is not for those of you who are already deeply entrenched in standard party politics. I know there are groups of people who would vote for Hillary Clinton’s dead corpse swinging from the gallows for treason before they would vote for ANY republican, and I would be willing to bet there are plenty of Republicans who do the same for a Bush.   This is for those of you, like me, that feel or felt disenfranchised by the American political system with its hegemonic parties whose positions seem to be…

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How Design a Book Cover: Copying a Best-Seller in Inkscape (video)

Every wonder what goes into a modern book cover? In the video below you can watch me go through every step, from blank document to finished product, to create a modern book cover using only stock photography, Inkscape (a free vector and object program), and a little know-how. I demonstrate this by copying the design of the cover for Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss, a best-selling fantasy epic that uses a standard photographic book cover. In essence, most modern book covers are composed of several photographs that are blended together to create the image of a scene or location, and…

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Conversation: Pro-drug, but certainly not pro-reason


The conversation on the left is a recent one, the one on the right is one I found from awhile back. I do so love the irony of when somebody tells me to “educate myself” whilst being incomprehensible and showing themselves incapable of using 4th grade grammar. You can’t make this kind of stuff up. A few more notes:

  1. the post on the bottom left is the original second-to-last post on the left. I guess he revised it, not realizing I have a record of the original.
  2. I guess this guy hates me and wants me to die. Not bad considering he has never met me and (I believe) didn’t even watch the video these comments are present on.
  3. “No you educate you’re dumb fucking mind.” Gaze into the abyss.
  4. “video games are evil, heavy metal is evil…” Hard to know if this is an attack on things I like or sarcasm with the assumption that I don’t like those things. Clearly, written communication and rational thought are not this person’s forte.

You can watch the video (a little reflection of mine) here:

There is No Such Thing as a Bleeding Heart Liberal

Love of the poor. Care for the infirm. An infinite metric of the empathy of one human to another. And yet, not.   The term “bleeding heart liberal” gets thrown around from time to time, as often as not from the “bleeding hearts” themselves, but it represents nothing of the position of the American left. The belief in government assistance programs, and their targeting of the “underprivileged” in America seems to imply an excess of empathy. That excess of empathy is derided by the right and worn as a badge of honor by the left. The reality, however, is that…

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The Slave Morality of Socialism

Socialism is that idea that if you steal and murder enough, equality will emerge. It is an utter sacrifice of the means to the end. On the surface, this seems like consequentialism at its worst, but even a cursory glance of history reveals that this is not the case. This is because 100 years of socialism have yielded tangible consequences, and they are horrific. Not only are the process costs immense, some 100 million dead due to socialism and communism in the last century as a conservative estimate, but the ends of equality and social justice that would justify the…

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My Pool is a Swamp!

Lessons in Social Endorsements and Services So this week was interesting. I went out to my pool on Sunday, hoping to do a little swimming since it was 100 degrees (and I have a foot injury that makes running a bit difficult at the moment), and saw that my pool had turned green, and was just short of the opacity of pea soup. I went down to the water, frustration burning my throat like the first drag on a clove cigarette, and retrieved my chlorine floater. Not a tab or pellet was to be seen. I dusted off my test…

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