Tuesday, January 24, 2006

review of Halo 2 Hacks in [here]

a review of Halo 2 Hacks (by Andre Barriault) has appeared in Canada's [here] magazine. [here] publishes a weekly gaming column, so they're obviously ahead of the curve when it comes to the entertainment scene. most of the media still hasn't accepted that many people spend more time playing games than watching movies.

coincidently, I just spent a few months in New Brunswick - where [here] magazine is published. I won't be back for a while so it's unlikely that I'll manage to get a hard copy of the review. if anyone reading this happens to know someone there, feel free to send me one :P

Thursday, January 19, 2006

UFC: hughes vs. gracie

I haven't blogged about the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the past, but Monday's announcement was unique. Joyce Gracie will return to the UFC in may. and as if that isn't enough, he will be facing welterweight champion Matt Hughes.

Joyce Gracie won three of the first five UFCs and is one of the few members of the UFC hall of fame. to a diehard UFC fan, the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu expert is Muhammad Ali, Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan and John Elway all rolled into one. almost single-handed, Gracie introduced North America to the art of Gracie Jujitsu (a.k.a. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, grappling, submission wrestling or ground fighting). at the announcement of his return, Gracie was asked if he was proud of his contribution to the UFC. a wide grin swept across his face. "this is my house," he said, "I built it."

so the question on every UFC fan's mind is can the 39 year-old Gracie defeat the 32 year-old champion? when Hughes was asked if Gracie was behind the times, his answer was blunt: "yes."

some argue that Gracie is not a modern mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter; he relies heavily on his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expertise. not surprisingly, none of Gracie's victories have been by knockout. while it's true that Hughes relies heavily upon his background as an NCAA wrestler, he trains with the highly respected Miletich MMA team. Hughes can fight on the ground, but he can also strike from his feet. Although it’s only fair to point out that Hughes is a ground and pound fighter—he generally doesn’t knock people out either.

if Hughes decides to stand up throughout the fight, Gracie will have the reach advantage (he is 6'1" and Hughes is 5'8"), but will he be able to use it? in his UFC days, the only strike that Gracie regularly employed was a heel kick to the kidney. he used the kick to distract a grounded opponent - not to end the fight. ironically, this strike has subsequently been outlawed in the UFC rules.

it seems almost a certainty that Gracie will try to pull Hughes down into his Jiu-Jitsu 'guard.' if you want to see a demonstration of Gracie's strategy, check out his Price FC match against Sakuraba (Royce Gracie vs. Kazushi Sakuraba is available on Google video (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2140115612669031119&q=royce+gracie). in the fight, Gracie was not able to get Sakuraba to the ground without taking significant damage.

so what if Gracie is able to get Hughes to the ground, what will happen on the mat? contrary to what some MMA fans have posted on forums, I don't believe that Gracie is "in a completely different league on the ground." I don't write this because I lack respect for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - quite the opposite is true. Gracie inspired me to start training in Jujitsu. I believe that Hughes can roll with Gracie—in MMA—because he is a UFC champion. he is a full-time fighter with tremendous strength and experience. and most importantly, this is not a  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu match or a street fight. Gracie certainly would have a technical advantage in those case.

Gracie is a talented Gracie Jiu-Jitsu pioneer, but this is MMA. he will be the underdog in April. as Hughes said at the fight announcement, the current champion simply has more ways to win.

note: this is my post on why I am a UFC fan

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

marathon on your PC

thanks to the bungie devotees, you can easily download and install marathon. as many mac fans are aware, marathon is the classic FPS that bungie created when Halo was a mere twinkling of a pixel in their collective eye.

everything you need to know about marathon can be found on the bungie forums.

Marathon monster
- ya... I died while taking this cap

Thursday, January 05, 2006

favourite english errors

just for kicks, I thought I'd create a list of my favourite grammatical and vocabulary blunders. it will be my own mini Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

BTW - I don't consider myself a grammar expert, this page is as much for me as anyone. if you find a mistake on my blog, please let me know. note that I use Canadian spelling, I don't obey the rules of capitalization and I avoid the oxford comma.

literally
my top misused word is literally. I heard a famous musician say "I was literally dying on the stage." it is a contradiction to use the word literally when referencing a metaphor.

penultimate
penultimate is not synonymous with ultimate - it means second to last. however, I've heard it used many times when the speaker meant to say ultimate.

fewer vs. less
I just saw a TV ad for a technical college. according to the woman in the ad, she now "works less hours." the scriptwriter should have used fewer instead of "less." according to SparkNotes.com, "If you can’t count it, use less. If you can count it, use fewer."

who vs. whom
I'm not sure that I've got this one down yet. :) according to SparkNotes.com, "Who is a subject pronoun; it is used as the subject of a verb. Whom is an object pronoun; it is never used as the subject of a verb."

basically
it took a non-native English speaker to point this one out to me. the word basically is often used to begin a sentence (or paragraph) that is actually a detailed explanation. the word loses all purpose unless there is something basic that follows.

awhile vs. a while
'awhile' is an adverb, 'a while' is a determiner plus a noun. from www.bartleby.com:

"Lie down awhile, and get some sleep illustrates the adverb, which is spelled as one word. Take a while to get oriented and Lie down for a while, and get some sleep illustrate the determiner a plus the noun it modifies. For many uses, only writing it will distinguish which syntactic structure you use."

example of misuse from www.forbes.com: "It may be that the Petronas Towers keeps the crown for quite awhile."

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

maxconsole.net news

the guys at http://www.maxconsole.net/ have mentioned Halo 2 Hacks in their latest news. they helped with the trainer section of the book and I gave them a quote -- seems like I owe them one.

if you're at all interested in console gaming, then you should visit their site regularly.