Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I wish I was this lucky....

I had to talk about this since I'm such a Civil War buff....

A farmer in Pennsylvania found a Civil War medal while tilling a turnip field. The medal, valued at about $1000, apparently belonged to a soldier who lived in the area. The farmer gave it to his mother, who in turn wanted to turn it in to the wife of the soldier's grandson, who died a few years ago. So far, the woman hasn't been able to attend the church she and the farmer's mother attend, so the current plans are to donate it to a local veterans' museum.

I'm not sure what I would do if I was in such a situation. I would probably try to donate it to some museum or another where all could see it, but the thought of having it reurned to its rightful owners is too much to resist.

Like I said, it's just too bad I can't turn up stuff like this when I'm gardening.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Folks, don't pay to pray. I cannot emphasize this enough.

This isn't about Pokemon, but it needs to be said.

A few weeks back, 3 people died and another 18 were hospitalized due to
heat-related injuries from a misguided sweatlodge ceremony in Sedona,
(a noted hotbed of New Age nuttery). The perpetrator? None other
than James Arthur Ray, proponent of "The Secret" and Oprah Winfrey's
favorite guru. A homicide investigation has been set up, and I hope Ray
gets a long prison sentence for this.

64 people paid Ray several grand (yes, up to 10,000 bucks apiece!) to
engage in a number of cult-like activities that included fasting for 36
hours, going out in the desert with no food or water, and pigging out on
a big breakfast before cramming into a so-called "sweatlodge" made from
plastic and heavy blankets

This is wrong on so many levels.

Simply put, white guys like Ray shouldn't dabble in Native Amercian
traditions. Now I'm about as white as they come, but I've known quite a
few Native Americans over the years, including a very talented one (whos
is unfortunately in college in Orlando now) who went to my Pokemon
League for a long time. All of them would say that what Ray did was
bastardize the most sacred elements of some of their cultures.

Now, I've done some research on legitimate sites, and there are numerous
differences between what real Native American elders do vs. what New Age
"plastic shamans" like Ray practice. Needless to say, the differences are striking.
Here are just a few ezamples:

Real Native elders don't go around the world trying to preach love and
peace to everyone; they stay on the reservations, where they are most
needed by their people.

Real Natives don't charge money for their ceremonies. A symbolic
offering (usually tobacco or blankets but varies from tribe to tribe) is
offered in exchange for an elder's services. Sometimes donations to
cover the cost of food, gas, or the like may be requested, but never the
exorbitant prices that "plastic shamans" ask for.

Real Native elders don't take elements from other cultures (this
includes other Native American tribes) and mix it with their own. Native
American religions are highly culture- and tribe-specific: a ceremony in
one culture would lose most of its context if performed outside the
culture. They're also highly proprietary: oftentimes, non-Natives are
not even allowed to participate, let alone stand and watch.

I could go on and on about this, but I'll let sites like
http://www.newagefraud.org/ do the really detailed talking. We white people
should look to our own cultures' ceremonies and find something
enlightening in them before horking others' cultures, especially from
peoples as downtrodden as the Native Americans. We've taken too much
from them over the past 500 years; can't we at least leave something of
theirs for themselves?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Toys 'R' Us Arceus Giveaway in November!

Attention, Pokemon Trainers! This is the moment you've all been waiting for!

Arceus will be available for download at Toys 'R' Us stores across the US from November 7-15, 2009! All you need is your DS and your copy of Pokemon Diamond, Pearl or Platinum. This is a very special Arceus, which will open up the Shinto Ruins in Heart Gold/Soul Silver (available April 2010 in the US) when traded to those games. Once there, Arceus will give you a Dialga, Palkia or Giratina (your choice) to call your own.

This is going to be a very special giveaway, so don't miss it!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Japanese HeartGold/SoulSilver Set Scans on Pokebeach!

The Pokebeach has all the scans of the Japanese HeartGold/SoulSilver TCG set out, and I must say, my initial impression has been favorable. I highly enjoy the art (the evolution items in the card art of the Pokemon that need items to evolve is a very nice touch), especially on the new "Great" and "Legend" Pokemon. Several old Trainer cards have been reprinted (Full Heal, Moo-Moo Milk, Fisherman, a Supporter-ized Bill, and especially Prof. Elm's Training Method and Copycat), and Double Colorless Energy returns after a decade-long absence. I'll post more on the latter's return later.

To see the HeartGold/SoulSilver set in all its glory, click here: ALL ‘LEGEND: HeartGold & SoulSilver Collection’ Scans and Translations

Hope to see this set come February!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Arceus Prereleases Announced!

While the Battle Roads are still raging, the time approaches for a new Prelease! This time, the Platinum Series goes out with a bang with the Platinum: Arceus set! This set centers around Arceus, the "god" of Pokemon, and all the Energy types he can assume. besides Arceus, there are numerous excellent Trainer cards, including some interesting Pokemon Tools, numerous Lv. X's, the usual trio of Shiny Pokemon, and (unlike the previous three sets) only a handful of SP's.

The Prerelease promo card is Raichu (heh, heh) and the card sleeves feature (who else?) Arceus:

The Arceus Prereleases take place on the last two weeks of October. To find one near you, check out http://www.go-pokemon.com/op/premierevents/prereleases/. For set spoilers, go to PokeBeach's list.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Card Game Predicts 9/11. Fnord.

Thanks to Will Walton of The Escapist Blog for finding this choice tidbit of woo!

Some far-out religious site claims the Steve Jackson card game Illuminati predicted the 9/11 attacks. Read about it here if you dare.

As Dave Barry would say, you just can't make stuff like this up.

The guy's also running a pyramid scheme on his site as well. Turning what's supposed to be a house of worship into a den of thieves is despicable. Seeing as he's into fleecing the faithful like that, would you trust the rest of what he says?

It's people like this that give religion a bad name.