Will The Hunger Games Become A Classic?

When a book series hits it big it is very hard to tell whether or not it is a passing fad or if it has the driving force to be added to the classic literature canon. It will take years before we can officially dub it something like that. With The Hunger Games trilogy, I see potential.

Given that these books are written for young adults I would like to point out there have been plenty of modern classics readable for youth that target a much wider audience– The Outsiders and To Kill A Mockingbird for example.  These books may not be dystopian but they surely were meant to educate youth about the corruption in society.

The Hunger Games books may be modern but they discuss some serious issues– the increase in media violence, race relations, government corruption, and the frivolity in the education system. While many of these are subplots, they add weight to the validity of the text and its worth in literary culture. They are also more relevant to the younger generation’s experiences than some older novels. They are perfect for classes with literature analysis.

Although it’s too early to tell I think it is safe to say that these books will be remembered by at least those in this century. May the odds be ever in their favor.

 

Are you prepared?

So your boss has asked, “What do you think about becoming the chair of a new department?” Now you could substitute “chair of a new department” with any of many new responsible positions of leadership, such as head of a new division, warehouse supervisor, shift leader, vice president of sales, vice president of marketing or CEO and President of a corporation. The issue is personal and professional development. Just because you want the new position does not mean you are ready to assume the responsibilities and the leadership role. This subject, and much of the content of this article, came from a “Men’s Discipleship Class” at the church I attend. The audience was all men, but the material easily applies to both genders. From a spiritual perspective, the speaking pastor emphasized that promotions come from God, not from your ambition and ability to campaign for a leadership position.

What happens when you are not ready?

So how do you know? There are three events or experiences accompanying the individual assuming a leadership position too early. First, there is an increased likelihood of failure. Do you know what the divorce rate is among married teenagers? It is 75 percent! Three out of every four teenage marriages end in divorce! Why? Neither the man nor the woman is prepared for marriage.

Neither has any, or little, experience providing a steady income, putting the spouse’s needs first, paying bills on time, showing up for work regularly and being dependable for the boss, the spouse and (eventually) the children.  Obviously, this could be a very long list.

Have you ever heard of the 18 year old pitcher for the Texas Rangers in the mid-1970s? He went straight into the major league from high school. His record was outstanding in every category, won/lost record, strikeouts, fielding, earned run average, etc. And the first few games with the Texas Rangers were impressive, with many games won, strikeouts, fielding, etc. And the coach, as well as the fans, were very impressed. However, just a few weeks into the season he injured his arm. Physiologically his arm was not ready. A professional baseball pitcher has to develop his technique, and this teenager did not possess the experience or the physical ability to pitch with regularity in the major leagues. And he was forced to quit.

Second, there are no convictions. To be a good leader one needs time to develop character, meaning time for convictions to develop. I am talking about convictions concerning life, right, wrong, what works and what does not, how to respond to a wide variety of people and personalities, and how to handle difficult circumstances where you do not find the answers in a book or policy manual. Third, there is pride. As the saying goes, “Pride comes before a fall.” Male ego is real;

Third, there is pride. As the saying goes, “Pride comes before a fall.” Male ego is real; and every man has to deal with it. And ladies too must battle pride. Do you have a lack of humility? Do you trust in yourself, or do you ask help from others when needed? Is God a real source of help in your life? Over time, life has a way of forcing humility; and that humility will prepare you for the future. And that often happens following failure after failure after failure. There are many examples of this not only in the Bible but throughout the history of mankind. Especially for Americans, one of the best examples of this is Abraham Lincoln. He lost and failed at numerous political campaigns and other ventures in life, but then became president ofUnited States of America. But life had taught Mr. Lincoln many lessons over time; and he had many convictions about life, right and wrong and how to deal with a wide variety of people and personalities in both his personal life and his political life. And he was quite probably the greatest president this country has ever had.

How to know if you are ready…

Can you ever know if you are ready for that promotion to a leadership position? There are no easy answers. However, here are three character traits, which must be present when you are ready. You Are Patient: Being in a hurry can get you into trouble. Wisdom in timing is also important. Being first is not always the best position.

You Are Patient: Being in a hurry can get you into trouble. Wisdom in timing is also important. Being first is not always the best position.

You Have Been a Subordinate: And you have been one for quite some time. You served under a leader or boss and did your very best to make that leader or boss look good in the eyes of his superiors. (This was the subject of an earlier article.) And you have learned from others, especially that leader or boss.

You Are Not Going to Quit: As the saying goes, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” This is true in life, and it certainly is true in the workplace as you develop your career. What have you done in the past in the face of adversity? Do you struggle through the difficult times when seemingly there are no answers? Or have you repeatedly given up? This is still another signal indicating “… if you are ready.” As always, your comments are most appreciated

As always, your comments are most appreciated.

How to attract luck in gambling?

While any mathematician will tell you that your chances of winning at gambling are pretty much fixed, a popular view has existed as long as gambling has been around that luck, the Gods, pure chance whatever you want to call it plays a big part in your chances of winning or losing.

Lucky charms, personal rituals, invocations to various deities all are believed to help increase the chance of winning. I would have thought that this was the sort of challenge Mythbusters would have taken on, but I don’t recall that episode.

What superstitions or rituals will attract good luck and increase your chances of winning? Here are a few, and a few you should avoid. The Orientals being besotted with gambling provide more than their fair share.

1. Feng Shui. 

The ancient art of Feng Shui is most often though to refer to the household arts, for example keeping your toilet seat lid closed. If left open, your wealth is literally flushed away. But although gambling is discouraged by Feng Shui, there are some caveats.

A typical Feng Shuicaution applied to gambling is not to gamble anywhere near anyone reading a book, don’t sit next to a window or with your back to a door, and ideally sit on the room’s west side. It is believed that having a few grams of sea salt inside your wallet attracts good luck. Ideally you should place the salt inside a plastic bag, then put it in a secret compartment inside your wallet. Remember to change the salt every month

2. Jade.

A man should wear a jade ring on his left pinkie and women on the right pinkie.

3. Chinese Superstitions

a. Do not gamble against a pregnant woman. Gamble with her.

The Chinese believe that pregnant women are “carrying their good fortune inside their belly”. They also believe that they have an extra pair of “eyes”. So pregnant women are said to bring good luck to gamblers. Just have one standing behind, but not touching you.

b. Do not go to the toilet when on a winning streak. To the Chinese water is money and to lose personal water is literally flushing away money.

4. Some Western Superstitions

a. Wear your best clothes to a casino

b. Blow on the dice before rolling

c. Carry a horseshoe, rabbits foot or four leafed clover.

d. Keep a genuine badger’s tooth in your left hand trouser pocket.

e. Wearing something red.

f. Crossing your legs while gambling

g. The Norse believed that acorns brought good luck. Real acorns or those made of gold, silver or wood are all good.

5. Indian gamblers believe that Lakshmi’s mystic knot brings good luck.

6. And then we have Wicca. Ancient Druidic spells can bring forth gambling success, but I doubt many casinos would look too kindly on the ceremonies needed to invoke the spells.

7. Personal rituals.

Many people believe that there is a magic ritual which if performed before going to the casino will guarantee increased good luck. Perhaps it is the same meal eaten before the last big win, perhaps a lucky totem to be carried, perhaps a special garment to be worn. Anyway, bad luck will follow if the ritual is not followed to the letter.

While there is no conclusive evidence that any of the rituals or superstitions actually increase your luck, it is, I guess human nature to try to swing the game your way a wee bit. Just look at the dice table in any casino. The players usually all come together to support whoever is winning, seeing the casino as the great enemy to be bested.

The bottom line is that you make your own luck.

 

Blogger’s Choice: Painters Guild Review

Please Read: Alpha demo

I want to address something about the ALPHA demo. As I’ve mentioned, for me, the alpha demo did not drag on because I was forced to multitask, however, it may drag on a bit for some and, considering that the demo so far only has the basic mechanics of the game, it can get repetitive as well, but please do remember its an alpha demo, so I hope you won’t rush to conclusion that that is everything the game has to offer because that would be false, as you can clearly see not just from the features section of this review, but from the game’s recent indiedb update as well (pic below).

Taken from the game’s indiedb page. Shows the recently implemented hiring mechanic

Interview with The Developer

What inspired you to make this game?

-My inspirations are history and art. I am an art history student (masters degree) and I enjoy this subject a lot.

Was it hard to replicate the famous works of art in your game as pixelated versions of themselves?

– No. I have years of experience in replicating famous paintings digitally, I like studying the old masters. It is easier for me to copy something than to make something original. I usually make digital paintings, though, not pixel art. But pixel art makes it even easier that is why it is the game’s art style, it is easy and fast to make. As a solo developer, efficiency is important. If I spend too much time on art I won’t have time to code.

Is this a one man team, if so, what are the hardest parts about developing the game so far?

– I am pretty much alone, my friend Morvan is making the music and I am making everything else. The hardest part right now is finding motivation. When I was aiming towards getting greenlit I had plenty, but now it seems to have faded away. I still force myself to work on the game daily, but I have not been making the absurd amount of progress that I was making before.

Blogger’s Choice: Painters Guild Review

Upcoming Features

The following was taken directly from the website

-Play from 1400 to 1650 in Sandbox mode with infinite replayability.

-Hire new artists, both procedurally generated and historical: Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio as well as female artists such as Sofonisba Anguissola and Artemisia Gentileschi.

-Customize your guild with furniture, wallpapers, floors, decorations and more.

-Form relationships and romances, both heterosexual and homosexual.

-Paint in different Renaissance art styles: Chiaroscuro, Sfumato, Cangiante, Unione and Tenebroso.

-See more painting sizes and visual diversity.

-Listen to new great songs by Morvan, our soundtrack composer.

-Craft items like paint brushes, canvases and colors.

Side-Note: CARAVAGGIO! One of my most favorite painter. This guy is one interesting dude and talented artist. Seriously, check him out. There is even murder in his background muhahaha

Final Verdict

I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed the game and how much multitasking I had to do considering it is still in alpha stage AND did not even have many of the features that is going to be in it upon release. From the pixel versions of the famous works of art, to the little history related mails you receive that affects your prestige just like how it would in real life, I enjoyed them all. I would highly recommend this game for sure and eagerly await the final product when all of the planned features are implemented and ready for action. Plus, cmon! If you think about it, this game may very well be the first of its kind. And when I say kind, I mean a hybrid of history, art, and management/simulation game. Honestly speaking, I try to get as much Renaissance games as I can. I wish a Baroque one will pop up somewhere (if anyone knows anything let me know!).

Stay tuned for the interview with the developer in the next post! I really hope you like this review so far! Love you guys

Blogger’s Choice:Painters Guild Review

Now, the desks aren’t chopped liver either, they also play an important role. They increase the painters skills and speed, so if you have one painter who’s just lollygagging with nothing to do, I highly advise you to drag his lazy gluteus maximus onto the desk. You really need speed with the higher difficulty paintings because they are timed, so even if they are well rested, but they are lagging, it is no bueno.

Desks also plays an important role. Especially when you need to finish higher difficulty paintings fast

The picture below shows the painters stats.

 

Displays everything you need to know about the painters.

  • My only gripe with this game: This is why/how I was forced to be a multitasker, clicking and dragging all over the place~

Painters energy bar

Unless I drag the painters onto the sofas/couches, I wouldn’t know how much their energy bars had depleted, so I have to do a lot of estimating. Or worst, they’d already be asleep, and that little chair in the beginning of the game takes a bit of time refilling the energy bar back up, resulting in customers angrily stalking off. As more customers started coming in with their high difficulty demands, I had to be clicking and dragging the painters from the paintings, to the sofas/couches, and when I have an opening, the desk, one after the other. Sometimes I’m forced to split the work between the painters and have them paint the big ones alone rather than together when I am pressed for time. This is usually because one of them is working too slow due to tiredness that I did not notice due to the lack of visible energy bar (unless they are sitting on the couch/sofa). Meaning, I had to make them paint as much as they can, get the most tired to rest, then drag the newly restored painter to the painting that is mostly done, then move the other tired painter onto the couch/sofa, get that one rested, then drag his pixel butt onto the mostly done big painting with the other painter so that they can finish it together and move onto the next halfway done painting. Yeah and this is why I never felt that the game dragged on at all. Coz I be all over the place.