Wednesday, August 30, 2006

TPL all over again

If anyone remembers the PokéLab, you'll recall that it fell apart after the promise of a site with little posting etiquette and, in effect, consistency of administration. It seems that a site is starting to take a little ride along the same road: In the wake of Blue Mew and a few others being banned in connection with a spam threat, a new site has been formed.

Unfortunately, the accusation of being communists that the admins made to PKMN.NET instantly turned the place into a rough conception of that. The Delibird now says 'Everyone is equal but Delibird is more equal than others', the only member rank is 'Proletarian' (a rank Karl Marx didn't like!), and the members have taken titles such as 'Comrade'. To blast Salamence's Lair for inadvertently promting this, I drew up a post for them to read; I wonder if it's still there as they removed a threat made by Jeroen.

This is ridiculous.

I remember being part of a coalition similar to yours more than a year ago and have seen it fail spectacularly because of internal problems, i.e. the administrators, including myself, tried to separate from PKMN.NET and found a site based on hatred of Jeroen and laxity when it came to the appropriateness of content and copyright issues. Having recovered from such an act, I can only expect an issue such as this just to fizzle out in less than a year.

From what I gather, this arose from Blue Mew and a gang of spammers delivering a threat to the administration to try to seize control of the site by spamming and encouraging havoc. Believe me when I say this: We tried it before and it blew up in our faces, so spamming will get you nowhere if you want to establish a point, let alone a reputation for yourselves. It's nothing more than feces to clean off the cement, not a technical problem — this seems to be the delusion under which you all have been labouring.

Now to call PKMN.NET a group of communists was not only completely unequivocal, but exactly what James was waiting for. You've seen the user ranks and names change to reflect it. They're not declaring any kind of war. They're taunting you. They're taunting you because you evidently can't think of a way to bring your case to them without acting abberantly and thus are making yourselves just look stupid. This abberation is also evident in your deletion of Jeroen's threat and is compounded by hypocrisy resulting from removing William1's post for 'offensive material'. Honestly, I thought lessons were learned after the PokéLab, the site I was part of, fell apart for the very same reasons. Obviously, they haven't.

Unless you all can get over this enmity and renounce your position against us — honestly, as a member of PKMN.NET, I seem to be enjoying the changes made to the forums as a result of your comments, ha! — we're all just going to point at you and cry 'Look at those idiots trying to look cool by making a baseless stand against Jeroen!'. Take it from someone who's gone down the same road you have and crashed on uneven pavement.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Mike and John

Two headlines today.


Our Manchester-loving and Chelsea-hating admin at PKMN.NET has finally attained to the age of seventeen. For three years he has waxed his power by using blunt logic, point-blank reality, and the nerve to say what's on his mind to overpower those that tread across PUK to wreak havoc (unfortunately, I was one of them long ago).

À la James: Happy birthday, Mickey!


Further to my previous post about the JonBenét Ramsey murder, it seems that the DNA found in Ramsey's underwear did not produce a match to Karr This means that Karr will not be charged after all, and it'll probably be another ten years before something else comes up, if Patsy didn't do it. (On the other hand, I heard from a co-worker that the parents moved the corpse away from the scene of the murder and refused to bit a medical examiner entry until the court forced them to. Perhaps this means another conspiracy theory?) However, he's going to stand charges in California for possession of child pornography. As a guy wanting attention and fleeing those charges to Honduras and Thailand in the first place, it's not even a decent consolation prize for him. It goes to show that some people not only want their fifteen minutes, but some of them will use very little of their brain to achieve it....

Friday, August 25, 2006

John and JonBenét

It's possible for any huge event worthy of scowling at, such as the attack on the World Trade Centre, the anthrax mailings, and the JonBenét Ramsey murder to be looked at from a point of view that seems wildly off tangent. It's been this way for about a hundred years now, probably starting from the propaganda that the sinking of the USS Maine was an attack by the Spanish. These days, though, anything we talk about has a sceptic in the works. This isn't at the scale of believing Dumbledore to be secretly alive, but to the scale of something that's been dragging on for nearly a decade.

Namely, I'm talking about Ramsey.

The story begins on 25 December 1996 in Boulder, Colorado. Not long earlier, according to reports, Ramsey had been told by Santa Claus that he'd swing back 'round for another encounter with her family once his gift round was done. Whether this Santa did really come back becomes the question the following morning, when a ransom note is found where JonBenét would normally be sleeping amid her many plushes. The note suggests that she had been abducted and the author was looking for $118,000 from John Ramsey, JonBenét's father. A few hours later, JonBenét is found dead of asphyxiation. The Boulder police start the investigation clumsily and refuse help from the state police or even the FBI, but do so horrible a job that the case is left open and JonBenét's parents have to endure the agony of accusation and moves from their home to avoid publicity.

This would go on for about nine years. Then, on 10 June, Patsy Ramsey, JonBenét's mother, dies of ovarian cancer. Exactly two months later, an arrest is announced in Bangkok — John Karr, a schoolteacher with a long rap sheet for child abuse and former husband to two women he wed as teenagers, had turned himself in out of the blue, admitting that he had killed the girl but maintained that it was accidental. This raised questions within my store — did he really do it? Did he want to kidnap her but not kill her? These questions are still being asked as Karr enjoys a governor's meal on a business-class extradition flight to Colorado.

Cue the conspiracy theories, the first of many, and one that at least is my own: He had probably said that he did it just to put the case to rest at his own expense, a brave deed but not one worth universal respect. Surprisingly, though, there is no mention of the murder at all in this week's National Enquirer, whilst the other tabloids blubber on about Marilyn Monroe and John F Kennedy. and from what I can see no-one has come out with a Google Video detailing the possible cause of the six-year-old girl's death. But it will happen, no matter how long it sinks in. Take, for example, the World Trade Centre. A group came out with a series of movies under the title 'Loose Change', stating with evidence how the attacks could really be a feint pulled off by the government to bring cause for invading the Middle East.

Getting back to Ramsey, I have set up a few theories that I bet will land on pages in the tabloids or Internet documentaries:

  1. The Santa that promised Ramsey a return to the house could either be Karr or, as the note suggested, some sort of extremist out to snooker the public. If Karr were the Santa, though, he'd have to make his entry into the home apparent — there was no evidence of a break-in.
  2. Karr could have intended to kill Ramsey and penned the note to throw investigators off. The note contained numerous misspellings, indicative of the author possibly being the extremist described therein ('we represent a small foreign faction; we respect your bussiness [sic] but not the country it represents'). It also had a signature that some experts say matches a note he sent to a college friend later on.
  3. Karr could have tried to sodomise and abduct Ramsey, as could be seen that she was sexually abused at death, and tried to restrain her as he shuffled out but unintentionally garroted her and left her to die where she was.
  4. Patsy could have provided a front for Karr as long as she remained alive. While she took the heat from the police and caused the investigation to stall, Karr would be able to get away and conduct possibly more crimes. Patsy's death, then, could have been the sign that it was all over.
  5. Patsy could have committed the murder but Karr could have wanted to give investigators what they wanted by turning himself in.
Start counting down the days until the Enquirer starts taking these theories into their own hands. I daresay I've provided a rudimentary list to start off — come next year it'll have grown to about fifty.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. What? That's All?

Yes it is, folks. Pluto has been declassified as a planet today.

The International Astronomical Union set forth the definition of a true planet today in order to clear up the dispute over whether Pluto was not a planet or it and about fourteen others, thirteen of which do not even have names, were planets as well. Looking at the article, the IAU declared that a planet must be a sphere and have a gravitational force of its own by rotation — no problem there, it's a sphere and has three moons, Charon and two unnamed. It also declared that it must orbit around a star — no hitch. However, there was a new qualification that automatically ruled out Pluto: It was possible for it to collide with another planet, in this case Neptune, by intersecting its orbit. Despite the length of time before this could happen — presumably more than 30 million years in the future if Neptune takes 160 years to orbit the Sun and Pluto takes 250. Thus, Pluto was banished to the dwarf planet rank along with the other Trans-Neptunian bodies, reducing the number of planets to eight.

Or, of course, that's how it's expected to be for the time being. This decision, if left to stand, would invalidate any science book printed after 1930, when Pluto's status as a planet was confirmed. With this at hand, the debate is likely to rage on, with a loophole possibly added in order to let Pluto stay and those beyond it remain at dwarf rank. At least I hope so. For one thing, the word planet was first used to describe something orbiting a star (it comes from the Greek for 'wanderer'), and to me this new class of dwarf planets should still constitute planets. Let the IAU set aside the other eight as correct planets, let Pluto and the ones to be found beyond it be another subset. But to me, they are all planets, as they spin, are spherical, and orbit the Sun. To me this new clause of being able to stay out of the path of another planet is ridiculous as it was so recently conceived (as far as about two days) and could rob us of a story on the cover of the New York Times titled 'Neptune and Pluto Collide, Both Planets Explode Into Dust', just like those old science fiction movies.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Okay, I screwed up yet again.

I'd been under the impression that non-graphic smilies were some sort of redundancy, but as far as MSN conversations go, as demonstrated in this field test with Lily, those of you who actually have me registered will experience the feeling that I may not be who you think I am.

Lily says:
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Lily says:
Was Nami-chan on today? o.o
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Not to my knowledge.
Lily says:
'kay, thanks~
! by the wya
Your way with almost like a male version of namine O.O
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Lily says:
keep typing~
What about CWWWWW?
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Nothing. *innocent look*
Lily says:
Not working for ya.
XD tell!
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
No, I just found it funny.
Lily says:
Can I ask why? =P
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Nah, just made me chuckle, nothing much ado.
Lily says:
I'll think of more nicknames for you in the future.
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Okay, okay, it was because it sounded as if we were married.
Lily says:
That left me laughing irl
What about CW-chan? XD
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Yeh, that'
ll do....
Lily says:
Be happy.
Be h a p p y
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
*laughs with head hooked down*
Lily says:
You always sound so formal.
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Oh, sorry....*remorseful look*
Lily says:
Speaking of formal,
your blog
descibing the usage of tilde..
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
What's so funny?
Lily says:
I never knew someone could actually explain it that way. XD
Usually we take it for given, y'know?
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Yeah, we sure do. XD
Lily says:
y-you typed XD.
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
...I did? O.o
Lily says:
XD! yayayay
you typed XD
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Thought I'd try something new.
Lily says:
I think that's really cool~
if only I can make nami-chan do the same.
she never typed anything more than ._. and ^-^ suddenly went silent
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Lily says:
you typed ._.!!!
*HUG* 8D
<33 awesome
XD and ._.
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Oh, lord, I'm chuckling at this.
Lily says:
XD and ._., CW-chan
How could we like, NOT celebrate? 8D
Why chuckle?
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
No, no, I just find it funny.
Lily says:
Well, CW
pretty soon
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
How you rejoice at me using something other than 'o.o' and a tongue smiley.
Lily says:
I'll have you typing 8D and ;D and ;3 and ;< and all those Lilyish smilies.
welcome to the life of pair ups. ;D
You disappeared again ;_;
I'm very
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
No, no, still here. ^^
Lily says:
attention seeking to-
Who are you and what have you done with CW? >=D
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
No, no, this is the real CW here. XD
Lily says:
You typed
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
Lily says:
I think we've accomplished a lot, wouldn't you agree?
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
I only typed those to make you happy. ^^;
Lily says:
Everyone does that, nowadays!
Do it for your own personal gain, not me.
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
I just wanted to see your reaction. Not as if I'd abandon them that quickly, though.
Lily says:
I see..~
You intimidated me at first. o_o;
So formal. >>;; XD
Crystal Walrein — PNG transparency on Internet Explorer 7! says:
This is being blogged. XD
Lily says:

Welcome to the twilight zone, folks. :P

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Okay, I screwed up. MySpace (or Hi5) evidently isn't proficient enough at providing blogging services for a majority of the population that takes the time to record a diary online. At least I knew that for a while.

Rather, the primary generator of creative writing, sordid blogging, and conveyance of emotion seems to be LiveJournal. This blog service, started in 1999 and now a subsidiary of Six Apart (which also produces Movable Type, which is like WordPress), now has become the standard for juveniles on the Pokémon Community and areas around me for producing the kind of text that you'd find in a girl's diary or one of those 'slam books' that cropped up at my school when I was in the sixth grade. It's become so popular that Mad crafts its regular 'Galaxy O' Blogs' section based on a typical LiveJournal page. (Don't thell them I told you.)

Yet is it too popular? As with MySpace, I certainly think so. As proof, I refer you to Erica (Demyx) on PC, who, in response to a blog survey I created, said, 'LiveJournal owns my soul.' (It sure does.) And the resemblances it has to MySpace, when the latter is stripped of the social networking daguerreotype, are quite uncanny. When you post on LiveJournal, you have the option of assigning a mood to it as well as a nifty sprite that renders that mood just to accentuate the tone of voice. On MySpace, where it's normal to type as if you were text-messaging on your Nokia or Sidekick, a post written with correct spelling and grammar and accompanied with conservatism in photos and text content automatically rips you out of the fold as it fails to effectively convey any mood. And here's something that's been passed down the line for years: friend lists, created on MySpace to gain all access to a profile and those that have added the owner of the profile as a friend, and created on LiveJournal to assemble a separate page dedicated to updates from friends and grant access to journals that are closed to the public.

I'm not going to say that I find that wholly negative. One, I have an account (surprise, surprise, it's crystalwalrein) that I use to keep track of updates from journals I read often and, in the case of those closed to the public, throw content into the open should it relate to me. (Which reminds me, I need to have a word with Virtual Headache about links coming from her blog.) I don't post, but I'm seeing if I can have the Atom feed from this blog pressed into my page there so that I can have a legitimate reason for being there. Two, I find that people that post on LiveJournal have a lot more sense when it comes to spelling, grammar, and emotion — and such traits follow them to any Xanga or MySpace pages they may have. One PC moderator has a decently laid out LiveJournal page and adapted to this style of writing both on her Xanga and MySpace pages, which are laid out in lavender Georgia font on a black background (although it's a colour scheme that I'm not particularly a fan of, the style of writing, especially when put next to her first posts on PC, makes up for it).

Even though it's more likely that you'll find controlled writing on LiveJournal, a few grievous habits go unchecked. They're a common sight on forum posts, but on a blog created with Blogger these things would look severely out of place. The first one is the use of the tilde. Barring its standard orthographic use in the IPA and the Portuguese language as a nasalisation indicator, in Vietnamese it's used to represent a rapid cycle of tone for the vowel; this has obviously carried on to the point where a standalone tilde, which is now a swung dash, is placed at the end of a sentence to indicate a trailing off of voice ('days go by~'). It sounds pretty, but when you're blogging, it's a lot better to use an ellipsis, even if your tone is swinging; strictly speaking, the swung dash is never to be used as a punctuation mark. The second is emoticon usage. I tolerate smilies in chats and forum posts, albeit the only non-graphic smilies I'll ever use are 'O.o' (shock, and semicolons can represent sweat, which augments the level of shock) and, very rarely, 'XD' (breathless laughter; the amount of D's is extended as per the length or intensity of the person's reaction to the response). However, you are not to use them when you're blogging; the people at the typography house or printing company making books hate to see glyphs being used to create makeshift faces, and time has proven that it's never going to make it to the printed page or, for that matter, a correct blog.

So what does this make LiveJournal out to be? Forum posts. You have the use of smilies and swung dashes, although posts are a lot more educated that the stuff you see on the typical MySpace page. And I happen to like forums; otherwise, I wouldn't be moderating two major ones. So I say keep LiveJournal and blog away as much as you like on it; after all, it's a lot better than a web page that usually is made with horrible colour choices and littered with ostentatious photographs. And it's been around four years longer than that particular collection of photographs and horrible colour choices has.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Cloning glitch

Back in the day when Ruby and Sapphire were still new, it was proven that you could not clone Pokémon as you could in Gold, Silver, and Crystal. However, it recently surfaced, thanks to a person named Poketaz (albeit a member, so that site's eaten its lunch), that it is now possible to clone in Emerald.

  1. Go to the Battle Tower in the Battle Frontier. Go to the PC and save your progress.
  2. Deposit the Pokémon you wish to clone in an empty box by selecting Deposit Pokémon.
  3. Log out and save again. Now access the PC again and withdraw the Pokémon you deposited.
  4. Without saving, go over to the attendant hosting the Link Multi Battle tournament (the one farthest right). Confirm that you want to challenge and select your two Pokémon.
  5. When the attendant says she needs to save the game, respond 'Yes'. The game will freeze for two seconds. Once the game starts running again, turn off your Game Boy Advance and then turn it on again. Do NOT save the game at this point.
  6. The Pokémon you deposited and withdrew will appear in both your party and the PC.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Board of Biffo

I suppose those that are close to James are aware of his blog and a circle of friends that he evidently is part of, The Board of Biffo. (Paul, the leader of this circle, has a blog here.) As usual, James usually gets the word out about my blog and usually is quick to comment on it for 'Office-type humour', but this time, in a thread that started as asking for the link to a blog and eventually culminated in the contest to see who can come up with the worst blog, he entered mine. The board requires you to log in, so for the pleasure of your viewing I give you the posts in response to James' entry:

James: This blog [link to my blog]. [quotes from Tales of the Arcade I, Interrogation, Yet Another Youth Summit, and Another Youth Summit] It's all real.
[posts follow]
Wayward: Jesus, that's terrifying. [two quotes from Yet Another Youth Summit] Has anyone read the book 'A Confederacy of Dunces'? It really reminds me of that.
Ssslithe: . . . So far, Psythor [James] is winning.
The added infamy of being possibly the worst blog ever — attacks on SPP notwithstanding — has nevertheless garnered a few more hits as you can see from the Extreme Tracking reports. It may seem harsh, but the fact that I'm being recognised for bad posts but have not been regarded as someone at the level of Jerry Springer (remember, they haven't read the SPP posts yet) is at least a comfort. Fortunately, they'll probably appreciate my effort to thank them for giving me such a noble award.

Update: They have — they read this post and deemed it enough for James to win the competition.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Two new PUK?!

Nearly two years ago James officially stated that, in response to a response to Venusaur Tamer's sister saying 'make me an admin else I'll sue you!', there would be no further promotions to administrator rank. All the while, though, we had Rex (Terry is his real name, sshhh!) (also a moderator at the Sky Temple) asserting authority over PUK as far as the forums went; at that time he was still a global moderator. At that time Phil (Irrevilent) controlled the Miscellaneous boards, but in a few months he became a global moderator himself. And six months ago, they were both promoted to the title of 'staff member', or the equivalent of the Pokémon Community Assistant Admin.

Today, though, we see James has told a lie after all. Both are now 'senior staff members' — basically the equivalent of Staff Administrators on the Pokémon Community. Both now have the power to go ahead into the main site and wreak havoc with the main site (administrative positions mean FTP access) should they suddenly feel a tingle of resentment. Of course, they'd never have been given the position if Jeroen didn't trust them with it.

Now to count down until Lorelei joins them.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Exit objectives

On 1 March 2006, a referendum on teams and clams was demanded as spam increased in every thread. The question was raised as to whether the Team and Clan forums were even necessary. When protests from regular users swamped calls for the removal of the board, a member's mention of a team purpose idea made it to my mind:

Exactly SGX, many people would be gone, including myself there, I rarely go to any Video Games board to tell you the truth. Also, people need somewhere to talk about other things, not only the so called "team purpose" because if that is the whole point of a team, why don't you allow teams to go back to the Video Games Board, I mean, they are specialized in that, aren't they??

I may have misinterpreted this, but in three days it culminated in the institution of a new rule that called for mission objectives. The idea was that having a valid mission objective, such as assisting new members around the forum, assisting in moderation, organising petitions, and arranging community events would drastically improve the quality of posts in the forum. Over time, though, resentment boiled until late last week, when a group called ~La Revolution~ used the petition objective to launch a campaign for the removal of the purposes. This morning Rich announced that, although the rule was intended to reduce spam, its unpopularity was grounds for abolition.

Looking back on the rule, though, there were a lot of problems with it that made it hard to enforce and eventually completely undermined it, rendering it a superficial burden. Forstly, I vigourously concocted and promoted this rule mainly because of the hatred I had for teams from the get-go; everyone wanted something to be done about the board without it being scrapped on the spot, but I reasoned back then that it would be better to institute a policy that would, at optimum performance, eventually destroy interest in the board and render it useless. What a stupid idea that was — what ended up happening was that people lost interest due to the sanction, which I had aimed for, but there ensued a longing for the good old days (old PC, anyone? I talked to old PC members about this).

Another issue was the ability to enforce the rule. For someone who's probably the only one given the power to ensure that purposes were adhered to, whilst other mods just checked to see if there was a valid purpose in the first post, and is at work with the rest of the forum and had a full-time job and schoolwork, keeping tabs on teams to ensure that the goal was being worked for didn't just seem impossible, it was impossible. The rule ended up being ignored once the forms had been filled out; it was an empty rule. Then we had the 'member assistance' effect: The purpose that teams found the most convenient to use was — you guessed it — member assistance. The purpose was just to provide a buffer for members that were caught up in a mod situation on the forums, but it was now being used for nothing; members new to the forum would naturally join up and the identity of a team was enough to be individual identity at their stage of life, which rendered the member assistance purpose useless altogether.

Two things, therefore, leave me awestruck. The first was, as I stated above, how blind I was to the possible consequences of instituting such a policy. The other is how long it took for dissent to build up to the point where Rich felt compelled to remove it himself. Then again, there are a lot of things he's done in order to make the forum run like a democracy — such as moderator applications.*

* The old PC, as I recently learned, had the same thing. Of course, it didn't take long for that to get out of hand.