Archive for January, 2013

10
Jan
13

Unrestrained Geekery: Darth Vader vs. Magneto

I’ve never made any mystery of the fact I’m a nerd and/or a geek (depending on the circumstances, the subject/topic and the point of view of anyone observing me; I have never, however, ever been a dork…let’s get that straight).

Despite this, I try not to let it hang out too much here, since most readers coming here probably aren’t all that nerdy or nerd-subject-sympathetic. To expound nerdily too often here would kind of be like a porn star whipping out his nine- or ten-inch erect dick frequently—under the right conditions, it makes perfect sense, but in most circumstances, it would just be rude.

However, I broke up violently with Facebook last year, and thus no longer have an account there, so I cannot comment at this thread on Facebook about who would win in a fight between Magneto and Darth Vader. Since I cannot comment there, I will discuss this all-important issue here until I have it out of my system. Feel free to leave now if you wish. If you are a nerd or geek, however, please read on and then respond in the comments.

Darth Vader vs. Magneto

General characteristics of the combatants:

Magneto – Control over magnetism. Can lift and manipulate ferrous metals and objects containing significant concentrations of ferrous metals. Has a helmet that blocks psychic powers. He’s a genius, strategically and scientifically. Has incorporated metal fibers in costume so that he can levitate and fly.

Darth Vader – Control over the dark side of the Force allows him to employ telekinesis, read surface thoughts and emotions of others, increase strength and agility, employ limited precognition, mentally influence the actions of others at times and possibly generate “Force lightning.” Also, very skilled in hand-to-hand combat, particularly with the lightsaber.
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Analysis of combat scenarios:

Much was made in the Facebook thread I linked to above about how much of Darth Vader’s body is cybernetic…that he is “more machine now than man” as Obi-Wan Kenobi put it. I think that’s probably overstating the state of his body and might be somewhat metaphorical as well, but let’s assume that much of Darth Vader’s body is now metallic, and utilizing steel or some other ferrous metal.

In that case, Darth Vader is at a serious disadvantage. Magneto could literally twist the metallic parts of Vader’s body and cripple or kill him in seconds. Given his powers, Magneto could sense the metal in Vader’s body and know of that vulnerability, whereas Vader would have no way to know of Magneto’s powers. Even if Vader were trying to peer into Magneto’s mind, psychic powers via the Force don’t allow literal mind-reading, and Magneto’s helmet protects him from psychic intrusions.

That said, let’s not forget that before his body parts had to be replaced, Vader (when he was still Anakin Skywalker) survived for quite some time after having both legs severed and falling into molten lava. Likely he was in that predicament for hours before he was rescued by Darth Sidious, and given that ability to endure pain and injury, it is possible that Vader could survive an assault on the metallic parts of his body long enough to telekinetically crush a vital organ in Magento’s body or slice him in half with a lightsaber. Even doing a “force choke” by squeezing Magneto’s windpipe telekinetically would seriously inhibit Magneto’s ability to concentrate and use his magnetic powers.

So, a significant edge goes to Magneto in this scenario, though his victory isn’t assured. Much depends of who attacks first and with how much vigor.

But there are serious flaws with even believing this scenario would be accurate. Why would Vader’s cybernetic body parts have any significant amount of metal or perhaps even any metal at all? Given the use of hyperspace travel, blasters and other high-tech in the Star Wars universe, it seems far more likely that to prevent being weighed down and to provide maximum longevity and flexibility of the cybernetic components, they would be made of polymers, hardened ceramics or even more exotic materials. Even with 21st-century Earth technology, we’re rapidly moving beyond metal in prosthetics and such.  Also, remember that in Star Wars major healing is handled through bacta tanks, which use a healing liquid suspension rather than surgical or medicinal intervention, and lightsabers are based on crystalline technology. The use of exotic materials is widespread.

Also, Darth Vader’s armor (and that of the stormtroopers he commands) is clearly not metallic. This also suggests it is unlikely that his internal parts are metallic. Even his lightsaber probably uses little, if any, metal. Given the size of blaster rifles and the ease with which they are hefted, I suspect they don’t even use metal or use very little.

Yes, droids are metallic, and are often restrained or retrieved magnetically. But that’s a control issue. They are already mechanical, so carrying extra weight and having more rigidity isn’t as much a problem as with a living creature. And in order to move them around easier and to keep them from escaping your control, you’d want them to be manipulable by magnetic forces.

So, Vader probably isn’t metallic. Which means Magneto, in a best-case scenario, can only fling metallic objects at Vader. Vader will, of course, bat them away with the power of the Force or slice them to ribbons with his lightsaber.

Some have suggested that Magneto’s helmet will protect him from Force-choking and other telekinetic attacks, but this is ridiculous. The helmet is designed to block telepathic and mind control powers…things that reach into the psyche (not that the Force could influence his mind directly anyway, as it can only do that to the “weak-minded”). Telekinesis is the physical manipulation of objects with the power of the mind. And even if the helmet kept Vader from using a Force-choke somehow, Vader could drop a ton of debris on Magneto or fling him into a wall until he was pulp. Assuming, of course, he didn’t just slice him in half with the lightsaber. Remember, Vader is going to surpass Magneto for physical strength, endurance, speed and agility thanks to his ability to tap the Force.

So, chances are that Magneto is toast.

02
Jan
13

Keystone Congress

I’m not saying President Barack Obama is doing the best job ever of any recent president in office; however, considering what he inherited, he’s done pretty well, and even in his worst moments he’s more competent by far than George W. Bush administratively and in terms of foreign policy. Point is that I have my beefs at times with the Oval Office, even if one might assume from my liberal leanings that I worship at the altar of Obama.

Still, even when I’m not happy at the direction the president is going (or even the Supreme Court in a lot of recent decisions), the bulk of my ill-will is aimed squarely at the U.S. Congress. This is a body (both houses) that has become bloated, inefficient, corrupt, out of touch and deranged to extremes that I never could have imagined when I started voting back around 1986. To give you a taste of how I feel, how about some of these tweets from me over the past few days:

In other celebrity news, Fiscal Cliff and Debt Ceiling are going to have a child out of wedlock and also have a sex video coming out…

There aren’t enough video games these days that allow you to destroy nations or worlds. Time for a new MMPORPG called “U.S. Congress!”

I don’t have faith in U.S. Congress to pass a healthy turd anymore, much less any meaningful or useful legislation, budgets or anything else

31 Dec

Politicians elected to *serve*. Y’all get benefits most can only dream of. I give not 2 fucks if ya have to give up New Year’s & family time

This is a representative democracy; I’m a bit tired of Congress not actually representing most of its constituency while fellating top few %

Do I have this right? …Senate worked late and hard, and the House said, “Fuck y’all; we’re going to sleep & look at your shit in morning”

…nowwwwwwwwww, you might think I’m a bit cynical, jaded, fed-up, disillusioned and maybe even royally pissed off with the cock-up that is our federal legislature. Nothing could be farther from the…oh, wait, you’d be correct.

And yes, I level most of the blame in the past four years (well, 12, really, but we’ll focus on the worst third of that period) to the Republicans and their “We won’t support anything that could be seen as a victory for Obama, even if it’s actually kind of in our favor and even in line with our party’s philosophy” approach to governing. They’ve been whining, childish bastards willing to play games with the economy and people’s lives just to reclaim the White House and deep-throat corporate America and the uber-rich, and it sickens me. However, that said, the Democrats are just about as much in bed with corporate America as the Republicans, they can’t band together to save their lives, and they seem more than a bit aimless these days.

Basically, the U.S. Congress is kind of like the Keystone Cops from those old black-and-white silent films, where they tripped over each other and bungled everything. Only the Keystone Cops still seem to have it together more than our Keystone Congress does.

So, what do we do about it?

I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what. I’ll copy-paste an email forwarded to me by a family friend recently, because maybe it’s a good start for thinking about answers (no, I don’t know who it originates with, and it’s not my work nor have I even edited any part of what’s below):

Subject: Fw: Warren Buffet – please read…takes 1 minute

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best

quotes about the debt ceiling:

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just
pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more
than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible
for re-election.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds)
took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple!
The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail,
cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year
or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to
a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask
each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will
have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed
around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

1. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no
pay when they’re out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social
Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the
Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into
the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the
American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all
Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and
participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the
American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void
effective 12/31/12. The American people did not make this
contract with Congressmen/women.

Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in
Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their
term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will
only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive
the message. Don’t you think it’s time?

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!

If you agree, pass it on. If not, delete.
You are one of my 20+ – Please keep it going, and thanks




Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley

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Jeff Bouley

To find out more about me professionally, click here. To find out more about me generally, click here.

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You can reach Deacon Blue/Jeff Bouley at deaconbluemail@gmail.com.

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