Zombieland: giggly gruesomeness

The season of horror movies is officially here, and what better way to start the gorefest of October than with some zombie bashing like what you would find in “Zombieland”? While the number of zombie films has fallen in the last few years (replaced by movies like the millionth “Saw” and anything with vampires), this film shows all the promise of reigniting the fresh-eating frenzy all over again, even if it is with kicks and giggles.

I have never been one for horror/comedies, but I could not pass this one up. There was something about it that compelled me to see it. And it was totally worth it.

Plot Summary

The story starts with Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a multi-phobic, shy college student giving a monologue of his survival rules and a brief history of the apocalypse. The story is as follows:

OnLive: the future of gaming…or not

OnLive is being billed as the future of video gaming. To explain Onlive is sort of difficult. It works via the principle of cloud processing. Cloud processing is where the majority of the processing and the work that would normally be associated with something like playing a video game or running a CPU-intensive program is done in a remote location and the results are streamed back to you.

Onlive plans to use cloud processing to run video games and then stream the video content back to the individual’s computer or OnLive console. The idea behind this is that it would eliminate the need to constantly buy games. Instead, one would sign up to a subscription service, allowing them access to the Onlive system. From there, they would be able to purchase licencing for games stored on the Onlive servers. No more waiting to receive a game disk or even download and install it. Also, there would be the entire death of the whole console-wars concept, since what would be updating would be the massive amounts of servers that would be required to run this system.

Onlive often-times seems as though it is going to run purely upon voodoo magic. Many of the designers’ concepts and ideals seem rather unrealistic. One of the major claims that the makers of Onlive are claiming is that Onlive will eliminate lag all together. While that seems like a great idea, how will there not be lag when the video stream on which you are playing is streamed to you from a central server somewhere? Another one of the company’s strange and somewhat premature claims involves claiming to have a massive community when the system has just entered beta.

Most recently, Onlive got a huge shot in the arm as far as its finances were concerned. It looked as though the Onlive project was going to be a pipe dream lacking serious capital to help support the massive amounts of servers required to for the system to work as proposed. The sudden addition of sponsorship by AT&T is making people look again at Onlive’s somewhat outrageous claims. Perhaps there is more to it than a company just trying to drum up business.

While this concept seems rather ideal at the time being, it may be harder to take off in the gamer community that still looks somewhat wearily at the latest and greatest concepts of motion-capture gaming. To them, this will just seem like one more abrupt change for the game community, a change that will take more of the material aspect of games away. However, there is something to be said about being able to hold a game in your hands and know that you own it. That will ultimately be lost by this streaming gaming concept.

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October baseball, who will prevail?

Well it’s that time again! The NFL season is four games in, the NHL season is underway, and soon the NBA season will be too. There’s also less recognized sports, such as Major League Soccer. The WNBA is also currently in the midst of their final series. October has got to be the busiest month for the athletic world, and there’s one sport that the country eyes the most: baseball. The battle is on between the best teams in MLB to decide who will travel to the World Series. This year should include some tough matches between some pretty tough teams.

First let’s look at the American League, which makes up three of the teams competing in the playoffs this year. Surely this come as no surprise. We have the New York Yankees, who finished their regular season with the best record in MLB, 103/59. Right behind the Yankees we have the Boston Red Sox, who finished with the same record they did last year, 95/67. The third team competing in the playoffs is the L.A. Angels, who hold the second best record in the majors, 97/65. Finally, the fourth team competing in the American league is the Minnesota Twins, who won their one-game playoff for first place against the Detroit Tigers, 6-5 in extra innings, to secure their spot in the playoffs this year. The Twins fell 1-0 last year in a one-game playoff against the Chicago White Sox, and will surely be looking to prove themselves this year now that they’ve been granted a second chance. The Twins, however, are the only team in the major leagues who are traveling to the playoffs with less than 90 wins.

So our matches in the American league will pit the Red Sox against the Angels and the Twins against the Yankees. The New York Yankees have been pretty dominant so far this year, hitting home runs in nearly every game they’ve played. They have some pretty hot players. Unless the Twins really step up their game, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to overcome the Yankees, especially when New York will have the home field advantage. Our other contest pits the Red Sox against the Angels. It is the fifth time in a row that the Red Sox have been to the playoffs. The Red Sox are 12-1 against the Angels in the post-season and defeated the Angels 3 games to 1 last year, even though the Angels finished their season last year with the best record in MLB, 100 wins and 62 losses. The Red Sox have a history of being pretty dominant over the Angels in the off-season, but this match will surely be a tough one. Boston is looking to maintain their record, and the Angels are looking for some payback. It’s a matchup you won’t want to miss.

Now we turn to the National League, and unlike the American League, the National League is much less predictable. However, there are several familiar teams in the playoffs this year. The L.A. Dodgers for one, who have had quite a commanding season this year with the help of Manny Ramierez, who used to play for the Red Sox last year until they traded him. The Dodgers this year finished 95/67, which is the best record in the National League. Right behind the Dodgers are last year’s world champion, the Philadelphia Phillies, who finished their season this year with a record of 93/ 69. Then there’s the Colorodo Rockies, who finished this year 92/70, and we all remember what happened to the Rockies back in 2007, who fell 4 games to 0 to the Red Sox in the world series. They may be coming into the playoffs this year with something to prove. Finally, we have the St. Louis Cardinals, who finished their season with a record of 91/71.

So, while this is an educated guess. The World Series this year seems to favor the Yankees and the Dodgers. New York has been pretty dominant for most of the year and holds the best record in the major league. They’ll also be granted the home field advantage all the way through the playoffs. That’s usually something that a good team doesn’t let go to waste. As for the Dodgers, well, they do have a pretty good hitter. Ramierez has over 500 home runs and they’ve held the best record in the National League all year long. They also stunned everyone last year when they defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-0 in the opening round of the playoffs before they fell to the eventual world champion, Philidelphia. So they could very well be coming into the playoffs this year to pick up where they left off and carry it all the way. Who will be the team to prevail in the 2009 World Series? The stakes are high, and every team is in it for their own reasons. Let the madness of October baseball begin!

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Video From: aotmfilms on Youtube

Flo Rida visits Radford!

Radford is usually a quiet little town in Virginia. Provided, Radford definitely has its moments, like when the Highlanders won the Big South NCAA Basketball Tournament and traveled out to the NCAA tournament last year. There’s always Quadfest, which rolls around every year. Well, now Radford University will play host to one of the biggest events in the state. At the Dedmon Center on Saturday, October 17, Flo Rida will be performing live. It’s an event that if you’re a Radford student who’s really into modern music you won’t want to miss.

The first thing to understand about this guy is that he is a rapper. So if you don’t like rap, this may or may not be the concert for you. However, you may want to consider attending anyway, due to how many people will probably be in the crowd. It’ll be a good chance to meet new people and you can say you went to the concert that some of your friends at home may be jealous of. Ask any of your friends if they’ve ever heard of Flo Rida, and it’s almost certain that they have.

Flo Rida has had several big recent hits. His first single was the song “Low” featuring T-Pain, which was very successful when it was released. Other hits he had that were released include “In the Ayer”, “Elevator”, and one of the most successful songs, “Right Round”. All of these hits are songs you can expect to hear on October 17. If they’re songs you remember singing along with or dancing to, you’ll want to make sure you get a ticket to this concert. Tickets for students are $20 and $25 for everyone else. While they’re currently still on sale at the Hurlburt Student Center, there’s a good chance they’ll run out quickly if you wait too long. If tickets are still available, they’ll be on sale on the night of the concert, but waiting that long would be unwise if you’re able to obtain tickets at an earlier time.

Two of Flo Rida’s most well known albums include “Mail on Sunday” and the more recent “R.O.O.T.S.”, which are albums that many students at Radford probably own. If you’re considering going to the concert but are unsure of whether or not you’ll enjoy it and have never really listened to any Flo Rida songs before, you may want to borrow one of these CDs from a friend and see if you like any of the songs.

This concert is undoubtedly going to be one of the biggest events in Radford this year, and it’s not something you’ll want to miss if you’re an R.U. student. There are probably many young people around the state right now who are jealous that Radford is getting the chance to host an event like this. Tickets are still on sale so take advantage of being able to say you were there because odds are you won’t end up regretting it!

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Video from: blacktreemedia on Youtube

Google Chrome: Both an OS and a Web browser

Late last year Google unveiled Google Chrome. Rumors were abound about it being some sort of operating system (OS) to give Microsoft Windows a run for its money. At the time, people and rumor-mongers alike could not have been further from the truth. What Google instead unveiled was a simplified web browser called Google Chrome. It was a sleek, simple browser that loaded pages faster and more accurately than most of its counter-parts. It included tabbed browsing along with a pallet page which showed the user’s most frequently visited sites. That was about it as far as Google Chrome was concerned… Or was it?

Earlier this year, rumors once more abounded about a new OS from Google, though many thought it was in reference to Google’s Android OS, something they had come out with for mobile devices earlier in the year. Once more, the name Google Chrome was tossed about and the rumors eventually died down. Then in July, Google made an official announcement about the Google Chrome OS.

The Google Chrome OS will not be like another OS in current existence, it will be an OS targeted to light-weight, low-powered netbooks. Instead of focusing on the processing power of the OS, it is more concerned with getting people online as fast as possible. The OS itself works like some sort of sped-up web browser, ideally allowing someone to connect online within seconds of loading up their computer. Google also made it clear that security would be a major part of their emphasis for the new OS, trying to make it as virus and spyware-proof as possible. Google has claimed that much like the browser, the OS will be simple and sleek. Will this be on the market for desktops and laptops? Probably not, though netbooks could certainly use something like this.

Google Chrome OS could cause a stir in the netbook market, as the tiny laptops are often bogged down by cumbersome Vista or Mac’s OSX. The two major OS eat up a fair amount of the tiny netbooks’ hard drive and a decent amount of its ram, slowing down what should be a fast little machine. One can always go open-source and find a simple and clean Linux-based OS, assuming you can figure out how to run it. The Google Chrome OS promises to be open-source, meaning it will be more or less free. Combine that with the promise of a sleek, simple interface and it could cause series trouble for its competitors in the netbook market. Google states that the OS could be found in some netbooks as early as the second half of next year, leaving one more thing for those who love all things “google” to look forward to.

Google Chrome OS preview

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A massacre to horror films everywhere: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

In essence, the title of this article is about the best way to describe the movie, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. This movie has almost no noticable positive aspects. It wasn’t scary, it wasn’t very suspenseful, the acting in the movie was extremely shitty and the pattern of events in the movie allowed the viewer to easily predict pretty much everything to happen next through the entire movie. Provided, many different versions of the movie have been made, so maybe one of them is scary, but not the version that I saw. Even if you’ve never seen a horror movie before in your life, you could sit down and watch this movie and it probably wouldn’t really scare you one bit.

In the movie, five teenagers, or college students (the movie doesn’t specify), are on a roadtrip. They pick up a strange man who’s walking on the side of the road and offer him a ride. The man turns out to be completely insane, and when he attacks the characters with a knife, they immediatly stop and kick him out of the car. The man leaves a strange mark on their car with his own blood as they drive off. The teenagers stop at a gas station a little bit further down the road, and discover that the gas station has no gas, and the owner tells them to come back the next day. They drive over to an old house and decide to stay there. As they end up finding out, the man who owns the house just next door is a psycho maniac who kills people with his chainsaw and one by one as they visit his house, be picks them off until Sally, the only one of the five teenagers left alive, is forced to run from this killer when he’s eliminated the rest of her friends. Sally ends up uncovering a conspiricy going on between this killer, the owner of the gas station, and the strange man they picked up on the road, and she’s forced to fight for her life against all three of them.

The story sounds pretty cool, but when it needed to be made into a movie, the idea was definitly put into the wrong hands. All throughout the movie, the actors act like they have no experience at all. Also, the way that the killer pops up and takes out all the main characters isn’t frightening at all. In fact, the way it happens is like a pattern that eventually becomes extremely predictable. The first character who dies enters the house of the killer, and the killer comes out and hits him, knocks him out and cuts up his body with his chainsaw. The next character goes in to find him because she was with him when he entered the house, and she’s also killed. So naturally, another one of their friends comes looking for them, and when he comes to the killer’s house well, gee, what do you think is going to happen? Sure enough, he dies in the exact same way that his first two friends did.

The reason this move was so shitty was mainly because of the acting, and how predictable it was. There are some rather gruesome parts of this movie, but nothing in this movie is really all that scary. Also, there are too many things in this movie that weren’t explained in the end, or at least, if they were explained, they definitly weren’t explained very well. If you’re really into good horror films, this definitly isn’t a movie for you. Actually, if you’re really into good movies at all, this isn’t a movie for you.

Editor’s note: Peter Mason is our Life Manager and an avid watcher of film; mainly those made in this decade. So keep an eye out for his reviews as we give him old classics and watch him get bored. So check out the trailer for this film as well:

Time management

Lists never really work out in college. You learn this very difficult lesson as a freshman, hopefully within your first semester. Every morning you would wake up, look at the demands you had previously written for yourself in order to get through the day, and go about your life. If everything goes well you will complete every goal that you have made for yourself that day. Does this ever actually happen? No.

It seems that as a student new things pop up every day, sometimes every hour, and if you

Castle Crashers a Flash Game on steroids

Castle Crashers is a unique and intense game, despite its unassuming flash-like graphics. The game comes from the same minds that brought Alien Hominid to the world, which is a game that was among the most well-received flash games ever and later made the jump to consoles. The game’s story revolves around knights in their epic quest through the lands to save the kingdom. Along the way, the knights get a chance to rescue four kidnapped princesses. As the game moves forward, the battles get more and more difficult, finally leading to the apex of the game: a five stage boss battle.


At the beginning of the game you get to choose from four different starter knights: fire, lightning, ice, and poison. Each knight has a different special or magic attack whose range and recharge time vary. The game has a fluid simple interface for battle, and is pretty much what one would expect from a flash game.
It has simple, quick combos and employs an effective use of the Xbox controller for spells. Physical attacks and spells chain together with ease, allowing for greater experience bonuses. The game’s leveling system is based upon hits instead of the number of enemies you have slain. Game play is fairly evenly split between melee and magic. Early on in the game it may be more advantageous for people to start with melee attacks until you get used to the relatively quickly paced game play. As the game progresses you also finds pets hidden throughout the world. Each pet gives you a different bonus, some better and more useful than others. Along with the pets are a seemingly endless number of unlockable characters for you to play the game through with again and again. When playing multiplayer mode you can play with up to four other people through the campaign. Once you and your comrades have vanquished the foes you fight each other in a freestyle battle for the right to receive a kiss from the princesses you save throughout the game.

The Good

The game has some of the most in-depth backgrounds I have ever seen in a game of this type. At one stage in the game your character is battling on a field and a massive battle rages in the background. The music in the game is extremely catchy, with the exception of the music for the world map. Each boss is unique and strange and there are more than enough to keep one interested in the game even during the more repetitive parts. Along with the strange and sometimes amusing bosses, the game has its fair shares of odd twists and turns that serve to keep it from getting too stale.

The Bad

There isn’t much that is wrong with this game. A few of the unlockable characters that are found throughout game play are extremely similar regarding their special moves and attacks. At the same time, a lot of the remaining unlockable characters are fun to play with and more than easily make up for the less-than-stellar ones.

Final Thoughts

The game is well worth the 1200 Microsoft points that it costs to buy and download the game off of Xbox live. This is definitely for anyone who enjoys playing flash RPGs and is in need of something more intense than their normal flash game.

Whim Rating: 5

Check out a video of the game

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

The classic arcade game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time has made its way to Xbox Live thanks to Ubisoft. There isn’t much that Ubisoft has changed about the original Nostalgic game, instead leaving it entirely intact for those who wasted small fortunes as children playing the game at their local arcade.

Game play

Even if one was unaware of the game’s humble roots it becomes instantly recognizable where this game gets its origins. Its simplified game play can make the game go by rather fast as you rapidly hit the ‘X’ button on the Xbox controller, bashing your way mindlessly through each level. In fact, the levels may pass too quickly for you to really enjoy the updated graphics as the turtles are rehashed into more current 3-D environments. The game itself is rather short. It consists of maybe an hour of play at its most difficult setting. This addition of the game does support Xbox live, allowing you to play through the games stages with up to three other people. It is also possible to do so locally with four controllers, though this tends to shorten the game length rather drastically.

The Good

As was mentioned before, this game is a nice retro throw back, and is good for a nostalgic play-through or two. Another nice feature is the creators kept much of the original dialog between the turtles and their adversaries, not that there was that much of it to begin with. But it is still nice to know that the shredder will taunt you pointlessly throughout the game. The updated graphics are a nice touch and pretty much the only real makeover added to the game. If you are among the many achievement seekers on Xbox live, the game supports a few fairly easy ones for you to rack up your gamer score.

The Bad

There is a lot more bad with this game than good. Unlike a number of other retro games found on Xbox live, the player is unable to choose between the updated graphics and the retro graphics. Game play is really too quickly paced to make it worthwhile. Ubisoft could have updated the controls for the game and added different moves to different buttons or triggers on the Xbox controller. Instead it kept with the overly simplified arcade style game play which only added to the extremely short play. The update to this classic game did not really add much of anything besides graphics, which are mediocre at best. Ubisoft could have certainly put much more effort into the game than they did.

Final thoughts

The game was a nice throw back to the past, but that was about all it was, making it clear that some things are left better off in the fond memories of childhood. It would not have been difficult for Ubisoft to add content to the game while remaining true to the original. If you feel like burning some Microsoft points on a game you may play only two times at the most, feel free to dish out the 800 points for a rather disappointing update to the original TNMT.

Rating: 2/5

Check out the trailer

Pet cloning: wave of the future?

Dolly, the first cloned sheep, started it all. It began a massive debate on the ethics of cloning. The debate of animal cloning did not stop purely with Dolly the sheep. It continued on to reach into our homes and the pets that we see as our constant companions. In 2004 the first commercial pet cloners made their way out onto the market. The first commercial pet-cloning was Genetics Saving & Cloning. The company later closed its door due to a failure of technology to allow them to clone dogs as well as cats. From that point on the market has boomed as people seek to clone their pets, hoping to recreate their best friends and keep them around indefinitely.

This service has been constantly plagued with controversy. The main point of discontent that many people feel is that the organizations which offer this service misrepresent it; that they act as though the cloned pet will be the same as the original. While their appearance may be identical, the pet’s personality will most certainly vary. Those opposed to pet cloning also make the argument that the vast majority of cloned animals suffer health issues later on in life. There are those who argue that all the money that is being spent towards cloning research for pets should instead be focused on providing vaccines and basic care for those pets who are not fortunate enough to have homes.

Those who are for pet cloning argue that what should matter is that it makes the owners of these animals happy to have cloned replacements of animals who they have lost. There are some that claim that it is just the natural progression of the market and there is no point in fighting it because if people want it badly enough they will get it. And still some claim that cloning is a tool that can teach veterinarians the anatomy and function of animals’ organs.

No matter where one falls in this debate one thing is certain: this is an issue of ethics that needs to be addressed. With cloning becoming more and more sophisticated, it is only a matter of time before cloning becomes an everyday option. As cloning progresses it will not be too long before we will forced to consider the issue in regards to ourselves. Do we wish to be cloned? Before that occurs, it is certain that whatever decision is made will certainly have a long-reaching effect.