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Weekend Halolinks: First Edition, Signed Copy, Rare


Hello all, and welcome to your brand-spanking new Weekend Halolinks. As you can see by my name above, I am linkbruin. No I am not dead--despite my nonappearance around these parts for the last few months. Thank you for your concern. Long story short, life got real around these parts. But hey, that's all taken care of now.

The first weekend Halolinks might be a little rough around the edges, but I promise you it's only going to get better/more awesome/please just love me.

Since news is naturally a little slower heading into the weekend, there won't be as much Angels talk. I'm going to involve some pop culture, other sports, and just other interesting news and noteworthy items. If you have any suggestions for topics or cool links you find that might not fit in during the week, shoot me an email (it's on my bio page), and we can get the ball rolling on this stuff.

And with that, let's get to the links:

First off with Angels news:

  • Erick Aybar, Albert Pujols homer to back Angels rookie Garrett Richards' scoreless outing. Any game Albert homers is now my favorite game. I wished I had manlier words to describe it, but it's just so pretty when he hits the ball and it goes far. I caved this year and got MLB 12: The Show. My first game was an exhibition against the Dodgers, and Albert hit a 2-run walk-off HR. That was also pretty. My vocabulary to describe the way Albert makes me feel will expand this season, I promise.
  • Morales feels good after hitting in Minors games. Yes. Yes. Yes. Trying to...contain...potential...excitement. Kendrys thinks he might be good to go by Opening Day, so we'll see how that goes. If Kendrys can return to former hitting form or at least 90% of it, well that can only mean good things. No, great things. (I think I have been watching too much How I Met Your Mother, so that last sentence will sound better in Marshall's/Jason Segal's voice.)
  • MLB Players Fill NCAA Brackets. Believe me, I am getting to this. I think it's interesting see what other athletes think about other athletes. LaTroy was the Angels' rep to fill out a bracket. His is less busted than mine.
  • Angels open fan mail. I have never, ever written fan mail. I'm not sure if that makes me weird or normal. It always just seemed a little strange to me. I also don't know why I find these photos so fascinating. Candid photos (well semi-candid) seem to tell a lot about a person, at least in my opinion. You're caught completely off-guard and usually look really ugly. That's right. You're all really ugly.

Other baseball news:

Now on to the wide-world of sports:

My name pretty clearly identifies my alma mater. (It's not Belmont.) I love college basketball, and I hate that UCLA is not playing meaningful games in March. However, since I was in 3rd grade March Madness has been a big deal to me. I was given a huge NCAA basketball tournament encyclopedia, and I could and still can recite ridiculous facts from the tourney's history. The internet has made this much less impressive, but I'm still a big nerd about all this stuff. I loved brackets so much that I would make my own to: race my hot wheels, face off my action figures, and animal kingdom showdowns. Again, the internet has made my bracket drawing and recitation ability much less impressive. In summation, even though UCLA is not playing I am very excited for March.

Lastly, here's stuff I've found interesting over the past week:

  • Neil deGrasse Tyson - We Stopped Dreaming (Episode 1) - YouTube. In another life, I would have finished my Astrophysics major. This doesn't stop me from loving stuff like this though. Neil deGrasse Tyson has been on The Daily Show four or five times now, and he is hands down my favorite guest. The message he shares in the above linked video is an important one, I think, and it provides a little bit of perspective on what the manned space program has done for the USA and the world. If you enjoy the above video and can tolerate autotuned mixes, search Symphony of Science on YouTube.
  • Nicolas Cage Dying Before Our Very Eyes. This question has been posted several places on the internet, but is Nicolas Cage a good actor doing (many) terrible movies or a bad actor that did one great movie. I lean towards the former, but the slow deterioration of Nicolas Cage's career over the last ten years seems way too drawn out.
  • Mass Effect 3 also came out recently. Pretty much everyone hated the ending, which I won't go into detail about here. (This is the best summary of the issues I've found here: Mass Effect 3 Ending-Hatred: 5 Reasons The Fans Are Right). Gamers have begun a petition that's been circulating around the internet to get Bioware, the game's publisher, to either address why the ending is so horrible and vague OR to release Downloadable Content that will provide a better ending. An interesting question comes up here If Games Can Be Patched, Why Can't Their Stories?

Who controls the story of a video game-its writers or its players? The obvious answer-that a storyteller is a storyteller, end of discussion-has driven some reporters (including me) to condemn and dismiss the widely-circulated fan petition that asks BioWare to change its ending for Mass Effect 3, the popular sci-fi roleplaying game that came out last week for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. But by cutting all discussion and discarding the question as if it were some mathematical equation with an immutable answer, maybe we're doing a disservice to the entire medium. Maybe games can be more than just expressions of auteur theory. Maybe video games can be the first form that allows for the democratization of storytelling.

Games are regularly patched with updates that players download over their console's internet when the game boots up. This happens for several months after the game's release. The Mass Effect series relied heavily on player input, almost a choose-your-own-adventure if you will. That's why many feel invalidated by the ending (which did not differ player to player despite very different choices that made their games and the characters in them different for each person). The "democratization of storytelling" is something that could really be possible in a product that is constantly updated for the consumer, like video games. I think it's an interesting discussion that doesn't really have a right or wrong answer at this point. Games are movies or books, as hard as they try to be. They have a different niche, and their storytelling is also something that could possibly change given the right circumstances.


Well that's gonna do it for the first edition of weekend Halolinks 2012. Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Enjoy your weekend!