The Saga of Ninja Brian

While Brian Wecht is just a simple theoretical physicist turned musician, his alter ego Ninja Brian is far more interesting.

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After a life of murder and mayhem, Ninja Brian met the illustrious Danny Sexbang, and the two formed the band Ninja Sex Party.

Brian filled the role of the straight-laced pragmatic, to Danny’s hopeless romantic.

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This clashing of personalities often led to comedic disagreements, in classic sitcom fashion.

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While exceptional by himself, Brian quickly took the role of sidekick to Danny, due to Danny’s clear superiority.

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NSP may be the greatest thing to ever grace the surface of this planet, but they know that even they could improve.

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If you ever worry about how your life is going, think of Brian and rejoice.

For at least he has not killed you, yet.

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To finish up, in the spirit of Ninja Brian:

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Book Report: ‘The Last Wish’

I just finished reading ‘The Last Wish’ by the Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski.

The book is a collection of several short stories about the witcher Geralt of Rivia, a traveling monster hunter for hire.

 

Like all witchers, Geralt was trained extensively from a young age, and forced to undergo several mutations to transform his body and mind into the ultimate weapon against ghouls, vampires, giants, and other monsters.

The witchers utilise magical signs in combat, consume elixirs to gain an extra edge, and carry two swords on their backs. Silver for monsters, steel for humans.

The mutations also caused him to lose all body pigmentation, earning him the nickname The White Wolf.

 

But these mutations also cause the common folk to distrust the witchers, almost as much as the monsters they hunt.

When they are needed, people call upon them. When they are not, people shun them.

 

Despite his gruff outer shell, it becomes apparent that Geralt is much deeper than it seems at first glance.

In fact, things not being what they first appear seems to be a recurring theme in all these witcher stories.

From certain monsters being more kind than the people who fear them, to the way Sapkowski twists classic fairytale tropes.

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Since this book has seven separate stories, I figured I would write a little about each:

 

The Voice of Reason

This is the framing story for the rest of the book.

During this, Geralt thinks back at certain events in his life, which we get to read as short stories.

There is a sense of regret to this story, as if Geralt wishes he had spent his life differently.

 

The Witcher

Geralt has to cure a cursed princess, by surviving a night in her tomb.

But before that he has to navigate the politics of the court, avoid angering the king and figure out who cursed the princess in the first place.

 

A Grain of Truth

In a twist on the ‘Beauty and The Beast’ story, Geralt finds a monstrous looking man living in a mansion in the middle of the forest.

The man believes that he will be freed from his curse if he finds true love, and has consequently paid off several men throughout the years, in exchange for a year of their daughters lives.

When Geralt arrives, he figures out that the latest beauty living with the man is a blood-thirsty vampire.

 

The Lesser Evil

In this twist on the ‘Snow White’ story, a wizard attempts to hire Geralt to kill a “monster”, a woman he had once hurt, justifying his acts with the claim that she had been born under the Curse of the Black Sun.

She had escaped as a girl, and went on living with a thieving band of seven gnomes. But now she was back for revenge.

This woman later attempts to hire Geralt aswell, to kill the wizard.

This leaves Geralt in a moral predicament, while trying his best to stay out of it all.

 

A Question of Price

Geralt is hired by a queen to pose as a nobleman at one of her swanky dinner parties. But she will not let him know why..

The party is being held to find a suitor for the young princess of the kingdom.

But it soon turns out that she is already taken.

 

The Edge of the World

This story uses elves as an allegory for real native people of various colonized areas, but mixed with the sense of superiority elves are often represented with in fantasy.

The story sees Geralt and his poet friend Dandelion getting captured by a group of elves. The bound witcher tries to bargain with the elf leader to let them go, while at the same time scolding them for not trying to live in peace with the humans.

The elf leader compares the situation with a louse trying to get a person to share their coat with the lice.

 

The Last Wish

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I Won a Pop Culture Award

A few days ago, Ruth from Silver Screenings held The Silver Screenings Awards over on their website.

This is an award that they hand out to various bloggers they like, from time to time.

 

When it comes to awards in the blogging community, one has to be specific.

This is not a chain letter interview-award.

I do appreciate getting those aswell, as it can be fun answering questions, but I don’t think that those should have been given the name “award”.

How about “chain-interview”?

 

No. This is a more conventional award, with several winners in different categories.

And I won in the Pop Culture category!  Thanks Ruth 😀

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Since part of the reason for getting this reward was my varied output of posts, I decided I would link to a few of my pop culture posts about various forms of media.

Of course, if you are more interested in one subject than another, clicking on a posts category tag should help you find even more of what you are interested in.

I hope you enjoy.

 

Art: The Art of Theodor Kittelsen

Comics:

The Scrooge McDuck Origin Story

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Top 5 Songs from ‘MoS: Level 2’

Back in February, I shared my favorite song from each ‘Miracle of Sound’ album.

This proved to be very difficult, as there are so many great songs there!

So I have decided to make a Top 10 or Top 5 list for each album, depending on how big the album is to begin with.

Here goes!

 

5. Nord Mead

A merry drinking song from the Nord warriors of Skyrim.

There is no better way to get your thirst up than slaying dragons!

 

4. Joker’s Song

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InterRail 2010 – Part 6: Exploring Amsterdam

We spent the day after the concert by walking around Amsterdam, taking in the sights.

 

Amsterdam feels much more relaxed and calm than a lot of other big cities.

Much of this relaxed feeling comes down to how the inhabitants rely less on motorised transportation than in most cities, as there are many who opts for using a bicycle instead.

The popularity of bicycles in the Netherlands is probably somewhat due to the lack of steep hills in the country.

Another cause of the sense of calm I got from Amsterdam is how nature is integrated into the city.

Trees and canals everywhere!

 

When our stay in Amsterdam had ended, I traveled on toward England, while my fellow previous servicemen traveled back home to Norway.

I would be traveling alone for the rest of the trip.

 

In the next part; Traveling to England.

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DOOM 2016

I recently finished playing Doom (2016), one of the games on my gaming backlog.

I think it took longer for me to finish than it did for most people, because I developed some severe neck pains as a result of playing it.

The non-stop action of ‘Doom’ literally made me so tense that I hurt my neck.

 

But after a long break from the game to let my muscles relax again, I returned to the fray.

And it was glorious!

 

The great action of the game still got me to tense up in my neck.

But now that I was aware of it, I deliberately checked if I needed to relax my neck after each combat encounter.

 

‘Doom’ is a game about an ancient slayer of the evil forces of hell.

In-game, this translates to punching and shooting an endless horde of demons in the face.

 

In addition to the action, the music also contributes heavily to how tense I got while playing this game.

The youtuber Raycevick made a really good video about the behind-the-scenes process of making the soundtrack.

 

This game has my favorite representation of the demonic since the early seasons of Supernatural, before ‘Supernatural’s demons became more like the mafia than an occult force.

‘Doom’s hell is a vast plain of barren rock adorned with gothic temples and ruins, and covered in gore and viscera constructed into hellish sacrificial decorations.

I’m not sure why the satanic aesthetic is often so visually appealing, but I wonder if it is due to the fact that it has been taboo for so long that various rebellious artists, from the birth of christianity until now, have perfected the look between them.

Or maybe it is just how that aesthetic uses a lot of dark red, and how we subconsciously link that color with our baser urges, like sex and violence.

I think it could be a mix of those reasons.

 

 

The game finished on a cliffhanger, which would have been annoying if I had played it back when it came out in 2016.

But as it were, I finished the game just in time for the sequel to be announced.

 

Sometimes it can be good to be late to the game.

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InterRail 2010 – Part 5: The Concert

In 2010, A-ha were going on a farewell tour.

They have had tours since then.

 

After my first night in Amsterdam, I met up with the guys I were going to the A-ha concert with.

To the best of my memories, they arrived early the day of the concert, and I met them in the reception for the hotel we were staying at.

 

This hotel was considerably more fancy than the motel I had stayed at the night before.

I did not ask, but I doubt I would have been able to buy any “cheese” in that reception.

 

We spent most of that day “getting ready” for the concert.

Even after what happened to me over a year earlier, I had still not gained the good sense to just stay away from beer entirely.

I am incredible lucky that my gout did not ruin the rest of my trip.

I don’t think that I even brought any of my medication.

 

The concert was held in the Heineken Music Hall

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