Written by Colin on 4/13/2011

I will be attending the University of Texas in Austin in pursuit of a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering starting fall of next year. There's something comforting about knowing that the next five plus years of your life will still be spent as a student. I'm definitely not ready to enter the "real world," whatever exactly that entails. Guess I'll get to find out first-hand the validity of PhD Comics.

Hook 'Em Horns!

Written by Colin on 3/28/2011
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Today was the last first day of a quarter for my undergraduate college career. I cannot believe how fast it has gone by. Absolutely ridiculous. And I still have so much left to do.

Written by Colin on 2/11/2011
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One of the greatest TV series of recent times came to an end this week. Aside from the soundtrack inspired by Explosions in the Sky, which is incredible, the show told a common story in an incredibly realistic and moving manner. I feel like it really portrayed the actual culture in a town where football is everything and the greatest thing the majority of its inhabitants experience are the lights on Friday night. The show felt real and meaningful, something most shows fail to even come close to. It's sad to see it end but I feel it was done appropriately. If you've never seen it before, I'd highly recommend checking it out sometime.

Texas Forever.

Written by Colin on 2/07/2011

I find it interesting that three of the bands I've listened to since I can recall independently finding and listening to music all have albums coming out within a few weeks of one another. The Get Up Kids released their first album in seven years, There Are Rules, after deciding to reunite after their 2005 breakup. While they sound significantly different on their latest work, the same differences can be found between all of their previous releases. Definitely a worthwhile listen from some of the founders of the "emo" genre.

Next up is ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead's latest work, Tao of the Dead. The Trail of Dead have definitely been one of my favorite bands since I first found Source Tags & Codes back in high school. Since then, I've managed to accrue all of their albums through Seattle's excellent record stores and they remain the band for which I own the most CDs. I haven't heard much about the new record, but I've enjoyed pretty much every style/sound they've gone through over the years, so I'm pretty psyched.

Finally is the latest Bright Eyes release from Saddle Creek and Conor Oberst, The People's Key. While I liked Cassadaga and Oberst's solo projects, The People's Key is a welcome departure from those more folksy records. The People's Key has a much more "indie rock" demeanor and has really grown on me after a few listens. Definitely a worthwhile listen over at the NPR website for it's upcoming Feb. 15th release.

Written by Colin on 1/30/2011

The Humans vs. Zombies Tag game at the University of Washington has become a point of controversy following the most recent iteration of the game earlier this Winter quarter. Several instances of rule-breaking (e.g. shooting Nerf darts from the 4th floor of a building) have led a few people to call for an end to the game (UW Daily article). While the game is effectively moderated by the players, who are supposed to report any instances of rule-breaking, there are situations where names cannot be obtained and the infringing players not banned. The administrators of UW HvZT are already planning on cracking down more heavily during next quarter's game (should it be allowed).

What's frustrating about some of the arguments against the game are the claims that the game "makes people violent." This is nothing more than a re-hashing of the "vidoegames make people violent" frenzy the U.S. media absolutely loves to cover. Someone was quoted claiming that HvZT basically "trains people to be assassins." The game no more trains people to be assassins than it trains people to be flesh-eating, mindless hordes.

The game is played with socks and Nerf guns. Future iterations of the game will ban the wearing of masks (fine with me). The UW Police and administration have been on board and informed of every game and event. The game was suspended during President Obama's visit without a hitch. Sure there are occasional disruptions with people running around but does that really hurt anyone? Banning this game will accomplish nothing. By the logic many of the dissenters have presented, we should also ban cars on campus because someone could get hit by them. It's just not worth the risk.

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