Monday, 31 December 2012

Skyrim Studies - Alchemical Corner

So, here goes nothing I suppose.

I told you I'd be writing another post about the wonderful skill of alchemy in Skyrim and here it is! Two new potions with 6 effects to consider as you set about your business in Tamriel's tundra province.

My first potion steps in to protect the heavy armour enthusiasts, especially when they're working with a shield, or if they're mindful enough to put the block skill to good use. With a combination of honeycomb, sabre cat teeth and slaughterfish scales you will generate a potion that will fortify your light armour skill, your block skill and restore your stamina at the same time. As you might imagine this can be an extremely beneficial combination especially if you forsee a serious brawl in your future. This concoction ought to allow you to fearlessly charge into the fray regardless of how many enemies you might face though I won't accept the blame if you get yourself killed thinking this potion somehow grants you the gift of immortality.

Potion of Stalwart Defense:

  1. Honeycomb - found in alchemical shops but more easily obtained by visiting Honeystrand Cave where you can find 3 bee hives and a bounty of bees buzzing around you. This will provide you with honeycomb, beehive husks and bees.
  2. Sabre Cat Tooth - slightly more difficult to obtain as they're not commonly found just lying around. You're going to need to take down sabre cats for these (though they rank as an uncommon ingredient after you select the merchant perk) but to be fair it doesn't matter what type of sabre cat you kill, they all have the same chance to drop one of these.
    SR-icon-ingredient-Sabre Cat Tooth.png
  3. Slaughterfish Scales - as with the sabre cat tooth the name of the ingredient tells you how to obtain it... Kill slaughterfish. I find that simply grabbing a sword and diving in the lakes, ponds and rivers between Markarth and Falkreath provides a bounty of these through the slaughterfish that eagerly chase you down.
    SR-icon-ingredient-Slaughterfish Scales.png
For those of you wondering, the base attributes of this potion are:
- Restore Stamina: 25
- Fortify Block: 118
- Fortify Heavy Armour: 55
- Value: 198 Gold

These values will be modified by any applicable perks you've selected and your alchemy skill as it exists buffed by equipped items etc.

This next potion goes out to the conjurers reading this post. It functions to boost your conjuration skill, restore your magicka and to help you resist fire-based attacks. So if you're looking to go dragon hunting (though conjuration only comes into play once you ground them) or seeking a fight with some fire mages you'll be more than prepared. Again, I assume no responsibility for the misuse of these potions nor for an individual's failings to equip and conduct themselves properly in combat.

Conjurer's Philter of Fireshield:

  1. Bone Meal - one of the most common ingredients out there, bone meal can be found on the bodies of draugr of all varieties, skeletons, it can be bought in shops and found lying about in cabins and kitchens. You shouldn't have any trouble getting your hands on this so I'm not going to post specific locations... Just raid an ancient nord crypt or two.
    SR-icon-ingredient-Bone Meal.png
  2. Elves Ear - kitchens and covens are your best bet for this ingredient. It can be found hung up and drying alongside garlic in most cases and in the stocks of alchemist shops.
    SR-icon-ingredient-Elves Ear.png
  3. Frost Salts - much more uncommon, these will likely pose a challenge to you. You CAN buy them at alchemy shops but they're not only costly but rare to find in stock as well. They can be looted from frost atronachs but those aren't particularly plentiful to say the least. Your best bet will be raiding the shelves of alchemy shops (don't get spotted) and the various alchemy labs scattered across the Skyrim landscape. Random basements, witches covens, even down in Blackreach at Sinderion's field office if I remember correctly. Just keep your eyes peeled and pick them up whenever you can.
    SR-icon-ingredient-Frost Salts.png
As like before here are the potion attributes:
- Fortify Conjuration: 75
- Restore Magicka: 25
- Resist Fire: 86
- Value: 186 Gold

Well folks that's all I have for you today. I'd like to thank my friend Kim for the feedback that inspired me to write this second alchemy piece. I hope these come in handy for you. To the rest of my readers I hope these potions prove just as useful to you in your journeys just remember to give me a little credit if you're discussing your digital exploits with fellow Skyrim enthusiasts. Thank you and as always...

Enjoy your swim!

Joshua J. Taylor

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Reader Request - New Game Guide

Hey folks!

I have a question to ask of you, and it involves video gaming.

I have finally sorted out all my games, I've got my new 500GB PS3 hooked up and kicking, but I want to do something more with it. SO, I'm writing a new game guide based on requests. Now, I have a number of games already that might be suitable for having a player's guide written for them, but I'm also accepting suggestions and if I get enough recommendations I'll likely go and get the reader-picked title and write a guide or review for THAT game. Here's what I have so far I feel would suit having a guide written for them:

  • Grand Theft auto 4
  • Gran Turismo 5
  • Skyrim, an official guide dealing with the entire storyline and general gameplay
  • Fallout 3 or New Vegas
  • Dead Island
Now it's not a big list I know, but most of my games are first person shooters or NFS titles that don't lend themselves well to guide or review writing so please, should you feel as though a game deserves higher recognition, comment with the game title of your choosing for the next Fishbowl 2.0 game guide / review article. Thanks!

Enjoy your swim!

Joshua J. Taylor

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Uncommon Sense - Home Invasion

Think about this folks...

You come home to find your front door ajar, footprints in mud leading upstairs into your mother's room, and you hear noises upstairs. You know for a fact that it isn't your mother, and no one else is supposed to be in the home. Suddenly you see this at the top of your stairs...

An unknown individual has made their way into your home with intentions that you have no way of discerning. What do you do? Do you protect yourself, your property and your loved ones, or do you just run away and leave all that you own, and those that you love behind you in the dust? Yeah, didn't think running would be the forerunner in that race (pun somewhat intended).

This was akin to the scenario experienced by the man in this Toronto Sun article and since he fought off the intruder with a kitchen knife, he has faced charges of aggravated assault. Yup, you heard it right, the man defending his girlfriend and her mother was charged for going after the burglar in his girlfriend's family home.

Now I don't know what the hell even prompted this court case to begin with. If someone breaks into my house I can establish two things: One, they've broken the law already and two, I don't know their intentions or the lengths they are willing to go to in order to get whatever it is that they want in my house. Because of these two points I can establish that not only do I need to defend myself, my home and my family, but that I must do so as quickly and efficiently as possible to ensure the least amount of harm done to anyone (lawfully) inside the house. If I choose to round the corner from my bedroom and let rip with a 12-gauge blast of buckshot into the intruder, that should be my business. I'm not talking about chasing him into the street and getting all Yosemite Sam'd up in anger, shooting wildly around the neighbourhood but about a controlled use of lethal force against an enemy that I can safely assume means to do myself and my family harm, the extent of which could result in one or more of our deaths.

Some people might say I owe the intruder a warning but I'd ask why? Wasn't the locked door notice enough that you're not welcome in our home, and that we have locked our doors and windows for the expressed purpose of keeping threats OUT of our home? If that's not clear enough to you, then I severely doubt you'll be missed in this world as you must just be a pain in the ass for everyone around you anyway. In any case, I refuse to warn an intruder (who MIGHT be armed themselves) and thus give away my position within the home and lose any tactical advantage I had through surprise. If I'm going to defend my home it will be swift, effective, and if I deem necessary, lethal and I don't think that there's a damned thing wrong with that.

HOWEVER, if you just break through the front door, get freak out and leave, fine. I'm not going t hunt your ass down just to put a couple of rounds into you and I don't think anyone should. Once you've started retreating I can assume you've given up your attempt and that I'm relatively safe.

Aside from the handgun in this photo I'm pretty much aligned with the message. If someone breaks in, I'm having someone incapable of defending the home call 911 and I'm taking the fight to the intruder. If you want to come play on my turf that's fine but you have to accept that you're then choosing to play by MY rules and that leaves me are a MASSIVE advantage because my rules? They don't require me being nice. They require you getting the f*ck out of my house, getting down on the ground and surrendering, or me blowing your sad ass away with whatever's at my disposal. Sorry if that inconveniences you during your attempt to intimidate, rob, and possibly rape and murder my family it's just too bad for you pal.

In any case I'd ask people to contact this city justice and thank them for throwing out the case. Contact the man who so valiantly defended his home against an unwanted intruder and contact your local MPs to tell them how you feel about what your rights should be in the event that someone threatens your safety, or acts in such a way that you could reasonably assume your safety to be threatened while in your home.

I hope you feel the way I do on this one folks I really do. I'm sick of the system protecting the criminals and the lowlifes while making the good citizens of our country fear doing what's right because of unjust laws and over-consideration of criminal rights.

Enjoy your swim!

Joshua J. Taylor

Friday, 21 December 2012

Amending the 2nd Amendment - My Take on Things

So, I've done a lot of talking about the 2nd amendment in regards to the tragic occurrences of this past year however noting purely geared towards my opposition of the way that it is too often exercised, i.e in excess.

Now this will undoubtedly, as it has before, require some clarification. By the "excessive" implementation of the United States Constitution's 2nd Amendment I mean to say the availability, purchase, and subsequent ownership and use of firearms that can be classified as assault weapons by a very specific set of criteria. It may be more helpful to list though, what I feel to be firearms suitable and reasonable for civilian ownership as there are so many weapons today with different capabilities that far exceed the requirements of home security and hunting.

Firearms suitable for civilian ownership:

  • Bolt-action rifles firing rounds no larger than the .308 rifle round.
  • Pump, Lever, or Break-Action shotguns
  • Semi-Automatic Rifles with a magazine capacity no greater than 5 rounds.
These are tools used in sport shooting and hunting and are only suitable for such uses. In the case of a home-invasion, a competent individual can easily defend themselves and their family using a pump-action shotgun as has been documented in countless cases worldwide.

Anything beyond the capabilities of these types of firearms goes over the 'sporting' line and approaches or passes the level of an assault weapon. To put it in perspective let's consider the use of the 30.06 Springfield rifle by the United States' military. During WWI it was favoured for reliability, ease of operation and maintenance and for it's accuracy over long range. It was later replaced in WWII as US forces required a semi-automatic weapon to handle the increased demands for firepower on a more modern battlefield. Even so, the Springfield became the weapon of choice for snipers and other marksmen as a specialist's weapon for it's accuracy, reliability and because the reload was much quieter than that of the much more common, semi-automatic M1 Garand rifle. This is where we can establish what should be considered as an "assault weapon" and why it should be thusly labelled. The semi-automatic rifle was invented to generate a larger rate of fire intended for use on the battlefield. Hunters through history have gravitated towards bolt-action rifles for their accuracy and range as they do not require more than one or two rounds to take down game animals. There is no place for a high-capacity, semi-automatic rifle in the hunting world. Pistols were ALSO invented as a means of defense and modified throughout history not to make them more useful as hunting tools, but as a means of killing other human beings. From black power pistols through to cap and ball, single and dual action revolvers and now semi-automatic and automatic pistols the aim has always been to increase the weapon's killing capacity against human targets.

Now I know what a lot of your typical 'Muricans and facetious history students are thinking right now... "But Josh, the 2nd Amendment was put in place to allow the American citizen to protect himself against the unjust rule of tyrants. Without it they are left defenseless!" This was true in 1776 but in the modern era it is a little less common for foreign governments to forcefully station their troops in American homes (see "The Quartering Act" as it applies to the 13 Colonies). Yes, when the threat of a British counterattack was a potential threat there may have been justification for the implementation of such an amendment however if you look at the war of 1812 it really didn't do much to stop forces moving down from Canada and torching the White House... Yeah, CANADIANS, many of them plain militia, pushed back the American forces and managed to set the White House ablaze. I'm sorry to burst your bubble but the 2nd Amendment didn't prevent that. It also didn't prevent a British counterattack either. Responsible for the lack of British military reprisals after the end of the revolutionary war would be the little thing known as "logistics", not the 2nd Amendment. Remember, once they were forced out, and Canada not being a stronghold of the British Empire quite yet, launching a full-scale invasion was far beyond the capabilities of the British as it would require them crossing an entire ocean using sail-powered ships. The Allies in WWII had a hard enough time crossing the English channel with modern technology to assault a geographic area nowhere near as vast as the United States of America. To put it in perspective, the British attempting an invasion of America would be tantamount to Napoleon's attempt to invade Russia only with the massive trans-Atlantic journey tossed in for kicks. History students should be laughing right about now.

So, you can hunt, you can defend your home, and you can shoot competitively with clay targets and the classic break-action shotgun, what else do you need? Oh! You want to go sport shooting with pistols? Well, I suppose that's alright, but you'd need to be on a shooting range to do that wouldn't you? Yeah, you would. SO why not have licensed firearms ranges carry weapons that can be rented, or purchased with the condition that they be kept AT the range for use by the owner AT that range? That would allow people to go sport-shooting with pistols for fun but not for every Tom, Dick and Harry to concealed-carry their little metal buddy everywhere. Doesn't that seem reasonable? You can do what you like, but it has to be done safely just like automobile racing (and I KNOW Americans love their cars) so why not treat guns the same way?

Now THIS is where I link the year's tragedies into the debate. The weapons used in these attacks were primarily semi-automatic pistols and converted assault rifles (converted to semi-automatic for 'civilian' use). Yes, shotguns were present at both the Aurora theater shooting and the recent Sandy Hook school killings however only the Aurora incident involved the actual USE of a pump-action shotgun whereas the pump-action shotgun at the Sandy Hook incident was found in the perpetrator's vehicle and was not used in the attack. Even in the theater killings the shotgun was only the weapon used after the attacker's assault rifle reportedly jammed and he had run out of ammunition for his pistols. See folks, even the world's madmen only use a pump-action for these horrendous acts as a last resort and would by no means attempt to conduct such atrocities with the weapon alone. The Columbine highschool shooters? Pistols and converted sub-machine guns. The Virginia Tech shooter? Glock 19 and Walther P22 semi-automatic pistols. How about the Westroads Mall Shooting in Omaha, Nebraska back in 2007? That was the work of a man wielding the AKM, a semi-automatic variant of the AK-47 firing the 7.62 x 39mm rifle round. For a little bit of perspective, here's a comparative graphic:

7.69x29mm is in the center. The .308 Winchester is to the left of center.
Now yes, the .308 round is larger, however it is most-often used as a marksman's round in sniper rifles rather than the 7.62's use in assault rifles worldwide.

Just put the mindset of people opposing this type of gun control in perspective, THIS poster comes in SUPPORT of the open use and ownership of handguns:

Yup, it wasn't because Cho had open access to the firearms that made it so easy for him to murder people... It was because they didn't have guns. Let's think though folks, if Cho couldn't have just strolled into the local sporting goods store, yeah, SPORTING GOODS store and picked up a couple of handguns... What wold he have shot people with? Yeah, just some food for thought.

I'm not against gun ownership, please don't mistake what I'm trying to get across in this post. What I am against is the apparent arms race between American citizens simply to protect themselves from what the other side buys next. If everyone just stepped back and took a look at it, they'd realize that what I've listed is more than reasonable as a change to the 2nd Amendment. No, it wouldn't be easy to round up the handguns already present in the American climate, but how much in life that is worth doing is REALLY easy to do? If things were all easy there'd be no challenge, no glory in the accomplishment of easy tasks. How often does someone congratulate you or admire you for doing something easy and simple? They don't but climb mount Everest or win a slew of Olympic gold medals and see how quickly you get noticed.

Folks, it's about time that the United States realized what the real problem is. Share this article on your Facebook, Twitter, whatever just get it out there. Maybe SOMEONE will pick up on a half decent idea backed up by simple, not-so-common sense.

Enjoy your swim!

Joshua J. Taylor

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The 2nd Amendment - "Under Fire"

I'm getting really tired of being given reasons to write gun-control blogs... Seriously.

First it was families gunned down in a movie theater by a madman with a ridiculous yet legally purchased arsenal, and now it's women and children shot to death in an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL... For the love of all things good, right and humane in the world what is it going to take for 'Muricans to realize how completely fucked up their national mindset is? Here's a summary of a conversation that I've had with about half-a-dozen different citizens of the good old US-of-A.

American Citizen: But I need to be allowed to own a gun!
Me: Why?
American Citizen: To protect myself and my family.
Me: From who?
American Citizen: Someone else who might have a gun.
Me: Well, why would THEY have a gun?
American Citizen: It's their right to, I don't know, people have guns and I need to protect myself from those people.
Me: So you'd be exercising a right, to potentially protect yourself, from the possible implications of another person that MIGHT be exercising that same right in an unlawful manner?
American Citizen: Wll, um... I guess? Sort of?
Me: So in what world does that sort of idea even make a lick of sense?
American Citizen: 'MURICA!

Okay you got me, I added the "MURICA" bit but how couldn't I? That seems to be the only attitude that comes out when you question an American's right to own a gun. Now that's I've probably got half of my readers behind me and the other half pissed right the f*ck off, how's about some mathematics to solve our problems hmm? Something clear and logical?

The G20 Nations: Number of murders using firearms

  • The United States: 9146 per year
  • Everyone else put together: 1206 per year
Seriously, this came from the UNODC & Small arms survey. The entire G20 firearms murder numbers equal out to 13% of the United State's total when the US numbers stand alone While we're at the table of plain and simple truths, how about some arguments against reasons used by some Americans trying to justify or validate their drastically higher murder statistics...
  • "It's because we don't have religion in schools!" : Canada doesn't have prayer in schools either, AND we teach evolution. Our murder-by-firearms numbers equate to 1.2% of the US total.
  • "We have a history whose identity was forged in violence and we've had a generally violent history." : Well what about Germany? THEY have a violent history wouldn't you agree? Hell they were fighting in the middle ages before Europeans even DISCOVERED what was to become North America. Their current total? Yeah, it's 1.6% of the US gun murders per year.
  • "Our children play violent video games and watch violent cartoons." : Most of those are made or at least designed in Japan folks and guess what, Japan's gun-murder count? 0.11% of the 'Murican total.
Are we seeing a trend here? Do you want to know what the big differences are here between the States and these other nations that they share so much else in common with? The United States not only lists it as a right to own and operate firearms, but they ENCOURAGE people to no end to do so. Add to this fact that the United States spends the most money relative to its GDP on military spending and that it takes almost any chance to GLORIFY even the most horrible "historical violence" related to itself and you have a recipe for disaster. I'd like to direct everyone back to a wonderful Michael Moore documentary called Bowling For Columbine, you know, in case you missed the million other references and recommendations for it. It will do the best job that I can imagine of explaining the US gun culture to people struggling to get a grip on the situation. In any case, I'd like to make something clear to the States...

When the statistics point you out as the most murderous member of the G20 by an INSANELY large margin... You MIGHT want to rethink the way you handle guns in your country. Far be it for your nothern neighbours to make a casual observation though 'cause you might just shoot at us after you get bored of killing each-other.

I hope you've identified with my little rant, and if you're STILL a 2nd amendment die-hard well then I don't know what else to tell you. You're f*cking up your country and the lives of innocent people in it. If you won't at least agree with my completely, agree with me on this...
THESE are not used for hunting game...
These are the types of weapons that were used in the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown Connecticut. Just so you know, I won't be listing the pathetic, wretched, scumbag excuse for a human being's name that carried out the attack. He's not worthy of any recognition and I won't provide incentive for another f*ck-up to go shooting up THEIR local school by increasing the notoriety of this waste of skin. Instead I will ask you to grieve for the families of the victims, THEY need your support and THEY deserve to be recognized and respected.

The Victims: May they rest in peace...
  • Nancy Lanza, 52
  • Rachel D'Avino, 29
  • Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, 47
  • Anne Marie Murphy, 52
  • Lauren Rousseau, 30
  • Mary Sherlach, 56
  • Victoria "Wiki" Soto, 27
  • Charlotte Bacon, 6
  • Daniel Barden, 7
  • Olivia Engel, 6
  • Josephine Gay, 7
  • Dylan Hockley, 6
  • Madeleine Hsu, 6
  • Catherine Hubbard, 6
  • Chase Kowalski, 7
  • Jesse Lewis, 6
  • Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
  • James Mattioli, 6
  • Grace McDonnell, 6
  • Emilie Parker, 6
  • Jack Pinto, 6
  • Noah Ponzer, 6
  • Caroline Previdi, 6
  • Jessica Rekos, 6
  • Avielle Richman, 6
  • Benjamin Wheeler, 6
  • Allison Wyatt, 6
Seriously, what kind of trash, what monster could do this to innocent women and children? I say we erase his name from history. Don't mention it, don't associate him with anything of any worth, NOTHING. Let's start turning these attention-seeking parasites into nobodies, and make their victims the martyrs, the heroes, the ones in whose names we dedicate ourselves to making sure that something like this NEVER happens again.

Your move 'Murica... Choose wisely.

Enjoy your swim, and may the families of the victims be in your hearts and minds.

Joshua J. Taylor

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Zero to Hero - Minor Setbacks

Hey everyone,

So I had a little bit of difficulty this week involving my bad knee (you might remember the issues after my Hit and Run collision from summer 2011). It popped out of place pretty badly, and I decided it was high time for me to grab a knee brace to help stabilize when I'm putting more weight that my 'typical' activities entail onto it.

The good news here is that I managed to pick up a brace today -good old Shopper's Drug Mart- and I'm on track to hit the gym tomorrow afternoon. Ought to be a fun trip now that I can actually do my lunges :p and oh, you know, MOVE normally without worrying about a stupid joint.

Just wanted to update anyone who might have noticed that the would-be first two updates never got posted. Sorry if I'd disappointed anyone!

Enjoy your swim!

Joshua J. Taylor

Monday, 10 December 2012

Skyrim Studies - An Agent's Alchemy

Just thought I'd let everyone in on my favourite poison recipes:

Poison of Terminal Disease:

  1. Imp Stool
  2. Human Flesh
As well as any one (1) of the following, the 'best' options will be marked with an asterisk (*) based on their accessibility, power, or abundance:
  • Mora Tapinella* - Common & Inexpensive.
  • Orange Dartwing
  • Slaughterfish Scales
  • Slaughterfish Eggs* - Common & Inexpensive.
  • Damage Health
  • Lingering Damage Health
  • Paralysis

Poison of Crippling Demise:

  1. Deathbell Flower
  2. River Betty
As well as any one (1) of the following. Unlike the previous potion, these options have been pre-whittled-down to give you your best choices:
  • Chaurus Eggs - Dangerous to collect but found in large quantities at each location.
  • Bleeding Crown - Inexpensive and grows in caves throughout Skyrim.
  • Small Antlers - Just shoot any deer you see and you'll collect a stash of these in no time at all.
  • Damage Health (Strong)
  • Slow
  • Weakness to poison
These ought to keep you out of harm's way either from their debilitating effects against the target as far as paralysis and slow are concerned, OR because they'll have the target dead in moments from the poison damage.

As for where to find these ingredients, I'll leave the majority of that for you to discover however some ingredients listed are more difficult to find if you don't already know where to look.

Human Flesh:
-"Human Flesh can be found in locations where people have performed the Vlack Sacrament ritual to summon the dark Brotherhood (along with human hearts), and in a few necromancer dungeons. Flesh cannot be taken from dead humans. It is easily overlooked because it looks like raw beef." -

These guaranteed samples can be found in the listed quantities, at the following locations:
-3 in the Alftand Animonculory (Winterhold)
-3 in Tovald's Cave (The Rift)
-2 in Dawnstar Sanctuary (The Pale)
-2 in Reachcliff Cave (The Reach)
-1 in Black-Briar Manor (Riften)
-1 in Raldbthar Deep Market (The Pale)
-1 in Volunruud (The Pale)

This ingredient is limited, but it CAN be found in Rare-Type apothecary's satchels (6% chance), and on the bodies of Falmer magic casters, warlocks and Forsworn, all of whom have a 0.7% chance of carrying a sample.

River Betty Fish:
-These guys are all over the place, merchants very typically sell them but they're on the expensive side. I recommend grabbing a "water-breathing" enchanted piece of equipment and just swimming through the rivers starting at Markarth and travelling eastward. If you start at the Apprentice Stone you'll be near about 30 "spawning sites" for fish. Just dive into the water and look around. Remember that the above-listed Orange Dartwings as well as their blue counterparts often hover over these locations so be quick and snatch them out of the air while you're passing through.

Hope this helps my fellow potent poisoners.

Enjoy your swim,

Joshua J. Taylor

Friday, 7 December 2012

Old School Style - 8 Bit Buddies

Hey everyone,

I'm working on creating a mural-style graphic for a wall and I'm creating it using characters from the gaming world, regardless of the era, all turned into 8-bit versions of themselves. The thing is, I found a graphic that shows a TONNE of the most iconic characters from the last couple decades... But there are just too many to pick from.

So I need your help.

Click to view in its full glory.
This is the picture I've taken as the basis for my mural. What I need from you, dear reader, is to comment on this article with your votes for the characters you feel NEED to be included in the piece as the most iconic characters from the gaming universe.

Now I understand that there may be characters that you wish to vote for who aren't included in the graphic. That's perfectly fine and all you need to do is include the character name and the game they're from in your comment and I'll consider it a valid vote.

Please readers, comment with your picks. I know there are a lot there but if you can just pick out 5 or so, there's no limit on how many you can vote for (though there'll likely only be 25-30 in the final project) so weigh in and be heard!

Thank you, and enjoy your swim!

Joshua J. Taylor


As far as which games I feel need to be included, my list of the top 25 is (in no particular order):

  1. Pac Man
  2. Modern Warfare 2
  3. Tomb Raider
  4. Pokemon
  5. Starfox
  6. Legend of Zelda
  7. Assassin's Creed
  8. Final Fantasy 7
  9. Twisted Metal
  10. Super Mario Bros.
  11. Goldeneye 007
  12. Motal Kombat
  13. Sonic the Hedgehog
  14. Halo
  15. Grand Theft Auto
  16. Duke Nukem
  17. Doom
  18. Fallout
  19. Portal
  20. Ratchet and Clank
  21. Metroid
  22. Donkey Kong
  23. Mega Man
  24. Star Wars
  25. Minecraft

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

From Zero to Hero - My Fitness Journey

I'm finally back -you know you missed me- and this time, IT'S PERSONAL! Well, it's personal fitness at least.
From Zero to Hero!
Yup, I'm getting back to my old ways, going start putting my gym membership back to good use and you all get to come along for the ride... Aren't you stoked? If not, please go drink a couple of Red Bulls and try again :p No seriously, don't. That shit'll kill you.

In any case, over the next few months I'll be a man on a mission... A mission of self-improvement and it's all going to be documented here in the Fishbowl in the hopes of inspiring some of my readers to make a positive change in their own life, and to (hopefully) earn some encouragement as I take on this challenge. In essence I'm going to try to go... From zero to hero :p

Yes, this was necessary :p

Well with that said er... um... sung I suppose, we can move on with the introduction of my "Zero to Hero" article thread. Basically I'll be hitting my gym (The Goodlife Fitness downstairs in the Oshawa Centre) with a planned-out routine each week. On every visit I'll be documenting the workouts done, the weights used, reps done, distances run and run times. Each week I'll be posting a scan of my fitness tracker as signed off on by a Goodlife employee each gym trip along with a picture of myself every month until I'm satisfied with my progress. I don't really have a plan as to how long I'd like this whole effort to last but I'm thinking after about 6 months I'll be ready to stop documenting it on here.

The routine is going to start off with 3 weeks of a simple routine, just to get me into the habit of being back in the gym and to start me on a healthier eating track. Ensuring that one meal is healthy and balanced each day, and hitting the gym 3 times each week will be the system for these first three weeks. I'm going off of an article from Men's Fitness and you can read the entire article here. It only recommends a 2-day system, with a rest in between each day however I think I'll feel better throwing in a third day for my own former routine, just to keep my mentality linked from before, and to allow me to keep my running in check each week.

My official start SHOULD be one week from today. I'll keep you guys posted!

Thanks for stopping by, enjoy your swim!

Joshua J. Taylor