Break, Time Travel and Gaming

I have ended work earlier tonight than usual. My head’s about to burst from exhaustion so I got no choice but to stop coding. It’s been a while since I had breaks like these even with a headache such as this one. Often times I’ll just ignore it and continue with my task, but just for tonight I felt like breaking the pattern.

I finished Stephen Hawking’s A Briefer History of Time last Sunday while I was on my way here in Davao. There were two topics that really piqued my interest: time travel and the unified theory of physics. It’s impossible not to be interested with the idea of traveling to the past and future time. As Stephen says, mathematically-speaking, traveling towards the future time seems more possible than traveling back in the past. Personally, I still don’t get how traveling in the past can be possible even at the speed of light. I have no doubts with the future time traveling because it’s already been proven that time runs slower when traveling at the speed of light.

The holy grail right now of physicists, or theoretical physicists to be precised, is achieving the unified theory of physics or more popularly known as the theory of everything (or as Hawking names it the quantum theory of gravity). Based from what Hawking said though, it seems to me that it’s a more difficult task than achieving time travel even though there are already a lot of theories that led to the current state of this quest. What’s so interesting about it? For me, it’s more of the physicists’ quest than the goal because even if the theory gets to be formulated, it wouldn’t really make such a big impact in our lives. There are still uncertainties out there that prevents us from predicting future events with 100% accuracy.

Last week, I started a break from most of the games I’ve been playing for the past month and only played NBA 2K14. Sniper Elite III and Watchdogs needs to be on hold because things are getting busier now with the part-time work. The new laptop has held its ground really well with these games and except for that Win 8 blue screen last Monday, I haven’t experienced any other hiccups with this beast. =)

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Playing Again

I just started playing an online game again this week. The game’s an MMORPG called Forsaken World. The last time I played an online game was in college while using dial-up connection. It was Gunbound, a platform shooting/aiming game similar to the concept of Worms. I decided to play again so I can have something to keep my mind off from work (both office and homebased). What urged me more is because of the 1/2 Prince manga where the story is about people playing a virtual MMORPG. I got hooked and so is my interest in playing an MMORPG.

Hopefully I can play it religiously at least 4 days a week. I definitely won’t be able to play it at home in Makilala. It took me a while to find an MMORPG that suits my taste so I better not miss more than a week of gaming.

No Pain, No Glory: The Brain Twister Game

Do you know the Brain Twister puzzle? It is composed of four puzzle pieces with varying shapes that are arranged in a way to match a certain pattern. During high school, brain twister is one of the games being held during math-science month from our freshman to sophomore years.

The competition is a team game which started with a five-man team in our 1st year then changed to a three-man team in 2nd year. I joined in both years but didn’t got lucky in the first year. The 2nd time I joined is a different story. Our team, myself together with Aarjaye and Rogan, swept through the elimination round. Then came the final round where we faced the defending champs composed of a bunch of 4th year students. We were the first people to arrive in the venue, which was really messy with all the chairs scattered around. We decided that we should clean and arrange the room first before everybody arrives. When some people came and asked why we were cleaning, we just answered “no pain, no glory” and we finished our work.

The game goes like this. One set of brain twister is provided to each team. The brain twisters are placed in a table a couple of feet away from the contestants’ line. Each turn in the game requires one representative of each team to run to the table then copy the pattern that was shown at the start of the turn. Whoever can copy the pattern first wins a point.

The game started and I was the first in line to solve the puzzle. I breezed through the puzzle and won the point. I can still remember the reaction from the opposite team’s representative at that turn, “paspasa oi,” which means “too fast.” I just smiled and  I knew Rogan and Aarjaye can do the same performance. In the difficult round of the game, a different set of patterns were used. These patterns were just created by the organizers which means none of us in the room have an stored knowledge of solving them. We were leading by two points and just needed another point to win the game. It was Aarjaye’s turn and it was taking a record-breaking number of minutes to finish. I’m sure it’s more than five minutes or even ten minutes. In the end, he was able to solve it and we won the game.

It’s one of the best wins I had in high school because we really prepared and planned for the game. No pain, no glory.