Category Archives: Misc


We all know that ninjas are pretty awesome. But have you ever wondered exactly how awesome your ninja actually is? If you yourself are a ninja, this is much more than an academic question. Use this handy guide to calculate the awesomeness of any ninja. You begin with zero points and add relevant points as indicated by the chart.

  • is male: +1
  • is female: +6
  • has black, white, blue, or red ninja costume: +2
  • has ninja costume of other color: -1
  • is also a cyborg: +5
  • has more than 75 shuriken concealed in costume: +1
  • wields a katana: +1
       –katana cries out for the blood of foes: +1
       –katana cannot be sheathed until blood is drawn: +1
       –katana can cut people in half, but they don’t know they’re dead until the ninja stomps on the ground and their torso slides away from the rest of their body: +3
       –katana can slice through gun barrels and tank armor: +2
       –wields more than one katana: +1 per additional katana

  • has sworn blood vengeance against someone: +2
  • is an anthropomorphic animal: -2
  • is only visible as a blur of motion when leaping around: +2
  • wields nunchaku: +2 per nunchaku
  • knows nothing of good or evil–only the Way of the Warrior: +2
  • can battle multiple enemy henchmen at the same time: +1 per 15 henchmen
  • can kill people just by touching them: +4
  • can kill people without touching them: +4
  • leads a life of non-violence: -12
  • can be convinced to emerge from retirement to cut one last swath of bloody vengeance through the ranks of foes: +3
  • trained under the same mystical martial-arts master that his/her nemesis did: +3
  • is seeking revenge for murder of his/her master: +2
  • can run around on walls and/or ceilings: +1
  • can shoot fireballs: +2
  • dialogue:
       –no dialogue; ninja never speaks: +3
       –consists of poorly-translated subtitles: +2
       –is dubbed by lackluster English voiceover: +2
       –is spoken in fractured “Engrish”: +4

  • has total control over body systems and reflexes: +1
       –can feign death for long periods of time: +1
       –can breathe underwater for long periods of time: +1
       –feels no pain: +3

  • can catch arrows in midair: +2
  • is the last surviving member of his/her ninja clan: +2
  • What other items should be added to the list? And most importantly… how does your ninja rank in terms of awesomeness?

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    1d6 random observations

    Beautiful rainy spring morning today–I’m working at home today, and I much enjoyed tapping away this morning at the computer to the pleasant background noise of a nice rain. We bumped into many patches of rain on our cross-country trip last week–just enough rain to really bring out the bright greens and that unique rainy-spring smell, but never so much that it interfered with our plans. In other words, just about perfect.
    I don’t have any epic essays written today. Instead, we have a random assortment of interesting (to me, at least) links and other miscellanea for you to peruse.
    Random thing #1. I was excited to see the release of Fedora Core 2, the latest iteration of my Linux distribution of choice. Unfortunately, I may sit this one out and wait for Fedora Core 3, unless they can do something about the “minor” glitch that prevents you from booting into Windows XP on a dual-boot machine. That would be a pretty major problem for some of us. Hmmmm.
    #2. Taking long road trips, especially road trips that involve going near Chicago (travel tip: if your road trip will take you within two states of Chicago, add about 10 hours of traffic to your estimated travel time), has cemented in my mind the idea that most people with drivers licenses are horrible people who shouldn’t be allowed near a bicycle, let alone behind the wheel of a 1+ ton block of metal traveling at 80 mph. So after several days’ worth of driving uber-cautiously and ranting about the horrible driving habits of other people, what’s the first thing I do upon my return to Grand Rapids? I swerve into another lane without looking first and force another car to brake madly to avoid hitting me. I guess I’m just another one of those terrible people you always hear about.
    #3. Joel passed me this link to an interesting series of essays discussing the basic concepts behind the Japanese language. Very fun read.
    #4. I’ve really been enjoying, a blog on the topic of religion and the media. Pretty sharp commentary, and politic-y without being too pundit-y. If you know what I mean.
    #5. It turns out my wife has pretty good taste in music. Ever since she introduced me to Tom Waits, I’ve been listening to him whenever I get the chance. How can you not like a musician who writes lyrics like these? Unfortunately, Michele’s taste isn’t perfect–she has not yet acknowledged that Extreme’s III Sides to Every Story is the album than which none greater can be conceived. Ah well, she’ll figure it out eventually.
    I think I’ll stop with five random observations for now. Wouldn’t want to go overboard.

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