Grading NBA trades

The Unicorn heads to the nation’s capital:

The Washington Wizards are sending point guard Spencer Dinwiddie and forward Davis Bertans to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for a future second-round draft pick and forward Kristaps Porzingis. The Wizards are adding another big in Porzingis, which I don’t get they have Kuzma, Gafford, Hachimura, Bryant, and now Porzingis. I guess they might try and mirror the Cavs who had a boatload of bigs/forwards. Dallas adds a veteran guard who will probably come off the bench and add a stretch-big both will play big roles for Dallas in the latter half of the season.

Washington gets a C for this deal while Dallas gets a B-

pc: clutchpoints.com

Harden heads to Philly:

The Brooklyn Nets are sending James Harden and Paul Millsap to Philly, the 76ers are sending Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, two first-round picks, and Ben Simmons. This is a win-win trade for both teams. the 76ers add a second superstar next to their all-star center Joel Embiid; while New York adds rim protection with Drummond, 3-point shooting with Seth, future assets, and a young all-star point guard/power forward in Ben Simmons. Both teams are in win-now mode and this trade keeps them both in this focus.

Philly gets an A and Brooklyn gets an A as well, in my opinion.

pc: theathletic.com

Two Sides of the Same Coin-2

My last blog post was basically a mess of me trying to explain what Tokyo Ghoul is fundamentally whilst also trying to gush about the genius of part one. However, now that basically every piece of context has been laid out I can now gush about one of my favorite sections of Tokyo Ghoul, part 2. Originally, I had seen the anime before I had read the manga. In the anime, Kaneki joins Aogiri Tree, completely letting go of who he is as a person and becoming a cold-blooded killer so that he can become strong enough to protect the ones he loves. Although it does work into the story either way it is so far from what happens in the manga it’s comical.

What I forgot to explain in the first part is that the CCG rates ghouls based on their level of danger. If a ghoul is a rate A it means they’re generally pretty dangerous but not hardened killers. Some ghouls can go all the way up to SSS rating which means they have quite the body count when it comes to investigators.

Kaneki forms his own minor organization with the single goal of finding Dr. Kano, a ghoul researcher/doctor who planted Rize’s kahuo in Kaneki. Kaneki remains kind and fragile as he was in season one, but he now has the power necessary to get what he wants and he’s finally willing to use it. However, Kaneki still somewhat refuses to eat. Instead, he cannibalizes other ghouls, which greatly increases his already insane power. However, what Kaneki does not know is that if ghouls cannibalize, they become Kakuja which if translated means “awakened person”. Kakuja are immensely powerful ghouls who have multiple Kahuos, allowing them to control multiple Kagune at a time. However, should a ghoul awaken, they lose control, and only a very select few ghouls can maintain control when awakened.

About halfway through part one, the CCG ghoul prison known as cochlea is broken into and many high-ranking ghouls are released, putting the CCG in a very tough spot. Kaneki who was at Cochlea for reasons I can’t remember is confronted by an especially strong ghoul who was very close to Rize and is now set on killing him as he bears Rize’s scent. Being one of the strongest non-kakuja ghouls, this ghoul wipes the floor with Kaneki. Lying in the puddle of his own blood, Kaneki’s loss drives him to awaken. Unable to control his Kakuja powers, he mortally injures an investigator and barely escapes with his life. Kaneki, now being a Kakuja is a ticking time bomb. He still isn’t eating well and mostly eats ghouls as he knows it makes him stronger.

Photo Credit: Reddit

What makes the second part of Tokyo Ghoul so special to me is how much backstory and lore they give to characters that received very little attention in the anime. This happens all throughout the show as basically half the content that made the manga so special was surgically removed. Sui Ishida gives many side characters compelling and emotional backstories throughout part two which adds an immense amount of depth to the Tokyo Ghoul world, which I will definitely be getting into in another post.

Throughout the first half, one of the main roadblocks for the CCG is a ghoul known as the owl, who is responsible for the conception of Aogiri Tree. The owl is actually two ghouls, a father and his daughter who are both kakujas. Despite looking and fighting completely differently the owls are one of the biggest threats to the CCG. Mr. Yoshimura, the man who took in Kaneki is the owl, the founder of Aogiri tree, and one of the most feared ghouls in Tokyo.

Photo Credit: Tumblr

The CCG launches an operation into the 20th ward which is the worst possible situation for Kaneki as every ghoul he was training to protect was in the 20th ward. In a hurry, Kaneki goes to the 20th ward where he faces Special Investigator Kisho Arima. An extraordinary investigator who has a flawless record in the CCG and is the only investigator to have mortally injured the owl which he did when he was sixteen.

In one of the coolest scenes ever, Kaneki confronts Arima underground in a bed of Red Spider Lilies. Kaneki loses epically. He doesn’t even land a single hit on Arima and gets a quinque through the eye. Although Kaneki has an absurd amount of power, not even he can stand up to Arima. At this point, everyone believes Arima is the main villain, and in typical Tokyo Ghoul fashion, the first part ends, and seemingly so does the story of Ken Kaneki

Photo Credit: Tumblr

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Recently, I just finished the Tokyo Ghoul manga for the first time. 30 volumes later and a lot of money spent, I finally finished it and I can say with the utmost confidence that it is the single best thing I have ever read and will ever read. If you haven’t already read Tokyo Ghoul, I urge you to do so and also to not read this blog as there will be a lot of spoilers as it is very hard to gush about it without completely spoiling the series. If I got into every aspect of what makes Tokyo Ghoul absolutely amazing this one blog post would be an entire novel so I’ll try to separate them all into different posts.

Before I start fully gushing and explaining the story, there are a few things I need to explain. There are ghouls and humans. Ghouls are similar to humans in every way except for the fact that they have especially enhanced physical abilities as well as enhanced resistance and healing. They have the same faces, the same brain chemistry, and even feel the same. Ghouls can have far more complicated lives and trauma than most humans could even comprehend. Ghouls are strong but fragile creatures that need the same care and attention that humans do. Their physical abilities make it extremely difficult to kill without a special weapon. Fortunately, Ghouls are given a special weapon. Ghouls are born with an extra organ known as a kahuo which produces kagunes that have the ability to take a ghoul’s life or inflict mortal injuries. Generally, ghouls are an eradication target for humans, and said eradications are executed by an organization known as the CCG who wield quinques which are basically dead ghouls kagune that a human can use.

Photo credit: i.pinimg

What makes Ghouls especially interesting is that there are four types of Kahuo, Ukakau, Kokaku, Rinkaku, and Bikaku. Ukaku’s reside on the top of the ghouls back. Ukaku users are agile and operate at the range, they hit hard but their endurance is not great. Kokakus are near the upper-middle back and tend to be more sword-like, heavy, and hard-hitting weapons. Rinkakus reside near the lower-middle back and tend to be frailer in nature but also abundant. Typically a more tentacle-like weapon with fast-moving and acrobatic movements as well as immense healing abilities. The main character is a Rinkaku. Bikaku kahous are at the very lower back and tend to be more tail-like weapons that can be immensely capable if the user uses them well. The General rule is that the kahuo below is stronger than the kahuo above. What makes them even more interesting is that ghouls can cannibalize and consume other kahuos to use their abilities and enhance their own. This becomes very important throughout the manga.

Unlike any other monsters vs. humans anime/manga, the monsters are just as much of a protagonist as the humans, which constantly leaves the reader confused over who to side with and who really deserves to live. This moral struggle leads the reader to realize that it’s not ghouls or humans who are wrong, the world is wrong.

photo credit: w7.pngwing

Next, there’s the main character, Ken Kaneki, a quiet and frail boy with little confidence and only one real friend. Kaneki meets an especially strong ghoul named Rize. Unknowing that she is a ghoul, the two go on a date. Rize is about to eat Kaneki when a stack of steel beams falls on the two of them, putting them in the hospital. Rize’s life is forfeit and the only way to save Kaneki is by giving her ghoul abilities to Kaneki. Ken has now been struck with the burden of being a ghoul and needing to feed on the human matter despite living as a human for his whole life. Kaneki is taken in by a mysterious ghoul named Mr. Yoshimura who owns a coffee shop where Kaneki would live and work as he found his footing in the ghoul world.

As the story progresses, Kaneki has now had feet in both worlds. In the ghoul world he is loved, needed, and accepted. Kaneki cannot embrace his own ghoul powers and for the majority of the first part, he continually puts his ghoul friends in danger to save his skin. Kaneki won’t eat, won’t sleep, and most importantly is unwilling to unleash his immense latent power to do what needs to be done. By the mid-season, both our ghoul friends and the CCG have a clear common enemy. Aogiri tree, a group of ghouls set to create a new world for ghouls to exist in peace. However, their noble cause is executed through eradication and suffering much like the CCG. Both Aogiri tree and the CCG have horribly psychopathic members obsessed with eradication and death, but still have many members who truly want change in the world but have no better options. Two opposite goals clash with each other endlessly with no forward progress.

The first part of Tokyo Ghoul is an absolutely genius introduction into this world. The readers are given a tragic hero, stuck in the in-between, trying to navigate the Ghoul world as a former human. He sees the immense horrors of both worlds, although he has not scratched the surface of his own power, he himself has some idea of his own abilities. He knows that he must take or be taken and for the entirety of the first season, he allows himself to be taken, hiding behind his selfish morals and his own idea that he is not strong enough.

Finally, at the end of the first part, Kaneki is captured by an especially psychopathic ghoul who is also obsessed with Rize, the owner of Kaneki’s Kahuo. This ghoul, Jason A.K.A. Yamori is part of Aogiri Tree and suffered horrible torture earlier in his life, causing him to completely break and become one of the most feared ghouls in Aogiri Tree. Jason tortures Kaneki for hours and hours on end. Jasons horrible torture methods push Kaneki over the edge, and in a vision with Rize, he finally realizes the extent of his power. In one of the best scenes with one of the best art, Kaneki kills Jason, finally gaining control of his Kagune and leaving his morals behind. Kaneki is a killer now and he has a plan to find the doctor that turned him into a ghoul and understand who he is.

Even though Tokyo Ghoul part one is the least of what Sui Ishida can accomplish, it is the perfect introduction to one of the best Mangas ever written.

Photo Credit: Fiction Horizon

I had Covid

I tested positive for Covid over winter break and it t’was not a fun experience. I had no symptoms, except I slept for 13 hours the night I tested positive. I had to quarantine for 10 days and it sucked. The only good that came out of my quarantine was that I came out of retirement for my Fortnite career. Having Covid was not an enjoyable experience, I could not hang out with friends, I could not go to the gym, and I could not go to work. I highly recommend not getting Covid.

Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | FDA
pc: fda.gov

Masculine or Feminine … or Neither?

Over the summer, I had one homework assignment for AP Psychology. It was to read Forty Studies That Changed Psychology and write two paragraph summaries for ten of the forty studies that caught my eye. In normal fashion, I read only ten of the studies and wrote the paragraphs the night before the due date. One of the studies that caught my eye was a study called Masculine or Feminine … or Both? that explored gender in psychology and proposed the idea that instead of masculinity and feminity being measured separately based on sex, they would be two variables on the same graph. Not only did this study introduce the idea of androgyny, but it also completely changed how psychologists studied gender.

The study was done by a professor who gave her students a list of positive attributes and asked her them which ones she felt were desirable to the opposite sex. This made it so that it strictly abided by gender norms in society. She then took the list and turned it into a test in which different attributes were listed with an “agree-disagree” spectrum with masc attributes contributing as negative variables and femme contributing as positive variables. She then made scoring guidelines: anyone -.05 or under was on the masc spectrum, anyone 0.5 or over was on the femme spectrum, and if the score ranged from -0.49-0.49, the person would then be considered “androgynous”.

In 1974, this was one of the most progressive gender studies in human history as it suggested that gender attributes weren’t exactly tied to sex. However, this study was done in 1974, not only have gender studies come a long way, but some of the research methods are outdated. For example, the attributes that are labeled “masculine” or “feminine” are only based on hetero-normativity and do not consider same-sex or other forms of attraction. Although it is likely a lot of the attributes will stay the same, some might change which is very important if something like this is to be measured. Then there’s the possibility that androgyny as a measurement of gender is outdated as well.

I’m not saying that we should all remove androgyny from our vocabularies altogether, as it is a good adjective for someone who has physical attributes of both sexes. What I do think, is that it limits psychological studies of gender as it still somewhat adheres to the idea that there are only two real classifications/identifications of gender. Realistically, a study such as this is really more useless than anything. In today’s world, there are so many gender identifications such as non-binary that completely exclude masculinity and femininity altogether. It might even be better to exclude gender identification in psychology altogether as it is extremely difficult to study something that has an actively growing number of variables.

Art by Frida Kahlo

The Lion

How is the lion the king of the jungle?

He his vicious and feared

He’s a killer and a king,

But how?

A lion sleeps for 20 hours day,

Meaning he rules the jungle for only 4 hours a day,

His mentality is different.

He instills fear in others

He kills in his sleep

A lion’s presence alone changes a whole community in the jungle,

Elephants, gazelles, and cheetahs all know who the ruler is

Even humans understand how merciless a lion’s mentality is

In four hours a day the lion is physically running a jungle 

But for 24 hours a day the lion is psychologically ruling a jungle.

Virginia Zoo mourns death of African lion Emery after decline in health |  WAVY.com

Photo from wavy.com

The Unoriginal Fighting Idea (My Take)

For this week’s blog, I’m going to discuss my take on the animals I could fight and win, but I like Pokemon and so I’m going to talk about the Pokemon I could beat in a fight. These are just fictional animals and they can use special attacks, I’m just going to set the baseline as just treating them like an animal fighting me not something that can blow me up (for obvious reasons).

To begin, let’s start with an obvious win, Klefki.

This is Klefki, its a sentient set of keys that floats. I’ll lead off with the fact that it’s a key chain what is it gonna do, if I had to fight it I’d just grab it by the keyring and shake it around like a ragdoll. This is an obvious win for me 100% of the time.

Next is a so so win-loss ratio



This is Ditto it’s a Pokemon that can morph into anything it sees, so for example it could morph into me and have the same “stats” as myself. The reason this is a toss-up for a win or a loss is that it can turn into me, I just don’t know if I would win in a fight against myself or if it would even turn into me and create me vs me situation. I’m going to give this a 50-50 chance that I would win.
Next is Darmanitan its a fire Pokemon that is 4’3″ so it’s shorter than me but it weighs 204 lb so it’s much heavier than me. I see this fight as a 100% loss for me as it is a giant fire gorilla that could definitely kick my ass in a fight. My tactic for this fight would be to attempt to get it to hurt itself but I really doubt that I could dodge this thing.
Second, to last is one of my favorite pokemon Marshadow, this Pokemon is a ghost fighting type. This Pokemon would kick my ass about 70% of the time because it is a ghost, the other 30% of the time I could totally beat it because it’s only 2’4″ tall and it weighs 48 lb. In the situation that I am able to make contact with it, I’d just punt the little thing as hard as I could launching it into space like team rocket (example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib084tzN8H0 – credit: Quilifai on youtube). In the event where I go to kick it and my foot goes straight through it, I’m quite so fucked like there is nothing that I can do at all, that’s my reasoning for my win-loss ratio.

Finally Zoroark, this Pokemon comes in at 5’3″ and weighs 178 lb, and is known as the illusion Pokemon. Personally, I look at this fight as a toss-up because I think that I might be able to beat this Pokemon by just straight-up fighting it. I feel like its size and weight puts it in a lower weight class than me making this one pretty even. I do think that the size of these Pokemons arms is quite lacking compared to mine. Im going to give this fight a 50% win-loss ratio.

All Photos Credit: Pokemon.com

Gimme a Slice!

I would say I am more of a pie person over cake.

Cake is just too much. Too much frosting (I’m allergic), too much sugar, too much cake.

My mom makes the best apple pie, I might be biased. The Schuette family is definitely more of an apple pie family over pumpkin pie. I don’t mind pumpkin pie, but I will get up during dinner to get more than three helpings of apple pie.

We as a family are such big apple pie lovers that my younger sister wrote about the pie.

photo credit: Kristine’s Kitchen

`Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 recipe pastry for a 9″ double crust pie

1/2 cup unsalted or salted butter

3 tablespoons all- purpose flour

1/4 cup of water

1/2 cup white sugar (or slightly less)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar (or slightly less)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon- to taste (optional)

8 apples; peeled, cored, sliced (4 granny smith, 4 envy or fuji)

1 lemon; squeeze juice (add sugar to taste, the lemon will go on top of the apples to stop from browning)

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
  3. Drizzle some of the lemon juice and sugar liquid over apples; just enough to make sure the apples do not brown.
  4. Place the bottom crust in a pan or use the one that came in the package. Put apples in a mixing bowl and drizzle less than half of the sugar/ butter liquid on apples. Put the apples in the crust, mound it slightly.
  5. Cover the pie with a lattice and then pour sugar/ butter liquid over the crust. Brush to make the mixture cover the whole pie.
  6. Line a tray with tin foil and place pie on top. During baking the pie might bubble over, this is a preventative.
  7. Cover with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; and continue to bake for 35-45 minutes or until apples are soft. Take of foil and let it cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Enjoy! It tastes really good with ice cream.

Embarrassment

In my everyday life I could fall upwards to five times, and it is quite embarrassing. One instance I can remember is when I went to Montgomery, Alabama. I was walking along the river on one of those raised ledges, thinking everything was fine. It was not fine, I fell off, and now I have a lasting scar. I did not cry and it barely hurt, I was more embarrassed than anything. Everyone who was on that river that day saw me and kept coming up to me to see if I was okay… I did not like the attention.

photo credit: Vector Stock

Another embarrassing moment is everytime I see a person I know in public. I do not like talking to people and I know that if I see someone I know, they’ll come up to me to talk. I do talk to them because I don’t like being rude, but I am worried that I am going to say or do something weird.

The inspiration

Anything is possible

Your ideas scream

You hear screams of passion

Screams of possibility

Screams of the hope you can bring

Screams of the sorrow you lead

Screams of the love you can spread 

Screams of the hatred you can unleash

You hear as you release the passion and possibility

The hope and sorrow

The love and hatred 

You hear as these overwhelm your mind 

Then, you stop hearing and start listening

You start to go

With no thought or care

The pen moves by itself

The music plays itself

Everything becomes thoughtless

Moving with ease