Mario’s Tahoe Journal

In the interest of converting my entire collection of physical representations of childhood memories into eternal digital archives, I’m scanning pages from Mario’s Tahoe Journal, my old pen-and-binder-paper-powered diary of our family trips to the alpine lake back in the 90s. You can now read the pages on this very blog! I’ve posted them with their original dates and typed them out as accurately as I can (misspellings and sullen teenage angst and all), and included photos I had taken during the same trips. They will all be posted under a single category for reference, which can be found here:

Mario’s Tahoe Journal

Please note that the opinions I had expressed as a teenager of siblings and peers do not reflect current opinions of same individuals. These entries are being posted unedited for posterity. I have nothing but love for my family and those we traveled with all those years ago. Blame the hormones, and forgive Baby Mario his transgressions.

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How many baseballs to a soccer ball?

Twitter was all abuzz today with the impressively high-scoring Brazil vs Germany World Cup game. In the end, one of the teams* defeated one of the others with a score of 7-1. Twitter parody account @DodgerzGM made the following statement partway into the game:

Which made me wonder: what would the actual equivalent score be? Or to put it another way: what is the conversion of soccer goals to baseball runs?

This is, of course, a ridiculous question. Which is why, equally of course, I needed to address it.

To start, I had to narrow some definitions. It would not be practical or informative to try and determine, say, an average score of every baseball game played around the world for all time. I decided to compare the latest available data in both sports: the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2013 MLB Season. Right off the bat, you sports-minded folk may be complaining about some kind of selection bias, claiming that an entire season of baseball isn’t an appropriate sample size compared to the relatively smaller World Cup series of games, and that just using the World Series or the 2013 postseason would make more sense. To this I say:

  • It was a World Cup game, so using the World Cup as a basis seemed to make the most sense. As I understand it, there are other regional qualifying matches that lead up to the World Cup, but that amount of information would have been difficult to compile.
  • The World Series only involves two teams across 7-ish games, so that sample size seems ridiculously small. The postseason is only slightly better with four teams.
  • Baseball-Reference.com made it very easy to get the numbers needed to make this calculation on the baseball side (I used Wikipedia for the soccer stats).
  • Comparing soccer to baseball in this apples-and-oranges sort of way is fun, we don’t need to muck it up with more complicated stat-gathering.

With that disclaimer out of the way, it’s Fun With Numbers time!

The average team score in the 2010 World Cup was 1.13 goals. In the 2013 MLB season, the average score was 4.17 runs. With this information, we can determine that 1 World Cup goal is roughly equivalent to 3.69 MLB runs.

Now that we have a conversion, we see that a World Cup score of 7-1 is about 25-3 in MLB.

“Why didn’t you state the score in decimal values?”, you might ask. The reason is that the actual output of 25.83-3.69, while technically more precise, would never fly in actual baseball. In such a hypothetical game, .69 runs barely gets past second base, so the runner would probably stay on rather than try to power to home plate. .83 runs gets the runner around third, but I’m guessing they doubled back or got caught/tagged out. Either way, a fraction of a run isn’t a run.

Data Sources:

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*I didn’t actually watch. It’s all sportsball to me.

Some Stream-of-Consciousness Thoughts on The Fault in Our Stars

OB_IMG - The Fault in Our StarsVan Houten is as wrong about characters as a character/person can be. They do exist beyond the pages. But this book has taught me that their lives are just as fleeting as the supposedly more “real” lives we all possess. Characters are real, but just as assuredly do they continue living past the last chapter, they also eventually expire.

Hazel wanted to know what happened to the characters surrounding Anna because that will also be the mystery of her loved ones when she passes. She’s frustrated because she can’t know what will happen to Isaac, or Augustus, or her parents. When she dies, it’s the end of her personal story, but hearing what happens after Anna’s last sentence is cut off would ensure her that a world continues on.

I was so fearful that this book would pull a Van Houten and cut off Hazel’s sentence.

It occurs to me now that Van Houten’s cutoff robs the reader of important closure that they get when grieving the loss of a loved one. Augustus’ death is tragic, and I felt real pain and shed real tears as I read. It hurt like any loss I’ve ever suffered in life. I was Hazel for those pages. But Anna’s mother and hamster get no such closure. Their story is eternally paused, their opportunity for closure taken from them. As Hazel, I got to see the story continue. I got to experience how awful a world without Augustus truly is, but I also got to see that there WAS still a world to grieve in.

Van Houten got everything right about death and dying except for the eternity that follows. He thought a story can just be a first person perspective of a slow decline, but the story belongs to the other characters as much as it does to the protagonist. Anne Frank’s story is also Otto Frank’s story, and the story of the museum’s patrons. Anne Frank’s story has a chapter about Hazel and Augustus kissing in her childhood home, and of strangers applauding two teenagers finding love in a place normally reserved for reverence. The act happened in spite of reverence, and was itself a reverent act because it played a part in Anne Frank’s life after life.

The Fault in Our Stars is An Imperial Affliction is Anne Frank’s Diary is John Green’s dealing with the loss of Esther Earl (despite and because of his disclaimers).

That book thoroughly knocked me on my ass.

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SoundCloud

Over a decade ago, I used to (via Zelda Comic) host a collection of songs and ditties I’d created in MOD tracker software (and later, a Mac OS 9 version of Logic), little covers of video game tunes mostly but also some original music. However, a major website overhaul resulted in the song page and all associated music disappearing. Some readers asked me where they could find music I had written. My response at the time was simply that I didn’t feel the songs were related to Zelda Comic, hadn’t found an appropriate new home for them, and for the most part was a little embarrassed of my lack of musical prowess demonstrated in most of those tracks. Almost every song I’ve ever composed (except for a track on OCReMix’s Hedgehog Heaven compilation album, but let’s not talk about that) was stricken from the Internet.

Since then, a few developments have occurred:

  • SoundCloud started existing.
  • I’ve got a hankering to archive old songs again, regardless of perceived quality.

My SoundCloud account can be found here: https://soundcloud.com/mario-panighetti. Right now it only has a silly kazoo cover of an amazing web series theme song, but I’ll soon be uploading other tracks from days of yore, including a soundtrack I made for a for reals computer game! Maybe even new songs eventually?? We will see.

So stay tuned I guess!

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Frog and Toad Meet Mr. Bump

Back in elementary school, we had access to a cheap, simple book publishing process; we would write and draw our stories, and the librarian would laminate the pages, punch holes and apply plastic binding. Some of my fondest school memories involved churning out story after story and seemingly having them immortalized in real book form.

Cut to the modern era, where I have been collecting old childhood artwork as Apple Cow fodder (turns out I’m still making those???). During one of these scanning sessions, I came across one of my old books.

Then I discovered this book was actually an early attempt at crossover fanfiction and told the story of Frog and Toad meeting Mr. Bump!

So I’ve decided to treat this a little differently than Apple Cow. Not only because the characters are protected under copyright law (and I’ve never created webcomics primarily featuring copyrighted characters), but also because, as a completed work, I felt a more appropriate (and entertaining) action would be to release it in its entirety to an unsuspecting Internet.

I’ll probably eventually add the pages to Dot Matrix for archival purposes, but for the time being I’ve created a Tumblr blog dedicated to this project. Tune in to Frog and Toad Meet Mr. Bump for weekly page uploads and hopefully humorous commentary as I delve into the creative mind of my nine-year-old self!

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Apple Cow Episode 6: Pomaceous Admiration

Since no one was asking, here’s the latest episode of Apple Cow!

Okay, some explanation may be called for.

Several years ago, I dug up a box of old childhood drawings. I had been trying to think of a new webcomic project, and the idea came to me to use these drawings as artwork for a new comic series. The small sampling of drawings showcased my childhood love of cows and apples, and the rest came naturally.

Go check out the previous episodes then come right back once you’re caught up. It’s a website, it can wait!

Continue reading Apple Cow Episode 6: Pomaceous Admiration

The Forum Decides: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic S02E01: “The Return of Harmony, Part 1”

This week I decided to start a new feature on The Orange Belt Forums. Specifically, I opened a thread soliciting suggestions on what TV show episode I would watch and pledged that whichever episode got the most suggestions, I would view without question.

This being the Internet, I probably should have suspected that the majority vote would go to an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

In just a few minutes I will start viewing the winning episode, the season two opener “The Return of Harmony, Part 1”. Will one episode be able to convince me that bronies have maybe got their lives sorted out after all? Will I run screaming from my computer and turn to a life of solitude, never again to lay hands on any piece of technology that might bring me closer to this modern eldritch horror? Will some third thing happen?

Find out in the forum thread!

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