Supercherries

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So, back while I was working on the relaunch I was sending out surveys for people’s opinions on color schemes I screwed up and added an extra field.  This field populated with the default content on SurveyMonkey – fruits!  So I said whichever fruit won the fan vote, and that winner is…

cherriesSUPERCHERRIES

Fun cherry fact:  I like cherries, but I cannot stand anything artificially flavored to taste like cherries because to me it always tastes like cough medicine.  Same thing with mint flavored stuff and toothpaste.

MOVING ON.

Cherries are an awesome little fruit, packed with a whole lotta goodness, so let’s take a look at the basic stats, first:

Amount Per 1 cup, without pits (155 g)
Calories 77
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.5 g 0%
Saturated fat 0.1 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 5 mg 0%
Potassium 268 mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 19 g 6%
Dietary fiber 2.5 g 10%
Sugar 13 g
Protein 1.6 g 3%
Vitamin A 39% Vitamin C 25%
Calcium 2% Iron 2%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 5%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 3%

As with all fruits, there’s a good amount of vitamins and such in there, particularly A and C.  Good stuff.  Unlike many fruits, they’ve also got a little protein in there, and not too much sugar!  Vitamins and protein not enough for you?  Let’s see what else cherries offer to “sweeten” the deal (ohgodthatpunIamsosorry)

Reduce Soreness and Muscle Pain from Exercise!

In a study among long distance runners, drinking cherry juice every day helped to significantly reduce soreness after a race, vs. the placebo “cherry flavored drink” (that probably tasted like cough syrup).  We do a lot of fitness type stuff around here, so that is AWESOME.  Get in some cherries or cherry juice on a regular basis and you can cut down on soreness (along with the usual remedies like getting enough sleep, stretching, and anti-inflammatories).

Fight Cancer!

(because &!*% cancer).  Cherries, like cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, and other nifty foods are full of antioxidants like flavonoids and their ilk.  These are special naturally occuring chemical compounds that help to fight free radicals in your body.  Free radicals can damage cellular structures, leading to an increased risk of cancer and other nasties, so YAY CHERRIES.

Help you sleep!

Cherries have been shown to have small amounts of melatonin in them, which can help to regulate your body’s natural circadian rhythms.  That’s good news for insomniacs like me!  If you, too, have a problem making yourself go to sleep at night, or wake up in the morning, then try a serving of cherries or cherry juice in the morning, and another at night.  Sleeping is awesome, and most people should be doing more of it.

Fight gout!

Have gout?  No?  Well skip this one.  BUT, if you do have gout, you will be happy to know cherries have been shown to help reduce pain for people suffering from it.  There’s also some evidence the same compounds reduce pain related to arthritis, as well!

How to Get Your Cherry On

So, you know cherries are awesome, now how do you get your daily cherry in.  EAT CHERRY PIE ALL DAY ERRY DAY!  Actually, no, don’t do that.  While it would be delicious, you would also probably get very fat very quickly.  We generally try to avoid that, if possible.   My personal favorite is just to buy a whole bunch of them fresh, and snack on them whenever I feel like it.  They take a little extra time to eat if they still have the pits in, which means you probably won’t overindulge on them too much, and they are freaking delicious.

Barring that, cherry juice was used in the majority of the studies referenced here, so you can try that, too!  Just make sure you get 100% cherry juice or cherry juice from concentrate, and make sure there isn’t added sugar.  Be sure to note, though, that having just the juice is going to limit the amount of fiber you get (that’s usually in the skin).  Also, make sure you watch your serving sizes.  It’s way too easy to drink way too much juice, and we don’t like liquid calories around here!  >:O

So, that about covers us for our cherry binge.  See you on Wednesday!  And keep an eye on the Be a Game Character social media channels and forums between now and then.  Might be some interesting stuff to see…

Until next time, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome.

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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The Skills of Batman

The Skills of Batman

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Okay, before we begin, a slight disclaimer:  Batman is quite possibly the most overpowered character in existence.  His plot armor is so strong that SUPERMAN has died more times than him.  His skillsets accumulated across all comics and storylines would be literally impossible for any one person to possess. WITH THAT SAID, we are going to be approaching this from the strictly Arkham game continuity.  We’re going to stick close to his combat style, capabilities, and resources possessed in the game cannon, and try to steer clear of delving into the comics/movies TOO much. So, without further ado, let’s jump in!

Martial Arts

The combat in the Arkham games is fantastic, and very unique.  Batman uses brutal strikes, quick counters, and bone-smashing disabling moves to neutralize opponents in combat.  There’s a definite rhythm to the fights as well, and some of the moves used in combat are actually pretty practical.  As always, I seriously recommend you pick up a martial art in real life, and if you’re looking to emulate The Bat’s combat style, I have a few suggestions…

Muay Thai Muay thai has experienced a surge in popularity with the rise of MMA as a sport, and for good reason.  This style features lots of nasty close combat techniques utilizing elbows, kneed, and shins to deal maximum damage in a fight.  Quite a bit of Batman’s standup fighting in-game is similar to muay thai moves, so this is an excellent art to look into to emulate him (also just an excellent art in general).

Krav Maga Another rather brutal style, Krav Maga tends to focus quite a bit on debilitating injuries and quick dispatching of opponents.  It’s an excellent style for defense against weapons, and some people would say it has some of the best real-world self defense applications out there.

Brazilian Jujitsu Now, spending any amount of time on the ground in a fight against multiple opponents is NEVER a good idea (think about all those times you went for a ground finish in the game only to have an enemy you forgot about run up and punch you in the head unexpectedly).  That said, BJJ is GREAT for joint manipulation and locks, chokes, and leverage maneuvers.  In a 1v1 fight, its ability to go to the ground and win is almost unparalleled. I will definitely be doing a “Fight Like Batman” video at some point, but until then, get yourself down to a martial arts school and get yourself some real learnin’!

The Suit

Let’s be honest, in the Arkham Games, half of Batman’s superiority is from his suit and gadgets.  That’s okay, they’re AWESOME!  Let’s take a look at how we might go around making a “bat-suit” of our own…

Suit:

Helmet: Black SWAT 3A Rated Helmet - $290
Chest: Ballistic and Stab Resistant 3A Vest - $695
Arms/hands: Reaktor Hard Knuckle Gloves and ExoTech Elbow and Forearm Protection - $75
Legs: ExoTech Leg/Crotch and Shin Guards - $120
Feet: 5.11 ATAC Shield Boots - $150.99
Gear: MOLLE Modular Vest - $45.49
Now, granted, you’ll look a little more like Bane from Dark Knight Rises, but you can honestly jazz this all up with a decent over and undershirt, a good cowl, and look relatively close to the part.  You’ll also feel freaking indestructible.

Gadgets:

Grappling Hook - $51
Grappling Hook Launcher - Asst. Parts Cost
Taser Knuckles - $29 (illegal in some areas)
Handcuffs - $30.98
Shuriken – $7.45

So there’s a start.  Granted, Batman has a few more gadgets in the game that are a bit difficult to make work with real-world physics (looking at you, gliding cape and line launchers), but we could make a pretty good analogy for “Bat-guy” here. Total cost: $1525.00  (or so) See?  You don’t even have to be Bruce Wayne to afford the whole getup!  (note:  please don’t buy all this gear and go out and try to fight crime.   Bullets hurt a lot more in real life).

The Man

Batman is driven by a singular desire for vengeance-fueled justice, and bound by a duty to protect his city from supercriminals.  This kind of drive has created a human far beyond the usual limits of a ‘normal’ person.  Looking to turn yourself into Batman?  Here’s a daily schedule for you to try out.  Even if you aren’t mourning your parents, this will still turn you into a tough-as-nails superhuman.  (I’m also assuming you’re stuck with a day job, like myself.  Adjust your schedule accordingly) Check it:

6AM – Wake up, jump straight into a cold shower
6:10-6:20 Warm Up
6:20-7:20 Work Out
7:20-7:30 Cool Down  OR Yoga
7:30-8:00 Breakfast
8:00-5:00 Work (stop for lunch halfway through, get in a good snack mid-afternoon)
5:30-6:30 Martial Arts Practice
6:30-7:00 Dinner
7:00-9:00 Learn New Skills (research, tinker, build, read, learn a language, etc.) 9:00-9:30 Meditate
9:30-6AM – SLEEP.
Seriously, try to hammer out a solid schedule for yourself like that.  As advised in The Four Week Reset Button(join the mailing list to get it for free!), you should definitely move into it in steps, but you will turn into a seriously impressive human being following a schedule like this.  Give it a shot, eh?  (maybe we’ll make it a challenge month or something sometime soon).

Anyhoo, I think that’s enough Batman for one post.  I hope you enjoyed it!  I’ll see you again on Monday, with a new Grab Bag post!  Until then, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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The Skills of Solid Snake

The Skills of Solid Snake

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Solid Snake is an extremely capable individual, both in and out of combat.  Less impulsive, violent, and outgoing than his other “family,”  he has a methodical approach to combat and life that we can definitely take a look at.  Soldier, brother, and friend, Snake is many things, including but not limited to…

A Polyglot

[pol-ee-glot] 

adjective

1.

able to speak or write several languages; multilingual.
2.

containing, composed of, or written in several languages: a polyglot Bible.

One somewhat lesser-known fact about Solid Snake is that he actually speaks six languages.  While his combat skills may be first and foremost in the games, as an actual agent this ability to speak multiple languages would be invaluable.  In addition to allowing him to communicate with locals wherever he may be deployed, it also would allow him to identify and root out the meaning of words from languages he doesn’t know, just by identifying commons patterns and base words.

Learning a new language is a great thing to strive towards, for multiple reasons.  It boosts your overall brain processing abilities, keeps your mind fresh, opens more avenues for you, and, maybe the best part, doesn’t have to cost you anything.  Of course, it’s easiest to learn a new language if you can find someone in real life who speaks the language you want to learn, but even if you don’t have access to a native speaker, there’s still plenty of resources to learn on your own.  My personal favorite is LiveMocha, though there’s also DuoLingo.  Check the sites out, they’re worth your time.  You can also probably find some torrents for language CDs, or, if you can shell out the money, grab a copy of Rosetta Stone.

Regardless of how you go about it, immersing yourself in the language completely is the best way to learn.  Jump in with both feet, and don’t be afraid to wander into the deep end!  =D

A Stealth Specialist

Utilizing cutting-edge technology and sheer skill, Snake is one snakey mofo.  Seriously though, this guy is basically invisible when he wants to be.  Here’s a few tips to go off of.

Use Your Environment
Sure, the whole “hide under a box” thing is a bit of an overused joke at this point, but the theory is sound.  Using the environment to your advantage is incredibly important when it comes to remaining unseen.  If you’re in a warehouse with a bunch of boxes lying around, climbing inside one isn’t so silly.  Out in the wild?  Cover yourself with dirt, jump in a pile of leaves, or submerge yourself in a stream.

Move Slowly
Someone made a joke about “ground humping” exercises when I posted the Solid Snake workouts on Youtube, but seriously, sliding slowly along the ground like a worm definitely helps keep a low profile.  Moving slowly and patiently really helps to contribute to your “stealth” factor, because human eyes look for movement, and if you’re moving very slowly you’re difficult to detect.  It also helps to keep you from making excess noise on, say, an unseen patch of dry leaves, or some broken glass and rubbish.

A Skilled Combatant

We covered marksmanship in the skills of Alex Mason, so we’re not going to center too much on that here.  Instead, we’re going to talk about another aspect of combat that Snake is incredibly good at:  adaptation.  Much like his OctoCamo suit, Snake is capable of adapting to many different situations, usually on the fly.  Hopefully you’ll never have to do this in actual combat, but the idea of being adaptable to stressful and/or sudden changes can still remain valuable in day-to-day life.  Here’s a few tips:

Remain Calm
More often than not, in a difficult situation, most people will be stressed out and running around like chickens with their heads cut off.  Merely by NOT being one of these people, you will already put yourself ahead of the game.  Realize that frequently, in stressful moments, emotion is the LEAST helpful thing.  We are human, so we feel emotions, but being able to set them aside and react rationally to situations as they develop is KEY to remaining flexible enough to find a solution to the problem.  Take a deep breath, put your emotional reaction to the side for a bit, and go from there.

Observe
Pay attention to what’s going on around you, and constantly look to get a full grasp of the problem.  Sometimes this just means watching and listening to what’s going on, and sometimes this means asking calm questions and/or doing research on the subject.  Regardless, you need to understand whatever obstacle you’re facing before you try to find a way to deal with it.

Be Flexible, Act Decisively
In a difficult situation, you need to remain flexible to all possibilities.  However, when something does need to be done, you need to act swiftly and confidently.  Being the calm and observant person helps immensely in adverse situations.  If you use your judgement to determine the correct action to take to resolve whatever issues may be going on, and do so in a confident manner, then other people will be inclined to follow your lead and assist with whatever the situation may be.  Take the time you need, then take action.

 

That’s it for right now!  The Skills of Batman will be posted later today, so as not to overshadow our friend Solid Snake too much, haha.  See you later!  Until then, live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!

Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace

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