The Rev. Rob Times
Sci & Tech
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Tuesday, 28 January 2014 23:22
Somehow it has become engrained in popular culture that the cause for the âGreat Crashâ had to do with just two bad games that were released for the Atari 2600, Pac-Man and E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. As we review the reasons for the crash, that popular myth, among others, will be dispelled.
What is the crash? Itâs a period of time in North America where the video game industry fell from a $3.2 billion industry to annual sales of only $100 million, a drop of 97 percent.
Ask yourself, does it stand to reason that just two bad video games could crash an entire industry? Of course not.
For the entire market to have crashed then more than just two games for only one console wouldâve had to be involved.
There were lots of factors at play which contributed to the crash. As we examine the core causes, weâll find that none of them have anything to do with anything thatâs remotely otherworldly.
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Sci & Tech
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Sunday, 26 January 2014 15:26
In 1966 a chief engineer at the Nashua, New Hampshire firm Sanders Associates, which designed mostly submarine equipment, had a new invention. Electronic games that could be played on a television. That engineer is Ralph Baer and his invention is the home video game console. But it almost wasnât.
In recent interview in January 2014 with Scene World, a Commodore 64 enthusiast diskmag, the 91 one year old inventor revealed that his original plan wasnât to make a console at all.
With no experience in consumer electronics, Sanders Associates knew that they would need to license out this new product.
âBut the question was, âWho is the licensee?ââ Says Baer. âMy first idea was that the cable business might want to be interested.â
Baer contacted TelePrompTer, one of only two major cable providers at the time. He describes the first meeting.
Sci & Tech
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Friday, 24 January 2014 23:02
Following the Second Generation of video game consoles, such as Atari 2600, and before the Third Generation that began in earnest with the NES, there lies another generation, a Lost Generation.
Before beginning this treatise, it is important to reference the current classification system and define it. A generation of video game consoles is a group of competing machines with technological similarities that represent a leap in industry standards over the previous generation.
Sci & Tech
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Wednesday, 22 January 2014 22:02
I grew up in Cincinnati. As a rare treat my parents would take me to Forest Fair Mall, which had an immense arcade called Time-Out on the Court. This was the late 1980s and arcades were still quite popular. The âTime-Outâ chain of arcades was run by Sega, and this particular one was complete with amusement rides. Most were run of the mill kiddie stuff, like Red Baron style airplanes that fly in circles at different elevations.
One ride, however, stood out among them, and to this day remains engrained in my mind. I stood in line for it over and over again, happily handing over my tickets. It was a telecombat ride.
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Sci & Tech
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Wednesday, 25 December 2013 06:35
You may think you know what the worst game console ever is; you may even think youâve played it before. But maybe not. If you arenât thinking of RCAâs Studio II, then you havenât even begun to see bad. (Oops. Spoilers.)
There are always systems that people like to rag on constantly, like the Atari 5200 and Segaâs 32X. But what if I told you those donât even come close to being the worst ever? This list will make paying $799.99 for a 3DO seem like the best idea ever.
Number 10: VM Labs NUON
This would have been more convenient for me to have listed this after the Atari Jaguar (spoilers), but I just donât think itâs as bad.
VM Labs was a company founded by former Atari execs, the same ones that helped to run Atari straight out of business. Back in 1998 when PlayStation was king, N64 was dying, and Dreamcast was on the horizon, VM Labs announced âProject X,â (creative name, right?), which would be a âMario killer.â Just check out the picture.
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Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Friday, 15 November 2013 00:00
As professionals in any area of training, oftentimes we find ourselves in a position where we are required to explain how something works to another employee, be it a policy, procedure, application, or some form of technology.
However, other staff members wonât always âgetâ the concept that is so expertly being explained to them. That could be, in part, because adults are very picky learners and it is difficult for them to retain new information. Fortunately, applying aspects of can help to change that.
The following is a list of several basic
points of adult learning, including the challenges that many adults face, and
how to overcome them.
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Sunday, 27 October 2013 21:51
I had previous introduced the term egonovism to the lexicon of the internet in 2010. The term describes how Americans define their religious beliefs based not on the teachings of priests or pastors, and not even on centuries old scripture, but rather from a combination of the self (ego), and society.
The term spread far and fast; the essay was republished thousands of times, and even renowned author Anne Rice stated that she felt kinship with the term. For her comments I thank her.
Egonovism is not necessarily negative. It is, as argued, the most predominate religion in America today, and has only grown in the past three years. The term not only describes the average American, but the American president, Barack Obama, numerous politicians, business leaders, and seemingly the new Pope, Francis as well. Their egonovist positions are so obvious that some believe them to be secret atheists. (I am sure the idea of an atheist pope delights some.)
Sci & Tech
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Monday, 14 October 2013 04:14
Here is a composite image we made of all eight planets and what we consider to be the most remarkable moons in our solar system, known as Sol.
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Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Friday, 20 September 2013 14:17
In 1791 the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, went into effect, having been ratified by two thirds of states. One of the original articles in the Bill of Rights, the first one, was not ratified. It is this article that can save America.
It is a little known fact that there were originally twelve amendments proposed. What we know today as the First Amendment was really the third proposed.
Had all twelve been passed the NRA would be an ardent lobby for Fourth Amendment rights. There would be rallies to âRestore the Sixth.â The Third Amendment would grant freedom of religion.
The first two articles, however, were not passed. One of them, having to do with congressional raises, would be ratified in 1992, a full 203 years after its 1789 proposal. What was at the time the second proposed amendment is now the Twenty Seventh Amendment.
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Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Friday, 29 March 2013 18:12
Allow me to preface this article by stating for the record that veganism and vegetarianism are perfectly healthy and acceptable lifestyle choices and are, in part, made possible by mankind's scientific understanding of human dietary needs. Further, having compassion for animals and a desire to protect them from harm is a perfectly valid and humanistic cause to champion.
The following is neither a criticism of vegans and vegetarians nor animal rights advocates. It's a criticism of a subculture where these two words intersect. One where the righteousness of abstaining from eating animal products stands above all all else, and where chickens and cows share equality with our species, Homo sapiens.
This sub-group, a vocal minority of the greater whole, has begun the process of mythologizing the scientific history of human evolution to write out the importance role that meat played on the journey that our primitive ancestors took to becoming me and you. Some go as far as to say that human ancestors were themselves vegan.
Because the consumption of meat was both critical for our ancestors' survival, and contributed to our large brains, the very essence of what makes us human, it is, therefore, an inconvenient truth. It does not jive with them that the consumption of animals is both evil and necessary for our very existence.
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Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Sunday, 27 January 2013 08:04
In modern society, the term âcultâ typically brings with it a negative connotation. Some cults easily recalled in recent history are Jonestown, the Manson family, Heavenâs Gate, and most recently Westboro Baptist Church. Not all cults are alike. For example, Heavenâs Gate was more of a doomsday cult whereas Charles Mansonâs cult was about people worshiping himself.
However, all have one thing in common, which is that they are harmful to both their members and to society. They seek to control and brainwash their members in order to further the cultâs agenda.
There are specific characteristics that qualify a group or organization as a cult. Weâll examine those characteristics in relation to the modern conservative movement in the United States and demonstrate the parallels between cult and Americaâs right-wing.
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Monday, 14 January 2013 04:56
Amendment is one of the most controversial amendments in the Constitution,
if not the most controversial. It wasnât always so, it has only been in the
last several years that the meaning of the amendment was changed by the courts
to grant citizens a broad right to firearms. However, this is not what the
founders had in mind. So, what were they thinking?
Sci & Tech
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Friday, 11 January 2013 19:52
Thereâs an interesting phenomenon on the internet. If an event took place before the internet was widespread, then the online world sometimes builds up a legend, which is then accepted as history, but in reality is skewed.
SEGAâs 32X console suffers from this peculiar happening. Itâs commonly thought that the 32-bit add-on console was a failure from the start, had no original software, sold poorly, and was canned as a result, and led to consumers swearing off SEGA, and maybe a few death threats. I donât know. Iâve even been told that these machines are ârare,â if you can believe that.
This is the true story of the SEGA Genesis 32X.
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Tuesday, 09 October 2012 20:41
Every few years or so a comprehensive study on religion in America is done. This year it was completed by the PEW Research Center. The big headline? One in five Americans, a full 20 percent, are not religious. But are they nonbelievers?
The answer, disappointingly, is no. While it is exciting for many to see the number of people who identify themselves as agnostic, atheist, or ânothing in particularâ rise to 20 percent of the population, a huge constituency, a large number of the ânone of the aboveâ crowd are really religious egonovists.
Dissecting the numbers tells a tale of an America where the power and influence of religion is in rapid decline, but also of one where people are hesitant to let go of a higher power.
Of the 20 percent, only six percent identify as either atheist or agnostic. Enough has been written about agnostics to conclude that they either donât exist, or are really agnostic atheists, as are virtually all atheists. Itâs a safe bet that a minimum of six percent of the population do not believe in any god whatsoever.
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Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Wednesday, 02 May 2012 20:39
It isnât a delusion for one to be an atheist; after all, simply not believing that deities exist is no less rational than not believing that Santa Clause exists.
The delusion, however, comes from religionists who seek to paint atheism itself as a religion.
âIt takes as much faith to not believe in God and it does to believe,â they constantly repeat.
But no, it doesnât, just as it takes no faith to not believe that cats are an invading alien species whose mission is to pacify us with their cute YouTube videos before conquering our feeble planet. In fact, evidence suggests that cats are capable of no such thing and that they evolved right here on Earth with the rest of us.
Not believing in God (or gods, for that matter) is not the exact opposite of believing in them, which typically does require faith (but not always). For most atheists, there is no certainty that gods do not exist, merely the high probability. This concept is excellently illustrated by Dawkins Scale.
Unfortunately, Dawkinsâ scale is only two dimensional and, like political ideology, religious belief is much more complex than that. Therefore, we need a compass to illustrate for us a third dimension.
The Compass of Belief
North and south on our compass are represented by theism and atheism, respectively. A theist is one who does believe in deities, an atheist is one who does not. Very simple.
East and west on our compass are agnostic and gnostic, respectively. This is where some people tend to get lost.
A person who is gnostic believes that they are in possession of special knowledge that perhaps only a select few can know.
In a religious sense, a person who is agnostic either doubts or denies outright that knowledge of the existence of a god is even possible.
On a map it is possible to travel both north and east and
the same time, and both south and west at the same time, and so on. But it is
impossible to travel both north and south simultaneously, and the same goes for
east and west. Our compass illustrates this.
Sci & Tech
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Thursday, 09 September 2010 04:51
To celebrate the closing of the tenth year of Dreamcast gaming in the United States, The Rev. Rob Times proudly presents a synopsis of ten great Dreamcast games that most people never played. Theyâre not the ten best, but far from the ten worst. The thing they all have in common is style; the originality and quirkiness that defined Dreamcast. That, and none of them were big sellers.Add a comment
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Thursday, 02 September 2010 07:04
Christianity is commonly held to be the predominate religion in the United States. According to the Association of Religious Data Archives (ARDA), 82.3 percent of Americans identify themselves as being Christian. The next largest group is Agnostics and Atheists at 11.6 percent.
However, when surveys are made that collect religious data, the pollsters never drill down to find out how religious the respondent really is. As it turns out, most people who identify themselves as a particular religion may not actually adhere to the tenets of their self-proclaimed belief.
In April 2003 the Barna Research Group did ask the deeper questions and determined that only 4 percent of American teenagers are âBible believingâ Christians.
Despite the fact that the percentage of teen Christians in the U.S. is close to that of the national average, Barna was able to come up with just 4 percent because, although many more teens identified themselves as Christians, they didnât follow the tenets of Christianity.
The conclusion is that the vast majority of Christians do not follow Biblical law and other rules in order to ensure their salvation, or generally be a good Christian in the eyes of God.
This is an example of societal norms eroding religious doctrine. Itâs not just Christianity that is affected either. The erosion can clearly be seen in American Islamic and Hindu (Brahmanist) communities as well.Add a comment
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Monday, 02 August 2010 02:53
Christopher Nolan had it wrong, inception is pretty easy
Lets face it. Fox News isnât a news source, per se. Itâs a network that is, by design, set up to propagate a specific political view point, that of the American political right wing. Fox is neither fair nor balanced, and oftentimes âfactsâ conveyed on the network are demonstrably false. Yet fans of the network swear by it as the only source for news that they trust. The following is an analysis of Foxâs tactics of manipulation and the defenses employed by their viewers.
First, it is important to assume that the average Fox News viewer is intelligent, capable of reasoning, and is rational. Many are well educated and successful in their respective comminutes. So, what is it that allows them to be blinded from the obvious reality that Fox News manipulates them, and in some cases out and out lies to them?
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Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Saturday, 04 July 2009 01:26
America is facing a crisis, though unlike the crisis she faced when the Quaker pamphleteer wrote "The Crisis" in 1776, the United States born out of that crisis faces ones of poverty, inequality, debt, under-education education, and tyrannical opposition to personal freedoms. Once again, these are the times that try men's souls.
First, the author of this article would like to underscore that he is aware of conservative movements to garner Paine as their own hero; recalling a forgotten American revolutionary and conjuring up the great man as a bastion of conservative ideals.
I say nay to the those who would paint the great Thomas Paine as a sympathizer with the cause of modern conservatism, and specifically I cast shame unto one Bob Basso, a man who is not a great pamphleteer who writes for the benefit of all mankind, but one who is a horrid jester, a propagator of lies, and performs for the musings of those who purposely contort Paine's spirit like so many decrepit whores.
I extend this condemnation also to Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and all other similar manner of infinite intellectuals whose goal it is to willfully pervert the message and sprit of Paine through willful and calculated deception.
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Tuesday, 27 November 2007 00:15
It had long been my aspiration to understand howÂ religionsÂ are created. On Earth, every know culture, no matter how remote, has independently developed one or more religious systems. There is even evidence that human ancestors, such as Neanderthals, possessed their own mystic beliefs. After spending my life studying past and present religions, I knew that in order to understand how religions come into existence, then I had to create one on my own.
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Sci & Tech
Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Friday, 23 November 2007 02:48
Earth has long been known to be geologically active. On Earth, such forces are responsible for continental drift, earthquakes, the rise of mountain ranges, and of course, also volcanoes.
The existence of volcanism on Earth has been known throughout all of history; even to the most primitive humans and almost certainly to human ancestors. However, it is only within the past few decades that mankindâs understanding of volcanic activity outside of Earth has been discovered.
Outside of Earth, there are four worlds where volcanism has been observed, one where it may have been detected, and more that are strongly suspected. Â Beginning with those that are closest to the sun and ending with objects that are far, frigid, frozen and cold, this is a journey to our solar systemâs volcanoes.Â