The Rev. Rob Times

“The Rev. Rob Times” 

The Rev. Rob Times

No, Atheists Do Not Believe In Ghosts, Demons, Angels, or Devils

Society

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Monday, 01 September 2014 00:00


Atheists ain't afraid of no ghost

For as long as there have been atheists there have been theists who have tried to claim that atheism is faith, that it takes more faith to not believe in gods than it does to believe in them. 

These same antagonists further like to paint atheists as being silly for also believing in things like demons and ghosts. 

Unfortunately, some atheists and atheist groups support this misnomer by narrowly defining atheism as only the lack of belief in deities. In reality it is more than that, as the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia points out;

[Atheism is a] critique and denial of metaphysical beliefs in God or divine beings.

Denying the existence of deities is to also deny the existence of all that which can only exist as the result of a deity. 

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Celebrating the Sega Genesis As It Turns 25 Years Old

Sci & Tech

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Thursday, 14 August 2014 08:28


A retrospective that looks back to see exactly what made Genesis the most successful console of its day. 

Sega Genesis Turns 25

It was on August 14th, 1989 that Sega released the Genesis in the United States. They had bad luck with Master System, and they dropped Tonka, their previous distributor, and turned to Atari. Yes, Atari nearly launched the Genesis in the United States.

The name "Genesis" hadn't yet been chosen. In Japan and elsewhere the console is called Mega Drive, but some company called Mega Drive Systems, already had the name in the United States. Sega was planning on calling the console Tomahawk because they thought it was an "aggressive American" name, but Atari didn't like it. Perhaps they were envisioning protests by American Indians.

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Video Reviews of Every Milton Bradley Microvision Game Ever

Sci & Tech

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Monday, 04 August 2014 15:39



In this episode of Retro Rev. Rob Presents I review every single game for the Milton Bradly Microvision that has ever been released. 


The games are, in order:

  • Alien Raiders
  • Baseball
  • Blockbuster
  • Bowling
  • Connect Four
  • Cosmic Hunter
  • Mindbuster 
  • Pinball
  • Sea Duel
  • Star Trek Phaser Strike
  • Phaser Strike
  • Super Blockbuster 
  • Vegas Slots
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The Story of the First Video Game Crash: The Crash of 1977

Sci & Tech

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Friday, 25 July 2014 09:50


Hardly anyone ever talks about the crash of 1977,  but there's a lot written on the crash of 1983, most of which not being true. In fact, I don't think that most people are aware that there was a crash in the industry that pre-dated the "great crash."

So, what was the crash of 1977?

In 1977 every company that made home video games left the market. Even those that made it through the turmoil lost millions. The only companies to stay in the market following the crash - that I am aware of - are Atari, Coleco, Magnavox, and APF. 

These companies all made popular "pong" consoles; consoles that only played dedicated video games. The first of these was the popular game "Home Pong" which was developed by Atari and first released by Sears in 1975. It's release and subsequent smashing success signaled the end of the era of the first game console, the 1972 Magnavox Odyssey. 

Magnavox followed Atari's example and released several dedicated consoles of their own, from the Odyssey 100 and 200 in 1975 to the Odyssey 4000 in 1977.  They weren’t alone. Companies that most gamers have never heard of got in on it, such as Universal Research Labs, General Home Products, and Executive Games. Other more well known companies did as well, like Coleco, Radio Shack, and APF. 

APF TV Fun

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Scumbag Bosses: Hobby Lobby, Now and in the Future

Cartoons

Written by Vince Allen Tuesday, 01 July 2014 12:33


Scumbag Bosses is normally a web-comic about real life situations that happened to people in the real world when dealing with their bosses, who are real big scumbags. 

But since Hobby Lobby and the five right-wing Catholic justices on the Supreme Court are also scumbags, we decided to take a more speculative approach for both entertainment and to make a point, politically. 

This episode is about that boss at Hobby Lobby who hates the cost of doing business in society.

Click the comic to see the full size version. 

Scumbag Bosses: Hobby Lobby, Now and in the Future (small)

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A History of Television Sets With Built-in Video Game Consoles

Sci & Tech

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Thursday, 15 May 2014 16:49


The idea of combining video games in television sets isn't new. After all, many prominent video game consoles manufactures also made television sets, such companies as Magnavox, Phillips, RCA, and Sharp. Further, incorporating a console into a TV also served practical purposes, such as making it easy for video game journalists to take high quality screenshots. This article examines every single television set, not merely a monitor, but a fully fledged television, that has a video game console built-in. 

Magnavox TV Model 4305



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Video: Top Ten Most Hilariously Bad Game Consoles of All Time

Sci & Tech

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Monday, 09 June 2014 18:16



The video was recorded in 720p, so watch it on YouTube to see it in full size.

Check out the original written article here.

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Mini Reviews of Every Milton Bradley Microvision Game

Sci & Tech

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Monday, 07 April 2014 13:57


Microvision games are unique. There so far isn’t a completed emulator, and while there are simulations that have been developed for some games, they don’t exist for most. A barrier to Microvision emulation is the fact that the cartridges contained the processor. 

In order to give gamers an idea of what each game is like, we wrote up a mini-review for each of the twelve games ever released for it. 

Alien Raiders

Alien Raiders

Here's how it works. Four enemy alien raiders come at you from the right of the screen. The player controls a laser cannon moves up and down the left of the screen. You hold down the fire button to charge it up. The laser beam only travels so far to the right based on the time you charged it. So, if you don't charge it long enough, then it won't hit the enemy. The speed of the beam and raiders varies as the game goes on. If the raiders reach the left of the screen then a life is lost. 

Is it a clone? If it is, I don't know what it's a clone of.

Is it good? It’s entertaining is short sessions, and it’s challenging. It does get very frustrating. That’s when I usually put it down.

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Why the Second Generation of Video Game Consoles Is Really Two Distinct and Separate Generations

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.

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Ralph Baer Reveals How the First Video Game Console Was Almost a Cable TV Service

Sci & Tech

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Sunday, 26 January 2014 15:26


Ralph Baer, Age 91, 2014

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 wasn’t. 

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 wasn’t 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. 

“But the question was, ‘Who is the licensee?’” Says Baer. “My first idea was that the cable business might want to be interested.” 

Baer contacted TelePrompTer, one of only two major cable providers at the time. He describes the first meeting. 

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The Telecombat Amusement Ride that Was Also a Video Arcade Game

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 “Time-Out” 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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The Top Ten Most Hilariously Bad Game Consoles of All Time

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 you’ve played it before. But maybe not. If you aren’t thinking of RCA’s Studio II, then you haven’t even begun to see bad. (Oops. Spoilers.)

 

There are always systems that people like to rag on constantly, like the Atari 5200 and Sega’s 32X. But what if I told you those don’t 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

 

NUON Logo


This would have been more convenient for me to have listed this after the Atari Jaguar (spoilers), but I just don’t think it’s 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 “Project X,” (creative name, right?), which would be a “Mario killer.” Just check out the picture.


VM Labs Project X NUON Mario Killer


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Principles of Adult Learning Theory: We're All Adults Here

Society

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.

Adult Learning

However, other staff members won’t always “get” 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 Adult Learning Theory 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.

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Continued Observations on the Egonovism of American Society and Dialogs with Egonovists

Society

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Sunday, 27 October 2013 21:51


Egonovism

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.)

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PETA and Vegan Cultists Attempt to Write the Importance of Meat Consumption Out of Human Evolution

Sci & Tech

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. 

PETA and Vegan Cults Lie About Evolution

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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There Was Never an Intent For an Individual Right to Firearms

Politics

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Monday, 14 January 2013 04:56



ConstitutionThe Second Amendment is one of the most controversial amendments in the Constitution, if not the most controversial. It wasn’t 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?

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SEGA’s 32X: A True History

Sci & Tech

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Friday, 11 January 2013 19:52



There’s 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.

32XSEGA’s 32X console suffers from this peculiar happening. It’s 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 don’t know. I’ve even been told that these machines are “rare,” if you can believe that.

This is the true story of the SEGA Genesis 32X.

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The 20 percent: Religion Rapidly Declining in America

Society

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Tuesday, 09 October 2012 20:41



Religion in America

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 “nothing in particular” rise to 20 percent of the population, a huge constituency, a large number of the “none of the above” 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 don’t exist, or are really agnostic atheists, as are virtually all atheists. It’s a safe bet that a minimum of six percent of the population do not believe in any god whatsoever.

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Navigating the Compass of Belief

Society

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Wednesday, 02 May 2012 20:39


It isn’t 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.

“It takes as much faith to not believe in God and it does to believe,” they constantly repeat.

But no, it doesn’t, 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, Dawkins’ 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.

Belief Compass

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.

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Ten Great Dreamcast Games That Most People Never Played

Sci & Tech

Written by Rev. Robert A. Vinciguerra Thursday, 09 September 2010 04:51


Rev. Rob DreamcastTo 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. They’re 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.

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The Number One Religion in the U.S. May Be Egonovism, Not Christianity

Society

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 “Bible believing” 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 didn’t 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. It’s not just Christianity that is affected either. The erosion can clearly be seen in American Islamic and Hindu (Brahmanist) communities as well.

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