Category Archives: Idea Polish Level: 3

Why I Dislike the Ending of Spider-Man: No Way Home

As you may expect, the following contains major spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.

For the record, I get why the ending was what it was, at least to some degree. I’ll discuss my some of my thoughts regarding that in this post. Nevertheless, I very much dislike how the movie ended and think it should have been done differently. This appears to be a somewhat controversial view given how much people seem to have loved the movie, but it’s my view nonetheless. It was surprisingly difficult to find a published article that wasn’t annoyingly cheerful about how the movie ended, but I did find one and will be using it as a jumping off point for this post. I recommend reading the following article by Mark Millien before reading further: Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Ending Is Brutal – But Peter Parker’s Betrayal Is Worse.

I’ll start with noting that I’m the sort of person who almost exclusively reads books and watches movies that have happy, or at least optimistic, endings. I have a variety of reasons for this and may write a post on why, but this is a disclaimer I should point out early on. So the fact that Spider-Man: No Way Home’s ending was depressing was already a big negative blow to it.

Yes, I get why they did it this way. For starters, often happy endings feel forced, out of character, and/or out of touch with reality. Super hero movies are pretty hit or miss for me, largely based on whether or not they take things further than my suspension of disbelief will allow (that could be another whole post…). The latest Spider-Man movies (Homecoming and Far From Home) managed to straddle that border between reality and fiction so well that they were easily eligible to become one of my top ten super hero movies. Even No Way Home managed to keep me tuned in throughout the entire movie (despite some things, like developing cures for the villains so fast, being absolutely ludicrous). When it came to the ending, I do appreciate how realistic it was. Peter’s suggestion to Dr. Strange to make everybody forget Peter Parker was an excellent solution to a terrible situation, a sacrifice that was heartbreaking but believable. There may have been a better way, but, in the heat of the moment, they did what they could and it worked. From a realism perspective, I really like that solution (although the article I referenced above brings up some other points worth considering).

My big problem with the movie is Peter’s decision to leave MJ and Ned to their fates of forgetting him. Yes, there is a sort of logic to it. After all, according to J. Jonah Jameson, “Everywhere Spider-Man goes, chaos and calamity ensue. Everything Spider-Man touches, comes to ruin.” It is quite obvious that this has gotten into Peter’s head by the end of the movie, especially with the death of his aunt. So, when he sees Ned and MJ happy and safe, there is a sad sort of logic to leaving them to their peaceful lives of never having known him. Especially for someone with martyr complex, like Peter may have, it can seem to perfectly reasonable to go into “a life of crippling solitude” (referencing Mark Millien’s article) if it means protecting those they care about. But though I see why Peter did it, I think it would have still been both in character and better for the movie for him to have reconnected with them.

Regarding Peter’s character, the preparation for that moment at MJ’s work started early in the movie. Throughout it, we frequently see Peter’s attempts to protect his friends and family, and we frequently see them pushing back, saying they want to stick with him and showing that they mean it by being there for him through thick and thin, even though they themselves don’t have any super powers. When Peter decides to leave Ned and MJ alone, it’s not a beautiful act of self-sacrifice. It’s him succumbing to his self-doubt, to his lack of trust in others, to his faulty belief that everyone would be better if he wasn’t around. What a horrible thing to happen to this character we have grown to love and care about.

Alternatively, imagine if he did reconnect with them. Imagine the moment when he confronts his self-doubt, his distrust of others, his faulty belief, and decides to not let those things rule him. Instead, he decides to trust MJ and Ned, their wishes, and their character. He decides to honor MJ’s request of him and his promise to her. He becomes a better person, more capable of working with others than ever. Yes, it would have taken more work to get him there. The foundation of such character development was laid throughout the movie, but a bit more would be needed before such a transformation would believable. Some more work would also have been needed at the end of the movie to show this happening without rushing it, all while laying the groundwork for the next movie. But it would have been worth it. The payout for such fantastic character growth would have been worth the extra time and effort it took to choose this path for Spider-Man rather than letting him spiral.

This brings me to why the Far From Home is my favorite superhero move, with Homecoming near first place as well: the dynamic among the characters is fantastic. I love hearing Peter play off of Ned, MJ, May, Happy, Iron Man, Mysterio, etc. The conversation is funny, genuine, and, overall, a delight to watch. This dynamic is a large part of what I love about the franchise and why I was looking forward to the newest movie, and I gotta admit, Spider-Man: No Way Home delivers on this promise in spades. The banter among the three Peter Parkers was especially fun to watch. Overall, the interaction of the characters with each other and with Peter is what makes the Spider-Man movies so great.

However, the ending of No Way Home ruins that. Instead of promising more fun with Peter and his friends, the promise for movie 4 is serious, sad, and lonely. Why should I even bother with it? I feel like the writers misunderstood what many of the fans wanted out of Spider-Man: No Way Home. Yes, there are plenty of people who were avid fans of the previous Spider-Man movies, and yes, I think the writers did a good job of bringing in nostalgia for them while making the movie enjoyable for those who don’t care about the old movies, such as myself. But when you remove one of the fundamental reasons why people love the movies, well, that’s going to be difficult to bounce back from.

Somehow, Spider-Man Far From Home has managed to be a huge hit. From what I hear, it’s largely those who are coming back for nostalgia. So from a business perspective, it seems like they made choice that worked out well (I can’t bring myself to say it was a good choice). But we’ll see how many people come back for the fourth. My dad swore off Spider-Man due to the ending of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but we got him to watch Far From Home with us in theaters because of the trust that Homecoming gave us. Whelp, yesterday, after after watching No Way Home in the theater, that trust is gone, at least for me.

At the end of No Way Home, MJ makes Peter promise to seek her out and remind her of what she had forgotten. In that scene, though, she also promises to figure out what had happened if he doesn’t tell her. We don’t know the details of how Dr. Strange’s spell worked, but, like Mark Millien mentions in his article, MJ and Ned probably have huge gaps in their memory. I usually hate spoilers, but I’m going to ask for them before watching movie number four. I no longer trust in the Spider-Man franchise. My theory is that the next movie will include MJ’s hunt for the truth, concluding with her figuring it out. Frankly, if that isn’t the case, I’m not sure if I’ll bother watching the fourth movie or any that come after it.

Opening Photo by Hector Reyes on Unsplash

Statistics of Missionaries in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints During the Missionary Boom

After a lot of searching, I was surprised to not find any graphs with the information I wanted, so I decided to make them myself.

Below you will find graphs displaying data about the number of missionaries and missions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (formerly nicknamed “the Mormon church”) from 2009 to 2019. In particular, this time range includes the 2012 announcement lowering the age limit for when men and women can go on missions. This announcement resulted in what is often called “the Missionary Boom,” a large increase in the number of missionaries serving missions and the number of missions that they are serving in. All data was collected from statistical reports published in the year following the year being reported on (e.g., data for 2013 was collected from the Church’s April 2014 statistical report).

English Pronunciation: A poem by G. Nolst Trenite (With Pronunciations and Definitions!)

I have found what is definitely one of my new most favorite poems. To quote the original site:

“If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.”

Of course, I don’t think those numbers are anything but made up, but it is still a great description of the poem. Also, instead of just copying the poem and pasting it over here, I’ve provided footnotes that allow you to look up the definition and pronunciation of the words I didn’t understand and/or didn’t know how to pronounce when I first read the poem. Some were very surprising. Enjoy! (Note: Unless you read it out loud, IT DOESN’T COUNT! 🙂 )


English Pronunciation by G. Nolst Trenité

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps*, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward*, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague*.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore*,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar*, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral*,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel*;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene*, mankind.
Billet* does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount*, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve*,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve*, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom*, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual*.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer* does, and zephyr*, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic*, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise*, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye*, whey, and key.
Say aver*, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein*, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie*.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic*, pass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling* stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats* and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale*,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough* has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!



  • Corps – “Core,” a main subdivision of an armed force in the field, consisting of two or more divisions.
  • Sward – I know of no other word pronounced like it, so here’s the link:
  • Ague – “Ay- gyoo,” malaria or some other illness involving fever and shivering.
  • Terpsichore – “Terp (like burp) – sick – or – ee,” one of the nine Muses and goddess of dance and chorus.
  • Vicar – “Vick – er,” (in the Roman Catholic Church) a representative or deputy of a bishop.
  • Balmoral – “Ball – more – ell,”  Balmoral Castle is a large estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
  • Laurel – “Lore – ell,” an evergreen tree or bush with shiny pointed leaves.
  • Melpomene – “Mell – poe – (something like) money,” the Muse of Tragedy.
  • Billet – “Bill – it,” a place, usually a civilian’s house or other nonmilitary facility, where soldiers are lodged temporarily.
  • Viscount – “Vy (like cry) – count,” a man who is a member of the British nobility and who ranks below an earl and above a baron.
  • Sieve – “Siv,” a utensil consisting of a wire or plastic mesh held in a frame, used for straining solids from liquids, for separating coarser from finer particles, or for reducing soft solids to a pulp.
  • Mauve – “Mov (the “o” is like in top),” a light or medium purple color.
  • Transom – “Tron (like the movie) (or, American way, it’s “tran,” like “man”) – tsum (pronounce the “ts” like the “ts” in “bats,” then the “um” like “yum”),” a bar of wood or stone across the top of a door or window.
  • Victual – “Vid – le (rhymes with “little”),” food usable by people.
  • Foeffer – Feoffer, “Fe (like “bet) – fur,” one who makes a feoffment, one who makes the granting of a fee.
  • Zephyr – “Ze (like “bet”) – fur,” a soft gentle breeze.
  • Arabic – “Air – uh – bick,” of, belonging to, or derived from the language or literature of the Arabs.
  • Chaise – “Shaze (rhymes with “blaze”),” a horse-drawn carriage for one or two people, typically one with an open top and two wheels.
  • Aye – “I,” an affirmative vote or voter, especially in British Parliament, corresponding to yea in U.S. Congress.
  • Aver – “Uh – vair (like the “v-e-r” in “very”),” state or assert to be the case.
  • Skein – “Skane (rhymes with rain),” a length of thread or yarn, loosely coiled and knotted.
  • Aerie – “(Pronounced a variety of different ways, but in the poem rhymes with “berry”),” a large nest of a bird of prey, especially an eagle, typically built high in a tree or on a cliff.
  • Phlegmatic – “Fleg (like “beg”) – ma (as in “math”) – tick,” not easily excited to action or display of emotion.
  • Paling – “Pail (like the bucket) – ing,” a fence made from pointed wooden or metal stakes.
  • Groats – “Grotes (rhymes with oats),” grain without the covering, such as wheat or oats, broken into fragments.
  • Gunwale – “Gun – ull (as in “dull”) (rhymes with “tunnel”),” the top edge of the side of a boat.
  • Hiccough – “Hih (as in “hit”) – cup,” a hiccup, or “an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm and respiratory organs, with a sudden closure of the glottis and a characteristic sound like that of a cough.”

When is it okay to lie?

Note: sorta like To Be A Hero, this post is a bit of a brain dump. Usually I do a lot more to organize it, but in this case, because it’s sort of an argument with myself, I just want to give a bit of a glimpse of how my thought process on this went. Also, this post was written several weeks ago.

Recently in a book discussion (with the same group mentioned in To Be A Hero) we were discussing the book Number The Stars in which a family hides escaping Jews from Nazis. The question was brought up asking whether it was okay for the family to lie about hiding the Jews, and we ended up getting into a whole discussion on it. This is what I got out of it along with my follow-up of it. Just to be clear, just because I say something doesn’t mean it’s true.

So when is it okay to lie? In the case of the Nazis and the Jews, would it be better to lie or tell the truth? We probably would tell the truth, but why? After talking a while, I had the thought that maybe when considering the situation, you should see which is the greater sin: to murder someone (or let someone die) or lie? Obviously the latter. There, we have a solution.

However, someone brought up the excellent point that it wouldn’t actually be your fault. That is, even if you knew that the man standing in front of you would kill someone unless you lied, it still wouldn’t actually be you murdering someone if you tell the truth. It’s that man’s choice to kill, not yours. Even if it might feel like you were the murderer, the man didn’t have to kill that person. With that in mind, you can’t really compare two sins because it’s either you sin and lie or they sin and murder someone.

Maybe instead of comparing two sins you compare the two ends: someone dies or you sin. You compare the outcomes and choose the one that is more important to you. You could maintain your integrity and tell the truth or you can sin and save a life. Unfortunately, this has it’s faults as well. What would be better is asking what is more important to God, you obeying His commandments or the other person living.

What if you were told to deny your faith or someone would die? Denying your faith is a much greater sin than merely lying, at least in the opinion of most people I’ve talked about it with. We are told to never tell lies, but there are always possible exceptions like the situation in the last few paragraphs. We are also told to never deny our faith, but unlike merely lying we are often told that it is better to die than deny your faith. But what if it is someone else who will die? We can go back to the weighing priorities, which is worse, which would you rather, which would God rather, which is the right way to determine it, etc., but it doesn’t really help. It’s a conundrum.

Let’s come back to that later. Another topic that was brought up is was about less important, smaller lies. It was said that part of what you should consider is for what type of reasons you were lying, whether you were lying for selfish or unselfish reasons. When someone is lying for selfish reasons, it is usually a bad thing e.g. you don’t want to admit to breaking the vase or stealing the candy, you want to trick someone into doing something wrong, you want to get somewhere you shouldn’t be, etc. These are all associated with lying (sinning) to cover up other sins.

Meanwhile, unselfish lies are generally associated with better reasons, e.g. you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, you don’t want to spoil the surprise party, you want to keep an immoral thing from a child, etc. These are usually done with good intentions, even if it is done by sinning (lying).

Having heard this idea of “selfish reasons vs. unselfish reasons”, I decided to apply my “weighing the priorities” idea. I thought, “What is the greater sin? Lying or getting in trouble for something you did wrong?” This would be lying for selfish reasons, and clearly lying to get out of admitting your sins would be sin. On the other hand, what would be worse, lying or insulting a friend? In this case, because we are doing it for someone else, we usually think that lying would be the lesser of the two sins.

But didn’t we decide that weighing which was the greater or lesser sin wasn’t necessarily the best way? So, instead, let’s say which is more important to you, not lying or not insulting your friend? Again, we’d usually think that not being rude would be better than not lying. What about for a selfish reason? Which is more important to you, owning up to your guilt and being punished or simply lying and getting away with it? This is why earlier I said that “which is more important to you” isn’t a good way either.

Which is more important to God? Generally He wants you to learn from your mistakes and take appropriate action to fix them, which pretty much includes telling the truth. So, by this ruling we shouldn’t lie for selfish reasons. What about for unselfish reasons? Which would He rather, you obey His command to be kind or His command to be truthful? Those of us who face this problem generally try to find a sort of middle ground, trying to not actually tell a lie, but also trying to not insult your friend. It’s a narrow path we walk all the time, and it is well-worn by the footfalls of all the indecisive.

Here’s another thing I wanted to mention that ties to two different strings of thought together: what if you had to lie to save your own life? Lying to save someone else’s life is almost always more on the unselfish side, which we decided is more of a gray area, but what about lying to save yourself? Most people don’t live entirely for others, so pretty much no matter what you’d be lying for selfish reasons. Unfortunately, we just decided in the last paragraph that we shouldn’t lie for selfish reasons. So I guess you should tell the truth and die.

On the other hand, going back to the weighing of greater vs. lesser sins (I keep bringing it up because it offers an interesting view), wouldn’t telling the truth in that situation be the equivalent to killing yourself? We are commanded to not lie. We are also commanded to not commit suicide, and considering suicide rates versus lying rates as well as common sense, lying is pretty much universally considered the lesser sin. So does that mean that we should lie to not commit suicide?

But then there was that point brought up a while ago: it’s not you who is killing someone. It’s the fault of whoever is threatening you. You’re not committing suicide, you’re telling the truth and they’re committing murder! Meanwhile, if you lie, you’ve sinned (for a selfish reason nonetheless). So which is more important, to sin and live or tell the truth and die? Which is ultimately the right decision? I don’t know, maybe it’s better to live on and repent than die telling the truth, or maybe it’s better to die opposing sin.

What if you were told to deny your faith or die? Denying your faith is generally considered a greater sin than merely lying, so we have to take that into consideration. Then there is also the fact that God has promised blessings in heaven to those who die in His name, so there’s always that. Perhaps this means that in this situation you should never deny your faith so that when you go to heaven you will be rewarded where it matters more. Unfortunately, even then there’s still the argument that it might be better to live on and repent. Who would have thought this would be so hard?

To conclude, this is a very complicated topic that can be carried on and on. For those who have read this far, I do actually have a solution. Even if it seems like a cop-out answer, it is the truth, at least as far as I can tell as a mere mortal: Ultimately, we must listen to the Spirit. We must ask the Lord and obey His commands. We must live our lives according to His gospel and strive to seek for, listen to, and obey His commands and advice as they are given to us through the Holy Ghost. Only then we will be prepared to make the hard decisions. Only then will we be able to answer the question of when it is okay to lie and know that we got it right. I know this, and I hope that you will too if you don’t already. Thank you for reading.

~ George


Completed Game Idea: Up-or-Down

After creating a very complicated (but very cool) game called Djinn Combat (which is still in development) I wanted to create a simpler game that shared a specific aspect with Djinn Combat that I really liked: that it could be played anywhere, at anytime, and with nothing but you and another player. So I created the game I call Up-or-Down.

The concept is simple enough to learn. The first player (P1) says a number 1-100, and the next player (P2) says a different number based on what the first person said. If the P1 said an Odd number, then P2 has to say an Odd number that is Above the number that P1 said or an Even number that is Below the number that P1 said. However, if P1 said an Even number, then P2 has to say an Even number that is Above the number that P1 said or an Odd number that is Below the number that P1 said. Three other restrictions are that the number can’t be less than 1 (it can be 1 though), it can’t be more than 100 (it can be 100 though), and it can’t be the number that was last said (after all, that isn’t above or below the number that was said).

For example, if P1 said 53 (an odd number), then P2 could say something like 67 (an odd number above 53) or something like 2 (an even number below 53). However, if P1 said 8 (an even number), P2 could say an even number that is above 8,  such as 100, or an odd number that is below 8, such as 7.

You can also have as many players as  you want, although there are two different ways to play. In each version you have an order, such as P1 then P2 then P3 then P4 then P1 again. If P1 said 5, P2 said 7, and P3 said 8, P3 would have lost, but P4 would continue the chain with P3’s last response, meaning that he could answer 10, or 80, or 1, etc. Note: even if the person who went out said a really wrong number, like 1 million, the next player still has to say a number that is valid (between 1 and 100 and the correct even/odd-ness)

The different versions of multiplayer involve what happens after someone goes out. Version #1 is a tournament version, in which if someone says the wrong number they lose and have to stop playing until the end of that game. Whoever the last one still in wins, and he/she gets to choose the first number for the next game.

Version #2 is a training mode, in which no one goes out. If someone says the wrong number, then he/she gets to change his/her number to one that fits. This way people can more easily learn the game without having to wait until the next game every time they go out. However, you can still have a winner by keeping track of whoever the last person to make a mistake is.

Feel free to add any rules that you’d like, it’s pretty adaptable. Hopefully I’ll soon have a post on alternate ways to play to make it harder or different once you have it down. Either way, enjoy!

~ George

How to play Runner Games with Multiple People

I often find myself riding in a vehicle with friends who either don’t have the game that I’m playing or don’t have a device at all, so I often end up sharing my tablet. Runner games are the easiest to switch between people and are also my favorite type of game (e.g., my high score in Temple Run 2 is over 22,000 meters with no re-spawns), so we usually end up playing them. Because of this, I’ve gotten pretty good at making sure that people don’t feel too left out when playing, even when I’ve played the game for hours and they’ve played the game for minutes.

There are two main things that you need: A number  of “runs” (usually three) and a minimum distance (usually 3 times 10 raised to some power, aka, 3, 30, 300, etc.). After the player has done a certain number of runs, he/she will pass it to the next person, no exceptions. However, for something to count as a run it must make it over the minimum distance, and if the run doesn’t make it past that distance then it counts as a half run. If the number of “runs” you are doing is 3, then if you get under the minimum every try you can do up to 6 half runs, but that should be highly unlikely.

Below I’ve made a list of some of the running game that I regularly play along with my recommended run count and minimum distance (and yes, 3 runs and 300 meters is the base number that I always go to):

  1. Temple Run – 3 runs over 300 meters
  2. Temple Run 2 – 3 runs over 300 meters
  3. Ski Safari – 2 runs over 3000 points
  4. Subway Surfer – 3 games over 300 meters
  5. Jetpack Joyride – 3 games over 300 meters
  6. Benji Bananas – 3 games past level 1
  7. Ninja Ninja Ninjas – 3 games past 1/2 the high score of one of the players, the higher high score if the two players are equally good at the game, the lower or middle (if multiple players) high score if one player is much better than the other. Or past 30.
  8. Mr. AahH!! – 3 games, no minimum
  9. Cyclone – 5 games past 5 seconds
  10. Red Ball Run – 3 games past 30

I’ll add more as I have time, happy running (or skiing or swinging or whatever it is you are doing…)!

~ George

The Ultimate Wish: Part 3 of 3 – Fun


You’ve made the wish. You protected the universe from yourself, and yourself from the universe. Now it’s time to enjoy your awesome power

As I wish for things in real life, I’ll post them here. Something big to note though, I won’t just wish for anything I want. After all, that would take all the fun and joy and surprise out of life. For example, I won’t wish that I was an awesome soccer player, because that takes the fun out of playing soccer. Better things to wish for are along the lines of being able to fly, because I can’t fly (I think 🙂 ), and there’d be no joy-robbing if suddenly I could fly.

  1. I wish to be able to fly (Not very original, I know, but it’d still be awesome)
  2. I wish to be able to turn myself and anything else I want invisible, as well as being able to turn anything that is invisible visible (Again not very original, but you could get in some serious trouble if you’re seen flying around. Also, something everyone seems to forget about is that when you say “I wish to be able to turn myself invisible”, they don’t mention turning visible again 🙂 )
  3. I wish that my toes (or some other injury) were completely healed (Some people reading might know that I was on crutches for two weeks and in a boot for another three weeks because of a toe injury that still bothers me sometimes. Something like that definitely has to go when you are all powerful)
  4. I wish I wasn’t so sore right now (Probably something that I’d wish a lot 🙂 )
  5. I wish to be able to go to sleep and wake up exactly when I want to (I have trouble getting to sleep, and almost everybody has trouble waking up, so this solves both problems in one go)
  6. I wish to have Telekinesis (Perhaps the best wish for the lazy person and the busy person alike, the ability to move stuff around with your mind would be awesome)
  7. I wish that my body can adapt to cold and/or heat, in such a way that I keep my complete abilities and no damage is caused to my body. (Fall just started, and earlier today I had to swim in a very cold pool for swim team. It would be very nice to not be bothered by temperature.)
  8. I wish to be able to understand, read, speak, and write in any language that I hear, see, or want to understand. (It’d be very helpful to say the least)
  9. I wish to be able to change what happens inside a book and see what the characters would do in such a way that the change is only applied to the book that I am holding at the time of changing it and only after I have said “I, ______, am changing this book”. (This would be Great if you like reading. Not only could you fix any situations that you didn’t like (such as a favorite character dying), but you’d also have a story that would never end. You could just keep changing the situation and seeing what the characters do! As for the restrictions, you don’t want to mess up every book you look at and you certainly don’t want to mess up every copy of the book in the world.)

Notable exceptions (wishes that some might want, but I personally don’t)

  • I wish for x amount of dollars (There are a number of reasons that I wouldn’t want this. First off, with wish power you could easily earn a real income without magically getting the money from nowhere. Second, with wish power, many things that would need money you can easily get for yourself.)
  • I wish to be stronger/faster/thinner/better at soccer, etc. (Something that I’m happy about myself is that I’m fit. Even though I could wish myself to be extremely fast, it’d take the joy  out of winning in a race. Wishing that I was as good of a swimmer as Michael Phelps would ruin all the fun of competitive swimming. While some may want to be stronger, I feel good the way I am)

These are just a few of the things I’d wish for, and I know that you can easily think of others that I missed. Leave any suggestions/ questions in the comments!

~ George



This post is part of a 3 post triad, each focusing on a specific aspect of “The Ultimate Wish”.

The Ultimate Wish: Part 2 of 3 – Safety

You were just given the ability to grant wishes and have become the most dangerous person both on the planet and to the planet. With a single wish you could destroy the earth. If anyone find out about your power they might seek to control you, or perhaps simply kill you. What are the first wishes you make to ensure that you (and humanity) survives?

In bold are the wishes, and in parenthesis are my comments on the particular wish. “!!!” will be placed in front of particularly important wishes, although they are all important. Note: if you were going to make these wishes, you’d probably want to find the precise wording of the wish; these are more of the idea of the wish than the wish itself

  1. !!!!!! I wish that all the wishes I grant must be fulfilled according to my intention(so that I won’t be surprised by the outcomes of my wish. Definitely should be first, because it is critical to everything else. Also needs to be the most precisely worded)
  2. !!! I wish to need a password to grant wishes(so that I won’t accidentally make a wish that I shouldn’t; perhaps the password is a very hard word that I’ve written down)
  3. I wish that I am not able to grant a wish without consciously agreeing to it (again, I don’t want to accidentally destroy the world. The first wishes will have a lot to do with that)
  4. I wish that if I say the word/phase __________(really long, hard phrase), and then speak of a previous wish, then all the effect of that wish will be undone, apart from the knowledge that I had to say the phrase for some reason(In case I make a wish that messes everything up, despite my precautions. The last phrase is so that I’d know not to wish for whatever I was about to wish for)
  5. !!! I wish that if I say the word/phase __________(another really long, hard phrase), and then speak of a previous wish, then all the effect of that wish will be undone, apart from any effects it had on myself(In case I make a wish that messes something up, but I want to remember what happened anyway)
  6. I wish that if I die, all the effects of the last wish I made before my death would be undone if one of the consequences of the wish was my death (If I destroy the universe, then the wish would be undone (hopefully), perhaps I might want to not make it the last wish I made, in case it wasn’t the one that killed me (and the universe))
  7. I wish that if I am about to make a wish that will cause the death of someone I will know exactly 30 seconds before I make the wish, along with what the wish would have been (more backup for the “don’t destroy the earth” plan)
  8. I wish that any wish I make containing the word __________ (word that I’d never unintentionally say in a wish) will be undone exactly 24 hours after my death, unless I wish otherwise (Just in case)
  9. Having hopefully protected the universe from myself (although I may want to do something about the time stream), the following wishes will be mostly about protecting me from the universe.
  10. I wish to be able to grant wishes without speaking out loud (in case I’m in a situation that I can’t speak, such as underwater or gagged, although perhaps I should need to speak to decrease the possibility of accidental wishing?)
  11. !!!!!! I wish that I’ll automatically know and understand the answer to any question I ask, so long as it doesn’t regard the future. (This is a REALLY big one, with this power alone you could rule the world. If I wasn’t already wishing to grant wishes, this would be one of my “3 wishes”. Maybe someday I’ll do a post on it)
  12. !!! I wish to be able to stop and start time (note: unless I made wish #1 of this post, this could lead to some dire consequence, such as not being able to start time again, or instantly killing me. Also, this is important for my safety because it can help me get out of bad situations)
  13. I wish that I wouldn’t age while time is stopped. (Who knows how the whole “Time Stop” thing would work, so it’s better to be prepared)
  14. !!! I wish that if I were to die, time would rewind until exactly 5 minutes before I lost clarity of thought and start again, but I’d know exactly what killed me and how it killed me (You might want to put a limit on how many time this happens; “clarity of thought” is supposed to help against dying when I’m asleep or drugged.)
  15. I wish to be completely indestructible so long as I cannot think clearly, along with the 10 minutes following the point at which I am thinking clearly (This wish has two purposes: 1st, if someone tries to attack me while I am asleep, drugged, or confused, they won’t succeed; 2nd, if something really bad happens while I’m asleep or something, I will have a chance to fix it)
  16. I wish that any bullet, missile, rocket, dart, sword, or knife thrown or shot at me will instantly be teleported  inside the black hole at the center of the galaxy (I know that there are many other things that could kill me, some of which I might add later, but this is just to cover the basics. Besides, if I said anything thrown at me would disappear, then dodgeball and games like it would become much less fun. As for the black hole part, I figured that no matter what someone shoots at me, it isn’t something a black hole couldn’t handle, meanwhile if the person was desperate enough it might blow up the sun, or something)
  17. I wish that the moment someone decides that he/she wants to kill me, he/she will immediately forget that he/she wants to kill me (pretty self-explanatory, I think)

Notable Exceptions (wishes that I thought would be good, but upon further reflection turned out to be bad ideas)

  1. I wish to be able to teleport anywhere at conscious desire (with the power to wish for anything, I can easily wish to be any place I want. Having taken some measures to make sure that I don’t accidentally wish for something bad, it’d probably be safer to just stick with that rather than risk accidentally teleporting myself into the center of the sun, for instance)
  2. I wish to be able to know the future (or something along those lines)(I never thought this would be a good idea, but I thought I’d explain why I make the last statement in wish #10. It’s pretty simple, to be honest. In many of the movies/books, the person who knows the future often dies or something else horrible because he/she tries to change it. While that may be just in fiction, I wouldn’t want to be the first to try it.)

This post will continue to be updated as I think of more, but for now this is good. Part 3 is about the fun I’d wish for now that everything is safe.

~ George



This post is part of a 3 post triad, each focusing on a specific aspect of “The Ultimate Wish”.

The Ultimate Wish: Part 1 of 3 – The Wish

You’ve done the impossible and found a real Genie of the Lamp. You have three wishes. What do you wish for?

As the sort of person who tries to find the best answers to any question (“What’s your dream car?” someone once asked me. I said “The Batmobile”), I’ve come up with what I think is The Ultimate Wish, the wish to be able to grant wishes. I’m also the sort of person who wants everything specified, so that the genie couldn’t misinterpret it in any way. This post is going to focus on the three first wishes and what those three wishes would be, down to every last detail. I’ll edit this post as I think of either better phrasing of the wishes or better wishes.

Wish One:  I wish to know and understand everything that there is to know about genii and wishes, in such a way that will not cause me physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual harm, and does not involve tampering with my body, mind, or spirit in any way that would cause me distress or to not realize that I am in distress.

Wish Two (The Ultimate Wish): I wish that I have the ability to grant any wish to myself, at any time, in any place, in any dimension, in any timeline, in any body that I may be in, up to 9 googolplex times, without causing harm to me emotionally, physically, mentally, or spiritually.

Wish Two (alternate): If I learn something from my first wish that would stop me from getting The Ultimate Wish granted, then I would use this wish to compromise whatever would stop my wish from happening, from wishing that the genie would forget a rule to wishing that the genie had the power and want to grant me my wish. If the genie would try to misinterpret my wish then I’d wish that he would have to interpret the wish as I think. I should probably add the word for word wishes for any scenario that I think might happen, so I may do that in the future.

Wish Three: I would keep this as a redundant wish, in case the second wish failed or I lost my wish granting powers.

Wish Three (alternate): If I used the alternate for wish two, then wish three would be used for The Ultimate Wish


Hopefully any problems that the genie causes would be fixable through my own wishes. If you notice anything that I should add/change/remove, please comment. Part 2 is about what wishes I’d make immediately after making The Ultimate Wish

~ George



This post is part of a 3 post triad, each focusing on a specific aspect of “The Ultimate Wish”.

How To Randomly Choose A Winner Using Only A Watch

Do you ever need an easy, random way to choose who among you and your friend(s) can go first? Just look at your watch.

How To Replicate A Coin Flip With A Watch

My friend and I often have trouble deciding who goes first. We usually end up doing some sort of coin toss, but (over) half the time we don’t have coins. This is my solution: I’ve only tried this with a digital watch, but I’m sure it could be applied to analog watches too in some way (I’ll update this if I can think of how). Have the other person choose Even or Odd. Then look at your watch’s seconds (or minutes, if necessary). If the number is even then whoever chose even wins, and if the number is odd then whoever chose odd wins. Simple as that.

How To Choose A Winner From A Small Group of People Without Checking Your Watch More Than Twice

The basis of the randomization process is the seconds on your digital watch (or the seconds hand on your analog watch). Give everyone a number, starting with one and working your way up from there. Then check your watch and see how many seconds have passed since the last minute.

  • If there are…
  • 2 people and number of seconds that have passed is below 30, then person #1 wins. Otherwise he loses
  • 3 people and number of seconds that have passed is below 20 then person #1 wins, if the number is equal to or above 40 then person #3 wins, and otherwise person #2 wins
  • 4 people, do the same thing as with three people, only the seconds are split into four areas, 0-14, 15-29, 30-44, and 45-59
  • 5 people, analog watches would have a harder time, but digital watches’ would have the five areas be 0-11, 12-23, 24-35, 36-47, and 48-60
  • 6 people, it should be obvious if you’ve read this far, just divide 60 by 6
  • 7 people, I don’t know yet
  • 8 people, then split the group into two groups of four and check your watch, selecting one person from both groups at once. Then check your watch again to see who of the two of them wins
  • 9 people, split the group into three groups of three and check your watch. Pick the winner from each group and check your watch again using the method for three people
  • 10 or 12 people , instead of giving each person 6 seconds give them each five, that way it would work for an analog watch
  • For greater numbers, try dividing 60 by the number, breaking them into groups, or using my next suggestion which I came up with while writing this one
How To Choose A Winner From A Large Group Using A Watch (Or A Coin)

Have everybody pick 1 or 2 (this would also work with heads or tails). Decide if 1 equals odd or even, and decide that 2 is the other. Check your watch, and say which group stays based on which number they picked. Keep doing this until there is only one person left, and if everybody goes out in one round then have a do-over. If everybody keeps picking the same thing, try having them pick between other numbers, letters, or even colors, and keep switching up what they have to choose from.

~ George