I decided to make SANU since with school and everything I’ve really had trouble making posts, trying to figure out what category to put up. So I decided that, since I’ve been handling a lot of things that classify as “on hold”, I’ve decided to make a news update for these things every once in a while known as SANU, or my Super Awesome News Updates. At first, I called it my Incredibly Noble Super Awesome News Expo, but although it does spell INSANE, it really doesn’t make much sense. So until further notice, SANU it is! Me, myself, I, and my stonewashed jeans!

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Well, my first bit of news revolves around something I’ve really been digging–Wonderstruck.

No, no, no, not that Wonderstruck! And besides, I haven’t heard from Swift since “We Are Never Ever Getting Back T”–you know what it’s called. I’m talking about this Wonderstruck.

As you should know if you’ve been tagging along with my two main blogs, I’ve read The Invention of Hugo CabretAnd it’s insane good.  And one of the things I’ll never forget about first stepping into my English classroom for the first time of this school year was seeing all these books lined up against the whiteboard. Those were the books that my English teacher had read during the summer. And it wasn’t just one to five books. They literally took up a half of the board! There was a Mike Lupica book called HeroGregor the Overlander, all three Max Cassidy books, sporty ones like The Ball and The Dream Team–but one I really noticed was this one. I studied the cover up close and realized it was a Selznick book. And I was able to infer (like every good reader should) that this was similar to Hugo Cabret. After all, it did mention that Selznick was the “creator of the Caldecott Medal winner The Invention of Hugo Cabret“. And after researching the book on Amazon and seeing the little “inside look”, I was positive that this was similar to Hugo. And for the next few weeks, I kept using that book as a highball for my eyeballs, seeming to want to read the book more and more. I even emailed my teacher about it! And one simple question, an armful of steps, and the “beep” of a barcode scan later, I have the book. And I’ve barely left the first chapter, and know that this is gonna be good. And I’ve got a lot of reading to do–it’s 640 pages long! That’s ten pages shy of the first two Potter books combined! More notably, over 100 pages longer than Hugo!

So anyway, expect some sort of Jolly Good Bookie: Wonderstruck to magically appear on the homepage sometime soon! 😀 Can’t wait and want to know more? Click here to check out the main and official Wonderstruck website. Want to hear how great this book is from Brian Selznick himself? Check this  video out! (Visit the site if you want all of his spoken words in text via transcript.)

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These are just some of the new Cartoon Network games I played. They’re all surprisingly good each in their own fields of impression, and I’ve already beaten nearly everyone of them. (And besides–you really can’t win in Karate Master, since it records scores via distance.) And I’ve got one thing to say about the new badge mechanics: they’re messed up. I can beat the entire Toxic Targets game, collecting every single Chris Totem along the way, and still not get the badge for an unacceptably long while. (Don’t worry, I have all 6 now. :D) I’m still waiting for Flambo’s Hot Mess to accept that I beat the game, and won every single Golden Jelly Bean along the way. But hey–to each his, her, or their own. I also went through a major change from Amusing Chip Shuriken to Major Zelda Shinobi since my password just didn’t get a very comfy margin of the memory section of my brain. Needless to say, I’ve currently got over forty of the site’s badges, and currently have one friend. (Now’s your chance, America.) But anyway, to drive back on topic, I decided to tell you about each game that I played and enjoyed.

  • Regular Show‘s Escape from Ninja Dojo – So, Rigby just had to buy a bootleg copy of Ninja Dojo. Despite Mordecai’s warnings, he starts up the game anyway. And through some sort of magical and bizarre curse that’s actually pretty normal for Regular Show, Rigby gets sucked into the game. Mordo is now forced to fulfill the role of the “old wise mentor” stereotype and help Rigby through the game, since he is freed after he beats it. Now, what made me hooked to this game was intricate controls, non-pressuring difficulty, and–well–Mordecai’s lessons are pretty straightforward. But poor level design and rather grating music did pull me away a bit. But you’ll likely be having so much fun using the mechanics to explore your worlds that you likely won’t notice.
  • Adventure Time‘s Flambo’s Hot Mess – Now when it comes to princess relationships, Finn’s got his hands full. He’s come point-blank with literally every damsel in Ooo itself, but he shares the biggest relationships with two particular princesses: Princess Bonnibel Bubblegum, and his real current girlfriend the Flame Princess. Now, the Flame Kingdom really holds its own in both the gratitude of episodes and the story of Ooo through the show, and you’ll actually meet a lot of Flame People. One of these People is Flambo, a flambit who usually shows to be on Finn and Jake’s side. But in Hot Mess, he’s clumsily spilled PB’s entire collection of royal jelly beans. So you must navigate through 33 levels and collect each jelly bean along the way–at least, if you want all the Golden Jelly Beans. But there is a slight problem–since Flambo is made out of fire, every wooden block he comes in contact with will instantly set on fire. And then those blocks will spread their fire to other blocks or vines. And then those blocks and vines could spread to Critters, which could spread the blaze even more quickly. So it takes a real upper hand in logical strategy to navigate through all the levels and get through. Now, that’s what made this game fun–it was innovative, charming, clever, sharp, and challenging. Challenging to the point where–yes, I admit it–I may have used a walkthrough or two.
  • Total Drama: Revenge of the Island‘s Toxic Targets – This year’s season of Total Drama was a crazy one. Toxic waste mutating the animals of the woodland, an entirely new roster of campers, and the new Hurl of Shame elimination catapult. Anyway, this game has every camper you see in the game nimbly holding or balancing a mutated rabbit. You play show head Chris McLain’s trusty straight-outta-mess-hall partner Chef Hatchet, whom must unbalance these campers. So Chris decides to let him use his toxic meatballs in a fashion strikingly similar to Angry Birds. No seriously–these guys built strongholds outta wood and ice and everything! And here’s what makes these meatballs toxic–whomever gets hit by them gets electrically shocked. Or at least, it’s depicted like that. And if you have only one camper standing, you automatically complete the level. Take out that last camper, you get a Chris Totem. If you can get all forty Chris Totems, then you are an official “meatball marksman”. No, seriously, that’s the title of the badge you get. Anyway, I liked this game because it was also very walkthrough-level challenging, and also quite funny and interesting to play out. The feeling of using Shrinky Meatballs to have entire strongholds vanish in thin air, or shocking campers from beneath the ground with Explosive Meatballs just enticed me so much more to play this game. And I bet after this you’ll be checking your next plate of spaghetti-and-meatballs to make sure your meat’s completely nontoxic.
  • Gumball‘s Suburban Karate Master – I didn’t know it was humanly possible for Cartoon Network to still go back to those nostalgic 8-bit aesthetics. But in this game, they did it. So, you play a gi-sporting Gumball and merely run down the street while jumping over obstacles like fire hydrants, collecting soda cans for energy (how ironic :D), and obviously beating down the baddies. Get enough power and Darwin will join you in an ultimate power blast that will dash you down the street–the thing is it feeds off most of your health. So make sure you’re near some soda cans when you cool down. Although I could barely last thirty seconds in that game without falling flat on my face, what made me keep going back down the block and starting over was that it was funny, innovative, interesting, unique, and–you guessed it–nostalgic. Now if only they were using badges…
  • Teen Titans Go!‘s Tower Lockdown – Remember how you always used to watch Teen Titans as a kid–at least, if you were a 2000s kid? Then get ready, because your favorite teen superheroes are returning in the most comedic take on the saga yet–Teen Titans Go! Airing on Cartoon Network’s DC Nation block alongside Young Justice, Green Lantern, and the upcoming Beware Batman, expect this show to be saving a life near you next year. But for now, the creators of the show gave us this game. In it, you control Robin, who is trying to find the keys through several levels to unlock doors. But here’s the thing: you are granted the ability to flip gravity whenever necessary. But don’t think of this as some sort of Gravity Guy–space is rather limited, and eventually that pesky key grows some smarts. In one level, you must actually chase the key! But luckily, you can also airwalk from time to time to perform things like bridging gaps and making inaccessible parts within reach. I liked Tower Lockdown because of this: it had smooth controls, clever level designing, and mood-setting tunes. However, when I reached a level that assigned me to turn on a TV and use all the highlighted obstacles to keep me aware in real life (you have to do the most airwalking, I believe), the game went completely mad. It didn’t automatically close the tab I was playing, but it froze for seconds at a time, causing me to die every time for no sane reason. So I believe you should put that on notice if you’re playing on a PC with Google Chrome 22.
  • Riders of Berk‘s Dragons: Wild Skies – Now this game literally froze on me, so I’m just gonna put that under “on the fence”.
  • Chowder‘s Bookin’ Cook – Or should I say, Diner Dash: Chowder Edition. Now, to explain this game is a pretty straightforward toil. You’re likely to pick up this game very quickly if you’ve played Diner Dash or any deriving series similar to it. Now the version you played really doesn’t matter; I don’t care if you played the original, or the sequel, or the third, or the fourth, or the fifth, or the SpongeBob version. Anyway, in this game you control Chowder, but are also helped by your pals Schnitzel and Mung Daal. You must manage an increasing number of customers who will either ask for an apple, a piece of cheese, a head of cabbage, or this blue thingy. (I’m sorry, Chowder fans, I’ve left your little gang for a while now. :() You pick the fruit you want via the “no-fruit”, which will randomly change from fruit to fruit faster than the naked eye can manage, before Schnitzel whacks it with a bat and lands on your fruit. If they wanted sauce with that fruit, you can go to either of three saucing machines (yellow, blue, and pink) and toss it in there for a few seconds. You can toss it in again if you want a second layer, or toss it in another machine to do some mixing-and-matching. If they wanted extra eyes, just throw it into the eye machine (warning: it will take a long while). Mess something up? Just trash it–but it’ll come back to haunt you later. Make sure to keep your customers patient and happy, because their patience level is represented by a bar above their head. If it fully depletes, the customer will now very furiously storm out, and guilt obviously follows. Serve a customer while they’re still jolly, and they’ll leave with their pay of dollops. (Y’see, Chowder runs on their own currency; instead of dollars and cents, they have dollops and sments. Yeah, show fans, I still got it in me. :D) One of those customers, matter of fact, is your hotheaded hot mama Truffles, and her patience bar depletes the fastest in the entire game. So when she wants something, you better give it to her. Luckily, I’ve been manageable enough to never see what happened if Truffles lost her patience. Anyway, Mung’s mortal enemy’s daughter/your “girlfriend” Panini will occasionally show up running her mouth like a typewriter. Luckily, if you click on her you can send her away with your signature “I’m not your boyfriend!” And get rid of her fast, because she’s a lethal weapon in taking out patience bars. And rightfully so, in my perspective. I don’t think I really need to explain that I really enjoy this game.

So check out all these games I recommended just for the heck of it, and tell me in the comment section what you thought of them! Give me a rating on a 0-10 scale and explain why–hopefully you’ve been paying attention in English class. But just to set the record, lemme explain each level.

0 – Why did you recommend this to me?!?!

1 – No. No. No, no, no, no, just NO!

2 – I could type up a better game with my feet.

3 – Son, I am disappoint.

4 – …Yeesh.

5 – I’m on the fence about this one.

6 – It’s okay, I guess.

7 – I guess it’s pretty darn good.

8 – Not bad, Sammwak.

9 – Wow, okay, this game is really, really good.

10 – This is true gaming nirvana!!!

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Cover of the novel, showing the title in white text on a black and grey background, above a depiction of a gold pin featuring a bird in flight, its wings spread and an arrow clasped in its beak.

If you’re like me, you’ve heard about this. You’ve greatly heard about this. You may have seen kids flaunting their copies around school and in class, talking about how great the movie was, wondering how its sequel would unfold. This is none other than the Hunger Games, from the lady that brought us the equally engrossing Gregor series. Now, the Hunger Games trilogy premise is simple: it all takes place in Panem, a post-apocalyptic nation split into twelve districts on land where North America once stood. An advanced metropolis known as the Capitol politically rules over the nation, as well as being surrounded by these districts. Now, a boy and girl aged from twelve to eighteen years old (known as a “tribute”) is chosen annually from each district to compete in a televised fight-to-the-death known as the Hunger Games. Now, seeing as these kids seem to be representing their districts, this whole thing must be some sort of bloodier and gorier Olympics. And I believe it’s even more shocking that innocent kids must ruthlessly murder one another just to gain the title of the Games victor. Any more violent, and I’d be putting up a notice for child abuse. Anyway, this year the Capitol has chosen Primrose Everdeen as District 12’s female tribute. Realizing she’s one of the youngest contestants, her older sister Katniss bravely steps up and says four words I don’t think I’ll ever forget: “I volunteer as tribute!” So Primrose is ultimately replaced by her sister in the Games, and it really wouldn’t have been any more dangerous if Katniss hadn’t done diddly squat.

Now, although I had the book as a Google Play sample, I finally got to touch and read the book! And let me tell you, I can’t believe the feeling I had when I read that book. First chapter isn’t actually half bad; darn suspenseful ending. Like Goosebumps. I like like Goosebumps. So the moral of this story is just expect some sort of Jolly Good Bookie: Hunger Games trilogy coming your way at a future date. And y’know how I said that people are talking about the movie’s sequel? Well, they have right to do so, because Catching Fire will actually be turning into a movie coming out next year! After returning from the Games with her skins, Katniss has now embarked on a victor’s tour of the districts, but along the way Katniss’s “suspense senses” begin to tingle. Turns out the Capitol has never lost its grip on the districts, especially with the next upcoming Hunger Games that could change the nation forever…

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TheEndBook.jpg

Lemon. That word makes me think of Lemony. And that word makes me think of Lemony Snicket. And that word makes me think of his 13-book series that have been giving me a chill since about the fourth grade. It is none other than A Series of Unfortunate Events, and today I just read its final volume. I never knew it would come to an end this–this dramatically. In the series’ “book the thirteenth” (known as the pretty straightforward The End), the three Baudelaire orphans and their lifelong enemy Count Olaf have just escaped Hotel Denouement after its horrifying fire. How did it happen? Well, then I’d be spoiling the twelfth book, wouldn’t I? After surviving a gnarly storm, they wash up on a coastal shelf of an island inhabited by a strange people. While Olaf tries to get the castaways to know him as “king of Olafland”–which obviously fails to work–the orphans come across several islanders, among them being the island’s facilitator Ishmael. Call him Ish if you want to. The Baudelaires also come across recurring series character Kit Snicket (still as pregnant as ever), but at the same time Olaf has decided to disguise himself as Kit. What does he use as his “baby”? A diving helmet containing spores of Medusoid Mycelium, a fungus that had nearly killed Sunny (the youngest orphan) in the eleventh book.

Aye, I’ve said too much! Just be sure to check out Jolly Good Bookie: The End when it comes out at a later date. Who knows, I may even be working on it right now. Will the Baudelaire orphans’ story conclude happily…or unfortunately? You know what Lemony’s said: “Like an off-key violin concert, the Roman Empire, or food poisoning, all things must come to an end.”

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I guess that’s all the news I have to give you this fine week! Make sure to shoot your arrow straight through that like button, and be sure to comment, subscribe, reblog, share, Press This, check me out at G+, and stay tuned for more awesomeness courtesy of Sammwak!

Stay classy America,

~S~ 😎

Videos of the Week: I remember seeing  a real-life Ezio from Assassin’s Creed in a Corridor Digital video. But this takes that to a whole ‘nother level. Nearly 200,000 people have liked this video, and it’s gotten 9.3 million hits since last month! After watching this, I only thought of two things: “Geez, this is freaking awesome!”, and “…Wow, my head hurts.”  Comment me if you have the same effect!

Now this one may be one that’s more widely recognized. In August 1960, a U.S. Air Force Colonel known as Joe Kittinger fell from the Excelsior III, setting records for the highest balloon ascent, parachute jump, and the longest drogue-fall at 4 minutes and 36 seconds, the fastest a human’s ever gone through the atmosphere. Just this year, most of those records were broken by an Austrian skydiver/daredevil/BASE jumper. That Austrian was “Fearless Felix” Baumgartner. As part of the Red Bull Stratos project, Felix fell a world-record descent of just over 39 kilometers, setting the “highest manned balloon flight”, “fastest freefall speed”, and “first human to break the sound barrier outside of a vehicle” records. The only thing that Joe still claimed as his was the time he spent freefalling, as 17 seconds separated him and Felix. But it’s already been a web-wide sensation (you may have seen it as the #livejump), and I’ve got this as full-fledged & in-the-flesh proof. It’s got 3.2 million hits with over 10,000 likes–this is Felix Baumgartner’s freefall from the brink of space itself. Literally redefining Red Bull’s famous slogan “It gives you wings.”

And click here for some full-fledged & in-the-flesh extras from the official  channel itself!

p.s. Press This and comment if you want to wish my big sis a happy eighteenth birthday tomorrow! 😀 😀 😀

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