The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

The Alfa-Bravo-Charlie (Awesome Blog Content) Award

Ninetybeats of NinetysBlog has nominated me for the Awesome Blog Content (ABC) award, a blogging initiative that aims to promote exploration within the blogging community. There’s no prize money or plaque commemorating things, but there is an opportunity to learn more about other blogs, as well as the nominee’s blog. I made a small attempt to trace the history of this award, but my trail went cold when trying to find anything earlier than 2012, so I imagine that this award originates from 2011 or so. The guidelines to the nominees are simple enough:

  • Supply the ABC award image
  • Provide an alphabetical list of twenty-six things about your blog
  • Nominate a number of other blogs for this award.

ABC Award

Ahead of time, I’ll immediately note that the original ABC logo isn’t up to my design standards (read “clashes with the colours everywhere else on this site”), so I’ve supplied my own. Moreover, I don’t follow a great number of blogs, so I’ll be nominating four rather than five. With that being said, let’s get into the meat-and-potatoes of this award: twenty-six things, one for each letter of the alphabet. I’ve tried to pick things that may or may not be mentioned all that frequently here.

  • Analytical: I think this is one of my more interesting character traits. When presented with a problem or situation, I enjoy (or otherwise, out of necessity) decomposing things into more manageable components to solve.
  • Biology: While I specialise in software development, especially with regard to simmulation building, I’ve an interest in all things biology. The fact that there are entire worlds hidden away in plain sight is of interest to me, and it’s always fun to piece together the intricate reactions and processes that make life possible.
  • CLANNAD: One of the few anime I consider a masterpiece, CLANNAD was able to impart on me a new perspective on life, especially with respect to what family and relationships mean. While the first season was an above-average slice-of-life, the second season really drove home a profound, meaningful message.
  • Dark Knight: This film trilogy and The Lord of The Rings vie for the coveted title of my favourite films of all time. In particular, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight was a spectacular watch, bringing to light a villain (in the form of Heath Leger’s Joker) that truly challenged the Batman and leading viewers to wonder whether or not people really are as civilised as they might believe themselves to be.
  • Excellence: The pursuit of excellence is what drives me to wake up early every morning and give my absolute best to whatever it is I’m doing. This forms the definition of my happiness, to work hard and excel for the people around me.
  • Food: If it’s not apparent, I do spend a bit more time than necessary reminiscing about the different dishes I’ve had accompanying events. There is a great enjoyment in savouring different dishes and the aspects that went into their creation, and for me, a good dish can evoke or create new memories of a day.
  • Gundam: I was introduced to Gundam by a friend back during my days as a high school student; during this time, Gundam 00 had just begun airing, and through discussions with him on the socio-political implications raised in Gundam 00, I began the forerunner to this blog to provide a written account of our talks. While Gundam 00 is not quite a life-changing anime as something like CLANNAD, it holds a special place in my heart for acting as the catalyst that led me to take an interest in writing.
  • Hong Kong: As one of the most vibrant cities on the planet, Hong Kong is where my ancestral origins lie. I visit occasionally, around once every four years; half my family lives there, and it’s quite joyous to speak with them. Despite being a big city far busier and more hectic than my home town, Hong Kong nonetheless feels like a second home: the language, culture and cuisine are familiar and welcoming.
  • iOS: Apple’s mobile operating platform has been an integral part of my life since I entered post-secondary: beyond more ordinary applications, such as helping me follow PDFs in lectures and acting as a mobile platform for reading papers, I used my iPad during my undergraduate thesis to present my project.
  • James Bond: My first 007 movie was Moonraker, and since having watched it nearly thirteen years ago, I’ve been a fan of the James Bond universe for its unique, often over-the-top stories. This entry-level espionage fiction acts as the gateway into more realistic, grounded works.
  • K-On!: A curious fan-made music video led me to hunt down a certain song in the K-On! soundtrack, and although the song I heard was not a part of the actual K-On! soundtrack, I soon desired to see what this oft-mentioned series was about. When I decided to watch K-On! for myself, I was experiencing one of the tougher terms of my undergraduate degree (organic chemistry and algorithms analysis); each episode of K-On! proved to be the bliss to counteract stress, and ultimately, K-On! acted as a balance against stress. Since then, I’ve been a proponent of K-On! and slice-of-life in general, going to lengths to advocate for the importance of this anime form.
  • Languages: I am bilingual, with native fluency in written and spoken English, as well as with spoken Cantonese. I’ve also taken Mandarin Chinese, German and Japanese courses, although disuse means that I’ve only gotten the basics down for these languages- most of my time is spent in languages such as Java, Python, C# and Objective C.
  • Martial Arts: I’ve been a karateka for upwards of fifteen years and currently hold a shodan. I train in martial arts to apply and learn more about virtues such as discipline, patience and humility, but it’s also a fine supplementation to weight-lifting and mountain-biking.
  • Nostalgic: While I concede that this might not necessarily be a good thing, I do tend to be quite given towards a sort of longing for the simpler days. This is reflected in many of my posts, where I fondly recall the days of old if a moment in a game or anime can evoke such memories.
  • Open-minded: I’m very willing to try things outside the domain of my interest and familiarity, especially when it comes to food. With that being said, some readers note that I only watch/write about/play certain types of games and anime and express little interest in other things in my content. I offer the rebuttal that owing to my commitments, I do not have unlimited time to watch and write about everything I watch/play during a time period.
  • Perseverance: Recall the story of the individual who swam halfway across the English Channel, tired out and then swam back. I firmly believe that once I begin something, I ought to see it through to the best of my ability; this applies to most everything I do.
  • Quiet: Those who don’t know me well will find an individual who blends in rather well in the background. I can take the initiative and start conversations with others just fine, although I do prefer listening.
    Reading: When I’m not watching anime or saving the world (read “gaming”), I enjoy the company of a good book. Entire worlds and journeys, as well as vast repositories of knowledge lie within a physical volume that’s comfortable to hold.
  • Science and Technology: I’ve been quite fond of science, ever since I picked up my first book on the solar system back in elementary school, and of technology, since I began playing Sim City 2000 on Windows 95. The wonders of what these two fields have yielded for the world, and their intricate relationship has been the main motivation for why I am pursuing a career in software.
  • Tom Clancy: After glancing over the summary in the dust jacket several Christmases ago, I picked up Tom Clancy’s Threat Vector, loved it and have since read a fair number of his novels (plus those that Mark Greaney have continued to write). The amount of technical details and unique background that Tom Clancy writes into his characters and world brings this alternate universe to life, and for me, every novel represents a thrilling adventure.
  • Unreal and Unity: These are the two game engines I’ve worked with at present for thesis-related work. Long thought of as being highly efficient tools for developing games, I’m making use of their capabilities to build programs for biological visualisation and physiology simulations, in addition to testing these systems in virtual reality environments as a part of my degree.
  • Visual: Those familiar with this blog will already know that I ardently believe that visual elements go a long way in expressing ideas; inspired by my lab supervisor, I understand the importance of being clear in communications, and visual elements such as pictures can aid in telling a story where words alone might merely obfuscate.
  • Windows: This is my preferred operating system for its versatility and performance. While I’m okay with Mac OS X and Linux, Windows happens to be compatible with the most number of applications around, allowing me to both work and game.
  • Xenial: I believe that all people deserve to be addressed in a polite and friendly fashion, but in turn, I also expect people to extend me the same courtesy. For the most part, I get along just fine with most people, save those who open interactions with hosility.
  • You: Without readers such as yourself, this blog would not be possible. Thank you for reading!
  • Zealous: I need a zulu-lettered word to round this award out, and so, I’ve picked this one, which has both positive and negative connotations. On the plus side, I love the things I do and give them my fullest efforts, and the down side is that I’m quite ready to counteract critics who’ve negative things to say about the things I enjoy.

Nominees

Now that I’ve finished, I will nominate four other blogs for this here award. These are blogs whose authors I hope to encourage to continue writing: they each represent a unique writing style that far differs than my own, dealing with a variety of lifestyle related topics that I often do not cover. Now, a nomination is merely thus, and there is no obligation to continue on in the spirit of this here award if timing becomes an issue.

  • Beauty and the Bulk: Here is a food blog that encourages active living and healthy eating by means of providing recipes to readers. I lift weights in my spare time and eat like a ninja, so I’m always game for cool recepies that are simultaneously healthy and tasty.
  • Mad Man With A Box: This is a lifestyles/travel blog whose author admits that blogging can be quite a daunting journey. With this nomination, I hope to rekindle their interests in writing, even if their present schedule precludes much blogging.
  • A Musing Bouche: I mentioned that I love food, so it follows that I also enjoy food blogs. It’s quite interesting to see what culinary journeys others have undergone, so this nomination is for a job well done.
  • Midnight Equinox: This is an online journal I’ve alluded to in some of my other posts, and the most noteworthy aspect is that this writer finds time to put up a journal account every day: such dedication is meritorious of nomination.

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