Paper 4 Draft

It’s not so much a draft as it is an outline, but here it–whatever it may be– is.


Why Option 2 is just a bad idea:

Why Option 3 is an okay idea:

Why Option 1 is essentially the current gen. ed. program:

Paragraph explaining that the current gen. ed. program is fine as it is:


Ultimate Victor of Ultimateness


Ok. Last one, best one. Here we go.

I’m Mike “Mike Shanley” Shanley and uh… there isn’t a second guy to base this joke on…

This week, I’m going to see who the ultimate victor out of all the characters I’ve analyzed (plus some extras.)



As I’m sure you can guess, I don’t actively follow “sports.” That is not to say I don’t know a darn thing about sports, I mean, I enjoy watching football and I frequently visit minor league baseball games. But as a registered geek, it’s not my number one pastime.

Although Fantasy Football still counts as fantasy. Just with less swords.

Although Fantasy Football still counts as fantasy. Just with less swords.

So I’m not good at running/catching/throwing (at the same time? Geez…) but what I do like, for some reason, is the bracket. Like the ones for March Madness. Maybe it’s because I’m a nerd and it’s a flowchart or maybe in a past life I was the guy who invented the bracket. Whatever. I really enjoy the bracket when the participants are not the usual college basketball teams. So this week, I made a bracket featuring all of the past combatants from previous weeks plus a couple extras in order to make the bracket work.


Left Side

  • Malcom Reynolds beats Han Solo
  • Thing beats Mr. Incredible
  • Mr. Fantastic beats Elastigirl
  • Violet beats Invisible Woman
  • Dash beats Human Torch
  • Marty McFly (Back to the Future) beats Bill n’ Ted (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure): Marty has a car time machine and is just smarter than Bill and/or Ted who go through time with a phone booth.
  • Mike “Mike Shanley” Shanley beats Jack-Jack: Ok, how the heck do I beat a super-baby, you ask? In the short, “Jack-Jack Attack,” Kari the babysitter is able to fend off Jack-Jack for like, a week, and survives to tell about it. Kari is, what, 16? Man, I could babysit the diaper off of Jack-Jack
  • Stormtrooper beats Red Shirt

Top Right

  • Link beats Aragorn
  • Na’vi beats Ewok
  • Legolas beats Spock
  • Aang beats Sora
  • Indiana Jones beats Jack Sparrow
  • Spiderman beats Ezio the Assassin
  • Queen Elsa (Frozen) beats Rapunzel (Tangled): Although Rapunzel is pretty fierce with a frying pan and her hair; Elsa actually can attack/defend with her magic
  • Eragon (Eragon) beats Luke Skywalker (Star Wars): The two are practically the same person. I’d go on a long arduous rant about how the plot of A New Hope and Eragon are the exact same but I won’t. Instead, I’ll just say that Eragon’s control over magic is more useful in combat than Luke’s mastery over the force. Plus, Eragon has his backup reserve strength of Saphira and Glaedr.



  • Thing beats Mal: the Thing is a rock monster with super strength. Really, only superheroes can damage him. Sorry, Mal.
  • Mr. Fantastic beats Violet: Violet may have been able to defeat his wife, but Mr. Fantastic is a powerful force to be reckoned with and Violet does not have adequate control over her powers yet.
  • Marty McFly beats Dash: What? But Dash is a superhero! Yes, but think about it: Dash can run fast enough to run on water. That’s cute. Marty travels through time. That’s much more than the speed of light. Plus, if it came to a fist-fight, Marty’s a teenager and Dash is in 4th grade. Do the math.
  • Mike “Mike Shanley” Shanley beats the Stormtrooper: Stormtroopers cannot aim. They cannot hit me. If I get any kind of weapon I win.
  • Link beats the Na’vi: Link is simply more equipped to fight. Na’vi have spears and, at best, a dragon. Link has fought much worse opponents.
  • Aang beats Legolas: This one was hard. Both are unbelievably fast. Legolas is good with close combat and ranged, but Aang is the avatar after all. It wouldn’t take much to a) burn Legolas to a crisp, b) freeze/drown him, c) crush him with rocks or d) umm…. blow him away. Air bending kinda sucks.
  • Spiderman beats Indiana Jones: Funny. I could’ve done this. Both swing around a lot and make annoying quips while fighting. But in the end, Spidey is a superhero, having the proportional strength of a spider and all. Also, as an addendum SPIDERMAN.
  • Eragon beats Elsa: Looks like Elsa let this one go. (Get it? Heh. heh. please laugh). As much as I’d love to see a Disney character go to the top and/or anyone beat Eragon (the movie was TERRIBLE), I’m gonna be fair and say that Eragon is more powerful than the Ice Queen.



  • Mr. Fantastic beats Thing: Ok, so the Thing is super strong rock thing. Well, Mr. Fantastic is a super-powerful rubber band. Does rock beat rubber band? No. If you try to beat up rubber, nothing happens, because it’s rubber. Blunt attacks (all of the Thing’s attacks) don’t work on rubber.
  • Mike “Mike Shanley” Shanley beats Marty McFly: Ok, so here’s how it is. I have watched all of the Back to the Future movies. Multiple times. I know Marty’s weakness (call him chicken. LAAAAAAME). So I do that to incite him to fight, make him angry then lay my mad karate skills. Like seriously, I am a black belt. I could take Marty McFly any day of the week.
  • Aang beats Link: Link has fought many demigods (well, actually just Gannondorf, but he’s done it a bunch of times) and super-powerful beings and he has talked with the gods themselves. BUT Aang is an unpredictable, speedy little demigod. If there’s one thing that Link doesn’t seem to handle well is unpredictability. Not to mention any magic attacks Link fires off can just be bent out of the way by Aang’s (insert element) bending.
  • Eragon beats Spiderman: Eragon is making me mad. I don’t want him to go this far, but seriously, he could beat Spiderman. Eragon has all of an elf’s skills– that includes being more agile and durable than a human as well as stronger. Just give him the ability to climb walls and he is Spiderman. With a sword. So because they’re equally matched physically, Eragon can also use awesome magic to take down the web-slinger.



  • Mike “Mike Shanley” Shanley beats Mr. Fantastic: “Seriously?” I can hear you say. Lemme explain. Since I know I’m going into battle against Mr. Fantastic, I know my strategy: tie the guy in knots. That’s one thing that rubber can’t fight against: itself. Also, as a Boy Scout, 90% of the time was spent learning how to tie knots. The other 10% was spent alternating between frisbee, playing with fire, and playing with knives.
  • Aang beats Eragon: FINALLY! Oh sweet relief. Ok, so why can the Last Airbender beat the Last Dragon Rider? Because avatar state. Aang would have to use it against Eragon. Thus making him nearly all-powerful and Eragon had trouble fighting an older Dragon Rider. This, plus, Aang’s bending attacks are near instantaneous, while Eragon’s magic is slightly delayed because he needs the words of power.



Alright, let’s look at the facts:

Aang is the avatar, master of all four elements and the bridge between the physical and spirit worlds. He hails from the Southern Air Temple where he was raised as an Air Nomad. At the age of 12, he was informed by the monks of the Air Temple that he was indeed the Avatar. This frightened him, so he ran off with his giant flying bison and accidentally froze the two of them in an iceberg. 100 years passed, during which the Fire Nation attacked and enslaved about half of the world and committed genocide on the Air Nomads. Aang was released from his icy cocoon by Katara, a water-bender, and Sokka, the comedic relief of the series. In about a year, he learned how to bend all four elements (air, water, earth, fire) and defeated the Fire Lord at his most powerful. Aang, despite all this heavy stuff happening to him, faces the world with the blind optimism of a puppy.

The lesson here is that your puppy might just be the Avatar.

The lesson here is that your puppy might just be the Avatar.

As an air nomad, Aang’s fighting style includes a lot of agile moves, quick attacks, and acrobatics. This style has gotten him through many fights with opponents bigger and stronger than he. As an air nomad, Aang’s fighting style includes a lot of agile moves, quick attacks, and acrobatics. This style has gotten him through many fights with opponents bigger and stronger than he. Aang, as avatar, knows the disciplines of all four elemental bending, meaning he can use wind, water, fire, and earth to fight. Aang’s weapon of choice is his air-glider staff. Normally it looks like a simple wooden staff, but when activated, it sprouts wings and allows Aang to hang on and glide on the wind with the help of air bending. The four elements, as mentioned earlier, are air, water, earth, and fire. Air bending is what comes most naturally to Aang and he uses it the most often. Although it isn’t a very offensive form of bending, it has its uses. It aids Aang move faster than a usual person and can blow people off their feet. Fire-bending is definitely the most offensive form of bending. Almost as simple as earth bending, it is essentially throwing fireballs at other people. Aang knows the more traditional Sun-warrior form but seeing as I don’t know any bending forms at all, Aang should be ok.

Does Thumb-bending count? 'Cause I'm good at that!

Does Thumb-bending count? ‘Cause I’m good at that!

Water bending requires that water be nearby. Water bending also allows Aang to control ice, one of the most powerful attacks of a water bender. Water bending is mainly used as a cutting tool and is based on the idea of using your opponents’ attack against themselves. Earth bending is perhaps the simplest. It is, essentially, throwing rocks with magic at very high speeds. It is the most powerful form of bending and requires large powerful movements in order to properly bend. What is especially significant about being the avatar is that it allows Aang to activate something known as the “Avatar State,” his powers become much stronger and he can harness the powers of past avatars in this state as well. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that he can access the thoughts, council, and memories of previous avatars? Well he can. Google Help can suck it.

I am real. Aang is not. I win.

Think this calls for a thumbs-up!

Think this calls for a thumbs-up!


So I did it. I won. I beat all these losers and won my own game! Is that anti-climactic? Yes! Kind of lame? Indeed! Did I rig it so that I could win? Most definitely! This isn’t about you, besides who doesn’t want to go toe-to-toe with their favorite characters and win? Probably no one. Oh well, I hope you enjoyed reading these. Here’s the End:




Recommendation Report

For all the brouhaha of the general education reform, I have staunchly held my opinion that the program does not need reform. However, that does not seem to be the case, so I believe that if there was to be reform, it should strive to be as similar to the original as possible. The first option proposed, that focusing on exploration, is the most promising. To me, Gen Ed has always been about just that: exploration.

The ideal reform, in my opinion is one in which a student can choose which courses interest him or her. The students will want to take the course because they are genuinely interested in it. This course will enhance their knowledge on the topic and broaden horizons. This is especially important for students in the DUS program because they don’t know exactly what they want to do and an open general education model will help them explore their possibilities. Gen Ed should enable students to increase their knowledge in interesting fields and make them more interesting people.

Red Shirts vs Stormtroopers


Blah Blah Blah, you know the drill

I’m Mike “Set to Stun” Shanley and those were the droids I was looking for!

This week I’m relaxing in a Hawaiian shirt and making the two biggest goofs in the galaxy go at it– the ill-fated Red Shirt and the poor-shot Stormtrooper!



Alright, here’s how it is. The Stormtroopers from Star Wars are the foot soldiers of the evil Empire. Constantly pursuing our heroes throughout the galaxy, you are never too far from a stormtrooper. Aside from doing the Emperor’s dirty work, they also service to do that other Emperor’s dirty work: being George Lucas’ comedic relief.


It’s true. We have group therapy every Wednesday.

Stormtroopers, as frightening as their frowning faces are, actually are some of the goofiest characters in the series. When you really get to know them, they’re about as intimidating as my great aunt Zelda at Hannukah. The reason for the harmlessness is because of one simple reason: Stormtroopers can’t aim worth the Jedi Credits they’re paid. (“But Mike!” I hear you saying to your computers from back here where I’m sitting, “Stormtroopers aren’t paid in Jedi Credits! This is the Empire!” “Yes,” I’d say, “but this is also the ramblings of a nerd who thinks he’s the next Louis CK,”) Anyway, Stormtroopers are notoriously bad shots. Just watch any scene involving stormtroopers trying to shoot things. Just slap the Benny Hill theme song and speed up  the footage and that’s comedic gold! C-3P0 and R2-D2 walk through the middle of intense firefights and remain unscathed! Multiple times! Harmless droids! Luke and Leia are able to take the time to get their grappling hook out, throw it onto a nearby pipe, grab each other, remain pretty much stationary and swing across a chasm while the stormtroopers try to shoot them. I’d list more examples but I think the picture is pretty clear. Stormtroopers are bad shots and that’s why the fans love them. Personally I think stormtroopers are some of the greatest comedy elements of the film whenever they’re not attacking. They bumble around and look forlorn about it! After monkeys and the Nittany Lion doing human things, these guys are number three on things that always make me laugh.

Ah, the Red Shirt. Poor, poor Red Shirt. We never know your name, although it’s probably something like Ensign O’Reilly or Lieutenant Midgen, but who cares? All that matters is that shirt on your back. That shirt of red that leads to your attack. In a cruel twist of fate the color is red. Just like your blood, now that you’re dead. *snap snap snap* Thank you, thank you, you’re all too kind. So anyway, the Red Shirt from the Original Series of Star Trek means that you either work in engineering or security (as to why these two unrelated branches have to wear the same colors, I’ll never know). It really isn’t a problem if you’re in engineering; for crying out loud, look at Scotty– the man wore a red shirt the entire series and didn’t die once!

--Montgomery "The Most Interesting Man in the Galaxy" Scott

–Montgomery “The Most Interesting Man in the Galaxy” Scott

So besides Scotty’s intimate dance with death, what I really mean to touch upon is the fact that the security folks in red are the ones in trouble. On your average episode of Star Trek the USS Enterprise discovers some planet and Kirk decides that going down on that planet is a good idea. So he takes his finest wingmen, Spock and Dr. McCoy, for analytic and medical reasons, and maybe Sulu or Chekov or Uhura if they know something valuable. But it could be a hostile planet and it’s always good to have extra bodi–er–hands. So Kirk grabs one or two random crew members in red shirts on his way out. Probably within the first five minutes, the all-powerful alien residing on the planet has turned these extra people to dust or disintegrated their bones or turned them inside out. Gene Roddenberry (the creator of Star Trek) used these hapless nameless human sacrifices to show the dangers of the planet without killing off the beloved captain or his buddies. But to the fans, it became a widely popular inside joke. So popular in fact, that when I went to see Star Trek: This Time with Benedict Cumberbatch, when Chekov put on the red shirt, half the theater gasped in horror (“Oh God! Chekov’s gonna die!/I dropped my popcorn!”) Basically, the glorious Red Shirt has become synonymous with death itself and any caught wearing the ill-fated article of clothing is to be avoided like the plague.

Live Long and Prosper... Except you Red Shirts. Die soon and impoverished.

Live Long and Prosper… Except you Red Shirts. Die soon and impoverished.


Actually I’m not doing that this week.


That’s more like it. See, this isn’t so much a duel as it is a philosophical question. Like, “If a tree falls in the middle of a forest, and no one can hear it does it make a sound?” (Yes, by the way, duh). Or “If cats always land on their feet and bread always falls butter side down, what happens if you attach a piece of buttered bread to a cat’s back, butter-side up?” (The answer is, of course, the cat spins in midair in perpetual motion and that is how infinite energy is created.) So here, the question is “If a Stormtrooper, who can never hit anything, is in battle with with a Red Shirt, who must die, what happens?” It’s like an unstoppable force/unmovable object sorta deal. Something’s gotta give. In this case, I came to a few conclusions.

Conclusion 1

Lets say that The Stormtrooper and The Red Shirt are in some kind of arena. The Stormtrooper will try, with all his might to shoot that pesky Red Shirt, but cannot land a hit. Then either a freak accident will occur, instantly killing the Red Shirt, or the Red Shirt is able to shoot Stormtrooper but then the freak accident occurs.

Say, that gravy pouch that Lucas is trying to pass for a neck bursts and the resulting gravy flood crashes into the arena

Say, that gravy pouch that Lucas is trying to pass for a neck bursts and the resulting gravy flood crashes into the arena

Conclusion 2

If they were on some kind of natural Hunger Games-esque arena or some kind of alien planet, then it’s quite obvious that the Stormtrooper wouldn’t even have to move a finger. The natural wildlife would be upon the Red Shirt faster than he could say, “Oh God, why am I here? Is this some kind of thought experiment?” Or the Red Shirt would kill the Stormtrooper then die of hunger or some other freak accident.

Ultimate Conclusion

The Red Shirt will always die, but does that mean the Stormtrooper wins? He either ends up dead or just the lucky survivor. This is a lose-lose situation. Unless you count survival without honor as winning. And seeing how none of you reading are actually feudal samurai (as far as I can tell) then surviving without honor is winning. Okay, alright, fine. The Stormtrooper wins. Happy?

Ecstatic! Can't you see my grin?



Gen Ed Deliberation 1

  • Is it like you get to explore more gen eds
  • Give time to determine majors, well rounded, better decisions
  • Most like the model we have now
  • More options?
  • Emphasize more diverse
  • Definitely more helpful for gen eds
  • This is how it should be, introduce to more fields that you could be interested in
  • You could like science, and then take a really weird class and fall in love with it
    • Take a writing class and become a science-writer
  • If there were more, you can find out sooner
  • Gen eds be what the students want to make em
  • Themes=bad?
  • Connect with people in other fields
  • Consequences:
    • Doesn’t make sense for less coherent
    • Doesn’t make sense for future jobs
      • Focusing on one subject is actually bad
  • Get more clubs formed
  • College doesn’t focus on creativity skills and that makes people boring
  • People assume that everyone wants to take the creative classes so they force the skills on us
    • Can’t take creative
  • Math and science should be harder
    • Lots of stuff to learn
  • English is skill based
  • Focus more on the content and less on the grade
  • How to make English harder?
    • Harder tests
    • More content
  • Why exactly are they telling us to fail?
  • If they’re gonna make gen eds harder than core classes need to be easier
  • If a college had a low general gpa then no one would go there
  • In this class you can write what you want
  • Diverse gen eds increase faculty
    • Also may make alumni want to teach here
      • Though that doesn’t happen all that much
    • May make tuition higher
  • Happy is stuck in my head. Thanks.
  • Bring in more students—with more diverse gen eds
  • Themes? Nah, man
    • It’s like declaring another major
    • Most people don’t even know what major they’re doing
  • Gen eds right now are like, awesome now
  • If you want to do that theme thing, then go ahead and do it, but if you don’t, then don’t goddammit
  • Gen eds are just sort of filler right now
  • They’re trying to make them more active in education
  • The structure could drive people crazy
    • Cornell has a huge structure and also the highest suicide rate
  • Everyone do heroin, acid. Gen eds!
    • Definite correlation
  • Cats.
  • Pet gen ed
  • Chimps are not humans

Paper 3 Draft 1

Ignorance and apathy are common themes among the general population nowadays. But really, who knows and who cares? In the Onion’s recent article, “Ukrainian-Russian Tensions Dividing U.S. Citizens Along Ignorant, Apathetic Lines,” they achieve humor by satirizing the situation. In using a very real current world event that does actually split opinionated citizens down a political line and changing the opinions to ignorant and apathetic, they make a bold and humorous statement about the state of Americans’ political and current event views. This statement is derived from the commonplace (among the rest of the world) that Americans are stupid and lazy. They also make use of hyperbole in order to make the situation seem comically extreme. Lastly, they appeal to their audience, namely the more intellectual and/or college crowd, by “speaking the language” of these two groups of people.

(body x3)


Personal Stake

General education is very important to me at the moment. I am currently between majors– meaning I certainly know what I stopped doing but have no idea what I’m doing next. I really like the General Education for the whole “general” part. If there is something that I think looks really interesting and could maybe get me started on a new major, then sign me up! The exploration aspect of it is just one of those things that I personally really enjoy about the whole college experience, because my high school did not offer as many opportunities to expand my academic pursuits.

The other thing that I personally value about the Gen. Ed. program once again derives from the “general” part. I really like the idea that I am learning about something that could be completely unrelated to my major and yet still be important to know later on down the line. For instance, as an architecture major, all my required classes where primarily about architecture: studio, visual communications (drawing, really), architectural engineering, and architectural history. Being an architect is not just about being able to tell what kind of column that is and how to draw it. Architects do not just build for kicks; they are hired. So they have to know how to properly deal with people, and not only that but also try to make a good deal with people. Also, buildings are not free, so some money management courses would be incredibly useful. That’s what I see General Education as: a way to find subjects that interest me, but also to fill in any gaps that are necessary to have when holding a job.

Spiderman vs Ezio Auditore da Firenze


Hey! It’s this thing again!

I’m Mike “Spidey-Sense” Shanley and assassins don’t make funny quips

It’s a contest of climbers! Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman vs Ezio Auditore da Firenze, the assassin!



Peter Parker was a normal nerd living in New York when one day on a field trip he was bitten by a radioactive spider. For some reason, radioactive spider-bites don’t kill people but instead transmute the genes so that, effectively, you become a spider-man. So that’s exactly what Peter did, become Spiderman. Well, that was after his father-figure obligatorily died (I mean it is comic-book/Disney law). Then he became Spiderman to do what all young Spidermen (Spidersman? Spidersmen? Spidersmans?) want to do when they grow up: run around New York City in a red body suit stopping crime and saying witty one-liners! Anyway, since young Peter is gifted with these spider powers this gives him a few advantages over your friendly neighborhood neighbor.

Hidey-ho neighbor! How's the crime fighting?

Hidey-ho neighbor! How’s the crime fighting?

Firstly, Spiderman has the proportional strength of a spider. According to, this means Spidey can lift 20 tons above his head with his arms extended. That’s 260 times his own body weight. (Note: Spiders cannot lift 260 times their body weight, that would be truly terrifying). Secondly, he has the ability to climb up walls. Admittedly, that’s more of a gecko-power, but I’m willing to let it slide because Spiderman=best. Thirdly, his reflexes are enhanced to superhuman capabilities. His agility would put whomever holds the current title of Fastest Drawer in the West to shame. Lastly, and definitely not least, he has the Jedi-like power of Spider Sense. This allows Parker to sense danger in time for him to get out of the way fast enough. It certainly isn’t a guaranteed dodge, because a superhero that never is hit is boring. *cough cough Superman cough cough*

Ezio Auditore da Firenze is the assassin from the game Assassin’s Creed 2 and it’s many spinoffs. An assassin’s main job is to assassinate just as a Spiderman’s job is to spiderman. Ezio is a Florentine nobleman from the early 16th century and leader of the Italian chapter of Assassins. These assassins are responsible for killing corrupt and evil individuals. They only wish to achieve harmony and spread enlightenment, independence, and free will. God Bless America. Ezio’s got his start as one of these guys when he was a teenager after all the other male members of his family were killed. It turns out all his father’s friends (among them, Leonardo di Vinci and Copernicus) were in the Assassin’s Order and were secretly training him the whole time. So Ezio has all the skills that come with being an assassin. This means he’s a natural acrobat and warrior. He is a master of parkour, being able to scale multi-story buildings with few handholds in a manner of seconds. Ezio seems to have bitten by a radioactive eagle because he has the power of Eagle Sense.

I may glow green, but I bleed red, white, and blue! *fireworks*

I may glow green, but I bleed red, white, and blue! *fireworks*

It’s actually similar to Spider Sense… sorta. It heightens the sense to the point where he can pick out a single heartbeat from among a crowd. Even cooler, is that it allows him to be able to sense where someone has been and even cooler where they’re going next. I’d call that pretty dang useful in almost any situation.


Spiderman doesn’t really have gadgets. Who do you think he is? the Batman? Do you see a utility belt anywhere? No. He deals with his enemies as God intended–with his fists…and nifty web slingers attached to his arms. Yes, that’s what God intended.

"And lo, the Lord doth said unto St. Balboa, 'I intend for everyone to fight only with fists. OH! And web-slingers. Dude, that'd be hella tight."- Book of Armaments Chapter 2

“And lo, the Lord doth said unto St. Balboa, ‘I intend for everyone to fight only with fists. OH! And web-slingers. Dude, that’d be hella tight.”- Book of Armaments Chapter 2

Other than that, Spidey doesn’t carry much else in the way of equipment. I apologize for yelling earlier, he does actually have a utility belt, but it’s nowhere near the magnitude of dear ol’ Bats. It’s really there to carry extra web fluid, and few other things. For instance, his belt buckle acts as his “Spider-signal” which is mainly used for flashy entrances or a flashlight. His belt also responds to his various Spider-tracers. These are homing beacons that he can throw and attach to things in order to track them down later. But for real this time, that’s all he’s got.

Ezio, on the other hand, is mostly made of tools. As a nobleman, Ezio is a natural at swordplay, so he never leaves home without one. Whether it’s his or someone he recently killed is irrelevant. Details, who needs ’em? Along with his sword he also carries a hook blade, which allows him to essentially zip line around and assist in climbing. Ezio also carries with him a small concealable pistol. Now it’s not very efficient or all that powerful as it is the early 16th century, but hey, he’s got a right to bear arms. And if all that fails, he still has a trick up his sleeve. Or rather, two tricks up both sleeves.

Get it? 'Cuz they're... y'know... up his... you got it? No? Yes? Oh ok, cool it's cool.

Get it? ‘Cuz they’re… y’know… up his… you got it? No? Yes? Oh ok, cool it’s cool.

All assassins have a hidden, spring action knife attached to their wrist so their murders can be even sneakier. It’s a lot like Spidey’s web slingers, except you must show your palm to the target rather than make a fist.



  • Super-strength
  • Heightened reflexes
  • Spider sense
  • Adhesive abilities
  • Web Slingers


  • Hardcore Parkour
  • Warrior-acrobat
  • Sword and pistol
  • Hidden blade
  • Eagle Sense

Here’s how I think it would go:

Because we’re dealing with the MARVEL universe, general laws of physics can be safely ignored SO Ezio is brought to the present by… I dunno… Doc Oc and told to hunt down Spiderman. I’d read that comic. Anyway, so Ezio makes his way to a tall building across the street from the Daily Bugle and waits for Spiderman to make an appearance. Eventually, Parker, who is done for the day, dons his costume and climbs out the window to sit atop the Daily Bugle. Ezio sees his opportunity, aims his pistol and fires. Just as he is pulling the trigger, Spidey’s Spider Sense starts tingling and he gets out of there fast enough to dodge a bullet. He shoots a web across to the other building and swings over to land in front of Ezio. “Hey there! Miss me?” Ezio doesn’t laugh but instead tries to slash at  Spiderman with his sword. Spidey leaps over the sword and kicks Ezio back as he lands. This goes on for a bit until Ezio realizes that it’s no use to try the sword so he puts it away and takes a step back. “Y’know, I’m glad you put that down. Someone might’ve gotten hurt.” Ezio, once again, not laughing just stares at Spidey. “Wow tough crowd. Maybe you like the physical stuff better,” and he slings web at Ezio’s feet and pulls, effectively pulling his feet out from under him. “Y’know I’ve been known to sweep people off their feet,” Spiderman says as he runs towards the Assassin. Before Ezio can recover, Spiderman tackles him off the roof of the building. In the free-fall, Spidey pushes Ezio against the building and sticks him there using the web, 20 stories up. He, himself slides down the side and crawls back up. “Now I know you can get yourself out of that, but I wouldn’t recommend it.” and keeps on crawling up the building. Ezio, in fact, does exactly that and gives chase. Spidey just reaches the lip of the building when Ezio grabs his foot and pulls hard. Spiderman begins another free-fall, but shoots web to save himself. He swings once, then comes back around to grab Ezio off the side of the building. He lets go of the first bit of web to shoot another when he feels a searing pain in his current web-slinging hand. Ezio hidden-bladed Spiderman’s arm and now goes for the other one. But Spider Sense kicks in and Spiderman twists in mid-air to avoid it. Eagle Sense kicks in and Ezio double-stabs Spidey in the side. Wounded, but not dead, Spiderman grabs Ezio agains and shoots a line toward the nearest building. They swing at dangerous speeds towards the side of the building Ezio cushions Spiderman’s impact. The two slide down to street level where Spidey webs Ezio to a nearby lamppost and stumbles off, hoping he doesn’t run into any of his other “friends”.

Yes, the Amazing Spiderman is the victor! (to be honest, I may have been a bit biased, but I think this still makes sense: Spidey mortally wounded and Ezio completely defeated.)

Paper 3

For paper 3, I’m going to do an analysis on this article from the Onion:,35428/

It’s about Russia “invading” the Crimean region, and US citizens reactions to it, or rather, their lack thereof. It does a good job of encapsulating the general feel that America seems to take towards Russia nowadays; that of a worn out sober friend just trying to last through the party while their hammered friend does one stupid thing after another.

I plan to dissect what it says about Russia, and the fact that Americans are ignorant, apathetic, or both.

Jack Sparrow vs. Indiana Jones


Welcome to Fandom Fight Force

I’m Mike “Always Snakes?” Shanley and where’s all the rum gone?

This week it’s a Treasure Hunter Challenge: Indiana Jones vs Captain Jack Sparrow



Indiana Jones is best known for his work as a professor of archaeology at Yale University. His exploits include lecturing hordes of nerds and dewy-eyed girls. Oh yes, and also he goes on wild adventures that re-write physics and civilization. I mean, really, the guy proves that magic exists in the world and that yes, indeed, there is some kind of higher power up there.

And he's watching us...

And he’s watching us…

His findings include golden idols, the ashes of a Chinese Emperor, a cross of gold, magic fire Chakra stones, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Freaking Holy Grail. Indy, as his resume shows, is an incredible problem solver. He has faced multiple booby traps: spiked ceilings, lava pits, rolling boulders, trash compacters (sorry, that’s Star Wars), Nazis, Thuggees, and snakes—always snakes. Yet somehow, the man retains a cocky grin on his face while facing certain death in the face.

Jack Sparrow–er, sorry. Captain Jack Sparrow is best known for starring as the lead character in Disney’s popular theme-park-ride-inspired movies Pirates of the Carribean. His hobbies include walking around like someone who’s just about to lose their motor skills, carrying the movie on his shoulders, and constantly inquiring where the rum has gone. Jack also lives in a world where the existence of magic and some kind of afterlife are confirmed. Jack, however, does not think that whatever it is should “belong in a museum” but rather, if it can’t be manipulated for his own purposes, then it should probably be stopped. He’s faced the undead, vaguely evil British people, cannibals, the undead, multiple backstabbers, and a kraken. Through these he’s stopped curses, awakened gods, fought aforementioned sea monsters and/or undead, and outsmarted those tricky Brits. His problem solving skills are questionable. As one unnamed and unimportant British guy from the third movie once said, “Do you think he plans it all ahead, or just makes it up as he goes along?”

Apparently his name is "Groves". The man is a star, I tell ya.

Apparently his name is “Groves”. The man is a star, I tell ya.



Indiana Jones never leaves home or dangerous booby trap chambers without his hat. The man almost risked his arm for it. True, that’s not important to his equipment but really it had to be mentioned.

It happily retired to New England to spend more time with its wife, Fedora

It happily retired to New England to spend more time with its wife, Fedora

In terms of actual supplies, Indy carries on him a whip that has some sort of feature that allows it to wrap around things like overhanging poles and people’s legs. It’s actually quite handy in a fight. What’s even handier is Indy’s sweet, sweet revolver: the Webley Green Army Model. It is his all-time favorite gun, seeing as he held onto it from Last Crusade all the way through the fourth movie that no one likes to talk about. The only other thing that Indy consistently has with him is his satchel. There really isn’t anything special about it, I mean it’s just a satchel.

Captain Jack Sparrow is another man who never leaves home or dangerous islands without his hat. He did, however, have the sense to leave it behind when he thought the Kraken was chasing him by following the hat’s scent.

You can see how bad it smells from here.

You can see how bad it smells from here.

In terms of actual equipment, Jack has a whole assortment. First up is his sword—very important for all you pirate wannabes. Pirates need swords and Jack’s is a very fine one. The type of sword is called a hanger and is a few inches longer than the traditional pirate cutlass. He learned fencing from an Italian sword master in exchange for a stolen supply of silk. Italians. Along with his sword, Jack enjoys using his pistol now that he squared his revenge with Hector Barbossa.

"Dread Pirate Hector" struck too much fear into the hearts of his enemies

“Dread Pirate Hector” struck too much fear into the hearts of his enemies

It is a single barrel, flintlock design .50 caliber pistol. Since it was made in the 1600s or whenever Pirates is supposed to take place, it can only fire one shot at a time and each new bullet has to be manually loaded via barrel. Efficiency at its finest. Lastly, Sparrow keeps a compass that doesn’t point north. Instead it points to whatever the user most desires. A nifty artifact that unfortunately doesn’t work all that well for Jack. Probably because of his more-than-slightly befuddled brainpan.


Ok, so, I don’t think that setting these two up to fight would be such a good idea. Also, that gets a little worn. Instead, what if the two were working against each other to find a treasure? I’d totally watch that movie. Alright so it’ll be in three categories: locating the treasure, fighting off people, and dealing with traps.


In order to locate the Mysterious Statue of Shanley’s Left Thumb, a series of cryptic clues would be left because I wouldn’t have much else to do either if I was in charge of guarding a thumb statue. If two treasure hunters would go about their usual way of finding out where it is, I’d have to say that the winner of this would be good ol’ Junior. Indiana Jones is a professor of archaeology—it’s literally his job to find out where hidden artifacts are. Sparrow gets all his knowledge on where things are located through rumor and Mr. Gibbs.

I really have no reason to put him in here. I just like Mr. Gibbs. What a gent.

I really have no reason to put him in here. I just like Mr. Gibbs. What a gent.

Jack would be shortly behind him, but Jones would still be able to find the clues and solve the riddle before Jack would have time to say “Savvy?”


Shanley’s Left Thumb is a coveted prize. This dynamic duo aren’t the only ones after it. A horde of…uh… SKELETONAZIS are also looking for it. So what happens when our favorite adventurers cross paths with these unfriendly types? Fights, of course. Who wins though? That has to go to Jack. The man is simply more suited for and used to combat. A long sword is gonna do much more damage than a whip ever could. True, his pistol can’t fire as fast, but witty Jack also employs a great deal of trickery to his duels. He fought Davy Jones, King of the Sea, ol’ Tentacle-Beard himself! Indy’s greatest fight was against this guy:

I vill ground you to schnitzel!



Even if you were to solve the head-scratching riddle (the answer was “head scratching”) and fought through gaunt Germans (led by Skelitler) you would still have to find your way through the deadly traps that guard the Statue of Shanley’s Left Thumb. Daunting tasks requiring skill, smarts, and knowledge in useless trivia.

Just kidding. It's more skill

Just kidding. It’s more skill

So, which one will emerge victorious? One of them would rush through the spike-filled pits and dart-spewing walls and somehow emerge, comically, unharmed. The other would certainly take his time but know exactly how to deal with each trap. The winner is… of course…. Naturally… Indiana Jones!

And then that awesome John Williams theme song plays.

And then that awesome John Williams theme song plays.