Quantum: Einstein, Bohr and the great debate about the nature of reality

Written by Manjit Kumar, I picked up this book because I had a natural interest in quantum theory. Before I read this book I pictured quantum theory as being a mystical being that has kept on eluding me. Not that I had made any effort of my own, I had kept a collection of chunks and pieces that I had seen and heard in various documentaries. One of the documentaries that I watched on quantum theory–on it’s applications–was quite enlightening for me, and that cropped up the interest in me to pursue my research further.

This book is definitely a good read if you have no clue about what the quantum theory is, and it’s also good for people who know enough to find it interesting but not enough to understand how it all came about. It dives deep into the history of events that came about in creating the quantum theory as we know it. I would admit that after reading the book I was oddly satisfied having uncovered the mystical creature but also a little disappointed because there isn’t that much to it! It might be because this book talks a lot about the debate between Einstein and Bohr over the nature of reality which is mostly covered in the second half. In the first half it outlines the timeline of the various discoveries, discoverers and scientists who found the key ingredients that were useful for the theory of the the quantum theory. Regarding the scientists involved, it even highlights their personas to make the reading matter more interesting, especially for a certain category of readers.

I think I really liked the way the author has explained a couple of scientific theories in the first half of the book. Towards the end when quantum theory is in full swing it becomes difficult to understand what he’s trying to say due to the lack of visual cues.

I would recommend this if you are curious about quantum theory, and don’t mind a little course in history, but I would have liked it to end on a high note. But as history is not exactly a work of fiction, I am going to have to live with that. That said, it delivers exactly what the book’s title says and more, even. Go for it if it interests you! 🚀

Isle of Dogs

I think I stumbled across this movie as I looked at my phone one day trying to find any good movies to watch on the weekend. Looking at the star-studded cast I went and checked out the trailer. It seemed good, definitely a movie that I would want to watch, but I never did. At least at the time. Weeks went by, and the movie stopped being shown in the cinemas. I remember being a little saddened by it because I did not expect it to fade out so quickly. In another few days, I had probably forgotten about it.

After a long while when I booted up my firestick to checkout content on Hotstar, I was mildly surprised to see Isle of Dogs in the recently added ones.

Of all movies, they got this!

I said to myself

Well, what do you know, I said to myself, I’m totally gonna watch this 🕺

And so I did. Just now actually.

The story intersects very much with Japanese culture. It feels longer than it actually is because there is a lot going on in the story, not because it was boring. The characterization is of course great, and it feels heavily inspired from Japanese anime/manga stories in the respect of having a wide spectrum of behaviors, habits, etc and also because of the different kinds of mindsets that characters have in those serializations.

The funny thing with the story would be that certain characters that you would think should get more development do not, but some totally other ones do. Although I find that to be okay, as a lover of different kinds of stories and such, I encountered reviews citing similar views. But those reviews were pretty crappy in my opinion, as they mainly highlighted all the negative things that they could find with Isle of Dogs. Don’t you get deterred by those. It’s definitely quite an underrated movie (in terms of viewership), not stars really. So people who have watched it enjoy it, but not many people have seen the movie, which is probably why it arrived on Hotstar shy of two months of its blockbuster release.

Upon reflecting further, I felt like the movie focused more on trying to deliver in terms of a complete story than delve into the smaller details of each scene, which I suppose appeal to some people more. I however, really enjoyed the film for what it tried to portray.

Weekend or not, if you just want to chill out and relax or watch something before your turn in for the night, you might want to tune in to this flick 😉

Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse

Dang! I haven’t posted in a long time, I’ve had my hands full with a lot of things. But a couple of interesting things happened along the way, for instance I watched the new Spider-Man animated movie <3

Looks might get a little deceiving with this one, the trailer is rad, have no doubt. But the movie got screened in the “Play House” section at my local theatre, and made me consider whether it was really only for kids or all kinds of audience. My skepticism had to eat crows, for the movie was way better than expected (well, actually I knew it had a great rating), but I would really say that this title is going to be remembered as one of the great animated movies ever created.

I should say that I am quite lucky to have watched this rare gem, I mean I went to watch it alone and came back to tell my friends how good it was. One of the best things about this movie was the unexpectedly great comedy that had the whole audience rolling on the floor with laughter. Then there was the childlike innocence that it came bundled with. The jokes didn’t contain any dark humor or anything, because let’s admit it, it was a kids movie. Just kidding!

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

You know when a game is good. When it has a good story, good gameplay, and for most good sound. BFBC2 offers all that, and also makes it really fun to play. I am not the kind of person who would wait for his computer to boot up for 5 minutes only to play a game to shoot up others. But yeah, this game gave me a reason to do just that. It’s the best FPS I’ve played, maybe even the best game so far.

The best part is that it even has this DLC called Vietnam or something like that and it’s just absolutely dope. No question about it, the developers who created this have done so with love and zeal. It’s so clearly visible. Even its reviews are fantastic on Steam at least. You’d be surprised to know that there is a multiplayer mode in that Vietnam DLC which works even in 2018. Like holy crap. DICE! I’m not sure many people still play that game, but I’d say that it’s totally worth every penny, and now you could get it for a huge discount every now and then.

What can I say, it’s definitely something that would set a standard in the gaming industry, and as a gamer that is something that I am proud of.

Contrast ~ An Amazing Puzzle Game

Recently, I completed this game called Contrast. Not sure how popular it is, but if you had heard of it before, I suppose it is famous!

You play as Dawn. Who is a Ghost? I do not know, but I didn’t ask myself such questions while playing because the puzzles and the graphics in general were really captivating. It was created in the Unreal engine. It has a good replay value too, but after a while. I mean the puzzles can get so hard at times that… Whew, the satisfaction you get from completing them is beyond GODLIKE! So yeah, it’s mainly a puzzle game with the puzzles getting increasingly complex as the game goes on. It even has a really good story and absolutely fantastic ambient lighting!

For some puzzles you need to find luminaries. It’s usually easy to do so, because they are in easily accessible places, you just have to look around a bit. But I think finding all of them in a level can be a little difficult (because I couldn’t). It’s essentially an open world puzzle game. A small world however. But it’s still very chic. It’s always night time in the game. The entire gameplay time is not too much, maybe for experienced gamers it would take 5-6 hours. Though a lot could be said about the puzzles. Some of them are outright challenging and require you to use a whole lot of creativity in order to solve them. Others require you to have good control over your button pressing since there is a lot of jumping around and dashing through the shadows involved. I would say that it requires a crazy amount of thinking because the developers were super creative in making this masterpiece. So if you are not ready for that, don’t buy this. But anyway, if you think your brain needs a little intelligent stimulation, this is the game for you. Don’t worry, the difficulty of the puzzles increases progressively. And I’m sure people online would have posted walkthroughs for them in case you need them.

Highly recommended, 10/10 would love to play it again!

Doki Doki Literature Club ~ The Review

This was my first VN, and I’ve just played one ending till now. Went with my instincts 😀

But I thought it would be good to share a few thoughts about how my first ever VN was. To be frank, this was an quite extraordinary VN (I keep saying VM in my head lol) even for those who are well versed in playing VNs. So, first off I’ll tell you how I found out about this game. Through Twitter and Reddit mostly. Saw a couple of posts relating to it, and especially one which was a picture from Twitch that showed that DDLC had more viewers than DotA 2 (I find that surprising no more, sorry DotA folks!). Well, anyway it just took one search to find that game on Steam and add it to my library. I hadn’t played it for a week or so, it was just sitting idly in my library. But I have this friend who was playing it and recommended it to me. So I was like, “Okay, let’s give it a shot.”

I won’t give away any spoilers other than the fact that it’s a psychological horror game (I didn’t know that when I started playing). Take the warning on the loading screen seriously if you are a sensitive person. Jokes aside, the story is about four cute girls and is essentially a dating sim. You are supposed to understand the personalities of all the girls and pick words that match their personality. Based on the highest number of words you pick for the girl that you want, the story changes and takes different routes.

It was definitely more fun than what it was worth (it’s free). I am going to support the developer (Team Salvato) for this amazing game. From a reviewer’s point of view, it could be said that the narration and dialogues were very well written. Just enjoy it! It’s worth playing, and recommending to friends 🙂

Haikyuu!!: Karasuno Koukou vs. Shiratorizawa Gakuen Koukou

Probably not worth writing a review for, because it was too dull for me. Lost interest in the series, because I guess that I finally realized how repetitive it had become, and it was a complete turn off for me. Not the OP however!! The OP was probably the only reason for me to watch the show.

After 2 brilliant seasons of ‘dandiya’, I was anticipating that the third one might score once again in the creativity department. How wrong I was. There’s practically no reason for anyone (especially if you enjoyed the first 2 seasons) to watch this. Okay, here comes a spoiler: Karasuno wins. Happy now? I am surprised, that although I enjoyed the first 2 seasons so much because of the new combos and strategies that both teams were coming up with to defeat one another at all costs. Season 3 offered nothing new, no new combos or anything, just that the man of the match this time was Tsukishima. Just imagine how boring it must have been it was only 10 epis long but it made me feel way more bored than the previous other seasons. To be honest, the previous 2 seasons were not boring at all!!

And surprise, surprise! It is in the top 10 on MAL. Which just goes to show (in my case) that the popular choice of the public and my choice intersect at around 80%. Meaning, I do not agree with the popular choice of around 20% of anime.

I think that after this, I have lost the Haikyuu!! fever. But I shall come back to listen to the OP since, in all three seasons the OPs have blown my mind and I listen to them even today!!

 

Manga Review: Bleach

Before I begin describing Bleach, I should make it clear that Bleach is quite an underrated production (my guess is because of the anime which forked from the original story) since the Manga on the whole was pretty exciting. I can sense the reason for the hype for Bleach, but trust me… The hype would have been more if maybe the anime reproduction was a little better.

So what comes to mind when someone says Bleach? Detergent, eh? (Just kidding, even if you were thinking of it) Well, to a person like me who analyses anime (and stories as such) it didn’t feel as though the flagship victory of Bleach belonged to either Zanpaktous, or Bankais but instead the main glory of Bleach were its characters! (You probably think that I say this for every review, um yeah, you are sort of right). But it’s true. Really. I do mean what I say, that the most important point going for Bleach is really its characters.

Did you notice how new characters were introduced with the beginning of a sub arc (within an arc. To be quite fair here, Bleach can only be said to have 3 arcs). Hiyori, Risa, Keisei, Shinji and later Nel, Dondochakka, Pesche, etc. you realize that these characters played a huge role in those arcs and even got mixed up in on the action in subsequent arcs. It was quite masterful of Kubo to juggle the personalities of as many characters and choreograph some great conversation between them to build their roles in the story and build the story at the same time. Pretty cool, huh! Every single character who plays some part (even a small one) has been fleshed out pretty well if you ask me. And it is the conversation between them that are so lively and comical that it makes you feel as though Bleach is not just some Shounen-action dance, but a well nurtured baby of Kubo Tite.

Speaking of arcs, there are only 3 as I have mentioned before. First is the best in my opinion. Second is the shortest, but has the least amount of character development (a.k.a my satisfaction level), and the third is neither the longest nor the best out of the three, and it’s not the worst either… Better to be on one side rather than in the middle, anyway that doesn’t even make sense. But the first arc (Aizen arc, even the name of this arc is a spoiler darn it!) captures the true colours of what Bleach can offer you. Sucks right? The first is the best and you just have to read 250~ more chapters after it just to finish the manga. Don’t fret, it’s not bad as I make it sound. On the contrary, it is… wait for it… Boring! The last two arcs really lack what the first arc had in abundance, comic relief. Although, the amount of fighting that takes place in the final two arcs in 250~ chapters is almost about equal to the amount of fighting that takes place in the first 400~ chapters (first arc). Just imagine, you have to go through hours of text about two men provoking and taunting each other and talking about how great they are (and in the end both sides are beaten up pretty badly). So you know now what you are up against.

Well, look here now. On the bright-side I will make a prediction based on the fact that although I haven’t watched the anime and I have no details at all about where it forks away from the Manga that the manga is definitely better than its anime counterpart. Let me explain to you why this fact seems so apparent to me. Because of the ratings of Bleach on MAL. Wait a second. It seems like the manga has got an even worse rank than the anime (x3 times bad). I might be wrong here. But that shouldn’t be a problem, you can both watch and read it if you like and decide for yourself 🙂

The only other problem that I noticed was the way the manga was the drawing of the fights was quite unintelligible. I mean honestly, I gave up trying to decipher what was going on in the picture. Like dude! If you are going to make a manga that’s mostly about fighting, at least make sure that you can draw the fights properly! Pah! That was the most annoying part. But I got used to it after a while. Also, it seemed as though the final arc ended a bit abruptly. I thought it would go on for at least 25 more chapters… Well, whatever, never mind.

As the conclusion, I would say that if you ain’t got time, read the first arc and then jump to the last chapter. If you think about it, the number of character additions keeps on reducing as the number of arcs increases. Members of Xucution in the 2nd arc (that’s around 6 I suppose) and the 5 members of the Zero division in the 3rd. In other words, Bleach loses what it had going for it in the first arc. Just look how many characters were introduced there (well of course it was the first arc, but even then. Characters being the charm of Bleach it would seem that it became a little rusty as the story went forward). Trust me, that might just as well be the best advice of the day given to you.

Haikyuu!! Season 2

This review had been pending for several months now, I watched Haikyuu!! S2 before my finals, and then my vacations had a lot of hustling, but now as I can sit on my swiveling computer chair and relax it might be a good time to pen down my thoughts on this anime.

Haikyuu!! is clearly a unique anime, because there’s no anime that’s as good as this! S1 was a smash-hit already, then the creators had to come up with the second season, which was a continuation of the first and when I thought S1 was as good as it gets, S2 surpassed my expectations! You might have guessed, it has become my favorite sports anime series.

So this time, I.G decided to spice things up by changing the mostly male demographic by adding one more female. Hurrah for the improv. But in any case, not like there were hints of romance. OK, maybe yes. Wait, lemme think… What?! No! You call that romance!

So yeah, Haikyuu!! S2 mostly has romance in it, more than volleyball. Yachi-san becomes Hinata’s love of life, he quits volleyball, gets married to her, and THE END!

Watch the anime, if you haven’t yet 😉

Summing up MOBA

Recently, I made the big decision of quitting my temporarily largest addiction: MOBA games. I had to one time or the other, for fear of becoming a gaming couch potato. But I am thankful for making that spontaneous decision which brought more good than I expected.

But since MOBA was something that I gave a LOT of my time to and dedicated hours of thinking and understanding to, I decided to sum up my experiences while stuck in its delirium. For those who are not aware, MOBA stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. I had been posting my views about two major games in this category for the last couple of months.

The reason this genre is so addictive is because of its unpredictability and the numerous combinations of heroes/champions and items that can be played with and bought in the games. If you’ve read my previous articles, you know that I am talking about Dota 2 and LoL. People still play even though there is hardly any choice of maps. That alone tells us how insanely addictive it can be.

The most important thing that you must focus on in the game can differ from game to game, or character to character or even position to position. It is complex, and not only depends on a player’s expertise in hand-eye coordination but also on their team picks and even the opponent’s team picks. The possibilities do not end there. As the game progresses, players accumulate gold which can be used to buy items. Those items have abilities as well.

Despite all that clutter and complexity, one thing is clear, your character should aim to level up as fast as possible. Items can offer bonus stats, but the real boost comes from levelling up. Which is why in pro tournaments, we don’t find players picking up all the attack damage and powerful items whenever they have enough money. Rather they communicate with their team and decide strategically which item must they pick.

It is a team game of course, which means that the responsibility of both winning and losing are partly on everyone’s shoulders. But that also means that if one out of the five players is not playing well, the match may well be in jeopardy. It happens all the time.

To conclude, the only logical thing that I can say confidently is that there is no way to predict if your next match will be a victory or defeat. You just can’t say. It’s a pity but that’s what makes it all the more exciting, right?