History of the Name
The Scrap Brain Zone is the sixth Zone in the original Sonic the Hedgehog. It is Dr. Robotnik’s first base and one of his coolest fortresses.
The stage consists of acres of industrial superstructure. The ground is encased in soulless concrete and steel, and also has a thousand automated factories, belching jet-black pollution into the rancid air as robotic horrors crawl across the metal gangways. It is a trap-filled industrial stage containing many dangerous machines such as saws, flame vents and disappearing and rotating platforms. Act 1 takes place outside the factory, while Act 2 takes place inside it.
At the end of Act 2, Robotnik appears behind a force field and pushes a button which sends Sonic into Act 3. This is a level similar to Labyrinth Zone, except the floors and walls are grey and the water is purple. Unlike all the other Third Acts, there is no encounter with Dr. Robotnik at the end. Instead, Sonic springs directly to the Final Zone.
This difficult third act is essentially a harder rendition of the Labyrinth Zone, mainly because air bubbles are few and far between, forcing Sonic to cover long distances on one breath, racing to the next bubble before drowning. Most of this, however, can in fact be bypassed completely. When Sonic pushes the button at the beginning, causing the floor to move downwards, he can fall in front of it and down the slope. From then on, if he avoids falling down the pits, he will soon find himself at the end of the level. Taking this route, the act can be completed in about 35 seconds with minimum danger to Sonic’s life.
In lieu of a boss fight, the end of Scrap Brain Zone Act 3 has the player guide Sonic through a maze. Some paths can help guide his way, or some would be blocked off, or require a switch. Afterwards, Sonic chases Robotnik onto a floating platform, which the Doctor uses to flee to his airship hidden within Scrap Brain Zone’s industrial smog. After helplessly watching his nemesis escape, Sonic is no doubt relieved to discover the platform comes back down, allowing the hedgehog to continue on to the new and dangerous Sky Base Zone.
The level was one of my favorites in all video games for several reasons:
- it was a challenge to get to
- the graphics were excellent, unlike some of the previous levels where the graphics were tame (even though the levels were fun)
- the level was full of non-stop action
- the associated music was a perfect high energy complement to the game play
- the name is just cool “scrap brain zone”
So in my world, the scrap brain zone is where you don’t go unless you bring your A game. But, when you are ready, it can be a ton of fun for the high achiever.
I write this blog for several reasons:
- I don’t want to waste mental energy thinking about issues over and over. Once I write about it, just like writing a list of “to-do’s” before you go to bed, it leaves the mind and it frees it up to think about more important issues, or nothing at all when relaxation is needed
- All information must be INTEGRATED. I cover this in other posts, but the short version is that you can’t believe that the sky is both red and blue; if you hold contradicting thoughts as valid, then your knowledge is invalid. However, in our complicated world, sometimes it is hard to see how the various parts integrated. Most people hold contradicting thoughts without realizing it. Putting a lot of thoughts in one website allows me to check my own knowledge to ensure it is integrated.
- for the small percentage of people that realize the world is not “working” well, but are suspicious that all the mainstream solutions to fix the problems are as bad as the problem itself, these writings will provide you an alternative way to think about the issues
Why should anyone read it? That’s up to you. 2 of the 3 reasons I list are for myself; no one else. But for those of you that want to increase your knowledge but are skeptical that you should spend time listening to me versus the other billion websites out there, maybe this will have value.
The validity of knowledge is independent of the author. Yet, people spend time attacking the messenger instead of the message. There are reasons for this, which I will occasionally touch on in other posts. So generally speaking, my articles will speak themselves.
But, some of you want to know where my experience draws from, so here are some tidbits:
While in high school:
- I was valedictorian of my high school class
- I was member of a winning sports team that went something like 80 wins, 12 losses in 4 years
- all-state in sports my senior year
- all-state in music for 6 years
- musician for a band that won the state talent show
I attended an Ivy League school and got my engineering degree with a minor in philosophy (sort of, I had the credits to receive a philosophy minor as well as a math minor, but the engineering school did not allow awarding any “minors”). While in college, I
- graduated in four years with engineering degree while playing division I sports
- member of the school’s political union, where we engaged in weekly debates across the entire spectrum of political views
After college, I spent a decade working for corporate America at a Fortune 500 company. Some of my achievements there were:
- Award from Chief Executive Officer for outstanding job performance, 2 separate years (given to 5% of 1000’s of employees)
- Acted as technical expert consultant to legal counsel during arbitration hearings with outside vendors
- Was the lead data mining and business intelligence analyst for technical team that negotiated the best outcome in the industry, adding $50 million to the bottom line of the company
- Project manager for construction projects averaging about $5 million per year in expenditures
- Designed the first web based supply chain system for the company
I had a passion to start my own business, so I finally left corporate america and spent 10 years running my own software company. Highlights include:
- Grew revenue every year despite passing through the middle of the worst recession in decades
- Designed a web based data management system for a Fortune 500 company, saving the company $1.4 million
- Built hundreds of websites and mobile apps, some simple, some highly complex
- After 8 years of business, the customer retention rate was over 90%
- With no Federal experience, obtained a GSA contract with the Federal government
I sold my software company (not for a lot) because it was not my ideal business model and wasn’t meeting my life goals. Now I work with and for other software companies, likely until I start my own business again with the right partners and the right market.
Engineers are known to analyze issues “to death”, but that also means my ideas are well vetted and rarely suffer due to lack of information. Far too many people suffer from the Dunning Kruger effect. I love a good debate, but that means using INTEGRATED facts and logic to discuss issues. The vast majority of Americans do NOT debate anymore; you hold opinions based on your “feelings”. Read any article on the web, watch any talk show, listen to talk radio, or just walk into a bar and start a conversation, and you will find people readily expressing opinions without any substance of logic, disrespecting each other, and in essence, just yelling at each other. That is acceptable from people under the age of 10; not from teens and adults. We used to say that people wanted their “15 minutes of fame” on television. That has been reduced to their 15 seconds of fame on social media getting the most “likes” for one of their comments, regardless of whether those comments are brilliant or stupid.
Therefore, there are NO COMMENTS allowed on this blog. For the vast majority of you, your opinion has no value. I consider advice from people in my inner circle that have established their intellectual credentials with me. I also consider advice from people I have never met that present their logical opinions online via articles, blogs, videos or via podcasts, books on tape, traditional books, or courses.
I am interested in guest authors. You don’t have to agree as long as your articles are well thought out and articulate. If interested, send an email to “firstname.lastname@example.org” with links to other material you have written.