Comical Musings


COTM: The Humble Indie Bundle #4

by on Dec.23, 2011, under COTM

I like video games. This ought to come as a great shock to no one, really, considering that I made JRPG jokes in my first online comic and am, in fact, typing this on my laptop between levels of Dynasty Warriors. And I’m sure a lot of my readers have a soft spot for one game or another, be it Skyrim or Smash Bros. or Call of Honor: Medal of War and the Gears of Duty or Plants vs. Zombies or Commander Keen in Good-bye, Galaxy! or any number of other games for various platforms. There are a lot of them out there, with a game for just about every taste imaginable (up to and including the taste for robot unicorns).

So if you’re still looking for a few gifts for your gamer friends this holiday season, why not check out the Humble Indie Bundle of games? Until December 27th, gamers have the chance to name their price for a bundle of five independently developed computer games . . . and they can choose how the money is distributed, between the game developers, The American Red Cross, and Child’s Play Charity.* Those who pay more than the average will also receive the games from the previous bundle, along with a copy of Cave Story+ and Gratuitous Space Battles.

And as long as I’m promoting a few good causes, I’ll also put in a link for GoodSearch, a search engine that donates a portion of its ad revenue to whichever charity the searchers pick. Just go to their web site, enter the charity of your choice, and start searching. They also have a shopping division that allows you to donate a portion of your purchases to charity as well.

With that, I wish you all happy holidays and a new year full of good will.

* I’ve given a direct link to the charities as well, so if you don’t want the games, you can always just donate directly to them.

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COTNow: Save the Children

by on Mar.13, 2011, under COTM

So I’m sure you’ve all heard about the perilous situation in Japan at the present time. Thousands dead, even more injured or homeless or otherwise in dire straits, and a nuclear power plant on the verge of a meltdown.

There are numerous charities directing aid to those currently in crisis, such as the International Red Cross. I’ll also endorse Save the Children, a charity devoted to helping children in need, all around the world. You can see the main areas for their efforts here. They also offer a program where for a certain amount each month, you can also sponsor an individual child and provide them with the help they need while growing up.

Natural disasters like this are painful and destructive reminders of how fragile human existence really is—but they are also an opportunity to show how strong and bright the human spirit can shine when people work together to help each other out. So here’s a chance to shine.

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COTM: Covenant House

by on Aug.02, 2010, under COTM

This past week, in the middle of a number of frantic job-search-related activities, I was able to spend some time with a large portion of my close family. Two of my sisters came to visit, along with their children, and we all spent some time swimming, touring Cleveland, and doing various other family activities. Sure, there were times when the chaos got to be a bit much, but all in all, you could really feel the love.

As a result, August’s charity is a place that helps out kids who don’t get that sort of love on a regular basis. Covenant House serves as a homeless shelter specifically for homeless youth — kids from abusive homes or situations of neglect. Not only do they give runaways a place to stay; they also offer legal aid, medical care, education, and job training to help these kids provide themselves a better life.

Facilities are located in major cities across North America, and programs last year were able to care for more than 70,000 at-risk and homeless kids. Even those kids who aren’t near one of Covenant House’s locations can call their crisis hotlines for immediate help.

So if you want to help children and youth make a better life for themselves, here’s your chance: donate today.

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COTM: Humane Societies

by on Jul.01, 2010, under COTM

“I can has grammar lessons?”

This kitten’s name is Lorenzo. A couple of weeks ago, my dad and I found Lorenzo and his brother Max by the side of State Route 608 in Ohio. No shelter, no food—just two little kittens huddling next to each other and mewling in fear every time a car went zooming past. When we pulled over and tried to gather them up, they were understandably terrified, and it took Dad and me about five minutes of very careful pursuit in the ditch between a country highway and an electric fence to nab them both. Once we got them gathered up, we asked the local neighbors if the kittens belonged to any of them. No luck.

So Dad and I drove home with two frightened, hungry kittens wrapped up in a blanket from the back of my car. They were very light, as though they hadn’t eaten for some time. Lorenzo stayed huddled into the blanket, shivering, while Max kept trying to get out and explore the car’s interior. He mewed at me a lot.

We got the kittens home and almost immediately ran into more problems. Dad’s allergic to cats, you see, so we knew we couldn’t keep them. For the time being, we let the two of them settle on the back deck with a can of tuna and a little dish of cream. My suspicions were confirmed when I saw they way they fairly attacked their food. The kittens spent the night in a cardboard box on the deck, curled up in that same blanket.

The next day, I took them to the local Humane Society shelter, Rescue Village. The Village already had a lot of cats to take care of, but the workers were still willing to take care of Lorenzo and Max until someone could adopt them and give them a better life than the one they’d known.

So this month’s charity is your local Humane Society or other animal shelter (like the Puffy Paws Kitty Haven). You’ll probably have to do a quick online search to find the nearest one, but donations will help abused, neglected, or abandoned animals find new homes where they can have better lives.

And because I know you’re all curious, here’s Max:

“You pulled me away from the cream for this?”

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Metapost: Charity of the Month

by on May.31, 2010, under COTM, Metapost

So ever since that “Shame, shame” post, I’ve had something of an idea roiling about in my head. As long as people read this blog and maybe get something out of it, maybe I ought to try doing something nice with the attention now and then.

So here’s the idea: the Charity of the Month. Every month, I’ll find a charity with some sort of online presence and write up a little summary of what they do. If you think it’s a good cause, try sending a little money their way. It doesn’t have to be anything huge—even a small donation helps push these organizations toward their goal.

Since this post is showing up on Memorial Day for the American readers, the first charity on the list is the United Service Organizations. The USO provides a variety of services to boost the morale of current and former members of the Armed Forces and their families. This includes entertaining the troops at various military bases (even those on active duty), sending care packages, or running programs like Operation Enduring Care to help wounded soldiers better adjust to their circumstances.

I’m not going to make any comments about specific wars, or war in general*, but I think the USO does a good thing for the men and women in uniform. If you want to support their mission, visit their How to Help page for more information.

* I’d appreciate it if everyone could please stay civil in the comments section, too.

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