Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On cigarettes and being cool

I'll say this straight off: smoking looks cool. It looks cool and it creates a air of awesomeness for a male to smoke, whilst bringing a female the visage of a vixen. However smoking kills. Does the end justify the coolness? No way.

Many people, mostly fictional characters, which I designate as cool smoke. In anime there is the entire Bebop crew, NGE's Kaji and Soul Eater's Fraken Stein. Then there is Barack Obama. He was cool before he smoked, and I think a cigarette looks out of place in his mouth. Also, if you think that his smoking crux is recent news, then you are mistaken dear reader, a friend of mine had a display picture of Barack Attack "lighting up" on MSN for months. I've heard smoking being described as "a symbol of their humanity...their weakness". I disagree with that statement completely, smoking brings nothing but death, and for what? Why should humans be forced to be designated "weaknesses"? As ruling species, we should be master of our own domains, without weakness. Of course, that is merely a wishful ideal.

Media shows us people smoking and attracting the opposite (or the same) sex, I doubt this would be the reality. In the case of Cowboy Bebop, I imagine Spike and Faye would be a chorus of coughs every time they made love (they did make love - SxF forever). Smoking makes you stink of smoke. A recently tobacco-sober former heavy smoking friend of mine is repulsive to be around because all of his clothes smell nigh, reek, of smoke. On top of that, smoking is expensive, with no advantages. It as long been dismissed as a social catalyst, and can really burn the hip pocket. Most hobbies cost money, but smoking requires almost constant funds to be spent and gives nothing in return. At least with video games one's mind can be stimulated.

To end this conaluted post, I quote Fort Minor's Cigarette:

"it's just like a cigarette, nobody's really fooled
I don't want the truth, I wanna feel f***ing cool"

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On Richard Dawkins

Reading over I guy I know's blog, I saw a topic which I thought I might cast my two cents on.

Richard Dawkins

In a sentence: I don't like him. Aside from looking like the devil incarnate in the above picture, I hate his ethos. But it was not always like this. Throughout the course of my life I have watched many of his programs and read one or two of his books, the latter medium being read in a compulsion to give some sort of reason to his frankly offensive methods. I digress, for those of you who are unaware Richard Dawkins is an achieved biologist and a staunch atheist. The latter of the two is a title he has flaunted in recent years, much to my distaste.

I don't consider myself an atheist, at least not yet. I was raised in a christian world, though I don't see a reason to discriminate against those of other religions, gods or no. This is where Mr. Dawkins and I diverge. While I find some of his books on behavior absolutely fascinating, I find his close mindedness off putting. In his books it's okay, his arguments against the god complex are thorough, sustained and completely logical, but his documentaries are not.

In I can recall one scene wherein he enters a deeply religious shop owner's workplace and begins to badger him about his faith. He asks things such as "But why do you believe in something that does not exist?". He then goes on to pester the man about why he converted to Islam, even though it is so "violent". Through the course of the documentary, this process is repeated with different interviewees and as little as twelve minutes in, I felt as though I wanted to punch him in the face. I am not at all deeply entrenched in any form of religion. In fact I'm often the first one to poke fun at each faith's idiosyncrasies (this does not go over well at funerals, trust me). Though I find the path he is taking completely misguided. Writing his beliefs in a book are all well and good, for it is the choice of the reader to continue reading said literature. Yet going up to people on the street and pestering them about their lifestyle sickens me. It reminds me of another ism in my culture evangelism.

Ah, evangelism. Personally, I think this is why Dick Dawkins took up his cause. It has it's good sides, its followers obstain from murder and a generally nice, not to mention spur some of the greatest media in the world (see: Skillet and NGE). Though its major drawback is the faithful are very set in their ways and will be firm with those who think differently. I remember one interview from an Andrew Denton piece where he confronts tree elderly choir siblings with the question "but what about people who were born homosexual? Do they deserve to go to hell?" to which one of the gentlemen calmly answers "No! Homosexuality is a lie told to them by Satan and they must find the truth for their soul to come to heaven." I find this response as offensive as anything Dawkins spews out, and I can concur with him on his reason to be against it. Yet his method of combating such people is, in effect, perpetuating the same act. He is attempting to convert people to atheism with aggression, I'm not sure, but I believe that can be called evangelizing. Does he not realize that Atheism is becoming one of his hated "religions"? He is becoming his own enemy on his search for "a better world". He is also displaying stereotypes of white supremacy, ignorant white man and the snobby Brit. Therefore, through the act of himself becoming his own foe, all of his arguments should be disarmed.

Also on the subject of snobby Brits, dearest woman down the street, if you are reading this, know that neither I, nor any member of my family scratched your car. We merely place a note on it requesting its removal from our laneway. Bringing the police into the matter was uncalled for and only further strengthened out point. The act of knocking on my door (which is older that the sum of our ages, by the way) quite violently at seven in the morning and yelling at me heralds an apology at the very least. Though its obvious you were not, some of us were trying to watch Ninja Turtles.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

SIMulated sex

I'm just looking over my computer games, and I saw a duo which I love, the Sims series. I was twelve when I started playing the games, and haven't played either for quite a while now. Unfortunately, I know of an eight year old girl whom just bought the second one, and this unnerves me. The second game is much more explicit, especially on the theme of sex.

In The Sims one can have recreational love by using the love bed with a partner in the Livin' Large expansion pack. With a cheat, the user can see the Sims "doing it", though if memory serves, the image is hardly pornographic. However, in The Sims 2, a cut scene initiates, complete with suggestive whispers and beds bouncing. Personally, I find this much too explicit. Being a teenager, I feel obligated to want the sexuality, but for the sake of younger kids, I think there should be an option of disabling these scenes. To be fair, the games were given a higher rating, bumping it from an E for everyone to a T for teen in Australia. But why should younger gamers with conservative parents miss out on spending time simulating the lives of others?

After searching Youtube: I could not find a video of a sims one love or "do you want to have a baby" scene. Yes, the porn addicted internet does not find this scene sexual enough to host, yet "Sims 2" brings up scores of videos of Sims "gettin' it on!"

A "woo-hoo" in Sims 2

There are many forms of this woo-hoo.One's simulated humans can fornicate in a bed, a hot tub, even a changing room.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Chain Emails

I'm not usually one for chain mail. I usually delete it on sight, I scarcely open it, let alone pass it on. However, one caught my eye. It was sent to me by a friend whom I trusted not to send me such things. Thankfully, he passed the mail on to me and I found it so clever that I had to pass the buck too.


The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry midterm.

The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is moe than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will dop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it?

If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.'


Monday, November 24, 2008

The Tomb Raider's crypt not so untouched...

Ahh... Lara Croft, one of the most prominent female characters of the video gaming universe and certainly one of the only characters to recieve as many breast augmentations as Dolly Parton. With her new game Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: Underworld, comes a new wave of critism.

Foremost, and fundamental to myself, is the possibly fatal "missing lever" glitch in the Wii adaption of the title. more on that here.

Secondly, has anyone else noticed the simmilarities between the new game and 2003's vampire movie, Underworld?

Here's an example:
UnderWorld Pictures, Images and Photos

The image is a room on Lara's midriff, and she hold's her guns at a slighlty different degree. How far she has fallen...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Music: Downloading, playing and listening

I like music in most, if not all, of it's forms. I do prefer "oldies" as that was the music I was weaned on. As of October 2008, I've found myself listening to more and more modern pop music, though I've always enjoyed a few songs. I've got a relatively small CD collection, but if I see something for cheap enough I'll invest in it. Currently being in want of an Mp3 player, I'm finding my only outlet to hearing new music is through either youtube or music television, the latter of which I watched sporadically this morning.

In recent musical news, British pop star Lily Allen is set to release a new album. I like miss Allen's work, it has a nice rhythm as well as being fairly funny at times, plus she's the best ecstasy dealer turn singer on the market today. The best female, that is. The Kings of Leon are coming down for a tour in early March next year. All of my friends are excited, though I'm at odds to care. Firstly, tickets are ninety dollars, which is relatively cheap but still out of my price range. I'm not too big a fan of the Kings, I've heard some of their songs, I didn't like Charmer but I enjoy Sex on Fire.

When in comes to downloading music, I rarely do it. I only download out of necessity, such as hearing a song in a movie and it not being on a soundtrack, or specifically, that soundtrack not being released here (Drawn Together). If I do download a song, I'll usually end up falling for the band and buying their albums if fiscals approve.

To really simplify my tastes, I like acoustic songs, covers that take a song in a new direction and parodies. As for youtube musicians, I recommend David Choi and James At War.