Thursday, September 30, 2010

Religion, Revisited

As per the norm, if you happen to be touchy, and become offended when people fart in your general direction, there's a wonderful site out there for you. It starts with and rhymes with b. I'm noting, as I read over the post again, that some non-touchy people may even be offended. Collateral damage, I suppose.

Atheists are doing something right if they don't follow religion, and yet are better at religion than anybody else. I'm citing the recent survey which found that atheists know more in general about religion than any other religious division.

Well, I don't know about you guys, but this outcome was expected for me. We've already lost in morals, ethics, and not being heathen blasphemers, so we've got to win at something. Why not religion? Atheists are already the most religious people out there, so why not win at something we've got a head start on?

Now, this study also provides enlightenment to some issues. There are those who say that atheism is in fact, a religion. Now, I don't know about you, but, isn't one of the main pillars of any religion believing in a deity? However, I'm inclined to give these blasphemers of atheism a second chance now that I've seen the facts. Roughly 15% of Americans don't know that atheists don't believe in any deity. This group consists of a bunch of ignorant or misled Christians, Muslims, etc., and one very, very confused atheist, who isn't quite sure why the local church won't let him in.

This study also shows that 92% of the surveyed did not know that Maimonides was Jewish. Now, I don't know about you guys, but this is shocking.

More shocking than all these combined

How could you not know this? He was born in the golden age of Jewish culture in Spain, for crying out loud! And he lived in Fostat, Egypt! This is a tragedy, that we would lose sight of such people in this day and age. Old people are still important!

Well, maybe not this guy. Sure, he fought in 'Nam and is now bravely
defending his lawn, but what does he do for society? Has he
saved any stray kittens lately? I think not!

And just for a final fact, 29% of the surveyed did not know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. I'm sorry, how does that hymn go?

"Jesus, my savior, to NYC came-"

Nope, that's not right.

"Jesus, my savior, to Beijing came-"

Not that one either.

"Jesus, my savior, to Bethlehem came-"


"Jesus, my savior, to America came..."

That sounds about right. Because America is a Christian nation, and was founded as such.

So, as I close, as a word to all you fellow non-believers, hold steady in your unfaith, and have mercy on those who blaspheme so, for they are not so knowledgeable on such matters. Feel free to quote various religious texts, as well, whether or not they are outdated, or do not pertain to the matter at hand. Since when has relevance mattered?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Test Improvements

To the Board of Education:

No student likes taking tests, except for that one kid who sits in the corner, but I think he's crazy anyways. One can come to the logical conclusion, then, that if we improved various facets of tests, they would grow in attractiveness. Unfortunately, hiring PR agents has not worked in the past.

What I'm proposing is a system-wide change. This means testing the tests, and throwing the tests that don't pass the test out. That test which tests the tests must also be tested by a group of accomplished test-takers (who of course, took a test to earn that title.)

We need stricter guidelines for tests, and routine testings to make sure those tests are doing their job. A bad test only brings the grade for the rest of the tests down. It's like an election; the most appealing tests will remain "in office" as it were.

Now, here are some of the changes I would propose, to make all tests better.

#1: TL;DR's for test questions

Students are lazy. That is something you can't change without great effort and copious amounts of brainwashing. I'm not sure if you know this, but nearly 92% of our brainwash is created in China. The other 8% is manufactured by various political parties. Rather than expend all that necessary effort, I recommend we make one simple change to the tests. That is, add tl;dr's to every question for those students who are too lazy to read through the whole thing themselves. These students, rather than making pretty pictures out of the bubbles on the answer sheet, will actually spend time on the questions, once simplified. Here's an example question with a possible tl;dr:

Rob has a pet frog that jumps 10 meters with every jump. The frog's jump takes one second, and must rest for three seconds after every jump. If Rob times the frog for 24 seconds, how far will the frog have jumped?
tl;dr: 10*(24/6) = ?

#2: Simpler Multiple Choice

I don't know about you test writers, but honestly, the number of possibilities for all the multiple choice questions have been increasing. My grandfather remembers when there were only three choices per answer. (Of course, he's dead, so I'm interpreting his movements, or lack thereof.) The SAT now has four per answer, and AP tests have five. What will be next? Six? Seven?

Again, to help those lazy students out, I would suggest either making the correct answer more pertinent (e.g. circling it in red beforehand) or reducing the number of answers, an example of which is given below.

The trees whistled in the wind which flew by in the dark of night.
The underlined is an example of what literary technique?
A) Personification

#3: Meta-questions

Now, I don't know about you, but I've never met a student who didn't like a good meta-question. Of course, being the anti-social guy that I am, I haven't actually met anybody, per se, so read into that as far as you like. Meta-questions are pretty straightforward - they reference themselves, and are really good reading while tripping on acid. There's not much more to say, so I'll give an example here:

Here is a statement. Here is another statement. This is a statement which tells you that the degree of this equation is 4. Here is some bullshit which would help you on that AP World History test you took last week. Here's the actual equation you'll need, but you probably won't notice it because you're skimming the test with 30 seconds to go. You probably thought 30 was the answer, idiot. Here's a closing statement.

#4: More Interesting Questions

In the same vein of the last suggestion, I would recommend questions that actually capture the test-taker's attention. I mean, do we really care about Rob's frog? Or what Betty gets on her test if it's graded on a curve? Or how many times that douchebag Cartman has pissed in your OJ?

Okay, maybe we do care about that last one, but for different reasons which involve baseball bats and reducing the amount of piss in our orange juice. But honestly, it doesn't take much to capture the attention of the average teenager. For example, you could put some boobs are random points at the test, or put small amounts of money after each question. (I swear I wouldn't just rifle through the test for the money!) Honestly, I don't think I should/need to put an example here. Otherwise the rest of this would never get read.

Wait. What rest of this?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why Won't You Die?

I felt that this post needed a bit of expansion. I also felt hungry, and a bit sleepy, but you don't care about that. Which is why I didn't include those thin-

Okay, never mind.

I have recently begun to shirk fmylife and mylifeisaverage as much as possible. The reason? Overusage of the phrases. That overusage has driven them down, down into the ground, and back out into the atmosphere, much to my (and possibly your) annoyance. The beginning of the phrases "FML" and "MLIA" were innocent enough, and possibly even funny (if not tragic in the case of FML).

Unfortunately, this is no longer so. When FML once was used to represent life-altering things, such as accidentally running over a politician, losing your job due to pausing to conduct an act of kindness, living in poverty in a third-world country, or "accidentally" running over a politician, it has now been taken in by the text-crazed teenager. FML has been degraded to such menial events, such as being unable to go out on Friday night after staying out crazy-late Thursday night, or getting a C in a class, even though you were only not paying attention 70% of the time, and got 10% of the homework done (I mean, damn, what do the teachers expect us to do? All the homework? Pay attention in class? What has this world come to?)

Now I'm not quite sure if these teenagers know what they're saying.
FML stands for Fuck My Life. No, not My Life Is Slightly Worse or Kinda-Screw But Not Too Hard My Life, or even Why Won't My Parents Let Me Go Out For Friday Nightlife. Just putting that out there.

Another offender, but not a major one, is MLIA. While it began as a humble "My Life Is Average", it has evolved into "I Do Awesome Shit And Pretend It's Normal".

For example, this fine example is one of the earliest MLIA's ever recorded, back in the 1730's. The exact publishing date is unknown.

"Thif fine day hath found me walking downe the streete withe alle the otherf. Verily, MLIA."

To take this into the modern day, let's pull something from the MLIA site.

"Today, all the lights in the classroom turned off unexpectedly. Just as I said "Lumos", the lights came back on. My friend is now convinced I am a wizard. MLIA."

Now, I don't know about you, but I see two possibilities here:
1) The person has tried this every time the lights shut off. In which case, the fact that this happened was inevitable, and in some ways, a coincidence. The average person does not say "Lumos" whenever the lights turn off in an attempt to turn them back on, and I am sure that the average person doesn't believe wizardry is real, either.

2) The person actually is a wizard. The average person is not a wizard. End of discussion.

I'm sure that the creators of MLIA meant to name their site, but found that the site was taken. However, the site is no longer taken, so I would urge the creators to move their site to there. Unless they're actively trying to deceive their readers into thinking that it's normal to be able to cast spells. Then I have a psychiatric ward I'd like to refer them to.

As I end, I will note that I will impale (with a spoon) anyone who brings up the phrase MLIT. I will also have a post on werewolf/vampire wannabes sooner or later. The fact that the protagonist of Twilight is into bestiality and is a necrophiliac (and is looked up to?) will not be missed. But right now I've got a bit of homework to do. FML.


Something I made just now. It'd be awesome to have something like this for one of the satire rallies. Or just for lulz in general.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Trolled By Dictionaries

I'm sure all of you know what trolling is. As states, to troll is to "sing or utter in a full, rolling voice."

Now, I've been seeing a bunch of trolling lately, and...wait. Wrong definition, damn it. Okay, off to They've got a bunch of slang, and are way more with the times than Psh!
So urbandictionary states that trolling is "hunting for trolls".

Trolling can be pretty funny, except for the person who is-

God. Damn. It. Okay, how about Google? Google is practically the internet! Google defines trolling as "fishing by trailing a baited along behind a boat". Now, I don't like the water too much, but when other people troll, it can be a delight. Especially if they catch some fish.

Wait. What do fish have to do with the internet? FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU-
Okay, fine. Wikipedia. What do you have to say?
"A troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages...with the intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response."

Fucking finally.
So, as you can see....what was I going to say? I forget...

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Apologies on the long post delay. I've been a bit caught up in this thing which is totally new to me. Paperwork.

Now my nemesis, I had once thought it to be a fictional thing, made to make bad adults do their work faster ("Do your work, or I'll set the paperwork on you! In triplicate!), but no more.

When paperwork happens, everybody loses.


Yes, even you.

Surely we don't need all this paperwork? Do you really need to define what "Academics" is? Or that "Recreation" does not include anything which could be potentially harmful to others? (Okay, maybe you do, but explicitly stating that using admins as target practice for the zombie apocalypse does not count as "Academic Enrichment" is just a douchebag move.)

And you know what? All this paperwork is killing the Earth. Killing it!
How? I've made a simple chart to outline all this.

The agenda is so secret, I mentioned how secret it is, twice!

And, to all those people who go from less trees to not having enough oxygen, you missed the part where OBAMA DESTROYS THE PLANET WITH THE TRANSFORMERS HIDDEN IN HOOVER DAM!

Also, Obama's box is black. Like his...
soul, you racist. (As of this point, I have resolved to make no more anti-Obama jokes for the rest of the year. Limbaugh is still fair game.)

Paperwork is also a waste of time. I don't know about you, but having me sign here, here, here, here, and here (as well as here and here if you take option 2b, and if you do not qualify for option 11, sign here, but not there no no no oh shit that's is a pen where's the white-out you just sold your soul to the devil, two senators, and that kid who sat next to you in fifth grade!) And to the wise-guy who decided to make the forms non-electronic, I'd like to put a knife in your gut, if you know what I mean, and no, that's not sexual. 

I mean, they had computers way back when, I know that! Otherwise, how would there have been Facetablet?

Seriously, the paperwork-design-team must have spent all their time on and playing Farmville: Egypt Edition.

TL;DR - Paperwork sucks, nubian concubines were hot, you're a racist.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chinese Vs. English

My trip to China opened my eyes a little more to the various aspects of Chinese. Admittedly, this is more of a Chinese > English post as it has no pro-English points. Then again, we people using English on the internet are so smug about it already, it needs none. Without further ado...

Reason #1: Nnnnnnnooooooo mmmmmmeeeeeessssssaaaagggggeeeeeesssss llllllliiiiiikkkkkkeeeee ttttttthhhhhiiiiiissssss!
I mean, that's enough reason by itself. Okay, extending the vowels might make some half-sense but how the hell do you pronounce:

(Yes, some of you will point out that this is possible in pinyin. I will point out that no Chinese uses pinyin when they can write actual characters. Pinyin is for us illiterate Americans.)

Reason #2: In Chinese, you pronounce pork as: "Jew ro"
Yes, pork is the Jewish meat.
I don't know about you guys, but I sense a conspiracy about to be unveiled!

Reason #3: In English, when you flip someone the bird, that's the same as giving them the finger, or fingering them.
And if it's a guy, that's just gay.

Reason #4: 靠草或微笑。

Reason #5: [Censored by Chinese government]

Reason #6: [Censored by Chinese government]

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wait. What?

I think I've just figured out why so many Obama-bashers are so generic and have such shallow arguments.

The site I use to monitor the stats of the blog has a search engine keyword tracker as well.
Now, not many people ever reach my site through any way other than personal plug, but here's a list of the search terms people have gotten to my site with.

"ways Obama screwed up"
"ways Obama has messed up America"
"why nuke explode to mushroom shaped"
"Nukes solve"
"why is Obama messing up so bad?" (This one popped up twice!)
"things Obama has messed up"

Do you see a trend?
Yup. My blog is obviously loved by all the right wing conservatrolls out there. Who need to be told why Obama is bad, instead of analyzing what he's done and forming their own opinion.

Seriously? Americans, why do you need to be told what you think about anyone?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I was going to post a humorous post today, but then, something came to my attention. ACTA. This has been around for about two years, and I'm amazed that this is the first I've heard of it. I blame the media for this one. Even the New York times has no coverage on ACTA. (Or, none that I found through multiple searches.)

What is ACTA?

I myself find it hard to put into succinct terms, if only due to the rage I feel at it. It is essentially a global law that would supersede existing laws in any countries which joined ACTA. Currently, the United States is among these countries.

A few links which describe ACTA:
The Anti-ACTA website

Note that ACTA itself has no website. It has been kept under covers from the start, private from the public - only those involved with voting on it have been able to see it, and (AFAIK) corporations.

Now, why do corporations get to see it, and have their say, but not the public? For something that's supposed to protect corporations, won't they, oh, I don't know, make things overly easy for them, and overly hard for the public? Just saying...

I'll stop ranting now, so I have a chance at putting up the post I had planned, and so that I don't bias any opinion you may form on it too much. I'll leave you with a few links, however, if you feel like protesting.

Open this, and keep it open. It is a reloader, used to bump up the Anti-ACTA website higher up on search engines to raise awareness.
Contact your congressman to have your say. You may feel that you're just a drop in the bucket, but if enough drops form, well, that drop becomes more than a drop, no?
Contact your senator to have your say. As above. Except if you use both links, you get to say your stuff twice. Cool stuff, eh?
The only place I found with lots of info about ACTA. Another reason to use reddit.
For those of you not in the USA, there are links on the anti-ACTA site for you to contact whatever representatives you may have.

If you want to stop ACTA as well, send the links (or this blog post!) to everyone you think would be interested, and everybody you don't think would be. (But please, no chain mails. I hate those things, and I'm sure you do too.) Except not 4chan. Well, maybe the links, but just the links.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

China 2010, Part 3

No prefacing (save this, apparently) needed.

August 28th - Did what every good visitor to Qingdao should do today; drank beer, ate clams. Yummy.
Also, the fresh-brewed beer from Tsingtao comes in bags. Makes it a bit harder to pour...

August 29th - Finally the sun came out! Back to the beach!

August 30th - More sun, more beach. Not much to elaborate on.
Also, cars stopping for pedestrians crossing the street is like fighting space unicorns using doesn't fucking happen.

August 31st - Another dumpling place tonight. I had multicultural dumplings; normal white dumplings, yellow dumplings (A bit of corn in the dough), and black dumplings (Octopus ink in the dough). Yay for not being racist!

September 1st - Train ride to Tianjin today. Said goodbye to various relatives. Sadness.

September 2nd - First and only day in Tianjin. It's a whole lot of road and not much building. Went to a free museum during the day. Turns out they make you pay for the toilet paper. I guess that's one way to make money.

Also learned how over-embellished things in China get. A sign which read "Treasure Hall" had a politician's mouthful of Chinese on it. Which, when translated, read something along the lines of, "Very antique rare most ancient best exquisitely preserved treasures of China hall".

September 3rd - Bus ride to Beijing, then the plane ride back. Trip over.

Coming back from China, just to put some interesting facts out there as pros/cons...

All streetlights had timers, so you could see exactly how long you had to cross or how long you had to wait at the red light.
Treads on the street for blind people to follow.
Lots of different meats.
No graffiti/vandalism anywhere. I saw one piece, total.

Almost no traffic laws. Cars going wherever they could.
Never sure what meat you're eating.
Everyone lives in apartments. Some of them are quite nice though.

Other stuff:
Justin Bieber is much more popular there because the Chinese, in general, admire men having some feminine qualities. Why they think Bieber is male, I'll never know...
Also figured out why Asians in general are so thin. Rice is meant to be eaten one grain at a time. By the time you get through a bowl, one grain at a time, you're too goddamn frustrated to eat any more.

Next post: Comparing Chinese and English: Why Chinese is better.

Monday, September 6, 2010

China 2010, Part 2


The second week of my trip to China. Not as many jokes here; this week consisted of eating at restaurants and going to the beach (and wanting to go to the beach when it was rainy.)

August 19th - Forgot the picture of duck tongues.

August 20th - Ate quail and frog today at dinner.

There were also beautifully made apple-rabbits. It was very hard to make the choice between eating them and letting them breed to make more apple-bunnies. 

August 21st - Went to another restaurant. Yummy!

August 22nd - More beach-going, more sand, more water.
Spotted this bit of incomprehensible text as well.


August 23rd - I learned today that Qingdao is known for two things: its clams, and its beer. A popular saying in Qingdao is "喝啤酒,吃蛤蜊" which means, "Drink beer, eat clams."
Qingdao was also occupied by the Germans for a duration of time. Is it any wonder their beer is well-known?

Qingdao has an annual beer festival which lasts two weeks. I went there today, and to my surprise, it was quite kid-friendly, though there were quite a few cops around, and even a fire truck. The music was pretty loud, but not too bad. At least for me; accompanying parental units found it to be too much. Buzzkill.
So I left the festival with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth (Okay, no more puns), would like to go back (Perhaps in a few years...what's the legal drinking age in China?).

August 24th - Went to a well-known dumpling place before retreating to the apartment. Why does it have to rain now?

August 25th - Rained most of the day. Braved the rain to go to the MYKAL mall for various treats. These will be brought for distribution at lunch.

The MYKAL was pretty much like any other mall in the US, except there was Chinese instead of English, and a secret supermarket in the basement. Said secret supermarket could not spell cooking correctly.
Mmm....cocked coocked food...

August 26th - Went to a different mall today, this one consisting of many small shops and vendors. Lots of shells, lots of jewelry. Apparently there was even more on higher levels.

Spotted this sign when I was walking on the coast. Not quite as mangled as some others, but still...

Please, don't be closer. No! No be closer!

Also, more dumplings, more good food.

August 27th - We went to Qingdao's old alley today. It's one of the oldest parts of the city, a cramped alleyway filled with small restaurants and vendor stalls. One stall was selling various bugs to be fried, so I got some scorpions. Tasted like french fries, if only a bit chewier. Yum.

Final post coming tomorrow, before the blog returns to its normal programming.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

China 2010, Part 1

WARNING: The following series of posts may be traumatizing to vegetarians, vegans, and bigots. Especially to bigots.

Right, so I normally don't blog about my life, but this is an exception. However, I understand that reading "We went to the Great Wall today. It was a wall." really isn't all that fun, so I've edited out the more boring parts (e.g. The ten hour plane flight which I originally planned to write in great detail.) and tried to make the rest more enjoyable to read. I'm splitting this up into a few parts, and will be posting one part every one to two days. Be ready for a jumble of present/past-tense narration. Here we go...

August 11th - Left Seattle for Beijing. Wheeee!

August 12th - Arrival in Bejing. Several things struck me about China at once.
The Asians were the second thing I noticed. There were so many! I thought China, like all other parts of the world, was white! But every time I'd look into a car, I'd Asian. Then another. And another. Since when do Asians live in...erm, never mind.
Then again, that did explain why every car was moving so slowly. I mean every single one of the cars packed bumper to bumper was moving 5-10 kmph, tops. This myth that all Asians are slow drivers? Not a myth. 

Now, as the ride came to an end, we (My dad, sister, and uncle) dropped our stuff off at the hotel, and went outside to see (and taste!) Bejing. Don't you even dare make that into one of your sick, twisted jokes.
There were so many toy dogs. I mean, everyone had one! Why? Why? What reason would Chinese people have-
Oh. Okay. Right. Well, looking back, I can proudly say that I didn't eat any dogs.

At least, I don't think I did.

Later, I searched for Chinatown. I was disappointed that I didn't find it.

August 13th - Went to the Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square. It was a foggy day, or maybe just extra smoggy, but even so, the Forbidden City was damn impressive. Pictures to come later.

By dinner, I'd decided that China is a vegetarian's nightmare. And everyone else's place to eat very well.

On a whim, I also took a look at Chinese TV. There's a company, CCTV, which owns almost every station. Tuned into a news show, which I thought was a game show until informed otherwise. The people were holding up signs with Chinese and there were game show noises! Take a look for yourself. Apologies on the slant.

August 14th - Went to the Great Wall today. Again, pictures will come later. Learned several new facts today, among them:
1) Getting on buses with country people in China is harder than getting on the Metro after school, or giving birth. (I've experienced one of these firsthand, guess which.)
2) The Great Wall goes on longer than one might think. Betting that you can run the entirety of the wall is thus not a good idea. 
3) It is not a good idea to stand on steep parts of the wall when it is windy while wearing a skirt. Just saying.

August 15th - A lazy day today. The family restaurant we went to for dinner was impressive in how efficiently it ran. Everything seemed to be scripted, all the staff knew exactly what they were doing, etc. Why can't there be places like this in America?

Also, they had cannibal fishies.

August 16th - Took a train to Qingdao today.
Qingdao has temperatures like Seattle, which is pretty awesome; I was glad to escape the heat of Beijing. Incidentally, Seattle had its heat wave at this point. Bahaha....
I met one of my cousins today as well. 
On an unrelated note, I also learned a few swear words. Totally unrelated.

August 17th - First of many days at the beach. It's a private (Membership-based, that is) beach, so it's not too crowded, and there aren't any foreign devils here, either. Apparently, standing in the water and staring at stuff (sunset, waves crashing on rocks, other people staring at stuff) is commonplace.
However, there are way too many speedos here. What is it with Asian men and speedos? DO NOT WANT with a capital DO NOT WANT.

Earlier, we went to a street called Electronic City. It's a street totally dedicated to all things electronic, and the star building is a 20-floor hotel-style building, which sells electronics only. Nerdgasm. Seattle needs one of these.

August 18th - Met another cousin, and her child. She (the child, that is) calls me uncle. I feel so old...

I also spotted the first of many translation fails to come.

August 19th - Met my great-uncle today. Suddenly I don't feel so old.
Ordered lunch from a restaurant (as we have been for a while now), had quail eggs, and duck tongues.

Duck tongues look like backwards snake tongues.
I also learned my eldest uncle and his wife own a chain of hair salons. Yay free haircuts!

Part 2 to come tomorrow.