Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

RESOLVED: That I will substantially increase my time spent on debate. I reserve the right to clarify.

I had a few more, but none that I could turn into jokes. They involved getting more muscle, getting better grades, making more/better blog posts and spending less time gaming. Boring stuff.

No pulling topicality - I've got my 2A answers right here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Cruelty of Authors

Authors are cruel, cruel people. Whenever they sit down to write, they create characters in what could be ideal situations. They give imaginary people a bright future, and conjure friends, family, and lovers for them. Then they take it all away. Maybe piece by piece, maybe all at once. It is undeniably cruel to be so callous as to deny your own creations happiness. But this is exactly what authors do. Even those writing biographies for real people insist on bringing out the pain and struggle of their lives, to make the readers struggle as well, to imagine what hardship this person went through. Why, why would authors do such a thing?

They have to.

Consider this. John was a happy man. He married his high school sweetheart, and lived a long life. He had two kids, who both grew up to be successful in the world, and died peacefully.

My oh my, that was terribly interesting, wasn't it? I could just read on and on about how enjoyable and happy John's life was. I'd love to read a 500 page novel about this, and of course I'd like to pay $25 to be offered the chance to read about how perfectly wonderful John's life was!

Okay, not really. The stories that captivate people, that suck us in and force us to read them again and again are the ones with problems. They're the ones that make us ask "What happened next?" even when the story doesn't have any impact on our life at all. They're the ones with strife, where bad things happen to good people for no good reason at all.

Try this. John had been employed for most of his working life as a Secret Service agent, specifically a bodyguard for the president. He loves his job, but his sweetheart, a sweet French girl living in Los Angeles, can't marry him or he'll lose his job. As he struggles between helping his country and pursuing his dreams, terrorists set off bombs in multiple cities around the USA, one of which is Los Angeles.

Okay, so it still isn't the best story, but it probably was more enticing than the one before. Perhaps it got you asking why he couldn't marry his sweetheart? (See the Yankee White status required of people working with the President) But why do all of these things have to happen to him? Why can't he just marry and live a happy life? Why do terrorists have to screw everything up?

Terrorists ruin EVERYTHING

The crux of this all really lies in why people enjoy reading about struggle. Perhaps it is so they can say, "Hey, this person went through tougher times than I, and he survived! I can survive, too!" or perhaps they can relate to the person, "This person knows what it's like to be in my position." Some sadists might just laugh - "Haha, this guy is suffering LOL" But a story isn't a story without problems.

But overall, I believe the reason people read stories is because they love heroes. The idea of the good guy has been romanticized in popular culture - he always pulls through and/or gets the girl and/or survives the zombies and/or defeats his evil father in an epic space battle. Movies are stories too! And really, who wouldn't want to be the stereotypical hero, or a hero at all?

Authors are real dicks. They hurt their own creations, then publicize them for the world to grimace, sympathize, and/or laugh at. But it's all in the name of a good story, and without the callousness to inflict pain on one's own creations, our stories and movies would be pretty damn vanilla. It's pretty hard to be cruel, too. We grow up being told not be be cruel, that it's bad to do bad things to people (or at least, people who don't deserve it!) and then those who want to write novels or screenplays find they have to be cruel. Hurting your own character, or denying them something is like kicking a puppy - it sucks, and most people aren't capable of it, which is one reason why not everyone is a novelist or a screenplay writer. Next time you meet an author, thank them for their sacrifice!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Lack of Postage

I'm real good at this whole keeping-up-with posts thing. Parody turned out crappy, so I scrapped it, and will (maybe) have an essay up tomorrow. Argh.

Also, you guys should check post tags every so often.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Obama Is At It Again

Okay, for Christ's sake, Obama, what the Hell?

Obama is standing solid on the fact that the trees in the White House are not Christmas trees, but rather "Holiday Trees". What a wimp. We know America is a Christian nation! It was founded on Christianity, for Christ's sake! Don't be afraid to flaunt it. You're Christian. The USA is Christian nation. A majority of the population of the USA is Christian. What will those atheists do if they get offended? Pray at you? Oh wait, they can't! Because they don't believe in God!

Spread the word! Let America know who we elected! A coward, with no pride in his own religion, denying America's religious history!


Did I get the imitation of the uber-Conservative fuzzy-on-the-facts Christian right?

Merry commercialized-to-the-point-of-little-religious-value day (or Christmas, if you insist on calling it that) to all! Expect a parody tomorrow!

Friday, December 24, 2010

End Of The World!

Well, I missed 12/21/10, but today is a good enough substitute. Two years (minus three days) from now, the world will be ending, so say the most pessimistic about 12/21/12. The more optimistic think it will just be a change in perspective, and as for those who don't give a rat's ass? They don't give a rat's ass.

Below are some possible "End of the world" scenarios which may occur on the fateful day. These ones are the ones that might actually happen. None of this alien or nuclear war B.S.

Scenario #1 - Palin gains lead on Obama: For all those assembled here, raise your hand if Palin being elected would mean the end of the world.


There we go. How would this play out? Let's see...

Scenario #2 - The Hobbit is a flop: The Hobbit (Part 2) is scheduled to be released December 2012. However, once the movie is released, it will become obvious that the over $500 million in production costs were laundered away, the entire world of LOTR nerds will spontaneously commit suicide. While each one will become an hero for the world, the internet will become bereft of users (save Facebook) and from the resulting wastes....[insert opening for awesome film here.]

Scenario #3 - Byte inversion: North Korea will grow to a world power, trading in nukes for huge statues of King Jong Il, which are actually disguised transmitters. Replicating China's internet trafficking accident earlier this year, the statues will take in 100% of the internet's traffic, and send viruses to every computer. The viruses will invert the bytes, turning 1's to 0's and 0's to 1's. Windows will become Macs. Chrome will turn into IE5. sys32 will become trollface.jpg. Sarah Palin will turn into someone smart. Wait, never mind, she's not a computer.

Scenario #4 - Explosion of the Earth: Hey guys, guess what? The world is going to explode for no reason at all on December 21st, 2012, except for the fact that it's 12/21/12! Exactly a minute after everyone thinks the world isn't going to blow up!

Better post to come tomorrow, hopefully.

Monday, December 20, 2010


The woman, only known as SM (unfortunate initials, yes) in this article has no amygdala in her brain. The amygdala are a set of nuclei in the brain in charge of processing emotional reactions. One of their main functions is to inspire fear, or rather, to point out to other parts of the brain what should be feared, like wolves. When the amygdala is missing, this function is also missing. Thus not having an amygdala results in the inability to feel fear.

Some may view this as a disability, to be sure. The article states:

But while this behavior is relatively benign, the researchers also found that SM put her life at risk. In one instance, she walked through a park alone at night and was attacked by a man with a knife.
“The following day, she again walked through the same park,” Mr. Feinstein said.
In the same way, one might not be afraid of burns, terrorists, or green human-sized exploding-thingies. All of these people fear rationally; it's a downside to not having an amygdala.

But I think SM is a pretty cool guy. eh has no amygdala and doesn't afraid of anything. The lack of fear can certainly be a very good thing.

For instance, if we could make the amygdala something that could be turned on and off, America's next army of super soldiers might not even have to be robots controlled by morbidly obese gamers! They could just be normal amygdala-less people, charging in and blasting everything. There's no way that that could go wrong.

I had some other upsides, but I lost them along the way. I swear.

So let's move on to the personal aspects of the thing. No need to think too far ahead into the future.

First, SM has no loss aversion (theoretically). Loss aversion is a huge irrationality which affects almost all peoples. People tend to avoid losses as much as they can, even when it's small enough to have impact, or the aversion is irrational. Of course, it makes sense to avoid losing a few million, but avoiding the loss of a few dollars by holding stock where one stands to lose so much more rather than shorting (as in a company which one holds stock in nearing bankruptcy) is irrational. Not wanting to be late to a meeting, and thus cutting a red light is also irrational, and also a result of loss aversion. These are the sorts of scenarios that people face every day, which we could rationally decide on if it weren't for the amygdala.

Second, SM isn't subject to those pesky fear effects in all those video games. You know, those ones that prevent you from moving while the boss comes in to bite your head off? Yeah. That fear. SM would beast at those games.

Third, SM can say Candlejack all she wants and

Friday, December 10, 2010

Take Me Out Of The Theatre...

Another song parody awaits: this one is a parody of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game".

Adolf Hitler was Nazi mad.
Wanted Europe, wanted it bad;
Just to slay gypsies and Jews
Benito, Hitler knew.
On a Friday, his whole gang
Marched to Poland with a bang,
To see the Poles when the Allies said,
"No, we're declaring war on you."

"Take me out of the theatre,
Take me out with some bombs.
Buy me some Panzers and Tiger Tanks,
I don't care about any of my flanks.
Let me blitz, blitz, blitz Mother Russia,
If we don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three Reichs, you're done
while the Yanks invade!"

Heinrich Himmler made all the calls,
Killed himself before his fall;
Told the Fuhrer he was right,
All along, good and strong.
At the end of World War Two,
Heinrich Himmler knew what to do,
Took cyanide and chewed,
Did as Hitler, went along.

"Take me out of the theatre,
Take me out with some bombs.
Buy me some Panzers and Tiger Tanks,
I don't care about any of my flanks.
Let me blitz, blitz, blitz Mother Russia,
If we don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three Reichs, you're done
while the Yanks invade!"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Facebook Profile #2 - Unprotected Browser

Okay, this guy has serious security issues. He's had people break into his account twice in the past month, and his wall looks something like this:

Yeah, that looks about right. Nobody's really sure what he does to make his account so insecure, but I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that his default password is "123456789". Good job, you can count to 9. Probably higher than the Friend Freak.

This guy could really use some antivirus, and common sense, too. But I guess he wasn't raised to have much common sense - common sense is something you learn from your parents and peers. And no parent with any common sense would name their kid LOLIMSTUPID. Especially not all caps.

Go away, Miss I Can't Type. You're up next, don't get ahead of yourself.
Okay, that's it. Nothing more until tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Facebook Profile #1 - The Friend Freak

Hurray! Another series of posts that will never see its end! This set is dedicated to the types of people you see on Facebook, and each is written from their (theoretical) point of view. Not much to say apart from that; these will be relatively short posts as I seem to have less time than I feel like I should have...

Hey you! Am I your friend? If I'm not, I am now.

Yeah, I have waaaaaay more friends than you could ever hope to have. I even have more friends than your entire social network combined. And not just because you only have three friends, apart from me. I mean, take a look. See that number? Yeah, it's big. More than I can count, and I can count pretty high, I'll have you know!

What do you mean, I can't possibly know them all? I'm offended! Of course I know them all! Like this guy, he's my best friend. And that guy? He's my best friend....too. I can have two best friends!

And this girl, I met her at a party last week. Or was she the one from the subway? Maybe I met her while calling random numbers because I had nothing better to do. Well, she's one of those, and you can't claim I don't know her! Look, I'll ask her now!

Friend Freak: hey

Party/Subway/Phone Girl: who are you creep??

Friend Freak: um, don't you know me? you're on my friends list lol

Party/Subway/Phone Girl: no i don't know you. and im not on your friends list anymore.

Nooooooo! She just unfriended me! Why? Why?
I....need you to go away, please. This is a pretty big loss. I might need some alone time.

But by go away, I just mean leave the room. Don't unfriend me!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mobs in the Workplace

As the title. Following is a list of mobs, and their corresponding workplace doubles, each with an explanation as to why they are. Hopefully even those of you not on Minecrack will be able to follow along.


The zombie is that one guy you see when you stay late, on the other side of the workplace. You're not quite sure what he does, or why he's employed. He seems to be very industrious, always typing away at something. You've approached him once. It didn't turn out well - he groaned a little, and then was on his way, leaving you to stand there awkwardly as you decided whether or not to pursue that line of inquiry. Probably better not to.

What does he do all day, anyways? He's always curiously absent during the day time. Perhaps he works the night shift. You should ask, then get a grunt translator. It's a tough language to learn.


You don't know this guy well, either. Maybe even less than the zombie. He's got the night shift too, probably. Well, regardless, he could definitely use a little more skin on his bones. He should consider eating. Maybe he's anorexic?

You've heard he's a blast at parties though. He must be; people always wind up getting hurt after he appears. Maybe it has to do with that bow he always carries around. He probably does archery on the weekends, or something. Indoors. Geez, he's paler than the zombie!


This guy has a real temper on him. You can hear his shouts daily in the workplace. And there was that one time, when you asked him what he did in the workplace, and he exploded (figuratively, of course!). You're not doing that again. But it's weird, almost as if he comes here to shout at people. Why else would he spend all day skipping around?


You've only noticed this guy in the office in early hours of the morning. Early in the morning during those dangerous hallucination periods, when your coffee cup becomes a telephone, your computer becomes a bomb, and this guy becomes delicious looking. Look at the fat on him, he'd sizzle nicely on this grill you have right next to- Wait, never mind. That's your stapler. No, that's your STAPLER. What are you doing? No, no, no! Yes, that's a knife, where are you going? Stop chasing him!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Party of Hell Yeah!

Whoooo! Yeah! Go Republicans! Way to uphold your long-standing themes of receptivity and knowing what's best for the American people! You did your best to save us from those death panels, but sadly, it wasn't enough. But this is you fighting back! Hell yeah!

The Republicans of the Senate released a letter on November 29th, which I wholeheartedly support in its undying glory, and true assertion of the just Republican stance.

The letter itself is filled with jargon, and generally made hard to understand, so I've copied it here, with translations for sections in red (in common slang, of course).

Dear Leader Reid, Sup Harry Reid, mah homie!

The nation’s unemployment level, stuck near 10 percent, is unacceptable to Americans.  1 in 10 Americans are unemployed, and it sucks, man! Senate Republicans have been urging Congress to make private-sector job creation a priority all year.  We been tellin' y'all to do something about it. President Obama in his first speech after the November election said “we owe” it to the American people to “focus on those issues that affect their jobs.”  Look! Even mah homie Obama said so! He went on to say that Americans “want jobs to come back faster.” Americans want jobs faster. Our constituents have repeatedly asked us to focus on creating an environment for private-sector job growth; it is time that our constituents’ priorities become the Senate’s priorities. So we be listenin' to them, and what they want is what we want!

--Note-- Changed from ghetto vernacular to satire here. Too damn hard to write in that vernacular for the following sections.

For that reason, we write to inform you that we will not agree to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers.  This is so important that we're not going let anything else pass Senate until you guys stop pushing the tax increase that we're hyping to make it seem like we don't have personal interests in these matters. With little time left in this Congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities.  To legitimize this, so it doesn't look like blackmail: there's not much time left in this session, so we need to focus on important things, like taxes, not DADT, the Dream Act, START, or education funding - that stuff isn't important at all! While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate's attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike. We take that stuff back; it's important, just not more important than tax increases that might threaten me buying my second house in the Florida Keys.

Given our struggling economy, preventing the tax increase and providing economic certainty should be our top priority.  Hey, I'm going to sneak in another important thing in here - preventing added taxes AND helping the economy are what we want. Without Congressional action by December 31, all American taxpayers will be hit by an increase in their individual income-tax rates and investment income through the capital gains and dividend rates.  Everybody is going to have taxes increased if we don't act before 2011 - but the wealthy especially. If Congress were to adopt the President’s tax proposal to prevent the tax increase for only some Americans, small businesses would be targeted with a job-killing tax increase at the worst possible time.  Here's our tired small business argument; please don't refute it. Specifically, more than 750,000 small businesses will see a tax increase, which will affect 50 percent of small-business income and nearly 25 percent of the entire workforce.  And here's some statistics to make it harder to refute; please don't point out we don't have a source for these statistics. The death tax rate will also climb from zero percent to 55 percent, which makes it the top concern for America’s small businesses.  Hey, remember those death panels? DEATH TAX! Republicans and Democrats agree that small businesses create most new jobs, so we ought to be able to agree that raising taxes on small businesses is the wrong remedy in this economy.  Hey look, we're being bipartisan, so you Dems should vote to extend the taxes as well! Finally, Congress still needs to act on the “tax extenders” and the alternative minimum tax “patch,” all of which expired on December 31, 2009. Congress needs to do something about these Bush-era taxes, or else they'll expire and this horrible stuff is going to happen.

We look forward to continuing to work with you in a constructive manner to keep the government operating and provide the nation’s small businesses with economic certainty that the job-killing tax hike will be prevented. We look forward to being the party of no in the future to prevent society from changing because we like our meager tax rates as is.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Song Parody: Love Song/Program

Right, so way back in November, I made a post about posting daily in December. That's what I'll be doing, or at the very least, trying my best to do. In days where I don't have that much time, I'll post up something simple, like lyrics for a song parody, or something like that. To sate my paranoia, all this stuff is copyrighted.

First post, an easy parody. Seen enough of these, the song probably doesn't need another. Screw it, here's another. Also:

Song Parody - Program
(From Love Song, by Sara Bareilles)

Out of caffeine,
and you tell me
to stay awake for a while.
The coding gets harder
even I know that.

Logged in for me
it's too soon to see
if I'm happy with this code.
It's unusual; I've never seen it.

Blank stares at empty strings
No easy way to say this
You mean well but
I don't know where to start

I'm not going to write you a program
'cause you asked for it.
'Cause you want one, in C.
I'm not going to write you a program
'cause you tell me it's pass or break in this.
If you're on your way
I'm not going to write this, okay?
If all you have is errors
I need a better reason to write you a

I learned the hard way
that they all say
C is the best
And all my pointers
run deep down under
you and your code insert;
it doesn't work...
This is not what I thought it was...

Hello to runtime fail...
Convince me to code this
Make me think that I want this too
I'm trying to let you see this as it is


Promise me
You'll leave the lights on
to help me code,
Dew, my caffeine gone.
'Cause I believe there's a way
you can code this because I say


If your code is nowhere in it
I don't want it for a minute
I'll code an MMO when
I believe that there's a reason
to write you a