Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hell, yeah!

Actually, I don't like wine. Trying to get me to drink wine, would probably just piss me off more. So yeah, you're all screwed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The great divide

All my life I have believed strongly in that line between exercise and masochism that should not be crossed by yours truly, under any circumstances. Despite this belief, I have a dark past as an exercise nut. At my worst, I would work out two hours a day, every day, seven days a week and I spent more time contemplating protein sources than I care to think about.

But I got better. Or maybe I just got lazy. Yeah, I think that’s probably it. Hiking with Pooch doesn’t count as exercise. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t.

So then the step-mum suggests that we start going to the gym together. Circuit training. It started regularly enough, with work-outs a couple of times a week followed by ice cream. So far so good.

I suppose I should also mention that this gym is…odd. They periodically like to play insane music like YMCA and Bee Gees. There are different categories of people in my gym.

First, there are the rich, fat people. They will come in with their friends, STAND on the treadmill and chatter for a bit before they say “oh, my legs are so tired” and move on to the next thing, and so on and so forth. After an hour of this, they will grab their MOSS water bottles, jump into their sports cars and no doubt feel very good about themselves for having spent a whole hour working out.

Second, there are the regular people. The sane ones that go 2-3 times a week and put in a moderate effort and then go out and buy an ice cream afterwards, or something.

The third type is the gym bunny. They’re the slim, perfectly toned people who look like they’ve never eaten a snack in their lifes, and they are always there, no matter what time of the day you decide to stop by. Most likely, they were all built in secret, underground laboratories. Some of them are models, all of them are annoying.

The gym bunnies never speak to anyone other than other gym bunnies. The other two categories are just slightly smelly air to them. Personally, I’ve been planted firmly in the regular people group. Then about three weeks ago, I started to notice a…shift. Slowly but surely I began to enjoy the process of using the gym equipment to inflict pain upon myself. I suffered and I liked it. And like any drug, you eventually need to move on to bigger doses and then even bigger ones.

So there I was the other day, buring through the exercise machines at breakneck speeds. Then a gym bunny enters, looks around with empty gym bunny eyes at all the free machines, before getting on the one right next to me. At first I thought that perhaps she simply didn’t notice me there, seeing how I’m a category two dose of slightly smelly air. The thought had no sooner formed in my brain, before the gym bunny made eye contact, smiled and said “hello” and drifted into whatever thought-dimension gym bunnies go to while they’re working out.

Mommy, I’m scared…

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Science and such

On Friday I have a meeting with my thesis advisor to wrap up my big, fascinating research project. Now, it may not have been the most thrilling project on earth. It’s not going to fuel a Hollywood blockbuster anytime soon. The world would have to go through some fairly extreme changes for that to happen.

Then again, there are weirder science projects out there.

Like, for example, the one conducted at Wayne state- and Auburn university in 1992 which examined the effect of country music on suicide. That was odd.

Not quite as strange as “Love and sex with robots” by D. Levy at the university of Maastricht in 2007. He predicted that around 2050, the state of Massachusetts will be the first jurisdiction to legalize marriage with robots. “At first, sex with robots might be considered geeky, but once you have a story like ‘I had sex with a robot and it was great!’ appear someplace like Cosmo magazine, I’d expect many people to jump on the bandwagon,” Levy said.

Personally, there a few people I’d rather jump on than a damn robot.

Granted, that project is very odd. But there are even stranger ones out there. Like the “rectal foreign bodies: case reports and a comprehensive review of the world’s literature” by Busch and Starling in 1986. The citations include reports of, among other items: seven light bulbs; a knife sharpener; two flashlights; a wire spring; a snuff box; an oil can with potato stopper; eleven different forms of fruits, vegatables and other foodstuffs; a jeweler’s saw; a frozen pig’s tail; a tin cup; a beer glass; and one patient’s remarkable ensemble collection consisting of spectacles, a suitcase key, a tobacco pouch and a magazine.

The world has literature on rectal foreign bodies. Who knew?

Then there’s the “safe and painless manipulation of penile zipper entrapment.” I swear I’m not making any of these things up. Most of them are online, even. Then there’s “pressures produced when penguins poo – calculations on avian defecation” by Breno Meyer-Rochow and J. Gal at the international university of Bremen and Lorand Eotvos University of Hungary in 2005.

Last but not least, there’s “Farting as a defence against unspeakable dread” by Dr. M. Sidoli in Washington DC, 1998. According to it's author, "this paper describes some features of the behaviour of a severely disturbed adopted latency boy. Peter was born premature, suffered several early hospitalizations and surgical operations, and at 2 months of age was removed from his mother's care by Social Services for neglect and abandonment. When feeling endangered, Peter had developed a defensive olfactive container using his bodily smell and farts to envelop himself in a protective cloud of familiarity against the dread of falling apart, and to hold his personality together."

MY project is nothing like either one of those.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

How to write a paper in college

Okay, so yesterday I just sent my thesis in to my thesis advisor again, for yet another look-over, or something. Writing a college paper of any kind, is nothing like in the movies. If I was a character in a movie, I'd sit at my little desk, with my hair in a very smart ponytail with calculated fly-aways, working like a little ant. This is how it really works:

1. Sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a well lit place in front of your computer.

2. Log onto MSN and ICQ (be sure to go on away!). Check your email.

3. Read over the assignment carefully, to make certain you understand it.

4. Walk down to the vending machines and buy some chocolate to help you concentrate.

5. Check your email.

6. Call up a friend and ask if he/she wants to go to grab a coffee. Just to get settled down and ready to work.

7. When you get back to your room, sit in a straight, comfortable chair in a clean, well lit place.

8. Read over the assignment again to make absolutely certain you understand it.

9. Check your email.

10. You know, you haven't written to that kid you met at camp since fourth grade. You'd better write that letter now and get it out of the way so you can concentrate.

11. Look at your teeth in the bathroom mirror.

12. Grab some mp3z off of kazaa.

13. Check your email. ANY OF THIS SOUND FAMILIAR YET?!

14. MSN chat with one of your friends about the future. (ie summer plans).

15. Check your email.

16. Listen to your new mp3z and download some more.

17. Phone your friend on the other floor and ask if she's started writing yet. Exchange derogatory emarks about your prof, the
course, the college, the world at large.

18. Walk to the store and buy a pack of gum. You've probably run out.

19. While you've got the gum you may as well buy a magazine and read it.

20. Check your email.

21. Check the newspaper listings to make sure you aren't missing something truly worthwhile on TV.

22. Play some solitare (or age of legends!).

23. Check out

24. Wash your hands.

25. Call up a friend to see how much they have done, probably haven't started either.

26. Look through your housemate's book of pictures from home. Ask who everyone is.

27. Sit down and do some serious thinking about your plans for the future.

28. Check to see if has been updated yet.

29. Check your email and listen to your new mp3z.

30. You should be rebooting by now, assuming that windows is crashing on schedule.

31. Read over the assignment one more time, just for heck of it.

32. Scoot your chair across the room to the window and watch the sunrise.

33. Lie face down on the floor and moan.

34. Punch the wall and break something.

35. Check your email.

36. Mumble obscenities.

37. Midnight - start hacking on the paper without stopping. 6am -paper is finished.

38. Complain to everyone that you didn't get any sleep because you had to write that stupid paper.

39. Go to class, hand in paper, and leave right away so you can take a nap.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Just how effed up do things have to get?

I have a friend named Pete. Actually, his name isn’t Pete at all. It’s Albert. But I’ve decided to call him Pete in order to protect his identity. It’ll be a bit like Superman’s glasses. We all like those. Glasses make people look smarter. That’s why I wear mine. Not bumping into things is just the icing on the cake.


Pete has a dog named Little. That’s his actual name. There’s no point in trying to protect Little’s identity, because dogs don’t wear glasses. Little is an English mastiff of about 250 pounds. He does not live up to his name. There are three things that Little love most in this world; his daddy (Pete), pillow stuffing and visitors. When his beloved master leaves the house to go to work as a nightshift security guard at Really Big Company, the little darling aims all his attention towards the sofa cushions and their soft, snowy white innards.

Because of this, Clever Dogowner Pete set up a camera in his living room, so that he could keep an eye on the baby from his laptop computer. So now, although he wasn’t able to stop his Little Pumpkin from tearing the Super Recliner Sofa to pieces, he could at least witness the murder. Sure enough, when the time came go about his security guard business, Sweetie-Pie was digging in with great zest.

When he returned to his laptop 20 minutes later, the sofa looked like Einstein’s head. But what truly caught Pete’s attention, was the unkempt young man sitting in it, holding his television set in his lap. Seems that during his away-time, the house had been burgled. Little had thought “Yay! Visitors!” and it wasn’t until the fella tried to leave through the window where he entered, that the doggie smelled a rat, thus planting said visitor in what was left of the sofa and keeping him there. Being a fairly bright young man, Pete naturally called our equivalent of 911.

The operator was sad to inform Pete that nobody would be able to come by his house until later that morning, since he was the only officer working at the station that night, and he most certainly coulnd’t deal with the situation alone, because it might be dangerous. Naturally, Pete was slightly ticked off, seeing how he was supposed to go home in less than an hour and the situation might just happen to be a little dangerous for him, as well. Not to mention for Doggie-Woggie, but he didn’t say that. Finally, the policeman called a couple of off-duty officers and they took the burglar away.

Apparently, Little wasn’t all that keen to let them into the house. But I digress…

The burglar was placed in a jail cell where he gave a full confession of that night’s events. Right down to how he had taken a leak in someone’s birdbath... Eight hours later, he was released due to lack of evidence.

Insane as it sounds, this is not even an unusual story. I know two more people just in my own social circle that has experienced pretty much the same things, with a few variations to the plot here and there. Granted, we’ve just had the most serious financial crisis since the great depression, but still… Our particular corner of the world has only been slightly affected by this. It’s also one of the few bits on the globe that actually makes money – a lot of money – rather than sustaining themselves on loans. You’d think we could stick enough cops in the station to answer a 911 call. I also can’t help thinking that it must be frustrating to become a police officer and find that you’re not able to do your job. Maybe that’s why the flight of cops from the police force to private security companies, is now considered to be one of the major national problems that politicians get off on talking about. Not that sitting around in a tv studio, chatting about it while wondering if the cameras are capturing you from your good side, is helping the situation all that much.

It’s a helluva creepy though that our 911 should work a bit in the same way that Pete’s camera did. “No, we can’t really help you, but we’d be more than willing to witness you being minced up by the psychotic axe murderer, ma’am.”

Mad As Hell! Kinetic Typography from Aaron Leming on Vimeo.