Tuesday, November 29, 2011

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Book Review: Basta De Historias!

                   This book was written by an Argentinian journalist called Andres Oppenheimer. The author of this book traveled around the world, visiting countries that are rising economically, and then countries that have potential to do better. He visits places like China, Singapore, South Korea, and India, and also places like Mexico, Uruguay, Colombia, and Venzuela. 

                    The author explains how Latin Americans have an obsession with history, while Asians and others around the world are obsessed with the future. He gives us examples of how other countries invest a lot of money on education, took away vacation time, added studying hours, and how that helped those countries turn into world powers in mere decdes. For example, South Korea was an agrarian country, which, with the constant threat by the North Koreans, started to compete to rise above them in terms of power. 

Motherfucking Seoul.
                    The book gives us a lot to think about. Yes, this is directed to Latinos. If we want to progress, economically, we have to stop making philosophers and make engineers. For every engineer there's 3 psychologists, but the opposite is true in Asia. I highly reccomend people read this book, it's going to leave you pondering all day long. 

Yeah, he's not the other Oppenheimer, but he's good, man.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

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Why Is Atheism Controversial?

                    All right, so, as I have mentioned on some previous blogposts, I'm an atheist. Now, if you didn't know, you might gasp, or you might pass it off. Hell, if you're an atheist you'll probably be happy. The problem is that an atheist, for some reason, has to be cautious in the Western world (and the middle east) about revealing his lack of belief, because sometimes you can become an outcast just because of the fact that you're an atheist.

Just saying... ain't that bad.

                    I never complain about religious people professing their beliefs, but whenever I turn down an offer to pray for somebody, saying something like "No thanks man, I don't believe in that", the other person usually gets pretty offended. Many people consider religion to be a private affair, but it's really something public. It affects the way you live. Lack of religion does too, but not in a bad way. 

Chaotic theists.
Chaotic atheist.

                   In fact, religion can affect you so much that you become either a good person who helps society in any way they can, or you can become somebody who goes as far as to distrust science, medicine, etc., halting progress whenever they can. Now, I'm not saying that most religious people are like this. In fact, many are very, very good people, and in the same way that there are bad theists, like Pat Robertson, for example, there are bad atheists like Joseph Stalin. 

Good theist (He even supported science)
Good atheist.

                   Now, the problem is this. There are still places in the world where atheism is a death sentence. Literally. Think about it. Many of you believe that if you reveal your atheism, you'd create a rift between you and your family. It's very annoying when somebody knows you don't believe and tries to threaten you into believing again, whenever they remember about religion.

I am looking to promote equality and prevent things like this.

                   There are places, where atheists are accepted, but this happens usually in either very well developed countries or in areas of youth where the young are willing to learn and reason. For example, in England, the term "Militant Atheist" is actually not well known. Now, those who believe atheism to be controversial, take a moment to see what we're actually doing when we say we don't believe. We're not insulting your god, praising your devil, etc. We're saying we don't believe in any of that. To us, those are just myths. 

Just so you know how well developed I'm talking about, this is prison in the most atheist country in the world.
(Sweden) There's a 46-85% of atheists/agnostics there.

                  Now, you're going to ask me, what about militant atheists like Richard Dawkins? That guy who has no respect for religion because he says it's harmful? Well, my answer would actually be, think about what he's saying. He's a pretty smart guy. I've found prologues he's written for classic books, including The Origin Of Species (He's a biologist). He does have some good points. I think many would agree that a hospital being built instead of a church would do more good. I'm not saying churches are useless. They collect money for organizations and stuff. Still, if we had more hospitals, the death toll would go down. Seriously. If God is supposedly everywhere, then you don't need a church to worship him. 

You can't deny he knows how to argue well.

                  Just remember, I'm not mad at theists for worshipping their own gods. In fact, if you're happy, I'm happy, but please, don't think of atheism as a delicate subject (this goes for hidden atheists too), because it isn't. It's a lack of belief. That's it. No communism, no anarchy, no worshipping Satan (he's a myth for us, remember?), and we're not here to insult you. You try to show us the wonders of religion, we try to show you the wonders of reason, that's it. This post is dedicated to bring harmony between atheists and theists, not to initiate a conflict, so if you will comment, do not insult, do not attack, for this is a debate that should be pacific. Now, rejoice!

Peace, bro.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

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Misunderstood Villains: Darth Vader

                  All right, so many of you know the history of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. He used to be a slave child in Tattooine, until the heroic Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon-Jin appeared to buy him off Sebulba. They sensed a great amount of midi-chlorians (cells that allow you to use the force) in him, and believed him to be the Chosen One. Basically, they expect him to be the one who ends with the Sith. They took him to Mace Windu and Yoda, who aknowledged his potential, but ordered Qui-Gon not to train him, as they sensed a darkness in him. 

I don't see darkness, do you?
                  Liam Nee- er, Qui-Gon trained the boy anyway, until he died. After that, Anakin was entrusted to Obi-Wan. Kenobi trained him, and while this happened, Anakin fell in love with Padme Amidala, the queen of Naboo (and the hot Natalie Portman). The problem was that the Jedi are not allowed to marry anybody, period. This made Anakin mad on the inside. He kept seeing her, though, making him the typical rebel teenager (except the force was strong with him). 

Tall, dark and handsome.
                  So, Anakin and Obi-Wan chop up bad guys, and gets a student, Ahsoka Tano, who slowly leads him into a path of maturity. Anakin also secretly marries Amidala, which is practically illegal for him. He also impregnates her. Obi-Wan actually knew about Anakin, but didn't want to tell him anything. 

That was a beautiful scene. 

                 Skywalker keeps having dreams about Padme dying while giving birth to the child, and is afraid. He makes friends with the Chanciller Palpatine, who offers him a way to save her. He reveals himself to be Darth Sidious, the emperor of the Sith, and tells him that to save Padme he is to join the dark side. He goes and tells Windu that he found Sidius, and Windu goes to arrest him with a team of four other jedis. When Sidius is overpowered, Anakin arrives just in time to help Palpatine defeat Mace Windu, and is knighted as Darth Vader. 

That right there? The 501st legion.

                  Anakin is fearful to return to the light side because he doesn't want to lose Padme, so he executes every order that the emperor gives, including 66, in which he leads an attack to the Jedi Temple. He kills many pupils. Obi Wan sees that he massacred the students, and started searching for him, alongside Yoda. This leads to a double battle in which Darth Sidious escapes in Coruscant and Obi-Wan defeats Anakin in Mustafar, where he lost both his legs and his other arm (he'd lost the other one before), and gets burned by the planet's lava. 


                   Once Sidius repairs Vader, now in his cybernetic costume, he starts to conquer the Galactic Empire. Vader feels the death of Padme, who died because she'd lost the will to live. This made him angry at himself, but he let it go on everybody that crossed him, which, eventually, would be his children. 

I can revive a man who has lost all of his limbs and almost burned to death, but  she lost the will to live, sorry.

                   After order 66, Vader couldn't return to the Jedi because they were practically gone. There was only Yoda and now Ben Kenobi. This made him remain with Sidious. He had an apprentice with whom he was going to overthrow the emperor, actually, but Vader decided to do it with his son. Once Luke and Leia appeared, he fought them, but simultaneously kept them alive. 

That was disturbing.

                   Vader dueled with Luke Skywalker for a last time, until he lost his right hand (again), and was waiting to be killed, but Luke attacked the emperor. The emperor, of course, fought back and almost killed Luke. Vader, after that, got up, lifted the emperor with one hand, and killed him, fulfilling his prophecy as the Chosen One. This was very debated when the last movies came out, and many people got to this conclusion, but I thought it best to remind you that Vader wasn't all that bad. 

Total badass.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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Misunderstood Villains: Hannibal Lecter

                    All right, so yesterday I was watching the movie Hannibal Rising, and I got this idea for a new kind of blogpost: Misunderstood Villains. So, many of you know Hannibal as one of the greatest villains to ever exist. He's a brilliant psychiatrist with a knack for being a serial killer. Oh yeah, he's also a cannibal. Many view him as one of the sickest villains to ever appear on screen, but, many people haven't really analyzed his situation well. 

That right there? Samurai mask.

                    In WWII, he was an opressed jew who lived with his parents and little sister in Lithuania. He was just a little boy, and one day, they came to occupy his house, where the Nazis failed. Everybody died except for Hannibal and his little sister. He protected her for the following days, and even drove the wolves away from eating his parents' corpses.


                    After a few days, some Nazi soldiers arrived and took over the house. They stayed there for a while, and sent troops to search for food. When they didn't find any, they examined the kids, to see which one had more meat, and they took Hannibal's little sister. He tried to stop them, but couldn't. One soldier was "good" enough to convince them to kill her outside. They then fed her to everybody, including Hannibal. 

Mishca's last moment.

                     He grew up as an orphan, then a smart student, with an interest in medicine. He was still angry at the men who killed and ate his sister, and started to hunt them down, one by one, with the help of his legal aunt of Asian origin, who had a lot of Bushido equipment in her house (she was a samurai, basically). With every man Hannibal kills, he starts to slowly lose his humanity, but he never loses his desire to avenge the death of Mishca (his sister). He killed the leader of the troupe after eating his cheeks (the part that the leader ate from Mishca). 

That guy right there? Leader of the troupe.

                    After that, he's jailed and is used to help the FBI catch criminals. In one case he was the culprit (but he was already locked up, so it was all right anyways). In the other case, he helps an agent in training to catch Buffalo Bill, in exchange for information about her unhappy childhood. In the end, he escapes, killing anybody who got in his way. 
Now there's the Hannibal we know and love.

                     What Lecter was really looking for is to seal up the Mishca-shaped hole that the Nazis left in his heart, and find true love. After escaping from prison, he tries to escape from a few henchmen that caught him, and Clarice Starling, who keeps trying to arrest him. He imprisons her and tries to change her into Mishca with mind altering drugs. He couldn't, but then invites her to a dinner, where the guest was the main course. They ate his brain together, and three years later, live together in Argentina. Hannibal Lecter had finally found true love and was finally at peace with himself, having never been able to forgive himself for having eaten his sister.

Now that right there's a man in love.

Monday, November 21, 2011

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5: Great "Found Footage" Films

                       All right, so many of you have seen the "Found Footage" genre of horror films. It all started a long way back, and lost its popularity until after the Blair Witch Project came out. After that, it found its way unto the big screen again with Rec. So, let's look at a few jewels of this genre...

5: REC

                      REC is a Spanish movie which is supposedly shot from the point of view of a cameraman. It starts with him and a reporter going to a mission with a bunch of firemen. So, they get into the department building, and everybody's scared. When the guys go upstairs, they find out that people started turning into a sort of rabid zombie, and stay downstairs. They keep going upstairs to kill some of them again, but in the end everybody dies.

Of course, the sexy lady dies last.
                      What makes this movie good is the tension of being in a building with crazy people (and zombies) and not being able to go outside (you tried to get out and you got shot). Everybody starts to panic, and even when professionals are sent in, they start to panic and get infected. In the end, the cameraman sacrifices his life to save the reporter, who ends up dying anyways (but she lives in the second film anyways)(YOU CANNOT SAY THAT THESE ARE SPOILERS IF ALL OF THIS HAPPENED YEARS AGO).

Sexy lady right there, last to die.
4: Cloverfield

                       This is the first movie of this style I got to see (I was about 13 years old). It was awesome to see the destruction of New York by a huge monster (that turns out to be a baby). So, this dude has a party, and then tries to escape with his friends, and they die one by one in a horrible way. So, the dude in the end rejoices with his girlfriend (or friend, It's not very well defined) and then gets nuked with the monster baby.

This could be the size of a lizard or huge as shit.
                       The movie was great because there was a lot behind it. Everybody wondered what the creature was, where it came from, why it had smaller creatures on it, what those were, what the thing that fell from the sky in the beginning was, and a lot more. It was a huge conspiracy, and when they mentioned that the Clover monster was a baby, you can only imagine where it comes from. Damn Lovecraftian theories, huh?

What's that in the sky right there?

3: Paranormal Activity

                       This one beats Cloverfield in the list, because, although it didn't mean the revival of Found Footage, it was one of the scariest movies ever made. Many people got heart attacks just watching it (I actually pissed my pants of laughter). The end was just funny as hell. 

Nobody's actually sure about what's going on.

                        The thing that made this movie awesome was the fact that people were stupid enough to actually get scared of what was happening (nothing). I think that for what the girl was doing, ghosts would have been scared. But that's just me. 

Whoa, there's a shadow there. Hand me the shotgun.

2: Cannibal Holocaust

                      Now, this. This is the first film of the genre to exist. The movie's one of the most violent ever, and, many people were scared to hell with it. It's about a guy who goes to the amazon to meet cannibal tribes and rescue somebody, and then has his team killed in horrible ways. 

Although this looks old, it's actually an 80's film.

                      The film is banned in a lot of countries because of its graphic violence. Some thought it was a snuff film because the special effects were so good. For example, there's a scene where they stab a girl with a huge stick all the way through her body (you can imagine where it starts and where it ends). Many thought it was real. They really had a woman sit on a stick (of course, with a mounted seat) and hold the other end of the stick with her mouth. There were also animal abuse scenes where they really killed animals, and that made the film both deeply disturbing and graphicly violent. Also, there were rumors that the director had actually disappeared, which added credibility to the film. 

I'm not allowed to actually put a picture of the girl, but here's a poster.

1: The Blair Witch Project

                      Without this movie, the genre would actually be dead. The movie's about a bunch of students who enter the woods searching for information about a witch. They find a bunch of weird stuff and disappear. In the end, like in all found footage films, everybody died. 

I still have no idea what this means.

                      Now, what makes this film so incredible is the campaign the moviemakers had made. They had grabbed a few cinema students and told them to disappear from everywhere. They couldn't go out, they couldn't anything. They promoted the film, saying it was actual lost footage that they found in the woods. This made a lot of people actually look for the film. The movie's budget was 25 grand, and they ended up with almost 25 million dollars. Talk about results, huh?

Imagine, promotion like this, big earning, my friend.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

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How To: Mosh

                All right, so I've got plans to go see Megadeth tomorrow (actually today, just a lot later), and of course, there will be mosh, and it will be brutal. So, to all of you guys out there who are going to a metal concert and don't know what to do in the mosh pit, just read this.


               First of all, there are rules. They're unwritten, but they're still rules. The first one is that if a fellow mosher falls down, you go out of your way to get him the hell up. The dude can die down there. What can happen if you try to help? You could maybe get a small push or something, but that's serious business, moshing is not a way to hurt people. 

It's not about leaving people like this.

              Dude, don't cop a feel. Trust me, female moshers, they don't fly with that. If they won't beat the shit out of you, somebody will. It's just wrong, man. Also, don't throw punches around. Like I said, you don't mosh to beat people up. You'll be unable to run and very outnumbered. Apologize if you hit somebody by accident. 

Remember dude, YOU'RE NOT A KOALA.

              If you see somebody that's trying to get out, for the love of god, run to him and push him out. That kind of helps always appreciated. Also, if somebody's pretty hurt, ask if you can lift him to security, and have everybody crowd surf them to the front. 

This is crowdsurfing mexican style.

              Possibly, the most important rule of all is: don't pull people in. If they want to mosh, they'll mosh, sooner or later. You don't know if they're sick, hurt, or they just don't want to. Just, don't be a jerk. Trust me, I've been pulled into some mosh pits when I didn't want in, and I got pissed

This is what getting pulled into the pit is like.

             Now, if you want to worry about clothing, wear something very, very light. You'll need to be mobile, and you'll be covered in sweat (it's hard to take sweat out of heavy clothing). Use laced shoes, because untied shoes tend to get lost pretty easy. If you can keep your belongings in buttoned pockets, do so. Also, don't be so stupid as to use glasses. If you're moshing, you ain't that far in the first place. 

I just remembered, dress like her if you're a girl, but don't do that, for the love of god.

            Let's take a small look at position. You're going to want to have your arms raised, but don't look like you want to hit somebody. Don't have your arms down, or your face will get fucked up. Also, before you go in there, gauge out the intensity of the mosh. If you're going to a Pixies concert, you'll end up covered in sweat. If you're going to a Slayer concert, you'll be covered in blood. 

Go with them, they shall teach you the way.

             If you're going to be on the sideline, push people back in the pit, and keep those kids from falling. They'll thank you. Also pull people out if they need the help. If you're in, and you know there's a pause coming, stop. Moshers usually stop when there's a pause, and start again when the song gets going. 

If it gets boring, the crowd will just stay looking like in the "shreds" videos.

             Now, stay hidrated. Drink before or after moshing. Gatorade works fine. Moshing is actually very athletic and you will get tired, so be careful. Also, have some friends there so they can be ready to pull you out of the pit if you need it. All of this is essential so you don't pass out. You pass out and you're dead, bud. 

That right there could mean death, beware.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

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How To: Shake Hands

                  You'd think that every man would know how to shake hands, but you'd be surprised. There's a lot of wrong ways to shake hands. We'll see these individually, and then I'm going to tell you how you really shake hands. The importance of learning this is first impressions. Shake another man's hand in the wrong way, and trust me, you'll regret it for life. 

That right there, not acceptable.

                  The first one you don't want to do is the bone crusher. This is when you grab somebody's fingers and crush them with the force to desintegrate a human's skull.This leaves the other man in pain and will not give him a chance to grip your hand. This makes the other think of you as a guy who fakes respect others give him, or as somebody very, very controlling.

And a douchebag.

                  Another one you don't want to do is the limp/dead fish. This is when you give your arm, and instead of shaking, will leave it loose, so the other person can fling it up and down like a dead fish. This will make you seem insecure, because you show no control whatsoever.

That right there. Don't do that.

                  One that a lot of people don't like a lot is the politician's shake. This is when you shake somebody's hand, and then use your other hand to clasp their hand between yours. This kind of handshake means you're trying to tell the other something... figure it out.

Use this one only if you have a Machiavellian mind.

                  The never-let-go is one of the most crappy handshakes ever. You start shaking the other guy's hand, and don't let go like five minutes later. This, of course, will make you look like a needy wimp who still sucks on his mother's... you know what? I'll leave it at needy.

                  The sweaty handhsake also sucks. You just let the other guy know you're nervous. 

I dare you to shake these.

                  So, how do you do a good, manly handshake? Firstly, make sure that your palm is never facing up. Always sideways or down (it's a sort of instinctual thing). Firm grip, not too loose, not too tight so as to crush the other guy's bone. Shake up and down at the same rhythm a few times, and then let go. If you want to look generous, a simple clap on the guy's elbow with your other hand will do. Also, make eye contact, this is important. If you give a good handshake like this, you show that you are a man to be reckoned with. That's always a good thing. Always.

This sums it up.