Monday, December 30, 2013

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How To: Carry Out Your New Year's Resolutions

             Ladies, gentlemen, it's that time of the year where you go to your family reunion, or hang out with your friends, and you see everybody screaming their resolutions to the world, because, of course, if you say it to everybody you might as well do it, huh? Well, here are some of the most common resolutions, according to Time Magazine, and here's how you actually do them. 

10: "I want to lose weight and get fit!"

           Sure you do, lady. Last year you went on five diets which somehow didn't work and you're ready to up the ante again and make a sacrifice for a couple of weeks. Maybe you'll even hit the gym and as a reward drink a light mocha, with whipped cream, of course. 

            Here's how you do it. Move your head sideways. Do this every time you're offered food. Of course, you can't refuse food all the time, you'll die. Just measure your portions and count your calories, at least in the beginning. Then, it becomes natural. Of course, try eating less portion of fattening foods and you should be good. Also, try exercising at least once every two days. It's better than nothing. 

9: "I want to quit smoking!"

             This might be one of the harder ones, and if food can become an addiction for some, this habit could be more difficult to quit. What many do is try to gradually lower their cigs by the day. This might work, but you must be careful not to binge smoke when you've made progress. If you're going to shock your way out of it, then make sure you go to a sauna or exercise a lot; that way, you'll sweat the nicotine quicker.

8: "I want to learn something new!"

Delve into the art of extreme violin.
            I still don't understand how people can fail this one in a whole year. It's really simple. Pick up a book about whatever it is you want to read. Sign in for lessons, be it some instrument, language, or maybe even a college course, online or physically. This is, fortunately, one of the easier resolutions to keep. 

7: "I want to eat healthier and diet!"

            If you're going out almost on the daily, than this one can be a tough habit to kick, but try going to the supermarket more often and cook your own meals. This one does work better if you take it gradually. It also helps if you spend some time surfing websites with healthy and delicious food recipes (Trust me, they exist and they aren't all greens).

6: "I want to get out of debt and save money!"

          Everybody kind of likes spending money. Hell, I'm guilty as charged. But there are simple ways to go about this one. Either you get a better job, a promotion (Discuss it with your boss, be assertive) or spend less, and pay your bills. Don't donate money, don't eat out (It's a lot cheaper to cook your own meals) try printing coupons or searching for promotions online, there's always something, and just make it all a habit.

5: "I'm going to spend more time with my family!"

           This one's really difficult if you're the man of the household and you're busting your ass with more than one job, or working overtime to be able to feed those hungry mouths. Kudos to you. If possible, try taking some errands home, and at least you can work while you spend time with your family. Granted, it's not the best choice, but it's better than nothing. If that's not the case, and you're fully capable of spending time go visit them, then just do it. Designate some time to visit them, after all, your friends should be able to give you a couple of hours.

4: "I want to travel to new places!"

           If you're struggling with number six, then I suggest you hold this one off until the next year. If not, then fret not, just make sure you get vacation time (If you have a family, make sure it coincides with everybody's vacation time) and travel somewhere you've never gone before. It could be a road trip, a cruise ship, a faraway country, a nearby country, hell, a neighboring state, the world's full of wonderful places and you'll be missing out if you're not keeping up with this resolution. 

3: "I want to be less stressed!"

              I'll give you this one, the world's full of stupid people. They stress me out a lot, but remember, most of them don't give a shit about you and neither should you give a rat's ass about them. If you've got a problem, and you can fix it, don't worry. If you can't fix it, don't worry. You control 100% of the shit that you can control so don't fret about everything else and just take a breather and remember that. Hakuna Matata or whatever works for you. 

2: "I want to volunteer!"

            This one can be simple. You could take a couple of hours every weekend and find out how your community needs help, whether it's a wandering orphan who could have his day made with a sandwich or a dog that can be taken to a rescue center. If you're looking for something more organized, ask around, chances are your friends are in some cause you could help in. Granted, this is simpler in high school or college, but it wouldn't hurt to ask your work buds either.

1: "I want to drink less!"

            Ah, alcohol, liquid ecstasy from the gods. If you can manage only!? a glass of wine or (good) beer a day then you're managing pretty well. There's always going to be an ocassional party and hell, almost everybody binges once or twice. If you're doing more than that, then yes, you've got a problem, but it can be fixed. This is going to piss off health junkies but try changing beers into sodas. For cocktails, you can gradually lower the alcoholic content and then change to lemonades or kool-aids. The idea is to get used to other beverages instead of alcohol. If the objective isn't to cut it out completely, this could do. If it is, then get help with the AA, bud. 

        In the end, getting your resolutions actually done amounts to gritting your teeth and actually doing something to change whatever you're doing. If you're feeling discomfort, then it's good, because it's a catalyst of change. Good luck with the next year, everybody, and I hope you'll actually work for your wishes. This time. For real. 


Thursday, December 5, 2013

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Admirable People: Nelson Mandela

         Today is one of the most tragic days I've lived to witness. The South African peace advocate, Nelson Mandela, known to many as Madiba, has just passed away after passing five months in a critical health condition. His life serves as an inspiration to those who want to improve the world through peace instead of force. 

        He took upon the task of eliminating the legacy of apartheid from social and political life in South Africa, and went on to become the first black president of the country. 27 years of his life were spent in prison, where, around the world, he became known as a bringer of peace. There was an international campaign which lobbied for his release, which was granted in 1990. 

         What's admirable is that even in the face of adversity, he prevented the use of violence. He was inspired by figures such as Mohandas Gandhi and Karl Marx, which provoked criticism from Right-Wing politicians and supporters. During his revolutionary acts, which were completely peaceful, and unsuccessful at first, he had to betray his principles and request arms to make a statement, which goes to show that even the best have to get their hands dirty sometimes. In fact, as soon as he found out that the resistance was creating violence, he set out to negotiate with the government to end it.

           Then, in 1994, after having gone through hell, he became president, and although he had gained many friends he felt alone. He was a simple man, donating one third of his earnings to the Nelson Mandela Children's fund. He also took upon the task of national reconciliation and increased welfare spending a few times. Although the country isn't perfect, he certainly improved it to a great extent. 

           He was known for criticizing the greater powers, for example, the intervention in Kosovo or the war in Iraq; he didn't think it was in those countries' rights to police the rest of the world. He is a man whose legacy will forever be remembered, among the ranks of great pacifists like Gandhi, Luther King, and all those who have come before him advocating for the use of reason and not force to solve problems. 

         I see him great in the sense that Ernesto Guevara was great, the sense that education is something that can change the world for the better, as, these men knew, those who are educated cannot be manipulated as easily as others. This is important to prevent a government from becoming totalitarian or otherwise oppressive. 

Madiba, may you rest in peace and may the world follow your example. 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

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Is Sasha Grey A Good DJ?

That geek is me, that girl in the back is Sasha gray, and that makes me FK%!N HAPPY!
          I had the pleasure of attending the Foam N' Glow Party, which was held in my hometown, and it was pretty awesome, I saw the sexy DJ Rhiannon, Chris Lake, Zyruz, but the attractive artist was the ex-pornstar Sasha Grey. She'd already been involved in music before, so I was interested to see if she would make a good DJ.

She rocked out this pretty cool hairstyle.
          She knew how to mix music, there were good beats and all, the songs were pretty decent, but I did have a couple of complaints. For one, she didn't interact much with the crowd, as in she would raise her hand every ten minutes or so and she never spoke , not once.

         Aside from that, the foam party was pretty well set up, but Zyruz and his brother were the ones who seemed the most involved, then Rhiannon. It was awesome to be able to see Sasha Grey up close, though, there's something to scratch off the bucket list. If she read this, I would just tell her to have a bit more of stage presence. 

Her carreer's taken a good turn, though. Kudos for you, Sasha, keep it up.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

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Movie Review: The Conjuring

        So, I just went to see what was presumably the scariest movie of the year, The Conjuring, which is based on some specific case the Warrens tackled which, so they say, was so heavy they didn't tell anybody about it in thirty years. So, this movie, directed by James Wan ,who incidentally also started with the Saw franchise a while ago, is supposed to be some heavy shit. Was it? Well, let me tell you about it.

I'll just leave this beautiful scenery here.
           I'd heard that some cinemas in the U.S. had to stop the film due to panic attacks suffered from people in the audience. Now, this movie's based on a "true story", so if you believe in some sort of god and ghosts and demons and the afterlife, then yes, it can be a little freaky.

Especially the demon part.
           If you don't believe in that sort of stuff then all right, at least it's a horror movie, you go on and see if it can give you some scares, all for shits and giggles. I'll have to tell you, if you've seen at least one or two horror movies before, then you've seen this movie before. And i'm not exaggerating.

          There are dark moments, silent moments, loud moments, the beds move, some kid appears in a mirror, there's a witch, it's like any other haunting movie, like a modern Poltergeist, and I'll be honest, it's one of the best horror movies I've seen in terms of stories and production and all, but I swear I can take my twelve year-old brother to see it and he'll come out psychologically unscathed.

I mean, that looks like my great aunt Tessie. Badly applied makeup, especially the lipstick.
         Still, the fact that this movie was so well-produced surprised me. And they did use some horror aspects that I'd either never seen or hadn't seen for a while, so of course, it was interesting. The story was good, too, but I knew that if I'd heard of it though listverse or something I would've passed it off as bullshit. How many "hauntings" haven't occured in the U.S. in the last hundred hears?

Typical haunting, deposited by a bull.
              Should you go see it in the movies? If you're not used to horror films, go ahead, it's a good starter, if you believe in gods and demons, then sure, why not? If you're a skeptic, though, you're not going to be as entertained, so it's really up to you. Still, if you go, then try to enjoy it, and leave the popcorn-holding to the man because a few girls dropped theirs around me.

As such.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

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How To: Promote/Explain Atheism

          As of late, atheism has been observed as less of something that can cause social stigma and more as a point of view that's increasingly being accepted around the world. Still, there are a lot of people that are having doubts, either being agnostics, or people who simply don't believe much in their religion anymore due to being open to other religions, not being decisive, and a variety of other reasons. 

          First things first, you cannot force anybody to abandon anything, due to, of course, basic freedom and morality. What you can do is recognize that people have the right to their opinion and you have a right to think that opinion is stupid or wrong. So the first step is that if the topic of religion or lack thereof ever arises, you shouldn't be afraid to express your take on the matter. Some people will get mad, some won't, some will pay attention and in the end that's the important thing. 

         As with anything there is, there will always be somebody who's worked on it before you have, so you can watch debates in which Richard Dawkins has participated (In the past, of course, lately he's been too immature), Christopher Hitchens, watch George Carlin's rants, etc., and learn the arguments, and know the usual counterarguments like Pascal's Wager, but always remember that the burden of proof lies with the believer. You can say anything exists if nobody can prove it doesn't.

        Speaking of already existing material, you can post it on Facebook, share it on Tweeter, give it a thumbs up in Stumbleupon, that sort of thing which will help it spread. If the content's good, trust me, people will like it and a good enough argument can change somebody's mind, no matter the circumstances. 

Unless, of course, a man deliberately ignores you.
          Just remember not to bash somebody with logical fallacies, like ad hominem or anything like that. That sort of attack is for somebody who doesn't have anything to base himself upon. So, remember, it's not something you can force on anybody but worry not for the world's already moving to this state of mind - atheism has increased in the newer generations, not by much but it's formidable enough. So, go ahead, promote it a little. We can speed it up.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

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How To: Survive A Shark Attack

          Well, it seems, according to some posts I've read on facebook, that it's shark week! So, yeah, I guess some homage to these scary bastards wouldn't be so bad, and the sort of tribute I'm paying them is showing you how to deny them a meal!

None of my delicious gluteus for you, Mr. Shark.
        So you're swimming on some beach, in some ocean, who gives a shit, you see a fin on the water. Thinking it's your stupid cousin or whatever, you ignore it, and then you see that terror-inducing silhouette below the fin and think: "Well, now I'm screwed". But wait! You can still save yourself!

*dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun*
           First of all, you have to understand that sharks usually don't eat humans and will attack humans when they confuse them with other animals such as seals (So if a shark attacks you, it probably means you need to lose some weight. That's why the shark's there, though). Still, there's more of a chance of lightning striking you than some hammerhead nibbling on your buttocks.

There's an even lesser chance of some shark-related natural disaster such as the above or the sharkquake.
         Can you prevent it, though? Yes. Stay away from steep drops, between sandbars, you know, wherever the beast fits. Also, most attacks happen in warm places such as Florida, Hawaii, California, Australia, South Africa, you know, those places where kids love to go.

You know, that sort of place.
          But out of thousands of species, only 20 shark types appear to attack human, and out of those, 4 actually kill humans, so who are these nifty not-so-little monsters?

           Well, the most infamous is the Great White. You know the type. Huge buster, almost half a ton of weight, and still, it can swim faster sleeping than you will with an adrenaline rush.

Bring it.
             Another one is the Tiger Shark, who has stripes while it's young reminiscent of a tiger. They reach speeds of 20 mph and their bones can cut through turtle shells. You're not wearing turtle shells? Well, don't worry, as a weak sack of flesh you wouldn't suffer long.

Frankly I'd be scared with one of these.
              The Bull Shark is as ferocious as it sounds, but wait! This one can get into freshwater and will go to rivers just because. And, coincidentally, this shark has been involved in the most near-shore attacks on humans. 

             The Oceanic Whitetip Shark, though, with its stupidly long fins, has attacked more humans than all the others combined. It tends to attack people in boat accidents.

            Now, an attack can come provoked or unprovoked. Yeah, it's self-explanatory. The provoked happens when some dumbass thinks it's a good idea to ride on one of the sharks and grabs its tail or whatever. There are three sort of unprovoked attacks, though.

Hey, Joe, cut it off, man.
Damn it, I told you I hate your songs, Joe! I swear I'll eat you one of these days.
            There's one which people call the Hit and Run. The shark wants to figure what you are, takes a small nibble, and when it sees there isn't near enough fat to feed, it goes away for ever. Then there's the Bump & Bite, which is the shark circling around you, bumping into you a few times, messing with you. Then it bites again and again until either he's bored or you die.

This is a victim of a hit and run.
           Then, the sneak attack. Not unlike the Hit & Run, but the first word you can change to Devour. Yup, the shark simply comes up, bites you and gets out of there. This one has the most fatalities, of course.

          So, again, preventative measures? Swim during the daylight, don't swim if there's a goddamn shark around, stay in a group, don't wander into deeper water, don't fucking bleed in the ocean, that's like telling them that you're hot and ready to serve, don't pee in the water, don't wear bright jewelry (Who does that while swimming, anyway?), and of course, if there are fishermen then be careful because they can drop off a lot of meat. 

Now, we're ready. You know thy enemy, now it's time to fend it off. 

             If there's a rock or something put your back on it. This reduces the beast's angles of attack. Now, when the bastard gets near, give it to him. Don't be a dumb asshole and try to hit the thing on the nose. Your fist can slip off into its mouth. Try to poke its eyes out or hit it in the gills. Resist the temptation to bite them off, though. You get to eat the shark if you kill it, trying it before is just stupid.

Time for a spinal fracture smackdown!
              Of course, if you can get your hands on a weapon, use it. A rock, stick, your goggles, a camera, a bazooka, I don't care, if you can get ahold you use it. If you don't, use your hands, like a man. If you're a woman, hopefully you have claws. Be creative. And don't do anything elaborate, use jabs (straight, forward hits), if not you'll lose some vital speed. 

Weak bitch.
              Don't give up, of course. If you give the creature enough trouble it'll look for some easier food (a fat seal, maybe). If you survive then get the hell out of the water immediately because you're pretty likely to bleed, and like I said, that's like putting salt on your ass and telling them to come and get you while you're hot. 

Fee-fi-fo *sniff* ew, no, that's a period.
             Once you're done, and you survive, then you have your bragging rights. Get a shark tattoo, show your scars, and of course, develop an awesome bar story. Or write a novel, you earned it.

Get this gnarly tat.