31 August 2006

So Incredibly Disappointed.

I'm going to delay the AA Stewardess picture and (possibly) my schedule since there are more pressing matters.

It all started this morning at TKD. We need uniforms, and that's not surprising. Ok, cool. I started out around 1420 to go to the bus stop, and when it finally came, I realized I left my wallet in my room. So I went back, and the next bus I caught was at 1530 or so. 20 minutes later, I was at Lamar and Justin. Had to walk 0.4 miles to the uniform place. Oh and btw, today was OZONE DAY, so I didn't even need my wallet.

I show up and.. guess who's there? MY TKD INSTRUCTOR. So he teaches TKD, and then tells everyone to show up at his store to buy uniforms and some bogus book. All right, whatever. I've had my share of mooching as well (the Canada trip was all expenses paid w/o food...go airmiles, poo on AA).

Then he tells me that he doesn't accept credit cards. WTF. He says there's an ATM nearby in the shopping complex. I don't know why, but everyone assumes I have a car. I don't have a car. Period.

BUT My Washington Mutual Mastercard hasn't come in, so I don't have it. Also, I don't know how to use credit cards at ATMs. Great. Anyway, for some reason, I walk down about half a mile (shopping complex), and then up about half a mile (Shell Gas). Like I said, I forgot why. I want to say I was looking for a WAMU branch, but probably not.

Then I gave up, and I'm coming back on Monday. I started searching for a familiar bus route, and I found a #15. Whoo. It said Red River. Familiar. Kind of. I hop on, and it takes me alll the way around the route and soon (30 minutes later), I start getting fed up, and decided to get off at any familiar stop. It brought me all the way around (in a complete circle), passed the bus stop I got on (passed it in the opposite direction), and 2 minutes later, it was at Highland Mall.

2 minutes later. Highland Mall was 2 minutes from that Shell Gas station I was at earlier, I just didn't see it. Now it's getting ridiculous, and I'm laughing for no reason. There are going to be news reports of a crazy brown guy later today.

Highland Mall is familar, but the #7 Duval bus isn't there, so I got hungry and went to Jack in the Box. Just as I walk in, the #7 bus pulls the corner. No worries, it always waits about 15 minutes. I get my Oreo Ice Cream Business, and head to the stop to get on the bus. Then the bus driver is like NO. NO. NO ICE CREAM. Ok. Understandable. Then I opened my mouth to ask him when he was leaving, but before I said anything- NO I CANT ALLOW ICE CREAM HERE. Again. Wtf? So yeah, I got like a 3 minute brainfreeze eating 1/2 of a Jack in the Box Regular Oreo Ice Cream and then got on the bus to come back to campus.

I'm not going to assign blame and behave like a lower-class citizen (examples include "stupid f***" (referring to a police officer) and http://www.xanga.com/jason0h). The latter is particularly rofl, even though I'm going to light him on fire one of these days.

Here is a council-alleged list of infractions:
  • Failure carry a wallet at all times
  • Failure to realize it was OZONE DAY and sheepishly offering ID card.
  • Failure to carry sufficient cash
  • Failure to demand Mastercard from WAMU (it has been delayed 4-5 months)
  • Failure to see/realize Highland Mall from Shell Gas
  • Failure to control temptation, and waste 1/2 of a Jack in the Box Regular Oreo Ice Cream
  • Infliction of unnecessary and uncomfortable pain on brain
  • Failure of time management:
    • Excessive and pointless walking along Airport Blvd.
    • Not questioning what #15 actually means, nor whether it is a campus-bound bus
    • Not using idle time to read upcoming lecture notes instead of looking out windows at the lowers
    • (In Sum) 3 hours and $2.70 totally wasted, for no reason
To make up for those three hours, I'll go to bed 30 minutes late, and wake up at the usual time.


29 August 2006

Moved in and Class tomorrow.

Well, more like, I'm partially moved in. I'm missing a pillow, a comforter (nights get cold these days...), and my DVD case. The rest is more/less unnecessary.

GTT was today, and Mr. Brown, the leader of the savage pack, was making some speech while I was walking by. Temptation to shine 4 watt awesomeness in his face as I walked by was killing me. oof.

Also, the rain gods listened to my prayers, and it started to rain, only to stop 20 minutes later, so GTT resumed. Damn it. The problem with rain around here is that it's too little, just enough to piss me off. After it rains, this horrible stench rises from the pavement, probably be cause the rain was too weak to wash away the filth, but enough to let it soak into the humidity and ruin my day. But I like rain, so I'll take anything.

So it was nice to get on a plane in such short notice and go to Canada. Haven't been on a plane in a while, so it's nice, except that it was AA, so the flight could have been better. Of course, it's not the fact that they don't even give a bag of pretzels, nor the glares I get at my Dasani, nor the cramped seats, nor the passengers that forget people sit behind them, and recline their seat back just for the hell of it that was most irritating.

For me, it's safe to say that traveling on American Airlines was shitty before 9/11 and got worse after 9/11. The flight attendants! Look. I'm sitting in a cramped seat next to some random brown dude (Toronto...wtf) who snored the entire time. Don't give me that "my job sucks" look when you give me my tomato juice. Smile, lose some weight, and widen those eyes.

I have no idea where AA gets these horrible bimbos to do the job. In fact, I'm going to be petty and list a bunch of associations I plan to boycott when I grow up (which.. is going slowly).
  • AA
  • Boeing
  • GM/Ford/Domestic manufacturers
  • AOL (I won't talk to you if you still use AOL in 15 years.)
  • UT System (for their constant rate hikes and I didn't get a free tshirt today)
Actually its mostly just car manufactuers and airlines. So sue me.

Couple of days ago I read this interesting article about flights and how they cool the ground during the day and warm it during the night (?- Yeah that's what I thought too). Don't worry- it's woefully short.

Name: "Hot Trails"
Info: Scientific American, Sep2006, Vol. 295 Issue 3, p28, 3/4p, 1c

Somehow, Google Scholar didn't work. First time it's failed on me. A class schedule and picture of a typical flight attendant comes tomorrow.


It's the 21st century and disconcerting that not everything is electronic, and fools still rely on paper. I have a 4 hour "paper-signing" conference tomorrow for my tutoring job... wtf?

And recommendations/signatures/bills are still mostly done in paper. People need to wise up.

Oh and as you may know (or not), I was in Canada for the weekend. Details to follow.

For kicks, here is my Fall 2006 Schedule. I will post a nicer one later.

Fall 2006

23 August 2006

High off ELO / TV = poison

UPDATE: New Blog design. Comments please.

I've pretty much been listening to ELO all day, and watching Nip/Tuck, which is so awesome. Guys, TV is my new poison. I didn't realize how much good stuff is on TV. I finally understand why people are so hooked to TV.

So addictive! I've gone through 2 seasons of Nip/Tuck in less than three days, which is a new record for me, although not for everyone.

This is a bad thing, since I'm very easily amused. I would give Nip/Tuck and Grey's Anatomy and Southpark a minimum of 9/10. Everyone else who watches those episodes can easily see the cliched moments approaching, but somehow I can't. ("How the hell did you know that was going to happen?") This is the inherent nature of my easily-amused-ness. I can't predict things happening. Oh the sweet poison.

I was waiting in the North Dallas Bank today (running chauffeur duty + administrative duties), and I was so incredibly bored. There was ONE newspaper section on the center table, and it was (of all sections) the SPORTS section of the DMN. It was incredibly boring. The only redeeming thing about it was the Fry's ad on the last page, which I've memorized after staring at it for so long.

Pop music today is so... Horrible. So depraved and incorrigible. Listening to the older songs are much better- ELO (although they are British), Bobby Darin, The Turtles, etc. I really like how people back then actually appreciated technology. I suppose it's because technological revolution was just starting, and life was getting better. Now, we all take it for granted, failing to realize the reliability of what we've indulged ourselves in. When's the last time your refridgerator stopped working? When's the last time the power went out? And for how long?

After Sputnik was launched, legislation was passed to increase funding for science and technology, but those forward looking times have seriously faded with political administrations bending to radically dangerous forces like the church.

I can understand the flawed image that the Middle East holds, but other countries are legitimately losing respect for the American administration. The military should be moved out of tactical/offensive missions, and moved to peacekeeping (in conjunction with the UN), relief aid, and Bolton should be fired (there's no point in keeping someone who doesn't try to further legitimize the UN). Funding should be increased for science/technology (taking Britain's example) instead of spending money on useless projects (see http://www.heritage.org/Research/Budget/wm889.cfm). More oversight is needed.


This is what the US Military should concentrate on, probably a more appropriate way to project power.
Frankly, I think this country is getting to large to manage; it's not long before corruption starts to take a toll on the public, similar to India and China. The EU has set a good example; smaller countries in a cooperative relationship make more sense.

Well, I'm not a shaker or a mover, so I'll just watch.

21 August 2006

Another day of shadowing

Today, I saw one of the most obese patients ever. I swear, she must have been over 450lbs. People wonder why I eat so little... it's because of moments like these. I see these people, and I think- 'I'm going to skip my next meal...'

Another man had blue spots all over his body. I'm serious. Little blue indented (2-3 mm) dots. I later found out that he was a regular drug user. Interesting. I get to meet all kinds of people. Then I asked -"It's Monday.. why are we seeing so many patients in the middle of the day"

Of course, Dr. A grew up in Plano, so he knows the bubble community from whence I have emerged. "Growing up in Plano makes you oblivious to the rampant unemployment in other areas. Some people don't have to work, so they choose not to."

That's absolutely sickening. Why not strive for a better life? What do they think of when they see the future? Is it just a big grey slate? How do you live life with a grey slate? I'll tell you what I see in my future only if you knock some wood three times and ask me in private*.

The summer semester has taught me much, and I'm glad it's over in a very productive fashion. I'm going to go play with my $100 flashlight. Yes. I got it now, and you're about to get owned by the LUXEON LED 100 LUMEN 4 WATT AWESOMENESS.

*: I must see you knock before I answer. Crazy? Yes. Best safe than sorry.

18 August 2006

If I was a hobo. / Etiquette

I had to go to the airport today, and I'll say, hobos are getting to be real slackers. If I was a hobo, I'd totally live at the airport, under one of the many overpasses. I have lots of trouble sleeping in extremely quiet environments. In fact, I'd fall asleep really quickly at an airport. Something about jets taking off and landing is very comforting. Also, the council can hitch rides without having to resort to using their C-class jets. Win-win.

Originally, I was going to make some diagrams illustrating rules of etiquette I try to follow when shadowing, but that's troublesome, so I made ONE diagram, and that should be enough.
1. Doctor + Me.

This is easy. A flanking position (assuming Doctor at E) would be G or I. These two positions provide 1) humbleness (behind) and 2) communication (following at H would make it difficult to communicate).

A, B, C don't make sense, since I'm always following. F, D are reserved for other doctors, people of similar standing.

2. Doctor + Doctor + Me

This second scenario is tricky. If both Doctors are at [D,F] or [A,C], then problem solved; the ideal position would be H and E, respectively. Yet often, this is not the case. Doctors often follow a humble code themselves, and one finds an arrangement with a Doctor at A and F. Here, rules go out the window; there are no correct answers (although there are wrong ones). D is sometimes acceptable, but B,C are forbidden. Sometimes, the Doctors are at [A,E]. This is even wierder.

I suppose the main point is stated in 1). A flanking position is always ideal. Honorific and humble systems make lots of sense. Ideally, the subordinate behaves humbly to an upper, and the upper sports a paternalistic attitude towards the lower, offering advice not only on work issues, but also life, hobbies, free time, etc. The lower is encouraged to reveal details, and this works to his benefit, as leniency can be granted during difficult times. Over time, the subordinate would be come an upper, only to teach another.

This system would have a hard time being implemented here, as most people would have a hard time differentiating between a "lower" (who should be thought of as a student) and a "personal slave", since most white people are idiots*. The power would be abused and dissent would rise. Also, there's always this strive for equality, which isn't bad, just that when you know two things aren't equal, there's no point in forcing it.

The strive for equality also leads to girls cursing like truckers. Is it so necessary? I know girls that cuss 20x more than me, and complaining always brings up the gender issue. I can't quite put a finger on why girls shouldn't cuss so much, so I'll keep mum for now. I can't tell why anyone should cuss at all, actually. "releasing emotion" through words seems barbaric, especially since the problem still exists.

[Problem + Emotion] - Cussing = [Problem]

Just fix the problem. Like how I'm going to watch some dramas, and fix my problem.

*: See US Presidential Elections 2000 and 2004.

17 August 2006

Pain, among other things

Today was the first day of shadowing, and although it's always been there, I suppose I just noticied it today.

There's this big drive on all the tower floors, to "reduce pain". Of course, that's not a bad thing, but most of the patients that come in there have been smoking for 40 years, and then expect to have all their pain removed by a couple of morphine drips. That was a bit irritating, because patients need to stfu, and stop sneaking out for smoke breaks.


1. 55 year old, Male, African American

Comes in with complaints of SOMETHING on his foot. This is Dallas, so everyone's expecting something kickaess. Naturally, it was kickaess, but probably not for the patient. It was this big pus-filled abcess. Yeah.. Then the doctor had to pop it. Whoo. There goes my lunch. Probably one of the nastiest abcesses I've ever seen. At least it didn't squirt. I tried my best to maintain a very stoic countenance, but I found the sides of my mouth clenching for relief. But that's not the weird part.

During the course of the procedure (draining + evaluation), he was smiling with this very pretentious looking top-hat, as if he was about to break into some dance routine. I later found out that he was a little mentally unstable. No one smiles when a metal probe is 4 inches into an abcess, because it hurts like hell.

2. 36 year old, Female, African American

This lady was also mentally unstable. Her wound was nothing new; small, chronic, easy to cure (for normal people, anyway). She kept talking about when she found out she got Diabetes Type I during her childhood and her friends would sneak her candybars and she'd end up in the ER. Yet, like an Alzheimer's patient, she continued to consumed pilfered candy. Oh well. Then she started talking about her podiatrist, and everyone got the feeling that she had a crush on him.


Beyond that, usual stuff, crazy people in the hospital (the above mentioned were clinic patients), some people being told that they'd lose their leg, and others being told that the only emotion their father/mother can feel is pain. Harsh, yes. Take care of your body. Although I'm probably not one to say that.

I remembered this one funny incident, which only resurfaced when accusations of being a stereotypical Plano elitist were directed toward me.

During one of the meetings, we were discussing "car safety". The RA asks "What's the best way to keep your car safe, from broken into, and possibly being stolen?".

Then answer was obvious. Not was. Is obvious. The answer IS obvious. Engine immobililzer technology. I promptly raised my hand. "A small magnetic chip inserted in your key will enable the ignition mechanism to lift the safety locks, allowing you to start your car". Rofl. At that time, I thought all (relatively recent) cars came with it, like passenger side airbags.

Apparently not. EI technology was (then) found on certain Honda models among others. Oh well. The accepted, "Big Brother" answer is "keep your valuables from being seen from the outside".

Just because Ford and GM make shitty cars doesn't mean you have to alter your behavior. Oh and some South African invented a system that sprays gasoline and ignites it to anyone carjacking you. We had much fun discussing this (Doctor + Me + Drug Rep). Then I mooched some free lunch from the drug company. Huzzah.

16 August 2006


Tomorrow morning is the first shadowing day, expect interesting stories. Also, you can comment on this post on what I should write about.

-Summer Business
-Plan for the next 2 weeks (1.5 weeks now...)

11 August 2006


Final on Monday. Look for a post either Monday or Tuesday afternoon, probably chronicling shadowing events.

09 August 2006

End of Apartment Business

Since I'm about to move out of the apartment on Monday, I have to clean up, and this means eating all the food I've been stockpiling for the last 2 months. As a result, I've come up with interesting combinations.

I just threw together some pasta, marinara sauce, corn, chili powder, and olive oil, just to see what it would taste like, and also to start finishing up on my food. Not too bad actually (one must be careful when eating corn). Even if it did taste bad, the taste (along with everything else i.e. life) would get drowned out when I started watching some dramas/Korean movies. Another ingredient that must be finished: milk.

Later today, I will probably have oatmeal, and then again tomorrow morning, just to start finishing off the milk. Oh and there's cereal too. Free breakfast to anyone that shows up. Also, if anyone has any more ideas on how to combine pasta, marinara sauce, and corn, please post them.

Another thing that must happen is cleaning of the room/bathtub. Cleaning the room is pretty easy- throw everything into 2-3 suitcases and vacuum. Cleaning the bathtub looks to be troublesome. Perhaps I can invite some of my lower Asian friends over to help. I'm going to have big problems when I actually move out of college (and dorms) since I can't live by myself very healthily. Oh well. I have 2 years to clean up my act and/or acquire a butler.

I got out of CVS today and I noticed a very distinctive smell in the air. It's said that smell is the most nostalgic, and only one word came to mind with this smell: Calcutta. O Shitz. yes. Instantly, the hippie biker that passed me by was held suspect of trying to steal my wallet. Damn that city.

Finals (or finaL) are coming up. Here's the schedule for Monday, pretty much set in stone.

9-12pm: Japanese 412L Final.
12-6pm: Cleanup, straighten things out, eat the rest of the food (seriously).
7pm: Departure to Plano. This makes me very happy. Yay. Plano. Bubble. Hippie-less. Can avoid anyone at will.

Again, I'm taking 2 hooligans, but I have room for 2 more, probably lots of trunk space too.

$20 a pop.

Normally, I would be sad Japanese is ending (usually I'm sad that classes are ending, since I tend to like the ones I take), but this overwhelming feeling of awesomeness in anticipation of return to Plano kills the sadness. But I bet you, in one week, I'll start missing it.

Strangely enough, I don't miss Physics so much. Probably because it tries to own me all the time, so I'm in hiding.

Wa, uhala po, meme. Rofl.

07 August 2006

Like drinking chewing gum

A couple of days ago when I went to HEB, I bought this Sweet Tea "Honey and Mint" flavor, and it's been wreaking havoc on my throat ever since. It's mint flavor, which explains the feeling of drinking chewing gum everytime I sip it.

Yet, I, like an Alzheimer's patient, continually forget it. After taking a sip from my nearly full glass, I must drink the rest, with hopes that I'll acquire a taste sometime before bottoms up. Unlikely.

But that's not the point of today's post. I've lived in a lot of cities - Lucknow, Montreal, Ottawa, Plano, and finally I'm temporarily existing in Austin. Note, I "live" in Plano, but "exist" in Austin, simply to get an education.

I will now compare Austin... and Singapore. Of course, one may complain that there is no comparison, but you mustn't jump the correct conclusion so quickly.

Quick Facts:

Austin: 669.3km²
Singapore: 699km²

Singapore is only marginally bigger! (~4% bigger). To be fair and faithful to being a quantitative sciences disciple, I could normalize the values, but that will prove useless, as you will see in a moment.

Poverty Line:
Austin: 14.4%
Singapore: Not Reported, simply because it's probably not significant enough to measure. Hence, I will be conservative and place it at 2x the unemployment rate: ~6%

Austin: 15947580000
Singapore: 123000000000

Best Education Institution:
Austin: UT
Singapore: NUS.

For the record, UT is probably better. Probably. Except everytime I see that "Time Warner Cable.. it's a winner" commercial, I want to retract that statement, then go on a shooting spree.

If you want to act like a bunch of savages on your own time, whatever. In fact, up the ante and remove those shields, you pussies. Remove each other from the gene pool. But every once in a while, someone says (or implies) when asked "Why'd you come here?".. "UT Football is good".

At that point, the council explodes, and the emergency supression technicians start pumping norepinephrine.

Claim To Fame:
Austin: Leslie, the transvestite running for mayor. (それはちょっと...困りますね.)
Singapore: Changi Airport. Hot. Singapore Airlines. Hot. Singapore Airlines Stewardesses... Hot.

GITRDON Scale (0-10):
Austin: 7
Singapore: N/A. (At this point, even 0 has a value. Asian countries are exempt from this scale.)

Number of Idiots:
Austin: Plenty.
Singapore: N/A

I hate this place. When am I going to leave.. (in a week, then back for 2 weeks). Although I'm very glad I can escape to the Internet, where everything is as civilized as one would like.

You see, this place is.. testing me. To put up with this place and not be changed by it (for the worse) is 133tness.

Today seems like a very unproductive day.

06 August 2006

Twice in a month.

This is the second time someone has cut me off this month. The first time, someone sped into my lane, and I had to brake pretty hardly. The second time.. about a couple of hours ago.. I had to go from 40mph to 0 in 10 feet. I think it was the hardest braking episode I've ever done.

This town blows. And the hippies piss me off. Jeez. My leg is still shaking from that moment. Plano is so much better. So what if they're all Republican. It's probably better to live in a city full of Republicans than get rammed into every other corner here.

And all these hippies are just Democratic to be different; they probably have no idea what stem cells are.
I've taken up reading the Molecular Biology textbook again, after printing some more color pages out at ME lab. haha. Mooch. Yes. Also, probably a documentary or so every day. Come join the fun.

Posting has been scant because internet has been scant.

03 August 2006


Today, when I got on the RR/CR bus, I was forced into conversation. I was reading my oral performance handout, when the bus driver "Jose" comes and sits across me and says:

Jose: Whatcha reading?
Me: [Hands him handout]
Jose: What's this? Chineez?
Me: Japanese.
Jose: Are you Chineez?
Me: No...[wtf]
Jose: Do you believe in Cheezus?
Me: No..[lol]
Jose: So.. what.. no god? No Cheezus?
Me: I guess not.
Jose: I, you know, I don't need no churches. I just think of him. Cheezus. You know what Jose means? Jose is the father of Cheezus. Jose and Mary. Parents. of Cheezus.
Me: [o jeebus.]

Oh well. We probably need all kinds of people.

I had a job interview today- for the UTLC. It was a group interview, where they split us into 3 groups (and afterwards, groups of 2 for a mock tutoring seesion). The first session had to do with offering prioritized advice to a student on academic probabtion.

Let me tangent- Do you guys remember Cloud? More specifically- his bigass sword? Remember in FF:VII, he had an attack move where he ran up and dished out some pwnage?
It was like that. Anyway, I actually legitimately think I won't get the job, since he inquired about my research hours I put into Mueller Lab. Of course, I said 9, when it's probably closer to 19.

Now for a brief list of annoyances:
  1. Media pleas for "understanding": E.g. Why all the Arab states hate us. Every once in a while, incompetence and savagery will be sidestepped, and someone will make a plea to "understand" where they're coming from, as if understanding will help you join (or sympathize) with their cause. Who cares? I'm not God, I don't need to see both sides and be a judge or something. It's probably bad journalism too, to try to cover both sides, and fail miserably. Stick to one side and do it well, there are plenty of idiots on the other side.
  2. Hypocrits: Through the semester, you'll meet them. Actually, you'll meet a lot of them. They'll make some comment about your life-style (e.g. Oh, it's nice that you do ____), but fail to follow the comment through in terms of implementation. They're usually mouth-breathing premeds. The UTLC interview was full of them. It's very easy to spot one- the conceited tone in the voice, the defensive stance, etc. Yet, all is destroyed when they say "Human Biology". Chutzpah! This one poses no threat.
  3. Night Showers: I knew I always hated them, I just could never put a finger on it.. until now. Taking a shower in the night, and then sleeping for 8 hours is like taking a trans-oceanic flight. Yes, the air is clean, but who feels clean after a 10 hour flight? No one. That's right- you're actually dirty when you wake up. And don't deny it, just take a shower in the morning, sick fuck. Actually a lot of people I know do this. It's pretty retarded.
  4. Relationships: They never work. Ever.
See Here

Many a times, I'll make the analogy of say.. cooking. People aren't done "cooking" yet. They still have a long way to go. Yet some people are already at the bottom of the pan, where the oil is hot, and they're burnt and roasted, even when the ones on top are still raw.

Everyday, it's some BS about this or that. Listen. You. I don't ever EVER want to hear about your relationship issues. I don't care. If you're having problems, then you were probably too stupid to see it coming. When you do have problems, because, inevitably, relationships are doomed to failure, think of what I just said. I'll repeat it. If you're having problems, then you were probably too stupid to see it coming.


On a sidenote, I love how some people want to know my grades, and have all these shifty ways of asking ("How did your semester go?", "Did you do ok?", "You did ok, right?"). A couple of days ago, some guy asked a similar question, and I said.. "Yeah.. It was ok.", then he made a feeble attempt at academic terrorism- "You should sleep more."

"What. Like you?" Rofl.

02 August 2006


Ever hear of the phrase- same shit, different day. Well, it's just like that around here. Same thing, over and over. It's a good thing its happening now and not earlier (assuming it was inevitable) since there's only 2 weeks of school left. Just.. two... weeks. Then two weeks of totally bugging out, then Fall semester starts again.

Oh well. At least I have an interesting physics book to read.

01 August 2006


If anyone has been around me, and listened for long enough, they must very well know of my opinion of the Dark Ages. It's because of those times, and idiots (namely, Europeans) running wild and fighting wars instead of innovating, that we don't have warp propulsion, instead, combustion engines (how weak is that?).

It seems we've hit another one of those times. 1980s, 1990s were freaking awesome, but now, nothing is changing. The Internet has come and changed, cell phones are ubiquitous, but what revolutionary innovation is poised to change our lives once again? Absolutely nothing teems on the horizon. That's lamentable, as I was expecting commercially viable fusion reactors by the early 2020s, and FTL propulsion by the early 2070s.

Of course, with my current lifestyle, I probably won't live to see 2070, but it would be nice to see things progress.

The great American empire is now slowing down; not only are blue collar factory jobs being outsourced, but advanced medical techniques as well, and with Bush yet again affirming his committment against increasing funding for stem cell research, and adherence to backward ways, the only thing this country has left is the infrastructure and military. Infrastructure only goes so far without proper academic funding, and a military is useless when competing against legitimate competitors. So what do the next two decades hold?

Energy. The relics of the past, clinging on to memories of Chernobyl are slowly dying off, and it seems that a peaceful nuclear age is about to start (but things have gone skew before as well), greatly helped by Asia's abundant Thorium deposits. In fact, as an extremely viable alternative, Thorium deposits in India will definitely enter world politics, although I would like to believe that this resource will be better managed than Middle Eastern oil. In 20 years, the Middle East will be one big hole, and either Israel (rightfully) or Iran (wrongfully, but still viable) will have created this. In 20 years, I see Europe and Asia controlling biotech, America(s) still retaining premier educational institutions (although at that time, I think education, more than a job, will be the driving factor for immigration), and Africa finally joining the picture, replacing Mexico's role as providing cheap labor. Somehow, this goes against instinct, but some African countries are finally showing signs of stability- elections in Congo, and increased legitimacy of Somalia's transitional government through Ethiopian peacekeepers. But I think ultimately, Europe (and the Americas, to a lesser extent), have provided means for their own demise. By introducing English as the foremost and lingua franca of modern times, they've forced the stubborn Chinese, the backward Vietnamese, the nationalist Japanese, and lethargic (but still mentally adept) Indians together to usher in the next phase in the World's development: efficiency, spearheaded by the Asian century.

I'm now going to read my book- The New Quantum Universe, and then study some for Japanese.