28 December 2007


Music is very important in life. People use music for various music reasons. I often find myself listening to particular songs in preparation to doing battle for something. For example, before the CH302 final, I distinctly remember listening to a particular eurobeat song over and over at almost 80% volume. Eurobeat kicks ass in that aspect of pumping me up for a test, but also increasing stress, really eustress, the kind that is probably responsible for most of my grades.

It would be appropriate to think of my mind as some kind of large maelstrom. Listening to Eurobeat only adds angular momentum to this storm, making me hyped before the test. I then take the test, effectively high off this added energy. The only after effect is that when the test is over, I think to myself - What the hell just happened? I then obsess over my performance.

Other times call for different tunes. For example, before my interviews, I need to decrease stress levels, so I usually listen to something very structured like Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (Allegro). I find it neither pessimistic nor optimistic, just confident. The kind of music that should be played (before and during) when fate executes its will.

Nevertheless, some classical music actually increases stress. Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake has this effect. Try listening to it at a moderately high volume. I feel really messed up inside when the forte part starts, like there is no justice in the world. It's winter break, and I feel panicked for no reason when this one shuffles around. Other songs can actually almost make people cry - (Waltz of the Flowers, etc.)

Even then, music doesn't always cut it. The day before my last MCAT, I spent almost 2 hours looking at pictures of airplanes and videos of takeoffs/landings. This works wonders.

Pop music on the other hand, is meant to be extremely catchy. I do not recommend ever using pop music for any reason other than finding ways to ridicule _______ (insert your favorite band here), although there are exceptions.


The catchiness of pop music will cause problems. Inadvertently, certain phrases will be stuck in your head, which will repeat endlessly. That being said, Maroon 5's "It won't be soon before long" is an awesome album. So is "Songs About Jane". Please let me join you, Maroon 5, as chief entertainer.

In any case, find something that suits you. Just don't start making music (unless you're really good at it) i.e. don't turn into a damned hippie. Playing pre-written songs and calling yourself a 'band' doesn't make you musicians, rather, cheap emulators. My $100 speakers can do better than your $1000 set of instruments.

22 December 2007

Good semester

A good semester is one without any regrets. This has indeed been a good semester. Well, here's some more news. I think I'm on track to graduate magna cum laude in Physics, and I think I'm going to UT-Southwestern medical school.

That felt weird; I almost never talk about myself. To celebrate, I bought myself a Wii game:

Those of you know that know anything about this, it looks great in HD. Kickaess. See that wireless keyboard in the picture? No one realized that it was powered. You guys could have been having so much fun messing up my typing. Oh well.

I came back from Corpus a few days ago. Pictures in a few days (once I figure out how to set up a flickr account)

09 December 2007

New site, same old idiot.

As you can probably tell, the site has had an update. Yes, I used a default Blogger theme. The most important change however, is that I got myself a domain name.


Yea! How awesome is that? I have a presence on the web now!

Most of you that know I exist know I'm applying to medical school and whatnot, but if you've noticed, I usually refrain from talking about the MCAT or admissions. Whatever, I'm going to medical school.

Well, let the ranting begin. For todays discussion, please refer to the front page article of the latest Vector newsletter.

+/- GPA grading systems. I've read a lot about this system, and I am in complete favor of it. Yes it would make grading harder and perhaps add more stress, but overall, this doesn't mean GPAs will go down. It means that students won't be screwed when they get a high B or a high C.

In fact, ideally, incremental increases in grade should amount to incremental increases in GPA. In fact, everyone I know that's against this policy likes the fact that they can get away with A's by getting mediocre A's (<92).>
These people are complete freeloaders/assholes. Yes, there are some valid arguments to this. Time for an analysis.

Quotes right out of Vector itself:

The faculty has decided what is best for them and not necessarily the students.

Actually, the new system imposes more work on faculty, so it's not really "better" for them, but a student that gets a 88/89 or a 78/79 is much better evaluated.

I was unaware of this proposal until now.

Um, whose fault is that? Idiot.

+/- are for high school.

No. Actually quite a few colleges use it. Also, what's wrong with implementing a high school grading policy? A grading policy is a grading policy. Thanks for wasting my time with a moot point.

I don't think the faculty council really cares about student opinion.

Everytime something bad happens, the "lack of care" argument is always present somewhere. It doesn't work. Just drop it.

If there is no A+, there should be no A-, plain and simple... this idea that an A+ would show up on your transcript is insulting!

What's so insulting about an A+? I'd love an A+ on a transcript. I think you mean to say "no A+'s would show up is insulting". This is somewhat of a valid point - I want to see some A+'s on transcripts.

Why is UT trying to bring down its best students?...Engineering is already hard enough to get a 4.0 without the +/- grading system.

Yes, so. This will help you. Stop complaining.

What assurances do I have that employers and graduate admissions offices will weight +/- GPAs appropriatly?

Good point. My idea is to phase it in slowly, making sure that the system is equally represented in all the majors. In time, graduate admissions offices will know about UT's policy. Heard of Caltech? Many Caltech classes place everyone on a bell curve and run with that. A 3.0 from Caltech means genius.

It reduces error. I don't see why it's such a big deal.

YES. Thank you. Error is reduced. Enjoy your life.

The current grading system measures grades rounded to the nearest 10 points. The A +/- system would round grades to the nearest 3 points. This implies that students can be [sic] evaluated to a degree of accuracy which is unrealistic in a large college course.

This is the best argument against the new system I have read. You're absolutly right, 3 points doesn't define anything, but does 1 point? (89,90) The whole system can be brought down if professors sat down and agreed about this.

Perhaps the biggest problem I have is that this and other valid points are not being discussed and instead, people are complaining that their GPAs will go down, that they won't be able to pull that 4.0 using a 90.5.

I was once in a class called Fundamentals of Biochemistry, CH369. My final grade in the class was 98.6. Yes, you read that right, 1.4 points away from perfection. There was another ass-we-shall-not-name, who ended up with a grade 10 points lower. WAIT! Isn't that a B? This guy was curved up to an A. Now I'm not saying I have a divine understanding of biochem, but, it's certainly better than a B.

To be fair, there was another class, called Physical Chemistry, where I got a 90.5, securing a 4.0. I liked it, but I know it's not fair.

03 November 2007


For not posting, it's very likely you hate me by now, or god forbid, have slipt into apathy.

The new 'My Ramblings' will come soon (1 month or so).

In the meanwhile, enjoy these fine sites:






29 September 2007


I decided to post. I felt it was appropriate, since the football team is losing and it seems like it is about to rain, which is awesome (on both counts). Don't get me wrong; I root for UT, except in sports, which are generally useless.

I think, for many people, the meaning of attending college is lost. Don't come to a research institution and then complain about going to class, which means that you're in college for a degree (and to make more money in life) but actually don't want to put in the work to get there, meaning you're a freeloader.

In fact, it would be safe to say that people who regularly shun class are archetypal freeloaders. It's sad, because there are a lot more freeloaders than hard workers, so industry and politics inevitably are chock full of them.

Moving on.

Contrary to popular opinion, I some times do support the fine arts. I especially like some neo-impressionism styles, particularly pointillism. It's pretty awesome to see paintings constructed not out of hippie strokes, but rather a very mechanical, dot-matrix style process. I like things that actually took some effort to create.

Like this thing. I could draw better than this. Useless! Who cares how much time you spent studying the other art forms? Make something useful, plz.

OK! The game is over and the longhorns lost. Actually I'm a little bitter because someone took my parking spot, so I have to study in a hippie coffee house. Maybe now that the game is over I'll get a parking spot when I drive back.

Sometimes, the whole premise of football seems hypocritical. The rules allow for tackling, which can be dangerous (-5*), but they allow pads and helmets for protection (+5). So it averages out to 0.

I have an idea. How about they allow anything, and an appropriate protection. For example, they could allow M16's (-90) but provide kevlar (+90). Much of those players will never contribute to society as much as they detract from its value, and that would be much more interesting to watch. I bet a bunch of physicists and engineers would join and build rail guns or something.

Enough. Time for some pictures. You guess the place/time/occasion/reason!


*: Assigning arbitrary good/bad points.

20 September 2007


September 2nd? What am I doing these days? Time for a post.

Secondaries. That's what. Each school, a different essay. In fact, I've reused so many phrases over and over, I feel like I'm beating a dead horse. Moving on to more interesting issues.

I read about these 'Jena Six' recently, and I couldn't stop laughing. Unbelivable! People are still so racist these days! There's a lot of fuss about whether some of these kids should be tried as an adult or not.

I really don't care who you are. If you have a record of violent crimes, you should be locked up, permanently. I like zero tolerance, especially for violent crimes.

For other things, like drug offenses, I have ideas as well.

James Henry - Obstruction of justice, tampering with evidence.
Tyrell Gatewood - Drug possession
Ben Wells - Possession of drug paraphernalia
Henry Melton - DUI
Sergio Kindle - DUI
Robert Joseph - Aggravated robbery
Andre Jones - Aggravated robbery

See any familiar names? They all, at one point, used to be members of the Texas football team. I especially hate drunk driving. Often times drug possession doesn't pose as great of a danger to other people as drunk drivers. Drunk drivers turn lives upside down.

Let's look at what their coach, Mack Brown, had to say:

"Young people who do not obey the law, university or team rules will continue to be disciplined with a stern hand and we will move forward. We will continue to have a zero tolerance policy in that regard"


"In the case of Sergio Kindle and Henry Melton, we seem to have taken a 'negative' and turned it into a 'positive.'"

Wait a minute. Negative to postive? That's not zero tolerance, jackass! Neither are suspensions! Thanks for implementing a policy so late, and not even acting on it.

"So to (many outsiders), they’re guilty because they were charged, before they even have a chance to have a legal process. Austin’s as hard on people and this state’s as hard on kids as I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing with the ... coverage that you all give kids that have a supposed problem."

So you're defending them now? You don't get charged for standing around streetcorners, you imbecile.

But I believe in second chances, and that everyone should have an opportunity to contribute to society.

Here's my plan.

1st major offense - Kick off team, revoke scholarships, and make player go back to school, maintain GPA above 3.0, else get kicked from school.
2nd major offense - Get expelled from school, have academic credits expunged, get blacklisted from accredited U.S. colleges.
3rd major offense - 20 years in prison. No bail.

I really like California's three strikes law, it seems to be pretty effective. This one emulates a similar principle. It's not crazy (Sharia) or wussy (Mack Brown).

Mack Brown has got to go. There should be a rule that if a certain percentage of your team behaves like complete idiots, you're fired, because naturally, you must be an idiot for recruiting them.

Next time you watch a UT football game, or cheer for your team, just remember: You're supporting a team and a coach that is lenient on drunk driving and felonies. I bet you won't be cheering when one of those drunk drivers plows into your car at a breakneck speed.

02 September 2007

All good things...

So school has started, and it's pretty awesome. Except for one thing.. I was in Thermo and I realized that this was one of my last physics classes. I'm down to three left to finish.

Of course, I only had to take 7 upper division ones to begin with, but it's still sad. There is a very unique element about physics, and hopefully I'll capture the essence of it in the next few lines.

Let's take a question in biology - How come highly charged molecules can't cross the cell membrane? Well, it's because there is electrostatic repulsion. Why is there electrostatic repulsion? [This is now a chemistry question] - Well, it has something (or everything) to do with Coulomb's law, which is now physics. Why do like charges repel? Well it has something to do with the characteristics of subatomic particles... (and I'm not completely sure of this answer). Why do these subatomic particles have this property?

At this point, people are often at an impasse. You can either go the atheist way ("I don't know") or you can be religous and say "God".

Pretty soon, it becomes obvious that all the Why? questions lead to physics, and many Why? questions in physics lead to one of two dubious answers. Take it as you wish. I'll flatter myself and giggle in a corner like a maniac.

Let's talk about something more interesting - how about THE MOST TERRIBLE GREYHOUND BUS RIDE EVAR. Yeah. Sounds like a plan.

Let's start with.. tutoring. I finished tutoring at 6pm and by the time I was done explaining DIT and walked back to Wankthorpe*, it was 625pm, with the Greyhound bus leaving at 750pm. I rested for a bit until the 800lb gorilla woke me up and it was late.

So I mooched a ride off Robert and arrived just in time to stand in line for 25 minutes to realize that the 750pm bus was full, the next one was at 1015pm. OK. Whatever. I don't really mind waiting somewhere as long as I can do something (electro homework), but what bugs me the most is that I kept having to guard my stuff. Almost everyone looks suspicious there.**

1015pm. Woohoo! The bus is here, 2.5 electro problems are done and I can finally get some rest, with a deathgrip on my laptop bag, of course. Fate hates me. By the time I got on the bus making sure my check-in luggage was actually under the bus and not in some dude's trunk, the only seat left was in the back, the three seater, wedged between two people.

Whatever. I can deal with that. Deathgrip + Eurobeat should keep me hibernating until 130am. Not so. In the darkness, I heard a voice*** - "So where you headin'?". I'll be painfully obvious, I thought. "Dallas. You?". "Colorado, gonna stay wit my bro for the week".

Undoubtedly, my first mistake of the night - asking him where he was going. I told him I was going back for a bed because I didn't want to sleep on the floor. Then he says "Heck. I'd rather sleep on a floor than jail anyday".

ONE MUST NOT JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS. I thought of that one office episode, with Prison Mike. HEY! He could be in jail for insider trading.

Someone else asks - "Why'd they put you in the job, yo?"

Then he recants his story. He's 20, separated from his wife, who has both of his kids. He used to have an apartment where they were staying, but his wife's new boyfriend (who is 16 years old), decided to move in and "tell him how to run the place", so he "put a gun to his head". The arresting sheriff put him in handcuffs, but he struggled, and apparently beat up the sheriff.

Yellow Alert!

The he shows me his handgun, which.. he had on the bus, for some reason. By this time, the klaxons were already blaring and the council had evacuated through mini escape pods to a nearby support vessel.****

I was practically lifeless after that, minimal control. Only saying the right words so I don't get shot or something.

Oh and, the two drunk women throwing up in the bathroom created a pleasant aroma in the back of the bus.

It's just a forceful reminder.

All good things must come to an end. Like Physics! :'(
Crappy things linger. Like Greyhound.

*: I literally googled "a s***** place" and found this. Sounds aweseome; I'm sticking to it. It's my apartment. Or... is it austin? Both.
**: I often imagine families being part of a conspiracy to steal my stuff.
***: Sounds like a batman trailer.
****: There is always a support vessel when I travel, usually anchored to the side of the vehicle. No more details. This is somewhat classified (embarassing) to talk about.

24 August 2007


Ancient Greece once decided to get together and hold the Olympics every 4 years to celebrate achievements of the human body and sportsmanship. The games brought unity to pre-Christian Greece and probably indirectly provided for peace.

It's time to hold a similar one, except now, with weapons. Every year, each nation should send one General to the Pacific with an array of weapons.

Then all the generals get naked and pummel a random pacific island one after another, to show off their might. One big military exercise. The Indians can test their nukes, the Americans - their ballistic missiles, the Chinese - their latest fingertrap, and the Japanese will just sit tight, spending billions on defense but not firing a single useful shot.

Spectacle for the world! I get to watch an island raise a couple of feet and the war hawks soothe their nerves. There's no need for wondering when/if North Korea will launch a missile. Just wait! It'll be June 9th of next year, and the next and next..

So less than a week left before the fun begins. Yeah. Can't wait. What an interesting semester to look forward to. Back to Japanese, Antoniewicz, Thermodynamics.

It is almost dawn. I can hear the early morning battle cries, ready to do war.

21 August 2007


I've been watching a bunch of Bond movies. One of the highlights, after the witty sayings* and Q, are the girls.

Most of them are pretty ugly.** I'll list the 5 best looking ones.

1. Kissy Suzuki.
Yeah you saw this coming. Don't complain.

2. Solitaire

There's something mystical and awesome about her prophetic powers, but this is before she started practicing medicine on the frontier and became ugly. Sigh.

3. Corinne Dufour:

You only see her for max.. 4 minutes. Watch carefully. French women yeauz!

4. Kara Milovy

Cellos rock. Also that one part, where they're passing into the Austrian border-

Bond: We have nothing to declare!
Kara: Excceppt Cellooo!!

That part is kickass.

5. Vesper Lynd
There is something about the contrast between the skin tone and the hair/lipstick that is particularly alluring.

Of course, there are really really really ugly ones. Some on purpose (like Mayday), some, I don't know what the hell happened. Virtually everyone in License to Kill is ugly, and I suppose Aki balances Suzuki out somehow.


*: Witty, because I can never see them coming, although its usually after someone dies.
**: Lack of clothes is... a bad thing in my book.

16 August 2007

I'm back.. but not really.

Well after a short hiatus, I will resume. Lots of things happened when I was gone. Tony Blair is no more (PM), Brown takes his place, upgrading himself from Chancellor of the Exchequer to Prime Minister.

That made me think - How come we don't have kickass names like that? What does a 'Chancellor of the Exchequer' even do? Never mind, I don't really care. It sounds cool.

We're in a serious need for cool titles. What the hell is a comptroller? Yes, yes. The UK has comptrollers too, but probably none as ridiculous as this one:


You can't go from comptroller to governor! You should be chancellor of something first.

Maybe we need another Cold War to restore glamor and prestige back to the public office.

If you're wondering, I'm still off the grid. Don't contact me. I won't respond. See you guys when school starts.

03 July 2007


Now that I'm done watching a bunch of chimpanzees cannibalize another chimp tribe (I knew it! Extra protein, my ass.*), I feel more at ease living in Plano, although with the recent torrential rains, it seems like this place is turning more into a rainforest.

You'd think that with less than two years to go, one would back down and fully realize the title of 'lame duck', but no. He's done it again and Libby is going back to his Northeastern home to sip on something pretentious. He should be in jail, but he's not. Who else, hmm..

How about.. Armitage, for actually committing the crime outlined here.
Rove, for lying repeatedly
Bush, for hiring these people
Cheney, for shooting someone in the face, and not disclosing proper documents, and profiting off the Iraq war, and... the list goes on.
Fitzgerald, for running back to his 'day job'

Amazing! It's pretty clear a crime has been committed, why is no one going to jail? Since when do loopholes keep people above the law? (Or pardons, for that matter.)

Also recently, WSJ has been taking a conservative spin on things, which is a little sickening. See here, here, and here.

Enough with sobering matters.


*: The neoconservatives are very closely linked to the chimpanzees. I wonder on how many levels it hurts them to hear that.

01 July 2007


Ethiopian food. That is Robert's hand, poised to pluck the egg.

They made us eat with Injera, which was so rubbery and sour that it made everything else unappetizing. Maybe we should have gone to the Clay Pit with those awesome fake LED candles.

Surprisingly, my bowels were ok after eating that (you can almost see the puddles of oil). Maybe it was the rain-filled drive home:

Looks like you're heading into some.. battlefield. You know, where you put all the forces of good on one side, bad on the other, and let them have at it. RAAAAAAAGH!

This was.. one week ago, and not much has changed. I was doing 80 in a thunderstorm because I thought my Honda would save me. It did. Thrice.

Most of the time I didn't even realize I was skidding until the episode was all over. In this last picture, my wipers were on full speed and visibility was at most.. 50 feet. That's a line of cars braking.

Whoa! What's going on?
"quando l'ultimo angelo ha sono la tromba"*

It's been raining almost every day for the last week, which is awesome. If it was a bit cooler, it'd be better.

The recent findings in England as well as the Glasgow airport bring to light what is probably one of the world's biggest religious hypocrisies today. Of course, not every Muslim is a carjacker or a suicide terrorist, but you should not blame the rest of the world for being prejudiced. By not protesting the fundamentalists or fanatics, by not understanding why certain countries have to take protective measures and by not acting up when your youth convert to the dark side, the Islamic elders should take nearly all the blame.

But, no. Instead of protesting against Brooks when he opens his mouth, or actively trying to shut down extremist factions (you know, that 2% that cause problems for the rest of us), or condemning honor killings , what are most protests about? The Danish cartoon and the Pope.

Free speech? I barely believe in it.

*: from The Omen. That was an awesome part, if you know what I'm referring to.

29 June 2007


Nothing today. How about some links?




27 June 2007

Civil Rights

Ed. I added a poll. 

I was assigned an essay about the evolution of Civil Rights in America. How boring! The problem is 'solved', who cares about it anyway. 

It's more interesting to read about civil rights problems which haven't been solved, so I started poking around and I found this cartoon of.. Karma Kat. 
haha. Enjoy.

That's exactly how it should be. Quantitative Karma. Awesome. I wonder where animals belong on the caste system. 

25 June 2007


Perhaps many of you come across this problem, as I do sometimes. Midst a seemingly serious profile, what is this nonsense? Until a few days ago, it didn't make sense to me either. But THEN, I stumbled upon this awesomeness and another awesomeness, and I started to regret my wavering commitment. That's right. No shame. Man, I don't even feel like blogging; I'm going to go listen some more.

One thing I'd like to note though, sometimes the Yuna singing bit from FF7 cannot be applied. This is one of those cases. Are you kidding me? Come on. It doesn't work.

23 June 2007


One of the hardest things about posting is coming up with a title. One can always pick some random title like "things I did today" or something like that, but it's just not witty enough. So I decided to pick a Japanese title (and will probably do so more frequently in the future). Nothing special. This title reads : doku-sho (symbolically broken down).

A week ago I felt I should wean myself away from the screen and started reading. I went to McDermott Library (which is lame - try searching for spectrophotometry.. one book? from 1987? seriously?) to pick out some books. Here's what I got:

(Presented in reading order). Saving the best for last, eh? Yes. I've only read two out of the four. The second one was awesome, although I got bored of the tankas really quickly and just read all the short stories. What great imagery and themes in 2-3 page stories!

Typically they introduce something obscure like a variety of flower and I say to myself - wtf does this have to do with Hiroshima? At the end, they tie it back into the main theme and its like ZOMGZYEAUZ.

I fall for this trick every time.

In any case, weaning. Yes. It seems every time I turn on my computer, my jdrama folder calls to me, so I settled for real-life jdrama? Man, I'm lame.

I'm certainly looking forward to fall semester. Now that I know I can take some online classes at Midland College, I think I'll take a psychology course and a creative writing course, bringing my total fall hours to something like.. 27.

Enjoy these funnies:
1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6VIo6_0l24

IAANNNNN!! (watch it first..)

2. http://www.pinktentacle.com/2007/06/chernobyl-household-nuclear-generator/

21 June 2007

Kansas sucks.

So two out of three vetoes used by Bush were against stem cells. Dissappointing, but not unexpected. Looking into the details of the bill, I found an interesting website - The Hinxton Group, which tracks countries' stem cell policies. 

Two of these images are of particular interest: (by the way, green is good)

Number of deaths for leading causes of death

bullet graphicHeart disease: 654,092

bullet graphicCancer: 550,270

bullet graphicStroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 150,147

bullet graphicChronic lower respiratory diseases: 123,884

bullet graphicAccidents (unintentional injuries): 108,694

bullet graphicDiabetes: 72,815

bullet graphicAlzheimer's disease: 65,829

bullet graphicInfluenza/Pneumonia: 61,472

bullet graphicNephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 42,762

bullet graphicSepticemia: 33,464

I've taken the liberty to bold those diseases that (definitely) have potential cures through stem cells.

These aren't.. lame economies you're going up against. Can you really afford to fall behind? 

*I should note, California has done awesomely. The rest of you- shame on you for being such idiots. 

19 June 2007

More Dumplings

I forgot that, during the Greyhound trip back to Plano, I recorded the obnoxious driver and his 10-minute rant on driving, weather, god, how Waxahachie is not a rest stop, among other things. I won't spoil it for you:

Rant 1

Rant 2

Moving on. What's with all this "man cave" business? I had to look this up, although I had somewhat of a vague idea. Some definitions here, here, and here. Is it necessary to reclaim space and have a power tool garage? Seriously? Don't you cavemen have better things to do with your time...

Is it necessary to build a living room with that many lay-z-boys and a big screen TV just to watch sports? SpikeTV took it a little too far and came up with "mandates", after which, I wanted to hurt myself.

Embarrassing. What the hell are hobbies anyway? All you need is a man-corner to live out your mantasy.*

As good a man-corner as any.

On another note:
Yeah. That's WORD 2007. Take what you will

*: Sorry. I just had to say it. That's what she said! ... Dammit

16 June 2007

Memory Dump

I do this periodically; a bunch of pictures off my phone have to come off and go somewhere, so why not here?


This guy cut in line when we were waiting to depart from the Greyhound station. The line was about ~30 people long, and he butted himself in 3 people from the beginning to get a good seat. Of course, everyone gave him the eye, but no worries on his part. Yeah. He got a good seat. 

At some DART light rail station. I realized I was on the wrong Northbound train (I jumped on anything going Northbound as I was in a hurry to get home). I thought I'd get off at one of the underground stations and see what it was like. So this is what underground Tokyo stations feel like, except, there's no one here, and I felt like I was going to get mugged. 

The other side of that station. I forget its name. Ed. Looks like Cityplace...

Hmm. The light rail looks kind of dirty in this picture, but it's pretty nice. It could be a little faster though. Also, I found out (harshly) that rush hour traffic can slow it down, especially in the downtown segments. Lame. 

Inside of apartment, lack of cleaning. 

The otherside of the living room. 

This seems like a pretty unremarkable picture, except if you look closely, the two cars seem very close. So close in fact, they touched. Yeah. The black and unbelievably good looking Hond Accord Coupe was parked there. Some guy in a red ford* parked there (of all places) and parked a little too closely. I heard this screech and took this picture. He came out, inspected the damage, and quickly got back into his car and drove off.

Sigh. It was a pretty bad scratch too. I was going to get the two license plate #'s, but this is Texas, I might get shot. 


*: Could be a mercury too. Oh well. Same domestic-make nightmare. 

13 June 2007

Unjustified Optimism

I've noticed that.. people tend to fill in the gaps of stories with good things, or good endings and what not. They even take relatively ambiguous phrases such as "happily ever after" and mold it into their own image, without ever noticing that Cinderella and the Prince, living "happily ever after" is as relative as "the three ugly step-sisters". Why believe everything you read anyway?

Take for example, the recent ending of the Sopranos on HBO. I'm not completely sure what all the opinions are, but I'm certain you don't want Tony Soprano to die at the hands of those quiet customers at the restaurant. No way!

It'd be better if he shot everyone in the restaurant and took his family into the countryside where he quit the mob business and lived happily ever after. Perhaps what was bugging so many people was that the ending didn't set up enough of a "gap" for "a happily ever after" scenario to be envisioned. Too many criminals at the bar, too many variables to deal with. It would have been better if the show ended with him driving up to some country-side home. But you would all regret that ending later on! Tony turns lame.

What a genius ending that was.

In any case, coming back to Cinderella and the Prince, I'm sure the class differences tore them apart, or Cinderella was a workaholic and died after trying to clean the Prince's mansion, or maybe her Mercedes rams into a pillar at a hundred miles an hour. Really? Lived Happily Forever? Unbelievable.

There was a point to this bitter post, but I seem to have forgotten. I'll let you fill in that gap.

06 June 2007

Continuing - Darkess, X-men, and again.. hippies.


I hope you enjoyed my last post. Let's discuss the lack of lighting in this armpit-of-a-town austin. Going from Patterson to the apartment, there is a stretch without any streetlights, which can become terrifying.

See the darkness? Yes. No lights. Anyway. What do I think during these times? That there may be a cougar or mountain lion hiding in the dense foliage. Never mind that mountain lions exist in mountains... or not....

In any case, I have to calm myself down. The problem with a mountain lion or a cougar or a chimp is that they have the element of surprise. If you mentally remove that, the fight becomes fair and to be honest, kind of awesome. For example. Say you encountered a chimp. Normally, it would bite you and run away, leaving you howling** in pain.

Now. What if, when you encountered that chimp, you instantly went into some FF7*-ish RPG style battle scene? Then it would be perfectly fair, and I'd probably win against the chimp with a small decrease in HP. Yeah. Awesome. You hit, then I hit, then you hit, then I hit and so on.

It's a shame that real-life is no where near this ideal situation.

Speaking of ideal situations....

Let me talk about... gay people and their rallies. Don't get me wrong, they have a right to rally, but in some cases, I think it goes beyond social message and into an open flaunt. Yes. That was controversial. Let me make some assumptions:

1) You can't change popular belief, no matter how ideal you are (or think you are).
2) Needs of many > Needs of few.

I'm sure you can agree to both of these. I'm actually going to focus on a specific case, and let you extend this to other cases. Remember those St. Patricks day parades? YES. In New York, they were banned, probably for the wrong reasons, or what not, and I'm not getting into what they think is right, or what is most ideal, rather, most practical.

St. Patrick's day seems to be a.. Catholic holiday (and Irish, and Christian, etc, etc). Most of the people that come there probably do not support homosexuality (for whatever reason). So it seems completely valid to ban gays/lesbians from the parade! Since after all, the parade may not reach its full "audienceship" if they were to be included. It doesn't make sense to alienate large groups of people to fulfill desires of smaller ones.

Doesn't it seem like, in protesting, they're making too big of a deal out of this? Resources are limited, so majority needs should be considered before we move on to others. Yeah. It sucks and it's not ideal. Ideally, everyone (that wants to) should be able to march and everyone should be fine with that, but the fact remains that public opinion can't be changed so easily. Also, here's a tip: Loud demonstrations and protests is only going to make it*** worse. I'm not saying back off the cause, but there are other channels.

I can't have my RPG-style human vs. chimp battles, and you (probably) won't get to march for a couple of years (or decades, who knows). Get used to it?

If you can't make everyone happy, make most people happy.

By the way, I'm not homophobic. Think about what I've said before you rail accusations.

OK. Moving on to.. hippies.

I'll keep it short, but I just want to say one thing. Google "hippies in austin" and you find the first link - I'll summarize - "the blue island in a sea of red where liberals come to take refuge within our hemp walls".

Yes. Except, there's a problem. You can't proclaim to be Democratic and not know anything about the issues. A typical conversation would go as follows

Me: So why are you a democrat?
HIC****: Because.. I believe in evolution, man. [Not that.. believing in evolution has anything to do with being a democrat, but that's not my point anyway.]
Me: And.. what makes you believe in evolution over other things?
HIC: Because... there's proof..man..
Me: Like?
HIC: Like science has proven it man..
Me: What proof?
HIC: ..... [bubbling sound from the bong]

There's no point in believing something blindly. Or for the sake of being different, or for creating your own blue island or whatever. Know the facts.

Similarly, hard-core atheists also annoy me. Especially the ones that believe in science. Atheism in itself is "believing in nonexistence of gods". You can't be an atheist and completely believe in science at the same time, because science is proof based.

Proving the absence of something is infinitely difficult and can be done under very special circumstances (i.e. mathematical proofs). Otherwise, you can't prove that it's not there. Simple. Agnosticism is a better answer, more scientific.

I can almost guarantee someone's views are going to be changed by what I just said. I like cookies, and mountain dew, if you're feeling generous.

*: Or Pokemon, if you so desire.
**: Perhaps I should use a more human verb. Like scream.
***: It being... public acceptance of homosexuality.
****:HIC = hippie in cage, the only circumstance I would talk to them, although, from their perspective, they would say that they're actually the free person, and the whole world is in a cage. While I can see how they got there, saying something like that would probably anger me. Not all hippies smoke pot, but I bet they'd still put a 'man' at the end of everything they say.

02 June 2007


I've finally posted. No worries, the blog postings should become quite regular from now on.

Anyway, of course, through reading all these posts, you're supposed to be able to come up with a fairly good reading of how I operate.*

So. Airplanes. Sometimes I think I should have gone into Aerospace Engineering or something. I was watching this Maroon 5 music video, and I kept thinking to myself, Wtf is wrong with me? Why is this song so interesting?
[Of course, I assure you that Adam Levine's ill-placed pelvic thrusts have nothing to do with it...]**

Then I realized it - they have airplanes in the music video. Kickass! It even starts out with an airplane sequence.

Airports are such incredible places to be. They seem to be on the bleeding edge of man's domination over the skies; it's not just the technology that's most appealing but rather the tacit sense of human optimism embodied by air travel. Every once in a while, shit happens. For example: I found a particularly disgusting picture of an airplane the other day. What kind of an atrocity is this? I'm waiting for Airbus to release the A350 and then I will bask in its awesomeness.

Almost like something out of Star Trek***, at night-time, airports seem even more exhilarating to be around. The runway lights come on and it is truly a sight. Imagine that sea of lights stretching all around the airport. Yea!


Moving on to more pressing issues. I was reading Discover magazine, and an article titled "Science and Islam" where the author tours various Middle Eastern countries. Here's an interesting quote about the "2005"**** tsunami:

"God had expressed his wrath over the sins of the West [because] the lands that were hit had tolerated the immoral behavior of tourists".

Quick stats on the tsunami:

Country where
deaths occurred
Deaths Injured Missing Displaced
Confirmed Estimated1
Indonesia 130,736 167,736 37,063 500,000+
Sri Lanka2 35,322 35,322 21,411
India 12,405 18,045 5,640 647,599

Quick stats on Indonesia:

Religions: Muslim 86.1%, Protestant 5.7%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 1.8%, other or unspecified 3.4% (2000 census)

Yeah. I'll let you decide who's receiving the wrath.

*: I would reveal a lot more than I let out, but it's quite frightening.
**: Is it weird that I noticed?
***: Which, is awesome.
****: or 2004?

16 May 2007


Yes. [Tear in a good way...]

[in a shooting range, confronted with numerous menacing-looking targets, Edwards shoots a cardboard little girl]
Zed: May I ask why you felt little Tiffany deserved to die?
James Edwards: Well, she was the only one that actually seemed dangerous at the time, sir.
Zed: How'd you come to that conclusion?
James Edwards: Well, first I was gonna pop this guy hanging from the street light, and I realized, y'know, he's just working out. I mean, how would I feel if somebody come runnin' in the gym and bust me in my ass while I'm on the treadmill? Then I saw this snarling beast guy, and I noticed he had a tissue in his hand, and I'm realizing, y'know, he's not snarling, he's sneezing. Y'know, ain't no real threat there. Then I saw little Tiffany. I'm thinking, y'know, eight-year-old white girl, middle of the ghetto, bunch of monsters, this time of night with quantum physics books? She about to start some shit, Zed. She's about eight years old, those books are WAY too advanced for her. If you ask me, I'd say she's up to something. And to be honest, I'd appreciate it if you eased up off my back about it.
James Edwards: Or do I owe her an apology?
[pauses again]
James Edwards: That's a good shot though...

I suppose you all remember that scene*, where the cardboard girl is carrying a quantum mechanics book. When I saw that, I wondered when I would get there.

Yeah. Awesome.


*: I looked hard for a movie still, but couldn't find one.