19 January 2011


Sorry for the away time, exams and all that.

But anyway, there's been some talk recently about a backpacking trip this summer. My dad has some friends from work who usually go once a year, and he's gone with them a few times now. Last summer was my first time and I loved it. So now, we're trying to decide where to go this year. The choices are listed below, I'd love to hear your opinions and reasons for them.

PS hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things next week when exams are over.

16 January 2011

Just a quick post

Not much time to write, studying for finals and all, but here's something I found really interesting. Someone slowed down the Jurassic Park theme song 1000% and the results are amazing. Enjoy. http://soundcloud.com/birdfeeder/jurassic-park-theme-1000-slower

15 January 2011

The problem with public education (courtesy of Calvin and Hobbes)

As illustrated about, public education too often elevates the topics being taught to a level similar to religion. Students aren't expected to understand them so much as they're required to accept it as fact and memorize how to use them. Math, for instance, is a prime example of this. After however many years of math classes, I can use what I've been taught to solve the problems I'm given, but I have no understanding of why. Mathematical concepts are elevated to a higher level that, based on how I've seen math taught, we have no hope of understanding. I've had one teacher who has been the exception to this rule, but other than that, they've all merely provided the basic information needed to complete a long list of problems and then moved on to the next chapter. All my years of math classes can be summed up by memorizing certain equations, and recognizing when to use them.

12 January 2011

A curse or a blessing?

I've been thinking recently about whether or not exposure to a variety of music, movies, and books is more of a curse or a blessing. Don't get me wrong, I love all of those things, but I've noticed just how much they influence me. I don't meant to imply that they dictate my actions, or influence them in any real way. But rather than waste time trying to clarify, I'll just get right to it.

For example, when trying to write a story, for example, a novel (something I haven't attempted since middle school) I find myself far too influenced by the numerous books I've read that made a real impression with their style, setting, characters, etc. It's far too easy for me to try an emulate something that I enjoyed so much, in hopes that it's enjoyable for the eventual reader.

The same applies for music. My friends and I have tossed around the idea of forming a band over the past couple years, but it always comes down to "What is band x doing that we're not?" or "Band y does it this way, so we should too." Either that or lack of talent...

Just something to think about.

10 January 2011

Well I'm supposed to be writing a paper

I've got this assignment, you see. I have to write a narrative essay. As if something worth writing about has happened in my limited years of existence in a city in which nothing happens.

So I've been tossing around some ideas of a topic. For instance, I could write about the day I lost respect for public education: my 1st day in my current English class. Then again, I doubt that would get me very far grade-wise. So I'm leaning towards writing about religion; more specifically becoming an atheist. I could probably better use my time writing the actual paper, but maybe blogging about it will lead to some new revelations by giving me more time to think.

But back to education, more specifically my English class. A typical day in this class consists of listening to my incompetent teacher who has no right to be teaching drone on about some superfluous attempt to reduce writing to a science, all while interjecting hollow pop-culture references in a desperate attempt to relate to her students and be well liked. I mention reducing writing to a science because nothing infuriates me more than an attempt to do so, Writing can be one of two things, which we all learn early on: fiction or non-fiction.

In the case of fiction, writing is used an art form. It can't be taught to those unwilling to practice, it can't be reduced to a step by step process. One can't be taught to write any more than he can be taught to paint. Certainly he could be instructed to put paint on canvas, but nothing of value would come from it unless he had a genuine interesting in painting, and the drive to practice and develop his skill. Writing is no different.

That's then end of my rant for today, off to try and write a paper. Thanks for reading. 

09 January 2011

Is the hysteria about "terrorists" akin to McCarthyism?

So, taking a break form religion for a while, let's discuss something that is more and more relevant to our everyday lives: the ongoing hysteria over "terrorism."

For a perfect example, let's take a look at a recent new story, that of Wikileaks and Julian Assange. Now, Assange has been called a terrorist by countless reporters and politicians. However, if one takes the time to look at the definition of terrorism, he doesn't fit in to that category at all. Terrorism is using violence or threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes, although I'm sure most of you know that, it appears that most mainstream news reporters don't. Especially since Assange has never done this. Now, all of the reporters stating that he should be assassinated, legally or otherwise, are in fact threatening and inciting violence. Does this make them terrorist? Certainly to a greater degree than Assange is.

Another perfect example of the needless terrorism craze is the new TSA full body scanners. On numerous occasions, their propensity for failure has been demonstrated. I don't have the statistic offhand, but the number of terrorists who have been stopped by the TSA versus the number of people searched, scanned, etc. is shockingly low, and a perfect example of the uselessness of such procedures.

When looking at all the news about so called terrorists, one is reminded of the McCarthyism of the Cold War. How many people need to be wrongly accused or inconvenienced by unnecessary procedures before someone realizes this?

Just something to think about. Thanks for reading.

I'll leave you with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXbCwq4ewBU

08 January 2011

A Look at Religion, and a Welcome Message

I'll start of by saying welcome to my new blog. This will probably only appeal to a niche audience who happens to share my opinions, but let's be honest, those are the best kind of people.

I was always raised to be religious. Both of my parents are religious, and I distinctly remember sitting through mass, entertained only by a coloring book. And so, as a child, I accepted the existence of god. I eagerly read a children's bible that we had in our home, with colorful illustrations and watered down stories so as not to upset children with their bleak messages.

 Later in life, probably in a desperate attempt to appear rebellious and cool, I was attracted to the idea of satanism. Admittedly, I never was especially interested in it, I just wanted to look different. Thankfully, that stage passed quickly, and I took the stance that many other educated people choose: agnosticism.

At the time, this seemed like the best answer to the question of whether or not there is a god. I mean, how could we know? How could we prove it one way or the other? As it turns out, we can't. However this doesn't make the two possibilities equally likely. There is a massive amount of scientific evidence against the existence of a god, and next to none for it.

 I'll probably delve further into this later, but this is just intended to give a sense of what this blog is about.