Archive for October, 2008

Wholly Crap!

Posted in Circadian Events with tags , , , , on 23 October, 08 by MastrN8

What a week kiddies! This week has truly been wholly crap! This week will forever go down in my mind as one of the toughest weeks so far in my school career. Worse even than that one time in kindergarten when I  wet myself from laughing too hard. That was rough, but this was infinitely more stressful. Although, I have to say that there was definitely less ridicule. Anyway, let me take you on a tour through this shit-storm, shall I?

First of all, and this is extremely important to keep in mind as it will explain so much in the end, I am an awful, awful, procrastinator. Or am I a good procrastinator because I put things off so well? In any case, I put too many things off until the last minute. Furthermore, this gets compounded due to the fact that I never get that nervous, “Oh my God, I only have x amount of time to get this done” feeling until it is too late to do anything even halfway decent. So, keep this in mind as I take you through the week. One more thing, here is a list of what I have due, and how much I have yet to complete. Mind that this list was made late Sunday night 10/19.

Bio: Pre-lab due on Wednesday 10/22, no worries, it’s only Monday.
Psych: A journal critique due on 10/21, have yet to start, but known about it for three weeks.
Psych: Take-home mid-term due on 10/21, halfway complete, I have had it for 6 weeks.
Psych: study guide homework due on 10/21, not yet started, I have known about it for two weeks.
Speech: Debate on 10/23, not yet started. Need an outline and an annotated biblio. citing 20 sources. I have had 3 weeks to work on this but something else was always more important.
Chem: I have an exam on 10/21 to study for and a lab report (not started) due after the test.

That just about covers it. With the thought in my mind that I should complete the thing that is due first, I set out to finish my psych homework first. I thought that it would go a lot quicker than it did but I did mange to complete the midterm and B.S.’d my way through the critique. total time spent on Psych: about six hours total. Crap. I still have a test to cram for.

After my  impressive display on the last test, scoring one of only two A’s in the class, I felt confident that this test would be similar. Wrong! Monday night and all day Tuesday I devoted to chem, my test was at 5 p.m. I went into the test over-confident and gave a poor performance. Final score? 77.8%…curved! crap. my forecasted final grade is an 84%. I really need to pick it up!

I whipped through the bio pre-lab only to find out that he did not want to collect it, and he did not give us a quiz, as he usually does, on the previous lab. Whew! Dodged a bullet there.

That leaves me with speech. Oh speech. I have set you on the back burner too many times, my friend. I have had a LOT of time to do this and as of 3 p.m. on the day before it is due, I begrudgingly start to look up sources. crap. The bibliography, and I don’t say this because I put it off so long, was nonsense. 20 sources for a 10 minute debate? Are you kidding me? I was an expert on the subject after reading through source five. I think the biblio. was excessive and unnecessary and although I got it done just before beginning this blog entry, I think I did a hell of a good job on it. Not “good job considering how late I began”, I mean good job, period. The outline practically wrote itself thankfully and I feel that considering that this has been my worst academic week ever, I might actually pull this week off relatively unscathed.

So there you have it, I am 2 hours away from performing my rushed debate and 8 hours from the end of my week. I do not blame anybody for this reprehensible and irresponsible behavior except for myself. I have had plenty of time to avoid this ridiculousness but something else always took precedence. Well no more! As of now, I am swearing to you loyal, yet wholly imaginary reader that I will never again have a week that is wholly crap!

Advertisements

Concerning Religion and the Constitution

Posted in Scattershot with tags , , , , on 16 October, 08 by MastrN8

I would like to clear a few things up. I was sitting at school this morning, minding my own business and trying to catch up on my seemingly never-ending pile of homework, when I received an email from someone who shall remain anonymous. I would like to share this email with you,

Dear Friends,
 
As I was listening to a news program recently, I watched in horror as Barack Obama made the statement with pride. . .’we are no longer a Christian nation; we are now a nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, . . .’  As with so many other statements I’ve heard him (and his wife) make, I never thought I’d see the day that I’d hear something like that from a presidential candidate in this nation.  To think our forefathers fought and died for the right for our nation to be a Christian nation–and to have this man say with pride that we are no longer that.  How far this nation has come from what our founding fathers intended it to be.

I hope that each of you will do what I’m doing now–send your concerns, written simply and sincerely, to the Christians on your email list.  With God’s help, and He is still in control of this nation and all else, we can show this man and the world in November that we are, indeed, still a Christian nation!

Please pray for our nation!

Now, this email disturbs me to no end. I feel that is is VERY offensive to non-Christians. First of all, regardless of your beliefs, or even who you support in the presidential race, I need to make one point EXTREMELY clear. Our forefathers DID NOT fight and die “for the right for our nation to be a Christian nation…”. I just wanted to clarify that the 1st amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. states that no one religion shall be practiced nationally. Here is a quote from the Constitution stating just that:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

-1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

Secondly, I am sure many people will believe me to be a non-christian for arguing the inferences in the aforementioned email, or perhaps they will believe me to be a Barack Obama supporter, for those people, I would like to point out that my beliefs are irrelevant. I say that not to avoid those types of questions, but by stating that those beliefs are irrelevant, I am better able to stick to the case in point.

My  point is this: Our forefathers fought and died for a nation to be free of religious oppression. They fought for Muslims, Christians, Atheists, Satanists, those that believe that Clapton is God, and everyone in between, to worship whatever they wanted, when they wanted, and how they wanted. Our forefathers fought and died for the right to believe or not believe, to question, to express, and even to protest. This nation belongs to the people, not to just christian people. By the way, not only christian people died for this country, FYI.

Furthermore, while our forefathers did not believe in a state sanctioned religion, they did believe in God. Hence the phrase, God bless America. This does not mean that they are forcing religion. Of the above named religions, only atheism, which I believe can be called a religion since it is doctrinal in nature, does not believe in any God whatsoever. Satanists even believe in God. Satanists worship Lucifer who was cast down by God. Therefore, to believe in one, is to believe in the other.  

I hope that people will realize that it is okay that others do not believe in what you do. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but in most religions, being good-natured to those that treat you horribly, or those that are different, is the main tenant. Hate is not only looked down upon, but sinful. Our forefathers felt the same way; and felt it so strongly that they felt the need to write it down.

I’m not saying that I support any claims made by non-Christians or Obama, or for that matter, Christians and McCain. I am merely defending the Constitution. It may not be perfect but it’s the best we have. Everyone is fallible and we all will make mistakes, however I believe in this country and what it stands for. I am proud to live in a country where you can believe in what you want, practice the rituals that you want to practice, or even forsake all of that and move out if you want.

Aliens? Really?

Posted in Scattershot with tags , , , , , , , , on 14 October, 08 by MastrN8

Aliens are coming! No, I’m serious, they’re here! What the hell ever. I’m really sick of this crap. For those of you that haven’t heard, there have been many reports floating around for almost a year now about October 14th being a pivotal day among conspiracy theorists and it all began with Blossom.

No, I’m not talking about the ugly early nineties sit-com chick with the hot friend. There is an Aussie woman out there named Blossom Goodchild. She is a self-proclaimed alien liaison that wishes to spread the message that an alien ship 2000 miles in diameter is going to settle itself over the state of Alabama, which, correct me if I’m wrong, is smaller than 2000 miles, for three days. If these “reports” are true then this ship belonging to none other than the “Federation of Light” should appear in our skies today. Don’t worry I thought they were from Star Trek at first as well. I wish I were joking. Google it. It’s on youtube and several websites and blogs.

How, do you ask, did I, the rational, logical, and ever-cynical master of critical thinking come across this “astounding prophecy”? The answer, my friend, is boredom. I have never subscribed to any of this nonsense myself, but I do love to watch and listen to the non-stop parade of delusion that exists among this sub-culture of conspiracy theorists. For me, it is pure entertainment to listen to all of these crazy ideas from a small bloodline controlling the world’s governments, to the pyramids being designed and built by extraterrestrials. These people believe in the things they say so blindly and so steadfastly that I have to tip my hat to them. Is that what you’re going to stick with? Really? Then more power to you. It is reminiscentof the completely devout religious leaders that proclaimed armageddon and apocalypse as Y2K approached. I just sat back and watched as the deluded tried to backpedal and squirm theirway into making it look like they were right…in a way. Come on. You kidding me? You aren’t right when you say that the world is going to end and then claim that what you really prophesized was 9/11. Don’t tell me that you just misinterpreted the message, you suffered from a hind-sight bias. 

So here we are again, on the day that the Federation is due to show, and no news of anything in our skies that is 2000 miles wide. I am pretty sure it would make CNN. I have no doubt that in days, if not hours, there will not be a retraction of said prophecy, but some magical, convoluted, and sad explanation of why either non-believers like myself cannot see what is so clear to those that do believe, or why the aliens decided against coming at all. These theorists say that they are so against indoctrinated governments that control day-to-day actions but what they fail to realize is that these theories that they come up with are as old as time and we’ve seen them before. It’s called religion! Religion, the oldest form of government indoctrinated in us a sense of faith and exiled or cast down those that questioned and reasoned things out logically. Whether you see a pattern in a tortilla that resembles Jesus, or you take a picture of the moon and see monuments left from ancient civilizations, it all boils down to one thing. Fear.

The point I’m trying to make is that people don’t want to be alone. Being alone is scary. So how do we compensate? We invent things that make us more comfortable and better able to deal with that fear. A belief in God, especially a belief that God is with us all the time, is a perfect example. Instead of using religion this way, some people find comfort believing that beings exist out there that are going through the same trials and tribulations as us, only 4 billion light-years away. And so be it, do what you will. The only thing to remember is to not push your beliefs on others, which, I must say, the alien conspiracists are much better at than the religious folk. Since religion cannot present any blurry, doctored-up, photo-shop images, they are left little choice.  

So, Alabamans, as you stare into the sky tonight, remember, whether you believe or not, the aliens probably exist on some other plane of existence; or they may only appear to those that have certain peaks on their brainwaves; or perhaps they decided that earthlings are still in their intellectual infancy and aren’t prepared to witness they’re greatness; in any case, don’t be too disappointed, after all you are not alone. The catholic church has used these same excuses for people that witness “miracles”.

I, for one, intend to stay tuned to the blogs and youtube videos and enjoy the vast train wreck of disillusionment pile up. It may be funny to me, but I still have that one tear making its way down my cheek knowing how many hopes and dreams are destroyed by the advent of reality.

Bless you all and never give up hope of first contact.

Playin’ Hooky

Posted in Circadian Events with tags , , on 7 October, 08 by MastrN8

I’m not feeling so hot today. Last night my wife and I met some friends for dinner and got home pretty late. I didn’t sleep at all last night and today I feel crappy. This sucks because it puts me way behind. I have a take-home midterm exam due next week for Psych, not to mention a presentation on states of consciousness. I also have a debate in a couple of weeks that I need to research for speech. Luckily, I’m coming off of a week of great success in my science classes.

I got a B on my Bio exam last week. Normally I would be somewhat disappointed in that kind of showing due to the performances I’ve had on previous tests, however, I also had a chem test to study for. If you’ve read previous posts of this blog (Chem II is the bane of my existence) then you’ll know that I failed my first chem exam of the semester. That is why I focused twice as much energy into the last test.

I took it a week ago today. The test was difficult yet I felt good about it afterward, which was rare and exciting. I went to see if the prof had posted the grades on-line, like he said he would, the next day. Much to my dismay, they were not. Nor were they posted the next day. My hopes of a good grade were falling. As I entered chem class last Thursday evening, the teacher made the announcement that two people in the class scored 28/30 on the test, the rest, however, failed. My hopes had crashed. For the next hour of class, the prof explained that not all hope was to be abandoned. He would allow us to take the test home, not knowing what we got wrong of course, retake it using open book and notes, and bring it back in today so that we could potentially obtain a higher score. I felt conflicted at this point because who wants to waste their weekend taking a test that they have already unsuccessfully prepared for and failed? Not this guy! Like I said, the prof went into excruciatingly long detail about the guidelines that we were to follow concerning this retake. He then sent us to break. Mind you, he still had not given out scores, so the 2 A-students were still anonymous.

When I returned form the cafeteria, hot cup of strong black coffee in hand, the prof was finally enlightening the class on the test scores. Disheartened and nervous, I took my seat. As he approached, he pulled out the test, leaned over and said, “Oh, wait, I can’t give yours back”. What? Why? No way! Those were my thoughts, verbatim. I looked at my score with immediate elation, however, I couldn’t just jump up and scream in front of nine people that failed; that would just be rude. I instead sighed heavily, dropped my head, and quietly left the room. I nearly wet myself as I performed the happy dance outside away from those that didn’t do as well.

Now to focus on the rest of my course-load. The rest is easy but time-consuming. I hate my assignments. My debate is supposed to be about the separation of church and state. I am debating in the affirmative, which is nice considering that I am an advocate of such policies. However, it is a very broad topic and I need to narrow it down. Part of the assignment’s stipulations is that I share all of my research with my opponent and she with me, but I have yet to get a response from any of the three emails that I’ve sent. Oh well, if she is not prepared, then that makes my job easier right? Hopefully, we’re debating the same issue though. Without a response from her, I don’t know if we’re on the same page. Oh well, for now I need to get some rest so that I can finish out the week.

That’s why my next computer will be…

Posted in Scattershot with tags , on 2 October, 08 by MastrN8

     So a couple of weeks ago Microsoft launched an ad campaign that was intended to mop up the bloodbath of negativity that gushed forth when Microsoft put Vista on the market. These new ads showcase a number of people that look like they are innovators in their respective fields. I personally don’t recognize any of them but I of course don’t get out much, so please pardon my ignorance. At first I thought the commercial sent a good statement claiming that the PC user is not endangered. I, however, must admit some bias here. I have been a PC user ever since childhood, well, since the Apple IIe got outdated anyway. After having ruminated on it a while though, I realized that Microsoft came across as desperate. You don’t see Apple using Windows’ ads as a way to attack the competition. They usually come up with fresh ideas and make dynamic, even iconic commercials…..now.

This was not the case 10-15 years ago. There is definitely a reason why “a community of more than a billion individuals” are dedicated PC users, according to Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” ads. I remember a time in the not so distant past when a Mac was worth less than a paperweight although priced higher than a PC. Programs, and I imagine their writers, just seemed to favor PCs. Don’t ask me why but if you were on a Mac in the late 80’s early 90’s, you were considered lame. PC had Windows! People could multitask and if you had a modem that ran 28.8 kbps you were the shit! Mac, well, it was just an abbreviation for some kind of apple, I think. Then came the iPod. Oh happy day! I recall some people shunning the technology at first because of who produced it; I, however, also remembering thinking to myself, “Holy crap! I can carry  around every cd I own in my pocket? Where do I sign?”. And so, the dicotomy  began…

When I first met my wife, we had a half-joking, half-serious argument about this division amongst computer users. She grew up in a Mac family. My first question was how she got through school without falling in love with windows. She just shrugged her shoulders and said that she just adjusted. With so many schools that have Windows labs and so few with Mac labs, it’s a wonder how people can get through their lives without touching a PC. The truth is, they can’t. Windows seems to work best at work. In other words, having used my wife’s Mac many times, I realized that it is the perfect system for being creative and making some really cool things. iphoto is, hands down, so much incredibly better than anything Win has available, without getting third-party software and I think anymore that itunes is a standard download to have. That being said, Microsoft Office Suite, can blow anything that Apple can come up with, as far as work documentation goes, out of the water.

Which brings me back to the ad campaigns. For the aforementioned reasons do we see PC in a tie, and a young hip Justin Long as a Mac. I personally love those ads. They crack me up. Even before the Vista fiasco, Microsoft was being criticized, and perhaps rightly so, for lack of user friendliness. Whether PC user or Mac user, you must admit, Macs are just easier to use. After Leopard came out, my in-laws purchased it for their Mac and after having used it, I was sold. Vista might not be as bad as claimed, personally, I think it was the public’s knee-jerk reaction of seeing XP radically changed that caused the whole mess, but Leopard is definitely easier to navigate, the menus and backgrounds look cooler, and the time capsule feature is definitely worth looking into. Although, I will miss my multiple buttoned mouse with a wheel that can scroll down pages, I think Apple has converted me. Now if I can just afford them….

Yet, I again digress, the whole point I am coming to; the main intention that I had for writing this much-too-long diatribe; the initial point that I have been avoiding this whole time is that the new “I’m a PC” were created, in part, on Macs. O’ the sweet smell of irony. Understandably, I’m a layman when it comes to computers, advertising and marketing, however, if it were my company, I would want a commercial that shone with the golden glory that is the product that I made, through and through. I realize that Microsoft probably hired a company to make it and that company probably outsourced some of the work to still others, it takes a village, I get that, but how embarrassing! Now I know what you’re thinking, how do you know it’s true. Good Question, my imaginary readers! In fact, it wasn’t until I was watching Adult Swim the other night that I heard about this. I, of course, not taking anything Adult Swim tells me as Gospel, I immediately conducted some research, not a lot mind you, I do have a life. I found out that yes, it is true that some of the images in the ad and posted on Microsoft Corps.’s website were created with a Mac.
Here are a couple of links:

http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20080919/hi-im-a-pc-and-i-was-made-on-a-mac/

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9115120&intsrc=hm_list

I urge you, imaginary reader, to decide for yourself. Which platform do you like better? Does it matter? Some say no, as long as they can still get their daily infusion of porn everyday.

 

Photo courtesy of photobucket.com Thanks mp2791!

http://media.photobucket.com/image/pc%20vs%20mac/mp2791/1188513251739.jpg?o=93