Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Did the earth move for you?

I was emailed this, if you know who it belongs to, let me know
Last week there was an earthquake here in Adelaide. It was only a 3 something on the Richter scale, but it was enough of a tremor to make young men feel like studs if they climaxed at the right time. I’m sorry, but I missed it; I climaxed hours before hand and was sound asleep. But how awesome would that have been to reach that moment with my lady, move the Earth, and then give her a wink? It would be a moment you would tell your kids.

Unfortunately, I have managed to miss every earthquake I have been in, except for the first.

I was in Nagoya Japan on a school trip in 2001 sitting in my host mother’s lounge room doing a cultural exchange for a few days, but only succeeding in communicating in the international language of over acting mime. All of a sudden the room, and I assume the whole house, started to shake, and there was a loud roar coming from outside. I assumed it was a low flying plane or something and did not think much about it. The host mum casually reached for the electronic dictionary, and started typing in a word. She found what she was looking for, handed me the dictionary and pointed to a word.


I crawled backwards over the back of the lounge like a crab trying the fish vindaloo for the first time screaming to the door; trying to remember anything about earthquakes survival I had seen in movies. The host mum was laughing her head off – so much for polite society.

When I had calmed down, the host Mum reached for her electronic dictionary and typed in a phrase. "Did the earth move for you?" she asked and had another giggle.

On the news later in the evening, I had no idea what they were saying, but they had a chart over the map of Japan showing the earthquake being 4 point something on the crap-your-dacks scale. I would have sworn that the aftershocks in my pants were higher.

The Japanese earthquake and tsunami earlier this year was a tragedy, and certainly not funny, but I would love to think that there is someone out there, out on the fringes of the earthquake, who timed their release at the precise moment the Earth did. He would be a hero.

Have you ever reached orgasm during an earthquake? If not, do you have a favourite earthquake moment?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Trashy Holidays

Feeling stressed? Need a break? Got more money than sense? Then take a trip on Garbage Patch Cruises! You can take part in the exclusive eco adventure of a plastic bag’s lifetime when the Sea Dragon sails two months through swirling pools of garbage in the North Pacific Ocean. Just contact the 5 Gyres Institute and Algalita Marine Research Institute and say the secret phrase, “hello sailor”.

People can apply to be part a research/observation “adventure” and monitor the accumulation of debris in the Pacific Ocean following the March 2011 Tsunami that devastated the Japanese coast. Applicants who will be successful will be able to help sail the ship, take part in observations, and cough up $13,500 for the first leg and/or $15,500 for the second.


Holly fuck, 13 and a half grand to get your sea legs! Or at least the first one! If you can only afford one, will they lean over board and fashion a peg leg from floating crap?

Now, I am all for the environment, she and I go way back, but sometimes I have to question the motivation and actions of some people that champion her cause. It feels like at times that they are right up there with vitamin sales people and mortgage brokers; they’re a bit dodgy and have hidden terms and conditions on their reasoning. What is the trip hoping to achieve? Raise awareness? Get stuffed. How about while you’re there you pick up some of that toxic plastic shit and take it back to land instead of waving a flag trying to attract attention?

I should point out both the 5 Gyres Institute and Algalita Marine Research Institute are non-profit groups, and on the surface they have grave concerns about the amount of crap circulating the oceans. I feel that raising awareness is not enough anymore. Society is suffering from aware-fatigue.

Every man and his good willed dog is trying to save the planet and trying to grab the public’s attention. Only to make it aware that life is more shit than they thought. We are tired of being told that we are selfish, destroying the air we breathe, and that doing nothing is just as bad. But you don’t want a society to drop everything and help, trust me, think of consequences. Imagine if everyone started helping and doing everything they can because it was the thing to do. Now, because it is the thing to do, people will stop doing it.

If you’re not careful, environmental ideals will go mainstream and embed itself in popular culture. That would make it cool and therefore uncool because everyone is doing it. Hipsters will start firing cans of hairspray into the air, and CFC fridges will be cool because they are retro.

People in linen pants stalking farmer’s markets calling me Hitler for not growing my own food is bad enough, but hipsters burning tires is worse.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs is dead, long live Steve Jobs 2.0

The Internet is a buzzing. But instead of the hyper excitement or removed anger that usually drives such buzzing, this time it is a mournful drone; Steve Jobs has passed away at the age of 56.

What does this mean for Apple? Will they lose their vision and way without the turtleneck out front? Time will tell on this story, but for now they will still be strong. 

I have never been that keen on Apple. Not because of their products, because unlike many things they just work and fill a need, but because of the beret wearing hipster wannabes proclaiming that Microsoft was evil and was controlling the world.

What about iTunes? Everything goes on or in an Apple product is controlled by Apple and approved by Apple, and it took awhile for them to lose the DRM on their music. Even setting up your device to work on more than one of your computers is a pain, and to what end? Apple is not that innocent.

To be popular and successful in technology, you are invited into people's homes, offices, and everyday lives, and store and share their personal and secret information. In business it is always about growth, and growth is made by a tribe, and keeping people in your tribe. Apple did that well.

The products are still with Apple, and they are still great, the people who help create and share the dreams are still with Apple, and they are still brilliant, most importantly the tribe is still with Apple, and they still wear berets.

Do you think the next man out front for Apple should wear a turtleneck? Does it define the brand?


Image taken here: http://xkcd.com/934/

Monday, October 3, 2011

Twitter and science: The forbidden love

Sociologists at Cornell University, in the longest bow ever drawn for science, have been caught spending too much time on Twitter. They fed millions of tweets into a computer, and based on key words, determined and mapped moods of tweeters throughout the day. Scientists found that after breakfast Monday to Friday, people’s general mood starts going downhill. Who would have thought, people do not like being at work. Shock horror.

In the article written for Science magazine, moods were even likely to drop during the weekend, but on average a couple of hours later in the afternoon and not as much. “It could be that the elevated mood on the weekends [and later dip] is because they did not get woken up by the alarm clock,” said Professor Macy who penned the article. Maybe because it’s the fucking weekend Macy. Do we need to a study to tell us we are happier on the weekend? The later dip in the afternoon could be from the realisation that the weekend is coming to an end and the return to work is imminent, or we’re trying to decide what to wear that night.

If we consider the demographic of the average twitter user, self obsessed enough to broadcast every single waking thought that passes through their brain and spam everyone everything they think is “lol” worthy, you would expect to read a lot of tweets intending to be sarcastic. Macy did state that while the computer program could identify words, the context of the words would be lost. It would be something they might be interested in looking at in the future; with cutting edge research like this you would want to eliminate all possibilities of error. For example, “just watched Jessica Black’s Friday, my life is complete :S” should never be misinterpreted.

Macy said that Twitter and like social media is a new and interesting time for the social sciences as it presents a different way to farm data and observe interactions, and that when they slack off it looks like they are working. On a side note, it’s good to see that the stupid fad of having a press release about unconfirmed and unverified experimental data, such as neutrons travelling faster than the speed of light, was only an isolated incident. (NOTE: if the international community verifies that objects can in fact travel faster than light, I am willing to eat my words. Because time travel and light speed engines are so much cooler than my pride)

And it is good to see that scientists obtain data from non-niche sources; who cares if a farmer in Zimbabwe suffers from 3:30-itis? He’s not going to buy an iPhone 5 or even get good reception, therefore not worthy of study. They would have to print more currency for him for a start.

Do you think your tweets or Facebook status updates represent your mood?