Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Reach Out, Touch Faith

Here is a nice little how-to guide for creating your own personal religious relic: A piece of toast with Jesus's face on it.

So I got the idea of cranking out a few and selling them on Ebay. I'm sure I'm not the first to think of this, but a quick Ebay search for "Jesus toast" turned up nothing. Maybe they don't allow it any more. Damn.

I did come across this other religious relic though. It's a rock with a photograph of a unicorn embedded in it! Only 1.5 million dollars for the first photograph ever taken of the mythical creature. And it's on a rock! How many photos do you see embedded in rocks? Amazing!


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

New Career in Writing

I haven't really told anyone this, but I've started writing. I've always written this blog, but now I'm writing stories too. I have a lot of stories in my head and I guess I just needed to get them on paper (er, on disk) while my brain is still working.

Today I finished my first short story (though it's on the long side of short, so it's more of a novella). I think I'll edit it a few more times, let a few friends read it, then sent it off to a magazine or anthology for publication. I will get rejected, and I really have no idea what I'm doing here, but it's worth a try. Something to get my mind off of psychology once in a while, anyway.

And hey, maybe someone will like it, and I'll become rich and famous. There are plenty of best-selling books that are poorly written but have good ideas, so you never know. When I am famous, you can say you read my blog when I was just a wee lad, and sell all the embarassing secrets that I shared here to tabloids. Lucky you!


Monday, March 27, 2006

Book Review: Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown

A quick review here, just so I have a record of the books I've read and it motivates me to keep reading instead of playing video games (which is what I've been doing for the last 3 days).

Angels and Demons takes place in the same world as The Da Vinci Code, with the same main character, Robert Langdon. I think that Dan Brown is secretly in love with his fictional character, and loves the name "Robert Langdon." He always writes about Langdon's deep manly voice and awesome tweed jacket. And instead of using pronouns, it's "Robert Langdon touched the pope's hat, because it was shiny and Robert Langdon liked shiny things. Robert Langdon communicated Robert Langdon's intense appreciation for the church in that single touch."

This also demonstrates how badly written Angels and Demons is. If you've read The Da Vinci Code and cringed, Angels and Demons is even more simply written. With all this said, it doesn't really get in the way of keeping you reading and interested. The book takes place in real-time, never jumping forward or backward in time (except for flashbacks), so it's as intense as an episode of 24.

The historical "facts" are obviously not facts. While you may feel like you're learning something while reading this book, it's actually making you dumber. For example, a critical plot point is that nobody could figure out how to make words read the same whether they are upside down or right side up (ambigrams). Yet...Dan Brown and Friends were able to come up with a whole bunch for this book (and the awesome cover for it pictured here). It's really cool to see these ambigrams in the book, but I doubt that a fiction author is the first person in history to create them.

Still, if you go in expecting an intense novel that's more science fiction than art history textbook, it's a very entertaining read.

On a side note, I hear that Brown is being sued over The Da Vinci Code. A non-fiction book was written a while before Da Vinci which dealt with the same topic, and the author of that book is angry that Brown stole the idea. Brown admits to using it as a source. Now, last time I checked, fiction authors were allowed to use non-fiction sources to check their facts, and that's not plagarism. If I write an erotic story about squirrel sex, The Discovery Channel isn't going to sue me because I saw squirrels boinking on TV. And this is (supposedly) fact...if Brown hadn't even read this book and had done his own research, he (supposedly) would have come to the same conclusion. Since facts are, arguably, objective.

Whatever. I'm just looking forward to the Smart Car chase in the movie version of The Da Vinci Code. Yay Smart Cars!


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Spelling Nightmares

Hey, how come "refrigerator" has no letter "D" in it, but we abbreviate it to "fridge". What the hell is going on?

Also, in last night's episode of Lost, the doctor's subtitles said "you're husband", confusing "your" and "you're" like a 12 year old on the internet. He's a doctor, you'd think he could spell his subtitles correctly. There better be an explanation involving nanotechnology and the Dharma corporation, or I'm boycotting the show.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Why Rogers Sucks (Continued)

I wrote earlier about how Rogers sucks. It seems I'm not the only one that realizes this. I came across a site called I Hate Rogers, which is a giant rant against the company. They provide alternatives for Rogers services, a crapload of horror stories, and the hilariousness of looking exactly like the Rogers homepage. Nice.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Religious Boat Showdown

I saw the following quote on a church billboard the other day: "Remember, amateurs built the Arc. Professionals built the Titanic!"

To me, that's kinda like saying "Remember, Luke Skywalker destroyed the Death Star all by himself. It took an army to defeat Hitler!"

That is all.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Why Rogers Sucks

There are some serious problems cropping up with this here homepage / blog. It seems I've become the most popular person on the internet, and so too many people are visiting this site. Rogers is a horrible internet service provider, and can't handle a few hundred people visting per day. Thus, it shuts down every once in a while.

So I need to switch to a better place to host this. Anyone have any suggestions? I'm thinking of Blogspot...but that stupid banner at the top is annoying.

I also just got an invite to Google Pages. It's easy to use - I created this beautiful web site in just 5 minutes - but also seems very limited in what it can do. So that won't do either.

You know why else Rogers sucks? I tried downloading a file through Bittorrent the other day, and it was extremely slow. The thing with Bittorrent is it's supposed to be fast...so I did some research and found out that Rogers selectively looks for Bittorrent downloads and slows them down.

What? I don't remember reading anything about purposefully slowing down certain files when I signed up for Rogers. And they didn't let me know that they started doing this. Is it legal to just suddenly cripple a large part of my internet access without telling me?

It's not like I was even doing anything illegal (at that time). I just wanted to download a patch for a game which I own.

Luckily I found away around it (use uTorrent with encryption), but it really sucks that Rogers would try to control what I can and cannot do with the internet connection I pay for. I really should switch to Bell, but I'm lazy.

Well, this post was probably really boring to read, but I had to get that off my chest I guess.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

It's time to pretend we're Irish and drink lots of beer which may or may not be green! Then barf like this guy.

Then you can submit pictures to RateMyVomit.com and be famous forever.

Hooray! Good times!


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Oh Snap!

I moseyed on to the used CD sale in the UCC at Western today and picked up two CDs.

The first one was The Prodigy's Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned. The weird thing about this CD is that I've been eagerly waiting for it since The Fat of the Land came out in 1997. I used to check Prodigy news sites to see when it was coming out, but it kept getting delayed, so I just gave up. I figured that when it came out, I'd hear them on the radio or TV then go out and buy it. Well, apparently it came out in 2004 and I didn't notice. I don't think anybody noticed. Now, two years later, I finally have it. The first few tracks seem awesome. I have no idea why everyone forgot these guys existed.

The second CD is The Bloodhoung Gang's Hefty Fine. A big sticker on the cover of it says it's a promo record company copy, not to be resold or the FBI will cut you. This made me happy...I was like FUCK yeah. FUCK the GOD DAMN record companies and the SHIT HEAD ASSHOLE FBI. I put the CD in, ready for some JESUS FUCKING DAMN CHRIST mindless swearing that the Bloodhound Gang is known for. The CD fires up, and the first words on the CD are "Eminem's gotta cuss in his raps to sell records, well me too", and I'm like FUCKSHITCUNTI'MSOEXCITED, and then the CD is like...

"So *BLEEP* Will Smith!"

I got the fucking clean version. No cussing.

So now I can't tell if the album sucks, or if the Bloodhound Gang just isn't as funny with all the cussing bleeped out. Although it's musically interesting as always, it doesn't seem as funny or offensive as past efforts. Plus the CD is only half an hour long. It might as well be a single.

Now I am disappointed.

Uh. I have nothing else to write. Bye.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Movie Review: The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

I dragged V to see the latest horror remake, The Hills Have Eyes, last night. First of all...and I know it's becoming cliche just to point this out...but what is with all the horror remakes? It really seems like a majority of all horror movies being released are remakes. I can think of a hundred original concepts for a horror movie right now, that could make good, fresh movies in hands of talented filmmakers.

Example: Some children find an ancient scroll in their attic. They read it in the playground, unknowingly trapping the soul of Satan himself in the monkey bars. The jungle gym's killing spree won't stop until every kid at school has fallen off of it and broken their necks.

Slayground is Copyright, 2006, Phronk.

Anyway...The Hills Have Eyes is pretty good as far as remakes go. The original, while good, wasn't an untouchable classic that couldn't possibly be improved upon. The remake sticks with the plot of the original until about halfway through, when it introduces a few entirely new elements. It goes into more detail about the killers' origin, which is kinda unecessary, but it worked out well and kept it from being more of the same.

The movie is surprisingly gory, which is good for horror fans (but probably not for their non-horror-fan girlfriends). Like the original, it doesn't play nice; you never know who's going to die when. It also does a good job of making you hate the bad guys so much that you're right there with the good guys when they go to get their revenge.

The acting is fine. Emilie De Ravin (from Roswell, Lost, etc.) plays a whiny brat, just like she is in real life. I don't think I've ever written about it here, but some day I'll explain how Emilie and her fake lawyers cheated me out of a million dollars. Some kid plays the kid who's smarter than all the adults, and is quite good. The cannibal things look sufficiently frightening, but all the makeup and CG in the world can't compare to what Michael Berryman (the scary dude in the original) just looks like naturally.

Overall, nice little movie. I recommend it.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How to Stop Time

I found this groovy little illusion: How to Stop Time. It involves looking at a the second hand of a clock out of the corner of your eye, and it appears to stop moving.

The site gets cheesiness points for trying to convince people that they are actually stopping time. I do wonder what the actual explanation is, though. I've read about people with brain damage who are blind to movement: when pouring liquid out of a glass, they see it frozen in mid-pour, then the glass is suddenly empty. Perhaps this illusion is related to that, allowing normal people to experience change blindness without ramming a pole through their brain.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Isaac Hayes Quits South Park Because He's a Douchebag

A while ago, I wrote about how Scientology sucks, as demonstrated by an episode of South Park. I found it funny that Isaac Hayes, the voice of Chef, is a Scientologist. I admired him a bit, though, for staying with the show even though it skewered his religion.

Not any more. Hayes quit South Park, solely because of its take on Scientology. First of all: Lighten the fuck up. Scientologists take their pseudo-religion way too seriously considering it's based on a science fiction author's ramblings about ghosts from space. Second of all: South Park has made fun of anything and everything for almost 10 years now, and he chooses this one thing to quit over?

Matt Stone (co-creator of the show) said it best:

"He has no problem — and he's cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians.....He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin."

Yup. I'd say he's one of the smartest guys working in the entertainment industry.

P.S. This creepy bronze bust is supposed to be Isaac Hayes.



More Cheery Cuba News

Another Canadian has died while on vacation in Cuba. She fell from the balcony of her room. While I have absolutely no reason to believe this, I'm going to say it was probably murder. You heard it here first.

I kick ass because I survived vacation.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Cuba Trip (Part 1)

V and I spent our slack week doing what the week was made for: slacking. We figured slacking would be more efficient in a warm place, so we went to Cuba. Here are some pictures and stories documenting the trip.

The plane ride there was a blast. The Cuban airline isn't as nice and fancy as Air Canada. I couldn't understand what the hell the stewardess was saying over the intercom, even when she switched to English. She could have been telling us that our time on this earth is over...say bye to your loved ones...but all I heard was Spanglish babbling. The seat in front of me had a substance on it that resembled bloody snot, and even though I knew it would make me lose my appetite, I couldn't stop looking at it as I ate. That was probably a good thing though, since the "beef" they served for lunch was covered in a shiny rainbow film, like it was covered in oil. Probably good that I didn't eat it.

The airport had people in military outfits all over the place, which is a little alarming at first. We found the guy who was supposed to guide us to the resort, but he said our bus was full. He told us to get on another random bus. Whatever. Luckily it did take us to the right place...Brisas Del Caribe, which looks like this from the outside:

Cuba  - 86

The lobby of the resort was full of drunk people. That's because there are two bars in the lobby alone. Nice. Further exploration revealed that there were approximately three thousand bars at the place, all serving unlimited booze. The bartenders there don't bother with little things we care about here...such as "measuring" and "not spilling rum all over the bar". Every drink was at least a double. Plus they're never the same twice. You can order a "Brisas" one day, and it will be a blue fruity vodka drink. The next day it will be a pink rum drink. It's a surprise every time. My new favourite drink is the Mojito, which has tonic water, mint leaves, a bunch of sugar, and a whole lot of rum.

Cuba  - 106

Yum. I also rediscovered the Grasshopper (chocolate liqueur, mint liqueur, cream). It's not unique to Cuba or anything, but damn it's good. I was mildly drunk the entire week, but never really DRUNK drunk. I guess your body gets used to alcohol when it's all you drink. And yes, my shirt does say "Western Drinking Team."

While the drinks were good, the food was ... questionable. They seem to love ham and cheese there. You can get ham and cheese on its own, ham and cheese on a piece of toast, deep fried ham/cheese paste, or ham and cheese stuffed into a chicken ("Gordon Blue", as the menu called it). The rest of the buffet was average at best...and unidentifiable at worst. V mostly stuck to bread, but I enjoyed some of the weird mystery food.

Our room smelled funny (as did most of the country), but it was good enough for sleeping. The bathroom, like the food, was full of mysteries.

Cuba  - 15

Like, what the hell is this? It looks like a sink that's a foot off the ground. At first we thought it was a urinal, but what's the point, with a toilet right beside it? Then I thought maybe it's for washing feet and babies. Some dude we met insisted it was a bidet...a fancy European thing that you shit in, then spray water onto your ass and balls to clean off. Just the fact that people think you should shit in the thing makes me sorry I ever washed my feet in it.

Whoa...ok...I looked it up in Wikipedia (Bidet). It probably was a bidet...which is for washing your junk off (but not shitting in), and washing babies. Um...yuck. Poor babies.

Speaking of washing and genitals, the maids would make fun sculptures with the towels they brought to the room. Here is one of them:

Cuba  - 71

What is it? My guess is vagina. I suppose it could be a flower or shrimp thing, though. Who knows.

Cuba  - 14

The bathroom also held this friendly reminder that the world cannot survive without water. Also, we cannot live without water. Don't misspendit...pitchin.

OK, enough dumb stuff. The whole point of Cuba was to be in warm weather on a nice beach, and there was plenty of that. The weather was beautiful the whole time we were there, and the beach really is gorgeous. We spent the majority of our time just sitting on the beach or by the pool reading in the sun (though, strangely, neither of us got a dark tan). Here are some random pictures of the beautifulness:

Cuba  - 76

Cuba  - 17

Cuba  - 92

Cuba  - 43

Cuba  - 99

Cuba  - 18

I could write more, but I'll save it for later. What I still need to cover: Lizards, The River Cruise, Communism/Anti-Americanism, The Rock Star, and CSI: Cuba. Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Best Movie Review Ever

While procrastinating today, I clicked on a review for Madea's Family Reunion (I don't know why). The reviewer had an amazing line summarizing his view of the movie:

"Better than its predecessor, but only in the same way that the bomb on Nagasaki was better than the one on Hiroshima."

-- Eric D. Snider, EFILMCRITIC.COM


Nice.

It does look like a pretty crappy movie, but I have a feeling I'm missing something about it. Like I just don't get what the big deal is. It's the number one movie at the moment, so there's obviously something to it. Weird.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Back

I'm back in Canada, and still alive. If I'm to believe the commercials, since I didn't get my Twinrix vaccination, I probably have a disease from a single ice cube, which will manifest itself in a few months. We'll see.

Anyway, Cuba was neat. I'll post pictures or something later. Highlights include: drinking until I was completely immune to the effects of alcohol, eating mysterious paste found on the buffet, and watching the military investigating a hula hoop.

More later.

P.S. This is the best commercial ever. Go penis, go penis!

P.P.S: Cats playing ping pong saying O RLY and YA RLY.  You gotta see it to understand. (Thanks Captain Bee)