Thursday, December 31, 2009

An Old Man Reflects on Life


I've been blogging for over ten years.

There probably aren't many people in the world who can say that. I'm actually getting closer to 15 years of web logging now, given that I invented blogging. Which raises the question (but doesn't beg the question; please stop using it that way ok?): have I not found anything better to do in the past decade?

I'm also barreling towards turning 30 years old. And fast, too, because doesn't time seem to pass faster and faster with each year? This decade had flown by so quickly that I can still clearly remember ringing in the year 2000, flinching in anticipation of the end of the world.

But here I am, still ticking and tocking. Still without a career. Still single. It's gotten to the point where friends want to set me up with friends, and my family encourages me to get the waitress's phone number when we go out for dinner. All appreciated, sure, but I think this is related to turning 30. It's that threshold where people are expected to have their life together. I fear the monotony of a decided-upon life as much as I do the uncertainty of being lost, but the pressure is there.

And soon it will go from setting me up with friends, to setting me up with a "really nice" (i.e., ugly) co-worker, to begging me to take out the older divorcee from spin class, to just being the creepy uncle who's given up. Next stop: dying alone.

I'm not going to let any of this happen (especially the dying part), but maybe kicking life's ass would be easier if I wasn't 30. Maybe I should update all my online profiles on a yearly basis, shifting my birth year up so I stay 29. I'll have to manage my internet footprint to be consistent with this aging prorogue. Eventually my blog archives from the year 2000 will read "goo goo, gah gah, just a baby here. Yes, I can type. NO MORE FUCKING QUESTIONS."

It'll be harder to manage my real life (a.k.a. meatspace) footprint. Wrinkle cream is improving all the time though.

I have no idea where I was going with this.



Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Best Most Listened to Albums of 2009: Honourable Mentions (#ldnfavs09)

Like I said last year, I can't really say what the best music of the year is. I haven't listened to every album that has come out, and I'm no music critic. What I can do is say which albums captured my ears enough to listen to over and over. Luckily, Last.fm keeps track of all the music I listen to, so it's easy to see which albums those are. In a few days I will post my most listened-to albums of the year. But today, here are some albums that probably would have made that list, if they came out or I'd gotten them earlier in the year. This only includes albums that were released in 2009.


Aqua - Greatest Hits: It's so disappointing that Aqua's big comeback was just 3 new songs on a greatest hits album. Oh, but what songs they are. Back to the Eighties sounds just fresh enough to exist today, while keeping Aqua's awkward, slightly out-of-touch-with-reality lyrics. Every night I pray that Aqua will release another full length album.













The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die: Another 90s band still kicking ass in the 00s, The Prodigy continues to make insanely high-energy dance music that's useful for when you need that extra motivation at the gym, or you're cutting an action movie trailer.  

See also: The Crystal Method - Divided By Night; MSTRKRFT - Fist of God; You Say Party! We Say Die! - XXXX







Chris Cornell - Scream: Then there's how not to make a comeback. Chris Cornell's — yes, the same one who fronted Soundgarden and Audioslave — Timbaland-produced, guitar-free pop collection is a platypus of an album; so disjointed and ugly that it really shouldn't even exist. But in my humble opinion, it goes so far into terrible territory that it ends up in awesome land.












What...the...fuck.
 
 
 
Lady GaGa - The Fame Monster: More WTF courtesy of Lady GaGa. The Fame Monster is a little 8-song blast of sugary pop with an edge to it. It's like a tiny dessert that's finished before you're sick of its sweet-bitter richness.  
See also: Lights - The Listening, Infected Mushroom - Legend of the Black Shawarma.








Weezer - The 8-bit Album: A collection of Weezer songs done in the style of, or with the technology of, 8-bit video games. Weezer's genius in crafting strong pop songs is highlighted by the fact that they're still fun to listen to when stripped down to bleeps and bloobs.  
See also: Weezer - Raditude, Jaydiohead - Jay-Z x Radiohead.









Gavin Castleton - Home: A concept album telling a story of love during a zombie apocalypse? YES PLEASE.  
See also: other quirky independent pop: e.g.: The Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away, Islands - Vapours, Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career, Andrew Bird - Noble Beast.






Ramona Falls - Intuit: Raymi tossed a video from this album onto one of her posts, and I instantly fell in love with it. Such beautiful, dark, fresh, epic music. Even though I have no idea what they're singing about most of the time.
See also: Placebo - Battle For the Sun.










I'll be back in a few days with the albums I listened to most in 2008.

Oh, and if you live in London Ontario and have a post about your favourite stuff of 2009 (or the decade), be sure to tag it with "#ldnfavs09" so we can keep it all together. See Brian Frank's post about it and the Friendfeed Stream for more info.

See also:


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Another PlayTV Canada Update

The ongoing fight against shitty television continues. See the latest developments here.

If only I could apply myself like this to something that's actually important, eh?

Ah well, baby steps. Or little legless kitten steps.




Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Why Twitter is Stupid and How to Make it Smarter



Twitter, I love you, but sometimes you are a total fucking douchetard.

I feel like I'm pointing out an elephant in a room, or that an emperor who thinks he has invisible clothes is actually naked (hey someone should write a story about that), but Twitter, here are some things about you that are stupid, and always have been:

1. Twitter implicitly implies that people with longer usernames deserve shorter replies than people with shorter usernames, because the name you address a reply to counts as part of the 140 character limit. How does this make any god damn sense? It's like if you go to the post office, and they tell you that your letter came under the maximum weight allowance, but couldn't be sent because the recipient's name was too long. What?

Solution: Make anything coming after "@" not count towards the 140 character limit. Yes, people will abuse it by @whoopsIwentover140charslol, but I'm gonna go ahead and make a bold prediction: the internet will not explode if a message longer than 140 characters gets posted to Twitter.


2. Similarly, web addresses take up characters. URL shortening services exist (and continue to be created) just to get around this. I wouldn't call this out as stupid, if the rest of the entire internet hadn't already figured out an even more elegant solution than making the URL shorter:

Solution: See, when Al Gore invented the internet, he thought of these things called "links", that would "link" between web pages. Even neater, instead of typing the full address of a page every time, you can actually take any word and "link" it, which will underline it and make it clickable. Twitter, maybe you should look into this "link" phenomenon that is taking the internet by storm.


3. This is the stupidest thing about Twitter, that I can't believe people just take for granted: why do we read Twitter in bottom-to-top chronological order?

In almost every (every?) language, when you are reading a story out of a book, things that happen first go at the top, and things that happen after that go below it. Your eyes start at the top of the page, then smoothly read left to right, down one line, left to right, down, etc.

But no Twitter, you gotta be different. If Twitter was a novel, it would work like this:

  • Go to Twitter.com (or fire up a client), load up the novel you're reading. The last paragraph of the book appears at the top of the screen. SPOILER ALERT.
  • You scroll down to the bottom, click the "more" button, scroll more, skim each paragraph, click more, until 5 minutes later, you find a paragraph that looks vaguely familiar, so you figure you probably left off somewhere around there.
  • You read the last unread paragraph. Your eyes scan left to right, top to bottom. Then, to get to what happens next, your eyes skip up, over the paragraph you just read, to read the paragraph above it.
  • Everything seems oddly familiar since you had to skim the entire story just to figure out where you were in the book.
  • You finally get to the end, at the top of the first page, and see that more of the story has been written. You refresh for new content, then start the whole skimming-for-where-you-left-off process over again.

And of course, Twitter is kind of like a big ongoing story of things happening with your friends. Yet we put up with this bizarre non-chronological order of reading it.

Solution: Make Twitter read chronologically from top to bottom like everything else on the fucking planet. And implement a bookmark function in which the top of the screen is always where you last left off.


People would complain about these solutions. Boo hoo. So keep the old options buried in some menu, and have the rest of Twitter finally fulfill its purpose as a hassle-free way to keep up with the story of people's lives, in 140 characters of content at a time.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Book Review: For the Win, by Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow's upcoming young adult novel, For the Win (or FTW), may not sound all that interesting on the surface.

At its core, this is a book about economics and the formation of unions. Boooring. Yet Doctorow weaves an intense story around these potentially dry topics, resulting in one of the most riveting books I've read this year.

For the Win takes place in the near future, when multiplayer online games—descendants of Everquest and World of Warcraft—have continued to rise in popularity. Gold farmers work long hours under harsh conditions to harvest digital items and currency from the games so they can be sold for real cash. When they realize they are being mistreated, they begin to come together and fight for their rights, in both the real world and in gamespace.

This isn't exactly science fiction. All of the technology described in the novel already exists, in only slightly less advanced form (e.g., the most exotic technology I can recall is a retinal scanner that starts a car). This grounding in our reality means that the struggles Doctorow deals with will become reality, where they haven't already.

Indeed, the economies of online games will begin to rival the economies of small countries; they're already worth billions of dollars per year. When that much money is involved, the line between online worlds and the real world is bound to get fuzzy. For the Win emphasizes that, at their hearts, life is a big game, and games are serious business. Economics, power, gambling, risk, violence: they're all just games that will be played in any place people gather, real or virtual.

It's interesting to see Doctorow's vision of social media, as well. He demonstrates that, in a world where text, pictures, radio broadcasts, videos, etc., can be instantly created and transmitted to a network of people anywhere in the world (the main characters are in the U.S., India, and China, yet all work together), the organizations that used to control the transmission of information no longer have power. It's like an effortless novelization of Clay Shirky's ideas about technology and social networking.

For the Win breaks some rules of the typical YA novel by being longer than it needs to be, and having so many characters that they can get mixed up. "Show don't tell" doesn't apply, with character-free tangents explaining complex economic topics that I found fascinating but could be dry to most. But you know what? Cory Doctorow can break the rules, because he's a fucking genius. He has great ideas coming out of his ass. He could bang out unedited thoughts into an unordered list and it would still be a great read.

It could, however, be considered too one-sided. While it all makes sense in the context of the story, there is nary an anti-union word in the book. With London's month-long bus strike just coming to an end yesterday, I'm of the opinion that there are situations in which unions can become the greedy organizations they were designed to combat. It's often not possible for all workers to come together, like when the workers who need buses to get to work can't do so because the workers who drive the buses want more money.

In any case, the story of unions, economics, and video games that Doctorow has created is exciting and eye-opening. It will probably appeal most to nerdier, technology-oriented types with an interest in the money game that makes the world go 'round, but almost anyone could find something to love here. for the win ftw.

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Note: This book doesn't come out until May of next year. As far as I can Google, this is the first review on the entire internet. I pledged Cory Doctorow my eternal love if he'd send me a copy, and he was kind enough to email me an early draft. It's full of errors both small and substantial, but I'm sure they will be corrected. My copy of For the Win, for the record, is the "second manuscript printing," dated October 8th 2009. If anyone expresses a problem with the existence of this review, I will certainly take it into consideration.

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P.S. Somebody needs to actually create Zombie Mecha (one of the games in the book), right now.



Monday, December 14, 2009

Sixty Nine Reasons to Avoid Tall, Dark and Handsome

Girls often say they want a guy who is tall, dark, and handsome.

Handsome I get, obviously. Dark? Yeah, I definitely understand dark. But tall? Why tall?

It's not like height automatically fulfills that "I'm a tiny girl and I need a big strong man to protect me from tigers and serial killers and serial killer tigers" instinct / stereotype. An extra half-foot of leg and torso doesn't automatically confer kung fu skills, or even strength.

There is one situation I can think of where height matters, but it is almost always a detriment. I'm talking about one of my favourite configurations of people, the sixty-nine. If a girl is dating a "tall" guy (i.e. taller than her), this position is awkward, and may lead to stiff necks, stretched appendages, and/or a permanent hunch-back.

I know sometimes you're a bit dim, so let me illustrate this for you. Let's say Lady GaGa (5'1") has made special friends with Conan O'Brien (6'4"):

Bad Romance

It doesn't work! Neither of them are enjoying themselves.

But let's say Conan goes for someone more his height, like Jane Lynch (6'0")

Glee

Much better!

So yeah, go for dark, go for handsome, but please, don't go for tall, because look what you are missing out on. LOOK. Unless you are Jane Lynch and then it's okay. Or Anne Coulter (6'0"), but I'd really prefer if you didn't have babies.

Thanks Anne.

Females and gay dudes: can you explain to me why tall men are alluring?

Sincerely,
~ Phronk (5'8")

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P.S. I find it a bit disturbing that there is a whole community devoted to figuring out how tall celebrities are.



Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Werewolves Versus Plastinates

Look at this lovely package I got from Amazon the other day:



I was not expecting the beautiful embossed tin packaging. And I wasn't entirely sure which movies would be included. When you see the words "Howling Trilogy", you'd usually make a few assumptions.

You'd assume that there are only three movies in the series. But no, The Howling has approximately eight billion sequels. But I'll let that slide, because it doesn't say "The Howling Trilogy". Nope, this is just a trilogy of Howling movies.

You'd assume it would at least be a sequential collection of sequels. But no, this is The Howling III, V, and VI.

Maybe they are tied together as a trilogy because they follow a common plot thread. But no, the only thing they have in common is that they all have werewolves. This is just a random collection of three Howling movies.

But I really don't care, because damn, look at that packaging. Plus, I've long thought of The Howling V as one of my favourite movies ever, but I only saw it once when I was a kid, so a second viewing might snuff out the rosy glow that nostalgia provides.

[clumsy segue] Speaking of things that transform [/clumsy segue]

Here are some pictures from the Body Worlds show that is at the Toronto Science Centre, where real dead people are transformed into artsy / educationy installations.






His junk is totally about to smash into the hurdle. :(

Some people were grumpy about me taking pictures. Because, you know, nobody else on the entire internet will take pictures, and free advertising is bad.

It was as fascinating this time as last time I went, with lots of new plastinates on display. Seeing the bodies up close is satisfying on a few levels. There's the education, knowing how the awe-inspiring machine that is the human body works. There's the "wow, one of those jiggly thing sitting out there is sitting right here inside me too" level. And there's the morbid curiosity we all have; just the visceral thrill of seeing a dead body.

Definitely worth checking out if you're in the area.



Monday, December 07, 2009

XXXMas



Did it ever occur to you that Christianity is mostly based on a woman trying to hide how slutty she was?

"Mary! What the fuck!"

"No seriously, I'm a virgin. It's...it's a miracle?"

Then, two thousand and ten years later, we have a pope who doesn't believe in birth control.



Saturday, December 05, 2009

Play TV Update

A while ago I posted about the disgusting scam that is PlayTV Canada. Well, "someone" has posted a follow-up to that. See Play TV Canada Has No Legs for further discussion of the fraud, and an in-depth analysis of one of their "puzzles."



Friday, December 04, 2009

Lights at the London Music Hall, December 3 2009



Last night I braved a sea of 12 year olds to go see Lights at the London Music Hall. It was a great show. Considering she only has one full album out, I was amazed at the enthusiasm there; everyone could already sing along to every song. I have a feeling that Lights is gonna be huge.1

If you haven't seen this video yet, you should:



The opening act, Jets Overhead, was also a nice surprise. I know some people were there just to see them, and I can see why.



Good times, good times.

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1 loljk, she's a midget.



Thursday, December 03, 2009

Fun With Maps

Google Maps released their Street View service in London yesterday. This allows you to zoom in to ground level and view an area as if you were driving down the street. Anyone who happened to be in the area when the Street View van took these pictures is now immortalized on camera.

Of course I looked at my own place first. I'm not visible, but you can see a gargoyle in my window as a little white blob. (No, I'm not telling you where I live.)

Then I went to the sketchy part of town to look for weird people. I found this half-naked confused rollerblader:



Then, Katrina Clarke, on Twitter, posted this capture from right across the street:



Aww, just two people holding hands. But let's go back down the street (and back in time) to further explore their relationship:



Hmm, they weren't holding hands a second ago.



Wait, is that a little white baggy in his hand?



And a few seconds after the hand holding, is he stuffing something into his pocket?

Ok so it's not unambiguous evidence of a drug deal caught on camera, but given the sequence of events and the generally drugginess of the area, it's more than possible.

Which is ironic, when you shift the view of that last picture just a bit to the left:



Of course, Microsoft couldn't be left out of all this fun. So in their latest attempt to play catchup with Google, they upgraded their Bing Maps service. They have obviously put a lot of work into making it nearly identical to Google Maps, which confused me, since you know, Google Maps already exists.

Then I saw THIS.



I heard of photosynth a long time ago — it makes three dimensional renderings of an area out of still pictures tagged with a location (making leaving the house even more pointless) — but I never imagined it could be used for such important applications as viewing the landmark of ... a jackalope in some dude's basement?

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See also:


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

National Photo Book Month 2009

Update! There are more options for downloading the book, if it didn't work for you yesterday. See below. Only this link works now.

After completing NaNoWriMo, I was left with very little to do. I thought to myself, self, you have two and a half hours before the end of the month; what other November-related activities could you take part in? Then I thought of NaPhoBoMo, or National Photo Book Month; a London-originating project to make a photo book in November. And hey, if I can write a novel in a month, then surely I can take 50 pictures and figure out how to turn them into a book in three hours.

As 9:45 approached, I began to see the excellent completed works from other participants in this wonderful project, and I wanted to fit in. So I went out and began taking pictures. And by "out" I mean out of my computer chair and into the wilds of my one-bedroom apartment. I pressed the macro button on my camera, but it didn't prevent most of my closeups from being blurry.

Now you may witness the creativity that procrastination can unleash. The .pdf file of my photo book, Blurry Closeups of Random Objects in My Apartment, can be downloaded (TOTALLY FOR FREE) by clicking here.


Be sure to go through this work of art in order. Let your mind make the connections between photos, leading you on a journey through my life; a journey of horror and delight that, you will gradually realize, is a journey through the plight of all mankind. You will gasp at the unfolding story of materialism, spirituality, sex, the apocalypse, the death of all things physical in favour of all things digital, and ultimately, getting back to our ancient Asian heritage.

It's a message of hope, really.

Or it's just random shit from my apartment because I wanted to fit in but didn't want to go outside.

It's snowing out there you guys.

CLICK NOW TO DOWNLOAD OMG


Update! Some people are having trouble downloading it. If the full sized version above doesn't work, try these:


Monday, November 30, 2009

Done

Ugh. Done. Out of words now = me. Writing haaard.




Friday, November 27, 2009

Suck Bite Blow

It's the home stretch of NaNoWriMo, and I'm a few thousand words behind. But I'm gonna write like a mofo and get it done.

I am happy to announce the title for this year's novel. It is called "This Novel Sucks." It is another unremarkable novel about vampires.

While staring off into space instead of writing, I also came up with ideas to craft into novels for the next two Novembers.

Next year I shall unleash "This Novel Bites," which is another unremarkable novel about werewolves.

The year after that, I shall write "This Novel Blows," another unremarkable novel about wind creatures.




Thursday, November 26, 2009

Matthew Good and Mother Mother Live at Centennial Hall, London Ontario



Yesterday, I had the good fortune of winning free tickets to the Matt Good show, courtesy of @London_events on Twitter. After walking to the London Free Press Building to pick them up, then to near Masonville after that, I was exhausted and kinda worried about falling asleep. But the music was so damn good that I couldn't.

I've been a huge fan of the opening act, Mother Mother for the last year or so. I was pumped to see them live, and wasn't disappointed. They sounded a lot heavier and more energetic in person; they literally had (weird) people dancing in the aisles. The only shitty part was that their act was so short. Matt Good I'd seen before at a festival, which wasn't really the right venue for his music. He was a lot better at a show dedicated to him, playing a good mix of old and new, familiar and unfamiliar. He stuck to the "here is the quiet part AND THEN THE LOUD PART and then the quiet part" type of songs that are best live.

After the show, we went for some drinks at Crabby Joe's. Dan and I had a lengthy discussion about which of the two Mother Mother keyboardist / singers we'd like to marry, because they were both pretty from a distance. So we Googled them for a better look. Amazingly, the bar then played one of Mother Mother's songs. Weird! What a coincidence!

A few minutes later, our server asked use if we'd heard of Mother Mother. Well yeah, we were just at their show. She then told us that the band had been sitting right behind us as we Googled them and talked about which one we'd like to Google.1

Oh, and Matt Good's band was there too. Apparently they were mildly douchy, and signed their brown paper tablecloth with the provided crayons. Our server gave it to me because she secretly loves me.



She signed it too. I don't really care about Matt Good's band's autographs (and grease stains), but as a signed gift from the beautiful Crabby Joe's waitress, I will cherish it forever.





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1 The server also told us that there was only one female member of the band. THEN WHO WAS PHONE?




Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ga Ga Ooh La La

This may come as a surprise, but I am capable of being wrong.

When I listed the best and worst albums of 2008, I chose Lady GaGa's The Fame as the worst of the year, deriding its extreme shallowness.

But in the last year, Lady GaGa has become something so much more than her shallow dance music. In her live performances and videos, she's used fashion, dance, and confusion over whether or not she has a cock, to tap into that most powerful of human emotions, WTF.

So I was wrong. I've come to love her whatthefuckedness. Like, have you seen her latest video?



Plus, in case you missed it, the video for Paparazzi:



So incredibly good! She's taken that shallowness and embraced it, twisted it, flipped it around and reflected it back on an unsuspecting public.

Oh, and here she is all acoustic-style back in 2005:



She can sing. And looks better as a brunette. I think. Actually, it's hard to even tell what she looks like, since she's completely different every time she's seen. I don't know if I'd recognize her walking down the street. Being plastered all over every media source but remaining almost unrecognizable? That. That takes talent.




Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Search Terms Used to Find Phronk.com, Volume 7

I'm still writing that novel (almost 30 000 words, motherfuckers!), so I don't have time for a real blog post. Here are ways that people have found Phronk.com recently:

- conservative cake
- bob ross joy of painting book 23

- how to keep things out of my 3 year olds mouth
- how to talk interesting
- why isnt cussing beeped on hell's kitchen dvd

- ice cream wars in london

And I still get plenty of:
- uwo nude girls
- saugeen stripper's name
    - sookie wtf
    - does anyone else think charlaine harris's books suck?
    [always good to phrase Google searches as if you're talking to a room full of people]

    - 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
    [someone in Australia searched for this. It's an exact quote from one of my one hundred original ideas for horror films]

    - sucking and fucking
    - suckingandfucking
    - ladies sucking and fucking
    - [etc. x 100]

    - aliens pee-pee and barf
    - carrie pees on mythbusters
    - fish in vagina porn
    - fucked by a giraffe
    - do people fart a lot when they burn fat

    - how can you write on your own facebook wall [I get this all the time, and can't figure it out. I don't know which Facebook other people are looking at, but on mine, writing on my own wall is one of the few easy things to accomplish there. It's the giant text box right in the middle of the screen.]

    And speaking of finding this blog: I'm thinking of moving it over to a real domain. If anyone out there links to here, please make sure the link is to http://www.phronk.com . Links to individual posts will be broken.

    I will be back to regularly scheduled blogging in a few weeks.

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    Never Forgive, Never Forget



    This is another post I'm being paid to write. You know what that means: PASS. On to the next blog. It's Sunday anyway, so why are you reading this? Go call your mom or something.

    Today's lovely sponsor is Warranty Elephant. When I first saw the name, I was all like "OMFG, like, what do elephants have to do with warranties? Is this just an attempt to cash in on the need for every technology site to have an animal icon? Why would I want an elephant reminding me when my warranty runs out?"

    But then I remembered that elephants never forget.

    Why do elephants never forget? According to Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins, the saying comes from ...

    ... the true story of a British colonial villa which was built across a traditional elephant walk in India. The elephants were confused and enraged to find their way blocked, and every year at the same time, the villa staff would have to defend the villa and deflect the herds around it so they could get from one side of the offending villa in their traditional migration.
    Finally the elephants could not be dissuaded, and one year in rage they finally stormed on through the villa, destroying it and killing many of the people

    In other words, this web site will remember warranty information for you, even if it means killing anyone who gets in the way.

    Here is a review of the service: The web site is ugly, but it's simple enough to navigate and to set up an account. I'm not sure why it asked for my marital status though; maybe the rampaging elephants kill single people first? I plugged in the info for my iPhone, and now the site will email me 3 months, 1 month, and 1 week before the warranty on it expires.

    In a way it's a solution looking for a problem. I rarely even pay attention to warranties unless there's a malfunction, in which case it's not that hard to figure out if I'm still in the warranty period or not. I suppose this would be most useful for extended warranties. You know, the ones they sell you at Best Buy with the line "you can take a hammer to it when the warranty is about to expire, then bring it in and get upgraded to the latest model."

    Also, I agree with Dead Robot that it would be more useful if it automatically imported warranty information based on the product info you input.

    Anyway, go check out Warranty Elephant if you blah blah blah etc etc.



    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Do What You Do - Down On Me



    Here is a list of things that are way funnier if done while crying:
    • Eating.
    • Exercising to workout videos from the 80s.
    • Writing "LOL" on your ex's Facebook wall.
    • Giving a lap dance (obvs.)
    • Receiving oral sex.

    fjlk';safd

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Wonders Never Cease

    So it's a pretty embarrassing blotch in my otherwise perfect life, but I share a birthday with Mel Gibson.

    However, this minor tragedy is alleviated by also sharing a birthday with:
    • Sergio Fucking Leone
    • John Paul Fucking Jones
    • J.R.R. Fucking Tolkein
    And I just found this out today, but also with:
    • WINNIE FUCKING COOPER
    You know? From The Wonder Years?






    Wait, let's zoom out on that Google image search ...



    Holy crap! Winnie Cooper got hot!



    Maybe if I send enough creepy letters and Wonder Years fan fiction, she'll, you know, be with me.



    Oh crap! DAMN YOU GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH!


    FIN.


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    P.S. SHOUT OUTS to Fragileheart and Lauren Blonde because they talked about birthdays on Twitter and made me write this.

    P.P.S. It's not my birthday today. I just think about it a lot because I am terrified of turning 30.

    P.P.P.S. Danica McKellar is actually an awesome person, who now writes books encouraging young girls to get into mathematics. So she's got brains and heart in addition to good looks.

    Here's proof!




    asldkfjads;

    Wednesday, November 04, 2009

    One Letter Off Movies and Unseen Prequels

    I admit, I kinda love these little Twitter hash tag memes that pop up now and again. In case you've been living under The Rock, it works like so: on Twitter, when people want to make their posts part of an easily-searchable group, they tag them with a hash tag. That's just a word preceded with "#". Like right now, it's the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, so people talking about that add #iranelection to their posts, and anyone wanting to see up to the minute updates about it can search for that term.

    Somehow, sometimes, a tag pops up with some frivolous theme that anybody can participate in.

    Here are some that I wrote recently:

    One Letter Off Movies (#oneletteroffmovies)1:
    • Very Rad Things.
    • Dirty Pork.
    • Hobo Cop.
    • She-Hobbit.
    • Jews.
    Unseen Prequels (#unseenprequels):
    • 28 Days Before.
    • Night of the Living.
    • Moulin Under Construction.
    • The Intact Crystal.
    • Twelve Unemotional Men.
    • Mr. Smith Goes to the Bathroom.
    • Look Who Hasn't Started Talking Yet.
    • When Two Strangers Named Harry and Sally Went About Their Separate Lives.
    • Annie Vestibule.
    • Batman: Spending Time With Mom & Dad.


    Try your own. By joining Twitter, if you haven't yet, you dinosaur.

    ----------

    1 Whoa, I just thought of another one. THE COCK! ROFLMAO

    ----------

    See also: #cowfilms



    Tuesday, November 03, 2009

    Why You Shouldn't Date or Hire Michael Bolton


    So I've had the Michael Bolton song Said I Loved You But I Lied stuck in my head for a week (mostly thanks to EvilFlu). This has given me some time to analyze the lyrics.

    Here is the song's big twist (SPOILER ALERT):

    Said I loved you but I lied
    'Cause this is more than love I feel inside
    Said I loved you but I was wrong
    'Cause love could never ever feel so strong

    Hrm. Here's the thing: "More than love" is not really what you want from a romantic partner. Love is the goal; the defining feature of a successful relationship. Once Michael Bolton loves you, you've hit the maximum. "More than love" is likely to be creepy obsession, neediness, or some bizarre fetish. Since Bolton lied about love, all that's left is the weirdness. And the fact that he's a liar.

    If you fall for this song, you will probably soon find Michael Bolton in a tree outside your house, dressed in a giant baby bonnet and diaper.

    TAKE YOUR MULLET ELSEWHERE SIR.

    It's similar to someone expressing that they will "give 110%." Let's say I'm interviewing someone for a job, and he tells me he will put 110% of his effort into his work. This immediately tells me that he is: A) Bad with math; and B) Not very good at judging his own quantity of effort. Because if he reaches 100% of his effort, then goes 10% further, all that means is what he thought was 100% was lower than 100%. He said he gave 100%, but he lied.

    I'd rather hear "I'll give 80% effort, with the other 20% devoted to being lazy, distracted, or spiteful." Because that's realistic, and probably more effort than most people actually put towards anything.

    So watch your maximums, people. Furthermore, get out of my dreams, and into my life.

    ----------

    P.S. The video for this song is actually pretty amazing:



    Get it? There are flames, because he cleverly compares love to a flame in the song. And horses, because... horses are fucking cool. Fuck yeah.

    aksldfj

    Monday, November 02, 2009

    NaNoWriMo 2009

    Hello blog. I am, once again, participating in NaNoWriMo, a.k.a. November, a.k.a. the month in which people try to write an entire novel.

    I'll still blog, but not as much, and it will probably suck, since I only have a finite supply of creativity juice and all that will be left for here is the chunky dregs at the bottom.

    Here is my NaNoWriMo user profile, and you will see a little graph of my progress below and on my sidebar whenever traffic slows down and their widgets start working. Feel free to cheer me on to cancel out all the people who say I can't do it.1



    P.S. You should participate too. I truly believe that everyone has at least one novel in them. Maybe not one that other people would want to read, but you'll be a better person for having written it.

    1 Note: Nobody has ever said I can't do it.

    Saturday, October 31, 2009

    A Fuck You to PlayTV Canada



    UPDATE (Dec. 5 2009): There is some fruitful discussion of this scam going on over at, um, "another blog": See Play TV Canada is a Scam and Play TV Canada Has No Legs.

    I see this "show" on sometimes when I flip on the TV before bed, and I can't turn away. It's the most boring thing you could think of: this guy stands there, with some sort of "puzzle" on the screen, and he says that time is running out for someone to call in, give the solution to the puzzle, and win $500. That's it. He stands there, babbling, waiting for the phone to ring.

    The thing is, it's a blatant scam. These people use subtle and not-so-subtle psychological tricks to persuade people to dial a number that costs $2.00 to call. For example, there is constant time pressure. The guy will put a countdown on the screen until the end of the contest. When it runs out he'll pretend he's fighting the producers to extend the deadline. The whole time, his phone sits there, not ringing. So you feel like, wow, this seems fishy, but I gotta decide right now, nobody else is calling, and the puzzle is easy (see above), so I'm guaranteed $500!

    Another variation on the scam is putting up a "puzzle" with the terms of the solution so vague that it's pretty much guessing at random answers. Then, even if you get through, you'll get it wrong. Last night they showed a picture, and the puzzle was "how many hearts are in the picture?" But there were hearts within hearts, partial hearts, hearts that were covered but could be inferred, hearts too small to see, etc. Depending on which assumptions you include or exclude, there is a very large number of reasonable answers. So you hear people getting through occasionally, but they're all wrong.

    The underlying scam is in fine text at the bottom: "calling in enters you into a random draw to give a guess on the air." So they arbitrarily decide when to air someone's guess. They no doubt time it for the maximum illusion that not many people are calling, so if you call, you will surely win. Meanwhile, thousands of people are calling in at $2.00 a call. At the end of the show, they finally allow someone to get through on the easy puzzle, give them $500, then these assholes walk away with a profit of tens of thousands of dollars.

    Yet, even knowing it's a scam, I can't turn away. Hearing the poor (probably literally poor) confused people get on the air, falling for the greedy tricks, it's like witnessing a crime. So bottom line: fuck you, PlayTV Canada. And a bonus fuck you to Global Television for allowing this morally bankrupt shit to air.

    Thursday, October 29, 2009

    What Scares Me

    Given the time of year, a lot of people have been writing about what scares them (see EvilFlu, CarissaJaded, SnoopDogg). Never one to avoid a bandwagon, here is what scares me:

    • Wolves
      To me, a wolf with its teeth bared is one of the most frightening images I can think of. If something is going to be stalking me from the darkness, I'd rather it be a guy with a knife than a wolf. Animals affect my emotions more than most humans do. It's the same principle that makes me weep uncontrollably when a dog dies in a movie, even after the human body count has already started piling up. At that ghost lecture, the only thing that freaked me out was when he described a spot where certain people would hear the howling and growling of "spectral wolves" drawing near. Ghost wolves. Fucking hell.


    • Gross Skin Things
      For the most part, I'm not too bothered by severed heads, gaping wounds, splattering blood, etc. (in movies I mean; in real life I'd probably barf like a garden hose if I saw any of these). Much more bothersome are oozing boils, cancerous growths, or just really bad zits. I guess because most people are likely to encounter these things at some point in their life, through no fault of their own or even at the hand of others. Plus I just have a thing for nice skin (but surprisingly, "I enjoy the way your skin looks on your body" never works as a pickup line).


    • Being Stuck in a Small Places
      I'm not generally claustrophobic; I rather enjoy being paid to lie in the narrow tube of an MRI machine for hours at a time. But the thought of being in that situation with nobody around and no way of freeing myself, that terrifies me. When I was in high school, I wrote a story about a guy who had to wriggle through a small sewer pipe, where he felt something nibbling at his toes but didn't have enough room to turn around or even free his hands to swat it away. All he could do was wriggle faster. That idea has always resonated in the fear centers of my subconscious.


    • My Future
      I'm sure I'll write more about this later, but I'm about to finish school after being there my whole life, thrust into the real world, and I have no idea where I'll be or what I'll be doing at this time next year. That frightens me deep down. There's a bit of excitement too, sure, but the uncertainty of it is my number one crisis at the moment.


    • The Planet's Future
      I think it's a natural human instinct to go batshit crazy over the end of the world. Every culture has their apocalypse predictions. None have yet come true, but humans are now more powerful than ever, and I genuinely believe that the the technological singularity could happen within most young peoples' lifetimes. That's a make-or-break point; we either fuck it up so bad that this planet becomes a lifeless rock like the rest of them, or we end up in a near-perfect utopia. I have hope for the latter, but I fear the former.


    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    Normal Activity



    It's Halloween time, so as one would expect, many ghostly happenings have been ... happening.

    A few nights ago I had a lovely date night with myself. I got some snacks and some wine, turned off all the lights except for a single candle, and sat down to watch a scary movie. I'd never seen The Changeling before, but it had a few rare moments of freaking the hell out of me with its simple but effective scares. It's all the ghost story clichés done right.

    Then today, at the Central Library, I went to see a talk by ghost researcher Cameron Bagg, who presented these same ghost clichés as fact. It was an interesting presentation; he told the story of how he first encountered ghosts (mysterious sounds, feeling a presence, teleporting objects, etc.), the tools he uses to hunt ghosts, some spooky anecdotes, all that. He showed some pictures of ghosts and spirit orbs. Ambiguous shadows and spheres of light.

    At strange gatherings like this, I find the audience makeup and reactions as fascinating as the talk itself. This was a diverse group of people - old, young, crazy, not-crazy. Good old Roy McDonald was in attendance (he seems to be everywhere at once ... like a ghost). And their reactions; well, I think this was the defining moment:

    Bagg took out a television remote control. A regular remote, with an infrared transmitter on the end. He pointed it at the audience, clicked a button a few times, and said "does everyone see the flashing light?"

    Many in the audience nodded. Murmurs of "ah, yes!" and "I see it!"

    But there was no flashing light. His point was that cameras can see frequencies of light that are invisible to the naked eye (e.g., infrared; indeed, a flashing light could be seen when he pointed it through a camera). But there is a deeper point that inadvertently came out: when people are presented with a suggestion, they are likely to see things as consistent with that suggestion. When shown a static bulb and told it was flashing, many people in the audience, they literally thought they saw it flashing.



    Similarly, when someone believes she is about to see ghost photographs, then you show her a shapeless shadow, she will see a human figure in it. Suggest that a dead woman lived in a house, and a picture of an empty room contains her face in a blob of reflected light. The noises at night aren't the people in the next apartment bumping around, but ghostly rapping. An object appearing where it shouldn't isn't a lapse in memory, but a mischievous poltergeist.

    I'm not saying ghosts aren't real. Ghosts are an intense phenomenon genuinely experienced by a significant proportion of the population. These experiences can't be explained by the speculations of armchair debunkers, and even though I wish he was more objective about it, I am glad that people like Cameron Bagg are out there actually trying to figure it out. But aside from any paranormal explanations, there is a lot of equally fascinating normal human psychology going on in the minds of those looking for ghosts.



    Monday, October 26, 2009

    RIP Geocities

    Today, Geocities, one of the earliest free web hosting companies, is shutting down. SAD FACE.

    I joined Geocities way back when it was called Geopages. This was in 1995, when it was organized into "neighbourhoods" (this was pre-Google, so the web had to be organized into hierarchies of links or you couldn't find anything), and I moved into one of the original 'hoods: Hollywood. I still have my address memorized: http://www.geocities.com/hollywood/1714/. It's still there as of 10:00 a.m. today, so go laugh at my awkward teenage writing while you can.

    Actually, I've barely changed. Here's an excerpt from my "about me" page:

    "My name is Mike, but I'm known as Phronk on the Internet (as well as to some people in real life.) I'm a 21 year old straight white male. At the moment I live in London, Ontario, and I go to The University of Western Ontario. There, now you have enough info to stalk me. Enjoy. If you want to talk to me, I have ICQ running most of the time. My UIN is 252842, but I'm probably the only Phronk there so you can just search for me. If you have IRC, I can occasionally be found on Asylumnet (irc.asylumnet.org)."

    If you update the age, substitute MSN for ICQ, and Twitter for IRC, then nothing's changed. I still go to the same university, and I'm still straight and white.

    I had a "web presence" before 1996, but even Archive.org doesn't keep records of the web from before then. If I recall correctly, it had lots of under-construction GIFs, web portal links, blink tags, and shout-outs to the 5 other people with web pages.1

    I sometimes claim to have invented blogging. While perhaps a slight exaggeration, sometime in the mid-90s I realized that static web pages were boring and there was potential for web sites that would show people new content every time they visited. So I started my "Thing of the Day," in which I'd update my web site (by going in and editing index.html by hand) with a new thing — a link, a picture, an opinion, or some personal anecdote about my life — every day. It was only later that the term "blog" was coined to describe this concept.

    I was also involved in the ultra-geeky Quake community that is credited with developing blogging in Wikipedia's history of blogging article. I recall chatting with John Carmack a few times on IRC and reading his finger updates (ew?), which were totally the original Twitter.

    Anyway, RIP Geocities. You're the grandaddy of this blog. Maybe the grandaddy of all web content created by regular people. You'll be missed, but will live on in our memories (and Archive.org, and Google's cache).

    ----------

    1 Actually, it looked a lot like xkcd's current tribute to Geocities.

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    I Never Fart

    I promised fart talk, and apparently today is TMI Thursday, so here we go.


    I don't fart.

    People don't believe me when I tell them this, but it's true. I'll qualify by saying that of course a little one slips once in a while, like if I laugh too hard after eating a tub of chili, or I dream about riding on a giant balloon with a hole in it. But I never intentionally let one rip outside of a bathroom.

    That last part is important. Once I'm within range of the W.C., I can really sound off. When I wake up in the morning, it's a veritable symphony.

    But when I'm out and about, or even alone at home, you'll hear not a single trouser cough from me.

    There are many reasons for this. Part of it goes back to my childhood. When I was a kid — ok you're going to think I'm an idiot now — but for a period of a few weeks when I was a kid, I thought farts were shit transmuted into air. Like if you fart enough, all the poop will fly out as air and you'll never have to take a dump. So I farted a lot.

    I soon realized some of the inevitable consequence of farting a lot: smelling funny, and skid marks. Probably not a huge problem for most people, but when your mom still does your laundry, it can be embarrassing. So I did a 180 and stopped farting. And let me tell you, since then, my underwear is so clean you could eat off of it. My underwear, it lasts until the elastic band goes.

    And although I have no memories of this happening that I haven't blocked out, there is a constant threat for people who fart on a regular basis:


    The shart. Gas followed by mass. The difference between the two can be hard to identify until it's already out, and then it's too late. It may be a small risk, but given the possibly catastrophic consequences, the risk doesn't justify the reward for me.

    I don't feel the need to toot in public. Gas buildup never happens any more frequently than I'm on the toilet anyway.

    I am not trying to convince everyone to stop playing the butt trumpet (even though the world would smell better if you did). I just want to raise awareness that not everyone falls in line with the cheese-cutting agenda.

    ----------

    P.S. I really wanted to work in the phrase "skid marks on the Hershey highway to Brown Town" somewhere in this post. I guess I'll just have to plop it here.

    P.P.S. There is talk of farting over at Blonde Monde today too.

    P.P.P.S:



    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    Book Review: Under the Banner of Heaven, by Jon Krakauer

    Under the Banner of Heaven tells three interwoven true stories: the history of the Mormon faith, the current life of Mormon fundamentalists, and the 1984 murders of an innocent woman and her baby daughter at the hands of brothers Ron and Dan Lafferty, two such fundamentalists. The implication is that the Lafferty murders were not an isolated incident, and indeed, the history and current practice of Mormonism are littered with acts of brutal violence.

    Krakauer writes as if he takes the insane things that the killers and other Mormons believe at face value. It's sort of an inside perspective, describing not what is objectively true, but what the major players believe to be true. This can be humourous when writing about, say, Dan thinking that his bowel movements are a sign from God. Krakauer doesn't need to inject his own opinion into the descriptions; the stories are ridiculous enough in a straight telling.

    That same matter-of-fact style can also be heartbreaking. Like when describing the Mountain Meadows massacre, in which Mormon militia slaughtered an entire wagon train of innocent travelers. Or when the timeline of the Lafferty murders is described in great detail, partly through Dan Lafferty's own unrepentant words (Krakauer interviewed him directly in prison, where as far as I can tell, he still lives to this day). It's hard to understand how any sane person could murder a baby.

    Yet Krakauer argues that the Lafferties are not insane. The take-it-at-face-value writing underscores that, given what the brothers believed and their rationalizations for any setbacks, they acted rationally. At worst, he identifies Ron as having symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder. The combination of the radical beliefs of Mormon fundamentalists, coupled with an extreme personality — the same sort of personality that has fueled the prophets behind all of Mormonism's violent history — can be a dangerous mix.

    This quote illustrates some of the workings of extreme religious minds:

    "In one of Ron's revelations, God had, in fact, instructed him to send his brother Mark to Nevada to wager on a horse to race to raise funds for the City of Refuge. With the Lord letting Mark know which mount to bet on, it seemed that they couldn't lose. But they did. Afterward, Onias couldn't resist telling the brothers 'I told you so,' causing relations between Ron and the prophet to deteriorate even further."

    With examples like these, on top of more serious ones, it's difficult to imagine how anyone could believe in prophets. In the history of mankind, no prophecy capable of coming true has ever come true. Ever. The bickering and splintering of the church over whose "divine" revelation is better further emphasizes that they are pure fantasy. Yet people do believe. There are over 13 million Mormons worldwide, their faith based on a prophet who, less than 200 years ago, claimed to have "translated" a book of golden plates an angel showed him in the woods, by putting a magical rock in a hat then stuffing his face in the hat. And these are the less delusional, non-fundamentalist ones.

    What may disturb readers is that their own beliefs — especially other religious ones, but this applies to some atheists too — could be just as unfounded and dangerous if left unchecked. Krakauer briefly makes an explicit link with Christianity, but I think the lessons of this book are even broader. All beliefs should be questioned, as should all sources of authority - be it the voice of God, a charismatic prophet, or Richard Dawkins.

    If I had to complain about one aspect of the book, it would be its overemphasis on polygamy. The polygamist relationships of both modern and historical Mormons are whipped out as if the mere mention of multiple partners should send shivers up the reader's spine. I may write a follow-up post to this, but my opinion, in short, is that it's not polygamy itself that is troubling. Rather, it is the irrational beliefs that are the cause of polygamy in Mormons, and the monumental abuse of women and girls that polygamy often (but not always) leads to, that should be eradicated.

    Sarah lent me this book, thinking it'd be up my alley, and she was so right. It's hard to say I "liked" it, since much of my reaction to it is jaw-dropped horror, but especially in the early chapters when both the historical background and the murder story are fresh, it is an astounding, mind-blowing read. Anyone with any interest in religious belief, true crime, or both, should pick up Under the Banner of Heaven immediately.




    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Guest Post

    Hello. I am not blogging here right now. However, I am blogging over at Dan Brown's (London Free Press Dan Brown, not the other one) Cool Blog Name to Come. I guest-posted there about being paid to write blog posts. Dan did not pay me to write it.

    I've been pretty serious lately eh? I've got one more deep, serious book review tomorrow, then we shall get back to our regularly scheduled fart jokes.



    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Response to Accusations of Police Brutality at The University of Western Ontario

    Yesterday, a crazy person rampaged through the Social Science Centre at the University of Western Ontario - the building I would have been working in had I not been home sick - and after barricading himself in an office and threatening people, had a run-in with police. His arrest was captured on video and posted to Youtube almost immediately.

    Here's the full story at the London Free Press, and the video is below (warning: a bit disturbing).



    Opinions are divided on this one. Many people think it is an example of police brutality. Others think the officers used an acceptable level of force. Here are my thoughts.

    When it comes to a violent act, people often consider whether or not the person "deserved it." This guy deserved it. He had already punched an officer and caused grief on upper floors (though it's unclear whether he caused physical harm to anyone else) before being taken down on the first floor.

    However, we, as a civilized society, and especially our police officers, should need better reasons for violence than whether or not someone deserved it. Judging someone as worthy of punishment is an emotional decision, and not a rational one. In my humble opinion, violence should only be carried out when it is the only possible way to bring about a greater good (e.g., preventing further violence). "Deserving it" has nothing to do with whether or not the violent act would be effective in accomplishing the actor's goal.

    I prefer to avoid having strong opinions unless I am fully informed about a situation. With many issues, I think it is more useful to identify the questions that would need to be answered in order to have an informed opinion, rather than immediately forming one based on gut reactions to incomplete information.

    In this case, the crucial question is this: after the six police officers had the man on the ground, could they have subdued him without kneeing him, punching him, and beating him with a baton? Or were these actions motivated purely by a sense of "he deserved it"?

    I genuinely don't know. It is quite possible that the only way to get handcuffs on a strong, struggling, possibly insane man is to weaken him with pain, and this is reflected in police training and proper procedure. It's also possible that the actions were motivated purely by the darker side of human emotion.

    And I understand that. It's quite possible this dangerous man passed by my office yesterday; I feel that dark desire to see him harmed and locked up, for what he did and could have done to me and people I care about. He deserved to be hurt. But if we want the world to be a better, more humane place, we need to resist these gut reactions and look at violence purely with cool-head rationality.

    ----------

    Update Oct. 15, 3:00 - Another video is available here. More of the same, but outside, and with people discussing the really deep implications for race and gender issues.

    Also, apparently pepper spray was used and didn't work. Bottom line: being crazy gives you superpowers.

    Update 4:30 - Aaaand the remixes are already in:




    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    The Horrors of Internet Dating, Volume 4

    Good news everyone!1 I'm still single. That means I continue to check free internet dating sites once in a while, scouring them for the worst of the worst to mercilessly mock for your entertainment. And I mean it when I say "once in a while." It doesn't take long to find this stuff. The saddest thing is, the self-presentation FAILS2 you see below are in no way atypical.

    Let's start with a real ad banner that someone actually paid to have displayed at the top of a dating site:



    Maybe if their potential customer base wasn't so specific, they could afford a better marketing department.

    While we're on the topic of race:



    I can't decide if this is racist or not. On one hand: obviously. On the other: everyone has certain traits that they are attracted to, and these preferences are largely not consciously chosen. For example, some people are only attracted to blondes; they wouldn't be accused of hairism. And on a larger scale, most people have an exclusive preference for one gender over the other, and that's not considered sexism.

    Like me, I'm only attracted to females. Sorry guys, just never had the urge to see any of you naked. Which is why I only browse female profiles, and get confused when I see this:




    No offense or anything, but "she" is the ugliest girl I've ever seen. Sadface. :(



    And um, ok, maybe sometimes I see dudes' profiles. Who the hell is this guy? Trying to copy my name almost exactly and answering questions 95% the same as me. Maybe this is my secret clone that's out there, causing random people to think they've met me before when I have no idea who they are (this happens to me all the time, and cloning is the only explanation (not this, no)).

    Maybe I need to wear clothing that sets me apart...



    Yes! I've always wanted to be with someone who can set me up with sweet Halloween costumes. Smarts N/A? Don't be so hard on yourself.



    Just hanging out at the pool with her pal Frosty the Snowman. Hope he doesn't melt.3

    Hey internet, there's this new thing that computers can do now. It's called "cropping." Might be worth looking into.



    Do you actually know what vegetarian means?



    So basically, you're unapologetically annoying.



    What confuses me about this one, and all the others like it, is the seemingly random use of the shift key. First of all, it seems like it would be really hard to put a capital letter in front of almost every word. It's not like there's a caps lock for that. So why bother with all the effort? Second, what determines which words get the shift key and which don't? "Well Umm right Now I Wanna Still Try & Finish School" mostly gets the capital letter treatment, but "i think i'm a pretty chill person lol" gets lower case even where it shouldn't. What's the crucial difference in her mind? Are the capitalized sentences louder in her inner voice? Higher pitched?

    IT'S DRIVING ME CRAZY.

    (see, capitals there clearly indicate yelling)

    As usual let's end with someone who actually does something right.



    MARRY ME.

    ---------------------

    See also:
    --------------------

    1 Everyone except my penis.
    2 I'm not saying I'm any better at this. There are probably people out there mocking my profile just as harshly. At least I can spell "and" though.
    3 Which would probably reveal the girl underneath who's way hotter. This censorship approach is not much of a solution to the group shot problem, because the sub-Frosty girl I'm imagining in my mind is way more attractive than any real person.