Friday, December 31, 2010

Rafa says WHAT? The 3D Movement

Oh man, “Avatar” in 3D! I want to get an even more in-depth glimpse of the awesome 7-foot-tall blue people acting like hippies on the big screen. This is pretty much all that I was getting for the whole time that the movie was out in theaters. Apart from it being incredibly annoying and turning me off to an already immensely hyped-up movie, there was also another thing that was grinding my gears about that statement: 3D. The whole 3D movement is one of the things that has been upsetting me for a long time. It seems to have started out as something that was uniquely for certain movies and has now turned into a fad. I will now proceed to spew out my annoyances with the idea of 3D movies and destroy what it stands on, but I will offer hope in the final bit of this blog, so never fear.

Everyone seems to hold the false belief that 3D is something modern and high-tech; that it somehow oozes amazingness from its blue and red blurs (or lack of such if it’s realD 3D). The interesting thing is that 3D has been done before. Before you say or even think it, no it was not in the 1990s. Or in the 80s. We’re talking way back in the day. And by way back in the day, I mean the days when pants were worn up to the chest, top hats were still “in”, and flappers were beginning to act like women deserved to drive automobiles. Yes, you guessed it, the 1920s. If you thought 3D was old before, now you have an actual date. The movie was called “The Power of Love”. It was the first movie to actually require the funky glasses we use now-a-days, but with a 1920s flare. Too bad the movie wasn’t powerful enough to remain in theaters. A couple of more movies came out in the 20s that were also 3D, but the idea slowly died and then revived a little in the 30s and died again because the Japanese had to bomb the United States and distract people from the theater screens.

Thank goodness that the 50s came around, though! In that time, there was a rebirth of the 3D with the first color feature to not include any black people that were not dying or railroad workers: “Bwana Devil”. After it, many more movies came out that were also in 3D, but, quite frankly, they all sucked. Maybe it was the acting. Or the 3D. Maybe it was the directing. Or the 3D. Maybe it was the 3D. Or the 3D. Not pointing any fingers, but whatever it was, 3D was attempted on many mediums including cartoons, but this golden age wasn’t to last very long. It died for a couple of years, but then it came back! In the 60s, they began using a single strip of film for the 3D—a marvel! This revival lasted until the early 80s. Again, it died. Do not fret, for a year later, there was a slight resurgence because IMAX thought it would be cool to see stars in 3D. A few movies a year were made between that time and the early 2000s. Here, we arrive to the present day-ish. It began in 2003 with He of the Inflated Ego, James Cameron. No one remembers this, but I know that what I remember was “Spy Kids 3D: Game Over”. After that, movies in 3D came out frequently, leading to the mass media driven shift to 3D that failed miserably following “Avatar”. For some reason, people thought that 3D was the end of 2D cinema as we knew it. In reality, all that it showed was that if people throw away enough money on fancy cameras that cost more than your left leg, you can make a mediocre movie and purposefully make an actor or object reach for the camera in the hope that you will attain some “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd. If I’m going to give up my pinky finger for a ticket to a 3D movie, I better get plugged into some virtual world. I don’t want to have something pop out and then have half of it disappear because of the camera angle. Besides...I can’t stand the people that put the glasses on and look at themselves and say “wow...3D.” It’s what we call reality, my friend...unless you live on a piece of paper.

Yes, I did make this graph myself. Click to enlarge.

Apart from the fact that it has been around for as long as movies in general and isn’t modern in any specific way, they also charge an exuberant amount for the tickets. If I have to pay around 10 dollars for a ticket (15-ish if you are watching it in IMAX), I better be getting a free 5 course meal and a massage from a Taiwanese princess (or prostitute...even though they are probably the same thing). It’s absolutely insane to charge such a crazy amount of money for a ticket where the movie is blurry and you need special glasses to watch it! If you think about it, you are paying around 3 dollars (or 5 in IMAX) for some glasses that you have to give back. And if you are in one of those movie theaters where you don’t have to give it back, don’t count yourself so lucky. You can’t say that you are spending those 3 dollars wisely since, if you take all the glasses, you won’t be able to use them again (since they don’t work on 3D televisions) until you go to the movies again, where you will get another pair. Sooner or later, either you will end up with a pile of glasses, or you will deny the glasses at the door to reuse your old ones and be out 3 dollars every time. You lose either way. You are the biggest loser...except you are still a fat lard.

3D is now moving from the big screen to where it had never been before: your television. With companies like Sony and Panasonic (among others) deciding to cash in on the 3D crazy, a new type of television has arisen—3DTV. In my opinion this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. From the big screen to the small screen, now you can see all your movies in all their blurry beauty. What’s more, not only do you have to spend hundreds of extra dollars on the 3DTV as opposed to a normal one, but you also have to hand over a piece of your soul to get extra 3D glasses (since each company makes their own for their products only). By buying the whole set, you will spend yourself into debt just to be disappointed because of the quality. But hey, at least you people that bought it will be content as you watch ESPN 3D and sob because you just sold your house to pay for the television.

Example of what you will look like after you buy all the wonderful accessories.

As I said in the beginning, though, I will now offer hope as I close the blog. Businesses and companies have been pouring money into this 3D movement and, as far as I can see, only James Cameron has come out winning. When everyone decided to jump on the 3D bandwagon, postproduction 3D conversion came into being. Movies were turned into 3D just to make an extra buck. It failed. Here comes the good news. Not only are 3DTV’s not making much money, but ESPN3D isn’t making any money at all! They are waiting to see what will happen next year, but as of now, it isn’t making anything. Also, the recent movies in 3D are making less and less money each year. Soon, it won’t be commercially viable to make bad movies into bad 3D movies. Probably one of the greatest days this year was when Warner Bros announced that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I” would no longer be made in 3D. Harry Potter in 3D sounded like nails on a chalkboard to many and, honestly, it takes a lot for a company to say, “Hey, you know what I just realized? If we make this movie into 3D, it will end up being a steaming pile of triceratops poo.” But, against all odds, this is what was done with Harry Potter. Hopefully, Hollywood will follow suit with denying 3D in cinema quickly. Even if they don’t, though, I wouldn’t give the 3D rollercoaster till more than 2015 before it plummets again. Until then, though, we have a barrage of new movies in 3D that will coat the movie screens with processed fecal matter and ugly glasses.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My type of funny

I got asked a while back over this nifty thing called Formspring what my type of humor was. I answered back that it was difficult to explain in a concise way, so I promised the anonymous person a blog about the topic. I know who asked the question now, so it isn’t quite as anonymous as before, but I still said I would answer the question via blog, and here we are…a few months later. Yeah, sorry about that…

I really don’t know where to begin, though. My humor ranges. One of my friends calls my humor witty and pun-y (I have no idea how to write that, but I can say it so that’s all that counts), but dry. Other friends think I have the awkward, shocking kind of humor. Even more of my friends think I have random humor. And yet, my friends in all of my biology classes think I have intelligent humor that just flies over normal people’s heads (I draw science related comics which I will provide links to soon).

So, all in all, I really have no idea…I guess it comes down to what I think of myself and my type of humor. The only way to figure this out is to show you what types of people and things have influenced me in my humor.

For example, I have a couple of stand up comedians that I enjoy because of their just plain funniness. Examples of such comedians are below:


(All videos from YouTube)

These guys really tickle my funny bone. Whether it be because of wittiness, awkwardness, or delving and prodding into mundane things, it’s always funny to me. I take a little from each of these people. If you can find more things by them, watch them…I highly recommend it.

Other things that influence my comedy are as simple as comic strips. Gary Larson makes absolutely phenomenal comics. I love his work because it takes biology and makes it absolutely hilarious. Also, you don’t need to know much biology to laugh at his work.

(For full size, click on the comic)

Another comic strip that I enjoy is Calvin and Hobbes. This one appeals to me because it is an interesting blend of wit, charm, and intelligence. It’s almost impossible not to enjoy one of these comics.

(For full size, click on the comic)

And yet, for the random, shocking, and kind of absolutely hilarious humor, I turn to one of the comic strips here in my very college. The Collegian has a comic artist that draws simply, yet can make one laugh with relative ease. I’ve been liking his comics as of late, considering he’s had a funny streak, so I thought I’d show one of his here.

Some other things I should mention are television shows like “Family Guy”, “Who’s Line is it Anyway?”, “House”, “Top Gear”, “Friends”, “The Office”, etc. It depends on my mood. I like a variety of things when it comes to television. Most of the time, though, I’m watching documentaries, so the amount of funny things I watch is limited (unless you count David Attenborough’s voice and “Mythbusters” funny…which…I…might…).

Book wise, though, I’m quite eclectic. Things by Jeremy Clarkson are typically quite funny. You also have people that can write amazingly hilarious works like Douglas Adams. Overall, though, reading comedy is not as funny as hearing it, so the people that do it have to possess a certain talent that is quite rare.

"The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't."

"Arthur looked up. 'Ford!' he said, 'there's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us about this script for Hamlet they've worked out.'
'Ford,' he said, 'you're turning into a penguin. Stop it.'
'But that's not the point!' raged Ford 'The point is that I am now a perfectly safe penguin, and my colleague here is rapidly running out of limbs!'

In movies, I tend to enjoy witty humor more than just outward and blatant stupidity. For example, there are very few movies which Will Ferrell is in that I can say I enjoyed. I like smart yet innocent humor that is brought about by movies such as Disney and Pixar films or an honest comedy such as “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”. I also wholeheartedly enjoyed “Zombieland,” but it should be apparent why after reading this blog.

'If you want something bad, you have to fight for it. Step up your game, Scott. Break out the L-word.'
'The other L-word.'

So, there you have it. That’s pretty much my taste in comedy. I get most of my inspiration from people and things like what I said above. It is generally a motley of different types of comedy that I sort of meld together. It also changes depending on what I’m talking about, as you probably noticed when reading the different “Rafa says WHAT?” blogs. But yeah…now you guys know a little bit more about me. Maybe you will be able to understand my comedy in the future better as well, who knows? As for now, enjoy this glimpse into the odd mind of Rafa.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Last...Racebender?

I have been a fan of the original "Avatar: The Last Airbender" series for a while now, and I was very excited for the new movie to come out. That was before I heard that it sucked and before I saw that it sucked, but that’s beside the point. One day, I was browsing around Facebook, when I came across an event that was calling for a boycott of the new film. Wondering why that was, I went to the event page and saw many overly-sensitive people with very large broomsticks very obviously up their rear end that had begun a website called Racebender. Apparently, they were upset because the people that did the casting for the movie didn’t cast Asian people. Did I miss something? I was overcome with a strange feeling that I had overlooked something important in the series. There were Asian people in the series? Since when?! So, after destroying a fairly annoying person on the event page in an argument, I decided to see if I was wrong. That threw me into a ride that made me realize…that I was right and my “Stupidity Hypothesis” holds true.

The 1st thing I did was check the series again. Let’s see if people look Asian or not just in case. Here is Aang:

Oh no! I am wr—oh wait a second. He isn’t Asian. Right. He looks sort of, well, Caucasian. Ok, well there must be an Asian here somewhere. Let’s continue. Next, we shall see Katara and Sokka. Here they are:

They…are…not Asian? I wonder why people assumed they were. At most, they look a tiny bit dark as if from islands in the tropics, or maybe a bit Latin (even though, considering the fact that they live in a North and South Pole equivalent, they should be quite white or very very sunburnt…just saying). Let’s move on to the next couple of characters. Here’s Zuko and Uncle Iroh:

Ok, honestly, this is getting ridiculous! Is there someone...anyone that’s Asian?? Toph??

Maybe Sozin?

Give me something!!! Give me anything!!! The Kiyoshi Warriors??

YES!!! Oh…wait. They are just painted to look Asian. Darn. I could have sworn. I just…I need to find an Asian. Where are they?? I call for a gathering of all the random people that appeared in the series!!!

Alright, that last one was one final ditch effort. Well, I think we all have to just take a deep breath…and not cry. Ok, that might just be me, but still! I think that I might have gone a little crazy to find something that might give these sensitive people a little credibility. Lo and behold, though, I did not. So, what does this mean? Rafa was correct again. The thing is, people seemed to think that the characters were Asian not because of the way they looked, but rather because of the way that they acted. If I act African, am I African? The answer, my friends is no. Just because the series is founded on a pan-Asian world, that doesn’t automatically make the characters Asian.

Part of the thing that bothered me was that, apart from people thinking that the characters are Asian, they had the nerve to say that the people cast for the new "The Last Aribender" film weren’t Asian enough and that the people casting were being racist. Um…what? Are you saying that because of your assumption that the people in the series were Asian, the casting was biased and racist? How’s about you look at it this way. By saying that the casting of people wasn’t correct because the people were not Asian, you are assuming that “Asian” as a term denoting race refers to a specific type of people as decided by you. Furthermore, by stating that the actor Dev Patel “wasn’t Asian enough,” you are immediately excluding most of the Asian continent from the race decided upon to be “Asian.” So, you are met with a bit of irony and hypocrisy in your situation. You are calling the people casting actors racists, but the way that you are expressing yourselves makes it apparent that the “Asian” people you are referring to are a group that has been racially stereotyped by you. You expect an Asian person to be “yellow” (as in not Caucasian), thin eyed, small, flat nosed, and possess fantastic hair. Is it just me, or are you being a tad racist? If anything, I think that you should take a good look at yourself and discover what it is you are fighting for here. You’re making a fool of yourself…no, really. While you grasp the nature of your own hypocrisy, please take the time to internalize all that I have written and view one last picture I have provided below. It shows an artist’s rendering of what, by your definition, the whole cast of "The Last Airbender" should have looked like:

(Copyright "Rafa's Awesome Racist Drawings." Drawn in the Sketches App on his phone and then filled in Microsoft Paint. Isn't it great when feuding companies get along?)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rafa says WHAT? December 21, 2012

December 21, 2012. Honestly, this day has been in the thoughts of many people with conspiracies basically orbiting their heads…and it has been pecking at my brain like a ravenous woodpecker for quite some time now. Finally, after a while of berating random people in an attempt to quell the idiocy behind the masses to no avail, I have decided to tackle it head on via this post. Now, the belief of many people is that some sort of major cataclysmic event (some sort of volcano-earthquake-polar shift-central galaxy energy-nibiru earth rape) will occur and bring about the end of the world. As many have probably heard, this prediction has come about because of the famous Mayan Calendar. It supposedly ends on that scary date that everyone is awaiting, and foretells the end of all that is beautiful and material. If you are reading this, you have voluntarily entered into a situation where I will be the backhand that will smack the ludicrous beliefs out of every orifice in your body (and yes it’s illegal and yes I don’t care). I will begin with the biggest farce of them all: the Mayan Calendar. Continuing, I will explain why Nibiru is a steaming pile of [censored word]. Finally, I will hopefully discount the idiotic new age beliefs about some sort of energy or gamma radiation that emits from the center of the galaxy that will cause some sort of enlightenment/new world/orgasm thing on that fateful December day. So, without further ado, let us begin!

Remember back in Geometry class, when you learned what all the cool shapes where? Remember back in probably kindergarten when you played with that annoying box with three shapes that would fit in the box’s holes? I always make this comparison when talking to people about the Mayan calendar. No, not that calendar! That's actually called the Sun Stone and it was made by the Aztecs to commemorate Itzcoatl going to their heaven place. Silly, misinformed masses. I actually mean the one right here. If you would please now turn your attention to the right hand side of this blog and view the excellent picture that I have conveniently placed there to distract you from the words and make the reading seem less. Are you with me? Ok, good…now, what shape is the calendar in the picture? It’s a…what? I’ll give you a hint: it starts with C and ends in ircle. If you didn’t get it after that hint, please, leave this page now and check your daily news on this website. I imagine conspiracy theorists as people that spend most of their lives attempting to put a triangle or a square into the circle hole on the aforementioned game. “It fits! It fits! I can show you!” they scream, but to no avail. The shape doesn’t fit into the circular hole. Now, the reason I give this example is because of my next question to the reader: does a circle…have a beginning or an end? If you do not know yet, you should follow the link I spent the trouble of placing here and buy the book in that website. The answer is no. A circle does not have any angles or edges or beginnings or endings; no convex points or concave sides. For some reason, the conspiracy theorists seek to find an end to this circle that is the Mayan calendar. In reality, the Mayan calendar does not end, but rather shifts from era to era, much like the Chinese Zodiac calendar. They believe that the past repeats itself every episode, which is called a Baktun. But, then again, there’s several other Mayan calendars to choose from! Go ahead, pick—there’s the Haab Calendar, the Tolken Calendar, the Calendar round (combination of all three calendars), and even the Dresden Codex (admittedly not a calendar, but used in combination with the others). The only thing that is coming to an end is not the calendar, but the Baktun. Afterwards, it will change into another Baktun. Then that one will end, and another will begin. And then that one will end and…the world will end! Just kidding…it will actually just switch to another Baktun. And so on to infinity. It’s a cycle that means basically nothing. If the Mayans were still around (in their original state—their descendants are still around, laughing at our stupidity), they would actually be about to begin a huge celebration in, well, celebration because of the coming of the new Baktun. It’s like celebrating New Years, not the end of the world. The most we will see of the Mayans on that fateful day is some passed out naked on the streets of Central America because of too much partying.

Moving on, I will hit upon the subject of…Nibiru. All I have to say about that is: “Oh God, holy mother of a crack addict, why do people even believe this overblown LSD laced excuse for the death of the human race?” For those of you who have no idea what the heck I just said in the last two sentences, Nibiru is known by many names, but is most commonly referred to as Planet X. It is the mythical, planet sized rock floating in space that will supposedly smash into the earth on December 21, 2010, causing untold levels of destruction and fiery death to all humankind. I know that this is a bit too much to handle and wrap your head around, but let me just give you a little quote from NASA to ease your mind.

“There is no such thing as Nibiru or Planet X. Our astronomers are not stupid and we are very much insulted that you all think that they couldn’t spot a planet-sized object headed straight for us. It’s completely ridiculous! I mean, come on! Gravitational interactions, the blocking of light, readings from any of our hundreds of satellites, sightings from any of our hundreds of radio, microwave, and light telescopes…even if it could survive the gravitational pull of any of the other planets and somehow make it over here, we would have seen it a long time ago. It seems like most of the general public has the IQ of a garden hose…why are we even here?”

Alright, so maybe that quote wasn’t…directly…from NASA, but the point is still there. Now, in an effort to not bore the reader with a history lesson, I will provide a simple to understand (about 3rd grader level), sparknotes version of the facts. Beginning now: Sumerians see light in sky. OMGZ! Must be a God. Name Nibiru. It’s actually Jupiter. FAIL! Loonie called Sitchin claimed Nibiru actual planet in 1976. He thinks Nibiru has 3,000 year orbit. Scientists say no. People say Nibiru hit Earth in 2012. Sitchin says WTF no. Got all that? I think it was pretty simple to understand. Also, I believe that the idea that Nibiru will somehow hit the Earth is preposterous. We should be more worried about Apophis or the unnamed asteroid that will hit us in about 6,000 years. Nibiru = no. Asteroid belt = probably.

The last idea that I am going to attempt to disprove is not something tangible like a calendar, or even a heavenly body, but rather this magical energy that is set to take us on a nonconsensual trip into enlightenment and a new age. It has to do with something called the Galactic Alignment, which doesn’t even deserve to be capitalized, so I won’t from now on. This supposed galactic alignment occurs when the sun centers with the black hole in the center of the galaxy more or less every 25,800-26,000 years. The point is that this alignment is highly subjective. When you are aligned in the southern hemisphere, you are not in the northern and vice-versa. While a Canadian might be saying “The sun is aligning, eh?” a person from South Africa might say “Abugi bumbalooba abumgyby do!” (Translation: Sun not in center, I make love to multiple wives). Besides, the galactic center is many tens of thousands of light years away and any energy sent from there would have been blocked or dissipated by all the other energy already present in the universe. In reality, I shouldn’t even be having this argument because, apart from the fact that during every winter solstice, the sun aligns somewhat with the galactic center. Also, the reported “perfect” alignment that will allegedly happen in 2012 (stated by people that have sticks far up their nether regions), already happened in 1998. Did anything happen in 1998? Unless the magical energy coming from the center of the galaxy made Mr. Clinton’s libido go wild and tap that, then there is actually no crazy new age energy.

I hope that after reading this, you have gained some level of disdain towards the people that act like ingrown toenails for humanity—the conspiracy nuts. Honestly, if anything actually happens on or before December 21, 2012, it is going to be caused not by some insane and uncontrollable universal or predicted forces, but by the stupidity of mankind’s actions. Like the Darwin Award worthy person who committed suicide before the Large Hadron Collider was turned on because she was afraid that black holes would consume the earth (good job there, lady), people will probably either go crazy beforehand, or commit suicide. Many will hail it as the predictions coming true, when, in reality, it was the belief in the predictions that made humans, all too predictably (by what I have named the Stupidity Hypothesis), act out exactly what they expected and make them come true through their own abilities. Overall, as determined by Stupidity Hypothesis, people will be, well stupid. It then falls onto people like me to speak out against the people that promote crazy theories. They are basically like a firing squad aimed right at the general public, but instead of muskets, they are using vuvuzelas—it isn’t deadly, but it will drive any reasonable person insane. If anyone has any comments or questions on this (admittedly, it is an annoyingly long and tedious topic), please feel free to email me or comment on this post and I will answer any questions and provide more information if needed. In the mean time, though, it becomes the reader’s job to be the harbinger of intelligence to a world otherwise devoid of it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rafa says WHAT? "2012" (2010)

As I was watching the movie “2012” a long while back, within the confines of my mind, my muse on the subject came to a head and, all of a sudden, the question hit me: “What the hell?” Even though I thought the movie was entertaining, I know that I could have enjoyed it more if it wasn’t based on ideas and presumptions that were so gosh darn ludicrous. In fact, the things they said in the movie were so ridiculous that I had to pause it and take out my phone, where I wrote down everything that they had gotten wrong or exaggerated. Eventually, I had to give up and watch the movie. So, as you might have already guessed, the reason I am writing this blog (one of 2) is to dispel any idiotic notions about the year 2012. To begin, I will break down the movie into a couple of “main ideas,” or how I like to affectionately refer to them: “sugar-coated horse excrement.” I will then peel away the sugar-coating and reveal the horse excrement underneath it. So, I hope you enjoy this horse excrement as much as you possibly can.

Let’s begin with one of the main parts of the movie: the sun. There is a lot of talk of solar flares, neutrinos, and the effects on the earth. Now, solar flares aren’t nearly as powerful as they make them seem In the movie, they knock on the earth’s magnetic field and produce a huge amount of these weird particles called neutrinos which, in turn, melt the earth’s core. Now, we’re getting ahead of ourselves…geomagnetic reversal and the earth’s core will be in a little bit. Back to the matter at hand: solar flares. The sun produces a lot of energy; this is true, but not nearly enough to knock out a magnetic field. There have been huge solar flares before, and the most that happens is the short term failure of some satellites and maybe a blackout here and there. Basically, a solar flare acts like a scrawny guy attempting to knock down a door with his mind. You see how this scenario plays out? Apart from that, there’s the problem of neutrinos. They behave like a little something called WIMPs (pardon the continued science lesson), which stands for Weakly Interactive Massive Particles. Basically, when a WIMP hits a normal particle, it has an insignificant effect on it. It is the equivalent of throwing a midget at a sumo wrestler. There will be some fat blobbing around, but overall, nothing will happen. The people from the movie expect the viewer to be unfamiliar enough with this phenomenon to believe that neutrinos can cause the earth’s core to melt. Now, let’s supersize our example: if you have a sea of sumo wrestlers pressed together in an unbreakable fat, sweaty mess and you throw a couple billion midgets at them, the same thing (meaning nothing) will occur. So, there is basically no way, given the pressures in the earth that the core would melt.

Now that we have begun to disassemble the stupidity, we shall continue with the idea of geomagnetic reversal. In a nutshell, what happens is that there is a reversal in the flow of the outer core (not inner core, which is what the movie said melted), which subsequently causes a shift in the magnetic field of earth and changes the magnetic north to be somewhere else. During the movie, it is this reaction which throws the world into a helter-skelter of broken ground and people falling to oblivion. In my opinion, that is a pretty bad-ass way to die: falling into the mantle of the earth. It makes for a good story for a survivor to tell future generations. Their great grandchildren can then rebut when one of their buddies mentions that their grandmother died of cancer. “Yeah, well my great grandmother fell to a fiery, molten death in the mantle of the earth!” …but that’s beside the point. The polar shift and geomagnetic reversal in the movie happened in all of probably 10-20 hours and, after it was over, magnetic north had ended up on another random place (Wisconsin…hence “random place”) and threw off their compasses. Now, geomagnetic reversals are actual verified phenomena that have happened before. Don’t be afraid, though. What the people in the movie got so terribly wrong was that these shifts take hundreds of thousands to millions of years to occur. So, in a valiant display of Hollywood prowess, they decided to shorten it 1000 fold. I guess having the movie take millions of years really wasn’t conducive to what they wanted. If this movie was in any way scientifically accurate, this is how the geomagnetic reversal should have happened:

*Nothing really interesting happens in the earth because neutrinos don’t react with anything and the “biggest solar flare in recorded human history” just causes some seriously trippy colors in the Northern skies of earth (because every time you see an aurora, that’s what it is) and, a couple million years later, by some freak accident, the descendants of all of the characters of the movie find themselves in the exact location, being professionals in the exact areas as their ancestors, and discussing the exact thing as in the movie*

Descendant of the Black Doctor: It looks like the crust has shifted almost 23 degrees to the southwest. The data also shows the earth’s poles have reversed their magnetic fields. These are their new positions.

Descendant of the Official looking guy: So you are telling me that the North Pole…is somewhere in Wisconsin?

Descendant of the Random Doctor: Actually, that’s the South Pole now…

Now, we have to make a distinction between polar shift and geomagnetic reversal, because even in the movie they seem to be mixing them up and mentioning them a lot (so much for the characters being quantum physicists and geologists, huh?). In geomagnetic reversal, the magnetic location of the poles changes (i.e. north switches with south and vice-versa, which will make your compasses not know what the hell is going on)…easy, right? Well, in a polar shift, the physical location of the poles/the axis of the earth (NOT tectonic plate related) changes due to either a big object hitting the earth or a change in the core-mantle boundary. Considering the fact that no midget is the size of an asteroid or comet, we can rule the former out. In the movie, they mention that the core melted because of neutrino actions, but, following that logic, wouldn’t the mantle have melted as well, considering the fact that it will take less heat for it to melt (from its current plastic rock state)? This goes with what the people said. So, following that logic, the change of the core-mantle boundary would have occurred. But wait! Don’t clap for the movie’s success just yet. Following the logic even further, we then realize that if the core melted and the mantle melted, then the crust should have melted as well…no? I guess the movie would have been a bit short lived if all that happened was the detection of neutrinos and then the earth turned into a glob of floating molten goop.

As you can well see, there are major flaws inherent in this monster of a movie. In an attempt to make the earth die, Mr. Director has apparently put an extreme amount of unlikely scenarios together and given each a cocktail of steroids and crack cocaine, hoping for some sort of science-gasm that never came (get it?). I mean, it’s remotely possible that one of those events would have occurred, but if you clump them all together on the same day, at more or less the same time, and with the intensity described, the odds are equal to that of my brother getting laid at any point in his life—in other words, astronomically low and implausible. I think that the people that wrote this movie had terrible memories as children of getting sexually abused by fractions. Their memories of how to tell probability were clouded by divisitory enemas and numbered thrusts. They seemed to have forgotten that when figuring out the odds of two things occurring simultaneously, you multiply the two fractions, ending up with an even bigger number than you started with and that lonely and insignificant “1” on the top, complaining about his grotesquely huge downstairs neighbor that constantly eats Cheetos, corn dogs, and small reptiles for nourishment, while sweating fat globs that would make a McDonald’s cook hurl. The point is, if you are writing a movie, don’t make it so messed up that anyone that has two brain cells can see through the special effects. Next time you see a movie that threatens to destroy your sanity and feeling of security in this world, stop for a moment and remember that you are not nearly as stupid as the people that get paid to write the scripts for these movies. With a little ingenuity and logic, you can see through the clever guise of earth-destroying cataclysms and find the much promised horse excrement foundation on which all of these theories are based.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So Much To Do, So Little Time!

Quite frankly, it is surprising how little time one has during summer as age grows on you. I’m not saying I’m an old fart quite yet, but I am quite busy. In all of my busyness, however, I do have some good announcements.

Number 1: If you follow my fan page on Facebook at all, you would have found out that I have this nifty new thing called “Formspring”. Basically, people ask anonymous questions that can be about anything. By anything, I mean anything. My job is to answer them and, if I can, make a funny remark…which is getting exceedingly difficult when people ask straightforward questions like “do you play God?” I believe the answer is, well, no? I’m a blogger, not an idiot. So, if you have any pressing questions or truths that you want sarcastically corroborated, please feel free to follow me on Formspring or ask questions.

Number 2: I know that I have not mentioned this yet, but I also have a Twitter. I was vehemently against Twitter for a long time, but I finally gave in. Can’t hurt, can it? Over time, I have found out how the gosh darn thing works (the whole “@” and “#” system is the sort of thing that a person comes up with in a drug induced coma), and have found a soft spot in my heart for that annoying blue bird. If anyone wants to keep up with my day-to-day, or chat with me when not checking the blog, feel free to follow me on Twitter.

Number 3: I know that I have been advertising the 2012 blog for some time, but, if everything works out, I will have it done before this weekend. It will be divided into 2 blogs—one that destroys any belief in those darn Mayans that people keep on talking about, and one that dismantles the stupidity behind the 2012 movie. Both of those thorns have been prodding my backside for a while, and it’s about time I take them out before I get an infection of stupid.

Number 4: My brother keeps on annoying me about this thing that I’ve been thinking of doing. Remember that little thing called Ustream I had mentioned a long time ago? Well, of course you don’t…it’s a “TV channel” type deal on the internet where I can have my own show and people can tune in and watch me talk about things that annoy me. Sounds great doesn’t it? Well what my brother is annoying me about is a little something called a “Four Chord Rant.” The idea was that we take the generic 4 chords used in most hit songs and play them over and over while ranting about a certain topic. Think about it as a “Rafa says WHAT?” on steroids that has been turned into a musical without a script. Basically the plan is to sit in front of the computer with no idea what to say and ad-lib it. Sounds easy enough, right? Stay tuned and I’ll let you know…

And lastly, Number 5: I have been thinking of this one for a while as well. I will write one poem a night during the month of June (thanks for the idea Josh…too bad almost no one knows who you are, so for all intents and purposes, it was my idea), and it will flow like one full poem…an epic poem…a comedic epic poem, to be precise (I came up with this myself…Josh had nothing to do with it). Hopefully it will work out and it will be hilarious. In between my 2 “Rafa says WHAT?” and off-topic segments, I’ll put the poems up as I write them. I sincerely hope that you all can stand them and that you will find them somewhat humorous and, well, epic.

So, this is it. I hope that you will keep reading, or else my life will have no meaning. Check back in soon!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Life and Times of Kulguy - Geocaching

I have officially decided to create a new blog entry type. It will be called “The Life and Times of Kulguy” and, as everything else I write, will be followed by the topic. This section of my blog will deal with things that I endeavor upon in the everyday, and just regular checking in so my followers can know what is going on with me. This time, however, I will be talking to you guys for a little bit about something known as Geocaching.

Picture this: you are walking along and you sit on a rock. Absentmindedly, you lean against another rock to your right and it shifts slightly. As you look down into the newly formed crevice, you notice something odd—it appears to be a camouflaged container about the size of a roll of 35 mm film. You pick it up and open it. To your surprise, there is a piece of paper and a couple of trinkets stored within. The piece of paper has a line that says: “Congratulations, you've found it! Intentionally or not!” You wonder what the heck is going on. If this has ever happened to you, congratulations, you have just found a Geocache. This interesting game has been described as a high-tech scavenger hunt. What transpires goes as follows: a) someone decided to hide a container with a piece of paper for the finders to sign, b) the person hides it and marks down the GPS coordinates of the site, c) the person then goes to the Geocaching website and logs that he/she has hidden a Geocache, imputing the coordinates, size of the cache (which can range from micro to large), terrain and “finding it” difficulty, a short description, and maybe even a hint. It is now done. The coordinates of this Geocache are now available to the whole of the Geocaching community to input into the GPS unit of their choosing and go hunting. The coordinates will take you pretty close if not right on top of the Geocache, but beyond that, it becomes the cacher’s (that’s what we call people that are actively looking for a Cache) turn to seek the location of the Cache using their instincts and their eyes. If you have found one, do not believe that that is the only type that exists, for Caches can literally take any shape, size, or form.

I recently (the Friday before CSU’s spring break) was introduced to the idea of Geocaching and now, I am hooked. When you go to the Geocaching website’s map section, you can input your zip code and it will use Google Maps to zoom to your zip code area. If you try it, you will be surprised to find how many Geocaches are hidden right under your nose. We in the business call people that do not know about Geocaching, Muggles. This is a reference to the Muggles from Harry Potter—they do not know that this hidden world exists right under their very eyes. Usually, we have to use a certain amount of stealth to find caches in populated areas, for we do not want the Cache to be vandalized or “muggled,” as we say (it means taken by a Muggle). So we move on, finding Cache after Cache and returning it to the exact spot where it was found after we log our visit (sign our name) on the paper. The purpose of signing the name is to report and prove that you were there. Afterwards, you log on to the website and leave a log (similar to a forum post) about your visit to the Cache location.

The purpose of Geocaching is to make people get out of their houses and actively pursue something, while enjoying nature and the surroundings at the same time. Being a dirty hippie and a Zoology major, it seems like heaven on a stick. Also, it’s always fun to sneak around and find secrets that not many people around you know about. If this is at all anything that anyone is interested in (I have already gotten a bunch of my friends addicted to it here at CSU), I urge you to go to the site and make a free account. They don’t even send stupid spam emails! If you can do scavenger hunts, act like a ninja, and not get people constantly harassing you through the web, for me that’s a done deal…

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rafa says WHAT? Doomsdays

In the beginning, there was nothing. Then, something happened and, for some reason, thanks to random events, we came about and decided that it would be a good idea to set up an expiration date that we could all look forward to. Welcome to Doomsdays! This blog is written in commemoration of about 4,810 years of failed Doomsday predictions. Since there is an overwhelming amount of Doomsday prognostications, I have decided to inspect just three of my favorites. These three will be judged according to merit (which none possess considering the world is still around and other inconsistencies of the like), time period (otherwise known as “how gullible where they anyway”), extent to which it was believed, etc. Actually, I'm just kidding...I'm just going to make fun of them. The truth is, though, people need deadlines. Without them, they feel like they have all the time in the world and will behave likewise. If someone came up to you and mentioned that the world was coming to an end, pronto…I’m pretty sure you would exit your house and commence doing something with your life. But, then again, knowing of one’s imminent doom might actually make a person not want to do any work and just mope around in a puddle of the-world-is-coming-to-an-end sorrow that might end in either 15 empty buckets of Häagen-Dazs or the use of a couple bottles of lubricant and a computer. Sound like circular logic? That is because it is. Now get ready, because the world is about to end…again?

The first Doomsday that I would like to touch upon is one clearly stated in what is perhaps one of the dustiest books ever to lay on ones nightstand: The Bible. It goes as follows:

Verily I say unto you,
there be some standing here,
which shall not taste of death,
till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
-Matthew 16:28

Not only is a passage like this present here, but there are a couple others in Mark 9:1 and Luke 9:27. You know what this means? Jesus definitely thought that he was coming back to save his buddies from the devil and such before they died. I guess that didn’t work out too well for him did it? This is probably comparable to that moment in a movie when a person says that they will take the burden of finding help upon themselves and brave the wilderness. Usually what follows is a harrowing story of the strife of the hero and basically his amnesia towards the friend that he/she left rotting under a log. Maybe it’s just now that Jesus is upstairs taking a shower when he finally has an epiphany (about 2000 years later) that he forgot to show up for his own party. He was clearly supposed to bring the Kingdom of Heaven onto earth…that seems like a big party that he completely overlooked to me. Kind of a big deal. Well…I guess the only analogy to this situation would be that of the apostles and every other Christian follower at the time getting some blue balls because there was simply too much anticipation; or maybe it’s as anticlimactic as when Deep Thought announced that “The Answer to the Great Question Of.....Life, the Universe and Everything.....(is) Forty-two.”

Second on our great list of past due-dates is the infamous year, 1999. It’s interesting to note that there were an overwhelming amount of Doomsday prophesies that were set to come to fruition during the course of this year. Apparently, most cults did not want people to live to see the new millennium. As a matter of fact, there are so many Doomsday predictions for this day that it would take a couple of pages for me to list! If you want more information on these predictions apart from the ones that I will mention, feel free to click here. For those of you either not curious enough or brave enough to learn about the days that you survived, read on. Firstly, the Seventh Day Adventist and the Jehovah’s Witness denominations both believed that the world would end this year…for some odd reason. Secondly, Nostradamus predicted that many things would come to pass during this year including bad people falling from the skies to take over earth and rule because they got lucky. Conveniently, though, this has since been postponed. Lastly, since there would be a heavenly body known as Comet Lee coming into the solar system, the Cassini probe would be flying by the planet, the planets would be aligning, there would be the last solar eclipse of the millennium, ect., people basically began to believe that for some reason this would all come together and blow up the world in a plutonium-fusion-comet-crashing-antichrist-returning-coronal-mass-ejection-orgy ball of flame…and the earth would change its axis by 90o. That should about cover it…the earth would definitely be dead by this point.

Probably the biggest phony fear of them all when it was dawning upon humanity was the idea of a computer meltdown that came to be called Y2K. Short for “Year 2,000,” many people believed that for some reasons computers would not be able to handle the amazing transition from a 9 to a 0 at the end of a year and decide that the best and most logical course of action would be to crash, sending all forms of communication, protection, and interconnectivity to the dark ages. The reality of the matter is that the computers were, in fact, dumb, but they weren’t going to cause a catastrophic infrastructure meltdown. Instead, they were going to change the year 1999 to 19100. Since they are programmed to go in a set direction, they needed to be programmed to count upwards in millennia instead of in hundreds of years. A simple editing of the code and the whole problem was solved. How the ludicrous idea that the number 19100 was somehow the activation code for Russian nukes, aliens, the stock market, and French body odor simultaneously and, when reached, would wreak havoc around the world escapes me. Apart from computer meltdown, many people just thought that the regular old WWIII, comet, planetary alignment, photon belt, Glenn Beck, antichrist, and axis realignment might get the world finally to the point where they began pulling their children from schools. To their surprise, all that the year 2000 brought were fireworks and a bit more of their sad, sorry lives to live through.

Honestly, the amount of Doomsday prophecies that have come and gone are unfathomable. It’s the equivalent of shouting “NOW!” every second until something happens, then saying “See, I told you so…” The fact of the matter is that people shouldn’t be living their lives expecting the world to end to give them justification for their actions or behaviors. “Carpe Diem” was probably coined because some guy got so upset over a failed Doomsday prediction (stating that spoiled sausages and stale beer would rain down and drown the earth) that some panhandling religious nut on the street claimed would occur. Just because people go around saying that some magnificent, earth-destroying orgy of fire will consume all doesn’t mean that they are sane and should be trusted. Either they are severely misinformed and in need of counseling, or they have overdosed on a drug of their choosing (I would like to think that it is a toxic mixture of shrooms, LSD, and urine). Next time some crazy person tells you to prepare for the unfortunate demise of the human race, tell him that your schedule is full and that you would prefer another Doomsday. After all, they are a dime in a dozen.

*2012 was conveniently left out because of another series of blogs all about debunking that load of garbage.
*click on any of the following to find out more about loony ideas such as Y2K, crazy cults, or even how to actually end the world!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rafa says WHAT? Americans

I’m not going to lie…I have been waiting a long time to write something like this. There comes a time in every society’s life when one must direct every ounce of comedic strength towards it and all that it has become. I will now take a nice sowing needle to the overly inflated ego that belongs to what some refer to as the Americans. Setting aside the fact that Americans are simply glorified, 300 year-old Brits and nothing more, this culture has come to believe their overall superiority in what can be considered every facet of life imaginable. The interesting part is, when one peels away the layers of this ogre, what is inside is revealing about the culture itself. As every nation peers through binoculars across the vast oceans and sees Americans, they see a very distinct people. On the “tely” in Great Britain, over the censored news stations of China, and from satellites overhead, most people see the same thing but are afraid to comment. If they aren’t nice to America, it will bring democracy to their country (this quote isn’t mine, by the way).

When one mentions Americans to anyone (that isn’t American, of course), the first thing that comes up in conversation is the idea of ignorance. Now, I know that this blog is dealing with Foreigners, but I count Americans as foreigners when they ask me about my country of origin: Puerto Rico (for all who don’t know). I have heard many a crazy idea about Puerto Rico and have postulated that these comments are so far-fetched that they transcend ignorance and begin to inch their way into the area of sheer stupidity. Examples follow:

“How long did it take you to drive here?”
-Woman in Florida

“Do you live in tree houses?”
-Girl over the phone

“Do you guys have electricity?”
-Girl over MSN messenger (yeah…I know)

“I’m afraid to ask because I don’t mean to insult you, but do you guys have supermarkets?”

“Isn’t Puerto Rico by the Netherlands?”
-…I don’t have a name for her…I just…I…wow…I don’t even know…

Yes, these are real quotes from real people. For their safety, I have eliminated their names so they aren’t ridiculed. I always find myself musing on the idea of American ignorance…what are they thinking when they say that? How can they be so stupid? There are islands under Florida? And they have people?! What?! Even though Haiti has now suffered from a devastating earthquake and many Americans are able to finally locate it on a map (yet I’ve seen many spelling it “Hati”…good job), they are probably still not aware that my island is right next to it. Soon, after all of this has died down, “Hati” will soon fade back out of the map for many Americans.

The reason they don’t focus on other countries is because all of their eyes are on them. By this, I mean they are arrogant and egotistical. Elaborating, I pose this question: has anyone heard the phrase “Everything is bigger and better in America?” This has its roots in how greatly Americans think of themselves. I think it’s time to break apart this statement where it stands…no? Here we go. The national debt is in the trillions (bigger in America, maybe?) and getting larger every day; all of the cars and trucks that Americans boasts about are made in China or Japan; the “greatest mall,” the Mall of America, pales in comparison to some of the biggest malls in the world like the South China Mall or the Dubai Mall; and not even the country itself is big, as it is dwarfed by Russia, China, and its neighbor to the North (yep, you guessed it) Canada. I guess the phrase should be changed to “Everything is bigger everywhere but America.”

The only definitive thing that is bigger in America that many a news anchor has noticed now-a-days is people. Why are people big? Because they are fat…simple as that. Even though fatness is a fad that is sweeping the nation because of overeating and grimy fast foods, there is surprisingly not much being done about it. Obesity is now thought of as a cause for depression. To someone like me, that is unbelievable. You’re fat because you eat and you’re sad because you’re fat. Two plus two does not equal 243.89. Stop eating, get that huge butt off of the couch, and do something about it. If pills are prescribed, it’ll make the person not sad and…they will eat more and get fatter. I love problem solving skills. A solution to all the depression problems isn’t prescription pills, but the complete removal of the intravenous bags full of butter and 30 year-old McDonalds cooking oil that are permanently attached to the arms of millions of Americans. One of the biggest diseases in America to date is Diabetes? It was probably caused by aliens because all the eating couldn’t have done it. It has come to the point where either they stop being lazy or they become the source of humor/horror when morbidly obese women are spotted wearing thongs.

Foreign affairs, what’s up with that? No, don’t worry…I haven’t gotten political. I’m simply mentioning the facts. America has a long history (300 years or so) of yelling freedom a lot and going into other people’s countries. Sometimes, though, a president comes along that does it in a way that absolutely deserves my comedic input. Here is how I expect the conversation went:

Office official

Mr. President, we have discovered the whereabouts of the suspected Al Qaeda leader, Osama Bin Laden.

George W. Bush


Office official


George W. Bush

Mobilize our troops! We are attacking Iraq!

Office official:


The result of this highly confusing conversation was the deployment of troops to Afghanistan then the slow and sly movement of them into Iraq for no good reason except oil. Liquid gold for a solid idiot, Mr. President. It is officially too late for the excuse that is always used by America (“we’re simply spreading freedom and democracy”) and it has to own up to what it’s doing. While they figure that out, every other country in the world is driving their palms strongly against their foreheads and sighing. America has done it again. Thank you, Capitalism.

All in all, I believe I have effectively transmitted what might be called an infinitesimal amount of ridiculous things that the world has witnessed out of America. There’s way more out there and I could write on and on, but I decided to take the most pressing details only. I didn’t go so hard on America. After all, this is what everyone thinks…I’m simply vociferating. It’s something not many countries do, but many whisper about (except the Asians…they can’t whisper). Ignorance isn’t bliss when it makes you stupid. The only thing that won’t become fatter is America itself because no other country wants in on the whole statehood thing. Even so-called territories laugh at all America has become. As a final message to all Americans, I say this—among the cheese fries, deep fried lard, and mega-ultra-supersized Diet Coke, I hope some sort of dignity is found that you can hold onto with your greasy hands. Don’t let it slip.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Suggestion Box - Doomsdays

It’s kind of funny to constantly get suggestions from the same person, but I guess that it’s all in the fun of waiting for the blog to get more notoriety. Anyway, me and that same friend that said, “Hey, Rafa…write about Foreigners!” were talking on the phone and she now mentioned something a little bit different—doomsdays. We didn’t get to that as quickly as one might imagine, though. With the New Year came the notion that the “end of the world” is only 2 years away. I then began to explain why it was total bogus and she stopped me and said that I should write a blog about it. Why not? Presenting…Doomsdays.

This is one of the most exciting things to talk about to people. Before, it seemed pretty far away, but now we are pretty darn close to what many believe to be the end. Not since the Cuban Missile Crisis has society been scared that the end might be near. I will examine a couple doomsdays in the past tense to report a bit more accurately on the one that is coming. Furthermore, I will provide much evidence to the contrary against beliefs about such people as the Maya…and make fun of them, of course. By Doomsdays, I want the audience to be aware that I mean days that will probably usher in the extinction of the human race or the destruction of the society that has been built, which will make humanity return to the dark ages when women were subservient, no one brushed their teeth, people ate with their hands, and all was good.

All in all, the blog will deal with delusions of grandeur that the human race has come up with. Oh boo-hoo! We’re all going to die because we’re so important in the universe! Just calm down…it ain’t going to happen. Everyone has to cool down for now, though. There is still one final chapter in the “Foreigners” segment before we get to Doomsdays. Rest assured, though, after the next blog, the truth will be revealed! Now, as you wait, please feel free to browse the blog, vote on polls, or leave a voice comment for me on the widgets to the right of this blog. Oh, and expect to laugh as you read the last installment of the “Foreigners” blog dealing with those fat Americans.