Monday, December 26, 2011

Rafa says WHAT? Christmas

I was perusing a blog that is written by a friend of mine, Tim, when I came across a comment regarding Christmas. I had partially forgotten a few of the facts that he mentioned and, in reading it, made me think: what the heck is Christmas, anyway? This might be because I was busy having my birthday overshadowed by the biggest holiday of the year and was seeking sweet revenge, but that is beside the point. What he had written unlocked doors in my mind to things I had read previously about the origins of the holiday. That, coupled with an episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” made my thoughts on the matter solidify—I will break Christmas! Ok, maybe not so, but I will at least enlighten those who celebrate without knowledge. Read on…

Many equate Christmas to the fresh smell of a pine tree, being with family around a hearty meal at the table, kissing under the mistletoe (unless you’re me), and presents! Yay! Sadly, most of the nice people in this world are mistaken; Christmas isn’t about any of those things. Well, it is, but it viciously (or maybe not so much) stole all of those traditions from a myriad of places throughout time. The Christmas we have now is but a far-cry from the original version of the holiday. Very true. Now, whether you like it or not, you’re about to get a little history lesson. It all started with the Pagans…oh, those heathenish Pagans.

Back in the good ol’ days, there was a fantastic holiday by the name of Saturnalia. It was meant to celebrate the Winter Solstice by honoring the Roman deity (hint: the clue is in the name)…you guessed it, Saturn. During this period, essentially all hell broke loose. I’ll elaborate. The period of amazing partying took place between December 17th and December 25th, with the latter being the last day of the celebrations. Sound familiar? Oh, I’m only getting started.

This entire festival was grounded on the idea of lawlessness. Essentially, all roman courts were closed and no one could be held accountable for anything they did during this time. Sounds great, right? Well because we’re people and essentially jackasses, everything boiled down to drinking yourself into a stupor, rape, other sexual things (obviously), and moving house to house to sing to your fellow friends…naked (can anyone say “caroling”?). Oh it was a grand time, indeed. Not only this, but amidst the flaming libidos and lack of basic human rights when it came to women, there was also private gift giving between families and close friends. The gifts obviously made every other heinous crime that was committed O.K. But, I digress…

Looks like some people were having fun!

Flash backwards a little bit to the Germanic people and Asheira cults (Pagans, for sure). The former had been celebrating religious festivals around midwinter for a long time. They called this winter period the Yuletide (or Yule-time) holidays. It may have incorporated beliefs surrounding the supernatural, Norse mythology, or the Wild Hunt, but records are scarce since it is such an old tradition. As for the Asheira cults, they participated in a long-standing tradition of felling trees they worshiped in the forests and bringing them into their households to decorate during the long nights of winter. This was partly because they felt that, in doing so, they were preserving and protecting the inherent magic of life held within the trees until the springtime. Noting any similarities yet? Here’s where the fledgling Christian religion comes in…

If you are just beginning and want to take over the vast majority of the existent populace, to assert yourself as the dominant religion, what would you do? If you said “send a messiah down at that exact same time to later celebrate his birth,” then you were right about one of those things. What ended up occurring was that the church decided it would be a great idea to place their holiday directly on top of the convergence of the vast majority of other religious holidays: the Winter Solstice. The date chosen was December 25th. It marked the end of Saturnalia, was close to the Winter Solstice, and was also in the depths of mid-winter when, above all, people just wanted hope for the coming year. In placing the new celebration of Christmas on top of an already popular holiday, they managed to make it easier for people to convert. The catchphrase: Celebrate our Savior’s birthday and still get wickedly drunk and have sex! It all went horribly wrong…

How can this ever go wrong?

The first few celebrations were devastating with riots and more death than ever. Originally, nothing changed when the holiday went from Saturnalia to Christmas. People were still getting wasted beyond belief, rape was prominent, murder was the norm, but, hey, they still gave each other gifts, yay! Everything wasn’t so bad, I suppose. Slowly, the church began to realize that traditions would have to be created that fulfilled two purposes: made people calm the f*ck down and allowed for others to seamlessly convert to Christianity. Oh, hey, look, those blasphemers have a tree in their house! Score!

And, so, the celebrations were made more indoors-y by this addition. In keeping the people off the streets more, they allowed for remembrance of the Lord and Savior instead of sex and other fun-I MEAN-sinful and terrible things. This, combining with the Yuletide celebrations of the Germanic people allowed for Christmas to grow and grow and for people to chill out (Ha! Because it’s winter, it’s funny). The celebration became more about family and love. The decorated tree was beautiful at night and provided a light in the darkness of winter. With presents added in, who wouldn’t want to celebrate this holiday in a calm and orderly manner?

So, this is the story of Christmas. Slowly, more things were added to the holiday, like the mistletoe and Santa. Mistletoes are based on how the Norse god Hoder killed the god Balder in a fight for a woman named Nanna by using a mistletoe arrow (freaking sweet, right?! Norse mythology is the best…), thus creating an ultimate sign of love. We just kiss under it. Lame! Santa came from Saint Nicholas of Turkey (who only became a saint in the 1800s) when he replaced Pasqua Epiphania, or “The Grandmother,” who filled children’s stockings with gifts. In the end, Christmas is just a conglomeration of other traditions and rituals that fulfills the purpose of kicking some major holiday A and getting people to convert throughout history. Jesus wasn’t really born during this time…he was most likely born sometime around summer, if biblical historians are correct. So, even though this won’t sway many believers, it is still nice to know the true story of Christmas and be glad that we don’t sacrifice people like the Romans did on December 25th (FACT. Totally forgot to mention it before). You’re welcome, and enjoy the holiday season, no matter what you celebrate!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Put Some Speed Into Your Life Legally

Do you find your life to be hectic and uninteresting? Do I have the solution for you! The following video will show you how to shave seconds, minutes, days, and even weeks off your everyday tasks so you have room for more exciting things! In the video they discuss everything from parking to folding clothes and making sorbets. I’ve already done quite a few of these and they work great. One of my friends even used the folding clothes one to impress some lady-friends. Hell yeah, these things can be used to pick up chicks. No guarantees they work better than a puppy, but one can hope. What awesome stuff you do with all this extra time is up to you, but if you do something highly illegal or stupid, please don’t mention my blog to the police.

Oh, and in case you wanted more speed, here is a clip of an Asian guy proving yet again that their race is infinitely better than ours. I won’t spoil what he does, but get ready to have your mind blown…

Via YouTube and VideoBash

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Asians Pantomiming...Oh, Yes

I know, I know…I always mention Asians in my blog. I don’t think it’s sad, though, since I’m just using a so-called “good stereotype”—Asians pretty much do everything better than everyone else. Props to them. In other news, a friend of mine showed me a video that I thought I’d share with you all. Apparently, the stereotype even includes comedy. I’m not kidding around when I say that this is probably one of the funniest stand-up routines I have ever seen. It also has the added bonus of being completely unique since they don’t say anything the entire time. Yep, the whole act is pantomimes and sounds. This allows the Japanese comedians to be able to communicate across language barriers that would completely hinder normal comedians. Not just that, but they also turn normal gags that we’ve all done before into dose after dose after dose of hilarity. Enough writing about it…check it out for yourselves:

Via YouTube

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Science Behind the Zombie Apocalypse and Survival

Nowadays, everyone is in on the zombie scene. It appears to be a fad that comes and goes…like vampires (but not the ones that sparkle). We all, then, wonder: could I survive a zombie outbreak? I am here to give you guys the truth and the science. The reason I have the answer isn’t because I have done the tests, but because the kind people at the CDC actually wrote an entire article devoted to it and Bradley Voytek, a neurologist from UC Berkeley. The neuroscientist and a buddy of him decided that the walking decrepit cannibalistic filth in movies suffered from a condition they deemed Consciousness Deficit Hypoactivity Disorder (CDHD). This condition causes “the loss of rational, voluntary and conscious behavior replaced by delusional/impulsive aggression, stimulus-driven attention, the inability to coordinate motor-linguistic behaviors and an insatiable appetite for human flesh.” Instead of going into all the details on how to survive, I will simply provide you all with an awesome infographic:

Below you will see the video of the presentation by the neuroscientists. They recreated the brain of a zombie by studying their behavior in famous movies like “28 Days Later” and “Shaun of the Dead.” Yeah, you wish you were enough of a badass to be able to do that and present it at a neurological convention just because you could!

Via Wired

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ink Cartridges and Disgruntled Employees

If you think about it, all of the descriptions you read online for certain items and goods have to be written by someone. That, apart from possibly being quite the dull job, requires a lot of responsibility. That responsibility was clearly lacking from this man. He got disgruntled one day and realized, “Well, crap, I can write whatever the hell I want and it’ll be read by millions of people!” Too bad he was working writing information about ink cartridges for a website, so all he could do was rant about that. Day in and day out, he wrote more or less the same things. Each day trying to sell more and more ink. Well, he’s had it, and here’s what it looks like:

They’ve since fixed the description, but kept the original one as a memento. You gotta hand it to them…they are good sports! I hope this man still has his job.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Awesome Teacher

Have you ever been sitting in some sort of class or lecture that just got so boring you wanted to drive to the teacher/professor/lecturer’s house and punch his/her parents in the face for raising such a child? Not me because I don’t get bored. True story. But for those of you who have, wouldn’t something like…oh, I don’t know…your professor fighting with his shadow-self make the whole thing a lot more worthwhile? I think it would. There exists such a professor. He made a name for himself by doing intricately plotted skits with himself and a smartboard playing a video. What ensues is both hilarious and freaking awesome. The first video is him doing a shadow skit, and the others are his other pranks to liven up the class. If only all teachers were like this!

Via Videobash

Monday, July 4, 2011

In the Spirit of the 4th

Meet Eric Jacqmain. He does normal teenager things. But his normal teenager things include building a 5,8oo mirror, 5 ft diameter solar death ray. Yep, that’s right, he is a true patriot. Ready to defend the country, this solar death ray concentrates the sun’s energy on a single point that’s only a few centimeters in diameter. Anything there pretty much spontaneously combusts. I know I would prefer to have this than any firecracker all you losers have. It’s time to upgrade! If anyone that reads this actually attempts to build one, definitely send me a pic or video. In the meantime, Eric will be busy building a 32,000 mirror one because his old one burst into flames because of its sheer awesomeness (that actually happened…except for awesomeness being involved). Check out the video below to see it in action, and happy 4th of July!

Via Gizmodo

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Don't Trust Birds

Birds. Either you love them or you hate them. I’m a reptile person, myself. Birds are kind of annoying in my book. At least they aren’t like fish, which just happen to die whenever they are around me for any extended period of time for no good reason. But possibly one of the creepiest things I’ve ever heard of in the animal world is a seemingly innocent looking parrot being a bloodthirsty savage. Meet the Kea Parrot. Nowhere in normal “this is creepy animal stuff” do you hear of this animal, for some odd reason. Yeah, they will talk about the creepy sad face fish, or the sickly looking blob animal, but never the Kea Parrot. It doesn’t feel like being a cute and normal fruit eating birdy. No. this parrot prefers the taste of meat. At night, looking like a crazed demon with a beak (in the video and in real life), these guys sneak up on unsuspecting sheep and begin feasting on them alive. Imagine walking around, minding your own business, and have a parrot nibbling on your ankles. Seriously, what the hell?

Via YouTube

Friday, June 24, 2011


This moment probably only occurs only once in a person’s life, if at all. I have literally just received what is probably one of the funniest news stories of my entire life. What’s more, I know the person involved. Apparently, he got caught doing the dirty deed in an airplane. By dirty deed, I of course mean masturbating, since he is apparently a sad, lonely person. Not only did he get caught, but he got caught by an agent of the FBI. I don’t know whether that would be really damned badass or really damned embarrassing. Probably the latter. If you have so much pent up sexual energy on an airplane that you decide to lock yourself in the 3x3 foot cubicle of a bathroom and cry yourself into the mile high club, you really need to rethink your priorities before you get caught by the FBI. I guess his “weapon” was small enough to not get detected by airport security. BAM! I just had to make that joke. I apologize. The link to the article is below (but it’s in Spanish…that’s why I gave pretty much the summary of what occurred), and I would advise every reader to absolutely not resort to this, ever. Just wait a few hours till you get to your house or a random hotel room where you can get a hooker or some pay per view or something.

Via El Vocero

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Musical Glasses

I remember one day, when I was sitting in a restaurant with my parents, there were some wine glasses in front of me. Obviously, mine had water in it, since my parents actually care about my wellbeing. I dipped my finger into the glass and rubbed the top a bit to get a little piece of food off. To my amazement, it made a sound! What kind of black magic is this?! I wet my finger again and rubbed it around the top, and it began making a smooth sound for as long as my finger was on the top. I have been annoying people at restaurants with this discovery ever since. I’m sure that everyone has discovered this, but some people went a bit further. They actually manufacture their own special glasses inscribed with lines that indicate the water/alcoholic beverage of your choice level to achieve a certain musical note. For sure, if I wasn’t poor and sure that I would break them, I’d get some. Oh no! I filled it with a bit too much wine! I wanted a C. I guess I’ll have to remove a certain amount. Yeah…that’s a recipe for many drunk pseudo-musicians.

Via bltd

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Musical Where Everyone Dies

Let’s get real here…sometimes musicals get quite obnoxious. Either the songs last too long, the singing is horrendous, or you’re living a sad existence because you’re watching Glee. If you are a Glee fan and stupidly call yourself a “Gleek,” then here is directions for what you should do with the rest of your life: stop reading the blog, begin calling yourself a “Gleetard,” use heroin and have an illegitimate child, become so depressed that you think your existence is not worth it, realize that your existence is actually not worth it, and then kill yourself. Problem solved. Anyway, here is one of the few legitimate musicals that you all should see…namely because everyone dies. Score.

Via YouTube

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The WritePad Lessons: How to Really be a Creeper

I have never known anyone that has been slapped with a restraining order. But Jesus Crist does this guy deserve it. The man’s name is Andrew WK. He was quite young at the time (around 17 years old) when he became infatuated with a girl. He decided that the best course of action to confess his unrequited love to a girl that never talked to him and get an A on his final project was to write a love song. How romantic! Too bad that it ended up being quite possibly the creepiest thing I have ever heard. He got in a ton of trouble for the song he wrote, recorded, and handed in. So much trouble, in fact, that he got a restraining order. Damn right he should have gotten a restraining order. After you listen to this track, you will know what I mean. I had nightmares…I still do.



Monday, June 6, 2011

The WritePad Lessons: How to be Awesome on Chatroulette

Have you ever wondered what is better than proposing to a girl and having her say yes? Proposing to a random girl over chatroulette in an over-the-top, musical fashion, and having her say yes. No, really. If this is actually some random person doing this to another random person, it’s probably the most awesome thing I have seen. It all seems normal until he starts singing…and you realize that he has built sets. Multiple sets. This is more intricate and organized than the Old Spice commercials. It’s, dare I say it, beautiful! Enjoy the awesomeness…

Via Gizmodo

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Something You Pass Around?

Have you ever had that moment when you’re on a game show, you’re staring Steve Harvey’s moustache right in the face, and you make a marijuana reference? Honestly, Family Feud couldn’t get better than these hilarious moments. It’s one of those times when you realize that reality television has nothing on game shows.

It seems all of the following people conveniently forgot about the “family” part of Family Feud. And yet, we all should be thankful to them for the hilarity that ensued after their comments. Go on…laugh.

This guy apparently had the best answer to a question you have ever heard:

This woman is...well, just watch it:

In this last video, the guy is A) way too excited about his answer, and B) most definitely correct:

Via Urlesque

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Let Your Mind Be Blown by the Impossible

M.C. Escher is known for making paintings and sketches of impossible shapes and tessellations that blow your mind. If you don’t know who he is, then figure it out before you make a fool out of yourself. He made an awesome staircase, an even more awesome pair of hands, and a super sweet waterfall. The latter is the one that we will be discussing today. Keep in mind that the things he made were impossible. Physically. Impossible. You can’t make shapes like that without making use of an optical illusion. The thing is…somebody did. As of posting time, no one has the slightest idea who the person responsible for this is, or how he made it. One thing is for sure, after watching this video, your mind will be blown so intensely that you will have to pick up pieces of brain and scalp from your neighbors toupée. Enjoy.

Via Gizmodo

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I've Always Loved Puppets

Ah, this video brings me back. It’s actually a recently released teaser trailer for a new movie coming out on Thanksgiving of this year. The thing is…it isn’t the movie it says it is at the beginning. Setting the stage perfectly for excellent jokes and gags, this trailer winds you up to watch a lovey-dovey romance movie until the main characters arrive. And boy do they arrive. Instantly recognizable, this teaser is sure to get you as excited as it did me.

Yes. I kid you not. It is another “Muppets” movie! I honestly can’t control my excitement. The muppets were the first show I watched as a kid. Screw “Barney” and “Power Rangers.” Those shows were for sissies. If my kids ever watch those shows, I will disown them, but not before I punch them in the face. They should be watching a show where everything is bad-ass: The Muppest. Hellz to the yeah! Thug life. Here’s the second teaser that was released this week. It mocks the commercial for “The Hangover: Part II” excellently.

Just as an added bonus and to get you more psyched up for the movie, here’s drumming legend Buddy Rich playing drum solos against Animal. Like I said…bad-ass.

Via Splitsider and, well, Splitsider

Friday, May 27, 2011

Oh Japan, You've Done It Again

Everyone knows how awesome the Japanese are. Everyone also knows how strange they are. From real-life transformers in a game show to tentacle porn, these guys have it all. They are amazing with technology, but awkward everywhere else. The following video is an excellent example of why this is so. We all know of anime and stuff like that, but sometimes the shows get a tad strange. I don’t know if it is a cultural thing that we just don’t understand, or if everyone in Japan but a select few think the people that do this are freaking out of their minds. Keep that thought fresh, as the video you are about to see will solidify the case for you. If anything, it is an accurate rendition of what happened to me on my first kiss. I hate it when that happens.

Via YouTube

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Most Badass Animal in the Gayest Documentary

Have any of you heard of an animal called a Honey Badger? There’s really only one thing you have to be aware of regarding this creature—it doesn’t give a sh*t. No joke. This guy will literally take on any other animal. They have been known to face other creatures more than 3 times their size. Just like the wolverine, they will readily tell things like bears and cobras and jackals “I’m a badger, bitch!” and proceed to maul their faces off. Don’t believe me? Watch this overdubbing of a nature documentary by what has to be one of the gayest voices I have ever heard…

Via CollegeHumor

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Douche Planet

It was only a matter of time till the BBC had nothing left to film in HD and with amazing cameras. First, it was “Planet Earth.” Then, it was “Blue Planet.” Afterwards, came “Life.” Last, came “Human Planet” (which, at the time of this posting, is airing, and I highly recommend it). Now, the newest addition to the lineup of amazing nature documentaries is a segment attached to “Human Planet.” The subject of this short piece—the douche. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Inform Yourselves...But Only Slightly

If there was ever a question on a woman’s intelligence, it is examined in this video. Everyone knows that old informational are possibly the most accurate and specific pieces of recorded history. This one is no exception. Containing what can be considered irrefutable evidence for its assertions, the video attempts to grapple with the concept of women and education. I hereby postulate this solution to all of humanity’s woes. Please, my dear readers, take this information and pass it on, for there is more truth in a 1950s mock informational about women knowing their place than there is in the modern day. Oh, and if you are a woman, then just watch the video because you probably can't read this.

Mythos: Thicker Hair and Shaving

“If you shave, your hair will grow back thicker and fuller,” goes the old story that your mom told you before you shaved. But does it really? It sure does feel that way. The reality is far from this, as many of the myths examined in this series. Your hair doesn’t grow back thicker, and here’s why…

After you shave, the blunt ends of your hair can make it appear like your hair is, indeed, coarser when it isn’t. If shaving actually made you grow more hair or make it coarser, the scenario I will now postulate will elucidate the situation. Let’s say that a guy called Jim shaves his facial hair for the first time when he’s 13. Back then, his hair would have been soft and peach-fuzzy. But, the more he shaves, the faster, thicker, and more it grows. By the time he is 19 or 20, he will be living in the forest with wolves, his face will be covered in hair, and he will be more in tune with nature. Ask any doctor if this myth is true and the answer will be a resounding “no.” Because your friends and family have repeated this myth so much, it is all psychology from there.

Mythos: Healing Bands

This is a relatively new phenomenon—magnetic healing bands. They come in all shapes and sizes, but all are equally ineffective. You might know them through the most prominent amongst the competition: Power Balance. Top tier athletic celebrities have been used in their ad campaigns and everything. The truth remains…they are a hoax. Here’s why…

Magnetism…it has been around for the longest time. No, really, the Earth has a magnetic field. The thing with magnetism is that it is very weak. So weak, in fact, that if you wear a bracelet with magnets, the effects would diminish before they even reached your hemoglobin. Not even MRI machines (MAGNETIC Resonance Imaging…just saying), which have incredibly strong magnetic fields, can claim to solve any problems. If the idea that magnets would help your health is correct, anyone that went into an MRI machine could come out a young child with superior health. This, of course doesn’t happen. Hey! Maybe we can travel to a neutron star and get super healthy at the cost of being crushed to death. Besides this, Power Balance is on the nuttier side (saying that the holographic thing with their logo resonates with your body and fixes everything…yeah, they say that) of the entire competition. It’s ok, though, because they have already been outed as frauds.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mythos: Brain Power

How many of us have grown up with the “You only use 10% of your brain” (or any derivation thereof) myth? I know I have. From self-help books that boost memory to “quantumly” activating the other 90% to attain higher consciousness, all of these things that are mentioned in popular culture are dead wrong. Here’s why…

Firstly, I would like to point out that people say you only use 10% of your brain, but are very vague as to which 10% it is, or where it is located. Is it a certain spot? Is it spread across multiple spots? Is it a fuzzy area with percentages of usage going up and down depending on the contours of the brain? If any of these are true, then if I were to take a pickaxe and stab the 90% of your brain that you don’t use without remorse, you should still be able to function perfectly. Now…will you let me put my idea to the test? Didn’t think so.

Secondly, if indeed we were to postulate that 90% of our brain was not being used, why is it still there? In case you don’t know, your brain is a very costly organ to maintain and activate. Lots of energy goes into it. If 90% didn’t have to be used, evolution would have made our brains smaller and more efficient. The dead weight of the unused 90% would be gone. The result would be two types of humans—normal ones with smaller and more efficient brains, and blondes, who’s brains would not have shrunk because (let’s face it) they would end up without one at the rate that they use it. Ah…evolution.

Lastly (and probably the most popular one), the whole New Age movement has given more power to this myth by stating something that can be generalized into this: “You don’t understand, man. The 10% of the brain that we use isn’t actual brain…it’s consciousness, man. Tap into that extra 90% of your brain power and you can be…like…psychic. Connect with the universe, man!” Of course, this is…quite difficult to disprove. It just goes to show how myths change shape over time so that they may survive being demystified. The only thing that can be said is that there is no evidence whatsoever that this is how it works. Period. People can say all they want, but no evidence means no conclusive answer.

Besides, studies have shown that your brain is active all the time. There are always parts of the brain doing something related to your bodily functions, even when you are asleep (during REM sleep, your brain is immensely active)! As I sit here typing this, there are parts of my brain reading, typing, thinking about the next bit of gibberish I will spew, moving each of my fingers, breathing, pumping my heart, feeling my surroundings, recognizing smells, tensing and relaxing muscles to keep me in my chair, blinking, letting me know that there is a possible annoying itch on my back, trying to come up with funny things to say, hearing sounds from the outside, interpreting said sounds, and many, many, many, many more bodily processes. The whole thing is likely to have originated form a misinterpretation of something William James, a psychologist in the 1900s said: "The average person rarely achieves but a small portion of his or her potential." It is ridiculous, if not downright stupid, to believe that you only use 10% of your brain. Anyone that does is, well…probably only using 10% of their brain.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mythos: Flat Earth

The earth is flat, I tell you! FLAT!” This was repeated verbatim until around the 1500’s, when Magellan circumnavigated the globe. He, obviously, feared he would fall off the side of the plane where the oceans ended the entire time. He knew that as soon as he saw the majestic waterfall at world’s end, he would immediately ask for his brown pants. At least, that’s what everyone would want you to think. For some reason, this has been repeated for a long time…with evidence to the contrary! Here’s how it actually happened…

Well, we don’t actually know how it came about per-say, but what is known is the fact that by 5 B.C., no Greek in his/her right mind would say the earth was anything but a sphere. In all honesty, if they mapped out the stars and predicted events, they would have logically noticed something was amiss with a flat earth, no? Probably one of the more famous developments that came from the spherical earth was from an Ancient Greek poet, geographer (He invented geography! How many people can say that?!), and mathematician, Eratosthenes. This guy was the definition of a bad-ass. Not only did he invent latitude and longitude, but he also went on to measure the circumference of the earth using this system…then he wrote a poem about it afterwards!

Using the Summer Solstice, he knew that in Syene (modern day Aswan, Egypt) the sun would be directly overhead, but at the same time in Alexandria, it would cast a shadow. Using awesome math (the shadow showed that the angle of elevation of the sun was 7°12' south of directly overhead, the division of 360° by 7°12’ was 1/50, the distance from Syene to Alexandria was 1/50th the circumference of the earth, the distance between the two cities was around 500 miles, and presto!), he calculated the circumference of the planet. His calculations were so accurate that he was only off by about 2%.

The only reason why everyone “believed” the earth was flat was because of the Catholic Church. It exerted dominance over most of Europe for a long time, and kept differing ideas at bay. Eventually, though, the physical evidence from Magellan’s voyage was too much for their idiosyncrasy to remain.

Mythos: Swallowing Gum

I bet everyone reading this has heard that age-old adage: “Don’t swallow your gum! It will stay in your _______ (select: stomach/digestive tract/system/body) for seven years!” Maybe it was when a teacher walked by and you had to swallow it for fear of repercussion or maybe it was that time when you were dared to swallow it by a myth-believing friend—in any case, the statement is entirely false. Here’s why…

Normally, food takes anywhere from 4-12 hours to be digested (this is referring to stomach and small intestine only…large intestine can take up to 72 hours extra). The big gap in time is because of the content of the food and how long that takes to digest. Overall, food spends a surprisingly long time inside of you (don’t try and find the food you ate at dinner in your stool later…I beg you…it’s uncalled for and nasty—if it’s brown, flush it down!). The rubbery part of gum can’t be digested, but that doesn’t mean that it can't pass through you’re digestive system. It’ll eventually find its way out. Dr. Milov, a pediatric gastroenterologist (digestive system doctor) from the Nemours Children’s Clinic in Orlando, Florida, says that he has found gum inside kids that might be about a week or so old more or less. Rest assured, though, that it won’t be in there for seven years. You still shouldn’t swallow it, as it has no nutritive value.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mythos: 4G

Everyone has heard of 4G. It’s sort of the new “thing” that telecommunications companies are using to sell their products. Starting with Sprint and then Verizon, the concept of 4G has spread like wildfire. But, what exactly is 4G? I can’t be bothered to explain it, since these blogs are meant to be short, sweet, and to the point, but if you want to know what true 4G is, click here. Otherwise, I will just cut right to the chase—they are lying to you. Here’s why…

True 4G is insanely fast. When I say insanely fast, I mean crazy fast. Remember all those days you had to wait for your YouTube video to load? No more! It’ll be done so fast, you won’t have time to socialize with anyone anymore. Human connection will be cut off. But who needs them when you have blazing fast internet? The supposed 4G we have right now is fast, but it’s nowhere near what true 4G speeds would be like (around a gigabit a second). It’s turned into more of a marketing ploy. They will shout 4G till your ears bleed just to make it sound like they are offering everything the opposition is offering. It’s sad, really, what they have come to. At least for now, the only thing 4G is good for is fickle signal and battery draining superpowers.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mythos: The Great Wall of China

Have any of you guys heard this being said anywhere: “The Great Wall of China is the only man-made object that can be seen from space!” If you think it can, you are very wrong indeed. It’s one of those things that you just accept as true as soon as you hear it because, well, that wall has the word “great” before it, so it must be ginormous! When you think about it, though, you realize that the wall couldn’t possibly be seen from space. For starters, it’s only about 30 feet wide. What does this mean, you ask? This means that it’s about as wide as most highways. Can you see highways from space? Of course not! Earth would look so ugly if you could see highways from space! Furthermore, if you can see highways, then many long buildings should also be seen from space, when they are clearly not. One of the few man-made objects that can be seen from space are the Pyramids of Giza (the bigger ones, of course…not all of them) because they are freaking huge.

But Rafa, I can go on “satellite” images in Google maps and see everything! Ok, for one, these satellites are equipped to map out Earth and all man-made streets and such, meaning they don’t really count (because of the cameras and such). Even if they did count, though, they still go against what was said because they would make the Great Wall one of the many millions and billions of man-made things observable from space! The myth is so prevalent that China has even tried to step in and squash the myth itself. Astronauts have even tried taking pictures from the ISS when they were over the Great Wall and haven’t been able to find it or see it at all. Just one example of the many urban legends that are simply not true. Fight ignorance and spread the word!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Air New Zealand has always been one of those airlines that tries to make their flights more enjoyable for everyone. You might remember them as the guys that painted the bodies of their employees for an inflight safety briefing, or the ones that put Snoop Dogg on a plane. Maybe this time, though, they went too far. It is sort of like the dancing flight attendants…if your flight attendant was Richard Simmons, of course. Gizmodo and most people on the internet expressed very accurate sentiments about this subject. Below, you will find the video that the company uses on their planes. Let Richard Simmons terrify you for three minutes about safety.

Via Gizmodo

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hockern: The World's Most Extreme Sport

What is more extreme nowadays? Is it skydiving? Bungee jumping? Spelunking? Running on water? No. The most extreme sport in my opinion is Hockern. This sport consists entirely of sitting. Yes, you read right—sitting. Germans had enough of the whole standing up thing, so they decided to move on to sitting and make it totally extreme. Imagine skateboarding mixed with parkour, mixed with looking like an idiot and an awesome person at the same time. Not only are the moves kind of crazy, but everything looks like it’s allowed as long as you end up sitting down in the end. They even make custom chairs for this sport! They look like really awesome and overpriced stools, but I really want one for no good reason at all.

For other extreme sports, just jump on your dog and ride into the sunset, like the people below. Good boy!

Via Wired and Gizmodo

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Just So You Understand Sugar Pills

Everyone “knows” what a placebo is. But if I were to ask you, “What is a placebo?” most wouldn’t be able to answer me. Another thing that boggles the mind is the Placebo Effect. Everyone “knows” what it is, but do you really know what it is? The answer is not really. My roommate found a really great video explaining it, and I thought I might share it with you guys. The gist of it, though, is that it is a pill or medical treatment that has no effect on the body whatsoever as relating to the disease. If they are treating TB, for example, they would give you a pill which they said would treat symptoms, but would really be a sugar or starch pill (which is terrible considering that they are using a placebo to treat TB, but it’s an example, so don’t get all humanitarian on me). The Placebo Effect is a lowering of the severity of the symptoms or of the disease itself (sometimes even curing it) by taking these treatments that aren’t supposed to cure anything. It just goes to show what whiny little idiots we all are. Wah, wah, I want pills because I have the sniffles! Shut up! You can cure yourself. Deal with it and stop being a baby. Check the video below for an awesome animated explanation to what I just talked about.

Via Iambored

Monday, March 21, 2011

Black Friday

Unless you live under a rock, you must have heard about a fantastic new song and artist that just came out of The ARK Music Factory. The song is called “Friday,” and the artist is called Rebecca Black. Many people are denouncing it as either fake or bad or stupid. Others (her parents) are heralding her as the next Justin Bieber. I mean, if you paid $2,000 for a production company to write a song and slap your daughter on a music video, the money better have been used for something good, damn it! Now, the song has surpassed some of Lady GaGa’s songs on YouTube in views, and it has turned into an internet meme faster than you can say, “Holy crap, she is actually 13 so I shouldn’t be aroused by this.” Not that I was…um…moving on.

The fact of the matter is that I have to get something out. The video is absolutely terrible for 2 reasons. How the hell are 13 year-olds driving a car, exactly? And what where the VFX guys smoking when they decided to add a flare to the rear-view mirror of the random rapper dude’s car that does the same motion over and over?! It took away all the fun, fun, fun (ha…oh man) of the video. That damned glow. I will now rant…prepare.

So she walks out of her house, right? Then she goes to the bus stop. Still following me? THEN HER FRIENDS PICK HER UP?! What the heck?! First of all, she might as well have stayed in front of her house, since it’s more of a specific pick-up point than a random bus stop. Secondly, THEY ARE ALL 13 YEAR-OLDS! How the heck is a 13 year-old going to be driving a car, much less a convertible? And they are driving recklessly without seat-belts and people sitting on the tops of the seats! Either they stole one of their parent’s cars, or they killed someone and stole his/her car to pick up Rebecca. Just look at that emo dude in the front…he looks guilty. Not making eye contact. Hair combed to the side. He’s hiding something. Either way, those damned 13 year-olds shouldn’t be driving.

Where did all of the guys go?!

Here is the most annoying part: if you look at the scene with the rapping wanna be black guy that must have been paid in soooooo much weed to be on the video (thank you, random YouTube commenter), he is driving somewhere random, yes? There is a shot of him through the rear-view mirror that is repeated a few times. Now, notice the little glint off the edge of the mirror. It goes up, and then turns right, apparently following the curvature. If you see each of the mirror scenes, IT DOES THE EXACT SAME THING! Not only that, but it does it at different speeds! …w-what?! I mean, it doesn’t work that way! Even if you factor in the fact that he might be passing “street lights” along his mystery route, it wouldn’t do it faster, then slower. It could happen, but from the looks of the background, he is moving at a constant speed. SO WHAT GIVES?! It’s almost as if 3 different guys tailored each of the shots and decided to put the same damned annoying glint in the middle of the screen!

Gah! Make it stop!

Other than those things, the video is great. It is truly an inspired piece of art, starring an incredibly talented artist. Rebecca Black is undoubtedly one of a kind. She might as well be the next Justin Bieber! I was very impressed when I saw it, so I showed my friends—they didn’t share the same thoughts I did. Saddening, really. They don’t know good music if it stared them in the face. Amongst all the parodies and spoofs, there is something amazing and beautiful in Rebeccas eloquent style and reiteration (with redundancies and outdated sayings) throughout the video. She wants to transfer to the viewer her feelings on such a special and wonderful day. And you know what? You have, Rebecca…you have. We thank you.

Disclaimer: I meant absolutely NOTHING that I said in that last paragraph (except the bit in parenthesis), and if you actually believed it for even a second, you should coat yourself in honey, run into the woods, and punch a grizzly right in the face so it can maul you to death without remorse. The video is trash and everyone involved in it should be ashamed. Even those red and green lights in the background during the end of the video had killed themselves as soon as the video went live. The bowl of cereal, which wasn’t even in the video, shot his whole family and then himself after hearing her repeat “Friday” and “fun, fun, fun,” but not until she finally said “we gonna have a ball today” did it actually consider (but eventually discard the idea of) killing his extended family and acquaintances. Don’t buy the song, don’t listen to it, don’t watch the music video more than once, because it just makes more trash like this come out of terrible, terrible people like the ones running The ARK Music Factory. By the way, December 21, 2012 is ON A FRIDAY! Thank you, that is all.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Japan Wins Again

What’s funnier than a tsunami and a 9.0 earthquake? Wait…that question needs to be rephrased. Actually, anything is funnier than both those things. Needless to say, after all the catastrophes, it’s good to know that Japan can still beat us on most things that involve…well, everything. But, do you know what we will never be able to beat them in? Game shows that show people with actual talent in things that aren’t terrible music doing something both hilarious and terrifying at the same time. When I say that, I mean they built Transformer costumes out of cardboard (I think) that can actually change between robot and car in less than a second. I don’t know how nerdy or geeky this is because I am too busy being surprised that anything like this could actually be possible, much less that someone was bored enough one day to come up with a design like this. Amazingly, though, they didn’t win the competition! What the hell, Japan?! Props go out to my squinty-eyed friends for the effort, though.

Via urlesque

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Please Secure All Carry-On and Personal Items

Have you ever heard that phrase in an airport before? I know I have. The thing is…how safe do you really think your stuff is inside your little suitcase? “Oh, but Rafa, you silly goose,” you say with a lisp, “I lock my checked baggage as well as carry-on luggage that I won’t be using with one of these adorable mini locks that have this cute key with one bump on them to open them! Everything is so totally safe! HahahahaHAHAHAHAHA!” Well, if you think that I am going to go on a tirade about how there are many copies of your key out there in the world because they have one freaking bump on them, then you are wrong. What I am actually going to say is that suitcases are incredibly easy to open even if you don’t have that dumb key and they are locked. Just use a pen or any object that you might use to otherwise stab obnoxious people at the security checkpoint. Observe the video below and realize how naïve about safety you have been your whole life.

Via LifeHacker

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Yeah, Crime Solving Doesn't Work That Way

Have you ever been watching any of the TV crime dramas and fallen madly in love with either Horatio’s amazing crime solving abilities, Detective Benson’s ass-kicking persona, or Abby’s eccentric forensic ways? Well, that’s not what I'm going to talk about. Or at least, the 1st two aren’t what I'm going to talk about. Ok the middle one isn’t what I'm going to be talking about (because L&O is awesome and anyone that disagrees can just leave…right now). In both CSI and NCIS (scramble the letters a little bit and they are the same show), they show different versions of photo enhancement technologies. You watch it and it makes your eyes water with tears of technological appreciation. Too bad all of that stuff is not even real. Why do you think most photos that are shown from security cameras look like they have been pulled from a camcorder circa 1973? They are pixilated beyond belief and the photos are so unrecognizable that you can't tell if the picture is of a black person or a different black person. If you honestly believed that half that stuff was possible, here is a video making fun of the whole process, for your viewing pleasure:

Via Gizmodo

Monday, March 14, 2011

All I Want is Some Pi

What would happen if you were either hungry or a nerd and decided to assign musical notes to each of the numbers in the first 31 digits of Pi? That’s what this guy did. Out of sheer boredom, awesomeness ensued. He used each of the digits as a numerical value representation of notes on a typical sheet of music and decided to play half of the instruments known to man to the tune. By slightly displacing the notes on each, he created something that sounds absolutely amazing. Who would have guessed that math could be this fantastic? So, I'm off to play guitar to the golden ratio while you all check out the video below. Happy Pi Day!

Via Gizmodo

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's a Trap!

Have you ever been shopping at IKEA and rounded a corner, only to be confronted by a huge, man-and-woman-eating Minotaur? This is probably because the stores are designed to be like a huge maze that people can’t get out of unless they travel through it all. You literally have to walk through the every inch of the store to get out. Studies have shown that people spend an average of 2-3 hours ambling around the store, bewildered by the amazing array of furniture and mythical, shifting walls. Some have even been inside for 8 hours! I’m hoping that to survive, they didn’t have to consume one of their own in the kitchen section. I have personally never been in one, but if I ever did enter, by the time I reached the office section, I would be trying to grab someone from my party to sacrifice them to the IKEA gods for a swift exit from the premises. Be careful next time you are in there because the people lounging around in the bedroom section might actually have died of starvation a week or so ago. Click the picture below to enlarge and follow a person’s journey through IKEA and all that was bought.

Via DailyMail

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rafa says WHAT? International Women's Day

Wanna hear a joke? HA! Just kidding. You all thought I was going there didn’t you? You all thought it was going to be a blog one liner where all I would write was “A Joke” or something of that nature and it would be funny. The thing is that today, I will be taking women’s side. You read right! I will be writing against imbeciles that have one too many inches of empty space between their ears. Betcha didn’t see that one coming. The reasoning behind why I am doing this is simple: I was exposed to this subject (women in general and rights and whatnot) by a person that I hold very dear. I wish to pay tribute to all she has taught me here with this post. Also, I am a firm believer that people need to learn to laugh at themselves. In this case, I am a man writing against men. If any man is reading this and he hates it, then in my regard he is an idiot and falls under my Stupidity Hypothesis. So, with that said, I will now outline what I will talk about—bras, the workplace, and what happens in dark alleys. Enjoy.

It all started when one woman decided that she was going to cut up her bra, burn it, and flail it in the air (just kidding...that never actually happened). Well, it started way before that, but men have a way of reducing the importance of females to the point where you should give kudos to their performance. Ever since the dawn of time, males have always been perceived as the ones that rule. It’s the MAN’S house. The FATHER brings home the money. Also, in the olden days of cavemen, MEN would go clubbing (HA! Get it? That was a good one…) when they wanted a mate. In reality, all of this is superficial bull. It is a dogmatic way to control members of our own species. It has also been going on for ages and ages.

Not everywhere were they brought down, though. In ancient Sparta, for example, if you crossed a woman the wrong way, she would rip your family jewels off while reading you some fine philosophy. You know why? Because she could do that…and because they knew how to read, were economically and socially empowered, and could pump more iron than all the men working out in today’s gyms combined. They were truly strong women. I know that I wouldn’t want to cross them. They were trained to defend their property (yes, they could own property) and, if their men were off at war for too long and they got bored, they could get themselves a new man if they so wished. Talk about the good life, huh? Makes you sad that Rome and Christianity came a bit later and ruined all of this for…wow…millennia, I suppose.

Even though there have been ups and downs with women in the workplace, it is still quite the issue. Not only is money an issue, but sexual harassment as well. I know that if I was a woman and got sexually harassed at the workplace, I would sucker punch that ass before he could do any more damage. It’s ridiculous the things that women put up with from us. If you want to know a trade secret, women, here it is. The reason sexual harassment happens (apart from the fact that your boss/colleague is socially inept and bigoted idiot who only exercises control over others such as yourself to quell his feelings of inadequacy so he doesn’t have to cry himself to sleep every night in a pit of shame) is because men find powerful women attractive. It’s kind of a fetish. She dresses authoritative, so she is authoritative. Sexy. Why do you think that one of the most popular fetishes is the “schoolteacher”? I’ll give you a hint: it isn’t because we want to learn. Men, in that scenario, are perfectly happy feeling weak and controlled by their woman. Come on, try it sometime.

Money, though, that is another issue. It still shocks me that women get paid around 17% less than men. Because I understand that the main readerate of this blog is male, I will elaborate. If I get paid $10 an hour, a woman in my same position probably gets paid around $8.30. That’s only about a dollar over minimum wage (in Colorado)! Also, if she complains at all about it, she is more likely to be fired than her male counterpart. Talk about a Catch-22—you get a job, but to keep it, you need to learn your “place” and have less money than your male colleagues. So…either you get a job and are treated inferiorly, or you don’t have a job and stand for all your values and beliefs. Something isn’t right here.

Oh, and what happens if you get preggers? You are also more likely to lose your job. You are doing the hard part of forwarding the species and, by procreating, allowing your genes to be carried on into the next generation, hopefully on an awesome evolutionary journey to something better…but you get fired. That’s like people nowadays getting pissed at their phones when it drops a call. Like Louis C.K. said: “It’s going to space! Could you give it a second while it comes back from SPACE?!” Until men are able to pop a baby out of their ball sack (biologically correct, if you think about it), they should let women do what they are good at without being afraid. By the way, I'm sure that most men don’t know this, but maternity leave is also available for men. Paid and everything. Do men take it? Nope, they don’t. I guess it’s because saying you are on maternity leave isn’t very “cool sounding”. In all honesty, though, getting paid to raise my kid seems pretty awesome to me.

When a woman leaves work, she has other things to worry about as well—namely, dark alleys. I am, of course, referring to rape. It is a touchy subject for some, but it must be mentioned. If a man is lacking so much in the sex department that he needs to go out and attack women so his penis doesn’t pop, either he needs to be in jail, or he needs to find a hobby that involves private browsing on the internet and a credit card. These people are some of the lowest of the low. Even in jail they are looked upon with scorn. Take advantage of a woman, shame on you. Get taken advantage of in jail, laughs for me. The thing is that once a woman is raped, she is scarred for life. How do you get over that? How do you learn to trust again? It’s one thing to take away a woman’s innocence, but another entirely to take away a safe life.

Furthermore, one of the things said most frequently (which I'm sure you’ve all heard of) is “look at what she was wearing! She was asking for it!” If that has ever crossed any of my dear reader’s minds, I will politely say that you can leave the blog now and never come back, you poor excuse for a human being. Girls like to dress up because it’s fun, they want to look pretty, and they want to enjoy themselves. Girls don’t dress up thinking, “You know what, I really wanna get raped today. This is my rape outfit.” No. Incorrect. Stupid. Even if a girl did get dressed to “get some” that night, “getting some” isn’t the same as getting raped. The first is a consensual sexual encounter for the pleasure of two people between whom there is presumably some sort of chemistry. The latter is a forced, non-consensual, and often brutal sexual encounter for the pleasure of one party. See the difference? In a perfect world, there would be no violence against women. Because we live in this world, though, there is. My solution? Have women learn how to protect themselves (so they can try and prevent it just in case), educate people so that they realize that being an ass is a bad thing, and if there are still rapists out there, find them and rape them ourselves. Raping the rapists sounds like a great plan…preferably with something that has splinters. Either that or by a big inmate named Bubba. Either, or.

I hope that this blog has enlightened some of you guys on what some issues with women are. Know that I only just scratched the surface because, if I had written extensively on it, this blog would have reached essay proportions. My goal is to not have idiots running around in this world. If I can change the mind of one daft man via this blog, I have done my job. So, today, in celebration of International Women’s Day, share this blog along with many of the hyperlinks on it (which contain really good information about different topics) to people. Spread the word, and spread the knowledge. The more people that read this, the more likely it is that I will reach my goal of one idiot being wiped off the face of the earth.

Oh, and turn to your mother and thank her for once…she pushed you out of a tiny hole in her and asked little in return (and she's probably gotten little back willingly anyway). Apart from that, turn to a woman that is close to you, and look at her…try to understand. It is an ongoing struggle and one that won’t be solved overnight. All it takes is one person to inform you. I know that I wouldn’t be saying half the things I am if I wouldn’t have had that special person tell me all she knew. She's an activist, and I admire her so much for it. Don’t think this doesn’t mean you can’t crack jokes about women. As long as you know the truth and can work for a better tomorrow, though, it’s ok to make fun of the other sex. But, for Pete’s sake, learn to make fun of yourselves (that means YOU, men) every once in a while too. In the mean time, on behalf of all men out there, whether they like it or not, I will now say thank you to all the women out there for being awesome and for being, well, women. Happy International Women’s Day.