Saturday, December 17, 2011

Stating the obvious

Food is the best source of calcium. Oh really? So what?
Eating shit is the best source of shit.
Walking is the best source of using your feet.
How else am I going to consume calcium? By injecting it into my arm?
Yeah, I know, they try to say that it's better to eat calcium in natural food than by using supplements. But you also put that stuff into your mouth. Is there no other way to explain their point in the english language?

Food is always the best source of whatever for humans. Unless we are talking about oxygene. Or perhaps Vitamin D. Yeah, but it's still pretty stupid to say that something that requires eating is best taken from... well... food.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

"I don't care" in songs

I don't usually listen to the radio so much. But when I share a car with other people and I'm not driving, it happens that I have to listen to what other people like to listen to on the radio (or listen to their illegally downloaded mp3 files).

When radio stations only play very recent songs, it brings my piss to a boil sometimes. Not only do they repeat what feels to be five songs maybe, the songs also suck. I am already used to pointless lyrics, but sometimes, the "artists" really overdo it with their lack of ideas. And other times, some words are just used to fill an empty space or to rhyme.

The most striking phrase I can think of here is "I don't care", or anything that has the same meaning. You can also say "I don't mind" or "I don't give a shit". I'll explain this in context:

Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera - Moves like Jagger

"You say I'm a kid
My ego is big
I don't give a shit"

Well, while it does make sense in a context, because it describes the personality of whoever, it's still annoying. Especially when you take into consideration that the shit is cut to "sh..." when being played on the radio. Yeah. How badass... Now it doesn't even rhyme any more. On top of that, why is it censored? Well, I guess that's because it was censored from the start as a radio edit. Here in Germany, where I live, nobody cares about lyrics and I think 90 per cent of the people won't even notice what's happening.

David Guetta feat. Kid Cudi - Memories

"It's gettin' late but I don't mind
It's gettin' late but I don't mind 
It's gettin' late but I don't mind 
It's gettin' late but I don't mind
It's gettin' late but I don't mind 
It's gettin' late but I don't mind 
It's gettin' late but I don't mind"

The song also has the line "All the crazy shit I did tonight" in its lyrics. I'm sure Shakespeare is rotating in his grave with jealousy. Everyone who wonders why our youth gets more and more stupid with every generation, look no further.

Rihanna - S&M

"Sex in the air, I don't care, I love the smell of it"

You don't care about what? That sex is in the air? But when you already say that you like it, then why do you have to say that you don't care? So it's just a filler.
This is my biggest complaint regarding all songs that carelessly use "I don't care": If you don't care, don't sing about it! Why is there so much "I don't care" and "I don't give a damn" in songs if whatever people don't care about is still bothering them enough to bring it into the lyrics.

And here is the bomb:"I don't care what people say". You will have heard this somewhere somewhere. Usually it's uttered by people who act like they are strong and independent (Pink), but deep inside you know they are just hostages of an evil money-making machine that DOES care what people think.

I won't go into further detail about lyrics I hate. I will mention though that I also hate this "ey yo yo" stuff that isn't even words but just "party vocabulary". The one I hate the most is Sean Paul. This guy isn't even singing any more, he is just using his voice in an annoying way. When I hear his voice I have to think of a monkey in a jungle, and that's not a compliment (sorry to all monkeys who read this (yes, I am implying that monkeys become more intelligent while humans evolve backwards)).

"It's a new generation.... of party people"
Fuck yeah...well, I don't care any more.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Health myths - it never ends

The more I read about healthy food and the more I apply rules, the more I notice the contradictions involved. It seems that science isn't much wiser than a hundred or more years ago when people believed in witches, the earth being the centre of the universe and so on. And in fact, why should we believe we are better off, just because we have the internet and the microwave?

Perhaps the biggest myth subject, and mentioned on this blog several times before, is Vitamin C. Does it help during a cold, how much should you take, do you need extra Vitamin C, what is it good for, how much is healthy / unhealthy, the list goes on.

Some time ago, the internet brought up the claim that it doesn't help to consume extra Vitamin C when you have a cold because that doesn't make you recover faster. Well... here is the problem: Define "extra Vitamin C".

There is a recommendation for the daily consumption of Vitamin C. So whenever you hear "extra Vitamin C" or "normal intake" of Vitamin C, it always relates to whatever was established by whoever. That doesn't mean the information you get helps you in any way.

For example, if the recommendation for one person is to consume 100 mg of Vitamin C a day, then there is no surprise if a university finds out that taking in 120 mg during a cold doesn't make a difference, even though that's a 20 per cent raise in Vitamin C intake. But what if some doctors don't recommend 100 mg, but 10 to 30 times as much? Could that make a difference? I guess so, because there is always a study that proves something else.

So here we have lesson number one: Whatever someone proved can easily be proved wrong or to be different somewhere else.

The story goes on. Next issue: The potato. I am astonished to realise that started a war on this topic claiming it is now suddenly okay to eat the skin of potatoes or to eat raw potatoes if certain criteria are met, mostly the potato having to be very fresh. Well, I still don't trust it and remembering the hysteria from some years back, potato skin is extremely poisonous and can cause death. Thank you, not interested in trying any experiments.

Then there is carbohydrates... oh hell... I hate this topic. Yes, it's about bread not being so unhealthy at all. The most common claims are these: First: Bread as such doesn't make you fat. Second: Wholemeal bread is better than other bread because it's the "better" carbs that are not so sugary.
My point here: First, bread as such does not make you fat, correct. You need to eat tons of bread before you gain weight, but who eats bread alone with nothing on it? Bread always goes with something else, you know. We don't live in 3rd world countries or in jail where that might be the case. So bread goes with other things that are either very sweet or very fat. And that, combined with the sugar that is in the bread, has the combined effect of making a person fat. In the long run. If they don't do a lot of physical work and eat too much of what they eat.
And about the whole "the type of bread is important" thing... it's still sugar, and one fourth of the population where I live have either diabetes or the stage before diabetes where any kind of sugar is dangerous and therefore it's not healthy.

Second lesson I learn: There is always a lobby for whatever thing is being preached. How do I know? Well... it's the way stories keep spinning. There are bakeries all over the country and bread is staple food, and they market it as being so healthy. But I don't get it. They even say it's healthy because of the fibres... because that helps digestion. Excuse me? If that is the only reason for it being healthy then I'd rather eat nuts, vegetables and fruits because they will give me all that extra shit on top of the vitamins for free.

Another thing: Saying that vitamin pills are dangerous. Yeah, we have all heard the stories. Comparing two groups of people over a period of time to find out that the one that took those pills died earlier than the one that didn't take supplements in the form of pills.

My comment here: Could it be that the ones who took the pills are also the ones who never had time to eat healthy, who only rushed from appointment to appointment and took the pills as a substitute? Besides, yes, I have read what the biological cause can be: Individual vitamins can be dangerous if they appear alone. Vitamin E for example has the task of protecting the body from things that can turn into cancer (I will keep it simple) but can also turn aggressive if not accompanied by Vitamin C. So how do you solve the problem? Easy: With every pill taken, add juice, vegetables or fruits. It also makes the vitamin more efficient.

I'm really tired of all this. Especially since they make it sound so urgent and demanding everytime they "find out" something new. Really, it tires me. Then they are always like "Never do this!" or "Beware of the danger!" and so on. Just stop it...

What are the parties involved here... let's sum it up.

Media: Willing whore of any company or person who is willing to pay enough money to get a message across.

Food production "mafia": Selling their food as staple food, healthy, essential, which it doesn't need to be.

Scientists: They need money, too. And it's always possible to prove something when you only use the studies in which the things happened that you want to prove. Just leave out the other 25000 studies that say the opposite.

Pharmaceutical companies: Trying hard to come up with a cure for everything, always disregarding the natural cure available in food, making everything look esoteric that is not based on scientific facts (see above). I also see a connection between them and the authorities when it comes to recommendations.

The "Authorities": Half-assed state-controlled or half-state-controlled institutes that give out advice and recommendations. Their knowledge is usually based on stuff from the 50s and 60s and if what they said was true, eskimoes couldn't exist (because they don't eat carbs).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ralf Schumacher Syndrome

Nick Heidfeld is the latest victim of the so-called Ralf Schumacher Syndrome (RSS).

Symptoms: Patient suffers from a deluded sense of self, makes statements that show a rock-solid conviction in his career chances while not noticing the reality of his situation, which is not at all as promising as he thinks.

Ralf Schumacher, as I reported in my blog some years ago, was the first one with this weird "disease". His contract with Toyota was running out, and the formula 1 team did not seem to be interested in extending the contract. Ralf Schumacher was certain that he would find a cockpit in formula 1 for the next season, and even said that it was "guaranteed" he would still be racing the following season. But that didn't happen.

Now Nick Heidfeld has the same problem. In mid-season, he was replaced by Bruno Senna in the (Lotus) Renault team. His first statement, and I quote (from memory): "One thing is for sure: Soon I will be back again, and that on the highest level". Okay, sounds good so far.

The "soon" later turned into "next season". To me, "soon" does not mean the same as "next season" when there were still 8 races to go in the 2011 season when Heidfeld was sacked. But anyway, there you already see the first change in his statements.

Some weeks later, he came up with new things to say, and now note the difference in confidence: "There are still some seats (cockpits), but not many. But as long as there is still a chance for a seat in formula 1, I am going to work for it".

Yes... and here comes the transition from "definitely" to "maybe", from "I will" to "I will try". Another transition will be this: "I am going to work for it" turns into "I'm not giving up yet".

I don't know why it is so difficult for people to just acknowledge that they don't know something or can't guarantee something. Just be authentic and admit that nothing is certain yet. You can't come up with promises when you don't even have a contract.

I only hope for one thing: That this story won't keep haunting me forever like Ralf Schumacher's story. Even years after his unwilling retirement, he kept bringing up how he wanted to return to formula 1. At least Nick Heidfeld doesn't have an older brother named Michael who could return to F1 and cause rumours about his brother.

Another thing worth mentioning: Nick Heidfeld holds the record for most F1 podium finishes while not having won a single race. Yes, he never won a race. And he looks rather tired with his beard and all that. I never really had the feeling that he was very talented, and I have been a formula 1 fan for longer than he races in F1. My guess: He won't make it. Prove me wrong, man.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Disagreements in science

There is probably no field in science that better describes the ongoing battle between scientists than the field of health and nutrition science, especially with a focus on diets.

I have a book right next to me on my desk from good ol' 2003, written by Dr. Ulrich Strunz, perhaps the most popular media personality in Germany when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.
This book is very well-written and motivating, but has one problem: It gives you the usual advice that turns you off. That jogging is healthy, that you need to eat every fruit and vegetable on the planet to JUST get enough vitamins, and that there are many different things to consider in a diet.

This is the part where you read with keen interest, smile, agree - and still put the book away without further actions afterwards.

But now, it appears, "new shit has come to light", as some might say. I decided to check up on this guy whose book is already 8 years old and see what videos of him might be on youtube. And I must say: Things are different now and much more simple.

He propagated in an interview that there is a switch in our bodies that determines whether fat burning process are "on" or "off". And that switch is flipped either by consuming or not consuming carbohydrates. He says you should stop eating "carbs", as they are called.

Now we get to the point: This doctor knows what he is talking about, he knows how to support his views, and his words make sense. Especially considering that our ancestors many years ago didn't have regular carbs - bread, noodles, etc. - but meat and berries.

The problem is: Half the world (at least) goes a different way. The authorities, as well as a lot of scientists, still go by the "facts" that were established in the 50s, 60s and 70s. And those facts were that carbs are the foundation of the "food pyramid". In other words, that you should base your daily food on bread, noodles, rice, potatoes and so on. "Energy" is the keyword.

We have lived and been indoctrinated by this food pyramid for years in Europe. It is absolutely normal that a meal consists of those carbs, together with some fat and protein sources (the other two major players in the food game).

Some say: Carbs are elemental.
Others say: Carbs are poison, even the reason for cancer, coronary diseases, diabetes and ALL bad things that happen to humans (not including the stuff that Hitler is to blame for).

It gets really confusing to think about it. I'm actually finding myself in the position where I feel obliged to follow the revolutionary, yet minority path. The majority of people are taught stuff that might be outdated. And even worse, opponents of the low-carb diet call it dangerous.

So we have conflicts, just conflicts. All based on studies, surveys, whatever. Another thing Dr. Strunz mentioned, on his website. The fact that science depends very much on capitalism. Making new discoveries is profitable, because that's where funds and prizes come from. But checking up on an old piece of science, checking the validity of something that was already stated a while ago, is not very desirable. Scientists can claim a lot of things, and it would take hard work to prove them wrong, apart from not being profitable. Who wants to pay for a piece of news that just says "oh, that thing that scientist X said, it's only half way true or not true at all". No, the big news papers, the big nobel prizes, the big pharmaceutical companies, they go for the big news. Cure for cancer, cure for AIDS, etc.

It's strange that we (humanity) developed machines that were unthinkable to conceive, like computers. Just because we knew we wanted something that does this and that for us. But at the same time, we have not been able to figure out how food processes work. Anyway, there are so many diets out there that it doesn't get boring trying a new one every week.

Quote of the day:
"Have you ever seen an obese squirrel? Or a deer with asthma?" - Dr. Strunz

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What is this shit about the shopping cart / trolley

In this post, I will be talking about the item you can see in the picture. I do not wish to confuse you as you know that a shopping cart is usually something metallic shaped like an open cage. Whenever I mention "shopping cart" in this post, I am nevertheless referring to the above item that you can see.

I own such an item, it has the same colours you can see in the picture above. I bought it at a big grocery store / supermarket called "Real", a chain of supermarkets that sell a lot of stuff.

Let me ask you something: What is the reason you would buy such an item, just judging by the picture? You will probably agree with me that this one is for transportation of goods. And maybe for shopping. Yes... buying goods and transporting them home.

Now here is the deal: After many months of successfully using this item bought at the exact same supermarket, a staff member approached me and said "you cannot use this here, you must hand it to the service station and pick it up after leaving the supermarket". So this person was saying that I am not allowed to use the cart to keep items with me that I want to buy there. What bullshit is that?

Let us talk about the reasons. Well, I can only think of this: They consider a danger of theft, because the items are put into a bag-like receptacle and there is a chance that people might try to smuggle shopping items out of the market without paying. But here is my point: First of all, normal bags are allowed (or at least tolerated) to be used. They are made of the same material as the shopping cart receptacle. Second: The fucking anti-theft scanners used to beep like crazy even when I ENTERED the supermarket with my empty bottles for recycling. Yeah... they have codes on them but at the entrance, it already beeped. So that means there is not even a way of stealing goods. Imagine how hundreds of people must ENTER the market to access the bottle collection machines, at the same time the retards at the management found it a great idea to secure the entrance with an alarm while that alarm goes off when empty bottles are nearby!!!

So what is the point. I can not steal goods because I am going to draw a lot of attention to myself. But they take the convenience away from me. I do not want to give them my cart, use a normal metal cart, put all my goods there, leave the cashier area, then receive my cart again, transfer the goods from one cart to another, and then leave. FUCK NO! I want to do it the way I used to do.

I had this idea: What if I enter the supermarket with a piece of paper that says "this cart is not allowed to be used in THIS store" and stick that note onto one of the carts they have on sale? It should be okay to be done. I mean, they are not going to notice me doing this, just a little reminder that perhaps they should use their heads. Dumbasses...

It is really an annoyance to me because this place is the biggest one around and you can get most things there. But my personal conclusion is that I would rather go to other groceries if I can. Not all the time will I be able to get my goods, but at least I want to make a deliberate decision to SOMETIMES buy stuff elsewhere on purpose. Thus, I can make sure that their decision of annoying me causes an economic disadvantage (or damage) to them. I am sure that by not buying so much at their store, it costs them more than some people trying to steal goods (apart from the fact that they CAN NOT do that with that cart!!!).

To quote the Angry Video Game Nerd: "What were they thinking?!?!?!"

That is all I wanted to say. Thanks to all my fans. I love you! Lol.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

K for Crap

Let's talk about the political system in Germany a little. We live in a democracy where elections take place every couple of years. Politicians usually act towards maintaining or increasing the number of people who will vote for their party. In reality, this means that shortly after an election is the best point in time to break promises or disappoint voters, because people will forget that until the next election (sad but true!!!). When the next election approaches, it's best to come up with a great idea again to get a positive reputation. For example, you can decrease taxes or make promises soon to be broken again. Always be vague enough to say afterwards that you never meant anything, but make it sound reliable enough at the same time.

One more thing that is important is advertising. In the weeks before an election, thousands of posters will be put up everywhere around you, filled with catchy slogans. This is what we call "driving the cattle". In other words, attract the stupid and annoying but neccessary voters that serve your purpose, only to drop them like a hot potato afterwards. Because you see, after the election, the posters disappear until the next election. Nobody cares what the people think in between.

And this is where we get to today's curious find. A poster that is so meaningless. The slogan here, to explain, uses the word "Zukunft", which means "future". As you can see, the word starts with the letter "Z". So why would you say "C" for "Zukunft"? That's like saying "K for crap", just because the pronounciation is the same.
Of course the reason is that the politician's name starts with the letter C, as well as the first letter of the party that he belongs to, which is CDU. But then again, think about it, the term used here clearly demands that the letter represents a word that starts with the exact same letter.

Another marketing disaster happened some years ago. Germany was in dire need for IT experts, but had none so some politicians proposed that experts from India would be recruited. Some other policitian didn't like that and wanted to invest more in the education of children for the same purpose, therefore coining the misleading phrase "Kinder statt Inder" ("children instead of Indians"). As you might guess, that didn't go well because it sounded racist. But you know, as a politician, you never think, you always go for catchy stuff that rhymes as if it's a game. Hey, and you know what else? If you can make a catchy phrase that rhymes with the word "Hitler" or "Jews" in it, you get twice the points!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mortuary personell "scared to death"

An assumed-to-be-dead person woke up in a mortuary in South Africa, scaring two of its staff members to death (not literally). ...When he called for help to be released from his cold prison, both employees ran away. They had thought they were dealing with a ghost. Later though, they came back with reinforcement.

My comment: The staff members acted correctly. In case of weird sounds like "help!", always run away first. There might be an evil ghost. You can never be sure. Better be wrong and stay alive than to play the brave one and die a terrible death. Well, I guess these guys, who were previously bored to death, have now been scared to death, when they usually laugh into the grim reaper's face.

Another weird thing I found: Someone doesn't know who Claudia Schiffer is. At least that's the only explanation I have why someone should write "Schiller" instead of "Schiffer". But the mistaken letters are nowhere near each other on the keyboard, so either someone was asleep or didn't know what he/she was doing. Schiffer is a well-known top model with about 250 million US dollars on her bank account.

There is still a lot more crap to be found online... shouldn't take long to dig up some more of it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Nothing new?! Something new!

Regarding my last post: After the tv broadcast that insulted Singaporeans on the internet, Galileo did not stop. They made the whole idea of insulting other countries into a concept. Hong Kong, Thailand and other countries are being made fun of. I wrote a sarcastic email to the Galileo team, stating that it's wrong what they do and that, at the same time, they would not have the balls to attack certain groups of people like jews or muslims. I told them to stop, and said that I would appreciate a response. There never came one. I figure that's their way of dealing with "don't have any argument left to keep doing what I will be doing for the sake of money, so I will just not answer at all".
Subsequently, I gave up watching this show ever again. It weakens my immune system.

Other things happened nonetheless. There is a new country to welcome to this world. I am not referring to South Sudan:

Yeah...Mekixos football association... where is Mekixo? Sounds like an ancient Aztec city...

Then there was this other unbelievable "thing" that made my jaw drop open and stay open.
I am talking about incompetence that can't be measured. About ignorance. "Ignorance" is a word that originally comes from the latin language, and it's very fitting because it describes an attitude of "not knowing and not wanting to know". This is what happened here. I'll show you.

So the video text of RTL was referring to football matches of the FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany. I had watched the games that they talked about there. One ended "4:0", the previous one "2:1" or "1:2" if you will. I don't mind the order. But what the hell was going on with RTL here?

They stated here that France defeated Sweden, who had previously lost to Germany with 0:1, with a "3:0" result. Now that is absolutely wrong. Canada had lost against Germany 1:2 - and every German knew that because most of us saw that opening match of the German team! I remember clearly how the Germany goalkeeper had a goal scored against her, and I remember how two goals were scored by German football players. The other game between France and Canada ended 4:0, not 3:0. The last goal was scored several minutes before the match was over, so there is no accidental way this could be messed up.

A different tv station had this to say in their video text at the very same moment, and you will see that the results are correct (this tv station also broadcasts the Championship):

Yes, that is a good page! The results are displayed correctly. I didn't think I'd say this, but for video text editors to do things right, I assume they really must know what they are talking about. They must see the things and belong to the station that broadcasts the event.

All this would be bad enough, but this is not enough for RTL. They have to mess up again. In an amazing act of ignorance and unintentional stubbornness, they limbo-dance their way into a new depth of shame under the bar of moronic intelligence. How? A piece of evidence taken the NEXT day shows that they haven't learned to correct their mistake, as this REWRITTEN page shows:

Note that the text is indeed different from the first time. But the results are the same. Whoever made this mistake, he or she did not care and never actually changed anything. The RTL employee is so stupid, if stupidity was measured on a scale from 1 to 100, with "100" being the most stupid, that person would break through the scale at 100 and end up on the other side of the scale again... that's how stupid this is.

That's like permanently saying that "9/11" happened on November 9th. And believe me, that also happens sometimes!!!

Sidenote: Another health myth busted: Salt appearantly has no negative effects on health, as opposed to claims made by scientists earlier. They claimed that salt consumption (extra salt added for flavouring food) causes an increased blood pressure. Now other scientists said that all this was wrong... well, I'm sure this is not the last word spoken in another battle of "who is right?".

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A new F1 driver / Singapore enraged

Forget about Drive Through.
Forget about Häkikinnen.
The new driver in Formula 1 is Alonos.

Who? Alonos. Hmm... never heard about that guy. It can't be Alonso, that would mean it's a typo.

So, regarding my last post about intolerance, I have news. Singaporeans on the internet have found out about the tv show that claimed that Singaporeans are nuts. And now they are angry about it.
The bad thing about this is that it helps neither country. The Singaporeans feel enraged and some of them may now think that ALL of us (Germans) think of them in a bad way. And in the comments of the video, they throw it all back ("at least we did not lose 2 world wars" etc.), so this is what you get for intolerance. Thanks again to Pro7, these fuckers.

Let's not stop here. Let's make some things clear so that everyone is pissed:

ALL French people eat snails and are arrogant.
ALL East Europeans are cheap, illegal workers and communists.
ALL Asians always smile and have a bad accent.
ALL Americans are rich, spoilt, have no respect for other people and are superficial.
ALL people speaking Spanish wear funny straw hats, wear a mustache and make salsa music while eating tortillas.
ALL Arabs want to take over the world and spread their "message".
ALL Germans are evil and yes, Hitler is still our "president", at the proud age of 122.

That was just me being sarcastic.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Enjoy Difference - Start Intolerance

Pro Sieben marketed their "tolerance day" big some weeks ago. It was not a big thing in the end. It was supposed to be about tolerance towards other cultures, but there was little impact that day on tv. Some stuff about prejudices, that's all.
Now, some weeks later, they go back to normal, and sacrifice their self-declared integrity at the altar of capitalism. Whatever it takes to make an entertaining show at low cost, they will do it.

So there was this show called Galileo, an "edutainment" thing. That means it looks like a science format, but in the end they only show you stuff that is weird but doesn't heal cancer or AIDS. While National Geographic shows you the most amazing animals, Galileo shows you the biggest pizza in the world, or "fake checking" youtube videos of cars with burning wheels or a guy jumping out of a swimming pool and landing on his feet.

The other day, they made fun of Singapore. "Singaporeans are bonkers" could be the literal translation. Then they did what they were good at: Taking a few things out of context and making them look like they are absolutely normal in that country. I am not talking about the usual suspects like laws in Singapore, caning in Singapore etc. The Galileo guy entered the scene at the airport and, "not having to look very far", he already saw the first "weird" thing. A woman at a store holding something that looks like a gun at people's heads. But it's only a fever detector, to see if people are sick. So they exchanged a couple of words, and then, for the first time, Galileo labelled the Singaporeans as weird. Because, at least that's the impression, EVERY DAMN STORE in Singapore has people at the entrance checking if you have a fever.

Next thing on the list: There is a building called Nirvana Memorial where dead bodies go after being burned. The place is full of Bhudda statues with laser beams, a monk who got imported from China and paid to perform prayers, and everything is expensive and fancy. And again they put the stamp on Singapore: How crazy, and how common in Singapore. Yeah... every Singaporean pays several thousand bucks to have their loved ones in a good state after death. It's not like they can't afford it, right?

Next stop: This weird cage thing. Even though I've been to Singapore twice, I must have missed the hundreds of bird cages that hang down from ceilings at EVERY corner in Singapore. And EVERY Singaporean likes to sit below the cages. They are up there so high so that the birds won't be stressed from people walking around. Oh yeah.... and people love birds so much in Singapore... sure.

Last thing to mention: SPI, Singapore paranormal investigators. A bunch of people that I have already heard about... cool. They are looking for ghosts, even with ghost-buster-like devices that measure electrical currents. Okay... in the end, they never find a ghost and the guy from Galileo tricks them with his cell phone that makes a spooky sound. Those stupid Singaporeans. They are so weird and silly, all of them. And all it takes to prove that is 5 Singaporeans out of 4 million... checkmate.

Well, I happen to live with someone who is from Singapore, and just to make sure I wasn't wrong, I asked her about this stuff. And to put things right: The fever checking was a useful method in times of the SARS disease spreading, and it was only for a couple of months. It's NOT common. Nirvana Memorial is largely unknown. Bird cages high up in the air are a hobby of just some Singaporeans, dogs are still a lot more popular as pets. And PSI can hardly represent the whole population.

What I hate the most is that Galileo sells prejudices for facts. They even said in the beginning that Asians always smile. Yeah. And then they take a couple of Singaporeans and draw the conclusion that all that these people do is also what every Singaporean, hell no, every Asian does!

I get cramps in my stomach imagining that in other countries in the world, people might see this kind of stuff on tv where all Germans are judged by the fact that 10 Germans go to a " who has the longest moustache" contest. Or wear Lederhosen and drink beer with a Wiener Schnitzel at the Oktober Fest. Not ALL Germans are like that. Please!

Even more absurd, after that part about Singapore, they came up with their next experiment: What you can glue together with gummi bears: Trucks, people to walls, etc. I am asking you: Who are the ones who are bonkers here? It's ridiculous.

I am not taking Galileo very seriously, but I was angry. I am not asking for much from an edutainment show, but if you try to make entertainment with educational stuff, at least sell the things that are entertaining but at least TRUE and free of prejudices!!!

I have had enough. I think I'll sit back now, let my moustache grow, get a beer, a Weisswurst and then I'll put on my Lederhosen, take my German Shepherd into the woods and complain about the negroes and the good old days when the Führer was still around (sarcasm!!!).

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Extremes in the media

My first point:

In the video text on tv, there was this headline:
Radioactivity reaches Europe! (Yes, the exclamation mark was there)

When I went to the page where the text was, it said that some radioactivity was detected in Iceland, but that experts said there was no reason to panic. Then why do they make the headline sound so dangerous and stressful? Besides, Iceland is not exactly in the heart of Europe, and it is only geographically Europe.

What's next? Radioactivity in every hospital worldwide? Oh yes, in every x-ray place there is radioactivity. Panic!!!

My second point:

Then what about the vocabulary? It's spring in Europe now and temperatures rise. But sometimes, it's only temporary and that can cause a drop by 10° C within a couple of days. Why do the media call it a "coldness shock"? It's not a "shock" when the temperatures go from 12° C to 2° C, especially when everyone has been used to sub-zero temperatures for almost half a year.

My third point:

The most ridiculous thing in the past months in my opinion was the way banks promote their services. There was a time, about 3 to 5 years ago, when it was still possible to get a normal bank account with an interest rate of about 5 per cent. Nowadays, it's really bad. It's never even 3 per cent. At the same time, banks keep using the same advertisement phrases like "miraculous interest rates", "amazing interest rates", "lucky", "incredible" and so on.

What's so incredible about a 2.2% interest rate?

Let's do the math: If you have 10 000 euros in your bank account for a whole year - which is already a lot of money to not put your hands on - then you will have 220 euros increase at the end of a 12 months period. How is that incredible? Not to forget that most people don't have that much money.

If you have one million euros , it will be a hundred times more: 22 000 euros. But you know what the catch is? People who already have that much money know better ways to increase their wealth. And using such a crappy bank account is not the way to get there.

My advice: Whether it's advertising or causing panic: Once in a while, leave out all the extremes and stick with the unemotional truth. That makes it easier to inspire an emotion the next time you REALLY want people to be impressed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What's up with the media?

What happened here? Several typing mistakes in one name, while it's perfectly possible to write the name correctly several times on a different page of the video text.

But let's move away from this. I notice a new tendency in the news, and it's about video text again, so the pictures above fit.

The video text is probably known in most countries, it's a service on tv that you can enable with your remote (in most cases, some tv devices don't have it). Then there are information pages in the video text, and it's like a newspaper on screen.

The one thing I noticed recently is how unsatisfying it can be when the people who type the news are faster than the people who read them. I have to examples to explain what I mean:

1. Some time ago, Robert Kubica from Poland, a race driver, had a bad accident which will stop him from competing in Formula One for many months. I had not heard about this the previous evening, which was a Sunday. The next morning, Monday at around 6am, I checked the video text and was shocked to read things about Kubica. But what I read was not "Kubica injured after crash yesterday" or "Kubica had an accident on Sunday at xx o'clock". What I read was "F1 pilots worried about Kubica's condition" or "Season over for Kubica". Even worse, in the text, there was no indication what exactly had happened or when the accident occured. It took me a lot of time to find out that the accident had happened less than 24 hours ago.

2. Felix Magath, coach of football team Schalke 04, was to be fired. They had been talking about this for a while. But then from one day to the next, the video text mentioned that a new coach was going to be in the team very soon, but the second in command coach (the so far assistant) was going to train the team until then. But then again, no word about Magath having been fired yet. I had to change to a different tv channel to find out that Magath was expected to be fired on THAT very same day that I was checking the video text at 6:30 am.

What we learn from this is that everything needs to be faster. It's really annoying when news media only throw around keywords, but don't even refer to anything that happened before or is not even 24 hours old. It's hard to follow. On the other hand, when there's a disaster such as the one currently happening in Japan, the news reports loop over and over for hours, you get the same stuff replayed all the time.

Another thing that bugs me is the lack of being neutral in the news. I notice more and more often how people who present the news use words that are filled with opinions. Stuff like "the sick leader Gaddafi" or "he slaughters his people". I mean, sure, he does that stuff and he seems sick and wrong in the head, but since when is it okay that the guys and girls on the news tell us what to think? What's next? Normal politicians who don't kill people are stupid or annoying, and after that, the media tell us who to vote etc.

I just believe that it's important to know what's going on and not be manipulated. For example, if a tv station makes a poll about "should all nuclear reactors be shut down", and you have to call in order to vote, then you get a 88 per cent "yes" vote. BUT: If it's a representative poll (that means that you call the people and don't ask those to call who feel most outraged), then you only get less than 60 per cent. But many people don't know that these differences exist, and they take the results of polls or the opinion-making of the media for granted. Manipulation is everywhere.

Last but not least, I hope that Japan will be okay. I usually don't care so much when natural disasters happen, because they just do happen anyway, but in Japan's case... it's just a country I care a little more about. They have contributed a lot to our standard of living, and they are cool. So yeah... I hope things get better there.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

New stuff about men and women

I was lucky to be in a shop today where the radio was on. They said that scientists found out that couples without children are generally happier than couples with children. And that couples with children claim that having children is so great, not because they think it's true but because they are unhappy and want to pretend. Even as a "belief system", to make themselves think they are happy.

So what do we learn? Don't trust what people say. Couples without children really are happier, and children being so wonderful is only another myth. Really, I can't stand the constant noise of children.

Speaking of child noise: The German government has passed new laws and insists that noise from kindergartens and other places is not a reason to sue. Noise from children is considered natural and should be bearable. Well... yeah. That's just their way of trying to make the country more child-friendly. It does not change the fact that children are very annoying.

On top of that, I would like to add that not the normal noise of children is a problem, it is also the way children behave now compared to decades ago.

Some decades ago, parents were a lot stricter and harsh. Children were not the "equal partners" that parents nowadays see in them. Children had to adapt to whatever was going on around them, especially in public.
Look at today: Not only does the education of children at home suck, there is also an enormous amount of hypersensation, if that's the word. So many commercials, so much capitalism, so much BIG and CRAZY stuff going on. Spongebob, Spongebob, lah lah lah, loud loud loud. In cartoon series, everything is so damn loud all the time. It's no surprise that children immitate this behaviour.
When I grew up, I watched the smurfs on tv. And they were pretty quiet. They were at times in fear when they had to run away from the bad guy, but:

Can you imagine Papa Smurf screaming like he has a cactus in his ass, his head spinning like a helicopter blade and then exploding? Please imagine it!

I'm just comparing back then with today, alright? You get the idea.

Really, this is what children are like... but now to something completely different.

What else is new... Oh yeah. Looks like women are AGAIN not as good as everyone makes us think. You know what it has been like. Women are always better than men. More loyal, sweet, trustful, romantic, always better than evil men who only cheat (especially if they are latinos).

Now something came up. A new article. "The more beautiful a women, the shorter the relationships". Psychologists found out that relationships last longer if the man is the more beautiful person in the relationship. Because then, women will "accept" that they are well off and not leave the man. If the woman is more beautiful than the man, the woman will still try to find someone better. That's so interesting because the article also pretty much says that men don't do these things. I mean... relationships are not shorter just because the guy is better looking. So... now who are the bad ones?

I'm really pissed off that men are always the ones who have the bad name in society. It's always this "men are like that" or "men are assholes" attitude in our society. But it's interesting when the facts suddenly say other things... oh well, that's it for now.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

EA Sports sucks except for one game

Whoever doesn't want to read about manager games, don't read.

Today I played the game "Fifa Soccer Manager" again. In my life it probably ranks in the TOP 3 when it comes to playing time... I have spent many, many hours playing this game. I played it in the night when Lady Diana died, I even remember that.

I do not remember why or when I stopped playing the game, but I do know that it's not the common reason I usually have when I stop playing a game - which is that the game sucks and has fatal flaws. No, Fifa Soccer Manager didn't have so many bad flaws. A few bugs that could make it crash, but at least you could get to know these bugs and avoid them.

It's weird but I have to admit: This is the best football manager game I ever played so far. It's the only EA Sports game that doesn't suck completely. And that's a testimony of how bad the games are nowadays.

It's not just the usual tendency that all games today have: That the graphics matter more than the gameplay. With EA Sports, it's a totally different dimension. They use the same programming code every year, and every year they come up with another version of the same manager game. Just the cover and some minor changes are new. But at the same time, the games are never free of bugs. Which is the worst part. Some of the games are absolutely unplayable. They either crash whenever they like to or the AI takes control of the whole game. In one game I even noticed that, whenever your team scores, the other team suddenly does magic, dribbles around your defenders in impossible ways and makes a revenge goal just one minute later. It's not a coincidence, and I checked online and everyone had the same problem.

Then another reason why EA Sports is a bitch is because they hold the official licences of the football teams in an exclusive way. No other companies can release football manager games here. There is a football manager series made by Sega that I can only get as an imported version from the UK on amazon. But I didn't try that yet because it's expensive and I already had my share of dissatisfaction when it comes to manager games.

It's pretty hard to find good manager games. I also notice that some manager games are made by the wrong people. When I watch Formula 1, the tv station presents its own manager game there. But I don't even give in to that idea because I know that this tv station, RTL, will never make a game that has the depth I am looking for.

Fifa Soccer Manager is a great game for its time. It starts in the 1996/1997 season, that's how old it is. The menu design is brilliant. It's a little sad that there is no proper youth section, like youth camps. And there are no player images, but at least a solid 3d engine that doesn't crash all the time or do unfair things.

Managers that are newer than Fifa Soccer Manager suck because of their complicatedness and eagerness to crash. Games prior to the release of Fifa Soccer manager suck because they are too simple. For example, the game "Sensible Soccer" has player values in pounds, but there is no freaking way I can tell what the abilities of the players are?! Lol....

Okay, that's it for now.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Six cases of hypocrisy and conflicting claims

1. Heating and venting

Some sources say that you should open the windows in your house at least four times a day and let fresh air in for about 10 minutes. The experts who say this also say that the interior does not cool down too much in that period of time. In my experience though, even 5 minutes of having open windows causes the whole place to cool down completely. This causes me to shut down the heating equipment for the time that I open windows, as I do not want to waste energy.
On the other hand, other experts say that you should never turn off the heater. They say that it takes a lot more energy to heat up the whole house again than to keep maintaining an average warmth. can I please both? I have to fulfill my duties as they are stated in the rental contract (opening windows a lot to keep the walls free from fungal matter). I also do not want to increase costs and destroy our beautiful planet by heating up the whole forest around me unnecessarily.

2. Fridge - what to do?
Some experts say that you should put your food into the fridge immediately when you decide to keep it. They say that bacteria will develop if you let the food cool down first, the quality of your food will go down and your health will be at risk.

Other experts say that food must cool down first. The reasons are energy consumption of the fridge, the durability of the cooling device and the environmental aspect.

I would like to add that not only do these conflicting claims exist. They are also presented as "must comply" facts, the media makes you panic. Either you are the Adolf Hitler of pollution or you die of bacterial infection.

How can I please both? What is the right thing to do in the first place?

3. Breakfast - Diet factor or just another myth?
For many years, experts have been claiming that breakfast is important not only for a healthy lifestyle but also for a good diet. They kept saying that you will eventually burn more calories if your body already starts off well in the morning with a good breakfast that activates your system.

As I read just some days ago, this is another myth that goes down the drain... just like the vitamin C myth. Scientists found out that no such effect exists and that the calories you get when you have breakfast are the same calories that add up to your usual calory consumption as any other meal. Whether you eat the food in the morning or any other time of the day makes no difference, it is just another meal with a number of calories that you eat.

4. Shellfish - Kill or torture?
We live in an era of political correctness full of animal rights movements. But it baffles me what kind of things I sometimes see and hear on tv.

Some experts say that lobsters and other shellfish should be dead before they are cooked. Cooking animals that are still alive is, according to them, a torture and will cause a lot of pain. They recommend that you kill the lobster by severing the spinal area with a knife. That sounds pretty much okay for me, the animal does not need to suffer and between the killing and the cooking, only seconds pass.

But then again, what do I need to hear on this tv show? Let me quote:"Shellfish are best thrown into boiling water alive". When I heard this sentence, I expected some kind of "but..." sentence. But there was no "but".

I am not sure what the pain perception of animals is like, but there is no explanation why these animals should not be killed quickly and free of pain. There is no way to argue that the meat would not be fresh or anything.

5. Fur coat - Serious problem or hypocrisy propaganda?
On the radio, they talked about fur coats. What I did not like from the start was how biased the radio hosts were. They talked about the fact that some clothes are made from animals and that it is impossible to tell so due to lack of labelling. Instead of asking neutrally what people thought, they asked in this "Is that not crazy, what do you think" kind of way. And then, of course many people fell for it and came up with their criticism against clothing companies (that are often from China and do not care what some suburban chicks here think). Many listeners who called vowed to do the "lighter test". That is a test in which you use a cigarette lighter on a piece of clothing that you cut off the coat and then judge by the smell whether it smells like plastic or organic hair.

I do not mind people voicing their opinion. But the hypocrisy in my eyes is that the same people who are totally outraged about all this have no problem eating sausage after steak after chop every day. Besides, the clothing industry follows the same trends as every other industry, and even if it is a little provocative to say, people wear what they deserve to wear (in other words: If they want to follow the trend set up by a fashion designer who does not care about animals but does care about "good looks", then that is what they get).

6. Decade, Century, Millennium - How do you count from 1 to 10?
Do you remember the year 2000? Back in 1999, everyone was crazy about the change of the millennium. Yes, everyone wanted to welcome the new millennium that started on January 1st 2000. There was lots of talking about potential disasters, the end of the world, computer crashes and so on. There was one player in the game who was always around: The media. Oh, how they loved to talk about this endlessly.

Well, what am I going for here? I will tell you. I spent the change from 2010 to 2011 in Singapore. And there was something that almost went unnoticed. Almost! But I noticed. The tv channels were very proud to present (and insist on) the start of a new decade. Yes. When the new year came, they proudly said that "many people celebrated the beginning of a new year and a new decade". And they made sure everyone understood: The new decade starts now, not 2010.

Now let us go into the specifics. It is technically true that a new decade, century or millennium always starts with a year that has "1" at the end. For example 1981, 1701, 2011 and so on. The reason is that the year Jesus Christ was born is considered the year 1 after Christ. The year before is the year 1 before Christ. There is no year 0. Technically.

So... here comes the hypocrisy: How can you celebrate the new millenium on December 31st 1999, and then, 11 years later, you suddenly go back to the geeky-nerdy mode and claim that "nah nah nah nah naaahhh naaaahh... you are wrong!" the year 2011 marks the spot? How can media people act like they are nerds with calculators in their hands and cause everyone this stupid "We are better than you" feeling?

I will say this: If people are so happy to get the facts right, then they should do their crusade in 1999 and not 2010. You know, there were people who had the "courage" to bring the issue up. In an episode of the X-Files, I remember how Scully said that the new millennium actually starts in 2001 and not 2000, but she was then told that nobody likes nerds. How true.

I would have loved to see tv channels boast about the new millennium at the end of 2000, approaching 2001. Oh man, they would have been the laughing stock of the whole world.

Side note: The past decade was therefore 11 years long if you judge by the way the media celebrate new years. Wow... and by the way, if you care to know what I think: My decades always go like this: The 80s, the 90s, the 2000s and so on. I do not care about this 2011 shit.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Another agenda against men

Crying babies - why only the mama gets up.
What takes away the mother's sleep leaves him unimpressed. According to a survey, the car is more important to fathers than their own baby.

This is only the opening part of the article, the part that you are supposed to click on to read the article itself. When you read only the part I put here, you will think that men are cruel beings who don't care much about the baby. This is just another trick to make the customer check out the article.

What is the truth behind the article? I will tell you. The part that interpreted as guys caring more about a car than their own child is actually something totally different. In the article, the authors state the top 10 disturbances that make men and women wake up from their nightly sleep. And each of them has different reasons to wake up. One thing that both have in common is that snoring is in the fourth spot for both of them. Now let's tie it all up. Why do men "care" more about cars which makes them so selfish? Well... the number one thing that makes men wake up is a car alarm! Does that mean they care more about cars? No. Even I wake up from a car alarm once in a while and I don't even own a car. I don't care about cars, I'm not interested in them, I don't even know any of the technical stuff.

If I was a man (which I am) and wanted to discredit women by using this article, I would do it in a similar fashion. I would claim that women "don't care" about things that make their partners wake up. I would justify that with the statistics. Men wake up a lot more from car alarms, whistling wind and buzzing flies than women. Therefore, women have little sympathy for men, ignore their feelings, can live totally without them and hate them with all their heart!!!

Okay, I hope you understand I am not serious here and just trying to prove the point. Happy new year, don't get fooled by the media as they are becoming more desperate each year to bring you top stories.