This is just amazing. This is it. This is what I meant in the last post.

The world’s changing so fast.

Do you want to catch up?

Okay, so, this is amazing. Admittedly, this may make you blow 30 minutes of your time. But the sheer AMAZINGNESS of these clips make it all worthwhile.

Slate.com has a top 6 list of “machinima” videos from YouTube. Think of machinima as dubbing video game footage. I’m sure you may have seen the WoW video about how the internet is for porn, but that’s nothing. I mean, yeah, it’s humorous, but it’s got nothing on some of these other ones.

You can look at the list for yourself. But my two personal favorites are the two music videos done to SIMS 2 gameplay. Here’s the one that got direct mention from Slate:

It’s Sk8r Boi by you know who. Okay, so, it’s like a proto-emo song. But it brings back memories of middle school [no, not regarding me, but regarding a certain skater boy that I knew who got shafted by a certain dancer I knew [okay, so, yeah, I guess I did have friends in middle school…]]. Plus, the dubbing is just amazing.

Equally amazing is this rendition of Cleaning Out My Closet by Eminem. Dude, the things these people do.

So, some people might see this as a giant waste of time. I see it as the next form of artistic expression.

Admittedly, this is coming from the guy who just wants to go up in lights sometime in the next 20 years [more on that later!].

Funny how as the information economy continues to evolve, what we want comes more and more from the amateurs.

YouTube, I bow to you.

Happy Carnival!

February 20, 2007

It’s that time of the year again. Lent. I know, I know, you’re all wondering what I’m planning on giving up. Well, I don’t really think I’ll give anything up this Lent. Except for food on Fridays. Because that’s what I do.

But I will give you something. A little vignette of knowledge that I learned today in Latin.

So, Mardi Gras / Fat Tuesday / today was known in the older world as “carnival.” In Latin, the original language of the Church and a good part of Europe, this was carnevale.

Now, let’s take this little word apart. ‘Carne-‘ means meat. ‘-vale’ means to say farewell / goodbye. So, ‘carnevale’ means literally to say farewell to meat. Because back in the day, people become vegetarians for 40 days and nights [not including Sundays!] in honor of Jesus, our Lord, Master, and Supreme Ruler of the Universe.

Now we [meaning Catholics] just give up meat on Fridays. And we eat fish instead.

Not very impressive compared to Jesus going forty days and nights straight without food. Now THAT’S a godly feat!

Sigh.

But as I like to say, every days a carnival for a vegetarian. Come join the fun.

;)

Happy Carnevale!

February 16, 2007

No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.

~ Paul Kurtz, from The Humanist Manifesto II

Happy Valentines Day!

February 14, 2007

Or as we single people like to call it, Wednesday.

I didn’t realize how appropriate my last post was until just about now. I wonder how much nitric oxide is going to go into action tonight?

But in all seriousness, for all you couples out there, have a great time. Do something romantic.

I’ll be centrifuging calf liver.

Who said that life of a scientist isn’t romantic?

Namaste.

Cell Bio in Everyday Life

February 14, 2007

Nitric oxide is also used by neurons to signal nearby cells. For example, nitric oxide released by the neurons in the penis results in the blood vessel dilation responsible for erection. The drug sildenafil, sold under the trade name Viagra, is an inhibitor of a phosphodiesterase that normally catalyzes the breakdown of cyclic GMP. By maintaining elevated levels of cyclic GMP in erectile tissue, this pathway is stimulated for a longer time period following NO release.

~ from The World of the Cell by Becker, Kleinsmith, and Hardin

Nice. And you thought I was bad in AP Bio. Just think of what I could have done with this!

:)

In all seriousness, the section I just read for my next lecture of Cell Bio got me thinking that maybe I would like to go into Bio Chem. Or neuroscience. Or nanobioneuroscience. Yeah, that’s what I want!

Hehehehe.

Now excuse me while I get all the giggles out of my system…

If you wanna feel good…

February 13, 2007

don’t read this post!

So, do you know what utilitarianism is? Well, if you don’t, then the article in this post is going to be a wild ride! For you and me both!

Basically, utilitarianism says that we should keep the ends in mind while considering the means. Kind of like, “Let the ends justify the means,” but not at all.

Anyway, one of the typical scenarios would be the life boat problem. You’re on a lifeboat and you can only save so many people. Who do you save?

It’s a hard question. One that probably gets an answer of, “Yeah, well, that would never happen, so why even think about it?” Except for when it does happen. And then we see, “In the best of all possible worlds, I’d save everyone,” followed by, “I don’t want to make a decision.” [Note: All these thoughts come more or less directly from my own head]. And then you still have to make a decision. Or make a decision by not making a decision and let everyone die.

Anyway, now enters Peter Singer. He’s a philosopher at Princeton University. And his big thing is utilitarian ethics. One of his most famous books is called Practical Ethics. And this is his problem.

Now, he talks about a whole lot of other things (abortion, euthanasia, animal ethics, etc.), but I find this one the most pressing. For me. Mainly because it’s the only one rubs me the wrong way.

So what is it? Do we give most of our money away to help those that are in need?

Yeah, well, this will never happen.

In the best of all possible worlds, I’d like to help them and have my money.

I don’t want to make the decision.

Namaste.

Mojo the Induction Monkey

February 12, 2007

That’s right, boys and girls. We’re learning about induction in Discrete Math. And you know what that means?!

Mojo the Induction Monkey!

Though, well, we didn’t learn it that way here. My teacher used the example of dominoes. But hey, whatever floats your boat.

Mine’s kept afloat by Mojo.

[Okay, okay, only one other person has the slightest idea what I’m talking about. But please humor us as we look back on our past. :) ]

Global Warming: Just a Theory

February 12, 2007

While the Fundies are busy claiming that evolution is a theory, we quickly forget that Global Warming is also a “just a theory.” As in, most of the available data says that global temperatures are on the rise, and that it’s due to human-based factors.

But, of course, there are, as always, alternate theories that require testing. Like this one. You can read for all the details, but the gist is that the globe warms and cools periodically [I know, I know, shocking!]. And that part of this warming and cooling has to do with the switching of the magnetic poles of the earth.

Makes sense to me. I don’t know if it explains everything. And to be honest, I don’t care. I don’t try to recycle and eat a vegetarian diet and drive less because I want to stop global warming. I do it for fun! To push myself, to see how little I can live off of and still have a good time. I don’t know if most people would think of it that way, but it’s a sort of game for me. Yeah, my favorite game is to see how weird I can be.

So maybe global warming, capital G, capital W, doesn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean that you get free reign in eating your fossil fuel-rich beef and driving your polluting SUVs. Scratch that, you get free reign, but why would you want to?

Namaste.

How you doi….

February 12, 2007

Oh how true. So very, very true.