Dead Caterpillar


The universe is a vast cosmic conspiracy ...

How many social media icons should you have on your site?

Wednesday, Apr 30th, 2014

Social media icons are like assholes. If you have more than one, something is wrong.

Yes, you heard that right, one. Not eleven, not one hundred: ONE.

Because this … this this this despicable practice of molesting my eyeballs with icons everytime I scroll down a page has got to stop.

This has got to stop:

I mean did you really think your news article about the upcoming gubernatorial election was going to be a smash hit on pinterest?

Do facebook friends need to know about your visitor’s anti-fungal cream purchase?

Is your company about us page, however provocative, really going to take twitter by storm?

And Porn Sites! Ahhhhh! Social media icons on porn sites!! Ahhhhh! Okay let me preface this by saying I’ve never personally visited a porn site (of course not, that would be perverted). But I know a guy who visited one once and he told me all about the abundance of social media icons there.

On. Porn. Sites.

Really?

I must ask: Is such content shareable with family, friends, coworkers? My friend who visits porn sites (actually not my friend, but a friend of a friend) told me that he freaks out every time he sees a facebook share button on a porn site. He’s terrified by the prospect of accidentally clicking the share button and exposing his 82-year-old grandmother to “xxx hardcore latino milf doggy style.”

“But if I don’t have the share buttons, my content won’t get shared!”

Come on, if your visitors lack the motivation to copy and paste the url into the address bar, your content isn’t that great. If your content really is God’s gift to the internet, I assure you, people will find a way to share it. If you’re unhappy with how much your website is being shared, publish better shit.

Social media icons aren’t achievements. They’re not badges or flair. You don’t get internet street cred or extra points for having them. They add noise and clutter. They’re distractions. The more options you present to visitors, the more you cripple their ability to make decisions and the more you detract from user experience. And for anyone that does websites for a living, user experience is God. Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

So get with it people … Less social media icons, better content!

 

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The Poop Argument

Sunday, Apr 27th, 2014

One of the reasons I don’t believe in God is because Jesus pooped. That’s right, you won’t read about it in the bible, you won’t hear about it in Sunday school … But we all know it happened. And I just can’t picture the son of god, the holy of holies, oh king of kings, sitting on the crapper and dropping a load.

I call it, The Poop Argument. Argumentum ad Poopum.

What’s even more difficult is picturing God boning Mary… Wait, that’s right, early Christians came up with a workaround for that one. Sex is an animal act, unfit for gods — therefore, virgin birth! Immaculate conception!

Such is the reasoning of the idealist. The idealist does not see the world for what it is. The idealist sees the fairy tale version: symbols and oversimplifications, how he wants it to be and not how it truly is. It is the only way he is able to justify his beliefs, by putting everything into neat little ‘idea containers’. The idea of pooping doesn’t fit into the idea container for God. The idea of sex doesn’t fit either — hence the implicit need for the doctrine of virgin birth.

Have the great theologians ever pondered whether Christ had a boner? I would think it quite difficult for a human male to live to the age of 33 having never experienced a boner. Not to mention biologically impossible. So then we are left with this image of the son of God, at some point in time, walking around Nazareth with a hard-on … what is one to think?

Best not to. If one is to remain a true believer, anyway.

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What you might have missed watching “Cloud Atlas”

Saturday, Apr 26th, 2014

Most people probably think it’s about reincarnation or something. Cloud Atlas has reincarnation in it, but isn’t about reincarnation. Sort of like how Star Wars has politics in it, but isn’t about politics. Or, perhaps a closer parallel is how Star Wars contains strong elements of eastern pantheism (the Force, everything being part of God, etc) but isn’t about eastern pantheism.

That being said, Cloud Atlas is less about bodily reincarnation and more about soul reincarnation. Less about identities recurring throughout time and more about ideals: “Fear, belief, love – phenomena that determined the course of our lives. These forces begin long before we are born and continue after we perish.” After all, it’s our ideas that make us who we are, not our bodies. Bodily reincarnation is questionable theory but idea reincarnation is indisputable fact.

The first idea is conceived by Adam Ewing aboard the Prophetess and it drives him to free the slave. In the Cavendish storyline, Ewing is reborn as a Scotsman. He still has the soul of the abolitionist, and the qualities of the abolitionist are awoken when he witnesses Cavendish and the old timers from the Aurora house being oppressed by their tyrannical nurses. When they ask for help (“Are there no true Scotsmen in the house?!”), just as the black slave asked for his help in a past life, he does not hesitate to free them, because his shtick is that he’s a freedom fighter: in his past life as a slave abolitionist, in the future life as the rebellion leader, and in the present, as a Scotsman. The action of freeing the slave is what made him this way. All his future incarnations embody that ideal.

Cavendish, finally being freed from captivity, writes a book about his experience in the Aurora house. The book is adopted into a movie. Thousands of years in the future, the movie or “disney” in future-speak is watched by the fabricants Sonmi 451 and Yoona-939. Just before Yoona is killed, she says “I will not be subjected to criminal abuse,” recited word for word from Cavendish’s disney. The inclusion of this line is meant to signify that her actions were inspired by Cavendish. Later, Sonmi, inspired by Yoona-939′s martyrdom, becomes a symbol of the revolution. Much much later, she is deified and becomes one of the moving forces in the islander storyline.

So you see, were it not for Ewing freeing the slave, he would never have become an abolitionist, Cavendish would never have been freed, the Disney never produced, Yoona never martyred and the revolution never begun. It all fits together perfectly, like puzzle pieces. Hence:

“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”

There are multiple other threads to follow. The Ewing-Cavendish-Sonmi connection is only one thread. For instance, the slave in Ewing’s storyline is reincarnated as Luisa Rey’s father (the source of her inspiration and journalistic integrity) which has ties to both the Cavendish and the Frobisher storylines. You could spend all day charting out the numerous connections, the causes and effects. That is the central theme of Cloud Atlas: cause and effect. It’s nothing new, any well-crafted story can demonstrate cause-effect, but doing so across multiple timelines, with dozens of characters in dozens of different circumstances and dialects is what makes this movie unique. Cloud Atlas is an illustration of idea reincarnation.

At the end, Ewing’s father-in-law tells Ewing “No matter what you do it will never amount to anything more than a single drop in a limitless ocean.” The movie then cuts Sonmi 451′s execution, the climax of the revolution, which was in fact the very effect of Ewing’s actions. The hidden meaning is that Ewing’s “single drop in a limitless ocean” did have an effect all throughout time … and it all started with freeing the slave.

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A poem about brownies

Monday, Apr 14th, 2014

One should never indulge upon the choclatey mixture used to make one’s brownies.
A task which should be undertaken with a firm and unwavering resolution,
Lest one slip into a choclate-induced trance,
Lest one lose control of one’s self,
And end up with …
Really fucking thin brownies.

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Dog guy

Wednesday, Apr 9th, 2014

I think I might be a “dog guy,” which is the male counterpart of the cat lady. I don’t mind the stereotype. There are worse. Case in point: the fat, malformed, butt-scratching, thong-wearing hello kitty guy.

But it’s my own fault, really. I’ve got Maggie set as my background picture on my cell, work and home computer. I bring my dog up in nearly every conversation. I can’t help it and believe me, I try. During the conversation in which I first met the couple in the apartment next door, I chanted to myself “don’t talk about the dog, don’t talk about the dog, don’t talk about the dog.” I managed to not talk about the dog but it didn’t matter. A few weeks later the husband tells me in the elevator with a smirk: “Thin walls, huh? Last night I couldn’t help but overhear you talking to your dog…” And we all know that talking to your dog is much worse than talking about your dog.

Ah well, sometimes one must be content to be thought of as an unconventional or weird person. After all, there’s a little bit of the fat, malformed, butt-scratching, thong-wearing hello kitty guy in all of us.

Inspirational thought for the day!

 

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Life tip: do it anyway

Saturday, Sep 28th, 2013

Before I do something crazy, I always ask myself “if I was elected president in the future and a video surfaced of me doing this, would I be impeached?”

Then I remember being president was never one of my life goals, so I do it anyway.

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Life tip: be thankful

Saturday, Sep 28th, 2013

Whenever I feel like I’m running low on self-esteem, I compliment myself with statements that are undeniably true. “At least I have all my limbs” I tell myself, which is positively true. That’s a good one. There are so many people on this planet without arms and legs, I should be thankful I’m not one of them. I’d recommend to anyone who is struggling with low self-esteem to constantly remind themselves they at least have all their limbs. Unless, of course, you are an amputee, which case I’d recommend yoga or something.

 

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The Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Megazord Deluxe Edition by Bandai

Sunday, Sep 1st, 2013

There is one toy any boy growing up in the 90s would have gladly died for. I am of course referring to the Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Megazord Deluxe edition by Bandai.

The Mighty Morphin Power Ranger Megazord Deluxe Edition by Bandai

In a stroke of pure parenting genius, my mother promised it would be mine if I mustered the courage to jump into the pool at my YMCA swimming class.

I still remember the jealous gasp my brother made when my mother popped the trunk in the YMCA parking lot to reveal the glorious toy. I remember how the zord stared at me through the plastic window. And the sparkle the toy made from the glint of the morning sunshine. Those fearsome robotic eyes. The smooth plastic finish. I wanted to make love to that toy.

“You’ll have to jump first,” my mom said.

And boy, did I jump.

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Remarks on Windows 8

Sunday, Aug 18th, 2013

If car designers were anything like Windows UI designers, you’d search for a minute before finding the door on the latest model of your favorite BMW. If car designers were anything like Windows 8 UI designers, you’d be forced to climb into the car from the roof because seriously, where is the fucking start menu on this thing? Oh, that’s right, there isn’t one. Microsoft re-imaged as a new and hip Mac-like version of itself. Simpler is better amiright? Touch screen amiright?

Jesus, if it up to me we’d all still be working from a Windows 98 UI. Why must we change our entire way of life every time Microsoft wants to make a buck by releasing another OS? It’s the biggest scam since inkjet printers.

Everything was hunky dory with Windows 98. 95 to 98 was genuine progress. 98 offered something 95 didn’t have: network support, an enormous libraries of drivers, plug and play (sometime called ‘plug and pray’ by those less-enthused) and Direct X compatibility. Ah the glory days. Then ME came along.

Monstrous ME. Despicable ME.

Windows ME, otherwise known by PC world as “Mistake Edition,” was a complete disaster: buggy, slow, incredibly inefficient, as unstable as T-Rex on a tight rope. XP was Microsoft’s solution to ME and XP was everything it should have been: an amplified version of Windows 98. Then came Vista and even non-computer people (muggles) were smart enough to realize Vista was shitware. Almost as an admittance of failure, almost immediately after the Vista launch, MS announced Windows 7 and posed it as a solution to Vista. Of course businesses and consumers still had to pay for that solution, which was essentially a fixed version of Vista.

So when are consumers going to catch on to what appears to be an elaborate con-game run by Microsoft to deliberately churn out buggy operating systems (ME, Vista), so they can offer expensive solutions (like XP and 7) to their own mistakes?

And don’t even get me started on Windows 8 features. Come on, cloud integration? Touch screen? A built-in store? Sounds much like the innovations of another popular computer company I know of.

One which rhymes with “papple.”

Here’s a thought: Microsoft, why not compete on what’s traditional rather than what’s new and hip? Many computer people (aka wizards) prefer the traditional over what’s new and hip, because we know that things that work, work that way for a reason. Car doors open up on the side of a car because it makes a whole lot of sense… leave the friggin’ car doors where they are! Ah god dammit, at the very least keep the start menu which was the hallmark of windows operating systems.

The only practical benefit I see in upgrading to a new OS is the step up in physical memory and processor limits. But, umm, I’m no computer engineer, but why should hardware be limited by software? Shouldn’t the number of buttons on my shirt be limited by the size of my shirt rather than something arbitrary, like the color of my shirt? It never made sense to me. Hardware should only be limited by hardware and not completely arbitrary OS limitations.

Linux distributions do not have these absurd memory/processor limits. Linux distros are free. Which goes to show that the hardware limits imposed by Windows are all part of Microsoft’s conspiracy to squeeze more money from consumers and ultimately, take over the world.

Too bad Apple beat them to the punch.

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On walking

Sunday, Aug 4th, 2013

I go to great lengths to get my 3-4 walks in every day. Raining outside you say? I laugh in the face of danger (and drizzle). Elevator not working? I’ll jump out the fucking window. Massive, impossible work project due by noon? Fuck it, I’m going for a stroll. Rain, sleet or snow. Sand storm, hurricane, zombie apocalypse, I’m out there one foot in front of the other, because I’m a walker.

It’s my thing yo.

I like it because when you’re walking everything around you is moving and you’re moving too. The whole world is in flux. Moving, movement, change … Point is, you’re not standing in place. That’s why walking is so much fun.

You can be out there in the trees and bushes or you can be in your head and just start reminiscin’. I meditate when I walk. It’s very zen. I can zero in on a heavily abstract programming problem I’ve been fixating on for hours and somehow, the solution will present itself after minutes of walking. It’s weird, it feels like I’ve got 3 times the mental firepower when my legs are moving. Which is why I don’t sleep on my problems, I walk on them.

When in doubt, go for a walk. That’s what I tell myself.

And corners. There are few things in life, outside of roller coaster lines and horror movies, that deliver as much raw suspense as street corners. Anything can be on the other side of a corner … a squirrel,  a hot dog stand, sure and sudden death, your soul mate. But usually it’s just another street and just another corner …

Ahh did you see what I did just there? I implied that corners are, like, a metaphor for the unexpected things in life. That was some real fancy literary shit I did just there.

Anyway, walking is fucking beautiful, I just wanted to put that out there. And don’t even get me started on mowing the lawn and the smell of fresh cut grass. That shit’s poetry.

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Indecision

Tuesday, Jul 23rd, 2013

I worry about whether to go left or right. Then if I turn right, I worry if I should have turned left. But if I had turned left I would have worried about not turning right. I think sometimes I need to just drive.

Drive, yeah, like that Incubus song.

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An excerpt from my book …

Saturday, Jul 20th, 2013

… I started but never finished. Like all of my “books.” This one was called “The Billyad” and it was a tongue-in-cheek modern representation of “The Illiad.” A parody. The premise was actually pretty funny … and some themes like the fact that all the women in the com-epic-al poem have adjectives in front of their names describing physical attributes. Freckle-faced Ophelia, Big-breasted Bertha, Ugly Ann, Maybe-an-eight Kate… You get the idea. It’s like social commentary or something … cuz you know, women always get objectified by their looks and stuff.

Anyway here’s the excerpt:

“And what lineage do you claim?”

“Bert, Royal Bert, most revered name,
From the house of Tom, who with
the trade of pizza making:
making soft dough and mixing sauces,
fresh tomatoes sauces and fine cheese:
parmesans, alfredos, provolones
He made sweet calzones and spicy,
succulent Sicilian dishes.
Bert Wed Alicia and bore my father, Jeremy
who bore Ted, Ned and me
His son, Jason, most noble heir,
and rightful –

“Enough of this blatant self-flattery!”
Screamed Billy.

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Why you laugh at Downey’s line: “Never Go Full Retard”

Sunday, Jun 30th, 2013

Because even in depictions of our ugliest, we must dress up, embellish and put things into an ideal form, otherwise we simply wouldn’t digest it. It’s why the social outcasts in teen dramas, unlike their counterparts in reality, are actually far above average in terms of physical attractiveness and demeanor.

the perks of being a wallflower movie poster

Wallflower? Are you fucking kidding me? Try teen model who befriends another teen model and British starlet slash universal sex symbol. Fuck this movie.

No one is going to make a movie about actual unattractive people, because no one would want to watch it. Because no one is attracted to the unattractive. For the same reason, no one is going to make a movie depicting actual, full-on retards. No one would want to watch it.

Hence, you never go full retard.

The true losers will never have their stories told. With any degree of accuracy, anyway.

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Give it a rest, privacy whores

Sunday, Jun 23rd, 2013

So you’ve read 1984 in highschool and watched “V for Vendetta,” which means you’re practically an expert in preventing dystopian futures, and, naturally you’re a bit worried about wiretapping because that’s what the news has told you to worry about.

Seriously, wiretapping. Of all things: Alzheimer’s, nukes, erectile dysfunction, TERRORISTS, you’re worried about wiretapping because it would be a fucking travesty if the government were to listen in on your after-dinner phone conversations with Aunt Jude.

Fellow Americans, give the whole privacy thing a rest. And by ‘give it a rest’ I mean shut your stupid whore mouths now. The government does not care to listen to your after-dinner phone conversations.  And the government already has a database of your phone numbers. It’s called a fucking phone book you twats!

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Email notifications from Hell

Saturday, Jun 22nd, 2013

Receive an email from Amazon for “Product Review Feedback.”

Unsubscribe from “Product Review Feedback” in user account settings.

Receive an email from Amazon notifying me that I have been unsubscribed from “Product Review Feedback.”

Unsubscribe from email notifications for “General Account Changes.”

Receive an email from Amazon notifying me that I have been unsubscribed from “General Account Changes”…

Curl up in a corner and cry.

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