Rants Archive

  • Certain body parts are more important than others. Everybody knows that. On human beings, scientists are always tooting the thumb's horn, and obviously the erogenous zones get a lot of attention. When it comes to animals, the focus tends to lie on the parts that are either the most delicious or the fluffiest. The part that no one ever talks about, but everyone seems to care about, is the lowly eyebrow. Humans, animals, robots? If it has a face, it better have eyebrows. And here's why.

    The Secret of Robot Acting: Eyebrows

    Certain body parts are more important than others. Everybody knows that. On human beings, scientists are always tooting the thumb's horn, and obviously the erogenous zones get a lot of attention. When it comes to animals, the focus tends to lie on the parts that are either the most delicious or the fluffiest. The part that no one ever talks about, but everyone seems to care about, is the lowly eyebrow. Humans, animals, robots? If it has a face, it better have eyebrows. And here's why.

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  • It should be clear by now that there are an awful lot of things that drive me nuts. My mindless rants are about 85% of the content of this site. I realize, though, that most of it is off the wall, pointless, unwarranted nonsense. That's why I get so excited when something comes along that completely justifies my hatred. These are people and groups that have buried their message so deep under layers of madness and blind fervor that their lunacy is clear to anyone that isn't drinking the Kool-Aid. Let's look at a few, shall we?

    PETA, Fox News, and Fundamentalists: Justified Hatred

    It should be clear by now that there are an awful lot of things that drive me nuts. My mindless rants are about 85% of the content of this site. I realize, though, that most of it is off the wall, pointless, unwarranted nonsense. That's why I get so excited when something comes along that completely justifies my hatred. These are people and groups that have buried their message so deep under layers of madness and blind fervor that their lunacy is clear to anyone that isn't drinking the Kool-Aid. Let's look at a few, shall we?

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  • One point I've established again and again here is that I'm not, shall we say, "skilled" with children. I've never had a younger brother, nor have I got a child. The result is the expectation that everyone I interact with will be of a maturity greater than or equal to my own. This isn't hard, since I still gleefully fart in public. That said, there are still those with enough disregard for their own children to subject them to me. Those situations seldom end well, but I've recently learned of an upside to such events.

    Skipping A Generation

    One point I've established again and again here is that I'm not, shall we say, "skilled" with children. I've never had a younger brother, nor have I got a child. The result is the expectation that everyone I interact with will be of a maturity greater than or equal to my own. This isn't hard, since I still gleefully fart in public. That said, there are still those with enough disregard for their own children to subject them to me. Those situations seldom end well, but I've recently learned of an upside to such events.

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  • People always talk about pandering like it is a bad thing.Granted, it doesn't have the best origins. Technically pandering was initially a synonym for pimping, and as we all know, pimpin' ain't easy. These days we associate it with taking the easy way out in terms of popular opinion. Just heaping on the equivalent of bacon and chocolate sauce. It gets a bum wrap from critics, and politicians are perpetually accused of it. The thing is, is taking the easy way out really a bad thing?

    The Positive Side of Pandering

    People always talk about pandering like it is a bad thing.Granted, it doesn't have the best origins. Technically pandering was initially a synonym for pimping, and as we all know, pimpin' ain't easy. These days we associate it with taking the easy way out in terms of popular opinion. Just heaping on the equivalent of bacon and chocolate sauce. It gets a bum wrap from critics, and politicians are perpetually accused of it. The thing is, is taking the easy way out really a bad thing?

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  • The other day I watched a fair chunk of the Emmy Awards. Mostly I was hoping that Conan would win for the Tonight Show, just so that the most awkward moment in television history would occur. Conan accepting an award for a show that he was fired from on the very network that fired him? Classic. Alas, it was not to be, but watching did give me a look at the truly idiotic state of genre classification these days. It is time to set some of this mess straight.

    Genre Confusion

    The other day I watched a fair chunk of the Emmy Awards. Mostly I was hoping that Conan would win for the Tonight Show, just so that the most awkward moment in television history would occur. Conan accepting an award for a show that he was fired from on the very network that fired him? Classic. Alas, it was not to be, but watching did give me a look at the truly idiotic state of genre classification these days. It is time to set some of this mess straight.

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  • I recently had a Sunday afternoon filled with laundry and cleaning and the other assorted trappings of civilized life that prevent you from going out and actually LIVING. As such, I was left to the mercy of daytime television. Now I've pointed it out before, but at some point in the past TLC went from being Discovery Channel Lite to The Tumor Removal, Fertility Abnormality, and Mental Disorder Channel. Regardless, officially love this channel because it has made me fully aware of all of the problems I don’t have.

    Problems I Don’t Have

    I recently had a Sunday afternoon filled with laundry and cleaning and the other assorted trappings of civilized life that prevent you from going out and actually LIVING. As such, I was left to the mercy of daytime television. Now I've pointed it out before, but at some point in the past TLC went from being Discovery Channel Lite to The Tumor Removal, Fertility Abnormality, and Mental Disorder Channel. Regardless, officially love this channel because it has made me fully aware of all of the problems I don’t have.

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  • Evolution has served humanity well, despite the fact we were genetic underdogs. We don't have big teeth or fearsome claws or long necks or the ability to spray stench, but we still managed to come out on top. Granted, we did it mostly by being the only ones smart enough to figure out where the top was, but that in no way diminishes the achievement. We owe it all to this big brain and the fancy tricks it lets us do. But like all complex computational devices, the brain isn't without its bugs.

    Evolutionary Side Effects

    Evolution has served humanity well, despite the fact we were genetic underdogs. We don't have big teeth or fearsome claws or long necks or the ability to spray stench, but we still managed to come out on top. Granted, we did it mostly by being the only ones smart enough to figure out where the top was, but that in no way diminishes the achievement. We owe it all to this big brain and the fancy tricks it lets us do. But like all complex computational devices, the brain isn't without its bugs.

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  • It seems like the store shelves are flooded with idiotic, broken products. My background as an engineer doesn't help matters, because it leads me to favor function over form. Silly me, wanting products to do things well before they start looking good. The rest of America, or at least the bulk of it, are more into the gloss, and thus it is the glossiest of the glossy that makes it to market. Being forced to choose what I dislike least rather than what I really want has made me realize how alike the open market and open elections really are.

    Democratic Capitalism

    It seems like the store shelves are flooded with idiotic, broken products. My background as an engineer doesn't help matters, because it leads me to favor function over form. Silly me, wanting products to do things well before they start looking good. The rest of America, or at least the bulk of it, are more into the gloss, and thus it is the glossiest of the glossy that makes it to market. Being forced to choose what I dislike least rather than what I really want has made me realize how alike the open market and open elections really are.

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  • Phawx and Decoychunk cover such diverse and varied topics as the current state of Android, the Enderverse (SPOILERS), Calvin and Hobbes, and Grammar Ninjas.

    BrainLazy Uncut – August 25th, 2010

    Phawx and Decoychunk cover such diverse and varied topics as the current state of Android, the Enderverse (SPOILERS), Calvin and Hobbes, and Grammar Ninjas.

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  • In 1966, a character who would come to fame as the cookie monster burst onto the scene. He was a blue, furry creature that devoured everything initially and cookies preferentially. After forty years of delighting children, though, it was decided that our blue friend was setting a bad example. Thus in 2007 he went on Martha Stewart and explained that cookies were no longer good enough for him. They were a sometimes food. An icon of two generations of children's television caved to public pressure, and who is to blame? Elmo.

    Monstrous Role Models

    In 1966, a character who would come to fame as the cookie monster burst onto the scene. He was a blue, furry creature that devoured everything initially and cookies preferentially. After forty years of delighting children, though, it was decided that our blue friend was setting a bad example. Thus in 2007 he went on Martha Stewart and explained that cookies were no longer good enough for him. They were a sometimes food. An icon of two generations of children's television caved to public pressure, and who is to blame? Elmo.

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  • At some point in our history it was decided that numbers weren’t good enough to keep track of time. All of those pesky years were just too simple and logical...

    Generations and Eras

    At some point in our history it was decided that numbers weren’t good enough to keep track of time. All of those pesky years were just too simple and logical...

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  • There are certain things that are deeply encoded in our minds and bodies. Foremost among them, and for good reason, is the love of our children. Of COURSE we love our children. They are the next version of US! You revision 2. And thus it is imperative that you do everything in your power to make sure that this little duplicate grows up and produces you revision 3. I, however, don't have children. And there is nothing in my genetic rule book that says I have to love someone ELSE'S kids.

    Hating Lovable Things 1

    There are certain things that are deeply encoded in our minds and bodies. Foremost among them, and for good reason, is the love of our children. Of COURSE we love our children. They are the next version of US! You revision 2. And thus it is imperative that you do everything in your power to make sure that this little duplicate grows up and produces you revision 3. I, however, don't have children. And there is nothing in my genetic rule book that says I have to love someone ELSE'S kids.

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  • The face of evil is an ever changing one. In cave man days, the villains of every story probably had big scary teeth and a hunger for a heapin' helpin' of man meat. As our tastes and fears changed, so did our villains. Comic books are a good example. We've seen Nazi villains and communist villains. We've seen mad scientists and nameless horrors from beyond infinity. Lately, though, there's been a new favorite. And it wears an entirely different type of suit.

    Evil Incorporated

    The face of evil is an ever changing one. In cave man days, the villains of every story probably had big scary teeth and a hunger for a heapin' helpin' of man meat. As our tastes and fears changed, so did our villains. Comic books are a good example. We've seen Nazi villains and communist villains. We've seen mad scientists and nameless horrors from beyond infinity. Lately, though, there's been a new favorite. And it wears an entirely different type of suit.

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  • Instincts are useful. In fact, for a few million years, they were downright essential for the species. Back before we had the brains to consistently make the good decisions or the infrastructure to be reasonably sure we would have enough food and energy to get through our day, instincts kept us doing the right things. Things are different now, but unfortunately the body doesn't have an on/off switch for our these things, and nowadays they tend to do more harm than good.

    Killer Instincts

    Instincts are useful. In fact, for a few million years, they were downright essential for the species. Back before we had the brains to consistently make the good decisions or the infrastructure to be reasonably sure we would have enough food and energy to get through our day, instincts kept us doing the right things. Things are different now, but unfortunately the body doesn't have an on/off switch for our these things, and nowadays they tend to do more harm than good.

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  • Have you ever been walking down the street and said something out loud that wasn't intended for general broadcast? Maybe you were thinking it and it accidentally found its way to your mouth, or perhaps you didn't think anyone would hear you. Regardless of the reason for the slip, in the past you only had to glance side to side and hope there weren't too many people in earshot. Well, thanks to modern technology the list of people who might overhear your stupid remarks now includes the planet earth.

    Tech Tourette’s

    Have you ever been walking down the street and said something out loud that wasn't intended for general broadcast? Maybe you were thinking it and it accidentally found its way to your mouth, or perhaps you didn't think anyone would hear you. Regardless of the reason for the slip, in the past you only had to glance side to side and hope there weren't too many people in earshot. Well, thanks to modern technology the list of people who might overhear your stupid remarks now includes the planet earth.

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  • I don't know if it is because the world has been getting more expensive, jobs have been paying less, or people have been getting more expensive tastes, but I've noticed that you seem to see a lot more families in which all of the care-givers work.  Since you don't really count as a care-giver unless you have someone to care for, more families are thus relying on daycare. It seems like a simple enough concept to get your head around, but I confuse easily, and this one has left me with questions.

    The Daycare Conundrum

    I don't know if it is because the world has been getting more expensive, jobs have been paying less, or people have been getting more expensive tastes, but I've noticed that you seem to see a lot more families in which all of the care-givers work. Since you don't really count as a care-giver unless you have someone to care for, more families are thus relying on daycare. It seems like a simple enough concept to get your head around, but I confuse easily, and this one has left me with questions.

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  • Hatred is an ugly thing. It consumes the mind, twists the soul, and leads you make astoundingly idiotic forum posts. Everybody hates something. Some people are able to keep it to themselves, other people spray hatred out of their very pores like a demonic sprinkler system. The worst part, though, is the fact that hate makes you blind to some things that are clear to anyone who isn't so emotionally invested. Namely, that it is almost the same thing as love.

    Love Hate Relationship

    Hatred is an ugly thing. It consumes the mind, twists the soul, and leads you make astoundingly idiotic forum posts. Everybody hates something. Some people are able to keep it to themselves, other people spray hatred out of their very pores like a demonic sprinkler system. The worst part, though, is the fact that hate makes you blind to some things that are clear to anyone who isn't so emotionally invested. Namely, that it is almost the same thing as love.

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  • The world can be a wacky place.  America, not surprisingly, tends to take the absurdity to epic levels. How else could we have ended up with a hunger problem AND an obesity problem at the same time? It almost sounds impossible, but we pulled it off flawlessly. Chalk it up to good old American spirit, I guess. Now that we've got the problem, it is time to solve it. Fortunately, BrainLazy is up to the task with our "outside the box" and "unlimited by feasibility or morality issues" thinking.

    Obesity and Hunger

    The world can be a wacky place. America, not surprisingly, tends to take the absurdity to epic levels. How else could we have ended up with a hunger problem AND an obesity problem at the same time? It almost sounds impossible, but we pulled it off flawlessly. Chalk it up to good old American spirit, I guess. Now that we've got the problem, it is time to solve it. Fortunately, BrainLazy is up to the task with our "outside the box" and "unlimited by feasibility or morality issues" thinking.

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  • It seems like every day you hear about another celebrity going totally nuts. Mel Gibson, Lindsey Lohan, Christian Bale. You name the celeb and before long you'll hear about them saying or doing something either criminal or criminally stupid. Now obviously we're all human. We all have our little quirks, but for the most part you don't see the rest of us dissolving into a gooey puddle of crazy. Are there special circumstances? Sure, but these are the only people already trained to deal with them.

    Act Normal

    It seems like every day you hear about another celebrity going totally nuts. Mel Gibson, Lindsey Lohan, Christian Bale. You name the celeb and before long you'll hear about them saying or doing something either criminal or criminally stupid. Now obviously we're all human. We all have our little quirks, but for the most part you don't see the rest of us dissolving into a gooey puddle of crazy. Are there special circumstances? Sure, but these are the only people already trained to deal with them.

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  • Internet advertisers have it rough, no doubt about it. Theirs is practically the only medium where people actually manufacture methods to block their product. Not only that, but the entire Internet shifts and evolves constantly and advertisers are supposed to keep up with changing trends. It is a tough job, a near impossible task, and I give them a lot of slack. Sometimes they do something at even baffles ME, though. Right now, it is the bizarre preoccupation with Moms.

    Thanks Mom

    Internet advertisers have it rough, no doubt about it. Theirs is practically the only medium where people actually manufacture methods to block their product. Not only that, but the entire Internet shifts and evolves constantly and advertisers are supposed to keep up with changing trends. It is a tough job, a near impossible task, and I give them a lot of slack. Sometimes they do something at even baffles ME, though. Right now, it is the bizarre preoccupation with Moms.

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  • Limbo is a game eagerly anticipated and much beloved by gamer and critic alike. Its visuals are crisp and unique, its gameplay polished and enjoyable, and its plot subtle and thought provoking. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, and that's more of an achievement than you may realize. Why? Because as we've discussed in the past, there is a fairly firm split in the game and art communities, and there are few things more divisive than something that claims to be both.

    Artistic Backlash

    Limbo is a game eagerly anticipated and much beloved by gamer and critic alike. Its visuals are crisp and unique, its gameplay polished and enjoyable, and its plot subtle and thought provoking. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, and that's more of an achievement than you may realize. Why? Because as we've discussed in the past, there is a fairly firm split in the game and art communities, and there are few things more divisive than something that claims to be both.

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  • Everybody loves a happy ending. I'm talking about in entertainment, not massages... No, you know what, I'm talking about both. The thing is, a happy ending isn't as simple as it seems, massages not withstanding. There are plenty of films out there that purport to have a feel good ending that flies in the face of serious thinking, and plenty of 'heroes' who cause more pain and misery on their way to their happily ever after than the villain ever did. So what, exactly, is happy?

    Happy Endings

    Everybody loves a happy ending. I'm talking about in entertainment, not massages... No, you know what, I'm talking about both. The thing is, a happy ending isn't as simple as it seems, massages not withstanding. There are plenty of films out there that purport to have a feel good ending that flies in the face of serious thinking, and plenty of 'heroes' who cause more pain and misery on their way to their happily ever after than the villain ever did. So what, exactly, is happy?

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  • We've all done things we aren't proud of. Maybe when you were fourteen you cheated on your math final. Maybe back in college you walked in on your roommate making out with your sister. Whatever it is, you've sectioned off that portion of history in your brain. As far as you or anyone else is involved, it didn't happen, and we can all move on with our lives. Well, it turns out that individuals aren't the only ones that do that. Corporations, religions, even whole nations do it!

    We Don’t Talk About That

    We've all done things we aren't proud of. Maybe when you were fourteen you cheated on your math final. Maybe back in college you walked in on your roommate making out with your sister. Whatever it is, you've sectioned off that portion of history in your brain. As far as you or anyone else is involved, it didn't happen, and we can all move on with our lives. Well, it turns out that individuals aren't the only ones that do that. Corporations, religions, even whole nations do it!

    Continue Reading...