Tuesday, May 25, 2010

That's just stupid! These people are idiots!

I have the ‘How to…?’ page enabled on iGoogle. It basically puts up 3 random ‘how to’ questions and if you are interested you click the link and learn something new (hopefully)… you get the picture.

I would estimate that 30% of the ‘how to’ topics are worth reading, 69% are pretty uninspiring and 1% are utter trash. Today for example, one of the topics was ‘How to win an eating contest?’

I can answer that in three words “Eat the most.” So I was curious to see if there really was more…

This is the unaltered first paragraph of the article (with my personal views in brackets):

Be in good physical and mental shape. It is important to ensure that you're healthy and fit before trying an eating contest (Being a lard ass will probably also help…). Consult your physician before the contest and get their advice (they will advise you NOT to enter a stupid eating contest…). Make sure that you aren't on medication that shouldn't be taken with food (wow… someone actually did that!). Check with contest officials that EMTs and an ambulance will be present in the event of choking or allergic reactions (because you thought it would be a good idea to shove 70 hotdogs into a space designed to fit 2 hot dogs… and still somehow forgot that you were allergic to hotdogs!!!???), or third-degree burns on the roof of your mouth from searing hot taco beef (Contestant>>>“Hi honey I’m home, sorry I can’t kiss you today, I have third degree burns on my palate from eating too much searing hot taco beef”… “no, I did it on purpose, I thought that because they had a medical team and ambulance on site I would be immune to the effects of scoffing 180degC food. Boy was I wrong.” Spouse>>>”I want a divorce”).

I think we can safely file this ‘how to?’ topic under the ‘utter trash’ category. Anyone with half a brain would know that eating contests are stupid and people that enter them are stupider. It just gets worse and worse. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, so I read on (Does this happen to anyone else?) only to find out that people interested in eating competitions can join the MLE (Major League Eating) or the AICE (Association of Independent Competitive Eaters). They’re turning eating into a sport!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

We have finally run out of words

I was cooking up something in the kitchen the other day while listening to background MTV. Well to be honest, someone else was watching MTV while I was cooking. The reason I don’t want to say that I was listening to MTV is because these days it’s quite an embarrassing place to be caught channel surfing. Think about it, most of the music is complete and utter rubbish. Advertisements make up around 50% of the broadcast content (you know the channel content is bad when you actually look forward to the advertisements… like SABC). As for moral values… well you can throw those out the window what with Beyonce constantly filling the screen with her… junk. I’m drifting; the point of this post is modern pop music.

Back to the kitchen...

There I was, innocently cooking a meal when I heard this terrible groaning noise accompanied by loads of uncoordinated bass tracks (seemingly put together by a ravenous three year old slamming his fists onto a jelly tot encrusted keyboard hooked up to cheap electro composing software…or Justin Timberland). I HAD to investigate, so I bravely left my meal prep to sneak a peek at the screen. Who could possibly make such an awful din (only worthy of an MTV line up)?

Well, the answer believe it or not, was Janet Jackson. I thought the groaning was perhaps a form of tribute to her late brother, you know, a sorrowful and mourning sister expressing her grief through the medium of agonizing vocals… I peeked for a few seconds longer to try making sense of the whole thing from the music video.

This was a very bad idea.

Mine eyes were greeted by a pair of bodies writhing against a wall. One Janet Jackson, the other, some scantily clad sweaty black dude…and no they weren’t mourning. This ‘music video’ was actually just a sex scene and the lyrics to the ‘song’ were basically Janet having an orgasm for four and a half minutes. What was the reason for this? All I could do was assume that the music industry had finally written and made several cover versions of every possible combination of words and lyrics for commercial gain. The options currently available to song writers at the moment:

1. Make up words (Rihanna and Nelly Furtado have taken this path)

2. Distort existing words so much that peoplebarely recognise them (Shakira and Lady Gaga seem to have this method down)

3. Just make random noises with your vocal chords to accompany music (Janet Jackson, above)

4. Distract viewers so much with raunchy music videos they won’t even realise your lyrics and music are complete shite (Pussycat Dolls and Madonna… just make me want to barf, it’s a miracle these tracks even get aired on the radio)

It seems as though song writers around the world have been hit by this phenomenon. There are no current tracks that appeal to me. None, nada, zilch… gone are the days of meaningful, emotive and moral music. A small part of me died as I copy/pasted the final track from my ‘New Music’ folder into the ‘Oldies’ folder.

I think 'American Pie' would be an apt song to describe days like this (by Don McLean not Madonna's treacherous cover version)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The art of presentation, Japanese PechaKucha

I have recently been exposed to a new form of speed presentation. PechaKucha is a Japanese presentation method wherein the presenter assembles a collection of 20 pictures to accompany a talk on… well any particular subject of interest (http://www.pecha-kucha.org/). The presenter is limited to 20 seconds per picture/slide and so concludes the presentation after... (Math YAY!)… 6 mins and 40 seconds (or at least about that long).

So I downloaded and viewed a random example to see what it was all about. Unfortunately the topic was on safety and structural integrity of modern ‘fancy’ architecture (not something I care a great deal about). The presenter droned on for 6 odd minutes about how important the designers job is and how so many lives depend on the success of his/hers structure… boring shite okay…

The amazing thing about all this though is that I remember everything he said, my brain made the links between those pictures and the words he said so easily that I could probably give his exact talk after viewing his presentation just once. It normally takes me all of 30 seconds to blank out and start thinking about dinner when someone is giving a talk that I am not remotely interested in.

I guess what I’m saying is, PechaKucha is an amazingly effective form of speed presentation. It’s like force-feeding geese to enlarge their livers for extra profit, except the feed is information and the enlarged liver is your mind! …did that make sense just now?

Image (www.toothpastefordinner.com)