Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pros and Cons

Pros: Going for the head, proactive recognition of zombie scourge

Cons: Not killing on the first shot, intoxication, not actually a zombie.

Sunday, October 25, 2009
Associated Press

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa City police are investigating an early morning assault in which a man accused another of being a zombie, then punched him twice.

Police say the assault occurred at 1:17 a.m. Sunday at an Iowa City restaurant south of the University of Iowa campus.

A man was ordering food when he was approached by another man who called him a zombie, then hit him in the eye. When the victim tried to call police on his cell phone, the man punched him again, breaking his nose.

The man then ran out a back door.

The victim was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ever Dream This Man?

So recently I stumbled across a website with an interesting subject. Apparently a psychiatric patient drew a picture of a man who kept appearing in her dreams, and a few days later another patient recognized the picture as the man who kept appearing in her dreams as well. Soon enough, psychiatric patients all over the world began recognizing the portrait as the same man that has been recurring in their dreams. No one knows who it is and no one has ever met him in real life, yet he supposedly occupies the dreams of thousands of people.

Now, I'm not one to go for crazy conspiracy theories, and I'm certainly not one to blindly believe everything I read on the internet, but something about this just creeps me out on a fundamental level. Even if it's not true, the picture and backstory combined make it a pretty creepy hoax. If it is true, well, that's just terrifying. I'm not sure what would happen if I ever saw this man in my dreams, but I can't imagine it ending with anything less than a violent showdown. (EDIT: it appears that it's part of some viral marketing campaign. Still not any less creepy.)

You can read more about this phenomenon at the original website.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Zombie Invasion: Waco

So I saw Zombieland this weekend (review coming soon (hint: thumbs way up)). With that in mind, I decided to repost my zombie map of Waco for those who have tuned in since I first started this blog a year ago. I haven't updated it since then, so I should go back and do that soon since a few things have changed (and those changes could be crucial, depending on the situation). So, here is my guide to surviving a zombie apocalypse in Waco, Texas, USA:

View Zombie Invasion: Waco in a larger map

Monday, October 19, 2009

Strange Visitor

I've had some pretty strange houseguests during my time here in Waco, but yesterday was a first for me. I opened the balcony window to let some air in, and after a couple of minutes, this little guy had crawled into my apartment from the balcony. Which is, of course, surrounded by a city block's worth of concrete and at least a quarter mile from a body of water. Behold, my not-yet-teenage-mutant-ninja friend:

Where did this thing come from? What's its story? How did it make it all the way into my abode after only a few short days of life? I want to know.

Monday, October 12, 2009

This Week's Awful Pop Songs

So in order to mix things up a little bit, I'm trying to start a new feature on this blog where I discuss the horrible pop songs that I've heard recently. I admit that listening to top 40 radio is sort of a car-crash guilty pleasure of mine-- kind of like a car crash, you know it's horrible and awful but you just can't look away. So is my view on top 40 radio. With that in mind, here are the awful pop songs for this week:

1. "Fireflies" by Owl City

This song might be the most insipid tune I've ever heard. I can't even listen to the lyrics without cringing. "I get a thousand hugs from 10,000 lightning bugs"?!? Seriously? It seems to me like this guy should be getting a thousand hugs from 10,000 grizzly bears. That might make for a more interesting song.

2. Paparazzi- Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is back on the scene, months after her ill-fated song about a poker face, where she revealed her blatant lack of knowledge on the difference between poker, roulette, blackjack, and other games of chance. Now, she's singing about how she's going to "chase you down until you love me." See, this is what's wrong with Hollywood. If I wrote a song to Lady Gaga about how I was going to relentlessly pursue her until she caved in to my desires, I'd probably be slapped with a restraining order. Lady Gaga does it and it hits the Billboard charts. It's almost as creepy as the Enrique Iglesias song a few years ago where he told us that "you can run you can hide but you can't escape my love." Maybe he and Lady Gaga will start dating and end up killing each other in a fit of crazed passion.

3. Party in the USA- Miley Cyrus

This song sounds like what I imagine to be the product of a bunch of middle-aged white guys in suits sitting around a conference room trying to decide what teenagers respond to these days. It feels so incredibly manufactured that I'm not even sure I can chastise Miley Cyrus for putting it out. I mean, if a bunch of suits handed me an insipid pop song and said "we'll give you millions of dollars to put your name on this," I'm not entirely certain I would say no either. Besides, this sort of bubblegum pap will be that much more enjoyable to look back on when Miley Cyrus begins her inevitable Britney Spears-like crash and burn.

EDIT: Ok, I just watched the video that I posted to go with the Miley Cyrus song. Holy crap, does anyone else have a problem with the oversexualization of a 16 year old? I mean, she's singing about dancing in a taxi cab and it's like watching a bachelor party. I have a real problem with this.

If you'll excuse me, I'm going to go bleach my brain to try and wash this stuff out. Tune in next week for more awful pop music!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Meat Market is a Dangerous Place

So, the title of this post is a two-pronged observation on both the state of the dating scene in Western culture and the prevalence of disgusting disease in the beef industry. I recently read two articles on the New York Times website that didn't appear to be interrelated at first, but upon further inspection I realized that they actually encompass the same subject. So let's look at the articles.

The Dating Game, Ivied and Pedigreed

This article describes a new trend that's apparently cropping up in the urban centers of our nation. It's a business/personal networking group aimed at the "Ivy Plus" crowd- people that went to Ivy League colleges, as well as lesser schools with top programs in certain fields, such as law and medicine. According to the founder of the group(s), it's a great way to meet people with similar interests as you.
“You can say: ‘Hi James, you went to Harvard? My brother went there.’ Or, ‘You went to Dartmouth? I remember when we used to sail there and the awesome Dartmouth regatta parties.’"

I remember the awesome regatta parties we had at the University of North Texas. Man, we partied like crazy at those regatta parties. We'd put on our blue blazers with gold buttons, white canvas shoes, khaki pants, and get all kinds of rowdy as we talked about what kind of knots best secure a line to an anchor or what cast member of Gilligan's Island we were most like. Ok, not really. It seems to me that this is a great way of pointing out to other people that you spent a lot of money at a college without actually proving that it made you any more interesting or intelligent. In reality, I've known some brilliant people to come out of Ivy League schools, and I've known some real turds as well. I guess what I'm getting at is that pedigree doesn't really mean much to me and it's hard for me to understand why it's important to other people, but I guess that doesn't really matter.
“If you wanted to describe these schools, these are all highly selective, academically rigorous institutions,” she said, although social reputations also come into play. “The Duke people are so much fun. There’s just some schools you want to make sure you include.”

Duke has around 14,000 students. It's strange to me that one can make a generalization so broad based on something as arbitrary as an academic institution. I guess I still have a lot to learn about the culture of class. In the meantime, enjoy reminiscing about the time those guys from Dartmouth vomited in the coat check room at that regatta blast back in 2007.

The second article I read, which was much less mysterious to me, was about the state of safety in the American meat industry. According to this piece, basically it's terrifying.

E. Coli Path Shows Flaws in Meat Inspection

According to this article, which revealed a number of interesting things, there are serious issues in the meat industry with quality control. Ground beef is a gamble, simply put. Because not every company tests its meat products for E. Coli, it's hard to determine whether or not a frozen beef patty (which can contain cow parts from as many as 1000 different cows and several countries) is safe to eat. Surprisingly, Costco seems to be one of the only major distributors of meat that actually checks its meat for e. coli prior to grinding. I also found it interesting to discover that Cargill is America's largest private company.

Many big slaughterhouses will sell only to grinders who agree not to test their shipments for E. coli, according to officials at two large grinding companies. Slaughterhouses fear that one grinder’s discovery of E. coli will set off a recall of ingredients they sold to others.

Uh, yeah. That kind of thing should set off a recall. That's the purpose of a recall- to take defective and dangerous products off the market. Somehow I just can't get behind the sentiment expressed by the big slaughterhouses that a little e. coli isn't anything to raise a fuss about. So the moral of the story is, eat ground beef at your own risk.