Monday, December 6, 2010


Hi all. Back to writing. I've finally found a topic that's worth writing about - these days all that seems to be happening is Republicans and Democrats arguing over everything and getting absolutely nothing done. Oh, that and whatever the hell Sarah Palin and the Kardashians are doing. Surely this can't be ALL the news... either we live on the most boring planet in the galaxy (including Pluto (shut up it's a planet)), or someone is doing a very good job filtering anything that has any relevancy to our life out of our televisions... I blame the cable companies.

So now the topic of the day is... Wikileaks.

I think there are 2 important things that need to be said about Wikileaks. And that's all I'll say:

1) I think Wikileaks is great. Especially in a democracy, government is/should be for the people, by the people. Therefore, it's important for the people to know what's going on in government, and it's important for the people to be able to hold the government accountable for things. Leaked documents about our military forces "hunting" civilians for fun in Afghanistan are shocking, and something that anyone who is blindly "pro-military" should know about. It's embarassing for our government, but at the same time it brings to light issues that need to be addressed - much like you never really realize that your apartment is messy until you decide to have guests over. Not only that, but leaking these types of documents ensures that all animals are equal, and that no animals are more equal than others...

2) I think Wikileaks needs to be A LOT more responsible in terms of what it's releasing. It's true that information is great, but before jumping on the mindless bitching bandwagon with the rest of the "save the tigers" and "we depend too much on oil" people (and those people who whenever you talk to just want freedom of everything in general without having any specific demands), one has to think about the implications of releasing some of this information. After all, there's a reason why things are classified. Terrorism is a REAL threat to the US and other countries. Publicly releasing a list of all the areas where we are the most vulnerable is not a good idea when there are people who are actively trying to hurt us. Do me a favor Wikileaks... (I'm going to address Wikileaks like a person from now on but really this is directed at that Australian chap with the white hair, can't be bothered to look up the spelling of his name exactly.. Assange or something similar) go home, paint a big bullseye on your own roof, and see how long it takes before SOMETHING is shot at it.

I want to hear your thoughts on this so if you have a minute, send me some fan mail and I'll do a follow up pieces where I tell you why your opinions are dumb.


Mo out.

Monday, November 8, 2010

LOL @ China... silly China...

For those unaware of exactly why, China told the US at a meeting to discuss the upcoming G20 in Seoul that the $600 billion quantitative easing plan was basically currency manipulation and was unfair to it and the other countries that export to the US.

So China accused us of currency manipulation, for those who missed it. Can we now please just laugh at China?



AHAHHAHA..oh my god I think I'm going to die...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

-Mo out.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm back. And Justin Bieber.

It's a good thing that this blog isn't my job, because I'm pretty sure I'd be fired. Taking an unannounced two month vacation is probably not okay in real professions (unless you're Joaquin Phoenix in which case you can do fuck all for three years, get fat, smoke pot, and rap, and still be as famous as when Gladiator came out). I however have that luxury because I do have a real job, and unlike this blog, it pays my bills. I have to say though that I certainly didn't expect people to miss the blog as much as they did. My five fans asked me several times during the writing hiatus when the blog would be back and who my next target was.

Well, I'm back.

And Justin Bieber.

I heard my first Justin Bieber song on the radio in Cairo this past weekend. Oddly enough the radio station that played Justin Bieber also played (in this order) Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine, some generic metal shit I didn't recognize, and then Justin Bieber. It's like they had met their awesomeness quota for the day and decided "oh hell, who are we kidding, we're a radio station let's just play utter shit like everyone else." Radio stations don't even play metal in America anymore, so I was surprised to hear good metal on the radio in a country where kids are jailed for wearing Black Sabbath shirts (admittedly they were part of a gang, but arrested because of the shirts nonetheless).

My reaction to hearing his hit song "Baby" was kind of the same as when I last checked my bank account or when you go trick or treating at your really stingy neighbor's house: "That's it??"

Really? That's what all the fuss is about? With all the hype out there I was expecting someone who possessed a mix of Justin Timberlake's coolness and stage presence with Pavaroti's vocal prowess and a 12 inch cock that plays Van Halen solos. Instead what i heard was a little boy with a voice thinner than most lesbians singing songs that sound like Lance Bass covers of Marvin Gaye. I mean don't get me wrong the kid can sing. If there was a talent show on your block, and Justin Bieber performed, he would probably score highly, and in fact he might win. He probably plays Rock Band and does the vocals on Expert. But the fact is that he's just not that good.

Why do people like him so much? I can't understand it. I just read recently that 3% of ALL OF TWITTER is Justin Bieber traffic (and that's just traffic to/from his account, not all Bieber related traffic). That's ridiculous. It just goes to show that with a little marketing, anyone can like anything these days. Even a 16 year-old kind-of-boy-kind-of-girl looking thing from Canada that goes by "the Bieb." Some record executive saw a video of JB on Youtube, decided this kid was going to make it, and made the kid make it. After all that's all it takes. Now, people want to know what his musical influences are, who his favorite painters are, what type of pizza he likes or if he likes pizza at all, and if his farts smell like rainbows and unicorns. Does Justin Bieber think Kim Kardashian is hot? If a tree falls on Justin Bieber in the forest, how many teenage girls would it take to break the fall of the tree so that Justin Bieber could sing "Baby" to them as they both suffocated and bled to death? I don't know, but these are all really dumb questions we're asking about a kid who's got no more talent than anyone who's been further than the initial qualifying round on American Idol (or maybe just that guy who goes the Karaoke place every time you're there and embarrasses everyone with how good he is).

It may be just because I'm out of practice, but I can't really hate on Justin Bieber. I can just be annoyed that he is so successful for no reason. After all, he was just minding his own business in Canada when someone called him up and told him he was going to be a star. Shit... I'd do it if I was offered a chance. I'm just confused as to why people with free will over the type of music they choose to listen to would choose to listen to Justin Bieber. There is much better music out there, even for the 15-16 year-old girl crowd... I for one would much rather listen to Taylor Swift.

And I'm even more confused as to why girls are so crazy about him. Maybe the trick to attracting chicks is to look like a chick? (note to self, my mascara needs work). Oh wait, no I forgot... it's money.

-Mo out.

Ah it feels good to say that again.
PS: Lesbians who look like Justin Bieber.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ok. Enough of this mosque thing. For reals.

I am going to make this post short and to the point because I am tired of hearing about this damn thing.

1) Stop calling it the Ground Zero Mosque. There are two churches way closer to GZ than this proposed mosque. There seems to be a misconception that they are building a giant mosque with minarets and shit literally on top of the hole where the twin towers used to be. This is not true at all.

2) Stop calling it a mosque. This is a building. It will have 13 stories, and include a basketball court, and a culinary school. The top two floors will be a Muslim prayer space. Mosques are establishments meant only for religious purposes.

3) Neither of these two points even matter. I am making them just to be informative, but if they wanted to build the world's biggest mosque in NYC, they should be able to as well. And if a property owner decided to knock down his building and build an even bigger Synagogue, he should be allowed to as well. Stop being caught up in the minor details of what exactly it is and where it is, and instead focus on the issue at hand - that apparently 80% of the people in this country think there should be guidelines on what types of places of worship can be built and where they should be. Aren't religious restrictions the reason we left England in the first place??

4) Stop saying that they shouldn't be allowed to build a mosque here until we can build a church in Mecca. That is an awful comparison because Mecca for Muslims is like the Vatican, and I can guarantee you that as long as the Vatican exists there will be no Mosque within its borders.

5) More importantly, stop comparing the US to other countries. Other countries may be intolerant to certain races and religions, but we Americans are better. We have freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom to legally acquire a piece of property and worship whatever the fuck you want on it.

6) Stop saying it's insensitive. It is not. If you really think it's insensitive, then please explain WHY you think it's insensitive. I feel just as badly for the victims and their families as anyone else, but to say that a mosque even two blocks away from the northeast corner of Ground Zero is insensitive IMPLIES that you think all Muslims are terrorists. So the only people who say it's insensitive are bigots.

Mo out.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Would you please leave the hummus alone?

Dear citizens of Israel,

The Jewish people have several thousand years of wonderful history and culture. You have bagels, which are delicious. Challah bread is also very good. In fact, you have many traditions and foods that are unique to your culture (as all cultures do). You should be proud of them.

My question to you is - why are you so set on owning hummus? It is not yours. You may enjoy eating it, but that does't make it Israeli. Hummus is Lebanese. It always has, and always will be.

I enjoy eating pizza. I eat a lot of pizza. However, by no stretch of the imagination could one say that pizza is Egyptian. I also enjoy feta cheese, which is Greek. And chicken tika, which is Indian.

How would you feel if Egyptians started marketing Challah bread as Egyptian food? Would you feel like your culture was being robbed?

That's exactly how Lebanese people feel when you say hummus is Israeli.

Would you please just leave the hummus alone? It's okay, you can still eat it by the spoonful if it's Lebanese. I'm sure they would love nothing more than to sell you crates of the stuff.

I promise I won't tell anyone.

Thank you for your understanding. I look forward to our continued mutual enjoyment of hummus, bagels, and challah.

     -Your friendly neighbor Mo

PS also, falafel are not Israeli either. Leave our fucking falafel alone! (I take this personally because falafel are Egyptian)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Nowhere to Hide

Just launched a new blog dedicated to my "band," The Hachness Epidemic. This means that there should be no more (or very very little) talk about band stuff in this blog. For those of you who don't care about my band, this should be good news!

Check it out here: Nowhere to Hide - Official blog of The Hachness Epidemic

I know that in this country the word segregation carries a bad connotation,  but I promise this is good segregation.

Mo out.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I hate, number three!!

Because everything awesome comes in trilogies (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, StarCraft II, etc..) and because there are so many things that I hate, I've decided to do a third and final I hate post.

Now without further adieu, let the hating commence:

- I hate when you spend all day telling your friends about how hot a girl that you met the other day is and how she totally has a thing for you and then eventually they go "enough enough, let's see a picture" and they pull up her Facebook photo only for you to find that she replaced her super hot picture with an "artsy" photo that is the ugliest photo of her that exists. Then you try to convince your friends that she's hot and they try to convince you that you were really wasted.

- I hate guys who play Stairway to Heaven, Enter Sandman, or Sweet Child O' Mine at Guitar Center.

- I hate bums who hold up signs saying "need money for beer" or "need money for drugs." The first guy who did it was original, but reminding every single person why they don't give you money in the first place is no way to go about business. You're better off asking everyone for a quarter and pretending you need to catch the train home or make a phone call or some other bullshit.

- I hate wet paint signs when the paint isn't wet.

- Also, I hate wet paint signs when the paint is wet.

- I hate that burritos are made on an assembly line and the ingredients are piled on top of each other rather than mixed in a bowl. Burritos would be so much better if every bite had all the ingredients in it rather than every other bite being a surprise mouthful of just sour cream and cheese.

- I hate when people believe things that have been disproven on Mythbusters.

- I hate people who use the word "literally" when it's not literal. In a world full of exaggerations and half-truths, literally was the only word left when you wanted to make sure someone knew that it actually happened. Now it's been compromised. "Literally" now counts as much as "ROFLMAO OMGWTFBBQ you'll never believe what happened!"

- I hate it when people say "aksed" instead of "asked." GOD I HATE IT SO MUCH...

And finally:

- I hate that George Lucas not only "taped over" the original Star Wars Trilogy with totally unnecessary "special effects" that looked good circa 1995 but now look like crap and out of place (at least the original graphics have some charm to them)... but in addition, he took the thing I hated the most about the new Star Wars Trilogy (Hayden Christensen) and PUT HIM IN RETURN OF THE JEDI. What was going through his mind? I bet it was something like "gee, how can I make Return of the Jedi better than it already is... oh yeah, MOAR Hayden Christensen!" Fail. How did George Lucas even make Star Wars in the first place? I bet you he stole it!

Mo out.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I think I know why this is happening (raises hand)

(Safety nets set up to prevent people from killing themselves by jumping off the roof - sad right?)


Foxconn (a Chinese company), one of the largest (if not the largest) makers of electronic devices, has been criticized for a string of suicides at one of its plants. Another jumper last week brought the total to 14 this year.

Apprently the company has tried a number of things to solve the problem. From the article:

"Foxconn has taken several steps to try and put an end to the suicides. The company raised employee wages twice, brought in counselors, hired monks and exorcists, requested that staff sign no-suicide contracts and installed safety nets. According to the Telegraph, the latest pay raise will bring the basic salary for production-line workers from 900 renminbi ($132.98) per month to 2,000 renminbi ($295.5). Its move to hire counselors was criticized because of the councilor to employee ratio. The Foxconn plant in question employees roughly 800,000 people, and a total of 100 councilors."

Yeah I went back and read that again. There are eight hundred thousand employees in this factory. Just to put that in perspective, that's about the same as Austin TX, Indianapolis IN, the entire state of South Dakota, or the country of Cyprus. It'a s lot of people packed in a relatively tiny factory.
"The BBC reports that Foxconn Thursday confirmed that a 22-year-old employee had died after falling from a dormitory on Wednesday."

He fell from a dormitory! They have dorms at this factory! So not only does it have enough people to fill an entire country, but it's also got housing!

What the fuck is wrong with these people? (Foxconn). First imagine a factory with 800,000 workers. Then imagine that a lot of them LIVE in the fucking factory. Is 100 councelors really the answer? What's going to happen now that they've brought in councelors and people are still killing themselves? I guarantee at least one guy in that meeting is going to say "MOAR councelors!" (well he'd probably say the Chinese equivalent of that... which would be "mooaaah councerors!")

But seriously, it doesn't matter how much you increase these people's salaries, or how many councelors, monks, priests, exorcists or magicians you hire... if they live like caged animals and work so long that they sleep at the factory, their life is going to be miserable.

As an aside:

Now consider that Foxconn makes the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, among other Apple products and that Steve Jobs has consistently denied using Chinese sweatshop labor. Just because they have air conditioning doesn't  make it not a sweat shop, Steve.

-Mo out.

PS - fun fact (sorry, need to lighten the mood a bit). While I was trying to find something to compare 800,000 to, I was thinking of the number of government workers (for some reason or another). So i Googled government workers, and I swear these are the "autofill" results:

Friday, August 6, 2010

I hate, part 2

I really hate the world blog. It's shot for web log, fine, but that doesn't make it a pleasant word to hear. Just the sound of the word is reminiscent of someone puking after eating some bad Indian food. It also makes me think of like some giant type of sewer monster who lives in the sewers and feeds on garbage and human waste. Then one day he's had enough and he starts terrorizing the citizens on the surface while they all run away yelling "Run for your lives! The Blog is coming!"

Even more than the word blog though, I hate people who hate things but don't present alternatives or explanations, so I am now making alternatives/explanations a requirement for hating. Please note that people who hate Steve Jobs, famous for being famous, or Nickelback are exempt from this requirement. If I have to explain to you why I hate any of these things, I will personally voyage to your home and beat you over the head with an iPhone and a Nickelback record while forcing you to watch reruns of Keeping up with the Kardashians. Got it?

Shortly after releasing my last "I hate" rant I instantly thought of much better things that I hate, as is usually the case with these things. Here are a few more things that I hate, in no particular order:

- I hate when food manufacturers pick odd units to show the calorie count of food in, like when you buy a cereal bowl which is intended as a single breakfast but then you look closely at the calorie count and it's for "2/3 of bowl" or when it says something like 2 calories per 1/16th of a Fig Newton... God, Kellogg, I didn't bring my TI-83 today give me a break.

- I hate when I meet someone and they ask me where I'm from, and I tell them my parents are from Egypt and they say "wow, my friend's mother is half Lebanese." The correct answer in this situation is "wow." Either that or "..."

- I hate hipsters who talk shit about other hipsters. Seriously? It's like: "I was the first guy to wear new vintage clothes, ride a fixed gear bicycle, and listen to shitty music on purpose just to be different. Those guys are just posers..."

- Also, I hate non-hipsters who make a habit of unnecessarily hating on hipsters just to be cool, because woah, that's more ironic than Mars.

- I hate when you see a movie that you really liked that was based on a book you didn't read, and then some asshole who read it tells you the book was much better and starts explaining all the things that were in the book that weren't in the movie. I don't like to read, I have A.D.D, leave me alone!

- I hate when they change the voice actors for cartoons and you notice. It makes me sit there thinking "hey this isn't the Vegeta that I know..."

- I hate it when someone goes through a door ahead of you and holds it open for you but you're still really far away, so you have to either start jogging to get to the door or take an uncomfortably long time to walk while they stare at you. It's like "gee, thanks, asshole."

- I hate people who think Yngwie Malmsteen is a musician. This man plays guitar like it's a sport and talks shit about Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Please, if I want to see people play classical music insanely fast on electric guitar, I'll just watch that Asian guy on Youtube who plays two guitars at once. Yngwie should be forced to change his name to something that has more vowels, then beaten to death with his own guitar and then subsequently forced to listen to "arpeggios... from hell!" on repeat, in hell. All while some Asian guy air guitars in front of him. In slow motion. Wearing a wig.

- I hate movie sequels where all the characters are the same but one character is played by a different actor and they make no effort to explain why this person is a different person all of a sudden. Continuity please? That's like if I showed up at work on Monday and my boss was a different man but had the same name and job function.

- I hate people who call bands sell-outs as soon as they achieve popularity. Go back to your basement and listen to your mixed tapes of underground indie bands who are, apparently, so good that regular people can't even comprehend how good they are.

- I hate guys who complain about the controller when I beat them at video games. Last time someone did that I actually swapped controllers with the dude and beat him by an even wider margin. He then threw his controller at a wall in anger and it actually broke. Don't bring that weak shit.

- I hate when people use "that's what she said" when it's totally not appropriate/relevant because then I force myself to think of a scenario where that would have applied (and it's usually gross). Most recently this happened I was telling my friend to take the spoon out of a big bowl of guac before covering it and putting it in the fridge:

"Take the spoon out of it first!"
"That's what she said!"
"What does that even mean? ....... oh gross!!!"

Part 3 may be coming soon depending on how much this week continues to piss me off. We'll see!

-Mo out.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

About this mosque stuff

I've been avoiding this topic for a while because I keep hoping that it will go away, but now that everyone including Sarah Palin has something to say about it I kind of feel a responsibility to comment. Besides, given my... "cultural background" and the fact that I live in New York, it's actually quite a relevant subject.

So to bring everyone up to speed, there is a building two blocks north of Ground Zero (World Trade Center site) here in New York that some people want to make into an Islamic community center, and that plan is drawing cries of "too soon" and "too close" from critics. They're saying that the site is a "war memorial" and that a mosque in that location would be a slap in the face of those who died on September 11th. Others like Sarah Palin are calling it insensitive. There was actually quite a bit of controversy, so much that there was actually a meeting held where many New Yorkers showed up to express their views on the subject.

Now some facts. Before everyone starts talking about how inappropriate it is to build a mosque there, let me just make this clear - the building already serves as a mosque. Nearly 400 people gather there every Friday for prayer services (Friday for Muslims is like Sunday for Christians, it's the main mosque-going day, although you can also go on other days). So the current plan is not to create a mosque where there isn't one. Rather, the plan is to build a community center that seeks to do a few things:

- Expand the mosque to cater to more people
- Build better relationships with local non-Muslims
- Promote better understanding of Islam

Now to discuss the controversy itself.

Do I think it is appropriate to have a mosque near Ground Zero? I think it's completely inappropriate to even ask that question. Because doing so implies that the terrorist attacks were an act committed by the entire religion of Islam against America, and vilifies all Muslims collectively. There seems to be a perception that Muslims are a group of a few thousand people who live in Saudi Arabia in tents, beat their women, and eat falafel while dreaming up plans to bomb America and hating freedom at the same time. People seem to forget that all 1.5 billion Muslims who live on this planet are not fanatics and that Islam is the world's second largest religion by population.

Just to get an idea of how ridiculous this is, imagine if a group of Christian fanatics had blown up.. say... the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Do you think that anyone would have argued for a ban on churches near the bomb site?

The answer, clearly, is no. We would have labeled those people as "INSANE" rather than "Christian." What makes it so easy to blame Islam as a whole is that they are a minority in this country and that as Americans, we do not know enough about minorities to make proper judgments.

Like all religious fanatics, Muslim fanatics claim that they do what they do in the name of God and religion. But again, like all fanatics, the "religion" that they live by is a grossly skewed and distorted version of the Islam that the other 1.4999 billion people follow. For example, PROPER Islam actually teaches that Christians and Jews should not be persecuted for their beliefs. This is fact. It is explicitly stated. Bet you didn't see that one coming.

Rather than defending Islam in a long post though, because that's not what I want to do here, I'm just going to use this as an opportunity to point out how quick to judge people can be. How many of the people that use the word Jihad on a daily basis even know what the word really means (the answer is not "holy war")? How many people actually know the building in question is already a mosque? People hear the words Islam and mosque in the same sentence as Ground Zero and they immediately start behaving like uneducated bigots. I'm not even joking, I heard someone say that "America won't stand for this, we won't submit to Islamification like in Europe." What the fuck does that even mean????

Let's think back to our proudest moment as a country... you know, when after Pearl Harbor we rounded up all the Japanese Americans (and even some Chinese and Koreans) and threw them into concentration camps. What did we learn from that? If anything, it's that as Americans we are not going to collectively punish people for the sins of others.

It's normal to fear what we don't understand. In the case of this mosque, we are denying people who are American citizens their constitutional right to freedom of religion because of clear and simple Islamophobia.

I'm not quite done, but I'll end it here and open the topic up for discussion. This is the kind of subject that is best discussed, not ranted about.

Mo out.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My very own I hate rant

I've seen these types of videos all over the internet about people just listing things they hate. Considering that I hate a ton of things and I that I love ranting, it's surprising that I don't have a video up myself yet.

Fear not. Here is a blog post dedicated to things I hate. These are just the ones that I can think of now, and there will probably be a few more later when I think of the rest. I know it's not a video but I'm kind of camera shy.

Here. We. Go.!

- I hate it when you pre-order something because you really want to get it the first day but then they don't actually ship it until the release date so you end up getting it after everyone else anyway. That shit should arrive at your door on release day. Now I just feel like I should have gone to a store and bought it. I've been waiting 11 years for StarCraft II, I think a pre-order should have the decency to arrive on release day. It's not like I'm rushing them or anything...

- I hate it when you make pasta and you want to strain it but you don't have a strainer so you use a plate or something to slowly let the water out and then everything gets really hot and you feel like you're going to spill all the pasta into your sink. That sucks.

- I hate this guy. He is like a walking cliché of what uneducated redneck Americans are like.

- I hate the expression  "I could care less" because what you really mean is "I couldn't care less."

- I hate people who say "I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual." They're not spiritual, they're pretentious.

- I hate when you order starters at a restaurant and they bring them at the same time as the food. I hate it even more when they ask you when you would like them to bring the starters. "Yes, I would like the starters as I'm walking out of the restaurant please."

- I hate investment bankers. While the profession itself is very necessary, it has the ability to bring out all the worst traits in people. Take a bunch of guys in their 20s who get paid craploads of money to be locked up in an office 20+ miserable hours a day constantly trying to act suave and get people to buy into deals. Now unleash them onto the public in their 1 hour of free time. The result is almost always a giant douchefest.

- I hate when rappers thank God at award ceremonies. It's like they don't know that God also saw them dealing smack and beating hookers.

- I hate Steve Jobs.

- I hate people who act like David Guetta songs are the most amazing things ever. They're fun and danceable yes. But like Deadmau5 said, "anyone can just play two songs at the same time." Besides, all he does is take hits from the 90s (aka songs that we know people already like) and add techno beats to them.

- I hate that Thursday night is the new Friday night because the whole point of going on Friday is that you don't have to work the next day. Going out Thursday is just like saying "let's see how tired, miserable, and unproductive I can be at work tomorrow!" Plus most of the time I go out Thursday I am so tired Friday afternoon that I stay in. Fail.

- I hate when girls tell you that you should just be friends. Because most of the time this happens you already are friends, and if they hadn't said anything, that's probably what would have happened anyway. Instead, it makes you feel like you weren't even friends to begin with. Lame.

- I hate that Barrack Obama didn't have a good president before him so that people could realize how incompetent he is.

- I hate Gambit. He is a terrible X-Man.

- I hate when people reply to your negative comments on Youtube videos saying "if you don't like [XYZ] then why would you comment on it??" The answer to that question is "because I want people to know that I don't like [XYZ]..." It's very simple, really.

- I hate it when Asian people talk a lot of shit about how they're going to kick my ass in Super Smash Brothers before they've ever played me, because I've never actually been beaten by an Asian at SSB (this is fact). Have they ever seen White Men Can't Jump?

- I hate bathroom attendants! What on earth is the purpose of these people? I've been going to the bathroom and subsequently washing my hands since I was an infant.. do I really need someone to do it for me? It's not even luxurious or anything. It's not like if you came out of a pool and a hot Swedish model was there to dry you off. It's usually some creepy guy who puts soap in your hands and dries them for you. Ewww... And the worst part is when the bathroom is really really tiny yet you still have to squeeze in there with a bathroom attendant who's basically just standing there watching you take a piss so he knows when to turn the water on for you. Is this really necessary? Everyone hates them. They cost the bar money. Nobody tips them. Why do they exist?

And finally...

- I HATE Nickelback.

Mo out.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

THANK YOU Mahmoud Ahmedinejad for finally not being a crazy bastard, and a few words on our foreign policy

Let's all take a moment to celebrate. This is epic.

So Ahmedinejad wants to talk. What's so great about this round of talks? Well, for once he is not being a complete lunatic. We've all heard the stories of how Iran isn't going to stop its nuclear program, and how it's going to rain fire down on the Western world etc. It takes a pretty creative imagination to come up with these speeches, but an even more creative imagination to believe that Iran would actually follow through with plans to attack the United States. I've always thought Ahmedinejad, was crazy, but I never thought he was dumb. Attacking the US, especially with nuclear missiles, would be suicide for any country. Also, I highly doubt that under such intense international scrutiny, Iran would supply nuclear missiles to terrorists. After all, we invaded their next door neighbor just because we suspected they had some sort of big guns... and Iran knows that.

No, what makes me happy is that for once, the double standard held against "countries that we don't like" is being questioned. If Iran is not allowed to have nuclear weapons (OR even nuclear power plants, which is what they say they want), and must allow inspectors to come in and look through their facilities, and must sign agreements promising to do X, Y, and Z... then why is it that Israel can have nuclear warheads pointed at every single one of its neighbors. After all, when you think of the one country in the region that on a regular basis uses excessive force in dealing with conflicts, only one country comes to mind.

But let's not even question Israel's "right to nukes" because probably they need them more than anyone else in the region (this is what happens when you piss off all your neighbors). Can we instead focus on the fact that Israel has not signed the same nuclear nonproliferation agreements that we are trying to force on Iran? Can we focus on the fact that they have nukes and won't even acknowledge they do... Their public statements on the matter amount to "umm, well, we can't say we don't, but can't say we do either" which frankly, stopped being convincing a long time ago.

This flagrant double standard is completely unacceptable. In the arena of international politics, there are no bad guys and good guys. Sure, we the United States are friends with Israel and don't see them as a threat. But when dealing with other countries, that is not an assumption that we can make for them. Not every country is friends with Israel. Take Iran's point of view for just a second:

- Their next door neighbor was invaded and its leader executed on the basis of "we thought they might be bad" (granted we knew their leader was bad, but that still doesn't give us the right to invade a sovereign nation).

- Their arch nemesis (Israel) has the capability to, with the push of  a button, wipe them off the face of the planet (and they have no ability to retaliate at all).

Is it fair to assume now that Iran would want something to defend itself with? Do you think that Iran is reassured one bit when we tell them they have nothing to fear because we are the good guys? Even if they're not after nuclear missiles... isn't it wholly unfair that Israel can have hundreds (or possibly thousands) of nuclear missiles but that Iran can't even build a power plant? Do we really want a foreign policy classifies half the world as second class citizens?

Break ----------------------------

I think this is a good time to reflect on our foreign policy. It's easy to see how our attitude towards other countries (we are good, you are bad) can anger them. And while we have the safety of knowing we can get away with angering countries, because nobody in their right mind would go to war with us, it is a BAD strategy. You know why? Because:

- It makes us a world bully, the country who pins other countries against their lockers and takes their lunch money

- It promotes extremism in "bad" countries by constantly fueling the anti-American fire

And finally,

- While no country in their right mind would go to war with us, plenty of terrorists who are NOT in their right mind can attack us, knowing very well that we don't have the capability to retaliate against them. If Saudi terrorists bomb New York City, we can not retaliate by bombing Saudi Arabia.

I am by no means advocating that we end our alliances with Israel or any other countries and become friends with everyone. Instead, I am suggesting that US foreign policy needs to take an approach that respects other countries as sovereign nations with their own agendas. We cannot only address our security needs and ignore those of other countries. In order to have peace, everyone must feel secure. Part of that is to have international standards that ALL countries agree to... and when someone doesn't play by the rules (Israel, Iran) they face the SAME consequences.

Break ----------------------------

So back to Iran. I'm really curious to see how the international community responds to Ahmedinejad's statements. And as crazy as I think the man is, I think that by raising the issue of Israel's nuclear weapons, he is making significant progress in the resolution of this conflict - he is addressing his country's right to nuclear energy/national security while at the same time showing the world that he is ready to do so in a peaceful way.

We would so kick Iran's ass in a fight though... it's not even funny.

Mo out.

An update from your favorite blogger

If I am the blogger, does that make you guys the bloggees? I think that would mean that I am blogging about you, not to you. Anyhow...

Hi, and welcome to the latest edition of "an update from your favorite blogger." Every now and then, I decide that everyone who follows my blog would really enjoy it if I filled them in on a bunch of things that concern me (even though they'd probably just rather hear me rant about politics or the economy). The topics du jour are:

1) Avenged Sevenfold's new album really sucks. There are maybe 2-3 just okay songs on it. The whole album just lacks any sort of definition or groove... all the songs sound pretty much the same and don't stand out in any way. The weird thing is I don't understand why it's so bad. It's not like all of a sudden they "sold out." A7X has been pretty poppy since City of Evil came out, and even before that, some songs like Unholy Confessions and Second Heartbeat from Waking the Fallen had elements of pop-punk in them. Some might blame the album's quality (or lackthereof) on the death of their drummer, The Rev, but he actually wrote about 60% of the material for the album before his death, and his parts were recorded by the very competent Mike Portnoy.

Now that I think of it, I think Avenged Sevenfold are a victim of their own success in that they tried to much on this album to replicate the things that people liked about their old records. The guitarwork on this album is technically excellent, as always, but it's not good. The dueling lead guitars overshadow both the rythm guitar track and the bass guitar to the point where every song is like a pair of Yngwie Malmsteens stroking each other. There is hardly a memorable riff played above the 12th fret. The drumwork is mind blowingly complex, fast, and accurate, but it's not good either. One of the things I liked about The Rev (which I described in a previous post) is that he didn't just play fast and complicated stuff all the time but instead played beats that were perfectly appropriate. I'm not sure to what extent the drum parts were written before Mike Portnoy came in, so I certainly don't want to discredit The Rev, but a lot of the drumwork on this album focuses on the fast double bass beats and tom fills that are usually associated with cliché metal.

Let's hope they find their groove again for the next record and can put out something that stands up proudly next to their older stuff.

2) Speaking of music, I am back to work on my own. After a period of being very very very distracted by everything from video games, to girls, to work, to girls again, I've decided that I'm just going to put everything on hold (except work of course) and get this EP done. While I resolve my Pro Tools iLok situation (I am ordering a new one because I seem to have lost mine IN MY OWN APARTMENT) I've been seriously practicing the drums... not just dicking around but actually practicing songs with a metronome and shit. First on the list when my new iLok gets in is a new song I wrote in a rather interesting way...

I came up with the chorus while screwing around with my loop station. It's nothing special, just some backing chords with an octave bit played over it, similar to What It Is To Burn by Finch. It is pretty catchy though. The intro/verse/pre-chorus parts I actually came up with while playing the drums. So I came up with these cool beats that I like and then wrote guitar parts for them. The end result is a very heavy drum based song with a big open chorus. I like it, and I think you will too.

3) StarCraft II will be arriving at my door very very soon. This is epic. I'm not quite sure how the best way to explain this to people is. Think of like, the best thing that you've ever experienced in your entire life. Now imagine they announce a sequel. Every year, it keeps getting delayed and delayed until it seems like they're never going to make it. 11 years later, the sequel finally comes out, and it's even better than the original. The wait has been epic. The game is epic. The story is an epic of epic epicness...

...a won't be able to play it. Because if you read #2 you will know that I have committed to finishing this stupid record, even if it means not playing StarCraft II for the first month after its release. But I mean, what's a month when I've been waiting 11 years? I have all the way to 2021 until StarCraft III comes out...

4) Reading webcomics really makes me want to start my own webcomic. Although highly unlikely because of how busy I'm going to be playing StarCraft II instead of recording my music, if I did have a comic, I'm not sure what it would be about. I'm pretty sure it would be funny in one way or another though.

If you have any cool comic suggestions, feel free to send them in.

Mo out.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Came across this treasure in a Facebook related discussion thread

"Facebook is pretty much only useful as a place to spy on your ex or get random hookups from girls you knew 5 years ago.

I will bet you anything that the average occurrence of reconnecting with some hot chick you used to have a crush on in high school but didn't talk to much, and then meeting up at a bar and getting wasted together and you bang the bejeezus out of her, then not talking again for like a month and it never goes anywhere, has increased by like 15,000% since the launch of Facebook."

Give that man a cigar.

Mo out.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Sandwich in a Can. Why? ...Because they Can!

First of all, I would like to apologize for the worst pun ever since Sex and the City (not that I watched or liked that show, it's just that like every other guy who's seen it, I was flipping through the channels and saw boobs and then stopped flipping only to later realize I was watching Sex and the City). It was a very terrible pun, I know, but somehow, it seemed very appropriate as the first line of a blog post about a sandwich that comes in a can. If you're not aware of what the cleverly named Candwich is, then check it out here.

You know it's going to be good when their tag line is "new & innovative sandwich product for grab-and-go convenience." Mmmmm.... I'm having sandwich product for lunch today. That sounds appetizing as hell doesn't it? I think it would go very well with some tasty juice product and a bag of potato chips product. I think it's time that companies stopped using that clever trick of adding the word "product" to the end of descriptions of fake versions of real foods; it just sounds so gross. They should take a hint from the beef jerkey people, who (in a move I endorse) refrained from naming their product "dried and artificially flavored beef meat product."

By the way, I am trying to delay addressing the elephant in the room for a good reason: if i immediately attacked the fact that it's a sandwich that comes in a can, this blog post would be over by now. The fact of the matter is that I am not here to give a professional review or recommendation of this canned sandwich product, nor are you here because you are curious about its culinary merits. This is supposed to be fun! Let's milk the ridiculousness of this product for all it's worth.

Alright. Let's talk about the flavor selection. Currently the Candwich is not available (because they haven't been released yet) in "PB&J Grape" "PB&J Strawberry", and "BBQ Chicken." Hold on just one minute... one of these things is not like the others. The two PB&J flavors seem sensible enough. If you're a first time buyer of a sandwich that comes in a can, they seem like the two flavors that are least likely to make you go "I would never eat X from a can... this is gross." That's BBQ Chicken's job. In fact, if I could think of the one thing that I would specifically NOT eat from a can (let alone a can that also has bread and a toffee in it), it would be some sort of grilled meat. Seems like someone got a little ambitious... it's like one of the... engineers (or whatever you call people who design fake food) over at Mark One Foods was madly scribbling formulas on a piece of paper while saying (with a mad scientist voice):

 "AHA! We will make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches... yes! And they will be strawberry and grape! And we'll also make barbecue chicken sandwiches! And then chicken parm heroes, and then once we've built our empire of fake canned sandwiches we can expand into canned breakfast and canned dinner! A Thanksgiving turkey dinner for four in a can! Filet mignon in a can! MUAHHAHAHA the world is MINE!!!!"

...while the rest of his coworkers grabbed both his legs and tried to pull him away from the drawing board yelling "that's crazy talk Jimmy! You're going to get yourself killed like this! We'll do BBQ Chicken but you have to promise to stop there!! It's for your own good!!"

And then they finally drew the line at BBQ chicken and called it a day.

Also, who was the brilliant artist who came up with the pictures on the cans? The PB&J sanwiches look decent enough (despite being in a hot dog bun), but the BBQ chicken sandwich looks like someone sliced a hot dog bun in half vertically then hollowed it out and filled it with sloppy joe meant for poor third world cats. If you're going to market a grilled chicken sandwich that comes served on a hot dog bun and is packaged in a can, at least try to make it look like it's not a grilled chicken sandwich that comes served on a hot dog bun and is packaged in a can.

Next, let's make fun of the target market. The website states that "Candwich is the perfect product for people on the go such as students, construction workers, soccer moms, and outdoor enthusiasts." We've already established that I'd rather eat a dead pelican found in the BP oil spill than the BBQ Chicken flavor sandwich, so I'm going to pretend it doesn't exist. Peanut butter and jelly seems like a sensible product to be marketed to students. Construction workers though? I like to imagine a bunch of construction workers from Brooklyn eating ridiculously large pastrami sandwiches while sitting in very dangerous locations. Now imagine Joe the construction worker opening his lunch box and taking out a pink or purple can (take your pick) and extracting from it a PB&J the size of a hot dog bun. Imagine him trying to act normal while all the other workers give him weird looks. "Whattttt....I was on-the-go guys... I needed something light..." I just laughed out loud a little bit (in my mind that construction worker also has a lisp). Also, I have to question their definition of "on-the-go" because when I think of construction workers and the things they build, they are usually not going anywhere. Unless they're Italian and they're performing renovations on the Leaning Tower of Pizza (yes that was intentional) in which case they might be on-the-go. I'm sorry if that joke was lame. My first pick was to say "unless they're from New Orleans, where everything is on the go" but then I realized that's a sore subject.

Oh come on!

Next, soccer moms. Calling someone a soccer mom is pretty much an insult nowadays. I have no idea how that slipped past their marketing department, but I imagine next they will sell brooms that are "perfect for housewives and Mexican cleaning ladies!" No soccer mom would buy this product simply out of their own fear of falling into the cliché of a mother who drives around in a minivan taking her kids to soccer practice so often that it becomes the only activity she does. And even if you were okay with that... it is an established fact that soccer moms' diets consist of chocolate chip cookies from Stop and Shop, Munchkins from Dunkin Donuts, and Gatorade.

Next, outdoor enthusiasts. Right. Because when I think of people who love the outdoors and nature I think "Gee, we can sell them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that come in a can! Yeah, they're the perfect market for this!"

I'm also going to make fun of that little line on the website that says "easy store display - does not require refrigeration" by pointing out that none of the ingredients of the sandwich product (bread product, peanut butter product, and jelly product) require refrigeration either.

Okay. Now I'm going to make fun of the fact that it comes in a can. Are you ready??????

LOL IT COMES IN A CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

So it's a sandwich product... that comes in a can. I guess the whole point is that you're supposed to be able to quickly eat it anytime you want, right? Simply whip out your can of sandwich and eat! "Quick and tasty, ready to eat" the website says. But there is a catch...


Because once you open the can, and magically extract the plastic wrapped hot dog bun from the can, you will find that there is in fact no peanut butter OR jelly in it. Instead you will find two small plastic packets: one that contains a tiny amount of peanut butter, and one that contains a tiny amount of jelly.


So now that you've finally been convinced to buy this ridiculous product (a sandwich product that comes in a fucking can) and you've put aside the fact that it may be gross and full of preservatives, and that your coworkers may laugh at you, you still have to sit down and make it yourself. Not cool. That's like if you went to buy a bag of potato chips, and you opened it to find one potatoe, a knife and a small kettle. I have no idea and do not want to know what the assembly instructions are for the BBQ Chicken Candwich.

What are you thinking Candwich? You're like the young underprivilleged urban child who shows talent from a very early age, is tutored by a supportive teacher, wins a scolarship from a prestigious university and has the chance to turn his life around, and then says fuck it all then decides to deal drugs instead. You've just turned the whole world upside down, defeated the odds, and convinced an otherwise reasonably sane person to buy a fucking sandwich that comes out of a fucking can... at least package something that's readily edible.

Instead of creating a weird product that some passers by may just buy once if their kids whine about it enough (which I assume is the most that this company could be going for), Mark One Foods has produced Candwich... a sandwich product whose Achilles' Heel is also it's only gimmick.

I have run out of things to say. And ironically all this talk of Candwich has made me hungry.

Mo out.

The one about software piracy

I will give you a couple of examples of things that annoy me and then rant about what should be done differently in my view. Because that's what I always do, right? Also, I will start a sentence with because if I want to because as I've said before I make no apologies for poor grammar (as I was never actually taught grammar), only poor spelling.

1) Ubisoft's new copy protection system requires that you have an active connection to the internet at all times. This is because their games sync to their server while you are playing in order to make sure that you're playing a legal copy. While a clever copy protection technique, this creates some problems. Firstly, you must be connected to the internet at all times. What if the internet is down? What if you don't have internet. What if you're traveling and you want to play on your laptop on the road? Sorry guys, no game for your. What if you're connected to the internet and the internet disconnects for a second, as is typical of many broadband connections? The game shuts down automatically and you lose all unsaved progress up to that state. Really, this is a very crappy form of DRM. It is very inconvenient to a customer who has already PAID to buy the product.

2) Digidesign, makers of Pro Tools 8, have a system where you need a special USB key inserted in the computer the whole time that you want to run your software. It's called an iLok, and it stores all your "licenses" to the software that you've bought. This is extremely inconvenient! If you lose the USB key, you can't run the software at all (which is why sadly, there will be no EP in July as promised - August will be the release month). Also, it takes up a USB slot the whole time it's plugged in, which means that after my iLok and my M-Audio USB recording interface, I'm left with only one USB port on my laptop. I can either choose to plug in a mouse or my MIDI controller... lame.

Key takeaway from these examples?

This copy protection is making me feel like I should have pirated the software:

1) Pirated Ubisoft games are free, and you can play them whenever you want. In that sense, the pirated game is a better product than the actual game. Why would anyone even buy it then? Because of Ubisoft's new system, I have yet to purchase Assassin's Creed 2 (or as Yahtzee calls it, Ass Creed) or the new Prince of Persia title. These are two games that are part of my two favorite game franchises, yet I will not be buying them, Ubisoft. That's what I have to say about your system. (For the record, I will also not be pirating the games. Instead, I will simply not play them as a way to boycott Ubisoft. I know that's dumb and idealistic, but if everyone did it, it would work.)

2) Pirated Pro Tools 8 M-Audio would have saved me $235 AND I would have finished my EP on time. Because I lost my iLock, not only can I not use the software that I paid for, but I am also way behind on my recording. Also, if I had pirated the software, I would have been able to use a mouse to do my editing, instead of a touchpad, because of the free USB slot. In this case, the pirated product is also more convenient to use than the paid product, and is MUCH cheaper ($235 cheaper).

The point is that software makers need to focus on providing their paying customers a better experience than people pirating it. No amount of copy protection will stop piracy - any code that can be written will eventually be broken. These types of anti-piracy measures are often leaked within days of release, and sometimes even before the product is launched (Ubi's system was cracked in under 24 hours).

I'm goign to say it nice and clearly now in case someone doesn't get the hint:

DRM SOFTWARE DOESNT WORK! Why? Because only the version that you buy in stores has the DRM on it. This is both redundant and RETARDED because those people have already paid for the software! The versions that you download online (pirated versions) have been cracked by professionals, who are increasingly better and faster at cracking software.

This is kind of like Costco, where if you hide something under your shirt and walk out you're fine, but if you've paid and have a receipt, someone stops you at the door and checks every item in your cart to make sure you haven't stolen anything. It's fucking dumb!

Ultimately the best piracy protection is to increase the quality of the product you are providing. Rather than adding tons of obtrusive DRM, make the game/software convenient to use and easy to access. Offer free bonus downloads for people who bought the title. Offer some fucking customer support that doesn't expire within 15 days of purchase!

There will always be pirates. Somalia is proof. These people don't have morals and are okay with stealing. Some people though, choose to buy products. These people deserve to be treated as paying customers, not as pirates. Ubisoft, Digidesign... you better get your act together before Mo (a loyal, paying customer) reaches for his eye patch.

I'm getting very close.

Mo out.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why are we paying for this?

Read this article.

Israel is planning to build an anti-missile system to help protect its citizens (key word being its) from missiles launched by terrorists. That's wonderful news. I'm not being sarcastic at all... I really think this is a great alternative to carpet bombing 5 square miles of anywhere a rocket may have been launched from (although something tells me they won't stop doing that...). I think it gives the citizens of Israel added security and protects them from the evil of terrorists who are cowardly enough to launch their attacks on innocent civilians rather than the soldiers who "oppress" them (and there was no sarcasm in that sentence either).

But my question is... why are we paying for it (key word being we). We as in the United States of America. How does this benefit us in any way? We are already in huge amounts of debt. Just today, the Senate struggled to pass a bill to increase unemployment insurance to unemployed AMERICANS who have been out of a job for six months or longer; people who opposed the bill cited a spiraling national deficit as their concern, not the idea of helping the unemployed itself.

Yet here we are, sending $205 million to Israel in order for them to build their missile defense system. Mind you, this is in addition to the $3 billion that we send them annually. So why are we doing this? Why is it that Americans need to get into more debt so that Israel can protect itself? Why can't Israel pay for it?

The argument that is often made is that Israel is our ally (a key ally in the region), and that we must help it.

I have a few counter arguments, which I'm going to list:

1) Turkey is a great ally in the region. They are much bigger than Israel and are majority Muslim country with a  democratic government. They are a role model to other Middle-Eastern countries. We should be more friends with them, yet we are not. The extent of our friendship with the Turks has been to conveniently use their country as a base of operations to bomb the shit out of neighboring Iraq (which they've been getting pissed about). How much money do we give them?

2) Most of the trouble we are in comes because terrorists are mad that we support Israel. Before you call me anti-Semitic (because that is completely unfounded and I have not said a single word about religion, only politics), go and listen to the tapes made by terrorists and what they say in them. They acknowledge that because we support Israel, they hate us. This is fact. So really we are helping them because they are key in helping us with the problems that we have because we help them. Okay, let's move on.

3) When we went to war in Afghanistan, and Iraq, how many troops did our loyal ally Israel send to help us? We are over there cleaning up their mess. The least they could do is lend a hand.

4) How much money does Israel give us to protect our troops? Our soldiers are dying at the other end of the world... they've told us that more military funding would help, yet we are too broke to give them more money. Why doesn't Israel pitch in and help pay the tab for more Kevlar, rockets, drones... whatever it is the need to do their job?

5) WE ARE FUCKING BROKE! When you see homeless people on the street, do they ask for money to eat, or for money to come to my house and buy me a fucking Nintendo Wii??? We have priorities, and they are to us. Our country is FUCKED at the moment and we need to invest every dime we have into fixing it. If Israel needs a missile defense system so urgently, why don't they do what we do, and borrow from the Chinese?

There are really good reasons for all of these things. For example, the US Israel lobby is (read) the largest lobby in Washington. The lobby for a FOREIGN FUCKING COUNTRY is the biggest lobby in our government. I'm not even going to get into this though, because this is going to open up a whole new can of worms (and I don't like worms). Also, it's proven that any criticism of Israel or its policies will result in being called an anti-Semite, a label which is impossible to argue or defend yourself against for some odd reason (regardless of how logical and fact-based your arguments are).

Read my entire post. I have not said anything that is targeted at members of any religious groups. My argument is only political. As an American.... as an American TAXpayer... why should we be paying for Israel's defense when we can hardly pay for our own?

Sleep on it.

Mo out.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How do people buy the iPhone 4 and not feel INSULTED by Apple?

And I thought Mets fans were loyal... talk about customer loyalty... what does Apple have to do to lose a customer these days? Apparently, there is absolutely nothing that Jobs and company can do that will hurt customers enough not to buy an iPhone. It's scary!

For years, the worst part of the iPhone has been the service - not by its own fault but rather because AT&T is the sole carrier for the iPhone and it has horrendous service. Now, in addition to a terrible carrier, the new iPhone also suffers from its own reception issues. There is a tiny band on the left side of the phone that if touched by your hand reduced the signal significantly. How significantly? Scientifically, it's 20 decibels. For those of you (including myself) who don't understand what that means, it basically means that if you're in the middle of a call and you cover that spot, there's a very high chance that your call will get dropped. How a company can produce a product with such a glaring technical flaw is scary, but... anyone can buy an iPhone4 and not feel like they are having the piss taken out of them by Apple is beyond me!

First, Steve Jobs tells us that we're holding it wrong. He claims that all cell phones lose reception when gripped and suggests that we hold in a particular way that doesn't interfere with the little strip of metal on the bottom left corner of the phone. How is that not one of the most offensive things anyone has ever said? Thanks, Steve, I know how to hold a phone. I've been doing it for a good... I don't know... 22 years now. How the hell do you suggest I hold the phone? Barbequing tools? Pliers? I can put my Blackberry on speakerphone and literally grip the entire surface area of the phone with my hands and I won't lose service, yet all I have to do is gently rest the iPhone 4 on my left palm and watch as full bars go to zero.

This isn't a fluke. Independent testing group Consumer Reports isolated the phone in a room with perfect reception and scientifically observed reception fade as the bottom left part of the phone was covered. This does not happen with other phones.

@Steve - there is an accepted standard of how phones are held. If you are making a slightly upgraded version of an existing product, you should probably still be able to hold it the same way... when I went from a BlackBerry Storm to a BlackBerry Tour, I didn't all of a sudden have to hold it with my left foot in order to get service.

Then , Apple announced that it has fixed a glitch that caused the iPhone to report more bars than it should. They claimed that the problem wasn't that clients were losing reception because of their faulty antenna, but rather that they never had service to begin with because their phone was mistakenly reporting service. So once again there is nothing wrong with the antenna.

Hmm... I smell fish.

@Steve - okay, never mind that you are lying about the antenna, because lab tests show that it actually is flawed, but did you just admit to us that you've been lying about how much reception your phone gets? That seems really really convenient, since most people who didn't buy iPhones did so because they heard people got poor reception. In fact, AT&T has been heavily advertising how good its reception is, which means it is bad, because if it were good, it wouldn't need to advertise so much to convince people otherwise!

So far, Apple customers have been lied to about the fact that there is nothing wrong with the antenna, and have been lied to about how much service is actually available on their phones. Let's continue.

Apple suggests that anyone experiencing problems with service (either because their phone is mistakenly reporting too much service or because they aren't holding it correctly) purchase a $29 rubber case that prevents the hand from touching the sensitive lower left side. Really Apple? Really? As if buying a $400 phone (or a $400 iPod touch with a camera if you're left handed) wasn't enough, in order to make it properly work you need to buy a $29 condom for it? If I were an Apple customer I would unbutton my shirt and begin to look for my udders at this point because that is called MILKING clients for money. It's not even done in a classy way. Apple... if you want your customers not to resent you after all you've done, you could at least bundle the rubber case with the phone, even if you charge an extra $30 for the whole thing.

Then, Consumer Reports publishes its findings on the iPhone 4, and when owners try to discuss these issues on the Apple forums, Apple responds by systematically deleting every post regarding the report. Apparently the solution to a problem is to convince everyone there is no problem.

@Steve - Have you read 1984? Have you seen V for Vendetta? They don't end well!

Apple then posts job listings on its websites to hire fucking iPHONE ANTENNA ENGINEERS!!!!!! All while continuing to deny that there is anything wrong with their phone! Are you fucking kidding me?

I return to my original point: how can you possibly buy the iPhone 4 and not feel like the laughing stock of an entire corporation? It's almost like Apple is daring people to buy its phone. I no joke saw an ad for the iPhone 4 that said "this changes everything, again." (which reminded me of Ben Stiller's character in "Scorcher" cooly saying "who left the fridge open?")

Why not buy something like an HTC Evo. A phone that has all the same features as the iPhone 4 but is better in every single way. It runs on Sprint, which is a better carrier, and has 4G technology as opposed to Apple's 3G. It's got a camera on front and back just like the iPhone, and you can even use it to video chat using a 4G connection (as opposed to Apple's service which only works on WiFi, because AT&T is too crappy a provider to support it). It even costs less to own. You can hold it however the hell you want! You don't need to put it in bright pink rubber case for it to work! In the end though, the HTC Evo is not an iPhone. And to some folks, just that is enough to make the difference.

If you feel no shame at being ridiculed and abused by a company after handing them hundreds of your dollars, prefer a phone that is inferior and more expensive than the competition, and are otherwise a mindless lemming who puts brand fashionability ahead of common sense, then by all means, go ahead and purchase an iPhone 4. Otherwise, I really don't see how anyone could do it. I just doesn't make any sense.

Mo out.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A few mildly amusing observations by a New Yorker (not all New York specific)

1) Who follows up with people who are paid to hand out flyers on the street - you know, to make sure that they're actually handing out flyers and not just throwing them in the garbage and taking the rest of the day off. Do they ask them: "Hey John, how many did you give out today? Did they seem interested?" Do they check the nearest trash bins on either side for big stacks of flyers? How about the sidewalk?

And while I'm on the topic of handing out flyers on the street, I have some very good advice for anyone whose job that is: if you're handing out flyers, at least tell passers-by what your flyers are about, in the rare case that they are interested in acai berries, or a comedy club, or whatever... you can't force someone to take a flyer, and unless they're actually interested in the subject matter, no one will want to take a flyer.

If you're being handed out flyers, you don't want to feel that the flyer person is saying: "Hey, you throw this shit away..." (as Mitch Hedberg brilliantly put it)

2) If you've never seen people from New York react to someone telling them that they're into metal (music), then you're in for a treat. Here's a play by play:

-Question is asked: "So what kind of music are you into?"
-Person attempt not to delay the answer as much as possible in order to avoid having to answer the question: "Yeah, I'm a big music guy, you know, I listen to a lot of different kinds of music...mostly rock and stuff like that."
-Inquisitive New Yorker is obviously not satisfied with this response: "What kind of rock music?"
-Same reaction, but only this time person being questioned has a lot less rope to hold on by: "Well you know... I listen to a lot of harder stuff, like.. you know, heavy metal (INTERUPTED)"
-New Yorker: "Oh.........."
-Slowly nods and then kind of stops with their head still tilted up a little
-Ever so discretely rolls eyes
-Slowly tries to disintegrate themselves from the conversation with said metalhead...

Such is the curse of a metalhead.

3) New York is known for having lots of good restaurants. It's also known for having lots of terrible street food carts. These are basically metal boxes with wheels and a grill that are rolled out every morning and gathered every night (some stay open 24 hours). There are also little trucks, similar to ice cream trucks, that serve food. These can actually move on their own (because they are trucks) and usually provide higher quality food.

I tried in my mind to imagine what a graph of "food quality vs restaurant mobility" would look like, but failed miserably. Here's how this breaks down. Ideally, you don't want your restaurant to be mobile. However, if they are mobile, then usually the more mobile the restaurant, the better the food quality.

Needless to say, it's a very dumb looking graph, if you've figured it out by now.

4) If there is a major sporting event that you want to see, avoid sports bars that mix HD and non HD TVs. This may seem a little odd, but let me explain. Typically these kinds of places have a few, small, non-HD TVs hanging over the bar, and a few larger HD TVs hanging in the corners for people sitting down to watch. Their goal is to try and make the game as visible as possible (and who can blame them). However, HD TV typically lags standard definition television by 2-3 seconds... meaning that when you're watching the World Cup finals on the big TV, you hear people's reactions to every play before it happens because invariably SOMEONE is watching the small TV.


(Sorry, this last one was very frustrating)

Mo out.


5) Since I started blogging (in Internet Explorer, which doesn't have any spell checking like Firefox), my spelling has gotten much better! I typed this whole piece without a single typo. My grammar, however, is questionable.

Friday, July 9, 2010

That tennis match was longer than my...

...road to maturity?

I know I've been slacking, so here's my effort to catch up on another thing I missed. In case you missed it, possibly because you live under a rock or because you were in a basement somewhere playing World of Warcraft, John Isner of the United States and Nicolas Mahut of France played the world's longest professional tennis match on record this past Wimbeldon. The final score was 6-4/3-6/6-7/7-6/70-68 for the American.

For those of you wondering, that is not a typo. They played a 5th set with a total of 138 games. The match lasted over 11 hours and had to be played over three days due to poor visibility at night and scheduling issues.

Let's assume the final set ended 8-6, as a normal set might have ended (mind you even that would have been a long game). This means that the match would have lasted 59 games total. In reality it lasted 183 games. I am now going to put the length of that game into perspective for you by comparing it to other things.

Baseball - a game that goes on for roughly 28 innings: ok, games have gone that long in basebal fare more frequently that in tennis, but that's because in tennis every point has a winner. In baseball, an inning can go 0-0 and then the teams just play another inning. I'd like to point out that at least in New York, they stop selling beer at the seventh inning. All of a sudden, baseball just got VERY boring.

NASCAR - 1500 laps at the Daytona 500, or roughly 9 hours of going around in a circle (oval) plus the additional pit stops it would take. I can hardly think of anything more boring than NASCAR to watch, and frankly, the only benefit of such a long race is that since they cut out the race itself and show only the crashes in the highlights, there would be more crashes to watch!

Soccer - 4 hours and 30 minutes of soccer, with only three substitutions allowed: Many players get tired before the full 90 minutes... In a match that long I'm pretty sure the French would demand overtime pay or stop playing.

Ironman triathlon - 421 miles combined of swimming, cycling, and running: this is roughly 10% more than the distance from New York to Boston and back. Imagine how much your balls and nipples would hurt after that???

Boxing - 36 rounds of Boxing! In the 1980s the max number of rounds in professional boxing was reduced from 15 to 12 because someone actually died in the ring. Could you imagine a fight that went on for almost two hours? Finally, pay per view is worth it.

Mo out.

My blog is the coolest thing on the street, and Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz can go re-oil their joints

Is your blog the unpopular kid?

I stumbled upon this article on CNN today hoping to find some cool tips and tricks on how to make my blog slightly more successful (aka get more people to read it). Instead, all I got was a few bits of advice on how I can remove all originality and excitement from my blog and turn it into a cookie cutter, one-trick pony whose sole purpose is to get big, make a quick appearance on MTV, and then disappear quietly into the night (actually that doesn't sound so bad). Alrighty let's see here. First up:

[Problem: Your blog is a Spaz]
"Imma review this movie!" "Obama is mishandling the oil spill!" "Today I saw a horse!"
"General interest" content is generally uninteresting, and making like a digital dilettante means no one will take you seriously or see you as an expert in your domain.]

What.... me? a spaz? No way. And to be fair I reviewed a CD and a website. Movie reviewing is totally not cool.
Okay fine... but come on. What am I supposed to do. Blog about the same thing every single day? What's the fun in that. Is eMo's fate to become a simple single subject notebook full with so much repetitive crap that you can't even tell what page you're on anymore? I mean seriously, how many times can you blog about different flavors of muffins, or about your pet cat, or about people on the street with mustaches? Isn't it a lot more fun to read about all the things that are important in life? I mean after all, when you go to CNN, do they tell you about all the news or just the news that occured while someone was filming it on a bicycle (or some other random blog theme). And yes, I did just come up with these blog themes randomly and then find matching blogs online.

I think my blog being a Spaz gives it character, and makes it unique. Where else can you read about Tiger Woods, Warhammer 40,000, BP, The World Cup, AND look at pictures of hot chicks?

I'm not even going to continue with the rest of the article because I've pretty much figured out the divergence in my thinking and Brenna and Andrea's. I think we differ on what the point of blogging is!

See, if you're really good about writing about your pet cat, and all you do is write about just your pet cat, and lots of curious people come to your website to read about your pet cat, in the end all you've done is managed to afford yourself the lifestyle that a regular person with a regular job can have while still having the ability to write about whatever the hell it is they want. Also you're a person who's going to have no career when your cat dies, because surely nobody's going to want to stick around for your next cat when they've been so loyal to the first.

Writing a blog should be fun, but then as with anything if you're going to do it as a career then there are ways to fast-track it to "success," such as writing about things that people want to hear about that aren't necessarily as fun as exciting as other things that you could write about. It's kind of like with music. Sure you can make cookie cutter boring music that always plays in the same key and always goes verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus chorus, but what's the fun in that??? I think it's much more worth it in life to get a real job, write fun blog posts and make original music, and then, if you're lucky become a crazy blogger or a rock star doing what you want, and having fun doing it.

So a final note to Brenna and Andrea:

Okay, so my blog is not the coolest thing on the street. At least it has some originality, you fucking robots! Keep reading, and stay tuned for my EP due, as I promised, this month sometime.

Mo out.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My opinion on various pieces of news - a makeup blog post of sorts...

So it's been a while since I wrote anything. I was reminded of this yesterday when one of my followers asked me if I was going to write again soon. It's kind of weird getting a message like that because I wasn't really under the impression that my blog was ever missed. I guess like Dutch soccer though, I have an extremely small but very dedicated fanbase (more on that later).

For today's post I thought I would try a new approach. I'm just going to put up headlines (or make up headlines about things that have happened) and then comment on them. These are not necessarily in chronological order.. just the order that I decide to write about them in. I'll try to cover lots of things so try to keep up.

U.S. loses to Ghana, American World Cup dreams shattered:
Really? Why was losing to Ghana a surprise to anyone? I'm all for going out to bars and rooting for my country, and I was just as happy to see team USA do "well" as the next guy, but any team that considers getting through the group stage to be a huge accomplishment (especially when two of the other teams are Algeria and Slovenia) really shouldn't be that disappointed when it's sent home.

Foxconn increases salaries for workers at its factories and installs "safety nets" to prevent more suicides:
Foxconn is the largest (or one of the largest, but I'm pretty sure it's the largest) producer of electronics in China - they make the iPod and iPhone, among other things. The company has been hit with a string of suicides now in the double digits - you know, because you would kill yourself too if your job was to put together a 1/16th of a MacBook Pro for 23.5 hours a day for minimal pay and benefits. Foxconn has responded by increasing the salary of its workers from $0.005 to $0.0055 per day and forcing its employees to sign a no-suicide contract as part of their employment offers. They've also installed safety nets between their own buildings to catch jumpers (who by the way still have 3/4 sides of the buildings to jump off).

Okay most of the numbers in there are made up and Foxconn didn't actually do the suicide contract thing (although they actually did consider it) but it's still pretty bad. Also I think it's pretty funny that Foxconn installed "safety nets" because seriously who would look down from the top of the building, see a net, and then throw themselves down anyway?? The nets are NEON ORANGE. You can't miss them. Besides we all know that this is pointless because Foxconn workers are shot if they step away from the assembly line anyway.

Luis Suarez is a total douchebag:
Okay that's not really a headline, more of a personal opinion. Unfortunately his handball proved to the world that sportsmanship knows no floor, and that FIFA needs to either:

1) Implement a punishment system for players who are consistent douchebags - if you commit an intentional handball in the box, for example, you are banned from playing for a given amount of time both at the club and international level.

2) Implement a goaltending rule: Suarez did what any other player would have done, because in that situation the player has absolutely nothing to lose. If the goal had gone in Uruguay would have been eliminated so Suarez could only improve his team's chances of advancing with a goaltend. A goaltending rule would ensure that close games end fairly and without cheating (or fairly, despite cheating).

Sure Ghana was granted a penalty and missed it. But they shouldn't even have to shoot a penalty (which statistically has an 84% of going in during regular time play at the World Cup) when they had already made a great header with a 100% chance of going in (according to principles set forth by a certain Isaac Newton). The fact that Ghana was cheated out of a spot in the semi-finals in front of billions of people, especially with the whole Africa thing (come on....), is unacceptable, FIFA. The African-American in me is crying sympathy tears. On the inside.

Paul the Psychic Cephalopod's Streak Survives Spain Securely:
There's not much to the story so I thought I would make the headline fun. Paul the psychic octopus (from western Germany, not to be confused with West Germany) has predicted with 100% accuracy every Germany game this world cup. That's amazing! Let's see if he can correctly predict the winner of the third place game this Saturday.

Also, if he is not too tired, and still hungry (I'm not kidding) he will have a shot at predicting the winner of the Spain/Netherlands game. Personally, I think that's out of his area of expertise and he should stick to Germany games. I fear the outcome may be similar to when Chris Cornell made a solo album with Timbaland and it SUCKED MAJORLY.

Dutch fans are insane/a reporter is retarded:
I heard yesterday on TV that some of them DROVE to South Africa. Either these are the world's best fans or one reporter is now the laughing stock of a few billion people. Here's a map with three possible routes. The red and blue routes are the most probable routes. There are ferries at each of the water crossings. The green route is the most direct, and is probably the one James Bond would have chosen in his trusty Lotus Esprit.

Lindsay Lohan fails to attend her alcohol management meetings (again) and is sent to jail (again):
Aha! That explains it! I'm finally glad that someone in Hollywood is being treated kind of remotely like a regular person. If I had god-knows-how-many DUIs, I would not go to rehab, I would go straight to jail, and I would not collect $200.

Actually, I, would probably go to Guantanamo...

Mo out.