Category Archives: Rants

Recent study shows recent studies show nothing

Have you ever read about a study which goes completely against common knowledge? It seems like pretty much every study in existence today was created solely for that purpose. The truth is that no one wants to hear about a study which confirms what people already know – that would be boring. But the minute a standing assumption is broken, the alarms must be sounded.

The media in particular doesn’t seem to ever give reference or context to the studies they talk about. The term ‘recent study’ has now become a synonym for a fact that is clearly accepted by everyone on the planet and no one should argue with.

In reality, some student somewhere did a study where they found that under certain circumstances, there might be a correlation between A and B. Of course, by the time it reaches the media, eating tacos causes swine flu.

Every time I hear one of this moronic reports I ignore them almost by reflex, because there is a 99% chance there will be another study in 6 months which proves the exact opposite. The whole godamn system is flawed.

The even bigger problem is that people today are used to being told what to do, what to eat, what to watch, what to wear. So much so, that if they start making stupid decisions in life, they start suing anyone they can for not telling them what to do.

Think about it. Just off the top of my head, I can list a bunch of shit that has gone from “Good/harmless” to “MAY CAUSE CANCER/DEATH” without any real basis:

  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Coffee
  • Cell phones
  • Water. Water, for crying out loud.

I’m sure you can add to that list. The truth is, someone can do research to prove that anything is bad for you. As long as it makes a story, why the hell not?

The worst part about the studies is that people start to freak out. We all know how dangerous it is when stupid people freak out. Just stop for a second and realize that if you’ve been eating eggs everyday for the past 10 years and you are alive, then you read a study about how eggs will kill you, YOU JUST DISPROVED THE STUDY. You are not the Great Exception to science, there is nothing special about you. You have probably eaten enough shit in your life to warrant death via other means, so if eggs had the power to push you over the edge they would have done so already.

What’s the solution? Moderation. Anything in excess is probably going to hurt you, it’s not freaking rocket science. You can still eat the shit you want, just don’t do it too much. Don’t sit on your ass too much. Don’t read into studies too much. Don’t watch FOX news ever.

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Super Size Me: A documentary by Captain Obvious

I watched it. The result: I gained an extensive set of information (read: ammo) about specifically why this movie is a complete waste of time.

Let’s take a look at the premise of the film. Morgan Spurlock will eat McDonalds for all three meals in a day, and do this for 30 days straight. Firstly, there is no value in conducting such a stupid experiment, because it is not based on realistic conditions. No one eats 3 McDonalds meals a day for 30 days straight. I’m going to make a documentary where I drink water 55 times a day, almost die, and then tout myself as a hero for saving the world from the deadly threat of water.

During his ‘experiment’, he consistently visits doctors to find out how it is affecting his health. Obviously, his cholesterol, triglycerides and other its-bad-to-be-high measures go way up. For some reason I cannot fathom, he is surprised by this. He then calls his wife to tell her that eating lots of McDonalds is making him sick. She is shocked, and starts freaking out. Once again, this scenario is not realistic. There is no reason why either of them should be shocked. Here’s a more believable series of events: He calls his wife to tell her that he never graduated high school. She is not shocked at all.

Once the experiment is complete, he ends up gaining something like 20 pounds and supposedly doubles his risk of heart disease. Frankly, I don’t find the latter to be that threatening since he was very healthy to begin with (if your initial risk is almost-zero, doubling it means it’s still freaking almost-zero). He then goes on an “antitoxin” diet specified by his Vegan Chef wife and manages to undo the damage in about 3 months time.

Really? That’s it? For the movie to really be effective, he pretty much needed to almost die. People don’t respond to petty issues like mild depression and weight gain. There just wasn’t enough gore in this movie for his attempted scare tactic to work. While I could sit and list a comprehensive list of all the ways Spurlock fails, I will narrow it down to four:

  1. “McDonald’s is Evil. Spreading this movie will help destroy it!”

    WRONG. McDonalds does not give a shit about Morgan Spurlock’s undocumentary. They own eight trillion franchises all over the world, and have already expanded to Mars since we discovered there might be water there. Spurlock mentions in this movie that 2 weeks after releasing the film, McDonald’s got rid of the Super Size option, hinting that his movie was the driving force behind that change.


    The only reason McDonald’s did that is simple catalogue optimization. They figured that if they just make everything one size bigger by default, that’s one less choice the customer has to make (remember: choices involve thinking, and 40% of Americans are allergic to that). Suddenly, all these people are eating and drinking Large size items thinking that they are eating healthier because they didn’t Super Size. Genius.

  2. “The Average Joe will see how much harm eating McDonald’s caused, and mend his ways!”

    WRONG. Here’s what immediately came to my mind after watching this movie: “If eating like that only adds 20 pounds, eating it once a week should do no real harm at all.”

    Do you realize what just happened? Watching this movie actually reinforced my own belief that it’s okay to eat McDonalds. Stunning work.

  3. “Some Americans eat McDonald’s for all their meals. Once they see me do it they’ll know it’s time to stop!”

    RIGHT. Just kidding, you’re still wrong. Americans who are stupid enough to eat McDonald’s for every single meal will not learn anything from your movie. They drink 10 gallon sodas 3 times a day and wonder why they have heart disease.

    FACT: This is all part of a well-documented phenomenon known as natural selection. Instead of wasting time and money trying to solve this non-problem, we should devote our resources to trying to save the world from the biggest threat since the plague: a little known syndrome called OMGSFH (OH MY GOD SWINE FLU HELP). This disease has spread rapidly throughout the States and has taken hundreds of lives. It starts by inducing a mental state of panic, at which point individuals begin to run around in circles. Soon, their trajectory intersects with others who have contracted OMGSFH, and they run into each other and fall. Not being able to get up, they eventually starve to death.

  4. “Well, at least people are talking about it. That’s good…right?”

    WRONG. People talking about McDonald’s means people thinking about McDonald’s, which inevitably leads to people eating McDonald’s (if you think my logic is flawed, your opinion is wrong). Where does such a metric actually make sense? That’s right, kids — advertising. QED. This entire film is a giant ad for McDonald’s. Congratulations Spurlock, you are officially a more profitable mascot than Ronald McDonald.

I’m off to go get a Big Mac.

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Dear Sony Store: Please stop existing

In case you’re not aware, there is a sale going on. Which store? All of them. What items? Everything. Why? It depends on the store, but it is either because they are going out of business and thus have a clearance sale, or because they are trying to stay in business and so they are having a clearance sale.

Needless to say, it really sucks to see good stores shut down. I mean, there’s always the silver lining to these things (42″ Samsung LCD for $700? PROFIT!!), but in the end it’s at the very least inconvenient because now you have one less store to find things that you probably don’t need.

The other day I was at a Virgin Megastore, a store I only recently discovered. They were having a sale, which was nice, but I soon realized it was a closing down sale. It turns out that all branches of the Virgin Megastore are going to be shut down. This made me somewhat sad, as it is has a large selection and there aren’t that many stores in the city like it.

Anyway, by the time I left the store, I had come to terms with its impending shutdown. Businesses need to be competitive and profitable to warrant their real estate, especially in this city, where an inch of land is worth its width in gold.

Then, I saw it. The store beside Virgin. Big fancy lights. Costly display sets. No sign of going out of business. That must mean it actually makes money, right? Wrong. It was the Ferrari Store.

Am I the only one who finds it incredibly retarded that the freaking Ferrari Store is still open? Seriously, who actually shops there? (You are now imagining the one scenario where it might be appropriate: if you owned a Ferrari. PRO TIP: If you owned a Ferrari, and you shopped at the Ferrari store, the sheer douchebaggery of such a move would eradicate all coolness points earned by owning a Ferrari.)

So what could possibly be worse than running a store which is expected to have an operating loss until Q3-ENDOFTIME? Running many such stores.

Enter Sony, the proverbial sensei of innovating things which don’t make money. In particular, I find the Sony Store to be the worst offender of all.

Have you ever walked into one of those? There is absolutely no reason for any of them to exist. Here’s why:

  1. No one ever buys anything there. Ever.
  2. There is no evidence that any of the employees are trying to sell you anything. It is a foregone conclusion that their sole purpose is to inform you about Sony products, so you can be a more informed shopper when you go to a real store.
  3. You can buy each and every product at another store for much cheaper. Always.
  4. At some point, the Sony Store will shut down (or serve as my motivation to become rich, so that I can buy them all and shut them down myself). When this happens, they will have a going out of business sale, and everything will be 50% off. It is important to note that all items in the store will STILL BE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN IN OTHER STORES.

But it doesn’t end there. If it isn’t the Sony Store, it’s catastrophic fails such as the PS3. I don’t even think there is a hardcore PlayStation fan left out there who actually defends that console. Of course, this was expected since you could actually buy a laptop computer for cheaper than a PS3, and none of the good titles actually came out until a year after release. They even managed to lose support from Square, with the Final Fantasy series gone with it (in case you’re not familiar with either of those, that would basically be like Nintendo losing Mario).

Sony has taken a really big hit as far as reputation goes. People don’t look at it the same way. They need to reinvent themselves, and regain appeal with their audience. At the very least, they should shut down the Sony Stores, and maybe donate some of that money to cancer research. Certainly, the books would look better with all those projects marked as “not-for-profit”, as opposed to “not-a-chance-for-profit”.


Car alarms are like the UN of the streets: they make lots of noise, but no one actually listens.

Ever notice how car alarms have now become part of the “normal” downtown city atmosphere? All day, all night, you will hear a car alarm going off somewhere.


We accept things like ambulance, police, and fire truck sirens because they serve a very important purpose (on the odd occasion, however, that purpose may just be getting the driver past that red so he can cash in on the Circuit City out-of-business sale). But what I consider even more important is that they are effective. You hear that siren, you get the hell out of the way. Mission accomplished.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about car alarms. To prove my point, let’s analyze two situations where a car alarm comes into play.

SITUATION 1 – Some idiot touches your car by mistake: He fumbles around like a moron, taken aback by the sudden noise. Embarrassed, he tries to regain his composure by fixing his shirt and maintaining position beside the car, because moving too quickly will only worsen his already cemented title asĀ that douchebag on the street. A few people look at the car to inspect what’s going on, notice that a man is standing beside the car with an alarm going off, assume it’s his, and just keep moving.

SITUATION 2 – Someone is actually stealing your car: He gets the door shimmied open using a hangar, and just as he opens the door the car alarm goes off. A few people look at the car, notice that a man just got into the car, assume it’s his, and just keep moving.

LESSON OF THE DAY: There is no way for people near the car to differentiate between situation 1 and 2. More importantly, no one will look at the car long enough to find out. They are so annoyed by the obnoxious eardrum-raping assault that is your car alarm that they are getting the hell away from your car as quickly as possible.

Think about the sheer volume of noise pollution caused by all the car alarms out there today. Noise in itself is not the worst thing in the world, and can’t always be avoided. Useless noise, on the other hand, is goddamn sacrilege. This general rule applies to speech too, by the way (translation: say less stuff and people might actually tolerate you). The only other justification I can think of for these horrible systems is the goal of alerting the car’s owner. Back to the situation rule.

Imagine yourself sitting in your desk, and suddenly your car alarm goes off. What do you do? Quickly run outside because you recognize the car alarm as yours, defeat the evil car thief and save a baby from a fire on your way back? NO. You hear an annoying car alarm, you don’t even think about the possibility of it being yours because a) they all sound the freaking same and b) what are the chances of that happening to you? You make the obligatory joke with your coworker about the owner of that car being a douche for never turning their alarm off, and then as an exaggerated expression of your anger you threaten to burn down the building. To escape the awkward silence resulting from your threat, you put on your headphones and get back to not doing any work. Alert Fail.

So, now that we have established that the warning system is completely ineffective, as its audience pays no attention to the signals, shouldn’t logic prevail and the systems be disabled? Of course not. If such logic were ever to dictate policies of any kind, I wouldn’t hear “We are now on Homeland Security Alert Level Fuschia” every goddamn time I walk into the airport.

So do humanity a favour. Disable your car alarm. If your car gets stolen, don’t worry. Just steal someone else’s car. And don’t worry if their alarm goes off while you’re doing it — no one will care.

**NOTE: I do not, in any way, condone or advise the theft of motor vehicles. I do, however, believe in the blow up car if alarm is on for more than an hour rule.


Burger King invents new way for customers to lose weight: eating each other

BK has never really had any challenge for the Outstanding Contributions to Obesity Awards. With its leading horse being the Whopper, its competitors are forced to find new ways to inject calories into their offerings just to keep up. Even the Big Mac is no match for the Whopper’s extremely efficient caloric compression skills.

Unfortunately for BK, they are behind McDonald’s in market share by a measly eight trillion restaurants. McDonald’s has also gotten some attention recently for introducing a “healthy” menu, for those concerned with nutrition (what, exactly, such people are doing in McDonalds is beyond me). Comparing the healthy options to the core menu is like choosing between a priest and a serial rapist. Either way, you lose money and get raped.

As a counter to McD’s nutritious rape menu, BK has introduced a new product which they feel will target the weight-loss freaks. The product is designed to help people lose weight, and furthermore, to help people around them lose weight too. By doing so, BK will be discarding its reputation as an evil corporation which fattens the masses, instead replacing it with a health-conscious salad-loving unicorn factory.

While I may be exaggerating BK’s intentions, I assure you their actual offering is just as ridiculous. You can now purchase a cologne that smells like Burger King meat. Before you click, be warned that the website’s designers were apparently given instructions to specifically design a “product destination site SLASH softcore porno film repository”. I have no freaking clue what class of imbecile would be convinced to buy one of these items.

Men wouldn’t buy this, because they already spend money on other colognes so they can hide the fact that they just ate BK five minutes ago. Women would consider buying this, then see the website’s display of the half-naked BK man and subsequently throw up / enter in a permanent self-induced coma. Children, however, are stupid. They could be convinced to buy this if they were offered it on the street. Or better yet, BK could finally have its own kids meal, with the toy being the cologne. Kids can spray themselves for fun, and since the perfume is composed entirely of actual BK burger contents, it will only be 60% more toxic than if they ingested a real cologne.

There’s only one problem: when the child goes home. His morbidly obese mother will smell the familiar Whopper scent, and with her eyes fixated on tonight’s Jerry Springer, her natural reflexes will take over, and she will eat her own child. Technically, this is still promoting nutritious meals, as eating her son is probably more healthy than eating a Whopper. Unless of course, her son had just ingested trace amounts of the BK cologne, in which case she will probably die within minutes.

Just for the record — I don’t hate BK. I love eating there, but I only eat the chicken sandwiches.

Oh, by the way, I’m off on a trip to India for 2 weeks or so. Haven’t been in over a decade, so it should be interesting. Happy holidays.


Microsoft lists web sites broken by IE8, beats Google at indexing the internet.

EDIT: This article has been featured on!

Don’t get me wrong. The primary goal of the revived IE team has been to achieve standards compliance, and I respect that. The problem is, it’s almost 2009. The damage is already done. It’s worth taking a minute, however, to stop and reflect on the effect IE has had on the interwebs.

Conventionally, the sole purpose of a browser is to show you content. A browser should never play any part (directly or indirectly) in changing the content. This rule is as fundamental as it is simple. Unfortunately, like the UN, the browser police will only go as far as writing down the rules in large bold font, in hopes that someone else will actually enforce them.

Rewind to 1996. Imagine you’re in a classroom. The lesson is basic mathematics, and the teacher is writing up simple formulas. All the kids can see the board clearly, except for this one kid in the front, named Imon Ecstasy (for no reason in particular, I will refer to him by his initials, IE). IE has glasses with the magnifying power of the Hubble, and swaps hygiene tips with dead cats. He also happens to be the principal’s only son. Furthermore, his father has enrolled him in every single class in the entire school.

IE raises his hand, and points out to the teacher that he cannot see shit. The teacher is left no choice but to make amends for him, and starts writing on the board in a way that IE can see clearly. So, instead of seeing 2’s and 4’s on the board, all the other kids now see drawings of giant turds. But hey, IE can see the numbers just fine, and that’s all that really matters.

Fast forward to 2009. IE has had laser eye surgery, and his vision now matches that of his peers. Unfortunately, every single teacher in the school has forgotten how to write real numbers on the board (let alone complex ones), and all of the school’s textbooks have been replaced with collections of turd diagrams.

Now armed with normal vision, IE can’t see shit on the board (more accurately, the only thing he can see is giant drawings of shit). He then starts crying to all the teachers, demanding that they change the way they write on the board. Again.

At this point, the other kids have had just about enough, and some of them start shooting spitballs at IE. Recalling how he dealt with the situation before, IE proceeds to give them his lunch money.

All in all, the notion of a fully standards compliant IE is appealing, despite the initial cost of making half the world’s websites look like ass. It should be noted, however, that the same promises were made with IE7, which ended up with a net increase of jack shit percent in overall standards compliance.

To make things worse, every time IE’s popularity rating drops, the obese bully of the class grins to himself as he convinces one more douchebag to join his pokemon treehouse club.

Clearly, we need to increase spending on education.


US Govt. proposes new 2009 bailout for themselves, to pay for 2008 bailout.

Seriously though, I wouldn’t be surprised. See below. Yes, the pie charts are to scale. Someone has gone ahead and converted the big scary numbers of this bailout into an easy to read pie chart. Now you have something to show your kids!

Before you get too carried away in exasperation over the blood pie of death omen shown above, you should keep one thing in mind: Like all the other projects being compared here, this is not money that has disappeared into thin air. It is essentially an investment, and investments are supposed to actually make money.

In reality, government projects don’t yield very good returns. Most people consider the Iraq war, in particular, a completely unnecessary waste of funds. But there’s always two sides to the coin. There was an asset here, and that asset was not democracy. So, if the US succeeds in its epic quest for spreading freedom and unicorns across the globe, one could actually refer to this particular investment as profitable.

Much the same way, this bailout is an investment into the banks, and it includes purchasing their assets and equity. It is entirely possible that a recovery will ensue, the banks will regain prosperity, and the government will get their money back with interest. Of course, it’s also possible to set your own house on fire by using extension cords.

One of the intentions for the bailout was to initiate a speedy recovery for the financial system, simply by injecting money into the pool (there is also the suggestion that it injects “hope” and “confidence”, when in reality the effect is more like “chronic depression”). Needless to say, that ship has sailed (into Somalian seas, after which it was immediately taken over by pirates).

This is where one would like to say, “Who knows? Obama became president. Anything is possible!”. Yes, Obama is president. Yes, it was awesome, inspired the world, and brought thousands of kittens back to life across the universe. But there is a limit to how much he can really do. If Bush simply maxed out the credit cards, Obama could cut them up, and rebuild credit. Unfortunately, Bush had no credit limit on his card, and ended up spending enough money to take all the banks out of business. Your move, Obama.

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Microsoft Windows Rainbow Cloud Pixiehorse Unicorn 7

When Microsoft first introduced what was originally codenamed Longhorn, there was hope that for the first time since Windows 2000 was released, some actual progress would be made on the operating system.

For many years, the Microsoft machine churned away, but made the fatal mistake of being far too ambitious with the proposed new features, ultimately trying to manage too many engineering projects at once. While individual projects may have been developed effectively, the integration process for those components closely resembled the human digestive system (input: a variety of potentially valuable materials, output: always a piece of shit).

Already a year behind schedule, Gates needed a solution fast, and decided to solve the problem the Windows Way™: by pushing the giant Longhorn reset button. This was the ultimate fail (alternatively, this fail is also available in Home Basic Fail, Home Premium Fail, and Business Fail editions).

On the bright side, with a clean slate, engineers could now work more effectively, with a simplified focus. As a result, they managed the remarkable feat of un-implementing hundreds of features from XP. This was the single greatest example of Unnovation in history.

Some people will claim that Vista is more about looks than actual features. This is true, which makes the OS mostly about nothing. The “new” UI engine, Aero, is not innovative in any way, nor is it a major enhancement, and it doesn’t do anything you cannot already do in XP. Here are some actual excerpts from the Aero features page:

Dynamic windows
In Windows Vista, windows are dynamic. When minimized, a window will subtly animate to a specific location on the taskbar, making it easier to locate when you need it later.

Wow. You can now minimize windows. Revolutionary.

Windows Flip
Windows Flip is an update of the feature known as ALT+TAB in previous versions of Windows. With Aero, Windows Flip shows you live thumbnails of your open windows.

This feature has been available via the Powertoys add-on for XP for like 10 years. Still, the Aero team gets some points — at least they moved up from un-implementing to re-implementing.

For all you Windows-lovers, don’t worry, there is hope. Steve Ballmer recently announced the future announcement (wtf?) of the next version of Windows. He did not reveal its name, and instead decided to use the name “Windows Cloud” for now.

Ballmer confirmed that geo-replication and other features designed for the cloud would be built into the OS.

I have two issues with this. Firstly, geo-replication with Microsoft essentially means that SharePoint will be replicated on every client. In other words, the bowl of cereal you have been eating everyday will now come with razor blades.

Secondly, Ballmer apparently doesn’t realize the colossal web-two-ohrgasm impact of Microsoft using the word “cloud” in any public announcement of any kind. As if there aren’t enough assclowns out there just waiting to write prophetic proclamations about the forthcoming Care Bear revolution, where everything will be stored in the Magic Rainbow, whose light transcends across the globe and is powered by Heart itself. Before things get out of hand, Microsoft needs to start setting lowered expectations (their engineers may have already accomplished this task).

If all else fails, Microsoft can always keep Project Ship XP With Vista running indefinitely.


Now available: pillows filled with sunshine. Vampires, emo kids protest.

Of all the things that society tolerates for no apparent reason, alarm clocks are among the most annoying. We actually arm these every night to their native piss-me-off-in-8-hours mode, under the assumption that there is no other way we would voluntarily end our slumber.

Well, things are about to change. You can now get pillows filled with magic sunshine to wake you up slowly, just like a natural sunrise. They apparently also function as a booklight, clock, and if you order now, come with a complementary tooth fairy.

In all honesty though, I would totally buy this, if just for the sake of experiment. In my apartment, I am the president, and the alarm clocks are my congress. They are plentiful in number, they make lots of noise, but ultimately they have no real impact on any of my decisions.

Firefox fanboys – the only people more dangerous and less competent than politicians

EDIT: This post was featured on!

I’m getting really tired of seeing a new article submitted to digg every freaking day by some douchebag who feels obligated to share his newest discoveries about Firefox to the world. In almost all cases, all that happens is some idiot realizes you can modify browser settings by typing “about:config” in the address bar, and gets overwhelmed by a sudden h@x0r rush.

What they don’t realize is that anyone who is technically capable enough to edit those settings probably already knows it exists, and has settled on the fact that the minute potential increases in speed are simply not worth the effort. Unfortunately, these script-kiddie-wannabes will not stop until every last setting has been toyed with and then documented in what they will ambitiously refer to as an “optimization guide”. In reality, these could be more accurately described as manuals for people who wish to reduce their productivity as a human being to that of a freaking lawn ornament.

Actually, I take that back. Lawn ornaments are, for the most part, harmless. They will not set your lawn to flames, or unlock all your doors while you sleep. Misguided assclowns of the internet, however, provide no such protection:

“You can take the last step even further by telling Firefox to ignore user interface events altogether until the current page has been downloaded. Firefox could remain unresponsive for quite some time.”

Yes — that’s right. He is advising you to “optimize” your browser by configuring it to stop responding to anything you do. Continue reading