Friday, February 24, 2012


A recent trip to the Salt Lake Museum of Natural History has got me pondering. If the following doesn't convince you of the message I'm trying to relay, this might do the trick. Either way, open the link and let the music be the background whilst you read. Background music? My blogging skills are on an exponential upswing.

If your brain is tired I suggest turning away, because this will probably kill it.

Conservatively, and assuming you don't believe in creationism (if you do, you disbelieve in dinosaurs and I don't like you anyway because dinosaurs are awesome), the earth was formed about 4.5 billion years ago. According to the oldest known fossil record of a little ocean dwelling critter consisting only of a single cell (I call him Adam), it appears life was underway at least 3.8 billion years ago.

First of all, this would mean that the earth was lifeless for 700 million years. 700 million years - that's a whole lot of nothing for a really, really long time. The best data puts Homo sapien on the evolutionary map 500,000 years ago. So, the earth had no life whatsoever for 699,500,000 more years than the entire time humans have been around - but that's nothing.

Let's do some math. Life has been here for 3.8 billion years. We have been here for 500,000. 500,000/3.8 billion = 1/7600 = .01%. Humans have been happily inhabiting this planet for .01% of the time it has contained life. That is 1/100th of one percent of all life-time, ever. Let's scale this down to time periods we can fathom. Think about the next 45 minutes of your life, or the next 2.7 million milliseconds. One blink within that time lasts about 350 milliseconds. 350/2.7 million = 1/7714 = guessed it... .01%. Whatever you experience in the next 45 minutes of your life is the entire time period of all life on earth. A single blink during that 45 minutes is humankind. A single blink. Blink once right now - you just went back in time 500,000 years and watched all of human history occur! Someone should let me know what people did with toasters before sliced bread was invented - it is still bugging me.

45 minutes from now, try making estimates, or summarizing if you will, the period that has just passed based solely off the time period during your one blink. Ignoring the fact your eyes are closed (I could find no way around this, so don't be a smart aleck), what would you 'see' during that blink? Is there even enough information to process during that time? Do you think you would miss some crucial aspects of the 45 minutes as a whole? I would think so.

Despite all this, we often deem ourselves omniscient. For example, we claim to understand the reasons behind our changing climate. But can we? We are now talking in terms of our lifetimes compared to earth's history. 500,000 years in 3.8 billion now becomes about 50 years in 4.5 billion (that's .000001%, or one blink in 4 days, if you're wondering). If I asked you what you've been up to the past 4 days, and you describe to me what happened during your one blink, I wouldn't feel as if I was getting the proper briefing. It's akin to explaining, with direct certainty, the culprit of 50 years of temperature change in 4.5 billion years of turbulent, shifting climate.

Imagining the  complexity of our world, the human world, and all the intricacies that make our lives what they are, and then performing the math above, sort of makes you re-think things. We are literally a microscopic speck on the timeline of life. The earth is still warming up (no pun intended) to us as inhabitants. If a species is judged based off its extent of existence, we aren't even approaching the bench.

I'm not driving at any sort of social or political message here, I'm simply pointing out that things may seem apparent in our lifetime, but they often become trivial when put in perspective.

Everything is relative, except relativity itself. I made that up.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Conversation in song

A conversation between Donald Trump and his wife:

Melania: "Hello."
Donald: "Good day sunshine."
Melania: "Ain't no sunshine. I've got the blues."
Donald: "What's on your mind?"
Melania: "Eight hundred dollar shoesMoney?"
Donald: "No quarter."
Melania: "Money money money!"
Donald: "NoLeave me alone."
Melania: "Baby you're a rich manYou never give me your money."
Donald: "If I had a million dollars......"
Melania: .....................
Donald: "Dammit."

Friday, February 17, 2012


Sometimes I wonder how states got their names. I think I figured out Kansas.

They really liked Arkansas, but wanted their state to belong to everybody.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Grammy Game

While watching the Grammys, I started thinking about the progression of music through the last 50 years. The result: a fun game. 

From the below, see if you can pick out which lyric belongs to a nominee from this year's show, and which belong to artists of the past. This is pretty hard but I bet you can figure it out. 

You got one thing right Nicki - "stupid, stupid."

K9 humor

Dog - mans' best friend. Our butt sniffing, leg humping, poo eating best friends. Enjoy some very astute doggy  observations.

If aliens are watching us through telescopes, they're going to think dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?  - Jerry Seinfeld

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hypocrites are people too

Shout out to the anonymous stranger only known to the world as "bean" for posting a comment that has inspired me to write this. He is mysterious and unknown, so I will refer to him as black bean.

At first I didn't want to delve into this topic, for fear of alienating a fraction of my fan base. Then I thought, my fan base at this moment consists only of my mother, so even if I offend half my fan base I'm really only offending half of my mother. I can appease the whole mother by just flying home for the weekend, so a phone call should suffice for half. Problem solved.

However, I do realize there might be a couple more that read this, so take it with several grains of salt and when you feel angry and want to offend me, just remember this.

For entirely too long a period, I was sure people posted twits on their tweeter accounts. It never made sense to me, as I was pretty confident in the definition of "twit." I just figured it was like the word "ho," traditionally having negative connotation but recently turning into a cool thing for a girl to call her friends. Whatever, it didn't really bother me - I don't question societal trends, I just make fun of them. Anyway, this is just an example of how out of the loop I am (have been) with the whole social media scene. I do have a Facebook, but I am also 99% sure that there is not a single person in my life between the ages of 12 and 50 who doesn't. So, unfortunately, that doesn't really count anymore as being 'in' with social media, it just counts as being in with life.

The reason I have been so out of the loop is because, for lack of a better phrase, I think the loop is fairly ridiculous. As I understand it, the purpose of twitter is to keep track of your friends and people/things you're interested in, as well as post 'tweets' to let friends/people/things know what you're up to. Translation in my mind: the whole purpose of twitter is to stalk people, have people stalk you, and make it easier for people to stalk you by presenting your current location, mood, occupation, thought, idea, and overall situation at all times. Furthermore, #woulditannoy@you if I #wrotelikethis all the time? Don't @you #thinkitwouldbehard to #understandexactlywhat @I was trying to say? This is the path we are on. Soon, all of our media will be presented in this fashion. That will be a dark day in my world, mostly because I am going to gouge out my eyes so I don't have to look at that nonsense (literally, non - sense) anymore.

I believe this new way of being 'social' will mostly affect the youth of the world. At least us adults know what it used to be like, back in the days when people talked to each other with their mouths and had some knowledge of what privacy is. Kids are being born into this now. I am currently observing at least 3 children who I neither know nor care to know grow up via Facebook. Not only have I not seen or talked to their parent (who I most likely drunkenly ran into at a college party once, which is more than justification for a Facebook friendship) in who knows how long, but the child is literally a stranger to me. And it is through no choice of my own. I get on, and there it is, a huge picture of a baby. And I think to myself, "hmm, so-and-so is getting BIG these days..." Then I snap out of it and immediately feel like a giant creep. Then I get angry at Facebook. Then I get angry at myself for having a Facebook. After all, it's my choice to have one, right? Well, a crackhead also has the choice to get off crack. There's a reason I've heard the word "relapse" used equally in reference to drugs, and to Facebook. I guess I should look at the bright side - when that baby is old enough to have his/her own account, I'll have another "friend" (I'm up to 328. God I'm popular).

Among other things (i.e. if I ever meet the writer of this blog I am going to beat him over the head with a hashtag), you may be thinking, "why did he decide to only pick on Facebook and twitter?" After all, we live in a world saturated with all sorts of social media. I mean there's Flickr, Foursquare, Friendster, Myspace, Reddit, Tumblr, the list goes on and on. Notice I listed those examples in alphabetical order. This is because I had to look them up, which is the crux of my point. I only make fun of Facebook and twitter because they're the only ones I actually know something about. There are so many out there these days that a bitter 20-something geezer like me can't keep track.

Of course, I suppose youtube is considered a social media site. Who doesn't like youtube? And I am currently writing in a you suppose it would be overly-hypocritical to say how dumb blogs are in my blog? Ok fine, I won't. Maybe I should just give in.

Moral of the story: this stuff sucks you in, whether you think it's stupid or brilliant.

Whew, now that that's over with...make sure to follow me on my new twitter account!!! @hypespeak

Inquiries? Refer to the title of this post.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

WWII: the race

If you figure out what the title stands for, kudos to you (the candy bar, not the congratulations).

Consider this a continued thought from my last post, of the stream-of-consciousness variety.

The little tracking ball is proceeding closer and closer to the end of the red line...approaching the gray...unknown. Anxiety is almost to the point of an aneurysm - "C'mon red line! GO! He's catching UP!!!" I'm not even paying attention to the video anymore. My full attention is on the race. As far as I'm concerned, it's a race the red line should never lose. Technology should be beyond a silver medal for a red line. Sadly though, it often does lose, in which case I usually exit out (see my last post to find out why) and try again later when whatever magical thing that makes the internet faster comes back from break. What is "buffering," anyway? It's complete BS that I have to wait for a video to "load" before I can watch it in full. We are past the days of loading. I should be able to get everything instantaneously when I am online. That symbol, the little circle of successively bulging dots that pops up when the tracking ball catches up to the red line, is a terrible one. It's the white flag for red lines. "I give up, I've been defeated." If I put that symbol as the logo of my blog, no one would ever read it again - "well, his blog is still buffering, guess I'll have to come back later. Yep, still buffering." And if you dare click pause in the presence of the symbol, it's all over. You created an eternal buffer. You essentially murdered the red line, and it is stuck eternally before the finish. Refresh the page and start again. Someone needs to tell the tracking ball that it's OK to finish second sometimes, it's OK to slow down every once in awhile. Keep seeing red, if you will. So far it's a never ending battle, but I only hope one day the red line reigns victorious in all web videos, all around the world, all the time. Only then will one of our major web woes be put to rest, once and for ball (I apologize, but I just had to).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Web woes

Setting up a blog has led me to several realizations. Firstly, reading your own writing is a deeply spiritual experience and can lead to a plethora of personal revelations. Secondly, other peoples' blogs can be a rich and expansive source of inspiration for all who seek it. Thirdly, most importantly, and what I particularly want to write about; I get really flustered when the internet is slow.

We live in an era of instant satisfaction. You want to watch a new movie? Netflix streams. You want to read a new book? Whip out the Kindle. You want to know when the toaster was invented? Fire up wikipedia (it was in 1893, which I find strange considering a bread slicer wasn't invented until 1912. I guess during the 19 year gap toasters were only used in Poland, where bagels had been available for toasting since 1610. Thank you, wikipedia). It is no wonder, then, that we have certain expectations when it comes to the things we rely on everyday. Take the internet. Just 30 years ago, the concept of a world-wide network of fully interconnected IP networks (thank you, wikipedia) was introduced to the world. And that was just an introduction. It wasn't actually commercialized until 1995 (I actually knew that one. Just kidding. Thank you, wikipedia). And even then, we all had to deal with this for a few years until broadband was invented. Ah, we were patient people then.

These days, we find ourselves angered, even enraged, when the window we want doesn't pop up within, I'd estimate, about 4 seconds. And we (I'm going to continue saying 'we' to make it seem like this is not totally auto-biographical) actually feel anxious, as if this wait is a problem, an actual real problem. It reminds me of the feeling you get when you realize the toilet is clogged only after flushing. You know that, in almost all cases, the water will stop rising before it spills over the edge, just as you know that window will pop up eventually. But still, the helpless feeling while watching the tainted water approach you is somewhat akin to the feeling during your internet catastrophe. All you're thinking is, "please, please make it stop. I promise I will never defecate again if you just make it stop" (that last part may or may not apply to the internet situation). And on the rare occasion the water does spill over the edge, there actually IS a problem with the webpage you're waiting for, the whole situation just turns into a maelstrom of cursing and pacing around the room in a fuming panic. I have personal experience with each side of this analogy, which qualifies me to make it.

Can you imagine if we all had to go back to dial up now? This would be all of us, every day. We should look back to those days, the golden age of the internet, to re-learn patience and appreciation for real problems. Like the fact McDonalds got rid of their dollar menu. That's just ridiculous.

Guitar abuse

                             This video has gotten 48,317,898 views in exactly one month on the web.
                                                  I expect similar numbers for this blog. Only 48,317,880 to go.
                                                              Tell your friends...?


Thursday, February 2, 2012


                               Someone wise once said,
                                                   "A self aware man is a man lacking all homelessness."

First speech

Well, here we go, getting on my proverbial horse. I think the first time I ever thought to myself, "hmm, I should start a blog," was in high school. Back then, the 'art' (because, is it?) of 'blogging' (because, I don't think it's really a word) was reserved for the technologically savvy and those who secretly wanted people to read their private journals. Believe it or not, I was neither of those. There's just something strangely substantive in writing about absolutely nothing (Seinfeld, anyone?).

Now I'm 24 years old, enrolled in a PhD program, and am jumping on the online writing wagon, if such a wagon exists. Clearly, my current occupation allows time for plenty of frivolous and otherwise utilitarian activities such as blogging (if you can't sense my sarcasm, many of my future posts will be of minimal significance to you). However, during graduate school, there are those if-I-don't-do-something-else-besides-PhD-work-I-am-going-to-become-a-manic-depressive moments when you realize non-academic action should be taken. Before you start feeling sorry for me, I should concede I actually live a fairly well-rounded life, making time for lots of normal person things. I play sports and music, watch movies, and I even have friends. I recently moved from Colorado to Utah where I am in my first year of graduate studies. Here are three ways Utah differs from Colorado, and one way they are similar:

- Happy hour is against state law.
- When a person turns 50, he/she can legally marry their cousin.
- The capitol city contains a giant statue of Christ in space.
- Offers good skiing.

I'll let you figure out which one is the similarity. Hint: it's #4.

So things can get pretty weird in the land of really salty bodies of water and compound wives, but it's not a horrible place to be - skiing is 30 minutes from my doorstep, any place like that gets at least average rating in my book. Plus, there is the aforementioned giant statue of Jesus in space in downtown Salt Lake. Seriously, I'm not joking. No, really. Believe it.

Ok then, things to expect from this blog, in ascending order of predicted occurrence and/or importance, are the following:

1) Actual substance
3) The occasional rant (hate mail encouraged)
4) Ice cream for you if you noticed I skipped #2
5) Sarcasm
6) Lack of grammatical errors (because I'm a bit of a sleuth for correct syntax)
7) Ice cream for you if you detect grammatical errors (keeping #5 in mind)
8) Excessive use of parentheses (just realized, and perpetuated)
9) Everyday stuff you can relate to
10) Awesome pictures and video
11) First class entertainment

Here's to a new blog-venture, or something equally cheesy.