Monday, November 29, 2010

Forms of Government Explained Using Cows

You know this blog is technically a place to search for, and gain, awesomeness? Hence the title. Well, this little bugger down below will increase your awesomeness levels by at least 20%. Of course, I didn't write this. That would require me to be smarter and funnier and awesomer than I am. I stole it from this here website, just in case you're a lawyer here to sue me for plagiarism.
Note: The pictures are my own handiwork, however. Kudos to you if you can guess which form of government each picture correlates to. Good luck!
If not, read on! Keep a pillow handy in case you pass out from the awesomeness of it.

FEUDALISM: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk.

FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

PURE COMMUNISM: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

APPLIED COMMUNISM: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

DICTATORSHIP: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

MILITARISM: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

SINGAPOREAN DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment.

PURE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair "Cowgate".

BRITISH DEMOCRACY: You have two cows. You feed them sheeps' brains and they go mad. The government doesn't do anything.

BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.

HONG KONG CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly-listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows. The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Islands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the right to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company. The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because of bad fung shui.

TOTALITARIANISM: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS: You are "associated with" (the concept of 'ownership' is a symbol of the phallocentric, warmongering, intolerant past) two differently aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender.

SURREALISM: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

Fist Pump!

I'm going to have to try to make this a non-braggy post. But it's hard. The words are spewing out of my mouth, I can't stop them... I DID IT! That's right. Or, actually, that's write. Because I wrote a 50K word novel in a month. For NaNoWriMo. Actually, in 29 days. And I couldn't be happier.

Olive Branch, by Me, is 50,515 words long and I'm so proud. I don't know what to do with it now. Oh well. It doesn't matter. All that matters is I DID IT!
*fist pump*

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Day At Splash

"Splash" is a weekend program at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) that I went to this past weekend. It takes place on Saturday and Sunday, and you can go all day to take student-run classes. The classes can be on any topic from Theoretical Physics to How To Survive The Zombie Apocalypse. Basically, there's something there for everyone. Splash is open to anyone in grades 7-12, and it's a blast. This was my second year attending, and it was just as incredible as before.

Unfortunately, I was busy on Saturday and I could only go to the Sunday classes. There are almost a hundred (a complete guesstimate) classes running on Sunday, anywhere from one to eight hours long, so I still had plenty to choose from.

7:00 AM - Wake up. I'm confused, thinking it's a school day, because why on Earth would my alarm be going off on a weekend? Then remember: Splash today! Roll out of bed, put on my epic Pac-Man t-shirt. There are lots of epic people at Splash, so it will surely be appreciated.

7:30 AM - My sister, age 12, has a mental breakdown. This is her first time at Splash and she's scared that she'll get lost on the MIT campus. I comfort her and tell her not to worry, the monsters only live in the underground tunnels and only venture above-ground occasionally.

8:00 AM - Leave on the forty-minute drive to Boston. Classes start at 9, so we have plenty of time.

8:45 AM - Check in. They print me a schedule, showing my classes for the day. You pre-register for classes a few weeks before the actual event, online at the Splash website.

8:46 AM - What is this madness? I don't want to take "Learn to Read a Poem"! I have Sparknotes for that! I quickly switch into the "Samuri versus Ninja" class. Far more epic to meet my awesomeness standards.

8:52 AM - A random guy comes up to me and compliments my Pac-Man shirt.

8:57 AM - Race up six flights of stairs to the top of the building for my first class, "Making Chainmaille". I see that I'm at the top and climb the last flight to see if the door to the roof is unlocked. It isn't, and now my legs really hurt. I trudge back down and find the classroom.

9:02 AM - Whoa! The teacher is really good at making chainmaille. She made a chainmaille dress for her senior prom, and brought it to show us. I pick it up. It weighed at least fifty pounds.

9:20 AM - I've mastered the simple weave, and start making a little patch of chainmaille. My fingers are turning black from this, and these pliers are really small and hard to hold. Oh well. This is fun.

9:50 AM - 
I expand on my little patch of chainmaille. It's taken forever to get a four-by-four inch square. I have no idea how she found time to make a whole prom dress.

10:10 AM -
I make a chainmaille bracelet, complete with a clasp. I'll wear it to school tomorrow and my friends will think I'm either awesome or crazy.

10:40 AM - I start a new bracelet, this one with colored links. It's beautiful. I love chainmaille. I want to be a knight when I grow up.

10:55 AM - The class is just about over, so she gives us lots of extra rings so we can finish at home. My bag rips and they scatter all over inside my backpack. I'll pick them up later.

11:02 AM - Find the room for my next class, "Learn to Juggle".

11:06 AM - I wonder why there's no one else here yet.

11:09 AM - Yes, this is the right room. I wonder why...oh, wait, there's a sign on the door. What?! My class has been canceled? What is this madness?

11:11 AM - I have nothing to do for the next hour. I explore for a little while. They basically let you run free on MIT campus, so it's pretty awesome.

11:27 AM - I go back to chainmaille class. the teacher has another class, but she lets me stay. They're really lax about that stuff, so it's all good.

11:56 AM - Replenish my supply of extra rings and go to my next class, "Candy Wrapper Art"

12:04 PM - We're going to be making bracelets out of Starburst wrappers! Wow, I'm going to have a lot of bracelets by the end of this.

12:10 PM - Not only do we get to make the bracelet, we get to eat the Starburst to get the wrappers! Could this get any better?

12:17 PM - Wow. This is really hard. Why are these so hard to fold?

12:40 PM - It's been forty minutes and my bracelet is two inches long. This is harder than it looks.

12:55 PM - Stuff twenty Starburst and my three-inch bracelet into my backpack. I'll finish it later.

1:07 PM - My sister shows me the way to lunch. What is this? She's supposed to be the noob who doesn't know her way around,a and I'm supposed to be the expert who can find a needle in this haystack of a school. This isn't how it's supposed to work.

1:12 PM - Okay, I probably would never have found this without her. Jeez. She's already eaten, so she abandons me. How will I find my way back?

1:15 PM - Pizza! Nomnomnom.

1:20 PM - I sit with some awesome girls, one from Canada and one from Maryland. They compliment my Pac-Man shirt.

1:23 PM - We discuss the Harry Potter movie and compare it to the books. I like these people.

1:33 PM - We discuss xkcd. I like these people.

1:41 PM - We bash Twilight. I like these people.

2:04 PM - My "Samuri versus Ninja" class. I'm rooting for ninjas.

2:45 PM - Wow, Samuris have cool swords! I want to be a Samuri.

3:20 PM - Ninjas are epic! They can jump over walls and they can pretend to walk on water. I want to be a ninja.

3:40 PM - No, I want to be a Samuri! They have cool armor.

3:55 PM - No, I want to be a ninja. They have black outfits.

4:05 PM - "Set" class. Set is an awesome card game. I know how to play, and I sit at the Pro table.

4:10 PM - These people are REALLY good. I've found two sets the whole game. I lost.

4:12 PM -I will not quit and go to the intermediate table.
I will not quit and go to the intermediate table.

4:25 PM - YES! I won a game! I got seven sets, but I won!

4:26 PM - I win a Silly Band. It's a hippo. I add it to the collection on my wrists, which also includes my Starburst bracelet (I finished it during my ninja class).

5:02 PM - "Things You Could Do In Ancient Rome but Not Today" Basically we learn about the crazy idiotic emperors.

5:15 PM - Apparently, Augustus Caesar wrote a laundry list of everything he did in his life. It includes lines like "I became the master of everything by the consent of all" but he still manages to sound completely modest while he brags about everything. That guy was a genius.

5:25 PM - We read Cicero's Phillipics against Marc Antony. Basically, it's a huge political speech bashing him in every way possible. I wish modern politics were this awesome.

5:45 PM - So Emperor Caligula dressed up some of his soldiers as enemies, and paraded them through Rome to prove that he could actually capture some enemies in battle. This guy was hilarious.

6:02 PM - "Make Things Out of Duct Tape" class! I already know how to do this, so I go over and show off my duct-tape-flower-making skills.

6:07 PM - Three people admire my flower.

6:12 PM - A guy give me a scone in trade for me teaching him how to make a flower. I accept.

6:13 PM - He compliments my Pac-Man shirt.

6:15 PM - He has buttons on his backpack. I admire them. I tell the table about my one lonely Tardis button.

6:16 PM - Everyone at the table knows what a Tardis is. I love these people.

6:22 PM - I try to trade a duct tape flower for one of his buttons, but he refuses.

6:31 PM - I show them my duct tape turtle that my brother gave me. They are jealous.

6:40 PM - A whole group of us leaves. We hang out by the entrance with a Free Hugs sign, and get about two dozen takers.

7:00 PM - We sit in two lines by the door, so that anyone who leaves has to go in between. We applaud anyone who passes through.

7:05 PM - Aww! Splash is over! It was so much fun, and I had a great time, I can't wait until Spark in the spring!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Well, I Am Speechless

It's a good thing I'm not actually talking to you in person. Because I wouldn't be able to form a intelligible sentence. I think I've been hit with Mad-Eye Moody's Tongue-Tying Curse (I'm not Snape! It wasn't me who killed you, Dumbledore!)

I'm dumbfounded.

Harry Potter 7 (Part 1, I'm not that awesome that I get to see Part 2) was incredible. Phenomenal. I liked 1-3, strongly disliked 4 and 5, thought 6 was okay, but this. Was. Amazing.
I didn't think the director had it in him. I guess I was proved wrong.
-Twenty seconds in, I was ready to cry when Hermione mind-erases her parents. You know, when she disappears from all the pictures and stuff. Soo sad!
-I didn't really feel anything when Mad-Eye died. They didn't do very well with that. I was like, "Oh. Okay, whatever." It wasn't that important.
-Kreacher and Dobby looked a lot more animated-y in this movie. I didn't like it as much, but Dobby was hilarious! "Dobby was not trying to kill Miss Bellatrix, Dobby was only wanting to maim or seriously injure." I may have butchered it a bit, but you get the idea. I was so sad when SPOILER *whispers* Dobby dies! It was the worst part of the book, and the movie. (Worst as in saddest, not bad).
-What's with Harry taking off his shirt? Taking a leaf out of Twlight's book? (yuck). Harry is not particulary hot and he looks so old and weird without a shirt and/or glasses.
-The scene with Harry and Hermione in the Horcrux was, well, um, awkward *awkward turtle*
-So was the scene with Harry and Hermione dancing. WTH?
-The animation for the tail of the three brothers was really cool
-I thought it was interesting that they skipped the swear. In the beginning, when Hermione is showing off her Extended bag, she shakes it, peers inside, and says, "Oh, damn, that'll be be the books," In the movie, she just says, "Ah, that'll  be the books," Not necessarily a complaint, just an interesting thing to point out.
-Great suspense. I was so into it, I forgot it was two parts and after Voldy takes the wand, it cuts straight to credits and I'm just sitting there like, what happened to the movie?
-The scene in the Ministry where Ron is other guy and forgets who he is: " wife is being interrogated!" *pause* "Ron, you don't have a wife,"
-Also, when Ron kisses his 'wife' and the real one walks in? Great!
-Overall score: 6.72983 Horcruxes out of 7!

Leave your opinions of the movie in the comments!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ticks: Why I Hate Them

In the beginning, there was nothing. And then, there were ticks.
They swarmed the earth, feeding upon anything they could find. Initially, they were herbivores, that is, they only ate green things. Like lettuce. Or green Jell-O. Or green crayons.
But one day, a tick named Reginald accidentally ate a zebra. It was painted green, and he had thought it was a normal meal. But he discovered that it had this weird red stuff on the inside. He liked it. He told all his ticky friends about it, and soon, there were no magical green zebras left. Deprived of a food source, they had to turn to normal-colored zebras, and eventually all sorts of mammals. They didn't care, as long as they contained the yummy red liquid.
And so, the ticks evolved to be blood-sucking creatures of doom. No one likes them. Not even Edward Cullen.

Why am I telling you the fascinating history of ticks, you ask? Well, I found one on me today. It was yucky. And attaching to my shoulder. You probably don't want to hear about this. It's making me cringe as I type it. But I hate ticks. They're vampires, and no one likes those.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Temporary Farewell

Hello all.

That is, if anyone is reading this.

In case anyone actually does read this blog, I'd like to let you know that I will not be posting for the month of November. I'm sorry I just broke your heart. I'll be working on a NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novel and it's hard to write so much in so little time. So, no blogging.

If you want to get in on the fun, check out the link above. Also, read this and this on SparkNotes. They helped me out a lot (this is my first year). See you in December!

NOTE: Contrary to this picture, I am not actually writing my novel with a quill pen. It would take a while. Plus, I don't you where to get one, unless I yanked it out of a bird, and that would be painful for us both.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What is Halloween, really?

Halloween. ah, how we love you so. The only much-anticipated day between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. And who really cares about Labor Day except as a day off of school?

But who here actually knows what Halloween is?
Since I can't actually see you, because this is a computer screen and my spy cameras are temporarily disabled, I will assume that no one is raising their hands, and continue with my definitions of Halloween.

1. All Hallows Eve/All Saint's Eve
The day before All Saint's Day, according to Christians. How boring.
"Come on, let's go pick out our costumes for All Saint's Eve!" Yeah, right.

2. An Excuse To Pig Out On Candy
Don't deny it, we all use this. "But Mom, it's Halloween! I'm supposed to be eating candy!" Personally, I think this is the most important reason to have this holiday.

3. DID Appreciation Day
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a condition in which people display multiple distinct identities. I'm guessing that this is where the whole dressing-up-as-something-else thing came from, and Halloween was started as an appreciation day for this disorder.

4. Anti Stranger Danger
Maybe it was started as a rebellion against Stranger Danger programs. You know its true. What other day of the year can you accept candy from strangers? Just don't go helping them look for lost puppies.

5. Therapy For Serial Killers
This isn't isn't about the holiday as much as the strange practice of carving pumpkins. I'm guessing that this started as a rehabilitation for knife murderers.
"We need to get the negative energy out of them, but we don't want them actually hurting people. I know! Let's let them stab some pumpkins!"

What do you think is the meaning of Halloween?