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Category Archives: Useless Knowledge

How to defeat your enemies

T-Boy (he likes dinosaurs, that’s why I call him that) was watching a TV show yesterday called Ninjago. Since I don’t know what the show is I should do some research to first get to know the show and then do a brief explanation here, but that would take time. Instead, you’re left with my version of the show: it’s about legos, and they are ninjas, and one of them is the master and the others are learning from the master. That’s it. Kind of a teenage mutant ninja turtles but with less turtles and less pizza.

Anyway, I didn’t really sit there to watch the show, but the little bit I heard was about the ninjas trying to answer some riddle from the master. They’d come with a solution and it was always wrong (of course). Instead of watching the show I tried to distract T-Boy. I was not very successful at that, so I agreed to let him watch the last 5 minutes of the show in peace. He was really invested in it.

At the end the master tells his lego-ninjas: “The secret to defeat your enemies is to become their friend.” T-Boy’s expression was priceless, combined with an “Ah” that I’m sure meant what an interesting concept! Maybe I’ll try that next time. And that’s when I was reminded that as much as we may not like the idea of children watching TV shows all the time, if chosen wisely, they can help us teach them valuable lessons. Not that Ninjago is the best show ever (please, I’ve only watched a few minutes of one show) or that I’m advocating that children should watch more TV (I certainly am not saying that), but there is a team of people working behind TV shows and they do (in some cases) try to send good messages to the children.

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Did you watch Dungeons & Dragons? Boy, that was a fun show!

I remember when I was a child and all the TV shows I used to watch. And boy, did I watch TV! The TV was always on. Always. I watched Thundercats, Dungeons & Dragons, Tom & Jerry, Flintstones, Jetsons, Smurfs, Snorks, and so many others. I remember I used to love play-dough as well, and I’d make things from TV shows for my playmobil, like a tiny shell with tiny colored pencils inside. Well, of course it was tiny, have you seen the size of a playmobil’s hand?

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I had this! This exact one!

Oh, boy, what a sweet childhood I had. Maybe it’s time to get the box of play-dough out. Maybe I’ll make something the legos can use…

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Remember the Snorks?

 

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail – Three Questions

“There’s the old man from scene twenty-four.”

“What’s he doing here?”

Bridgekeeper: Stop. Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.
Sir Lancelot: Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I am not afraid.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your name?
Sir Lancelot: My name is Sir Lancelot of Camelot.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your quest?
Sir Lancelot: To seek the Holy Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your favourite colour?
Sir Lancelot: Blue.
Bridgekeeper: Go on. Off you go.
Sir Lancelot: Oh, thank you. Thank you very much.

Sir Robin: That’s easy.
Bridgekeeper: Stop. Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.
Sir Robin: Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I’m not afraid.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your name?
Sir Robin: Sir Robin of Camelot.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your quest?
Sir Robin: To seek the Holy Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What… is the capital of Assyria?
[pause]
Sir Robin: I don’t know that.
[he is thrown over the edge into the volcano]
Sir Robin: Auuuuuuuugh.

Bridgekeeper: Stop. What… is your name?
Galahad: Sir Galahad of Camelot.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your quest?
Galahad: I seek the Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your favourite colour?
Galahad: Blue. No, yel…
[he is also thrown over the edge]
Galahad: auuuuuuuugh.

Bridgekeeper: Hee hee heh. Stop. What… is your name?
King Arthur: It is ‘Arthur’, King of the Britons.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your quest?
King Arthur: To seek the Holy Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
King Arthur: What do you mean? An African or European swallow?
Bridgekeeper: Huh? I… I don’t know that.
[he is thrown over]
Bridgekeeper: Auuuuuuuugh.
Sir Bedevere: How do know so much about swallows?
King Arthur: Well, you have to know these things when you’re a king, you know.

 

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Taking a break

Sorry I was absent for so long, but I had to take a break from my blog for a while to focus on my writing.

How is it going, you ask? Wonderful! That is if you consider not being able to write as good as working on one’s writing. But I tried. I also had to work on getting a new place and catch up on my reading.

All in all, it was a nice break. And now I’m back. Hopefully with a few good posts soon. Or let’s just say a few posts. Let’s not focus on the good, at least not for now.

 

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Where are my [New Post] emails?

When I started using WordPress, which was not long, just four months ago, every time I started following a new blog I’d automatically start getting emails when that blog would post something. I could go on WordPress and change that if I wanted, but that was the standard thing: follow a blog = get emails.

I’ve been following a few new blogs and noticed they were not updating. Today one of them did post something and the author asked me if I saw the new post. No, I hadn’t seen it. That was odd, since I always got emails from all the blogs I followed.

Not anymore.

Now, when you start following a blog you do not get emails when they post. You have to go to your Reader, click on Blogs I follow, and then select if you wish to receive emails and if you want them immediately, daily, or weekly. It’s annoying, and I wish I knew WordPress had changed that.

Anyway, if you’re not getting emails from the new blogs you started following go check your reader.

Now, does anyone know how to set my account so I won’t have to go there to change the setting every time I follow a blog?

 

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An Engineer’s Guide to Cats

Since today is Sunday, which is as good of a reason as any, and I love cats, which is also another great reason, I’m posting a video I found a while ago on the internet. It’s a funny video where two professional engineers (Paul and TJ) illustrate the proper care and practical benefits of cats. They use their own cats in the video (Paul’s cats, I believe): Oscar, Ginger, and Zoe. I have to say the tuna thing is so so true, as are many others in the video. And yes, I do practice the corporal cuddling punishment. Usually I use it to punish them for looking too cute and cuddly. My cats love it! Just as much as any other cat does, of course. But that’s why it’s called tough love, right? Anyway, here’s the video. Hope you enjoy it.

I like how at the end they add that “None of the kitties, humans, or engineers were mistreated during the making of this film. They were, however, slightly annoyed.”

And if you’ve seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, you have to watch this video they made: A reenactment of “The Coconut Scene.” With cats.

Those two are just too funny. They have a YouTube channel where you can find links to their store and Facebook page as well as more videos featuring their cats, of course. Even a reenactment of one of the scenes from Princess Bride and a Cats of Christmas Past video featuring a steampunk laptop they built.

So, do you have cats?

 

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Drinking the Kool-Aid isn’t that cool, you know?

Let’s talk metaphors, shall we? And what is a metaphor? It’s a figure of speech, it’s making a comparison using two things that are otherwise unrelated. It achieves its effect via association or resemblance.

Take the phrase drinking the Kool-Aid, for instance. What could it mean? Well, if you think that’s what all are doing, you’re wrong. It’s actually a blind, uncritical acceptance or following. It’s doing what others are just without actually questioning it or critically examining it. And the phrase actually carries a negative connotation when applied to an individual or a group.

The term is a reference to the 1978 Jonestown cult massacre, where people were given a cyanide-poisoned Flavor Aid (similar to Kool-Aid) to drink. Over 900 people drank what was given to them and died.

Honestly, I prefer to question what’s given to me. No, I’m not a sheep. No, I won’t do or say something because others are doing or saying it, or because that’s what’s expected of me. I’m NOT drinking the Kool-Aid, thank you very much. So, no, I’m not an instant fan of something just because. I have to see it with my own eyes and listened to it with my own ears. And most importantly, analyze it with my own brains, thank you very much.

 

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Biting the hand that feeds you is never a good idea.

I love sayings, proverbs, and things like that. I like knowing what they mean and where they come fromThey are full of meaning and seem to survive the centuries. Like biting the hand that feeds you, for example. was first used, at least that’s what the records show, by the Greek poet Sappho around 600 BC, and it was first recorded in English in 1711.

The metaphor of a dog biting its mater’s hand is used to talk about a person repaying support with wrong. It means to turn against a benefactor, a supporter, or a friend. People forget that the hand that feeds them, or has fed them in the past, may still one day be needed. But that’s not even the biggest problem here. I think the worst thing is to see the lack of respect this person shows for someone who was once there for him/her.

It is sad to see such thing happening. But if this has been happening since Sappho was alive, what does that say about us, humans? Collins is right. “We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.

 

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