Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Why Santa is a Time Lord

The first question we have to ask is, why does Santa do what he does?

Seriously, who goes to that level of trouble to give gifts to people with nothing in return? Well, if we look at The Doctor's track record, he's dedicated his entire life to helping people. He's particularly fond of humans and basically exists to make people feel safe and happy.

We also know the Doctor is more or less incapable of standing still. In 'The Slow Invasion' we saw The Doctor go almost literally insane when he had to sit and wait for a couple of hours.

Finally, there's the challenge involved. The Doctor's MO is to jump at the chance of an impossible challenge and always manages to pull it off.

So, think of Santa's job. He has to do the impossible in a single night, something that will make him impossibly busy and the result is he makes people feel safe and happy.

Basically, doing Santa's job is something that fits with everything we know about The Doctor.

Then we come to the logistics.

There are approximately 2.18 billion Christians on the planet. If we divide that by the average members of a family (two parents and two kids), that's roughly 545 million homes he has to visit in a single night.

If Santa starts at most westerly tip of Alaska at GMT+12 and works his way east, finishing in Russia at GMT+12, he can guarantee himself 24 hours of darkness on Christmas Eve.  That means, in order to deliver presents to every person who celebrates Christmas, Santa has to visit roughly 22708333 homes every hour...or six thousand three hundred and seven homes every second.

Now, even if Santa could move that fast, we know that Santa doesn't just arrive, drop presents and leave. He eats the mince pie/cookies and milk you've left for him, and he can't do each house in the most efficient order because he has to avoid the houses of the kids who are waiting up to try and catch a glimpse of him.

Basically, the only way he can do it is if he has more time than is available. Long story short, he needs a TARDIS, or at least a Vortex Manipulator to allow himself to travel in time. That way, he can visit a house, drop off the gifts, eat his cookie, then travel to the next house and arrive there at the same time he's at the first one. 

Of course, this leads to problems. If he's in every house simultaneously, he's likely to meet himself, which means crossing his own timeline, leading to timey-wimey problems, and that much time travel in a single location will tear so many holes in the time-space continuum, that he'd likely leave all of Earth time-locked...just like the Last Great Time War became time-locked due to over-use of time travel.

So, it's likely he'd do maybe on street or a few streets at a time. This explains why you can hear Santa on the roof of your house sometimes. He has to walk, rather than just land the TARDIS in your living room.

This, however answers a long time question. Now that very few houses have chimneys, how does Santa get into the house? Well, the answer is obviously that Santa has a Sonic Screwdriver to let himself into houses.

But, of course, this raises another question: If Santa is delivering presents in a TARDIS, why is Santa always depicted in a sleigh rather than a Police Box?

The answer to that is obviously simple. The TARDIS isn't a Police Box, It's a TARDIS and, as such, has a chameleon circuit....a camouflage system designed to automatically blend in with it's environment.

Well, Santa, in his modern form, has been around since 1773...and what vehicle would fit most seamlessly into pre-Victorian England? A sleigh, of course...and while The Doctor doesn't experience time in a linear fashion, we know the TARDIS only got 'stuck' as a Police Box due to the faulty Chameleon Circuit in the 1960's....meaning it's entirely probable that in the 1700's, the TARDIS could indeed have been disguised as a Sleigh.

Also, as a Time Traveller, we know The Doctor wouldn't necessarily wait a year between deliveries. In fact, it would make far more sense to 'do' multiple Christmases at a time. You might as well deliver a present, hop forward in time and do next year's while you are there. So, perhaps, up to this point, The Doctor has only delivered presents when the Chameleon Circuit is working.

Of course, there's the final option. The Doctor is a genius, who literally saved the universe by jump-starting a second Big Bang. It's unlikely that he couldn't fix the Chameleon Circuit if he really wanted to. All evidence points to the fact that the TARDIS is a Police Box simply because The Doctor likes it that way.

Finally, we come to the most conclusive piece of evidence: Santa's Sack. In a single bag, he can carry enough presents for 2 billion people, and this bag can fit on a regular sized sleigh. The only way this can work is if his sack is bigger on the inside, and the Time-Lords of Gallifrey are the only known people in the known universes to have mastered this technology.

Ladies and Gentlemen. I think this is conclusive proof that Santa is a Time Lord...and most likely to be The Doctor


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Some Bitter, Cynical Advice

I've actually tried to write this post about 7 times now, and each time I've given up, basically because it's made sound like a jaded, cynical asshole.

It all started during a slow day at work. Someone asked a hypothetical question:

If you could go back in time, meet yourself when you were 12 and pass on some advice, what would that advice be?

A small caveat: No direct knowledge of the future. No telling yourself to invest heavily in Apple, what the lottery numbers are or what team to bet on. Just general life advice.

Finally, after much thought, my response came down to this:

"The world does not give a shit about you or your feelings. It only cares what it can get from you. Enjoy this while you can, because as hard as you think things are now, they're going to get so much harder."

See? Cynical asshole.

Well, let me start by defining 'The Real World' because when I was a teenager, I hated that expression. What do you mean, the 'real world'? I live in the real world! Just because I'm a teenager and don't have mortgage payments yet doesn't mean I live in some weird parallel reality.

...except you absolutely, totally do.

Let me explain: High school is the weirdest, most artificial environment on the planet. It is the only time in your life when you're going to be constantly surrounded by people in your own age group, who are all at the same stage in their lives, doing the same things as you while being exposed to the same ideas. It's why your taste in music, movies and what clothes you wear is such a big deal, because it's the only thing that sets you apart from everyone else and defines who you are and what group you fit into.

...and here's the big thing. School is the only environment on the planet where everyone around you has a vested interest in your success and will do everything they can to make you succeed.

It may not seem like that. Your teacher may be a real hardass who's on your case all the time, but let me explain something:

At school, your teachers are stuck with you. No matter how much you fuck up, no matter how many tests you fail or how little you pay attention...they have to teach you. You don't get fired from English class because you can't spell....but here's the thing, you fail enough and your teacher absolutely can get fired. His job and standing as a successful teacher depends on whether you and your classmates pass. Also, your school gets funding based on the school's pass rate. If it's a private school, they can charge more if more people pass and the school gets prestigious. If it's a public school, more passes equal more tax dollars and government grants.

You're a long term investment. If your school was a factory, you are the product...and if a factory produces shitty products, it doesn't stay a factory for very long.

So, let's talk about the 'real world', shall we?

You graduate and you walk into your first job.Let me explain what that's like.

You're surrounded for the first time by a totally diverse group of people. Your desk is between a 50 year old, divorced father of three and a 23 year old girl who's only there until her acting career takes off.

First and foremost, you're not a classmate or a colleague to these people. Unlike school, it's not everybody's first day. There are people who have probably worked at that company for decades...and you are a massive pain in the ass to them.

Don't get me wrong, they're probably nice people, but they've seen hundreds of people just like you come and go and now you're the new kid who they have to train...and you're probably going to fuck up for a while and increase their workload.

Basically, they have to do their own workload, while training you, checking your work and cleaning up your mistakes. They get absolutely no benefit out of this.

Then comes the two biggest shocks. I see this over and over with the new kids at my job, and it makes me laugh every time.

Let's say you go into work and do a good job. You finish your assignment and it's a masterpiece. So you go to your boss, hand him a stack of paper, tell them you've done your job exactly to his specifications and stand back and wait to bask in the shower of praise that's about to come your way.

Instead, your Boss barely looks up from his monitor, looks slightly annoyed at the interruption and tells you to leave it on his desk...then there's a moment of awkward silence and he asks why you're still in his office.

The second big shock is when something fucks up. You're called into the office and your boss chews your ass out for the failure. You point out that you've spent months on this project, you haven't taken a break in weeks, you're in the office at sun up and there long after the sun has set. Every waking moment was devoted to this project and you physically couldn't have worked any harder. The suppliers let you down, the vendor never got back to you, a meteor took out a critical resource...

...and your Boss could not give less of a shit.

This brings me back to my very first point...that the world does not give a shit about you, your feelings and only what it can get from you.

This is the hardest adjustment that teenagers have to make when they step into the real world.

You see, if you do a good job, you're not going to get praised for it, because your praise is your paycheck. Your boss isn't there to give you a career and make sure you succeed. As far as he's concerned, there's a job that needs to be done and he's paying you to do it. That's the start and end of the story.

More importantly, it's the result that matters, not how much effort you put in or how hard you tried. You've gone from being the center of the universe to a very small, very replaceable cog in a very big machine. If you fuck up, they just pop you out and replace you with a cog that works. If you do your job well, then you're just doing what you're supposed to do.

Sadly, that's my advice.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Real Money for Fake Items

So, I read an article recently about how a battle in Eve Online cost hundreds of thousands of real dollars.

The (rather snide) article pointed out that you can buy in-game currency for real money, meaning every ship in the game has a real cash value, with some ships costing upwards of $3000.

This immediately brings to mind the pale, friendless virgin pulling out his credit card and dropping the price of a decent used car on a 'fake spaceship'. What a loser, right?

Well, first of all, that's a bit misleading. Yes, technically, all the ships have a real cash value, but you can still get these ships by playing the game... and that $3000 spaceship was probably bought by hundreds of players, many of whom never actually spent any 'real' money on it.

But this isn't the point of this article.

My problem is that this sort of thing is always characterized by someone, who has no clue what they're talking about, as 'spending real money on things that aren't real'.

Here's my point:

Person A opens iTunes and spends $2 on a song they like.

Person B opens their favorite MMO and spends $2 on a magic sword.

Now, if I say that someone has spent some real world money on a digital entertainment product that doesn't actually exist in the real world...which person have I just described?

The answer, of course, is both.

That's the part everyone always seems to miss. That MMO is a game, an entertainment product, and people who spend money on them aren't buying a 'fake item that doesn't exist', they're buying entertainment. If someone wants to spend $15 on some 'virtual items' that are going to bring them a few hours of fun in a game they enjoy...how is that any different from buying a $15 movie online?

Both the movie and the 'virtual item' don't exist in the real world. They're both digital products that you can only see and interact with from the other side of a screen. However, they both provide enjoyment to the person who purchased them.

Basically, 99% of our entertainment products today only exist virtually. I have literally thousands of dollars worth of movies, games and music that only exist as 1's and 0's on my hard drive.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Controllermodz.co.uk Custom Xbox One Controller Review

So I finally broke and decided to buy myself a custom Xbox One controller.

Just to be clear, I didn't want a full modded controller. All the 'mods' I went for were cosmetic only. Basically, I see 'features' like turbo buttons and rapid fire to be a little bit 'cheaty' for my taste. I wouldn't mind eventually buying a controller with an extra X + Y button on the underside so I can reload without taking my thumb off the right stick...but to me, that's on a par with remapping your controls on a PC keyboard...not something that's giving you a massive unfair advantage.

Now, I'll be completely honest, I went with controllermodz because they were cheap. A lot of websites I looked at either specialised in 'cheaty' mods, or were ridiculously expensive (as in £200+ expensive). My controller from controllermodz was £90 including postage and packing. Given that a standard wireless controller costs around £60, an extra £30 to make it unique didn't feel too expensive.

So what did I order?
I got the blue digital camo faceplate, silver chrome D-Pad, blue thumbsticks, blue LED for the guide button and my gamertag on the left.

Unfortunately, as I said, I went cheap...and you get what you pay for, and I had problems right out of the box.

My first dissapointment is that, while website has a cool little gadget where you pick your options and you can see what your controller should look like, each option isn't shown by actual photographs. Instead you get a graphic. On the website, the thumbsticks looked like a deep blue, darker than the faceplate. As you can see, they're a lot lighter and closer to turquoise on the controller. Being 33 years old, it shouldn't matter but, to me, they look a little bit 'girly'.

The next dissapointment was far more severe. The A + B buttons had a habit of sticking. I jumped into a game of BF4 online, tried to stand up from the prone position and ended up jumping on the spot until I managed to unstick the button.

The thumbsticks also felt a little loose. I have to be fair here, It's not something a casual player would notice, but I noticed there was a bit more 'play' in the sticks before they engaged. I have bought new standard controllers for my Xbox 360's that felt the same way, so I can't really blame them for this.

Finally, whereas most places will add a design or gamertag by physically printing it onto the controller, controllermodz use vinyl letters, and even more dissapointingly, they did nothing to 'seal' them in place. After a few hours, I looked down and saw the letters had physically bent and shifted.

On the upside, I sent an email to controllermodz and complained about the problems I was having and I got a reply within the hour that was extremely apologetic and they offered me my money back or a replacement with no argument whatsoever. I can't fault their service, and I could easily have got a refund if I wanted. The only downside was I had to ship the controller back to them at my own expense.

Apart from them not paying for shipping, this is something I really appreciate. I tend not to judge a company if they send me something faulty, but judge them by how they resolve it. Many companies have bought my loyalty through quickly and fairly fixing mistakes and controllermodz fall under that category.

In the end, I fixed the problems myself. Other than the thumbsticks (which I simply got used to) I saw the problem with the buttons was caused by the design 'wrap' that  placed over the top plate was a little ragged. It had been folded over into the button holes and was causing friction. The fix was simply to run a toothpick between the button and housing a few times to flatten it out. As for my gamertag decal, I simply straightened out the letters and added a thin layer of clear nail varnish over the top.

Now the big question: Would I buy another controller from Controllermodz?

Unfortunately, my answer is no. While they are relatively very cheap compared to other sites offering mods, you really get what you pay for and this simply does not have that high-end, premium feel you would expect from a custom item.

Even if we look at the sticking A + B buttons as a one off fluke, for me, the nail in the coffin is the gamertag decals...the one thing on the controller that makes it completely unique. It's placed in an area where you hand is constantly, and if they come loose after a few hours playtime, that's not a one-off fault, that's just poor design. There's no way to put a vinyl decal in that position and it not eventually come loose.

Basically, if you're a serious gamer and want something high end that stands out, unfortunately, you're going to have to stump up the extra cash to get it. On the other hand, if you have young kids and want to get them soemthing fun so they can tell their controllers apart, I would highly recommend controllermodz...just have some clear nail polish at the ready for when they arrive.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


You know what? I fucking hate selfies.

Don't get me wrong, the occasional arms-length snap with your phone when you're out with your mates is fine, but that's more about the occasion than just taking a picture of yourself. I'm talking about the people who seem to be addicted to taking pictures of their own face.

If you go onto flickr or instagram, you'll find people who post nothing but literally thousands of pictures of their own face. Why? Why does anyone need that many pictures of themselves? Here's my face when I've just woken up. Here's my face while I get ready for work. Here's my face while I'm sitting at my desk. Here's me in the bathroom mirror.

Oh, and don't forget: "Here's half my face so I can fill 3/4's of the frame with my tits. I've tagged it #allnatural #nofilters so you know that my skin really is poreless plastic and my eyes really are purple and look like they're glowing. SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME I'M PRETTY! I'VE EVEN COMMENTED HOW UGLY I AM SO EVERYONE WILL TELL ME I'M GORGEOUS!"

(Hint, Instagram sluts...no one who thinks they're ugly takes a hundred pictures of themselves every hour. But if you have such low self esteem you base your whole self worth on fishing for compliments by posting pictures of your tits, have at it.)

It nearly blew my mind when I found that the dedicated selfie-camera is actually a thing.

The Casio EX-TR35 actually makes me angry. It's basically a camera with the lens on the wrong side. Yep, the screen and all the controls are on the same side as the lens. It's literally built for taking arms-length selfies...complete with built in filters and 'makeup mode'. I wouldn't even mind so much if this was a cheap toy, the kind of thing you buy as a gag gift or buy for your 13 year old daughter... but this is a £900 camera (roughly $1300 USD)

Are you fucking kidding me? You can buy a Canon 7D for that...and the worst part is, this is actually fucking selling. It's popular. People are dropping pro-DSLR money on a camera that only takes pictures of your own face...sure you can use it as a regular camera, but as it's a fixed focus, wide angle lens, it's designed solely around selfies...so you're not just spending £900 on a selfie camera, you're spending $900 on a shit selfie camera.

So, by this point, you're probably asking yourself why I hate selfies so much. Why it makes my blood boil. Well, I can sum it up like this:

You have a camera in your hands. For the first time in history we can easily and cheaply capture high quality images and share them instantly with the world, and we can store them indefinitely without them ever fading or degrading over time. Jesus Christ. What an opportunity. What a responsibility.

Imagine if this technology existed 500 years ago. Imagine having access to a vast library of pictures from the 1500's to the present. Imagine everything we could learn, from what the Napoleonic wars looked like, to what average, everyday life was like in that period. You could truly get to know what the people were like back then.

Think of what the most interesting pictures are. Most of the time, it's not the well known, historical pictures that capture the imagination. It's not really even the professional, posed family portraits. It's seeing a snap of what your home town looked like a hundred years ago. The candid shots.  Your dad as a teenager rocking those bell bottoms.

We literally have an entire world of possibilites to capture. What are we taking pictures of?

hERe's My faCe, LOL!

If you think I'm being overly dramatic, you're right, I probably am...but I just think it says a lot about us as a culture that when the average person is faced with an entire world to photograph, the one thing they choose to photograph is themselves.

Really. Just how self centered are we?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Plot Holes

So I just read one of those nitpicky articles, exposing the plot holes of movies.

Why doesn't anyone in post apocalyptic movies use bicycles? Why didn't they think to put tracking devices and remote kill-switches in the replicants in blade runner? Why put an actual person in the Mech murder-bots in Avatar? Man, these writers are idiots.

Except that they're not. They're really not.

Let me give you a writer's perspective.

Every story needs conflict. This is basic Writing 101. In fact, let me give you a 101 exercise. Imagine two people on a rooftop. One is about to kill himself by jumping off. Now, try and write the dialogue between the two guys with the other guy trying to talk him out of it. It's pretty easy, right? Ok, now try and write the dialogue where the other guy thinks the guy should jump off. It's impossible...unless the jumper creates the conflict by changing his mind.

In short, no conflict, no story.

The thing people tend to miss is that the super-easy, common sense solution completely removes that conflict and kills the narrative... and most of the time, coming up with an explanation as to why the protagonist can't use that solution breaks the rest of the story...and even if it doesn't, all it does is highlight the plot hole in the first place. Not to mention that in a movie you have extremely limited time. Do you want to spend 15 minutes moving the story forward, or handwaving a plot hole?

So, let's try it:

In the big climax of Avatar, the bad guys attack in gigantic mechs that have a nice squishy human running them, sitting behind glass that the Navi can put arrows through. So there's the nitpick: We have drone technology today, so why are we going to battle with such a glaring weakness? Why not send unmanned drones being operated by guys in a bunker a few hundred miles away?

Well, we've just broken the story, because there's no way for the Navi to win. Without the squishable weak point, the drones are virtually unkillable, and even if the Navi find a way to destroy them, all they've done is take out some equipment belonging to a trillion dollar corporation.They'll just send more and more because we've already established that 'Unobtanium'  is valuable enough to warrant any investment.

So let's explain it. Maybe there's some kind of radiation that means the remote signal can't get through. Well, that's solves one problem, but opens a few others. How do you explain the voice communcations that we can't lose because we need it for the story? Even if we establish that there's no need to communicate, everyone will just say: "Why not send autonomous drones?" Point a few hundred in the right direction and program them to destroy anything that looks like an oversized smurf.

Ok, so how do we explain why we can't use self-piloting drones? We know the Navi are primitive, so we can't have any technology that specifically targets them...and we can't really sell a kind of interference that specifically effects radio control, AI, but not voice comms and a way to monitor the battle.

Of course, we can sidestep the whole issue and set up an elaborate diversion plan where the Navi attack the bunker where the drones are being controlled from...but then we lose the whole scene. A squad of Navi stomping people in an office isn't as much fun or as interesting as a massive mech battle in the jungle.

Basically, that's the real problem. You have a minor inconsistency that can be quite easily explained (Hey, maybe the bad guys in Avatar have manned vehicles because they're arrogant pricks nd don't see a primitive tribe that hunt with spears to be that big of a threat)...and if you try to close that inconsistency, you break the story or just create more inconsistencies.

It's why when a computer is being hacked, they never just turn the computer off or unplug the network cable or disable the wireless adapter. If they can do that, it removes the threat and makes the scene pointless. If they can't, they have to come up with an explanation that's probably even more ludicrous.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hubsan X4 Video Recording Review

I'll have to start this by saying I'm not an expert quad pilot. In fact, I pretty much suck at it.

So, I've had a standard Hubsan X4 for about a year and, after trying out 3 or 4 similar micro-quads, I have to say it's simply the best micro-quad you can buy. It's cheap, easy to fly and is just a perfectly engineered little machine.

For example, quadcopters are essentially fly-by-wire machines. You tell the quad what you want it to do and an onboard computer, with the help of gyros and accelerometers, adjusts the throttle on each of the four motors to make it perform the required maneuver. Without this, quadcopters would be just about impossible to fly. Something as simple as flying forwards would mean simultaneously adjusting the speed of all four rotors to make the machine tilt forward enough to move forward and maintain altitude without flipping over.

As you can imagine, this is tricky, and a lot of other cheap microquads just don't do a very good job of it. For example, the Silverlit Space Galaxy tends to overcorrect and assumes if there's no input on the controller, that you want it to hover in place.

There's none of that with the X4 model. In beginner mode you have a steady, docile machine that just about anyone can fly. In expert mode you have an extremely fast, agile, responsive quad that does what you want it to do, when you want it to do it.

So what about the X4 Video Recording model?

To be honest, there's very little difference between flying a standard X4 and the X4VR. It's just as responsive and easy to fly and actually seems sturdier that the Standard X4 (a fast, uncontrolled crash from about 3 stories high with no damage proved that). The only downside is that the X4VR is obviously a little heavier which means a slightly shorter battery life (approx 8-10 minutes) and slightly slower climb rates...but there's no drastic drop off in performance.

The video quality is actually a lot better than I expected from the tiny camera in the X4VR at 720x480 at 25fps. It's essentially the same quality as a decent laptop webcam, and as it records to a microSD card, there's as much storage as you want, with a 5 minute video taking up approximately 170mb of space.

Operating the camera is simple, with a single button on the side of the quad. Press the button once and a red light will start flashing, showing that  recording has started. When you're finished, pressing the same button again stops recording and saves the video. Having flown a standard X4 for so long, I'd sometimes forget to save the video before disconnecting the battery...but that's down to me rather than the quad.

The only real downside I found, which again is more a problem with me than the quad, is that the quad will power down after a crash to prevent further damage. With a standard X4 this is something you probably wouldn't even notice. You have a minor crash, the power is cut, then you get your quad, reset it and relaunch. However, on the video version, cutting the power also means losing any video you've recorded. More than once, I'd recorded 5 minutes of video only to lose it due to a sudden gust of wind and a bad landing...but again, the solution to this is not to crash.

In other words, I can't recommend this quad enough. It's an excellent flyer, cheap enough to where it's not the end of the world if you damage it beyond repair, and extremely cheap to order new parts if you have a more significant crash. The quad comes with four replacement props, and replacements are literally pennies to buy.

Now the review is over, here are some experiences with a few tips for newbie pilots like myself:

The most difficult thing I found to get used to is actually orienting the camera. There's really no such thing as the 'nose' of a quad...they can fly just as fast and easily sideways and backwards as forwards. Because of this I learned to fly the X4 with the nose always pointing away from me, so left on the stick always meant the quad would move left, etc, etc. Obviously, if you want to record something, the camera has to be pointing at it...which really highlighted my inexperience. Quite often, especially when the quad was at altitude, I'd lose track of the orientation...which can lead to a panicked moment when you steer the quad towards the rooftop or tree you're trying to avoid. The quad has coloured LEDs on each prop to help with this, but on a bright day when the quad is high above you, this is difficult to see.

I also flew my standard X4 exclusively indoors. If you've done the same, I suggest some practice outside at low altitude and over grass before you try flying at altitude or over less forgiving terrain. Wind is obviously a factor, but I'd found I'd got into a few habits that make sense indoors but are practically suicidal outside. For example, if I was flying indoors and got into trouble, my habit was to immediately cut power....a 6 foot drop onto carpet causes a lot less damage than props at full power hitting a wall or the TV.

On my first trip outside I had the quad about 3 stories high and nearly went into a wall. Without thinking I cut the throttle. By the time I realised my mistake, the quad was already too low and falling too fast to recover. Luckily, the only damage was that a prop came off, but was easily reattached.

Basically, having a camera on your quad makes you want to immediately fly as high as possible to get good footage. My advice is practice and get as comfortable as possible before going for those high altitide shots.

Monday, June 30, 2014

OMG fix pls!

So I've just had a very frustrating game of Battlefield 4.

Usually I hate sniping in games, and I think I suffer from the same problem anyone who has experience with a real rifle has - Usually bullets in games travel like laser beams: They travel in a perfectly straight line and hit the instant you pull the trigger.

As someone who would regularly shoot a real rifle at over 200 meters (I know, hardly sniper ranges, but it was a .22)...I have nearly ten years of muscle memory telling me to account for wind speed, bullet drop and travel time.

It's why BF4 is the first game I've ever been any good as a sniper: There are actual physics involved. While the bullet isn't affected by wind (which is a good thing, you can't toss a handful of grass into the air in a game), the bullet does drop over time and travel time is a factor.

Suddenly, my muscle memory wasn't a liability, but an advantage.

However, it highlighted something else wrong with online shooters: As a sniper, lag and latency are a real factor.

You see, usually, I play whatever class is the most run and gun in online shooters...and while lag is an issue for everyone, it doesn't hit the assault class as hard. You're nowhere near as precise. If you're shooting at a guy 20 meters away, even an aimed shot with an automatic weapon is going to 'spray' a bit...so if the hit detection is a little off, if there's 70ms of lag, who cares? When your gun is shooting 900 rounds per minute, if a couple shots 'miss' due to lag, the rest are going to hit.

Now compare that to firing a single bullet at a moving target at 300 meters, and you only get a one-shot kill if you hit the head.

It's frustrating as hell.

I know, I know...I know a lot of BF4 veterans are snorting and saying 'lern 2 play'... but when you've lined up a perfect shot, pulled the trigger, then watched the bullet pass straight through the guy you're shooting with absolutely no effect, it makes you want to bite your controller in half.

In the game I just played, I was in a spot with really good concealment and saw a guy stopping to launch a rocket at a helicopter. He was 100 meters away and dead still. This is a dream shot. At 100 meters, bullet drop isn't a factor, the guy's head fills 50% of my scope and it's a stationary target. I'm lying prone with a bipod on my rifle...there's not even any scope sway.

I lined up and fired. The bullet passed through him with no effect. This happened four times before he finally realised he was being shot at and returned fire...at 100 meters, with an smg. His first bullet got me right in the head and I died.

That's the problem with online shooters. I have a 150mbs fiber connection, and every time I start BF4, I know I'm either in for a couple of hours or awesome fun...or a couple of hours of complete and total frustration. Sure, I know it also depends on the skill level of the people you're playing against....when your average K/D drops from 20/1 to 1/10...there's more than skill involved.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The reason for Nerd Rage – and why we need to get over it.

In 2014 it feels like Hollywood is filled with nothing but sequels, prequels, remakes and reboots…and the only thing that goes better with these movies than popcorn and a suspicious hotdog, is a massive amount of nerd rage.

From Star Wars to Transformers, regardless of the popularity of the movie, you’re never more than an angry rage-spit away from someone who will tell you how the remake ruined the original, or how the director personally set out to rape their childhood.

Let me explain something.

My favourite movie of all time is Star Wars. 

The most important thing to understand here is that even though Star Wars is my favourite movie, I don’t think it’s the best movie ever made. Hell, I’ve seen movies that are objectively better than Star Wars in every single way, but Star Wars is still my favourite.

This is something that people just can’t get their head around. It’s why my wife can’t fathom my Star Wars obsession, or how I can even watch classic Doctor Who.

The thing is, sometimes the actual object isn’t as important as its context. It’s like your first car. My first car was a second-hand 1984 Nissan Micra. To cast it in its best possible light, that car was a total shitbox. It was slow, clunky, looked like a piece of deformed Tupperware and had a gearbox that was like stirring porridge…but you know what? I fucking loved that car. 

The car itself didn’t matter. It was what that car represented. I owned that car at a time of my life when I was taking those first steps into adulthood. Yeah, it was a total shitbox, but it was the car me and my idiot friends would pile into at midnight to drive into town to go watch a movie. It was freedom.

It’s the same with movies.

The first time I watched Star Wars I was 5 years old and in blew my fucking mind. I was living in a world that stopped at the end of the street, and suddenly there were space-ships and Jedi and the Force. It was the first thing that really captured my imagination.

One day, surely, I’d have my own spaceship with a wookie co-pilot who would beat the shit out of anyone who even looked at me funny. I’d grow up and be a great hero who’d save the world. After all, Luke Skywalker grew up in a desert…and he blew up the fucking Death Star.

I think that’s something we forget as we grow older. The fantasy and magic slowly fade and we’re forced to get grounded in the real world where we have to work jobs we don’t like, worry about mortgage payments or how we’re going to swing the budget this week because the exhaust fell off the car. 

We eventually have to accept that we don’t get to be Jedi, flying around the universe in the Millenium Falcon. That we’re not the star in our own personal movie, and we live in world where the good guys don’t always win, and the bad guy doesn’t get chucked into a super-weapon’s main reactor.

…and that’s why I love Star Wars. Because, not matter how shitty my day has been, no matter how stressed I am about work, for 125 minutes, I get to turn the lights down and be 5 years old again.
That movie is an integral part of my childhood. It represents a time when I didn’t have a care in the world and little things like keeping a roof over my head or food on the table didn’t even register as something that could be taken away.

So, when George Lucas comes along and fucks with it, he’s not just re-editing a movie, he’s messing with something I love that I have a very real, deep personal connection with.


Here’s the thing. What we have to understand is that remaking these movies don’t make the originals go away. George Lucas can’t rape my childhood, because I’ve already had my childhood…and no amount of Jar-Jar Binks or Greedo shooting first can erase those memories of sitting on the couch, watching Star Wars and then challenging the dog to a lightsaber duel.

Here’s the bitter pill to swallow: The new Star Wars movies, the Transformers movies, Godzilla or whatever movies you’re into…those aren’t meant for us. They’re meant for the next generation of kids to sit, wide-eyed, in the movie theatres and watch.

Sure, they’re doing it all wrong and the originals are better…but I guarantee that your parents told you the same thing when you first watched Star Wars.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

50 Bullshit Facts Some Asshole Made Up

So, I stumbled across this little gem today: The 50 Things Every Man Should Know.

It's not very often I read such misinformed, sexist bullshit, so I felt the need to respond, at least to the more ridiculous ones. Original text in black, my response in blue:

1. We don’t like being slobbered on. Please swallow your spit before you kiss us.

Back at you. Women do this too.
2. Except in extreme cases, your grooming/hygiene regimen is less intense and obligatory than ours. I.e., when we say we like your hair long/your beard trimmed/your back shaved, and you complain about how hard it is to take care of, we think you sound completely ridiculous and we have zero pity for you.

You make it sound like someone has a gun to your head. Sure, women have to do much more to be considered 'attractive', but that's not men's fault. I don't like to shave, so I don't shave very often. Most women find this unnattractive and will judge me on that. Don't act like we have it so easy.
4. It is about ten times harder for us to lose weight than you. Our bodies are designed to hold onto enough fat to feed a pregnancy during a famine, for chrissakes. Yes, we’re proud of those twenty pounds you lost when you started biking to work. No, it’s not going to work as well or as quickly for us. That doesn’t mean we’re doing it wrong.

Nope, basic science. More of the food you eat is stored as fat, but if you burn more calories than you eat, you'll lose weight. Physics. The storing fat for pregnancy thing only happens when you're actually pregnant.
5. If you can’t answer a question as simple as “What are you thinking?” then you shouldn’t be shocked that there are times when women don’t know how to tell you what they want.

Ok, if we don't answer "What are you thinking?" It's for one of two reasons: One, we're not actually thinking anything... we can do that. Two, and this may come as a shocker...it's a private thought we don't want to share with you. 

While we're talking about sexism, men are raised to be the strong, stoic protectors. Sometimes I don't respond because I'm worrying about something I don't want to worry you about...but I suppose that's sexist as well, right? Yeah, stereotypical gender roles go both ways.

6. Most of us are a little baffled by your obsession with large genitalia. We’re actually all secretly wishing for a man with a ten-inch tongue.

For the exact same reason women are obsessed with having big boobs and a nice ass. 
7. We believe that you secretly resent us just because we are female. Mostly because quite a few of you don’t bother to keep it secret.

The fact you wrote this whole thing shows that you resent us just for being male. You're not making any effort to keep that secret.
8. We’re taught to believe that we are beautiful/sexy/attractive on purpose in order to manipulate men. Some women take this and run with it, engaging in terrible behavior because they think they’re already somewhat evil for being desirable, so why not just go with it? Sort of the same way that some men think that the whole ‘men are pigs’ stereotype gives them permission to forget their species. Some women spend their lives mutely apologizing for their attractiveness by giving men permission to take advantage of them. Most women are just confused by the whole thing and wonder why we are being blamed for something we didn’t do on purpose.

Who taught you this? Becausde that sounds like total horseshit. No guy resents any woman for being attractive. What we actually resent is women who expect special treatment because they're attractive. Personally, I don't like the 'all men are pigs' idea, so I'll go out of my way to not act like a pig. 
9. Related to #8: We are not beautiful/sexy/attractive on purpose to manipulate men. No matter how put-together and stylish and socially skilled some woman may be, there was always some element of pure chance involved in her level of attractiveness to men. Stop calling her a bitch just because she’s hot and you can’t have her. It’s entirely possible that she’s not doing it on purpose to make your life miserable (read up on astronomy and note that you are not the center of the universe).

Sorry, you're assuming all men call women bitches because they're attractive and we can't have them? Who thinks they're the center of the universe again?
10. If we kiss/fall in love with/have sex with another woman while in an exclusive relationship with you, it counts as cheating. Period. If you are the kind of man who thinks it doesn’t count, you have placed yourself in a prime position to get cheated on with impunity. Also, you’re an idiot.

Fair enough...but then again, you're assuming you're view of sexuality and monogamy is universal. If a guy gets off on the idea of his girlfriend sleeping with women and is perfectly happy with that arrangement, who are you to judge? It's like people in the swinger lifestyle. I couldn't do that, but there's lots of people who live that lifestyle and love it. I don't judge just because their lifestyle is different to mine.
11. You do not think lesbians are hot. Here is what you think is hot: mostly-straight women who engage sexually with other women in an exhibitionist and somewhat male manner. Don’t go making the mistake of thinking you like lesbians when you have not the least clue what lesbian sex actually looks like.

What, you mean everything I've seen in porn movies isn't taken straight from real life? I'm shocked. 
12. More than a few women think this is hot: mostly-straight men who engage sexually with other men in an emotional and somewhat female manner. It’s basically co-opting another sex to fulfill your own fantasies, and women do it too. Chances are, if you are attractive, some woman has had the thought about you at some point or another that you would look even better sucking some other man’s cock. (Maybe you’ll think about it if we can get a few beers into you…? Hey, we’re giving you a compliment!)

I'm not quite sure where you're going with this? Is it supposed to shock me? Make me go "Oh no! Imagining women doing it with each other is wrong! I'm a monster!"? Hell, if someone gets excited at the idea of me sucking dick, they're welcome to that fantasy. Here's something you don't know about men: Most of us are perfectly comfortable in our sexuality and don't freak out at the idea of a guy finding us attractive.
13. Women do not understand the concept of emasculation, even the relatively few women who enjoy doing it to you. We don’t understand it, because emasculation is the act of removing someone’s rightful power and dominant social standing. We are told from birth that we have no rightful power or dominant social standing. Don’t get me wrong; we know we have power, we’re just told that it’s illicit and that we’re evil for using it. So if you try to communicate to us the social and emotional and physical position you possess simply because you are male, we fundamentally do. Not. Get. It. We have no such equivalent. We have no way of knowing how it feels to have it taken away.

You know, it's funny. You complain about male 'power', but you're happy to take advantage of it. You complain about gender roles and flip if we ask you to do something traditionally 'female' because we're 'expecting it of you because it's 'women's work''...but at the same time, you just expect us to do 'man's work' because it's our job. 

If you think men have no idea of what it's like to be judged or put under pressure because of gender roles, get in a car with a guy, drive to a busy street, then you get out and change a tire while he stands and watches. Enjoy the reactions of the passers by. 

14. To expand on one point: women are taught that we have power, but that it is an evil power. We are told that we are manipulators or puppetmasters. It’s obviously okay to be powerful and to use that power in a responsible manner; the responsible use of power is called “honor”, and it needs to stop being viewed as the exclusive domain of men, but I digress. We are presented with a choice: we can let the world trample us, or we can use our power and be called a bitch. If you want us to behave honorably, offer us that option.

Horseshit. Either that or I missed the all-girl 'puppet master' class at school. The problem is, when a woman is in a position of power, you hear her get called a bitch and cry sexism... but answer me this: If you have a male boss, how many times does he get called an asshole, control freak or 'little hitler' in a single day? Resentment comes from seeing a person in a position of power when you feel you are more deserving and could do better. 
15. If your testicles decided to drive a truck over your midsection once a month for 3-6 days, you would probably resent us for not having to deal with that.

So it's okay to resent us based on biology, but not the other way around.
16. Most women are not annoyed by misogyny. They are horrified by it. It is scary, awful, disgusting shit to us. History teaches us that societies that hate women tend to find ways to rape, enslave, mutilate, or kill them… by the millions. When you hate on women, you get lumped into that category.

Correct, there is no excuse for misogyny. Then again, neither is misandry...and give that your whole article should have been titled "Why men are assholes", I suggest you look in the mirror.

17. In response to sexual harassment, what most women feel is intense and inexplicable shame . So if you’ve offended a woman and you want to make it right, the best thing to do is to treat her with respect and admiration. If you can’t find anything to respect or admire in the woman you just offended, stop dating her.

Men feel almost exactly the same thing. It's just as uncomfortable to recieve unwanted sexual advances from a women...and we have to face the fact that if we speak out about it, we're going to be subjects of ridicule.

18. Generally, you are larger and stronger and more violent than we are, and no matter how many exceptions to that rule there are, we never forget it. Women who don’t acknowledge this often end up in situations where they are hurt or killed. So when a woman says something about you being “safe” or “nice”, take it for the relatively massive compliment it truly is.

Larger and stronger, yes. More violent? Nope. Women can be (and are) just as violent and vicious as men. 'Husband beating' is a real and growning problem. If my wife decided to beat the shit out of me, I couldn't retaliate or even defend myself because I'd go to jail. Reporting it would make me a laughing stock.
19. These days, women are told to behave as though they are empowered, and yet also told to always let a man pick up the check at a restaurant and never ever earn a higher wage than he does, lest you emasculate him. This is a classic Catch-22. To most women, the consequences of upsetting a man are worse than the consequences of failing to be feminist, on a situational basis. So we believe in feminism and don’t act on it. It’s enforced hypocrisy.

Once again, back at ya. If we hold open the door, drive the car and pick up the check, we're being sexist pigs and should be ashamed of ourselves. If we go on a date and leave you to pick up the check, we're not 'real men'. Honestly, how many second dates do you think a guy who makes his date pay for the meal gets to go on.

20. Women’s dress clothes are often made without pockets. That’s why we carry purses. If you want to stop holding our purses for us when we go to the bathroom, then make pockets fashionable.

Sorry, I didn't realise men controlled the world of fashion and it's anti-pocket conspiracy. Another gender stereotype. You're assuming power and control that isn't there. Personally, I wear what feels comfortable and don't worry about fashion. 
21. While we’re at it, high fashion is dominated by two groups of people: straight women and gay men. Neither of these groups really has any business determining the sexual attractiveness of a woman’s body, and yet we’ve given them that power. That is why the current ideal female body image is so unbelievably fucked up. If you fall prey to it, you are a part of the problem. Don’t like it? Pursue a career in fashion.

The current ideal female body is fucked up? Have you seen a Calvin Klein underwear ad recently? You think teenage boys don't feel they have to live up to the 'teen hearthrob' chiselled jaw and six-pack image that's on all the magazines?
22. We’re not allowed to fart, sweat, stink, grope ourselves in public, or shit. We don’t understand why you should be.

Yes, because every time I go out in public smelling like ass, farting on passers-by while adjusting my crotch, no one comments at all. Oh, but while we're on the subject, stop wearing so much perfume it feels like we're getting punched in the face from across the street.
23. Women can hold powerful and responsible positions in society just fine. We are actually less dominated by our hormones than men are. A quick review of political and religious scandals instigated by male hormones over the past several thousand years will back this up.

I agree, women are just as capable as men of running shit...but don't talk to me about hormones. If you can make a sly dig about men being controlled by testosterone and their dicks, I can make a dig about smashing furniture over a sock on the bedroom floor or crying at a toilet paper advert during you 'special time'.
24. If you get offended by the fact that we want to hang a mini-blind or put together a desk set, don’t get offended when we expect you to be the sole lawn mower and toilet de-clogger. Hey, you asked for a helpless woman: you got one.

This is what I'm talking about. Remember all that shit about how you're under pressure from society and how you're taught from day one that you should do this and that and you feel 'inexplicable shame' if you deviate from it? This is the male version of that. You get looked down on for making your man cook and clean the house for you. We get looked down on for making you change your own tire or mow the lawn.

For the millionth time. Men are subject to unfair gender roles too. 

25. We love being right because human beings love being right. Don’t act like you feel any different. You think you’re right all the time, too, or you wouldn’t be so upset when we believe the opposite.

This is not a men vs. women thing. This is just human personalities. I've met men and women who can never admit to being wrong.
26. Despite many advances in the area of fashion, a lot of women’s formal and professional clothing is still incredibly uncomfortable, sometimes humiliating, and occasionally downright unhealthy. Most of us have no idea why this happened to us. Yes, it’s a loaded statement when you admire a woman’s clothing. Sorry. Women’s clothing is a loaded statement before you even get there, so there’s no real escape, and after all, we’re the ones who have to wear it.

Since when is a skirt, blouse and jacket 'uncomfortable, humiliating or unhealthy?'. Here's a fun fact, men's shirts are based entirely off collar size. I have a 22" neck, which means I can have a shirt that fits my neck, but the rest is like wearing a circus tent, or a shirt that fits my body but has a collar that's 3" too short to close. Wear a tie every day with a collar that literally strangles you. 

Point being: back at ya.
27. Women do not love assholes. I repeat: women do not love assholes. PEOPLE love assholes. Everybody knows some man who ended up engaged or married to the Queen Bitch of Western Civilization for reasons unfathomable. We’ve all fallen prey to the siren call of the warbling asshole at one time or another… admit it, you’ve dated at least one.

I agree. What most people are attracted to is confidence, and unfortunately, confidence often leads to arrogance which is the asshole/bitch main characteristic. As a counter point, men do not want submissive, doe-eyed, easily dominated women.
28. Most women don’t recognize that humor is one method that men often use to exert social dominance over each other and show off their desirability to women. So when a woman tells a joke, she doesn’t expect to be evaluated for it. That’s because she’s not doing it to show off or to outshine you. She’s doing it to be funny. The appropriate response is to laugh, groan, or (if you absolutely must) say “Funny”.

What? No, seriously...what? What I think you're actually saying is women don't realise men want to be funny because it makes them attractive to women...and part of that is being 'the funniest'...which is bullshit. I think all women (apart from you) realise that men want to be funny because it's an attractive quality.

If you tell a joke, you're absolutely going to be evaluated for it. This is true of everyone not just women. If I tell you a joke that just isn't funny and not even in an ironically not funny way, are you telling me you're not going to evaluate me in any way based on that? 

Oh, and if you tell a joke, you are absolutely showing off. What you're doing is telling a group of people to stop talking and listen to you so you can entertain them.

29. It’s very, very easy to tell when you may offer a woman help, advice, or education: she asks you for it. Otherwise, don’t do it. No matter how much she appears to need it, do not do it unless she asks. We learned about a thousand years ago that offering you help or explanations wounds your fragile egos. It’s time for you to learn the same thing. Besides, that brilliant solution you have to all of our problems isn’t going to work, for a million reasons you were too arrogant to consider.

I find it deeply ironic that you're calling men arrogant in the most arrogant way possible.

Let me get this straight. If we offer unsolicited advice, we're in the wrong because we're being arrogant and forcing our opinions on you. If you offer unsolicited advice, we should take it, and if we don't it's because we have fragile egos? 

30. We know the awful secret: no man has ever died from being a good listener.

This is one thing that really pisses me off. When you say 'good listener', you mean "be in the room and agree with everything I say." Men are problem solvers. If you tell us about a problem, we assume you want help with it...because, if not, why tell us about it?

Let me explain something. If a guy talks about his problems, what he's saying is "I have a problem, help me fix it." We assume you're doing the same thing. 
31. Despite popular self-help titles, women are not actually from another planet. Our emotions and reactions are not completely alien from your own. And we actually talk about said emotions and reactions; such talk is almost like stereo instructions except easier to understand and it doesn’t blur when you spill coffee on it.

Most men talk about their feelings as well, in exactly the same way. 
32. Here’s a big secret that the world never taught you: it is not necessary for you to understand women. It is necessary for you to understand one woman: the one you are with. Doesn’t that sound much easier than trying to pin down several billion people? Conserve your resources: try understanding one woman at a time.

So why write this at all? You made the point that all women are unique. Maybe you should assume men are the same way.
33. Related to item #21 on fashion: long hair is not fashionable, that’s why so few women keep their hair really long. When you start taking the fashion industry seriously, maybe your voice will start to be heard. In the meantime, consider yourselves lucky that baldness isn’t en vogue right now.

Were you drinking when you wrote this, because you're becoming more nonsensical. You've spent the first half of this complaining about fashion, the clothes you're forced to wear, the unrealistic ideals you're forced to live up to...and now you're having a go at men for not taking the fashion industry seriously? About 10 points ago, we were the cruel masters behind the no-pocket conspiracy...now we're clueless and not taking the industry seriously???
34. Ready yourself: here is why we love going to the mall. Are you ready?
It’s a free hangout.
There is no wind or weather to mess up our hair. (Hairstyles are obligatory. See above notes on fashion.)
It’s usually clean, and there are bathrooms and lots of places to sit down.
It’s relatively safe; there are plenty of other people, it’s well-lit, and there are guards patrolling the area.
There are plenty of open spaces to walk.
Almost every single store perpetuates the illusion that we can pay money to be happier.
There is an unusual lack of alcohol and drunk people. Did I mention safety already?
We can spend as much or as little time there as we want.
There is food. There are cookies. There is art. There are books. Often, there are movies.
A lot of mall interiors are deliberately pretty to look at.
Honestly, not only do we love malls, we have a hard time understanding why you DON’T.

My wife hates malls. Once again, you're making huge generalisations. For one of my own, though, men aren't too fond of malls because we know we want something, we like to go there, buy it and leave...not spend an afternoon looking at overpriced crap we don't want or need.

On the same subject, however, why do so many women expect their men to spend two hours shopping for something that is of no interest to them...but then we're the unreasonable ones for wanting to spend more that 2 minutes in the gadget store or the sporting goods store?
35. Rape jokes are to women what castration jokes are to men. Sure, maybe it’s really funny, but it always makes you uncomfortable, it’s never welcome to hear, and it always says something about the person who decided to go there.

I don't think men are too bothered about castration jokes...and it depends what you mean by 'rape joke'. For example, Ricky Gervais did a bit on an anti-rape ad campaign. He got a lot of flak for his 'rape joke'...but there was no hate in his jokes...his point was "What kind of society do we live in where we need a TV ad to remind people not to rape?" 

36. If you’re not sure whether a woman wants to have sex with you, she doesn’t.

Mostly true...but what if it's a first date and she wants to take it slow? What if she just doesn't want to jump into bed on the first date? What if she's playing hard to get?
37. If you’re not sure whether a woman enjoyed that date she had with you, she didn’t.

Unless she's shy, a little socially awkward, nervous, etc, etc...
38. We do not hit some imaginary expiration date at the age of forty-five.

Depends on the person. Having watched a female co-worker go through a dating site, clicking past suggestions with comments like "too short", "too fat", "has a beard", etc, etc....you have to accept that to some guys, 45 may be "too old".

39. Women hate being called “cute”. To us it means “attractiveness absolutely devoid of sexual allure”. To men it means something else, apparently. We have no idea what. “Cute” implies young, helpless, and silly. Why would we want to be seen that way? You don’t want to be called cute, we don’t want to be called cute, so let the world just erase it from the intrasexual lexicon. From now on, “cute” is for animals, small children, and tiny phones.

No, to you that's what cute means. Have a glance at facebook...you'll find lots of men and women who consider 'cute' to mean 'sexy'.
40. Makeup is one of the most illogical concepts on this planet or any other. We are basically encrusting our faces with goop in order to make our eyes look bigger, our skin look clearer, our lips look fuller. Meanwhile, you can barely touch or kiss us without messing us up, which sort of defeats the purpose of trying to be attractive in the first place. It renders a woman from flesh to art. Which can be nice in a magazine spread, but it’s no longer nice once you smear it around with the effects of actually living. So. You claim to hate makeup. Most of us hate makeup. WHY does this crap still exist… except for the tiny fact that it actually works on you?

There's that accusatory tone again. Women hate makeup. Men like it when women wear makeup, so therefore, men are forcing women to wear makeup. If you don't like it, don't wear it. If all men are assholes who only see women as painted sex objects, why are you trying to attract us again.
41. We loosened that jar lid before we handed it to you.

No you didn't. Jars are hard to open because there's a vaccum seal inside. You either break that seal or you don't. Even if that wasn't the case, you still didn't have the strength to open in it all the way.
42. The instant you mock, complain about, insult, sneer at, willfully ignore, frantically avoid, or even constructively criticize a fat woman, you have marked yourself as a scummy mark of shit on the underpants of humanity. You have NO idea what the life of an overweight woman is like, and you never will. The appropriate response to an overweight woman is twofold: a) treat her like a goddamn human being as worthy of courtesy as any other, and b) be humbly, cravenly grateful that you don’t have to deal with the shit she deals with on a daily basis and will probably deal with for the rest of her life.

You know what? Fuck you. Fuck you right in the dick. Have you any idea what it's like to be a fat guy? No, because for the hundredth fucking time you're taking a human problem, assigning women as the victims and making men the villains.

You think guys don't get mocked for being fat? You think no woman has ever openly laughed at or mocked a fat guy? Speaking as someone who was once incredibly fat, I've been there and acting like this is purely a female issue shows your complete and total ignorance of the subject. Maybe if you got down off that high horse and stopped blaming men for not shaping the world to suit you, you may discover that all these problems are not unique to you or your sex.
43. There are two ways to be courteous about a door, based upon context: one is opening a door for a woman, the second is thanking a woman who opens a door for you. Either way, you are a gentleman. BOOM. Solved.

As someone who got screamed at for a solid minute how I was enforcing gender stereotypes by opening a door for a woman, I'll disagree with you. Having to explain that I wasn't subconciously oppressing someone by opening a door for them left me a little sour on this subject. See your earlier point, some women are just entitled bitches.

44. Fuck the stupid toilet seat and all the baggage that comes with it: after you use the toilet, male or female, close the LID. This takes care of the seat war, gives both sexes equal responsibility for proper toilet behavior, minimizes smell, prevents tragic phone accidents, and keeps animals safe from drinking the water. It also looks nicer. And hey, shocker: that’s what the lid is actually FOR.

Sorry, but this is one of the few things on this list that is purely a female issue. No guy has ever complained about the toilet seat. If it's down and we need it up, we'll lift it up. If it's up and we need it down, we put it down. It takes less than a second.

45. Admit it: when you first start dating a woman, and you’re really, really into her, you buy her flowers. This is because you are eager for acceptable ways to show her how much you like her, and flowers are the most common social norm. Women know this. Even women who don’t like flowers know this.

Yeah....and? I really don't see your point on this.
46. When you have sex with a woman you don’t give two shits about, you are playing with fire. Fair warning.

Right back at ya.
47. If you resent our straight male friends, try the fun experiment of dating a woman who never had any.

Yes, because no woman has ever had an issue with their boyfriend hanging out with his straight female friends ever.
48. When we talk about you to our friends and family, it’s actually a compliment. We only talk about the things that absorb and interest us, the things that we want to spend time on. If you ever meet a girl who keeps you a secret, something is very, very wrong.

We know. We're not stupid.

49. When you keep us a secret, we know that something is very, very wrong.

We also know. We are also still not stupid.

50. Somewhere there is a woman reading this list and thinking, “None of this applies to me.” That’s because, corny as it sounds, human beings can not be defined by the general tendencies of their sex, and the general tendencies of their sex are defined differently from individual to individual.

Wow. Maybe if you actually believed that, you wouldn't have just spent the whole list generalising men.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

No, it's not real.

So, with Sunny being away for a week, I took advantage of my time alone by having my yearly Star Wars and Lord of the Rings marathon (I know, I’m a crazy party animal).

After nearly a full day of swashbuckling sci-fi fantasy action, I watched all the cool sword and lightsaber fights and thought “I wish I knew how to do that.”

Just to be clear, I’ve no real interest in actually learning to sword fight. I took a few Kendo lessons as a teenager, and made the discovery most teenagers do when they go to learn something they’ve seen in a movie: real life is a lot different to the screen.

I don’t want to learn how to actually sword fight. I want to learn how to stage-fight…with all the cool spins and flourishes thrown in.

So I went to the internets and looked up stage fighting. There are a lot of expensive courses for actors, lots of expensive course materials you can buy, so I thought ‘fuck it’ and went to Youtube.
There’s always some twat who takes things way too far.

So I stumbled across a youtube channel where some guy had put up a few hundred videos on how to fight with a lightsaber. I thought it was the exact thing I was looking for, until I realised something: This guy was taking it seriously.

I don’t mean he was taking his craft seriously. Stage combat is serious business. The sword you’re swinging might be blunt, but you’re still swinging a hefty piece of metal around. I mean he was trying to teach lightsaber combat as practical self defence.

It was pure unintentional comedy as this guy inexpertly swung a plastic lightsaber around, talking about how to get real power into your strikes. How to avoid incoming attacks, etc, etc. How each of the five lightsaber forms was based on real world swordfighting techniques and how he was a master of this and that.

If that guy had ever touched a sword before putting up these videos, I’d be surprised.

Here’s the thing. I’m no expert, but I’m sane enough to know real sword fighting and stage fighting have very little in common. Stage fighting is about looking good and putting on an exciting show. Real fighting is about killing your opponent as quickly and efficiently as possible while exposing yourself to the least amount of danger possible.

It’s why it annoys me when some armchair expert watches a movie and feels the need to tell you the way they’re fighting is totally unrealistic. Of course it’s unrealistic. Real fighting is boring as baboon ass to watch. 

If you want an example, go find a Kendo competition video online. Here’s what happens 99% of the time: The guys face off, then one attacks, the other gets hit and it’s over. Occasionally you may get one or two parries in there, but that’s it. Even fist fighting is boring in real life. Watch a UFC fight. The guys square up, throw a couple of punches, then they go to the ground and roll around for a bit. The end. 

(Ok, UFC can be fun to watch, but there’s always the big build up about how ‘Guy A’ has learned Brazilian ju-jitsu and the other guy has mastered the ‘Twisting Tiger/Hidden Ferret technique’, then 2 minutes in it’s down to the same old sweaty dick-punching).

My point is real fighting is not that interesting to watch. When you take the actual rules away, it’s extremely fast, simple and over in a few seconds. There are no epic 10 minute battles in real life. Even the average shoot-out with guns lasts less than a minute with around 5 shots fired.

I even read something recently about gladiator fights in ancient Rome, in that they had more in common with WWE wrestling than actual fights to the death. Only about 1 in 10 gladiator fights ended with someone actually dying, because entertainment was the primary reason for them to fight…and you can’t have a beloved champion to pull in the crowds if a defeat meant dying. 

Gladiators were trained to fight in a way that looked incredibly stylised and flashy and they learned how to cut each other in a way that looked dangerous, produced a lot of blood but wasn’t actually life threatening. In fact, gladiators deliberately got extremely fat, because that way they could take big deep cuts that went nowhere near their vital organs.

Anyway, I’d love to see the lightsaber guy in an actual swordfighting competition…because while he was in the middle of his first pointless flourish, or doing the classic movie thing of turning your back on your opponent to do that totally cool spinny-maneuver..the other guy would just hit him over the head with his wooden sword.