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And yet another reason to neglect this blog October 28, 2008

Posted by ashiah in In the news.
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After much convincing from a friend, I decided to participate in this year’s NaNoWriMo, or better yet known as National Novel Writing Month. For those unfamiliar with the annual event, NaNoWriMo is a month long challenge where wannabe writers alike try to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. The “winners” are awarded with the personal satisfaction of completing such a daunting task, especially for the average procrastinating writer.

SO, since it’s been nearly two years since I’ve written anything creative or fictional, I decided to participate this year just for fun. Of course, that means I’ll have even less time to spend on this wonderful blog I created. But don’t fret, dear reader. I shall make it my duty to write one blog post a week. A big one. I promise!

Megan Fox thinks being the perfect girl is being the perfect guy October 1, 2008

Posted by ashiah in In the news.
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“I like attention!”

An article at Starpulse .com has an interview with everyone’s desperately wannabe hot girl Megan Fox. In the interview, Fox says she gets along so swimmingly with her beau because she’s basically “a man with a vagina.” Ooo, what a turn on! Or is it? Do guys really want to essentially fuck a female version of themselves? As if stripping women of their femininity makes them seem more cool or down to earth?

This trend has been steadily increasing among female celebrities who just love to tout about how they’re “one of the boys.” She’s not stuck up, catty, or a bitch. She’s a “real” girl, which is why she can’t fathom the idea of being friends with them. This is almost as bad as models who swear they used to be ugly. The goal in both these situations is to appear relatable. Celebrities love to portray themselves as “everypeople.” They’re just like you except, you know, not. Lately this same ideology has been surfacing in politics where politicians downplay their intelligence and instead brag about how much they like beer and sports like the rest of the population.

I’m always wary when I hear women say they have no female friends. They like to brag about how they’re a “guy’s girl” and love sports and video games. Sure it’s great to conquer stereotypes and be something other than the status quo, but where’s the middle line? Why must liking stereotypical guy things mean a complete departure from femininity? Fox promoting herself as a “guy with a vagina” is essentially saying women are only good for their vaginas, which is always a lovely message to broadcast to the media. What do you think, invisible readers?

Five strangest things caught on Google street view August 14, 2008

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Ever since Google introduced Street View, people quickly found out the service could easily be used for other things — such as trolling the streets for weird finds. After this image of a kid falling off his bike and this image of a buy pointing a gun in Chicago started circulating the web earlier this year, trolling Google street view for weird finds has become a recognizable hobby. There’s even a whole site dedicated to it.

Yesterday, Geekologie posted a pic of a guy past out drunk in the middle of someone’s lawn (probably not his). In a salute to strange people and things caught on Street View, here’s a list (because hey, I’m lazy) of the five strangest things caught with Google Street View. Remember, kids, the next time you buy crack, Google might be watching… (more…)

You are what you listen to: Does musical taste predict personality? August 6, 2008

Posted by ashiah in In the news, Music.
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My actual playlist. As you can
see, I’m too cool for iTunes.

I hate it when people ask me what kind of music I listen to. No matter what genre comes out of your mouth, people will use that word as a major identifier of your personality. A clean-cut guy in a suit becomes someone else when he reveals he listens to heavy metal, and a urban street kid is almost unrecognizable if he says he listens to country. Add to the mix that most people listen to more than one genre of music and you have a lose-lose situation, which is why most people just smile and say, “Oh, I listen to a little bit of everything.” Crisis averted.

But society can’t help categorizing itself. We have a sociological urge to try to explain the actions of others through the quickest, easiest mean. Sitting down and getting to know someone takes too much time and effort — we like shortcuts. This article explains how researchers have determined that teenagers who listen to a distinct genre have distinctive personality characteristics.


This guy listens to Kate Bush.

For example, people who listen to pop are “conformists,” while people who listen to jazz are “loners.” Country wasn’t on the list, but if it was I’m sure it’ll say “must love Bush” right next to it. How fair is it to judge those based on their iTunes playlist?

Music itself is too complicated to be placed in categories. Sure they exist, but usually as just overly broad indicators to describe the general direction the music is located. Rock and hip-hop are too broad, and if music itself is too complicated to decipher, what makes people think deciphering the minds of humans is any easier? Unless you’re dealing with a simple-minded person who has very basic, broad musical tastes, judging by music will never work. We’ll just have to accept the fact that humans are multi-dimensional, unique beings that like to listen to “a little bit of everything.”
*Shudder*

Burial no longer anonymous August 6, 2008

Posted by ashiah in In the news, Music.
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“Anonymous dubstepper Burial finally revealed his identity today on his Myspace. Unfortunately, it’s no one unusual or famous, just a “low key” South Londoner named Will Bevan. Crazy, huh? And all this time I assumed he was black. The complete Myspace message below:

hi

for a while theres been some talk about who i am , but its not a big deal
i wanted to be unknown because i just want it to be all about the tunes.
over the last year the unknown thing become an issue so im not into it any more.
im a lowkey person and i just want to make some tunes, nothing else. my names will bevan, im from south london, im keeping my head down and just going to finish my next album, theres going to be a 12″ maybe in the next few weeks too with 4 tunes. hope u like it, i’ll try put a tune up later

sorry for any rubbish tunes i made in the past, ill make up for it

a big big thank you to anyone who ever supported me, liked my tunes or sent me messages, it means the world to me

big up everyone, take care, will ( burial )

(I know this has been posted everywhere, but this is HUGE news for Burial fans.)

Don’t judge a film by its time: Can a present film be considered “classic”? August 4, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Film, In the news.
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Everybody loves a clown,
so why can’t you?

Hey, remember when everyone loved Titantic? So what happened?

The Dark Knight is currently the #1 film on IMDb‘s top 250 list, finally nabbing the spot The Godfather sat ever since the site began. Some find the rating unfair — ruined by fanboys overly consumed with having their favorite film “win.” The other side genuinely believes The Dark Knight is one of the best films of all time, but the whole situation is highly debatable.

For one, it’s impossible to approach the issue through a vacuum. There’s too much outside interference and societal context to see anything clearly. The Dark Knight isn’t just another summer film; it’s a phenomenon that nabs box office records and scores high marks with critics. And then, to add a dash of sentimentality to the list, for some people the recent death of Heath Ledger creates a closer, more personal attachment to the film. (more…)

The top ten top ten lists July 30, 2008

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It’s impossible to make a safe voyage through a news feed without running into a “list” of some kind. Hell, Entertainment Weekly recently did an entire issue devoted to nothing but top 100 lists. But writers are not uncreative slackers (not all of us, anyway); there is a reason why so many writers/editors/bloggers consult the top ten list so frequently:

1. They’re easy to write.

2. They’re easy to read.

3. People always read them (even if they hate themselves while doing so).

4. It sparks discussion/controversy, which attracts more readers.

5. Did I mention they’re easy to write?

Lists are a godsend for lazy writers because lists are failure proof. I’m not trying to bash the list; I have several lists published here on this blog, too. But this week I noticed an alarming amount of lists and felt an uncontrollable urge to create one of my own. I decided to submit to that urge, but only if I could do it as douche-y as possible. Here is a list of this week’s top top ten lists. It sounds pathetic, but it’s a list! You know you can’t help but read it. (more…)

The live-action anime guide July 28, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Film, In the news.
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Last week’s announcement of a live-action film adaptation of the popular anime series Cowboy Beboy was met with mixed enthusiasm. It’s one of the few animes that could make a successful transition, if done correctly. But with the superhero genre already over-saturated (another Hulk movie?), studios are turning to anime for new ideas. There’s a current influx of anime-to-live-action films all lined up to be the next Transformers or Speed Racer. Below is a handy guide that lists all the news, rumors, and gossip of upcoming anime adaptations. (more…)

The price to stay current July 15, 2008

Posted by ashiah in Film, In the news.
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In 2000, there was only one shelf of DVDs to rent at Blockbuster. The following month I walked in and discovered that that amount had tripled to 10 times that size. Then the next month I realized the DVDs had taken over the store. Needless to say, the transition from VHS to DVD was an easy one, especially with those nifty VCR/DVD combos. And who wouldn’t want special features and chapters for some of their old favorite movies? But this time around, the public is more stubborn to switch their usual DVD ways to Blu-ray. For one, there’s no astronomical difference between the two. Yeah, one is flashier and has clearer picture quality, but most people don’t have the money to update their entire library just to have a slightly clearer picture. Blu-ray’s answer (and somewhat late response) is to cut prices. According to CrunchGear, certain Blu-ray titles will now cost as much as $11 in comparison to the usual $30. All I can say is it’s about time, but will everyone else jump, too?


People waiting in line for their
unemployment checks. Oops, I
mean the iPhone 3G.

I’m suddenly reminded of the current hoopla of the iPhone 3G. The majority of those buying the iPhone 3G already have iPhones, the slightly slower, less cooler version released last year. But these people have no problem throwing down cash for what is probably one of the most expensive gadget updates ever. So when it comes to evolving technology and paying the price to stay current, what stays and what goes? What’s priority and what isn’t? But if it all boils down to the consumer, then maybe the market has no need for Blu-ray. People want to surf the Internet on their phone, not worry about high-end picture quality. Blu-ray’s time will come, but for now…next.

4chan makes The Wall Street Journal, creeps people out in the process July 10, 2008

Posted by ashiah in In the news.
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(Ugh, I’ve just been busy this week. Expect more involved writing next week.)

Everyone is talking about The Wall Street Journal doing a feature story on 4chan, the obnoxious, yet sometimes funny internet black hole. The piece paints 4chan as a hipster board where everyone is funny and everyone has an awesome macro or meme to post. Of course, that’s only partially true. The sad reality is 4chan is mostly porn — creepy tentacle anime porn at that. The unsuspecting readers of The Wall Street Journal will be in for a treat.