Youtube comment migration

Recent stroke of genius by Google. First, they made it nigh impossible for me to YouTube comments…

I just gave up on finding them for about a month…

 

That was around the beginning of 2013 I think. I’m not sure when it happened because I don’t check my YouTube account on a regular basis. One day I went to check it and my inbox had disappeared. This is a mother of all 1st world problems, but it was still annoying. Why would they do that? Did they only do it to me? I didn’t notice any massive internet petitions going about demanding YouTube bring back the inbox link, but seriously what the hell right? Were they being passive aggressive? Were they trying to teach us that nothing in life is constant. You could wake up one day and suddenly find yourself lost in a dystopian world. Was it a prank? Did they all get drunk on Bailey’s Irish Cream and say to themselves, “You know what would be hilarious? If we moved all the links and stuff on YouTube around for no reason at all!”
“But wait,” another chimes in, “let’s just hide their inbox!”
“Yeah! It’s completely uncalled for!”

But then six months later…
“Hey, you know how we hid everyone’s YouTube inbox?”
“Oh yeah… man we were dicks!”
“Yeah, we should totally fix that, but instead of really fixing it, let’s make everyone have to use google+ to comment now.”
“Google+?… Oh… yeah… Totally forgot we had that.”
“But you ‘liked’ our Facebook page…”
“Whatever, yeah! Let’s do that.”

I actually did a google hangout maybe a year ago, and I had to use my google+ account… It’s been collecting internet dust ever since though…

 

But with the new integration, finding all activity on my youtube account is always there all the time.

The number changes when I’m on just plain google…

 

So bravo google… very shrewd… Hide it, then give it back but only if I use google+…

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Mantis Shrimp. Eating Evil.

I didn’t know what the fuck a mantis shrimp was before I came to Japan. I am a lover of shrimp though. I have been for as long as I can remember. Be it the artery clogging Long John Silver’s popcorn shrimp or tossed delicately in angel hair pasta an any overpriced Italian restaurant, shrimp is a food that (I’ll be damned) I love.

This guy's a shrimp right? Or is he a cockroach?
This guy’s a shrimp right? Or is he a cockroach?

Mantis shrimp are called shako in Japan and don’t really look like shrimp in my book. I mean… if I were to see a mantis shrimp and told to name it on the spot I’d probably go with “technicolor sea preying mantis” or something like that…

This is a mantis shrimp.
This is a mantis shrimp.

My introduction to the mantis shrimp however wasn’t from a youtube video or The Oatmeal.

The first time I laid eyes on a mantis shrimp was on my dinner table one fall evening. I don’t know where half of my food comes from and I don’t really ask ever. These badasses caught my eye though, because they looked like some strange sort of alien bug that must have fallen out of a meteorite.

Now, I’m an adventurous soul. I was highly interested in marine biology when I was younger, but unknown to my parents and teachers my intense interest wasn’t fueled by curiosity or hopes to be a dolphin trainer. Marine life interested me because I had an insatiable curiosity and desire to eat sea creatures.

Also the dolphin trainer girls were intriguing for both different and yet similar reasons...
Also the dolphin trainer girls were intriguing for both different and yet similar reasons…

The first time I saw a mantis shrimp this is what I saw:

Okay... I'm exaggerating...
Okay… I’m exaggerating…

Yeah… well that’s what it felt like. What I actually saw was more like this:

Slightly less horrifying...
Slightly less horrifying…

For those of you who don’t know how incredibly awesome and terrifying mantis shrimp are let me educate you very quickly.

  • Mantis shrimp’s eyes have 3 separate focal points and can see 13 more colors that our human eyes and brains can’t even comprehend.
Sometimes less is more...
Sometimes less is more…
  • Mantis shrimp have arms that can bash in oysters and crab shells. They’re spring loaded and can strike with the force of a rifle shot, about 1500 Newtons, nearly 2500 times their body weight. They move so quickly that the water around them boils…
To put it in perspective the average kick force of a soccer player is 270 Newtons...
To put it in perspective the average kick force of a soccer player is 270 Newtons… If a 70kg soccer player could kick like a mantis shrimp strike then he or she could send a bowling ball into orbit…
  • Related, they have an exoskeleton that allows them to rifle punch through sea shells while superheating the water to create shockwaves.
Dead heat in flamboyancy... my money's on Mr. Shrimp in a fight.
Dead heat in flamboyancy… my money’s on Mr. Shrimp in a fight.

Of course in Japan no sea creature is really safe. (Except for catfish and mahimahi for some strange reason.) I’ve not cooked these myself, but the way they’ve been served to me makes me believed their either boiled or steamed and then allowed to cool. They’re often served chilled.

The meat is soft and delicate. It has a lot of flavor that’s probably close to crayfish if I had to make a comparison. We typically eat it dipped in soy sauce or just on it’s own.

But eating these little bastards is like trying to eat evil. Like shrimp, the tail section is where most of the edible meat is. Once you get past the fact that these are some of the buggiest looking things that aren’t grasshoppers that you’ll ever eat, you have the unpleasant task of trying to get at that tail meat.

I've even eaten bugs before... still though...
I’ve even eaten bugs before… still though…

Peeling regular shrimp is a pain the ass, but not dangerous…usually. Peeling a mantis shrimp means you’re going to be stabbed repeatedly. If mantis shrimp were a Pokemon it’s body type would be SPIKES (and maybe DARK too.) You have to use a pair of scissors to cut the tail open, and the tail is where 99% of the mantis shrimp’s spikes are kept. There’s too many for me to keep track of and I’m always finding new mantis shrimp spikes as it’s lifeless body impales me. Short of using kevlar gloves your risk of injury while eating mantis shrimp is pretty much 100%.

For as awesome and deadly the mantis shrimp is the cold fact is this. A live mantis shrimp has never injured me whatsoever. The dead ones want my blood and have left me scarred (for a few days).

#YouTubeArguments

As my youtube channel grows and I grow more and more apathetic to the masses that fill my adsense account with tens of yen, I’ve stopped replying to comments left on my videos in a timely fashion. The positive comments I usually eventually say, “Thanks” or “lol” and the negative comments I ignore, but don’t remove because I believe in free speech. Maybe once every 3 months I get sucked into an argument in the comments just because I’m bored or I’ve found an extra stupid comment that the shred of integrity left to me can’t ignore.

http://xkcd.com/202/
http://xkcd.com/202/

Ultimately these arguments tend to end with the other person resorting to calling me names after I’ve deconstructed their position so the only thing they have to stand on are playground insults. That’s when you know you’ve won.

But it’s a hollow victory; like sand blasting a soup cracker or watching an anteater go toe-to-toe with single wood ant.

or an anteater-eater vs and anteater and an ant...
or an anteater-eater vs an anteater and an ant…

There have been 2 instances though where an agreement was actually reached between both sides. Both times those people were French, one a man, one a woman. Both times the arguments switched randomly from French to English. And both times there was no name calling.

I won’t argue with people on videos that aren’t my own, because I just don’t care enough. And I barely have time for my own channel as it is.

Usually, I don’t care enough even on my own videos…

Is France the only country with reasonable internet users?

As I've never been to France I'm assuming all French women look like this... her smile makes rainbows look dull...
As I’ve never been to France I’m assuming all French women look like this… her smile makes rainbows look dull… and I think she’s probably very reasonable…

Continue reading “#YouTubeArguments”

Fixing the problem.

I’m going to take a moment from my usual snide tomfoolery to talk about a sensitive subject. If you disagree with me and my reasonable viewpoints then let me know why. But please use a viable argument, using Mexico as an example of strict gun regulation will discount any argument you make based on common sense. I wrote this late last year, but didn’t post it at the time to see if when my head cooled if my opinions would change… they have not.

Giving up on Guns

I do not possess the words to adequately express my feelings from the past year. How do you describe feeling utter anguish for parents and family who lost loved ones, absolute unrelenting anger at one cowardly creature who preyed upon the most innocent and vulnerable among us, pride for the stories of bravery during and after the shooting, and the fear that sits in the pit of your stomach moving forward.

Say what you will about guns, there’s no reason for people to own assault rifles or be able to buy enough bullets to single handedly take over Finland… Why are those who are so fast to defend guns so quick to attack public healthcare? Shouldn’t it be easier to get healthcare (mental healthcare) included than it is to buy rifles at Walmart? Why does anyone need 3-5x more ammunition than a policeman carries with him?

I’m not calling for a ban on guns. I think it’s stupid though that our priorities don’t make sense. We need to become a better country, more educated, and more practical. Guns were very important for settlers as we needed them for food, defense against bears, and to steal the Native American’s land away from them.

But bear populations are in decline, refrigeration tech has made hunting far less important, and the Native population has been conquered and confined to casinos. Why are our laws not evolving with our technological innovations and sociological advancements? An assault rifle and hundreds of bullets is not the same as a musket that takes 8 minutes to reload…

We need to reduce the amount of guns in circulation. That’ll take a long long long time, but if we don’t start we won’t get better. We need more incentive programs for turning in unused weapons, stricter license regulations for people who want to own guns, and we need to change the mindset that where it makes to sense to treat guns like a “tool.”

People need to stop comparing guns to hammers saying that they’re both tools capable of killing. Unless you’re talking about a war hammer that can cast lightning bolts, saying assault rifles and hammers are both tools is like saying a tank and a Prius are both cars. Guns are designed to kill. They’re designed to make killing easier. You don’t rob a bank with a hammer when a gun is easy to get your hands on…

Be realistic. We need to reduce the amount of guns in America, but that won’t stop tragedies from happening. It won’t even reduce the incidents of violent gun crimes for a very long time probably. A lot of these shootings are with legally own guns that are stolen. But if we can make a shift as a country, from one where guns are considered common tools, to a country where guns are considered to be weapons designed to kill then it will eventually get better. At least I believe so.

It’s pretty fucking depressing when I hear people say teachers need to be armed to keep the schools safe… ignore how stupid it sounds to solve gun violence by giving guns to more people, just realize that you need to root out the issue at… well… the root. Treating the symptom and ignoring the cause is irresponsible.

Summary:

*less guns in circulation
*stricter licenses and regulations
*no assault rifles
*lower bullet sales
*nation wide education and commitment that a 1st world country shouldn’t have these sort of 3rd world issues
*better mental healthcare, that is affordable and publicly available

It’s not a simple issue and there’s no simple solution. But I don’t see how what we’re doing right now is making things better.

One time I was helping shingle a house in Arkansas. We took of one layer of shingles only to find a second layer of singles. We took off that layer, only to find a 3rd layer… by the end of the day we took 5 layers of singles off that house. They kept re-shingling the house one on top of another. The roof was in bad repair. Tons of soggy rotten wood, entire sections that needed to be replaced. What we thought would be a simple job turned into a nightmare project with several tons of old shingle that had to be hauled to the dump, a roof that had to be rebuilt, and my friends having to persuade me from writing “FREE METH” on the roof for fun.

2012 in review

I really wish I wrote more often, because I’m really good at it. There were only a dozen or so new posts this year and depriving the world of the humorous ways I can and do articulate myself is a tragedy on par with the discontinuation of Firefly. I apologize world. Thank you for tuning in and doing what is fast becoming a lost art in our world of Furbies, 3D headaches, and instawhores; reading… I won’t promise more content next year, but I do promise that what I do write will be hilarious and awesome and extremely long winded, but the first 2 qualities will make you hardly realize the 3rd…

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 43,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 10 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Stop Molesting My Movie Franchises, George Lucas #longestblogposttitleever

I’m not a film nut. I like some good movies (Good Will Hunting). I like some bad movies (Transformers). I’m all for the cool scifi stories (Star Trek), except when they get too political or hyped (Avatar) or their only purpose seems to be to destroy a great literary work (Starship Troopers). I love classic movies where the film is driven by the actor’s abilities to act (Casablanca) around a story worth hearing (Pride of the Yankees).

and how obscure your the songs on your ipod are...
and how obscure the songs on your ipod are…

Yuuk recorded the latest Indiana Jones movie for me. Here the movie is just called Indy Jones. I was skeptical and leery. Harrison Ford is an old man. Shia LeBeouf isn’t really the one I’d be looking to hand the hat and whip over to, he doesn’t exactly ooze masculinity, but that’s his fault for typically taking parts that humorize his immaturity or femininity. Plus Lucas’s latest attempts to revitalize his legendary stories haven’t exactly been the blue pill, (Viagra’s blue right?).

Yeah... Point Break is gonna be our savior... great...
Yeah… Point Break is gonna be our savior… great…

It was Yuuk’s first Indiana Jones flick as well. I told her she need to watch the original three, but she doesn’t always listen and here it burned both of us. Terrible movie, terrible story, terrible acting, terrible concept, terrible villians, terrible action sequences… I mentally checked out after Indy survives a nuclear bomb test in the opening scene by squeezing into a lead lined refrigerator and getting blasted a mile away. Pure crap, but now my theories that George Lucas used all the money he made back in the 70’s and 80’s on cocain and LSD are starting to look very plausible.

I'm waiting for Batman to beat up George Lucas...
I’m waiting for Batman to beat up George Lucas…

A lot of people have never even seen the original movies. It’s like George woke up one day from his booze and smack laced vacation he started back in the 90’s and realized he wanted to start making movies again. So he took a cold shower, drank some coffee, downed a few Oxycontin pills and got to it.

Steve Holt!
Steve Holt!

The mistake with the Star Wars trilogy was he mistook flashy for good. Or he wanted to dupe everyone into believing that flashy is good. Flashy has it’s good points, but the new CGI he got to play with produced Jar Jar Binks and pod racing. And I understand that the new movies were supposed to be directed more at kids, but couldn’t he have waited until the next set? I mean these movies are about the fall of a just civilization, an evil dictator coming to power, the genocide of the Jedi’s, and Aniken getting diced up to pieces to become Darth Vader. Darth Fucking Vader. That dude scared the crap out of me when I was little. He’s such a good sort of evil. Not really kid stuff.

I sense a great disturbance in The Force...
I sense a great disturbance in The Force…

I’m pretty heart broken over how it all turned out. I guess to a degree we all struggle to stay relevant as we become obsolete in an ever evolving world. Either we’re eccentric enough that we become living time capsules of sorts, or we just drift along in the great social river swept up along with the changing fashions (leg-warmers again?), music (am I the only one who doesn’t care they keep re-releasing remastered Beetles tracks?), and philosophies (progressivism is now bad? Hitler’s most dangerous qualities included his ability to empathize? [circa Glen Beck 2010]) It’s not bad that we go with the flow, it’s the natural way of things, and if you pay attention to history humanity as a whole sort of follows pretty set trends. I mean you can only call a horse by so many names before it’s just a fucking horse (but what color?).

I think it was a missed opportunity by Mr. Lucas. I don’t watch too many movies these days, but I’ll cross him off my list of directors. I waited around for his next movies like I still wait for J.D. Salinger’s next work (post humorously, now). But things that are good that try to change don’t really change in a good way it seems usually. At least not things like Star Wars and Dr. Jones.

My movie list:

    • The Royal Tenenbaums
    • Fight Club
    • Star Wars IV
    • Good Will Hunting
    • Bottle Rocket
    • Star Trek IV & VI
    • Snatch
    • Casablanca
    • Pride of the Yankees
    • Shane
    • 500 Days of Summer
    • The Maltese Falcon
    • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
    • Lucky Number Slevin
    • Quantum of Solace

What’s yours?

May the force be with you.
May the force be with you.

Spring Thoughts

It’s been far to long since I updated this blog. I fear that spring this year has made me tired as the natural world around me blooms and procreates.

Cherry blossoms at night

There are several things that spring brings in Japan.

There’s the wild vegetables we go to the mountains and ditches to harvest. For warabi, we trek to Kumamoto and climb tall hills that serve as cow pastures. The bitter plant is a fern that can be eaten while the fronds are yet unfurled. Tsukushi sprouts up in ditches and drainage spots, though to pick the plant from those locations means you brave dog shit. We like to go to the unplowed rice fields where the plant sprouts up in the inclined slopes that receive the most sunlight.

The winds from the West bring China’s smog and desert sands that blanket skies and savage our sinuses. It’s called kosa, which means literally ‘yellow sand.’ It’s terrible stuff and most of Japan hates China for it. Chine of course couldn’t give a shit, but I’m unsure what Japan would have China do… I suppose they could go “green,” but it’s not like China can control their deserts or the winds as much as they’d like to and contrary to their martial arts movies.

Asians like it windy

School ends and starts again in April. In Fukuoka spring is undokai season. America doesn’t really have “sports day” and if they did I’m sure half of the students would refuse to participate. Undokai is a day long even that mostly involves running, lots and lots of running. There’s usually some tug-o-war, dance routines, obstacle courses, and sand bag lifting tossed in as well. It’s a huge deal. Families will erect tents to watch their children compete just as their parents once watched them compete. The kids seem to love it, even the handful of ones who are on the thicker side.

Yeah… I can’t see my 8th grade classmates doing that…