That Aweful German Language

August 31, 2009

Recently, I just saw this video, it is about English V. German language, telling which one is nicer:

And from my experience in German class, I would agree, it is quiet an ugliful language. Sure, it is unique and interesting and posh, but seriously, with all the aspirated chs and gutural arrrrgghh, it has a way of making your ears bleed sometimes. If you want to know what it sounds like, here is Charlie Chaplin as Hynkel in the movie The Great Dictator. Even though he made it up on the spot, it sounds EXACTLY like German:

Also, compared to English, it is harder. Note, I did not originally know English, so surely I can be more reliable in judging English. Anyways, German has all sorts of weird grammar rules. For example, it has three genders: male, female, and… neuter??? What the heck is a neuter gender?! Is that like halfway between a man or a woman, or a person without genitals, or even a castrated person? Maybe rocks are neuter, since they aren’t alive and they don’t reproduce sexually. But the assignment of gender to words is totally arbitrary, and a word’s meaning can change depending on the gender. Oh, by the way, they always show these rules and everything, and after everything is said and done, they show how all of gazillion words are exceptions to the rules. Knowing the rules is for the most part useless. There are more exceptions to the rules than regular words!

There is another person who can put it in clearer terms. That is, Mark Twain. After I read his comical essay That Aweful German Language, genius, I say, I fell in love with him… a sort of a mancrush/necrophilia… okay, never mind. Forget I just said that. Just read, and enjoy it.

Textbooks are a Ripoff-The Rant

August 27, 2009

Can you believe those freaking textbooks? If it weren’t for amazon, I would have shelled out 500 bucks for those piece of crap. It still didn’t make paying for those psychologically any easier. Every purchase, I felt like someone was taking a straw, plunging it in my nose, and slurping my brain. It was that painful.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to pay over 100 bucks for something we knew a century ago packaged with a little tiny new information. Okay, in science, I would understand, but this is getting ridiculous. Most of what is in the introductory books are just that. Introductory. Which means that most of the subtleties of modern science or modern whatever is out. In history books, they would add some little new events and that is it. But noooo, the sleaze balls these textbook publishers are, they have to throw up another edition every 3 years. And oh yeah, just add another of those crappy CDs that no one uses. And worst of all, there is nothing on those CD except that they link you to another online page! So, they expect me to pay an extra 20-30$ on a piece of plastic that gives you access to the internet! Great, why not just charge us as well for the priviledge of eyeballing their textbooks.

These bookstores make the prices even worse. This one chemistry texbook cost 200$ to buy in the store, while on Amazon, it cost a good portion less than that. Used ones are even better. Then there was this retarded computer application textbook which had no binding or rings in it. If I would have opened it while I was just walking, it would have fallen all over, thereby having to organize 1000 pages of texts. Instead, I am supposed to put that ginormous thing in a ginormous binder. Of course, all I did was to just keep the uneeded chapters out. Frankly, I don’t know why the precalculus text and physics text cost so much. I didn’t see anything special in them. I can get contents as good as those and better online, jeez. For example, this physics blog has a “textbook” which is as good, and FREE!!! Although it is obviously not complete. Then why not use the old ones?! They are as good, really. Newtonian introductory physics hasn’t changed much for decades, maybe a century (although not so sure of this one). For the new stuff, the instructors themselves could come up with stuff. It is not that hard with the advent of the internet. Seriously people, what are some of you thinking?

Oh yeah, I am not using half of the textbooks anyways. Can you believe those bloody administrators or whoever is in charge of this? They make us charge over a 100$, and guess what? The teacher won’t cover half of it because a) there is too much, and b) they are not the subject of the class. This link is a good look about what it is about. 

Oh, and if you look at the English department, the rip off is way worse. They are basically a collection of anthologies which you can pretty much find in the internet for free. Behold, some of the scams chronicled in this blog(you will have to navigate it a bit before you find a post about it).

Carnival of Space, Space Arts and Io

August 24, 2009

Here is number 116 and 117.

Firstly, a cool gif image series of Io’s shadow going over Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. It is a bit like watching an outer space eclipse. Very cool. It comes from this fellow, an amateur astronomer. If you ask me, the difference between amateur and academic astronomers are mute, both are equally sophisticated. Although the academic scientists will use the huge telescopes and such, both seems to contribute to the field in various ways. (hat tip badastonomy)

Another thing I want to show is the art from an astronomy art feature from universe today. It is a computer drawn hypothetical large ice planet:

There are more space arts of the week, check them out!

Something Disturbing

August 23, 2009

Watch the following video in the following time, in which a top will appear: 11:15, 26:30, and 49:10. There is a top moving, and for a very LONG time.

What the @!*&$ is in that black box?! Is it the bump on it? Is there some magnet in there that keeps it moving?


August 23, 2009

Title says it all: When Zombies Attack! Mathematical Modelling of an outbreak of Zombie Infection.

That is marketing genius I tell you. It might as well apply to other infections, although zombies are quiet different. I don’t understand any math in it, but the conclustion arrived is that unless aggressive actions are taken to quarantine and destroy the zombies, and done often, we are all doomed. Nice stuff to think about, eh?

hat tip neurotopia

My Frustation with US Politics

August 22, 2009

I want to rip my hair off whenever I think of this. So, when a bunch of lunatics talk about how the health care reform will kill the their grannys, and make US into a Soviet socialist country, and believe that the president was born in Kenya, things have gone way out of line. Especially that people espouses the line that health care is not a fundamental right? Are you kidding me? You might as well say that having a shelter is not a fundamental right because back in the old days, we used to wander around in savannas hunting with spears. C’mon, people, without an affordable health care, how will one have the rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness which you guys (and I) believe in?

Oh, and another thing, Obama doesn’t have spine or guts. He is just an empty slob of skin and meat. When the going got tough, he just gave up on the public option. Look, I am not extremely informed about health care, all right? But there is an appreciable differences in the amount other industrial countries spend, and the fact that everyone in those countries are covered, while at the same time maintaining quality. So, more saving, same quality, everyone wins. And while there probably are legitimate problems with the health care bill, the looneys out there are distracting people away from the real problem, and replacing it with grossly misinformed facts like “death Panels”, the government will kill grannys,  that there will be rationing (don’t they know basic economics? limited resources=rationing, all system therefore must ration). I have even heard of pathetic reasoning that suggests medicare is not a government program, which it is. But no, Obama caves in to those lunatics, and drops the  option, even if the criticism they had were utter falsehoods. Obama is a coward.

Here is an example of how one deals with looney tunes like Bugs Bunny (Fox News, both equally silly), Daffy Duck (some Republican congress members, both equallly incompetent), and Elmer Fudds (public who are always trying to blow themselves up with the rest of society):

(hat tip Greg Laden for the video)

Ownage. Barney Frank is my temporary hero. You should see Daily Show’s comment on Barney Frank’s takedown. Funny.

That’s okay, though. Politics from my ethnicity, Korea, involved actual fistfights.


Lol, it is funny when O’Reilley tries to play the political accusation game. His defense is so lame.:

Review: Knowing

August 20, 2009

This movie… It leaves me speechless. How can it hook my attention so much at the beggining and halfway through betray me like that? What the hell were you even thinking, Mr. Ebert? They totally blew it towards the end! Okay… must… breathe… deep… Much better! Sorry about that. It’s just that the beggining was really compelling, and I loved the movie halfway trhough, but it shifted directions halfway through towards the most disgusting manner possible. Also, the science was just bbbbaaaaddd. I will address two parts of this movie. Firstly, I will address the disgustingness of the film, and then, I will discuss how disgusting the science is.

spoiler alert!!! Read the rest of this entry »