Wednesday, February 25, 2009

11 Random Things I Learned on a Non-productive workday

Ever had one of those weeks days when you just don't feel like working? I find these days best for acquiring mounds of useless but interesting knowledge.

1. The global map of the planet Mars is 250x more accurate than the global map of our own ocean floor. Nonetheless, I find Google Earth, as well as the deep blue sea, extremely fascinating. Yet more proof that Google is unstoppable.

2. "Pimping" my office with an ergonomic chair that I can sit comfortably sideways in will cost me upwards of $300 dollars. Although, the wall of wood is definitely something I would consider for my house.

3. Why people die so quickly in icy waters: "Usually when nerves on the surface of the skin sense a sudden and massive drop in temperature, they trigger uncontrollable and involuntary hyperventilation. Swallow water during this stage and you can quickly drown. The blood vessels to extremities also narrow to reduce the flow of blood - and heat - away from vital organs. The sudden rise in blood pressure can trigger a heart attack." Your body temperature will quickly drop below 35 degrees Celsuis - hypothermia, the point beyond which the body cannot warm up again without help. Somehow, real-life icemen are invulnerable to such weaknesses.

4. Mole rats can live up to 30 years longer than any other rodent, and are thought to hold the secret to long life.

5. There are points between the earth and the sun where gravity is canceled out, known as Lagrangian points, or gravity holes. Any matter that wanders into these spots is stuck there forever, resulting in a buildup of material that could eventually reach planetary size, get pushed out by gravitational nudges, and collide with earth.

6. Bears know how to mimic human actions to beg for food. I wish my dog was this cool.

7. When it comes to choosing a new monitor, there are 3 types of LCD monitors. Ordered from most expensive to least expensive: IPS (In-plane-switching), VA (Vertical alignment), TN (Twisted Nematic). In short, TN is crap, VA takes the gold, IPS is for hardcores.

8. There are ALOT of FAIL pictures out there, and for some reason they don't get old.

9. Shia LaBeouf totally looks like a young Albert Einstein.

10. I'm about to get married. Megan Fox is single.

11. One sugar cube of Neutron Star material would weigh 100 million tons, making Neutron Stars the densest thing known in the universe.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Spotlight - "Life without limbs"

So, last night was not the typical evening encounter with my dad. "Hey Jon come watch this guy with no arms or no legs on tv talking about God". So, I figured hmm that's a little out of the ordinary small-talk, so I went and checked it out...

Meet Nick Vujicic, born in Melbourne, Australia, with the extremely rare Tetra-Amelia Syndrome (the failure of any arms or legs developing before birth) having only 2 functional toes which protrude from his left thigh. Only a few incidents have been reported worldwide, and most are born dead or die shortly after birth. Nick, however, survived, and as you can guess endured an incredibly harsh childhood. On the tv special being shown on the chinese network I get at my house, he was talking about how he even tried to drown himself in a tub when he was 8 years old, because he felt like his life did not serve a purpose. Amazingly, during his teenage years he began realizing that people drew hope from watching his ability to overcome his struggles, and eventually started his non-profit organization Life Without Limbs. He later began his travels as a motivational speaker after graduating from college at 21 with a double major in Accounting and Financial Planning.

Now, how incredible is it to see a man, born with arguably the greatest of disabilities, speaking about purpose and hope? As I look around me, I see so much complaining and ungratefulness that it honestly makes me ill. It is as if people in today's society cannot be satisfied with the gift of life. If one area of our lives does not meet our high expectations (job, health, school, money, vacations, relationships, etc) we feel like we have the right to be upset or unsatisfied.

A man with NO arms and NO legs was able to discover his purpose in life and has made a bigger impact on the world in 8 years than you and I have done in our entire lives!

This man has to struggle to turn on a friggin' light switch!
We, in our incredibly gifted and healthy state, choose to dismiss our gifts and live selfish and mundane lives seeking educational and career success as society defines it. We all need to stop living in a box and realize that the gift of life in itself is good enough. We have to start deciding how we will choose to use that incredible gift, regardless of our petty obstacles.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Greatest Memories - "Vinsanity at the 2000 Dunk Contest"

As you all know, the NBA All-star festivities took place this past Valentines weekend, bringing to memory one of the most exciting 30 minutes of my life: watching Vince Carter during the 2000 Dunk Contest. It was probably one in about 3 times my whole life when I've been completely frozen in awe, my mouth hanging open and my eyes all bulging. And you guys know I'm not one to easily show my emotions. I was one hell of a freaked out 15-year-old. You bet your ass I had a VHS tape in my ghetto tape recorder capturing every second, and I treasured that tape like it was gold. Watch the documentary below to understand why I will forever remember Vince Carter to be one of the greatest athletes/entertainers to ever live.

That is, of course, until Superman appeared on the scene in 2008...

Thank you Dwight Howard for making the dunk contest relevant again, and for reminding us what it's supposed to be about: showmanship, entertainment, and just plain old having fun. Bringing out the 12 foot hoop and the phone booth? I tip my hat to you sir, and thank God you've inspired Lebron to join the 2010 Dunk Contest. I can't wait to see him pull out the "3 lebrons" costumes and dunk while dressed up like an old man.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is it a poop?

So i was at work fiddling around with a Christmas gift I'd gotten from my coworkers/big sisters, this little toy called "20 Questions". You have to think of something, and the toy will ask you 20 "yes/no" questions for you to respond to, and then it will guess what you are thinking of. Now, let me tell you, if you've never played it, go to Barnes or something and check it out. It will blow your freakin' mind. I'm sitting there thinking of the most obscure things, and it keeps on guessing them right on the dot!


(wtf, how'd it know!?)

(how is that even possible? Love is intangible!!)

So I take it even one step further. I was kind of in a bitter mood that day so I'm thinkin, there's no way this toy has the word "Bitch" stored in its memory. So i go ahead and answer the 20 questions, like "Does it bring joy to people?", "No", etc etc...and lo and behold...

"Is it a woman?"

At that point, I was just sitting there in my office staring at the words on the screen for like 10 minutes. I mean, there is just no way this little thing equates Bitch to = woman.
Either the maker of the toy was as bitter at women as I was that day, or there was a glitch in the system. And try as I might, I can't get it to duplicate the answer I got that day. I'm starting to feel like that thing sensed my emotions that day or something...creepy man..