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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2010. That’s about 3 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 16 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 40 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 13mb. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was February 26th with 40 views. The most popular post that day was Tea-baggin’ It.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, healthfitnesstherapy.com, slashingtongue.com, digg.com, and zzsst.co.cc.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for john jacobs weatherman, chicago 1968 demonstration photos, chicano moratorium, 1970 philadelphia pa, and nyc 1969 park.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Tea-baggin’ It February 2010
3 comments

2

Fun stuff from the world wide web. April 2010

3

The War Is Making You Poor May 2010

4

Something to Ponder March 2010
5 comments

5

Listening to the gospel. March 2010
4 comments

I found this neat visualization online and thought you all might enjoy it. I did. Something about actually seeing these totals in proportion to each other gives me a better perspective of what we’re spending money on.  You can check out the site here. Don’t forget to look at the color key.

Some random points that jump out at me are:

  • The cost of our wars compared to our defense budget (cringe)
  • Our defense budget compared with other big spenders (double cringe)
  • The amount of money oil and pharmaceuticals bring in
  • The amount of money Walmart brings in (!)
  • The amounts it would take to eradicate aids, save the Amazon rain forest and bring a billion people out of poverty
  • The amount we pay on our debt annually

Pretty cool huh? Check out the site and see lots of other cool visualizations. There’s a drop down where you can pick lots of fun options like wikipedia edit wars, what China censors online, left vs. right and other really neat stuff. Waste some time!

Don’t Sleep on Sam

I’m not really a church going guy, but lately I’ve spent Sunday afternoons taking semi long walks and listening to Unitarian Church sermon podcasts. As I was walking yesterday I listened to a sermon about respect. The minister touched on many different points, but the main message I got out of the sermon was that respect is absolutely essential in allowing people to function both independently and in groups. He used the example of our current political climate to make the point that when people lack respect for others with differing opinions, when they call people Nazi baby killing assholes and greedy dumbshit douche bags the democracy breaks down. We all suffer.

Well I think about politics a lot, and despite its staying power I remain fascinated by the Tea Party. What I’d like to try here is to look at the Tea Party in the context of respect.

In his sermon, the minister told several stories illustrating how when people feel that they are truly being listened to and their views honored and respected, they are more apt to show that same respect to others. And what’s the Tea Party’s unifying belief? The government doesn’t act in our best interests. They don’t listen to our wants and needs. They do not respect us. And what’s the Tea Party’s collective response? “Fuck us? Nah dawg, Fuck You”. They want to limit the role of government in their lives as much as possible. They say “Why would we give you more money and power when you don’t use it to help us? More often than not, you harm us. You don’t respect us, so we won’t respect you”. And as much as I hate to say it, it’s hard to fault people for feeling this way. But being right doesn’t automatically make any response also right.

Without a mutual respect there can be no compromise, and we’re all witness to what happens in a democracy without compromise. It breaks. It took the Dems five months to pass a bill to help small businesses even though both parties agreed on almost all of its elements. Both parties agree on extending 98% of the Bush tax cuts, but they won’t even vote on it until after the elections. Those that have no faith in the worth of those opposing them are hijacking the political process. There’s no trust, no exchange of ideas, no real debate and no minds being changed. Without respect there is no compromise, and without compromise nothing can be accomplished.

In our government, as well as in our lives, we need to listen to each other, especially when we disagree. I’ll quote the minister, “out of our diversity we can discover a truth that is deeper than any truth that we can find alone”. How can I be sure that my point of view is right unless I allow it to be challenged and give my challenger the attention and respect that she needs to change my mind? How can I changer her mind if she doesn’t feel I’m taking her seriously? The power of a democracy is in the clash of opposing points of view. It’s the idea that all of us are smarter than any one of us. All of us deserve to feel like we are being listened to and valued for who we are, because we are seeing what happens when people aren’t.

We are all neighbors and when your neighbor is different it is a blessing. Respecting each other’s difference makes both of you better people. Don’t just tolerate it, celebrate it.   Respect.

Excuse me, Doctor, but who are you and what is this control that you hold over me?

I’ve always thought, at least in public, that I have pretty good taste in music. I’m not saying I listen to obscure bands just to reference them, but, at the same time, I never miss out on cracking a good Nicklback joke. I read music journalism, have an extensive iTunes library and respect my elders. You get the idea. So, in continuing this same train of thought, why did I spend all of last week listening to Katy Perry’s new single Teenage Dream? I don’t listen to Top 40 radio. I don’t like Katy Perry. And talk about misleading lyrics. Her jeans aren’t that skintight (NSFW). I literally listened to that goddamn song like 14 times in a row one day. WTF you’re thinking. WTF is what I was thinking too (we’re so alike). Gang, it was research time.

Research time lead me to the dude up top. His name is Dr. Luke (not his Christian name), and apparently he has a PhD in making me lose my mind.

Dr Luke is an American songwriter, producer and remixer. Born Lucasz (why the z?) Gottwald to a solid upper-Jewish-middle-class-Rhode Island family, the Lukemeister taught himself guitar, dealt the dope (but just to other dealers), and was the Saturday Night Live house band’s lead axe man for 10 seasons. No shit. The Doc then got all up in NYC’s underground hip hop scene, working with cool artists like Mos Def, Black Star, KRS-One and Rage’s Zach de la Rocha. Respect right? Eventually he became bored with being a bad ass and started producing monster, MONSTER hits. And he’s doing okay.

Doc Lucaz is behind:

•    Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” “Behind These Hazel Eyes”, and “My Life Would Suck Without You”
•    Pink’s “Who Knew” and “U + Ur Hand”
•    Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend”
•    Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”, “Hot n Cold”, “California Gurls”, and “Teenage Dream”
•    Britney Spears’ “Circus”
•    Flo Rida’s “Right Round”
•    Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.”
•    Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”
•    Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite”
Among others. See where this is going?
Because normally I wouldn’t give two, maybe even three shits about such a dude. But. But but but but. Remember how I found myself stuck on Teenage Dream? Well I can only think of two other songs that I similarly attached myself to. Since U Been Gone and Party in the U.S.A. Didn’t like the artists, didn’t like the genre, and didn’t get these fucking songs out of my head.

Dude scares me, making me love stuff I hate. He’s dangerous all right? I mean, Tea Party schmea party, Luke Luke could hoard like four or five crack addictive tracks, run for office, start dropping them on the public and I’d be humming that shit aall the way to the voting booth. Obama, you reading this? Well if you are, although I’m glad you’re not, I’d recommend getting Docca Docca to help you get your groove back. Have him write the slamming campaign theme that Will.I.Am wanted to write and put that mutha on REPEAT. It’ll stick. Don’t I know. You think I like admitting I love a Miley Cyrus song? If you are over the age of 15 and/or have a Y chromosome you do not like admitting it.

So seriously, Dr. Luke, really, who are you and what is this control that you hold over me?

So you think you’re pretty smart do you? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Punk. Well let me tell you about another guy that thought he was pretty smart. His name was Albert Einstein, and he put together a little puzzle for you all you wannabes out there. A puzzle that legend has it can only be solved by 2% of the human population. Now, if I were a betting man, I’d question that legend, because I solved the puzzle (45 minutes suckas), and I write a blog about goofy shit. However, if you feel like you’re balls enough to go for the glory, grab a pencil and some paper and prepare to get yo frustration on.

Einstein’s Logic Problem:

Facts:

1: There are 5 houses in 5 different colors.
2: In each house lives a person with a different nationality.
3: These 5 owners drink a certain beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar and keep a certain pet.
4: No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same drink.

From the following information, can you determine WHO KEEPS FISH?

1: The Brit lives in a red house.
2: The Swede keeps dogs as pets.
3: The Dane drinks tea.
4: The green house is on the left of the white house.
5: The green house owner drinks coffee.
6: The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.
7: The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.
8: The man living in the house right in the center drinks milk.
9: The Norwegian lives in the first house.
10: The man who smokes Blend lives next to the one who keeps cats.
11: The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.
12: The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.
13: The German smokes Prince.
14: The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.
15: The man who smokes Blend has a neighbor who drinks water.

OK – When you’re ready, here is the answer. Let me know how you did!

I used to absolutely LOVE music videos. Loved them. Watched TRL, MTV2, MuchMusic (later known as Fuse, I think), even VH1. And now I never watch them and couldn’t care less. I don’t know why either. Maybe they lost their allure when they all became instantly available on the internet. Maybe it’s because I stopped watching any music television. Maybe I’m just a soggy old lurmp. Whatever, I just don’t do it. BUT! A week or two ago I was on stumbleupon and I stumbled upon (see how that works) a new video by MIA. Now, I know, Paper Planes was the shit and all, but some of her other stuff was a little too wacky. But her new video was apparently like 10 minutes long, had nudity and violence, and was banned from youtube for a bit (it’s up again now). So I watched it, and BAM! I love music videos again.

Check it (oh and this is NSFW, unless you have your some privacy or a freaky-ass job):

See what I’m saying? That shit is WILD! I mean, that’s a pretty powerful video to put out there. It’s like the complete opposite of dumb party videos that get mondo play. And it got be thinking about some of the other videos that I really, really loved and hadn’t watched in years.

The first music video I remember really intriguing me was Rabbit In Your Headlight by UNKLE. Moby had a little show on MTV2 when I was a kid and although he mostly played godawful international house music, one time he closed the show with this video:

Cool right? I remember the climax sending chills through me. It still does.

The last video I’ll share with you is Paranoid Android by Radiohead. The only thing I’ll say about it is once when I tried to describe it to someone they repeatedly accused me of making it up as I went along, and said something to the effect of “Well if you’re not making all this up that sounds like the most preposterous, ridiculous, outrageous sequence of events anyone could ever dream up!”. Agreed.

So now I’m back on the wagon (or off the wagon? never understood that phrase) and it feels oh-so-good. If anyone has a video they really like shoot me a link and I’ll post the best ones later in the week.

Thanks for reading (and watching)!