Sunday, December 1, 2013

No Shave-November

So I participated, again. To grow a beard, it's... It's a very strange kind of satisfaction. Sure, it's not beautiful, it's itchy, and it grosses your girlfriend out (and most other women), but among men, it's appreciated. Beards seems to be ingrained into our definitions of manliness.

Does that mean men are attracted to this manliness, and women aren't? Or, maybe women have a different idea of what manliness is. Or, women are simply pragmatic. Practical minded creatures. A beard can be a real hassle, especially when it gets in your mouth. Particularly, I can imagine, when it's not your own!

Please excuse my poor stop-motion acting and hilarious expressions. They're a comedy in their own right.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The value of questioning

Since it's been a while, I'm going to start this off with some art. This is a GIF-timelapse of the sunset, a couple weeks ago. Yes, that's all I have to show you. If I there was anything interesting to show, I would, but lately I've been busy, and haven't had a lot of time for art projects of my own.

It's out of focus, but it couldn't be done any other way, because of camera restrictions. There's not a whole lot to be said about it, you can't even really tell how great the view is from here, but the motive does reflect the season along with the signs of an oncoming winter. Days are getting shorter, quickly. With many of us (Finns) being at school or at work during all the daylight hours, it's easy to miss out on the odd sunny day altogether. Which, for some, can be disastrous. Limited exposure to sunlight is bad for the skin, the body, and the mind. The effects on the psyche are not to be shrugged at, for many of those who suffer (Mild or strong) seasonal depression, the overall mood correlates with the amount of daylight hours.

Moreover, even those who can't clinically be diagnosed with seasonal depression might feel blue from the weather. While I'll be fine without catching a tan, riding my bike to and from school in chillingly cold temperatures and complete darkness sure fucks with my head.

Critical thinking and fitness.

Anyway, with regards to the last entry, what I want to talk about today is the value of critical thinking. The mindset in which you systematically question things. Systematic doubt is something that often occurs in philosophy, and critical thinking is... Well, it's just this tedious and boring thing that teachers tell us to do, right?

No. With risk of sounding just like those teachers, I'm going to say it's an essential prerequisite for life. Sure, I guess you can be happy with just going with the flow, never questioning things, just keeping on that one track all your life. And it saves you a whole lot of grief. Ignorance is bliss, they say. And often, questioning is what gives you the ugliest answers. But not always. Here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when dealing with exercise, bodybuilding, or getting slim. Whatever the goals of your working out may be.

First and foremost, remain critical of models. Especially fitness models! Pratically any male model who ever poses half naked is engaged in bodybuilding, one way or another. And they spend time, huge amounts of time perfecting their bodies. Not only time, but they also have the necessary genetic makeup. See, not everyone has 6-pack abs. For some, it's impossible. And only a select few have the genes to actually have 8-packs. I mean, Google pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bodybuilding was his life, back when he was younger. Not a single one of my readers have half the time to spend in the gym that he had. Because that was basically a full time job. And yet, he doesn't have a 6-pack. He has 4 large knots, and 2 tiny diaphragm muscles peeking out between his actual abdominals and his pecs. He was never meant to have six. His genetics won't allow it. The same goes for many of you folks out there now, who sweat your asses off trying to reach such low levels of body fat that your 4 abdominal muscles will magically split and be 6, just because you saw a picture of a dude with 8 abs. It's not going to happen. Live with it.

Further on the note of models, not only do most of you not have the time or genetics to be a bodybuilder, you don't have the studio. They say lighting is 70%. This is absolutely true. You're simply not going to look as good in the bathroom mirror as a model looks on a photo, because that photo can be rigged to maximize the definition of his/hers muscles, by professionals. Even worse, digitally edited by professionals.

Another thing about media as a whole, is the bias that occurs. Think about it. Generally, the only people you ever see shirtless in the media are 1) actors, 2) bodybuilders, and 3) other individuals for whom image is very important. This is a kind of media bias, which in the end, given media has it's way, leads you to believe that everyone is fit.

What have we learned? Be critical of models? No. Question your own ideals, question the image that you keep in your mind of how a fit person is supposed to look. No, question what you think a human should look like. Because that image can't be separated from  the influences you have picked up from the media, which are unrealistic, biased and unhealthy.

A couple of other things you need to be wary of are mainly 3 things; Supplements, programs, and yourself.

Dietary supplements were originally created for bodybuilders. You don't need drink those whey proteins shakes in order to get big, because you don't have the protein needs of a bodybuilder. You can get more than enough protein from a normal, healthy diet. What's more important that having extra protein in your body is that you stay well hydrated. If your piss isn't god damn near transparent, then you didn't drink enough, and you lost all kinds of gains. Or, conversely, if you're trying to drop fats, you didn't drink enough. Good circulation and a well hydrated body is prerequisite for both the actual aerobic exercise, and the burning of fats. It's well documented that the areas in which your circulation is most efficient, you lose the most fat. If anyone want's to argue that the burning of fat is not specific and occurs in all parts of the body equally, feel free.

And programs. They tell us that if you do this and that, you'll be ripped in no time. It's almost like maagic, right. Well, no. I'll concede that there has gone considerable thought into some programs, and that they might well work for some individuals. But the biggest factor in this is that a program forces you to work out according to a schedule, one that is almost always stricter than the one you followed before, and often comes hand in hand with dietary regulations. Those things are what make your exercise more effective, not the fact that you're following a professional program. Furthermore, many programs work in a sort of collective manner, and you and 10 others are hastily taught how to do squats, for example. As a result, 3 out of 10 of these poor souls are going to get something wrong. They might lift wrong, they might not have good form, they might lift too heavy. Dangerous things, things that could break you. Injuries after which you will never be the same. It doesn't take much to hurt yourself, which leads me to my last paragraph.

Be wary of yourself. Many people push themselves beyond any reasonable boundary. For example you might strive to have a body-fat percentage lower than ten, which by the way is very unhealthy for most body compositions. And the ways in which people to try achieve these goals are often harsh and inconsiderate of any limitations of the human body. Like LCHF, or extreme calorie-deficit diets. These do not provide enough sustinence for working all day and then going to the gym. And in the end, low body fat isn't going to make you happier. In most cases, low self esteem and weak confidence do not stem from the fact that you aren't good enough, they stem from irrational thoughts born in the wounds and damage left by other people. There is nothing wrong with you.

And be wary that you do not lose sight of your goals. The only advice that I can give to someone who is just starting out at the gym or the track, is keep your goals simple and achievable. And once you reach these goals, don't make new ones. Just don't. Because it never stops. You might think you'll be happy once you can bench 80kg, but in reality, you probably wont. That is why you should never demand things of yourself. Sometimes, it's not meant to be, and you'll be left disappointed and tired, or the gym will just start occupying a growing portion of your life, pushing away your career, friends and family.

Or your sleep. Jesus, sleep is more important than working out in the first place. You need to be wary that your priorities don't run askew. For example, I've always like sweets. And fatty foods. And relaxing, e.g. with videogames or friends. I'm never going to give those things up for exercise, because I know there's no single thing in life that can make you happy. Happiness is the product of a fair balance between all the little things. I don't believe that quitting eating whatever you like can make ANYONE happier.

In most cases, the best approach to improving your self esteem does not actually involve changing yourself, and the solution to most of your problem lies in kicking someone in the ass and getting new friends.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Physique and the self esteem epidemic

It's outright horrible.

What I call a self esteem epidemic is the growing body-culture and the psychological ails it causes the general public. Growing amounts of people succumb to pressure to work out, eat less, and be slimmer. There has been an increase of eating disorders across the board; Anorectics, bulimics, extreme dietists. Why? Why do people have such low self esteem, such fragile confidence and little faith in themselves? I know this not only because the statistics say so, but because I've seen it, and what it can do to people.

A couple of reasons. First and foremost, the idealistic body-image that we think we find so attractive nowadays. This is the mother and father of most of the issues with low self in regards to physical culture. Historically, one of the most fit and demanding western physical cultures was that of the Greek. The Greek Gods, Adonis (Not a God, but a part of the mythology nonetheless.) in particular, were beautiful by all standards. Adonis was considered the most beautiful of all men. Aphrodite was a female counterpart. If you Google these, then you will notice that by modern standards, they wouldn't even be considered particularly fit. In most sculptures, Adonis is somewhat on the slim side, but in some of the sculptures, one couldn't even tell if he lifts.

The physical culture that surrounds both the male and female bodies of today is an extreme next to the already idealized bodies of the Greek Gods. The fact is, though, that those same Greeks, with their strong emphasis on physique, would find the models of today hideously underweight, because both Adonis and Aphrodite were sculpted based on what was found to be most beautiful back then. That goes to show both how extreme the physical culture of today is, and dynamic this ideal is.

Even more telling, back in the day of Marilyn Monroe, people still bought fattening products, lard, to get wider and gain weight. Because it was considered more beautiful to be wider and curvy, an ideal not reflected in media anymore. Models since then have become freakishly thin. We've all seen the magazine covers with the photoshopped women, but this skinny-image is also prevalent in the masculine media. Look up Burberry's male models. Most, although not all, are very skinny, and some are terribly underweight. The elongate necks and spindly limbs are all over Burberry's marketing.

Why? Why has society come to adore the skinny?

There's no one theory or explanation, but several factors. There is an obesity epidemic, especially in America. How does this affect Europe, and us? It affects us, because our media is Western, and nothing is more Western than America. HUGE amounts of money are to be made in solving the fatty crisis of America. Absolutely HUGE amounts of money, in slimming- and fitness products, in, well, the skinny lifestyle. Media is the salesman telling us we need to buy the skinny lifestyle.

Essentially, the media is telling the obese US people to get skinny. But we are all part of the media, and the american media is undeniably a large portion of it. So by extension, we are also made to feel bad, because the media forces the impression upon us that we need to slim up. The truth is, we're not obese. But by American extension, were made to feel bad about it.

And yes, it really is the media. Biologically, we are not engineered to be attracted to the bony. The pristine attraction is that to signs of fertility, and that is everything that exists on a biological level. We are meant to like women with wide hips, large breasts, healthy looking skin and hair, because these are the signs that tell us that this woman is ready to carry a child. Women ought to be attracted to tall men with wide shoulders, and a balance between muscle and health, because these are the men that seem best capable in protecting women and offspring. This is all the sexual attraction that exists on a biological level. Skinny is not part of it. The rest of our ideals come from society.

But this is the way it is. We can't help what society thinks, it makes all of us feel bad about our bodies. The self esteem epidemic stems from our unrealistic physical culture, and there isn't a lot we can do to directly influence this. But change needs to start from somewhere. In the mean time, let's try not to starve to death, or live unhealthy lives only because we strive to unrealistic goals. That's the gist of it, really. There's nothing wrong with beauty, even though the ideals come from a wicked place. But we can't let this impede our abilities to live normal, healthy lives. We can't let physical culture become the only culture we know, which seems to be something of an oncoming reality.

I've been wanting to make an entry about this kind of stuff for a while now. I plan this to be the first in a series of entries that will be about the human body, working out, and health, and this entry will serve as an introduction. I'm also going to write about myself, and how I balance health, happiness and working out, in becoming a better looking me.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

artistic monkeys

We artists, we're like monkeys with great memory.

Monkeys, trapped in a room, knowing not what where doing, or why. Just doing is enough. Given enough time, we're bound to eventually do something interesting, right? If one monkey was given a typewriter and an infinite amount of time, the monkey would at some point have written a book. Any book, and all books, by accident. 

We are a little like that, because artistry is often about just experimenting with different things, going with your gut, testing things. Often, the result is useless, but sometimes, we wind up doing something productive. First we shrug off our initial surprise at actually succeeding in creating something, then we say it was our intent all along, and then we memorize what we did, so we can replicate it.

And that's experience. A good artist is not one that always succeeds in his experiments, or by seeming chance always seems to nail what hes doing, always fruitful. A good artist is one that has failed a lot, but also seem success. Nay, a good artist is he who learned from all this, made it good experience, experience he can now utilize and purposedly replicate. A good artist has a repertoire of learned skills.

And that is sometimes the secret to artistry. Doing random things, and keeping the results in mind, whatever they may be. Artistic wisdom.

I've done my fair share of fucking around, artistically. I left most of my blog-directed art back at my place, and this sequence of pictures is just something that I pulled from my camera dump, that happened to be on my USB-drive. I made it into a gif, and the next gif I'll make will be even better, because I learned things while fooling around taking pictures of wooden chairs on my balcony.

"The greats weren't great because at birth they could paint; the greats were great, because they'd paint alot."
Even though it pains me as a truly lazy guy to admit, Macklemore nails it in "Ten Thousand Hours". It's work. It's about building a foundation of artistic insight, brick by brick. And that's life, not just artistic workmanship. In everything we do, we start from the ground, and work ourselves upward. The bricks aren't always so inspired, either. Anything you'll learn in school is just another piece in the big puzzle that is the foundation of your understanding of life, yourself, and ultimately the world.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

philosophy ft. art, for once.

I disgust myself. No blogging for 10 days straight?! Get a grip, Victor! God!

I guess you could say I've been busy. Or, busier than usual. I've got less on my plate than ever before, school-wise especially, but still I find my days too short. It doesn't make much sense.

I believe the problem stems in the fact that I've been neglecting productivity in favour of easy fun. Perhaps a lingering of the summer's carelessness and laidback days.

While it may seem that living in the now and just doing whatever makes you happy right now is the perfect stress-free way of life, that's not the case. It's called hedonism, living for the day. Present-tense joy is both the father, son and holy spirit for the hedonist.

It's not a perfect way of life, because it's not sustainable. While you can always afford to lay back and take it easy, and prioritize time to relax, the degree to which it's possible to be happy while relaxing varies, and long term nonproductivity becomes unsustainable.

The tendency to prioritize recreational things, relaxing, and not being productive, is called being Lazy, and doing productive things now so that you can enjoy later is called building a Career. A healthy bit of both makes for a stable life.

Anyway, it's like the earth. No, not made of dirt and filled with lava, but in the respect of the climate dilemma. We have a hedonist's attitude towards it, we keep living for the day, because we can't bring ourselves to see the bigger picture, and the fact that all we are doing is poisoning our dear Tellus, killing it slowly, though surely. In time, we will no longer be enabled to enjoy the day as we do now, because the day will be different.

In the same way, this Carpe Diem-attitude is bad for individual humans. Every day that you neglect your career, health, social life, is a day when you make your life shorter. On the other hand, every day you prioritize happiness is a day when you know you were as happy as you could have been.

You could be doing drugs right now. I wouldn't know, but it would probably make you happy right now. But it very well might bite you in the arse later. Worth it? I have no idea.

It's an age old philosophical question. Live fast, or live long, arguments for both can be found but there is no answer. There is no perfect way of life, whatever someone may claim. Our lives are but a pursuit of maximum happiness, like a high-score game. Living a hedonistic life is no better or worse than a life that spans a hundred years, because I believe it's all about the sum of happiness you accumulated rather than the rate of happiness experienced.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Death and our ultimate "rest"

Sometimes, maths can be very interesting. I recall how I wrote about the insufficiency of mathematics in rendering the abstract and philosophical, and I still hold this stance. Maths can very often prove inadequate.

But the brilliant thing about Maths is that in certain things, it gives very straight answers. There's really no discussion about whether 2+3 is 5, or 5*2 is 10 rather than 11. In that way, Maths is wonderfully precise.

In school, I've recently embarked upon a course in Philosophy, and already I grow weary of the way it succeeds in giving so ultimately vague answers in our impossibly big questions. Maths may not have answers to those questions either, but Maths meets us halfway and gives us full answers in the smaller questions.

I'm reading this book by John Green (Who is also an amazing inspiration as a blogger...), called The Fault in Our Stars. As the story tells about the lives of a group of people broken by cancer and sickness, the subject of Death is never too far away.

In the book, it was mentioned that there are fourteen dead people for every living person. Naturally, that sparked some questions. I looked it up, and according to THIS article, about 107 billion Homo Sapien have ever lived. It's a swindling thought, especially in connection to my last entry. 107 billion people lived just as fully as you do, right now. 

Thats 107 000 000 000 people that have lived. That's over 21 THOUSAND times more people than are alive in Finland right now. It's every single person you know, times hundreds of millions. The amount is completely incomprehensible.

Naturally, Religion is also another subject very entangled with Death.

Say every soul that ever lived, enjoys a communal afterlife on earth. Well, if that were so, enjoy wouldn't be the word I'd use. Think about it. On earth, there is roughly 148.94 million square kilometres of land not covered in water. If we calculate the population density of the earth, that gives us ~42 human lives per square kilometre. Thats quite comfortable, right? It leaves each and every one of us with (1 000 000 m^2 / 42) 22000 square metres for ourselves. It's a surprisingly big number, but the fact is that while the human habitat basically spans the earth, we actually inhabit a very small portion of it. 

Say that we include the unliving. That's 107 billion people to share a measly 149 km^2, and the population density rises dramatically to 772 ppl/sq km.

What does that mean? It leaves us with only 1295 square metres for ourselves. That's not so bad? There will be privacy..? 

Given that privacy was something all the dead wanted, the distribution of souls would be quite uniform. Everyone would get their own 1295 m^2.

I'm just going to go proclaim that none of you can estimate how small this area actually is. r^2*pi=1295 sq m . Solve the equation for yourself. What you'll find is that the radius of our privacy only spans 20 metres in all directions. 

That's anywhere on land, earth. On Antarctica, in the desert, in those woods behind your house that no one ever visits. There will be a soul, the living death of a passed human, no less than twenty measly metres away from you. No matter where you go. 

So that's that, then. So much for the eternal peace in death. 

If we presume that dead people don't want to live in Antarctica, or the woods, but in the same places humans are living right now, then you're in for a bigger shock. Think of all the pictures you've seen of busy streets in India, or any other packed place. The beach, some show, just anywhere. Now picture that place with 18 times more people in it. Where there stood one, now stands 18. Where stood a hundred, now stand 1800. 

There could never be any rest if the afterlife resides on Earth. How many beds are there in the world? Do dead people sleep? How many human souls then sleep beside you every night? It makes "Heaven is a place on Earth" the most ironic statement. A place of no privacy, no escaping intimacy, no not being around people, this is not heavenly in the least.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

implications of life

The enormity of life and the ramblings of one deprived of sleep, is that too long of a title? I think so.

So I saw this movie, Warm Bodies. In essence, it's all about this world where there has been a zombie-outbreak, where the living are a minority and the entire human race seems at peril. It's romantic, it's funny, it has the living dead, and while that may sound very cliché, it's different in a couple ways.

For one, it's all told from the perspective of a zombie. A zombie who feels, thinks, and falls in love. You wouldn't tell, though, because he couldn't tell you. In fact, none of the walking dead express any feelings, but the hint is that they're all capable of compassion, feelings, pain, love, the whole spectrum. They just can't talk about it, because, well, they're zombies. The main character walks among them, thinking about this, pondering their animate lifelessness, their shallow appearance.

But when you think about it, this reflects the real world quite well. We bump into people, we walk by others. It's something we don't think about, but that guy you stood next to in queue at the local grocery store lives a life. We don't think about it, because we don't know this person. But just think about the implications. The entire world that exists within your head is mirrored by an equally large perception of the world in his head. This guy, buying frozen pizza and cigarettes, he loves, hurts, he feels things exactly as vividly as you. He might not have the same problems, the same joys, or the same mediocrity as you, but he feels, and lives, just as strongly. So many things happen in a life, a tale of a million words and more, and just as you have experienced all sorts of things, so has he. 

The thought is humbling. There are seven billion people alive, and every single one is just as aware of the world as you are, at this very moment. There exists 7 billion lives, and there is no reason to think that any of these lives contain any fewer feelings than your life does. You just don't think about that, when you meet people. To you, they could just as well have been zombies, a barrier of only unfamiliarity separating you and another sphere of thoughts that is just as large as yours.

The symbolic is actually insinuated twice. A large wall stands between the living and the undead, and this wall symbolizes the unfamiliarity that keeps the two apart. The wall is torn down in the end, as the living start to understand that the zombies have feelings, can think, which leads to a melding, an understanding where the zombified and living can live together. The humans never recognized that the walking dead had feelings, until they were explicitly shown otherwise. 

Another wonderful thing about this movie was that the undead regained their humanity through love. Love, the strongest of feelings. It was wonderfully depicted that their hearts started beating again as they watched pictures of couples, of romance and of love. And what's a heart without the love that we so often say exists there? The symbolic becomes dreary, as all that remains is a clock, a countdown steadily ticking down, every second closer to our demise, the end of our physical lives.

It makes me think about how I choose to study maths and physics at school. Academic pursuits that mirror my interests, that's what I would say they are, but it's sad. It's sad, because to a physicist or mathematician, only the ticking exists, not the proverbial warmth of the heart. I need to get into humanities.

Anyway, I haven't been drawing a ton lately, and I really was feeling quite dry in terms of inspiration tonight, so I skipped the art, for a second entry in a row... Have faith, though, when school starts I can stock up on two years of previously unseen artwork that I've drawn in class, and my entries won't be all text.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

social roles and pressure

So I stumbled across this link on Facebook the other day, and it's... I don't think it's totally okay.

There are several things about it that bother me. Now, the article is in essence all about how wonderful it is to date mature men, and there's nothing wrong with that as a personal opinion. But there's a very condescending tone about the whole thing, and it paints a very unflexible picture of how men are supposed to be.

This is how feminism and gender equality goes both ways. The thing with the modern media is that it doesn't appeal to individualism, but certain clichés and ways of life. The problem is that there are many ways to be grown up, mature, or a "man". All personal. Everyone has their own way of being the best they can. But the only thing a dude will do while absorbing this article is compare himself to this fake ideal, just like how women popularly compare themselves to models, which is a very well known issue. This isn't okay.

It's a problem because it puts pressure on people, especially the young who might still be struggling to find their places in the world, to be and act a certain way. A way often completely unattainable, because everyone has their own problems, and this is something that the media has no way of acknowledging. But the change has to come, when people can feel comfortable with their problems, and won't have to feel judged for them, in social life or while subjected to the media.

Many think feminism should be about enabling women to be who they are, without being judged. We need to strike woman from that phrase, because it's everyone's right to be just who they want to be. In fact, feminism is an obsolete concept. If anyone can motivate themselves into fighting for women's rights, then I believe fighting for the rights of homosexuals, against racism, or any other form of discrimination is a given. Because in the end, what we ultimately strive for is coming about an end of social pressure and injustice, no matter who it's affecting, or in what way.

This is the most basic of human rights, the right to live the way you want to live your life. Without judge. Sadly, it's not possible in today's world, because the media won't let you. It may be utterly impossible to eliminate social pressure from the media, because it's everyone's right to share their opinions, but at least I hope that we can educate people into a more accepting society, a society where we can learn to not force our own views onto others, but to accept each others decisions in life, and who they are, without spite or judge.

Monday, July 22, 2013

right vs wrong ft. THE BICYCLE

Holy mother of faulty perspectives... I'm very sorry :S

 Bicycles. They just look better when they're depicted from the right. We have been schooled to think so.

And it's because we read left-to-right. Now, you might think that is an odd connection to make, but it's actually very simple.

Left to right reading has become so ingrained into our way of thinking, that it affects the way we perceive the world. The direction right, is simply the right direction. Since we read from left to right, that is now also the direction that our subconscious minds tell us is forward. The direction right is a strong symbol of progress, and the future.

Bicycles, interestingly, are also symbolic for progression, because bikes are clever, and they go somewhere. This symbolism has always been the general consensus, it just makes sense.

So what happens when a bike faces the left? A symbolic disparity. On one hand, it's the archetype of progression, a bicycle. But, it's going the wrong way, because progress goes to the right. It fucks with our heads.

In addition to the symbolic anomaly, there's a psychological aspect to it. It's alot simpler, too, as it requires no understanding of symbolics whatsoever. Our subconsciousness is used to right being the direction that is forward, because it's how we read. On the other hand, we know that the bike is facing the left, and should therefore also be going to the left. We don't know what to believe, where is the bike actually heading? 

Reason versus intuition, it's an age old struggle, albeit subconsciously. It confuses the brain. All we know is, bikes heading left are a pain in the ass.

When you Google "bike", and query pictures, the wast majority of these bikes point to the right, and now you know why.

Monday, July 15, 2013

disappointment and anatomy

Some time ago, someone told me not to have such high expectations of things, that way, I wouldn't be disappointed so often... In fact, it's something that lots of people say. Going into things with an open mind, they call it. 

This doesn't work. In life, there is no way of avoiding disappointment. Sure, you can rationalize things to a point where you aint even mad, but the thing is, disappointment isn't about expectancies that weren't met.

To expect is very similar to anticipating. There exists a difference in nuance, but in essence, both imply a belief of something to come. Expecting is usually used when you strongly believe something.

Again, I claim there's no way to avoid ever being disappointed. When things don't go as expected, it's called a surprise. Disappointment is something entirely different. Being disappointed is about your hopes not being met. In Swedish, the difference is quite vivid - Förväntan and Förhoppning. Quite similar, often the same, sometimes, for better or for worse, they're worlds far apart. 

And there is simply no way of avoiding hoping for things in life. There always exists a preferable outcome, even if it's not something you're consciously thinking about. You might not even know what you want, but you always want SOMETHING. If, someday, you need to choose between two different things, (an "ice-cream or candy"-sorts dilemma) but don't know which one you actually want - Flip a coin. It's a charming experiment, because you don't do what the coin says in the end, you simply gauge your reaction. More often than not, there will be either disappointment or happiness with the flip. Then you can know what you truly wanted.

It's also charming, because it's so naive. You have no way of truly knowing which would have been more satisfying, and nothing hinders you from being disappointed from the experience of eating that ice-cream or candy. Maybe it still wasn't as good as you hoped. 

Nothing is perfect, and often perfection is what we hoped for. We can try to mitigate disappointment by having realistic expectations, or trying not to get your hopes up, or simply not caring. But then, how are we supposed to ever get excited about something? We need to get disappointed sometimes, simply because it's an anchor to reality. It still sucks, though.

Mouse over this image! (Probably does not work on mobile devices.)

Ugh. I've already written a lot more than I meant to.

Anyway, I the picture above is just some study I made, it doesn't have anything to do with the subject of disappointment. For artists, and in life, I think its important to understand how things work, not just how they look, or what they do. I wouldn't feel comfortable driving a car, if I didn't have a basic idea of the principles and machinery working under the hood. In the same way, I don't think I would be able to draw humans as well if I hadn't ever looked at anatomical depictions of musculature and bone structure, or hadn't spent evenings feeling my face trying to figure out what's where and how things connect into one another.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Feminism. It's... It's a word that comes loaded with prejudice, no matter whose ear it reaches. Both bad and good stereotypes. Women tend to look up to feminists, though not all do. Men might, or then again, may not. Feminism is very controversial, if anything. Men typically have a terrible image of feminists. People tend to cling on to negatives, while the positives quickly fade from memory.

When I hear feminism, I think of dried up and sex-deprived bloggers. That's the best way I can put it. Hear me out, though. There's lots of bad feminism, and the good feminists are fighting for gender equality, not actual feminism. If they were the same, it wouldn't be called feminism. Ism:s (Buddhism, socialism, capitalism, alcoholism.) are all different systems of belief. For an alcoholic, there's a God in the bottle. For a capitalist, there is a God in the money. For a feminist, (Femme; latin for woman) there is a God in the woman. And no, I don't think it's silly to bring that up. The words we use are very representative.

I don't like discussing feminism. What's the counterpart? Male chauvinism, Masculinism, you probably haven't heard of them, and Google didn't bring up many other examples.

That's why calling it feminism is wrong. The word needs to go. It undermines what the regular feminist would strive for, which is gender equality.

In truth, gender equality isn't something that women fight for. Equality is an agreement, a mutual understanding of trust and care, between the men and women of the world. Equality has to come from both genders. I am someone who believes in this, and that makes it awkward for me to call myself a feminist. There is no sameness without a counterpart, and it doesn't make sense to use a word that only accounts for one side.

Today's feminism, tomorrows gender equality, it's not about bringing women out of the shadow of the men (or the so called patriarchy), it's about the two meeting at the same level, gaining common ground.

It's about eliminating gender based stereotypes altogether. It's about making everyone happy, not just the men, or the women, no matter the gender. I don't support feminism, I support gender equality.

Oh, the two-faced world we live in. Have you seen the men in media lately? 

I mean, people think H&M's photoshopped female models set us up with false ideals. While that is true, what most don't realize is that the media pressure upon men is just as large. There is one kind of sexy man in the media, and a thousand kinds of ugly man. The sexy man has a large junk, ripped abdominals, no chest hair, and definitely isn't bald. If you don't fill these criteria, your worth as a man, as landscaped by the Western media, is nonexistent.

And that's why its important that we don't fight for feminism, but gender equality. Both are about inducing a change of attitude in society, and progression is the key. So please, if equal rights is what you fight for, don't call yourself a feminist.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

the aristocrat way of life

Brains are wonderful, man. You know, in Ancient Greece, during the period of high culture and all that, temples, art, mythology, mathematics... They had tons of cool stuff, right. Well, the rich and powerful, atleast. Anyhow, the ideal man, he didn't build temples, he didn't design temples, in fact, he didn't do very much at all. Among some other things, the ideal man was a philosopher.

In fact, in Ancient Greece, in order to truly be a part of the Upper Class, you weren't allowed to work at all. It was thought that, for a man to have time for Upper Class things, like literature, waging war, art, science, perhaps most importantly philosophy, he needed slaves to do his work. Lots of slaves, to do everything. In Ancient Greece, the Upper Class wore diapers, because going to the lavatory was considered too much damn work.

Okay, I may have just made that last thing up, but basically, that's high culture in Greece for you. The ideal top-man, in the day, he drank fancy beverages at the local cafés all day, thinking about life, government and mysteries. He wasn't concernced with practical matters, not in the slightest. They gentry, the elite, they were so up there, that they didn't even work to stay there, they just had enough slaves and subordinate management to keep everything running smoothly without even their slightest involvement.

To even be committing yourself to something, or to be going somewhere, being busy at all, was almost barbaric.

I both love and hate the idea. Were wishful thinkers, alright. I'd be OK with slavery, as long as I was atleast wealthy. And that's not at all a harsh thing to say. Thats capitalism, and we are all part of a capitalist society, after all.

While I am the eternal academic, I can't imagine what it would be like to just sit around, and not ever quite create something. I find Philosophy particularly dull, because it's fruitless. By definition, it yields no tangible results. I think that's bothersome. One day, I would like to be an architect. Being an architect can mean many things, and there are many sorts of architects, but it always means you create something. I think that's wonderful.

Well, most of all, I guess I would like to be an artist. Being an architect isn't quite like it, but were capitalists, after all. Artists don't just make the dough. It's not uncommon to give up a dream, just because doctors and lawyers have bigger paychecks.

I think that's the brilliant thing about what was the Greek Upper Class. While they were part of the sort of capitalistic society that existed back then, it didn't actually affect them. They were above all distractions, and more importantly restrictions. Philosophy was the dream, they had the chance, and they lived it. Completely. Is there a life, that is more living?

Maybe. Some argue that suffering is living... Personally, I think that's just a shitty attitude to life, but the point stands that no passion, way of life or dream is invalid, because its felt, and nothing is more real than to feel. The Greek only had half of it right. They were correct in that it's all about living the dream, but you know, philosophy, academics, art, these aren't the only dreams out there.

Monday, June 24, 2013

a day in the life of

I surprised myself today, when I got up even though I wanted to sleep in. I surprised myself today, when I decided not to go by the planned schedule. I surprised myself, by being spontaneous. Luckily, I have that right. I wrote last time about the peer pressure involved in getting a job, well, today, I'm partly expressing the coinciding relief I feel about not having a job. I watch my friends, some at work, some keep working all summer. They've got it all planned out, not because they want to, but because they must. A working man is not particularly flexible, always bending in some employer's incessant wind. It's sad, because it limits their capacity for spontaneous things. If Life is to be described in a word, wouldn't that word have to be Spontaneous? Without it, there would be something eerily mechanical about our existence.

I surprised myself again, when I ate a light dinner and went rollerskating. I surprised myself again, when having come home I settled for popcorn over crisps for my evening snack (Interesting life, yeah, shut up.). I surprised myself, by being healthy. In 2013, I've made a couple conscious steps towards a healthier lifestyle. For one, a gym membership, and new rollerskates to encourage myself into a more active life. That also meant I needed to start eating more. While I've never been quite malnourished, I had never really eaten enough, either. I've also made the choice of simply drinking more, because it's a fact that low-level dehydration is a widespread lifestyle problem affecting, dare I say it, the majority of people. Everyone needs more water. (Despite all this healthy shit, i could never give up popcorn and evening snacks, that's simply beyond the reach of my dedication.)

And I surprised myself, when instead of playing videogames or watching movies all night, I'm sitting here, writing this. I surprised myself, when I grabbed the camera and started taking photos. One last time, I surprised myself, when I got so into the photographing, that I forgot to go down to the grocery store and get myself food for tomorrow.

And I'm getting really fed up with writing about all these idiotic surprises, so I'm just going to go ahead and post some pretty pictures.

What are they? Well, they're macroscopic photographs. Of the bearings on the wheels of my rollerskates, speckled with road dirt. Just to give you guys some perspective of just how close those photos are, here's a picture of the whole setup.

I think this just captures the soul of artistry. The lighting setup is composed of soft blue ambient light from two windows, the lamps in the roof, and a bicycle light, screwed onto one of the rollerskate wheels, perched on top of a Dressmann bag and a chandelier. I used a kitchen chair and a toolbox for an armrest. This is artistry, because it's making the best of what you've got, coming up with creative solutions, and ultimately  creating something new, something exciting. It doesn't have to be revolutionary, art seldomly is. The journey there is atleast as important as the goal.

Funny thing is, I don't even own a macro-lens. You can read about how I went about taking these photos with the stock Canon camera lens in this older entry :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lazy summers

Always been. I mean, I haven't even been blogging! Gee. 

And now I don't know what to write about.

One thing sucks, and that's growing up. There's such pressure, and in the summertime, the feeling is acute. I should be working right now, but I don't have a job. Christ. But the only jobs readily available are shit. I'm not sitting by a desk selling tabloid-subscriptions to grumpy people, I'd rather cope with the shame of not working at all, and having no money of my own.

But that's just one of the things grown ups are supposed to do. Be productive, happy, social, have fulfilling hobbies, study hard, work well, plan a career, plan a life. Besides that, you need to stay fit, sleep enough, and not go bald. Personally, I need to keep blogging, fend for friends, draw, keep developing as an artist, get some and take my fucking drivers license already.

If this were a sort of bucket list, I'd be cool with that. But these are all things that you need to keep doing, all your life. The chores of managing a life regrettably don't leave much time for living. I guess the key to actually being happy would be tuning all these chores into positive things. A positive attitude, things are only as fun as you make them, isn't it so? 

I haven't been drawing much, either. The seagull is pretty cool, but it's not like putting arms on a bird was my idea, I kinda saw it on the internet. And then I drew a skull. As an artist, your're supposed to be creative. Why am I not? I don't know. I need something to happen in my life, I need inspiration. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

home, familiarity and stuff-

 A couple weeks ago, I journeyed (Journey may be an exaggeration, more like... Drove...) to my childhood afternoon-school. While I don't know what something like that is actually called in English, in the first and second grade we went to this place, called eftis, when school was over for the day, but our parents were still working. Because 7-8 year olds apparently can't take care of themselves (BUT MUUMMM :<<<  ).

 Some lasting memories from that place, man. The building was some distance from our school, so we had to take a bus every day. It wasn't so bad, it was one of them smaller buses, and we got to know the drivers. We had this one favourite driver, this older, chubby but hearty, grey-haired man. I remember him well, because his bus had a TV, and he let us watch the VHS-tapes that we brought. Usually, someone brought some Tom & Jerry tape, or something like that.

 But I remember this one time, this one time when a friend of mine had smuggled in (under the radar of a vacant mother, the casing disguised as TMNT...) this movie called Saving Private Ryan... Shit, that might have been the best bus ride of my life. Twelve 7 year olds, jumping in our seats, almost pissing our pants with excitement as we watched Americans being blown up on the beaches of Normandy... Pure bliss.

 Good times, good times. I just walked around, peeked in the windows, checked out some slide that hadn't been there under my tenure, took a piss behind the playhouse, just like we used to do, some eleven years ago. Both my parents worked until 4 in the evening, so some days I could spend as much as 4 hours at eftis, just playing with toys or chasing girls or being chased by girls (eww cooties!!!).

 Most of the other children's parents got off their jobs sometime before 4, so often I would be left the only child still there. Sitting in the hallway, just waiting for mom to come pick me up. The lady there used to always give cookies to the last child to still be there. I even remember what kind of cookies it was, and to this day they remain one of my favourite kinds.

 While visiting now, I found that they now provide chalks for the children to draw with! They didn't have that when I was there, and it certainly wasn't here I was taught how to draw! So anyway, I picked an empty wall and just drew something. Not particularly sweet in itself, but I thought it would be fun for the children to see anyway.

 Left a tiny signature, along with my year of birth. I don't know whether anyone I knew still works here, but what if someone would remember me? Oh, probably not. Oh well.

 Switching subject entirely, as the summer vacation has now started, I'm home at my parents place again for a week or so. Home. When I moved to Vasa 2 years ago, people would often be curious where I considered my "home" to be. At consideration, its a difficult question. I live in Vasa, but all my past is in Jakobstad. I've lived with my brother the last 2 years, but the rest of my family still remained back... Home. On paper, my home is in the city where I am also studying, and after all, I live there. This is where my parents live, I live in Vasa. But if someone called me asking where I am right now, without giving it any thought, I'd probably say im "at home". It's happened before, the next question is "... In Vasa or..?"

 Home. It's been a tricky question, but then I realized something. Home isn't a place, its a feeling. Home is the quality of being in a familiar place, somewhere you belong, often felt where you're staying, often in the company of family or friends, people you love. You can be at home in many places, not just the building you sleep in. The people you're there with are at least as important as the actual place. In a friend of mines house, there is this funny piece of embroidery hanging on a wall. It says something like "A home without a cat is just a house."... Hur, sure, I mean, whatever floats your boat, mate ;)

 It's got some sort of point, though. A desk, an armchair, a cat, a dog, a beloved other or one's children, these are things that could be the cornerstones of what consitutes someone's home.

 I did feel a little bit at home at that eftis. Just walking around, reminiscing among the toys in the playground. It felt like a home, away from home. Once, maybe it was. The world's best eftis, man. In my time there as a seven year old, I may never have thought about it in that way, but now, if that's not a place in which one can feel at home, I don't know what is.

 I drove past that same place just yesterday, to see what had happened to my drawing. I kind of expected to see it washed off, or something like that. It was after all on a wall that had been completely clean before. But to my great delight, people had drawn on it, around it, and all along that wall! I mean, the picture speaks for itself, awesome, right?!

 And they wrote stuff, too! Some wrote boo, and there were tons of smudged messages, but someone wrote Thanks, Victor, which I just think is profound. It was special, it just made me so happy, close to tears... For some reason it just meant a ton that some first grader had written "thanks" next to my drawing. They have a way, children.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Love and other enzymes

Once upon a drunken night, might that it was some time last summer... Sunny, warm, sitting on some wharf in our beautiful Finnish archipelago, drinking some for the first and last time acquired strong spirits... A good night, the way I remember it. But somewhere between the evening rays of sunlight, mosquitoes, and black flies, I reportedly told this girl that emotions are illusions and love is just a bunch of enzymes, playing you like the drum to a beat.

I hope I don't have to explain why that's wrong. It's a story I don't tell people, but it's become quite an inside joke between me and a third party, at the time sober and clear-witted enough to overhear and actually remember the funky speech. It's no drunken deed, and I'm not proud of it. You know, having already written about hangovers and what they are, it seemed poignant to touch on the subject of actual intoxication. Don't get me wrong, though, I don't condone it.

Anyway, Dear Readers... I've been meaning to write all week now, but I've been in a state of shock ever since I watched the most recent episode of Game of Thrones (Yeah, I'm one of those.), and whoah, without giving away too much (It's already been out for days, but I don't want to spoil it for anyone, just in case.), a lot of big people die.

That's what I think is so great about Game of Thrones. Eddard, that guy who everyone loved in Season 1, got his head chopped off. I mean, sweet Jesus, that was the moment I realized GOT isn't like most TV series. They killed one of the leading characters. Just like that. Everyone loved him. What the flying fuck? I know right. I was so confused.

Same thing happened, I'm set without a word on the blog for days. God damn, this show just keeps on giving. But what I also found fascinating about this particular chain of events wherein people die was how emotional it managed to be. I mean, some people cry more over fictional characters than they do over real people, don't they? I've cried for literature, I've cried watching movies... How in the world? I always thought it was kind of silly, but now that I think about it, it's not that weird at all! Sameness, ability to relate, understanding, beauty, pureness and intrigue, these are things that can make one fall in love. So when you say you like this character, you actually like the concept of the character, and then, its not strange at all.

It brings us back to love, affection, fellowship and fraternity. A sense of community, the love of your life, aren't the two the same, one just amplified by circumstance? What is Love, Haddaway wouldn't know. Is Love something else than liking something, the distinction being liking it a whole lot? I don't know. Personally, I don't believe it is. It's fickle, this love deal.

I don't know much more than that. Well... It's not an enzyme, I can tell you that. You know, the analogy of a climb comes to mind. The goal is to someday be on top (Literally perhaps) of some hypothetical mountain, or ladder. It's steep, but depending on what handholds there are and the strength of the climber, the climb can be quicker or slower. Once you get up there, onto the peak, the feeling is unmatched (These innuendos are wild)...

But the key point to the analogy is, however far down you fall, you can't possibly fall to a lower place than you began. You might be back at square one, you might be tired, hell, you might even have lost faith in the climb itself, but you're no worse off than you were before you started the climb. You might have to try another mountain, or you might compose yourself for another attempt.

Love. More than anything else, its an intrigue. Maybe you don't have to understand it, you just need to experience it.

Wait, what?... Yeah, no. I haven't been drawing anything lovely or even remotely funky lately, so I've been looking through my pre-blog-historic drawings to fill in the picture part of the entry... Drawn 2 years ago, now looked back at with a distinct weirded out feeling. Since, it's been uploaded to Youtube, gathered a whopping 325 views, and subsequently been completely forgotten. Why did I draw this tentacle-guy? What the fuck?! It may not relate to the actual subject of the text, but I guess that in its weirdness it pairs up nicely with the embarrassing story in the beginning of the entry.

Anyway, I'm not feeling very inspired to paint tonight, so this will have to do for now. Here's a link to the video.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Endorphins and blogger stuff

This entry isn't going to be about endorphins!!!... Or exercising at all! Oh, god damn it. I think it's such a shame how I'd probably get so many more readers if I actually did write about how I go the gym, make my hair or just take pictures of food, whatever it is that these successful bloggers do. Or just write about myself more. Surely, more people would read.

But then I remind myself I started writing this blog because I wanted to, and still do. This blog, just like it is today. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it, as long as I have the motivation and desire to keep on writing. Readers are a large part of a blog, but in the end, everyone who blogs for some sort of hobby does it because they enjoy it themselves. Political, commercial and news blogs are different, not necessarily for enjoyment in quite the same way, though surely I'm not claiming writing about politics can't be entertaining.

And then I write to further develop into a better artist as well writer. If I've been busy, or for some other reason ( e.g Indolence) haven't blogged for a while, then I'll force myself to take the time and write a little something, and draw some pretty pictures. Sloth, lethargy, laziness is sinful, and I fight it consciously. 

Why is writing fun? I don't know. It's not like endorphins, as when one exercises, it kind of just pays off later. Makes you feel good about yourself. I mean, what if, one day, I get to show this to a younger generation? Who knows. It's like writing a diary. Just writing is kind of relaxing, but the real joy is in looking back at old entries and reminiscing in past work. And the feedback you get is important, too. Maybe what's important is not a huge readership, but a devoted one. I get to discuss what I write here with my mates, because they read my blog. It's nice. 

Anyhow, what I drew for today is a little different from all the other digital art I've posted. See, it's an actual sketch. I only used one brush, always same size, which is something I've really never done before. When I draw digitally, I generally use very large brushes, but not today. I'm pleased with the results! 

I did however darken some areas to establish some contrasts, as you saw in the finished piece. A happy blogger? I don't know, It doesn't really relate awfully well to the writing. I don't think it always has to, either.

Monday, May 20, 2013

OH MY GOD ft. symbolic organs






Alright, now that we've gotten that out of our systems, what the hell is with the weird motif, anyway? 

I was thinking the other day, about how and why baring thoughts, feelings and personal matters of similar significance is so difficult. It differs from individual to individual, naturally. I know people who are like rivers of emotion, to the point where it seems that no hidden sentiments even exist, and then I know others, who seem to feel as if though their feelings are somehow invalidated once shared. 

Neither is healthy. Too little shared emotion, and there's no social connection. Too much, and it seems as if those feelings are public domain, open to any who are interested, and again, little actual sentimental traction is found. Why, then, are some people so shy? In what part of natural selection was this ever relevant?

Shyness is everywhere. Shy, untune, awkward, mortifying, backwards and unsociable, they're all names to label a larger crowd. I do wonder, not to harp on introverts or anything, but in what part of human evolution did we develop such a thing as social restraint, anyway? It doesn't make much sense. I guess it may have something to do with defending yourself. I'm sure sorrow, a very basic feeling, has been a part of the emotional repertoire much longer, and simply reproducing without significant emotional bonding may in dire times have been an evolutionary trait. It saves you the sorrow of mourning, a burden heavy to bear. Guesswork and educated speculation, that's all one can do.

I could even go as far as to say I can relate to this guy. I've had a relatively easy life, but there are lots of things I just don't disclose. I surprised myself last week, when I just sat by this bridge and cried, cried for so long and about so many things, among stray fishermen and lonely people. I'm sure that's inspired me in even writing this particular entry.

But a stern outlook doesn't necessarily mean that fewer feelings or weaker emotions are held. Far from it, some people seem to be at the point of bursting, simply so full of withheld expression. This is exactly what I wanted to portray with the artwork. A large heart, but what could be less expressionate than a block for a face? Well, honestly, It's a rather irate block. I mean, its totally assymmetric, which speaks of emotional instability. However, I'm sidetracking. The large heart is of course a metaphor for a colorful emotional spectrum, capability for love, as well as hate, sorrow, happiness, and other feelings traditionally associated with the heart.

And yeah, the dick, the cockling of a cock. He had to be naked, of course. I don't know why, symbolically it doesn't make sense or add anything to the portrayal, but nakedness just seems to be this catalyst of sensations, vibes and tingles. Fitting. I've actually had people ask me why I rarely draw explicitly naked people, but I don't really know. It can be distracting... Not because its spectacular in any way, but I don't see why I would include them where they have no meaning, but there you go! I did intentionally obscure it a little, though, because the physical representation isn't really whats important, its the metaphorical implication of being naked.

I feel this entry was terribly artistic. Symbolics, profanity, semi-poetic atmosphere and tons of fuzzy, muddled talk about feelings and obscurity. Progression or regression, one can not honestly tell. I guess it has to do with what amount of social restraint one possesses.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

cup of life

What safety is there in our lives? Rather, after our lives.

I mean, organic life, us, we, are so incredibly fragile. I'm not someone who would commit suicide, and I'll assure you readers I'm generally quite happy with where I am, but sometimes I think about it. Like when I'm looking out the window, right here, in my apartment. What if I just jumped out? It's the sixth floor, I'd probably die almost instantaneously, and then it would be over. No more, I would die, and never get another go. We only get that one coin, that one credit for the rollercoaster. 

And then it's over. Beyond that point, were fucked forever. Life ends, and you know, if we do get another life, then that won't be us. There is no other life, because you would be born as another person, with another consciousness. And there is no eternal death either, because we are not around to experience it. And Ghandi was oversimplifying things, death will not be like what it was before we were born. An eternity waiting, that has not been experienced, is actually no time at all. An eternity spent not waiting is simply... An eternity. So there was no time before we died, and there's an eternity of time left when we die. Will we experience it? Oh, there's no knowing. 

And the consciousness. What is it? Are we the same as when we were born? No, not necessarily. Well, that depends on your view on death. Is death the nonexistence of our consciousness? If it is, then it can't ever be created again. Not the same one. A new one can be made, but there's no such thing as something flickering in and out of existence. Things cant be rebuilt exactly as they were, because circumstances are never the same. So, when a man dies, and is revived, is that a new consciousness, just with the same memories as the old one? Of course, he would believe he was the same consciousness, because they're virtually unseparateable, undistinguishable. Only difference is, its another consciousness, and the old one is still dead. 

I don't know. Of course, the consciousness could be bound to the brain. Your consciousness could exist only physically. Maybe there is no soul. Well, I don't believe there is, but souls would be cool. Anyway, If there exists only the brain, then when we die, we really are dead. Brains can maybe be rebuilt, but its still a separate brain.

Annoying. The prospects of death are... Annoying. There is no safety in death. Well, I guess there could be found some safety in the uncertainty. We know that we don't know, and can't know, thus there is no point in pondering. We will just have to wait and see. 

Once spilled, you can never make another cup with exactly the same amount of particles in it. It's lost. Eternally. And even if you did manage to do it, it would still be a different cup of particles. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

on vacation! and tanning science!

Currently on vacation with my family in Turkey! Sunbathing and contracting skin cancer and that kind of stuff! Even though I know its bad for you, I sunbathe like there's no tomorrow...

Let me just explain this tanning shizzo for you readers. There are two kinds of radiation involved in the tanning process, both having different ways of tanning you, and in the long term, harming you.

First off, theres the part of the electromagnetic spectrum called UV-A. Ill assume its the one with lower frequency, but I'd have to look it up. What this basically does is oxidise melanin in your skin (Melanin - the same brownish pigment i wrote about in "Eyes in Macro and more Rayleigh LOL"... well, whatever the entry was called...). This causes the Melanin to darken, in turn making you look beautifully tanned. However, UV-B causes a short-term tan, as the Melanin is quickly replaced.

Then theres UV-B, which sounds much worse.

Melanin, in essence, is the active part of the human photoprotective system. Besides being brown and shit, Melanin effectively turns (about 99.9%) the energy of UV radiation into heat, to protect our innards from this dangerous kind of radiation. Naturally dark skinned people have high levels of it in their skin, as they herald from a sunnier place and naturally need more protection. Us white folks dont need to be protected in the same way, because we come from colder climates with less sun. Instead we have smaller amounts of melanin in our skin, which in turn boosts our Vitamin D production - a production dependent of Sunlight.

UV-B sets our photoprotective system into overdrive. How? Well, UV-B destroys DNA, killing our skin cells. As the defences exist to prevent this from happening, it sends a signal to the melanocytes - These produce our melanin - to produce more, because the sun is literally killing us. So thats what a sunburn is, its millions of damaged cells, dying and dissolving. No wonder it itches and burns.

UV-B does however create a long lasting tan (and skin cancer..!), and, while it may sound counterintuitive, some cell-death helps us, because the increased levels of melanin in our skin in turn make us less susceptible to the suns harmful rays in future encounters! And we need the sun, anyway! Staying away from sunlight isnt healthy, we need it for Vitamin D, and light is an important cornerstone in preserving our sanity! And besides, tanning not only makes you a sexy beast, it can be quite relaxing, but its always worth keeping in mind that its not completely harmless!

Anyway, I wont be posting anything before friday, at best. Writing from my dads tablet PC... Its not that great, and I miss the physical, noisy keyboard of my home PC.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

hangovers and the essence of humanity

Im back with more skulls... Skulls, skulls, skulls. They give off no expression, feeling, and the absence of emotion is, ironically, almost inhuman. But that's what skulls are, isn't it? A frame, stripped not only of its flesh but also its humanity, the underlying inner workings that make us hate, like, love... Yes, live.

Some would call it a soul, I guess. I don't take any position in that question, but everyone agrees that this capability escapes us in death.

What is it that I've draw? I guess it could be a skeleton with a soul. Feelings, bursting, vacating, escaping after the prison of flesh was unmade.

Or, more poignantly, a hangover after Walpurgis? The skull is the symbol of a dead man. It's quite how I felt today... Well, not really, but you're never supposed to let the truth get in the way of a good story. It wasn't that bad, but hangovers come on harder and more often ever since I was ill with glandular fever. What are they, anyway? Hangovers?

It doesn't really make sense, why do we feel so... Shite after nights of plunder and joy? Well, I'm not going to keep my line of philosophical writing here. We all know alcohol is toxic, yeah? Yet, It turns out, alcohol is not what makes you feel so bad, I mean, of course it's not, it makes you feel good, strong, brave or whatever your personal experience tells.

Hangovers have to do with how the body breaks down things. For example, a long molecule of something like a complex sugar, or whatever, can't directly be used by the body. To make this sugar more practical, the body snaps it in half, creating a smaller sugar. This sugar may then be split into a really simple sugar, like glucose or something (I don't know..! I don't read biology!).

Alcohol kinda goes through the same process. First, its broken down a little. In order to break it down, the body uses a chemical produced by the liver. This chemical, or enzyme, or whatever, is abundant. Alcohol can always be broken down. But then, there's a problem. What it breaks down to is far more poisonous than Ethanol, your everyday alcohol, is.

The process of breaking down continues, but in order for the body to do so, it requires yet another kind of chemical produced by the liver. This chemical, as opposed to the one that breaks down ethanol, is limited. Once you run out of your reserve of this chemical, you're left with piles of very toxic, alcohol derived waste products. These are the things making you feel like... Shit. The liver slowly creates more of this chemical, slowly cleaning up the toxic mess in your blood, while you're lying in bed, waging a losing war against water and sandwiches, the toilet and vomiting jug standing as your only allies.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

the spectrum of happiness

Everyone has bad, days, okay. Everyone gets hurt, everyone suffers, one way or another. Atleast, that's the general consensus. I know this. But the way I like to think of things is that not being happy is simply having less happiness; there is no suffering, because it's only a concept. Like darkness. There's no shadow, just a relatively lightless place. 

In the same way, there is no actual sadness, just relative happiness. And just as there is no absolute darkness (There will always be electromagnetic radiation, whether you like it or not c: ), there is no absolute void of happiness. There simply exists no such thing. I get so down when I hear people say that life is suffering, because that's just a fault of attitude; there will always be happiness, just not always equally much of it. 

Any arguments for suicide, or depression, will still be as valid, I'm not trying to convince anyone that they're in fact happy, because people are depressed, there are no two ways about it. Little happiness is still the same thing as sadness. But perspective matters, and if people focus only on the bad instead of the good, then no wonder people get depressed. I used to hate how my father always told me "It's a matter of attitude; Its only as good as you make it.", but as I grow older this only seems to grow more truthful.

No happiness will ever come to you by itself. There is no innate happiness, happiness has to be taken, earned, or given. It needs a source. What I think is the key to actually being happy, and feeling good about yourself, is doing stuff about the things that don't make you happy. Either, don't do these things at all, or do them right. Whatever makes you happy is right. The only right that exists in the world, is happiness. Anything else is simply wrong. Man is supposed to enjoy life. It's not a chore, and it surely is the only chance at even experiencing happiness you'll ever have. Death can always be worse, because in death, there exists no medium for happiness. It's an eternal absolute void of happiness. To my way of thinking, something like this doesn't even exist in life, only in death.


Happiness. I'm happy. There are so many things in life that make me happy. I was asked today, and it set me thinking... "Are you a sensitive person, do you ever even feel bad?". Well, I think I could be a sensitive person, people often tell me so, but I'm happy enough to make any detracting insults or condescending comments insignificant. This doesn't mean things don't hurt me, it just means I'm happy enough to shrug it off.

Why am I happy? I don't know, some people are easily pleased, some people are quick to laugh. I just derive tons of happiness from all kinds of things. Everyone has things that make them feel good, but not everyone is able to appreciate these things as much as they possibly can. Or maybe it is the fact that I've never been happier which makes me convinced I'm happy.

Still, psychologists call them instrumental values. Things that make a person happy. I think people think I'm quite aware of my looks, as I tediously make my hair every morning and generally make an effort, sacrifice practicality for style etc.. I don't do this because I want to look nice, that's not what it's about. I do these things because they make me feel good about myself.

Last month, I opted to not shave all month. People asked me why I was doing that, even I don't think I look any better with the measly beard I can grow, but the simple answer was... I did it because having a beard was satisfying. It's really simple. Every millimeter of that beard made me feel better. Then the feeling grew old, so I shaved, and now I'm just happy because I look better than I did last month. The important thing is I'm satisfied. And this morning, I braved the world in my faux-leather jacket, and mother of god, that jacket does make me feel good about myself. Ever since I bought it. I know it does, so I wear it. If it didnt, I'd have bought a new one years ago.

I've been meaning to write about a friend of mine for a while now, a blogging peer, one could say. He writes stuff, weird stuff, random stuff, brilliant stuff. Kinda like myself, we have things in common (Male bloggers in our genre are quite scarce), and we kinda discuss most of the things we write about. He has made a few references to my blog recently, so I felt it would only be fair to point some of my own readers his way. That drawing up there is interesting, because I post it here as a sort a response to an illusion he drew and wrote about a couple entries back. I'll say, though, mine is much more a stylized drawing, while his drawing is simply brilliant in its illusory property. While I'm an artist working in pictures, this guys true gift is not drawing, it's music. Do read.

Be warned, though, this guy writes even longer entries than I do. It's not for the faint of heart.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pseudo-tattoos and rainmeter!

No, mom, I didn't get a tattoo, I just drew it with markers. Calm down.

I'm a little torn on the subject... Huoh, generally, I don't like tattoos. I don't think I'll ever get one, either. I would say they don't really look that nice, but that'd be an awkward thing to say since I draw stuff on my arms anyway! And done right, they can look pretty awesome!

I think it's mostly because of the social stigma. There are no two ways about it, people associate tattoos with lower-status citizens. Plebe or proletarian being some of my favourite words, it would just be weird. It's like a newspapers vendor, or a cleaning lady, telling you to get a job. It would just be low.

Not because I look down on tattooed people myself, but because I know lots of people do. There's no denying it. It's a shame that it has to be that way, because tattoos are no lower a form of art than writing, making music or painting, or any other craftsmanship. Only the medium is different.

A snake on a dagger. Very classic, somehow. I could totally see someone actually making something like this into a tattoo. Personally, I wouldn't, because it doesn't really mean anything. I don't support getting tattoos for purely aesthetic reasons. If it's something youre going to carry for the rest of your days, then it has to mean something. If not, it's just wrong. And not just some text, either. Please. I know a lot of people who do have these kinds of tattoos, and... Yeah. No. Don't do that. It's even lower than tribals.

Also, Rainmeter! No, it doesnt actually have anything to do with rain. Rainmeter is a desktop customization toolset for Windows. Yeah, you guys know me, I'm a PC geek, and no, I'm not expecting you to be interested.

My PC broke down the other day, forcing me to format and reinstall windows. I lost my old Rainmeter skins, but I quickly made another! Its the only sort of programming that I can do or that I'm even remotely interested in doing. I programmed myself a clock, showing the time in s;m;hr, and also the day of the month, and the month, and it looks a little like this;

All the numbers move over the screen to the right. The red number represents the actual time; 00 seconds, and 3 minutes after 10 in the evening. My bike got stolen some time ago (Refound, now... :O ), and it had a lock with a code. I kinda thought about those rotating coils when I made this skin. Anyhow, I won't write much more about this, but I did make a page for all my Rainmeter code, and this one will be the first of the bunch.