Best gifts for Mother Russia this holiday season

Director's Cut of "Top Comrade"

Special Anniversary Edition of Communopoly

Trebek, On Da Bort !

WWE wrestlers on Family Feud

Crazy Vietnamese Dads

PC: Radio

Radio oh radio why do you do me so dirty! I've recently begun listening to the radio more often and quickly remembered the reason why I used to not.

Pros of radio: Pretty good & up to date randomization of a playlist.

Cons of radio: Commercials...darn those darn commercials. & The worse part is when all the stations you listen to have their commercials at the same time. Commercial, Change station, commercial, change station, commercial, change station, gospel reading, DEATH!

But of course, you already know this ;P

Keep your mp3s ready!

Crazy Times at UCBerkeley

I feel like I've been living under a rock because I haven't heard of the "Occupy Berkeley protests" until today, even though they started a week ago. It's only come to my attention because someone brought a gun to campus and was shot by cops yesterday (more on that later).

I sometimes wonder how I'd turn out if I had been a Cal student. It would have taken me away from my family and TN, and thrown me into a den of liberal lions. I don't have a problem with liberals, it's just... when you're in a community where everyone all comes from the same political background, there's too much group-think and not enough truth searching. I dislike hardcore conservatives as much as the super hippie. I see myself as a moderate, but I guess my views here are more on the conservative side.

Okay here's a quick summary if you haven't followed any of these news. Cal students are emulating the "Occupy X" movements. The school told them they are allowed to peacefully protest, but they are setting up tent camps on school property. I don't know all the details, but I assume the students were given some sort of deadline to get out. So cops come, and students form a human barrier. Cops start jabbing them with batons and hurl some kids to the ground.

The cops had every legal right to push people back. But I wouldn't have used batons, just use tear gas. Tear gassing is less barbaric than batons. The ironic thing is that I think tear gas might have caused more medical bills than mere baton jabbing (respiratory problems and such). Still, students should be happy that the school is saving money by not using tear gas, but mere sticks. The Occupy Cal movement is a success ! Oh Hoh! ... I'm just joking, I'm not that heartless. But those people that called this a "brutal beatdown" are kidding themselves. Sometimes Andrew and I jab each other just as hard. I don't condone force or violence, but these kids need to stop whining. These need to see some videos of the Tiananmen Square protests. In this documentary, some people were gunned down in the open. The people were bleeding to death, and one brave ambulance comes into no man's land, trying to save some people. Guess what, the soldiers shot the medics too. That ... is brutal. To to sum up how I feel: the kids were the breaking the law, they already had the right to freedom of speech, but not freedom of invading private property. The cops, while having the legal right to push people back, were not morally right. You shouldn't use force on someone peacefully resisting. That's why I say use the damn tear gas.

And then yesterday, the Cal UCPD shot and killed a student. Man talk about adding fuel to the fire. I remember UCLA students HATED on the police when they tazed a student repeatedly. So with this incident, alot of people are super angry... even though the guy brought a loaded gun to school. Looking at his personal story and his actions that day, it's pretty obvious that this was suicide by cop. He wanted to die. He showed the gun to a student, who called cops. When cops came, he pointed the gun straight at them. The only reason cops didn't shoot right away was because of students behind the guy would get hit. So cops told him to drop the gun, he didn't, and when one cop had an open shot he took it. The guy didn't fire once, so it probably is a pseudo suicide. But the cops that arrived on the scene didn't know this. All they knew was that there was someone pointing a gun at them. Some people just do what they can to demonize police. But I'd like to think that cops are good people. It's not fair to call police pigs, dicks, etc. There are always bad apples that make the whole bunch seem bad. Honestly, how many dicks are there in a typical office? Tons. Cops are just like us: some are dicks not because they are cops, but because a certain percentage of society are dicks.

Anyway... in other news... UCLA students are following suit and setting up tents at Wilson Plaza, although our campus is hardly known for being political. If anything, they just can't afford rent in Westwood anymore.

Click here for the link to the Daily Bruin live updates. It has a chance of getting interesting:

10:20 pm

The crowd is singing along to "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and clapping to guitar. Spoken word performers take to the mic.

12:03 am

University curfew now in place. No sign of UCPD.

Latte Break #1 Vol. 2

Can you name the truck with four wheel drive,
smells like a steak and seats thirty-five....

Canyonero! Canyonero!

Well, it goes real slow with the hammer down,
It's the country-fried truck endorsed by a clown!

Canyonero! (Yah!) Canyonero! Canyonero!

12 yards long, 2 lanes wide,
65 tons of American Pride!

Canyonero! Canyonero!

Top of the line in utility sports,
Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts!

Canyonero! Canyonero! (Yah!)

She blinds everybody with her super high beams,
She's a squirrel crushing, deer smacking, driving machine!

Canyonero!-oh woah, Canyonero! (Yah!)

Drive Canyonero!

Woah Canyonero!

Note: The Federal Highway Commission has ruled the Canyonero unsafe for highway or city driving.


This is such pro status! Let's practice this for TN Olympics haha

Happy Veteran's Day

I know I'm late, but I wanted to share this video with people who haven't seen this yet. It's the intro to "The Pacific", which is the brother series of Band of Brothers. This is such a great analogy involving the charcoal drawings. The charcoal stick starts out as one unit, but as it is put down on paper, it breaks into hundreds of pieces. But the end result is beautiful and tranquil art. Likewise men from a squad start whole but become decimated in war. And like the charcoal that breaks, it is precisely through their sacrifices that we can achieve the beauty in life.

Some Stories From My Silent Retreat

I need a break from serious things so I'll save what I learned for later. For now, here's some fun things:

I got there on Thursday afternoon, and I wasn't able to rot so hai (drop the deuce) all of Friday. So by Saturday I'm worried. The bathrooms are totally clean, so I'm wondering why my mind is subconsciously holding back, after all this isn't LDRK camp. Saturday night was confessions, and I finally had the urge to release my demons right before confession. So I entered confession with a clear mind and BODY.

Story two: I had a dream in which I was a soldier, and another soldier runs out like a fool into the open and dies. And I pity him because he is like the passage I read in which Jesus pities "sheep without a shepherd". Of course when I wake up I laugh because this was obviously Andy in Battlefield 3.

Story three: You don't talk on a silent retreat, so at meal time we just sit without making eye contact and eat quietly. Well during one lunch, I wasn't too hungry because I had a big breakfast. But the girl at my table was on the "voluptuous" side, and went for seconds. I was getting ready to put away my plates and leave. But because I didn't want her to feel awkward, I also went for seconds. This is the heart of chivalry: being the bigger man, even when you aren't ... the bigger man.

Finishing a Promise I Made Two Years Ago

On the first day of existence of BiA, I said I would provide a lesson on how to speak with a Vietnamese fob accent. Well here it is! I read a few pages of some random books, and wrote down every sound that is not used in Vietnamese phonetics. Here are some of them (because I know I probably didn't catch all of the "non-Viet English sounds")

"TH" The T sound in English is the "th" sound in Vietnamese. The fricative TH sound in English has no equivalent in Vietnamese. Therefore a Viet fob would say "thank you" as "tank you".

"R" sound at the end of a consonant. Vietnamese have R at the beginning of words, but not at the end. So what the Viet fob does when reading such words is ignore the "R" sound and end the word with the vowel sound. So anniversary is read as "anni-vuh-suh-ry"

"S" at the end of a word. I'm not sure what the convention is here: sometimes fobs drop the S sound and end with the vowel, but the funny thing is sometimes they add in a completely different sound. For example tennis is tennit. And they add in the dau sach (up tone) for the "nit" lol

S followed by a non-vowel. Examples are school, stamp, smart. A fob would call these "si-kool, si-tam, si-mart"

B at the end of word or P at the beginning of a word. I am pretty certain Viet words never end in B. As for never starting with P, I'm not so sure but I only see words start with PH but never P itself. This means that the Viet fob substitutes B for P and vice versa in different situations. Crab sounds like "crap" and paper sounds like "ba-buh"

There is no W sound. I looked at a Viet map once. Hawaii is spelled Ha-Oai.


Anyway, those are just some sounds I can think of, there's gotta be many more. Here's some more advice on sounding like a Viet fob: make your tone vary as you speak each word. And for word ending sounds that Viet people can't speak, make alot of guttural sounds:

(skip to 1:00)

What if the US had mandatory military service?

The countries that have mandatory military service are those that have severe tensions with the countries next to them. For example there's Switzerland, Israel, South Korea, North Korea, and Taiwan. The huge downside is that the country can go full on nationalism like Hitler or the Spartans. But what if the country remained rational? In my opinion South Koreans and Taiwanese are pretty cool people. I know enough of their pop culture to see that they are happy and loving people. I really don't see any fascism popping up in either of those two countries.

I bring this up because although there are possible downsides, I think there's plenty of upside. There are three specific examples that come to my mind. 1) For one the amount of overweight and obese people will go down tremendously. Even though people won't be as fit after they leave the military, a two year service is enough to instill the right mindset to live healthily for life. 2) This can also reduce gang violence. Sure a huge downside is that some gangsters will return back to their gang with the ability to shoot straight, but many more gangsters will probably have their life turned around. After all, gangsters are soldiers at heart, they just want to find somewhere they belong. Military service can instill duty and morality. Many former gangsters will return as good citizens. 3) America will be less likely to go to war. It's easy now to let Congress vote to go to war, but what if all families had sons and nephews in the military? Do you think Congress would be on shorter leash? Hell yeah. The Iraq invasion probably would never have happened.

I was just curious about the idea, I don't have an opinion of whether I'm even in favor, I'm just saying there are definitely good consequences of such a system. The thing that made me interested is the Swiss model. They have mandatory service starting at 20 for one year and they are part of the military reserve until age 30. and are part of the reserve reserve until 50. While in reserve service they are each assigned an automatic SIG assault rifle which they keep in their own homes! Compare that to American soldiers, who cannot even keep sidearms with them while they are on BASE, (that's how the Fort Hood shooting was able to happen).

But I realize what works for one country won't always work as well for another country. What are your opinions on a mandatory military service?