Author Archives: Raizen

PSA: Stop acting stupid about the coronavirus.

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I’ll get to the point: Stop accusing people of having the coronavirus (or COVID-19, or whatever it’s called).

I know that not everyone would be deterred by the fact that that’s tasteless and unfunny, but there’s another kicker: you can get sued. It’s defamation.

If something you might do can rightly be called “stupid”, play it safe and don’t do it.

Also, people can stop spazzing out over COVID-19 as though it’s going to be the end of the world. It’s almost identical to the common cold, something we already have. If China is taking extreme actions to limit the spread of infection, that’s nothing to concern yourself with, unless you’re in China. We know why China is trying as hard as it is to stop COVID-19; the country is practically a huge factory, and it’s trying to limit how the sick days would collectively impact productivity.

Just chill, your life is probably still boring. No zombie apocalypse, here. Just let your immune system do it’s job.

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Note for the slow: The admonition to let your immune system do its job should obviously apply to those who already caught the virus, and shouldn’t be taken to mean to be reckless and catch it. It also doesn’t mean to forgo treatment. If your white blood cells are receiving assistance from a qualified professional that knows what they’re doing, all the better.

Here’s what I’ve been doing about the world obesity crisis.

It’s been a few days since World Obesity Day. While the international community seems content with issuing a statement regarding stigmas surrounding obesity, I’ve decided to share what I’ve been doing regarding the obesity problem.

“But Raizen,” you might be asking, “since when were you obese?” I wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t play a part to help the world be a healthier place.

A quick note before describing what I’ve been doing:  I don’t attribute my fitness progress to any one of these approaches in particular. Many internet personalities do just that, and leave their viewers to determine for themselves why they don’t get the same results when they attempt them. I’ve been doing each of these approaches at the same time. What’s more, there may be other variables that may not have been considered. While I’ve been experiencing some positive results, I make no guarantee that they will work the same way for everyone.

Intermittent fasting
This seems to be the current fitness fad that’s going around. It makes intuitive sense: eating fewer calories day by day results in gaining less weight. Personally, I doubt that many marketers will get behind this trend, as it involves people spending less.

While people have been searching for the natural human diet in terms of what they can eat, the right question is how often they eat to be in line with the dietary patterns of early humans (putting aside how misguided it is to assume that what’s natural is better for us). Early humans were hunter-gatherers, so they more likely ate later in the day, after having worked to hunt or gather the food that they would be dining on. This means that our ancestors likely didn’t eat breakfast, but instead got right up and got right to seeking out their food that they would consume later in the day.

The idea of breakfast, as well as the idea that there should be three meals in a day, is a very recent idea. And it came about at around the time that people started to get seriously fat. What’s more, the most commonly-marketed breakfast items are among the most fattening items in the modern human diet. Considering this, it should make some very obvious intuitive sense that if one were to skip breakfast, they wouldn’t be gaining as much weight.

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While there are a few approaches to intermittent fasting, the one I went for is the 16/8 approach. This would be where a person picks 8 hours a day where one eats as normal, while refraining from meals or snacks for the remaining 16. I don’t usually hold to it on weekends, as the 16/8 approach seems to work sufficiently five days a week. The hours that one spends sleeping do count, so it’s acceptable to take a meal schedule like 11:30am – 7:30pm. What’s important is that during the dining periods, one doesn’t overeat. If a person takes the 8-hour period as an opportunity to gut-load, they’d likely defeat their attempted diet.

One might wonder whether one gets hungry while intermittent fasting. The answer is yes, but it’s not actually a big deal. When a person gets hungry, that’s the body telling them that “if you don’t start looking for food soon, you’re going to die so go, go, go!” What your body doesn’t realize is that the situation isn’t really that dire, and you are surrounded by food on demand nearly all the time. If you stay busy with something else (like your job, or even a video game), you tend not to notice hunger as much.

Adopting a healthy diet
A healthy lifestyle doesn’t just involve not eating as much, the quality of what’s consumed does make a difference. There are many, many principles to a healthier diet, so it’s mainly a learn-as-you-go experience. Here’s a few principles that I’ve picked up along the way:

  • Look at food for what it is, rather than how appetizing it may be. Most fast food is disgusting, so avoiding it can help a lot.
  • Many food items that are perceived as healthy are actually far from it. This includes muffins, granola bars, organic snack foods, the list goes on and on. Learn what’s garbage in disguise.
  • Whole grain is better than white bread. That cheap wheat bread that you see is actually colored brown, and has an arbitrary amount of wheat added to it so it can legally be called “wheat”, so don’t be tricked.
  • It’s hilarious that after rigorously working out at the gym, people line up for smoothies that are teeming with sugar.
  • Paying attention to calories is an eye-opening experience. A heaping plate of pasta can easily demolish a daily calorie allotment.
  • Beware of what’s heavily marketed, because the main interest of those peddling the products isn’t your well-being, it’s to get you to buy things. Marketers have caught up with the keto fad, and are now in the process of ruining it.

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Frequent exercise
This is the effort part of the fitness regimen. I’ve been changing this up from time-to-time, but the idea is to adopt a few different exercises that hit multiple muscle groups. Here is an example:

Dumbbell floor presses
Dumbbell side swings
Curls
Squats

Four sets each, 10 reps per set. Three times a week. The exercises can be changed up. Not everyone can do pull-ups right away. Frequently swapping in one exercise for another, such as subbing in push-ups or lunges, helps to ensure that a wide variety of muscles get attention.

As exercise is incorporated into your lifestyle, it helps to get adequate protein. Protein shakes can help, but they’re pricey and overrated. Tuna is great, because it provides a high amount of protein with few calories.

Limiting sugary drinks
The main things I drink are black coffee and water. While sugar isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be, it’s fattening in drinks because they lack the fiber that would slow the incorporation of sugar into your system, resulting in a sugar rush followed by a crash.

But what about energy drinks? In most cases, the main ingredient that gives them their effect is caffeine. The contribution of most other ingredients outside of sugar are negligible. Energy drinks may have colorful, textured cans with lightning bolt patterns and other edgy packaging, but you’d be better off just drinking coffee.

Fruit juices are sugary drinks, so while they may have vitamin content, it’s usually better to eat the fruit, instead.

There you have it, my approach to making the world less obese. It takes a bit of effort, but so do most things that are worth going for.

What’s a relevant smartphone feature?

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I’ve heard it said that we’re at “peak smartphone”, the point of diminishing returns concerning technical specs in smartphones (unless some technological breakthrough were to occur). This being the case, it’s more likely that features will play a factor in smartphone purchases. That got me to thinking about what smartphone feature really matters to me.

I came up with an answer, and that answer is larger screens. This is because with larger screens, you can view larger explosions.

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I have tastes that are easy to understand. I like explosions. I like movies that have explosions. The larger and more bombastic the explosions, the better. I know that people get all snotty about Michael Bay movies, but he knows how to write in a way that speaks to me. With explosions.

I heard a song that said something like, “cool guys don’t look at explosions”. But that’s like saying “cool guys don’t eat beef jerky”; that’s a lie, of course we do. Cool guys love looking at explosions, and that’s because explosions rule.

bewm.gifThat’s right, look at it!

Explosions are fun, and Pokemon is fun, too. You know what would really rock? Putting the two together. Someone thought to do that, and the result is Typhlosion. It’s the most popular Johto starter, and that’s no accident. Whoever designed that one did a great job.

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You know what else rocks? Hot sauce. That’s because hot sauce tastes like explosions. You can seriously improve your food by adding the flavor of explosion to it. Cool guys look at explosions, and they taste them, too.

pepper palace the hottest sauce in the universe.pngPepper Palace

Oh yeah, I was writing about smartphone features. Graphene sounds cool, 5G sounds cool, but let’s not deny the fact that large screens still matter, considering their role in expediting the viewing of explosions. Folding phones are a significant advancement in explosion-viewing technology, as they allow us to have it both ways: a large screen with which to view explosions, and a device that can be folded down small so it can fit in one’s pocket.

However, folding phones seem to be in the gouging phase of new technology, wherein something new is priced disproportionately high in an effort to profit well off those content to be on the bleeding edge of technology (while at the same time being the guinea pigs while various flaws are worked out). It might be a little while before folding phones are priced reasonably, but we’d still have access to tablets and larger phones in the meantime.

And when it comes to watching Zacian’s Behemoth Blade in action, those do just fine.

Hey Jeep owners: We get it, we just don’t care.

Of all the drivers out there, none have exhibited unmerited smugness quite like Jeep owners. This smugness is distilled and used to print up Jeep decals telling the rest of us that we “wouldn’t understand”.

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Jeep owners, we actually do understand. Your boxy car with a tarp top was marketed with a carefully-cultivated sense of adventure, and you bought one because you want people to think you’re macho. The rest of us could have made the same purchase with as much money, but we thought better of it and decided not to.

Because they’re in such a hurry to get the rest of us to take them seriously, Jeep owners are now getting their headlights modified with “angry eyes”:

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This is when you realize that Jeep ownership is all about image. The carefully-marketed sense of adventure? Image. The numerous modifications with purely aesthetic value? Image. The many, many decals proclaiming the identity found in purchasing something mass-produced? Image, image, image.

These pubescent attempts to impress us are characteristic of a failure to develop beyond the Hot Wheels phase of automotive preference, and is further expressed with the idea that being a good driver means driving real fast and weaving through traffic (while the rest of us are wishing that the accident that takes the doofus off the road doesn’t take our own cars along with them). Little do they realize that if they wanted a car that’s effective at the whole “going fast” dealie, they’d want one with the proper specs to do so, such as aerodynamics.

Jeeps are the automotive equivalent of the guy who desperately wants to impress us, so he wears compression shirts, talks about guns at every chance, sprays himself with Axe, then wonders why the rest of us thinks he’s a poser.

Do you have a “Jeep thing” going on? Guess what? Nobody cares.

Chauvinist Restaurant Shutters Doors

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A sexist Australian eatery is set to close. Because, of course it is. It’s sexist.

The sign pictured above was posted at Handsome Her, an Australian diner that gathered media attention, and many negative reviews, for its controversial chauvinist stance against men. Except it did a terrible job of riding the wave of controversy, because I didn’t even notice that it existed until it was time for the place to shut down.

Because rule number 3 in the sign above is ideologically incompatible with their first two rules, there’s little reason to suspect that the restaurant owner would possess the clarity of mind to last long in the highly-competitive restaurant business. But the restaurant staff gives us more reason to doubt them:

“We tried to demonstrate ways of doing business more ethically and responsibly by abandoning take-away cups, single use straws and napkins, by shopping locally and supporting woman owned businesses.”

As it turns out, making business choices informed by chauvinism and fad environmentalism doesn’t result in a lasting business. And, to further limit the appeal of their business, it’s also vegan. It’s almost as though Handsome Her is challenging as few people to give a care as possible.

Because the gender-wage gap has been debunked many, many times, there probably isn’t very much I can say about it that hasn’t already been said. But there is another aspect to the matter that doesn’t come up as often. It may very well be that most feminists are ignorant to the true nature of the gender wage myth. But it’s hard to imagine that all of them are so naive that they wouldn’t see past the obvious lie, but they peddle it anyway, recognizing it’s usefulness in cultivating a following. In either case, it looks really bad.

When it comes to a following, quality matters a lot more than quantity. When a lie is used to recruit, it cultivates a following of the gullible. The propagation of the gender wage myth to further the feminist cause has a lot to do with why the typical feminist is an overly-vocal ignoramus.

As I’ve said before, if it’s necessary to lie to get people to accept what you’re trying to sell them, perhaps you shouldn’t believe it, either.

You want to know something interesting? If you want to expose someone as being misinformed, just let them keep talking. The more they say, the more inconsistencies you’ll find in their arguments, and the sillier their non-sequiturs. The best part is, they’ll have no idea that, by giving them a platform, you’re really not doing them any favors.

“We strived to bring lesbianism back into fashion. What, you didn’t know it was out of fashion? Well for many of us, it is.”

I know that lesbians can speak for themselves, but I suspect that many of them would agree that it’s not a fashion choice. But considering that we’re talking about restaurant management that actually believes that it can sell chauvinism to a progressive society, it’s hard to put the idea past them.

“The Man Tax blew up the internet – an idea that we didn’t think was all too radical. Yet the way the world responded showed us how fragile masculinity is and solidified the necessity for us to confront and dismantle patriarchy.”

There’s something amusing about the self-centered morality and lack of introspection it takes to perceive a crime and then wonder at the backlash for committing the same crime. Also, hypocrisy. There’s that, too.

“Yes, we are the evil, discriminatory, man-hating dykes who charge men more when didn’t you know the wage gap doesn’t even exist!?”

If you know that the problem isn’t real, then you’re the malicious kind of recruiter. Again, if you have to lie to get people to go along with you, maybe it’s not a worthy cause.

“…While it is a shame to lose the physical space (and we understand how essential it is for women and lesbians to hold space),”

It’s because feminists love having a nexus with which to formulate collective action. For some reason, feminists do almost nothing outside of collective action. You see, if men get upset over something, we act for ourselves, even if it means that we are acting alone. We don’t have any need to run anything by a group, nor do we need to stew over a perceived wrong until a weekly gathering. Could it be that feminists don’t have real confidence?

“Meanwhile gentlemen’s social clubs live on and strong around Melbourne and the world over…”

“Gentlemen’s social clubs” exist because “gentlemen” like women. Natch. It’s a preference that’s apparently shared by the Handsome Her zeitgeist, so one could imagine that the restaurant owners could at least empathize.

It’s been a short ride, Handsome Her. I imagine that you’ll find more swords to fall upon in your quest to make whatever point it is that you’re trying to make.

get woke go broke

Battle Tower RMT – Pokemon Sword Version

pokekid means business.pngThe Battle Tower: serious business.

The Battle Tower is a feature in Pokemon games that simulates competitive play against an AI, but it’s also a way to farm BP, a currency used to purchase some highly-desirable items.

Here is the team that I used to reach the highest rank:

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Dracovish @ Choice Scarf
Ability: Strong Jaw
6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly nature (+Spe -SpA)
– Fishious Rend
– Crunch
– Ice Fang
– Earthquake

Dracovish looks like nature made a mistake, and hits like GameFreak made a mistake. Fishious Rend is a move that does enormous damage, but the catch is that the user has to go first, and Dracovish has a seemingly-inconvenient Speed stat. This set cranks up the power of Fishious Rend while going full-tilt to increase Dracovish’s Speed, enabling this monstrosity to sweep entire teams with ease. Fishious Rend benefits from Strong Jaw, giving a power boost to an already ridiculously strong move. The other moves are for coverage.

By the way, Dynamaxing allows a Choice item holder to temporarily choose a different move, which gives an answer to Shedinja and other pokemon that might be immune to Fishious Rend.

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Zacian @ Rusted Sword
Ability: Intrepid Sword
6 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly nature (+Spe -SpA)
– Iron Head (Behemoth Blade)
– Play Rough
– Close Combat
– Swords Dance

While using a massively OP super-legendary may seem unfair, remember that the idea of a Battle Tower team is to win. What’s great about Zacian isn’t just that it’s strong, but its typing compliments Dracovish just right. Both Dragon and Fairy types can potentially give Dracovish trouble, and Zacian has the typing and moves to come to the rescue. Zacian has to watch out for Ground and Fire types, which aren’t much problem for Dracovish. The two go together excellently well.

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Rotom (Wash) @ Choice Specs
Ability: Levitate
6 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe
Timid nature (+Spe -Atk)
– Hydro Pump
– Trick
– Thunderbolt
– Volt Switch

Rotom provides a more direct answer to the Water types that might resist this team’s power moves. If you wish, you can go with Rotom Mow, which would take down Gastrodon in a hurry, but this comes with the risk that Rotom might take significant damage from an Ice-type move from a pokemon like Lapras on the switch-in. While stall pokemon like the Toxic/Protect users don’t usually cause Dracovish much trouble, those strategies are ruined when a Choice Specs are Tricked onto them.

Can you think of a way to improve this team? Or do you have a different team of your own? Feedback is welcome.

My Beef With Santa Claus

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When I was growing up, I was told that Santa Claus “sees you while you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake.” The idea is that he uses this information to make a determination as to whether to reward children for their behavior. But there’s something troubling about this. Deeply troubling.

For one thing, Santa’s surveillance system is in violation of the 4th amendment of the US Bill of Rights. While the NSA similarly runs afoul of this, Santa has long been a noteworthy offender. What’s especially creepy about this is that Santa’s surveillance is extended to areas where there would be an expectation of privacy, including bedrooms and restrooms.

What’s worse is that Santa has plenty of opportunity to use this system benevolently, but he simply chooses not to. If Santa’s global surveillance system allows him to see the location and activities of every single child at all times, why does he do nothing for the many children out there that are missing, abducted, exploited, trafficked, and abused? Santa possesses the means to assist these children, their families, and law enforcement in returning these children home, so why doesn’t he?

What does Santa use his global surveillance for? To make arbitrary decisions as to who should be rewarded for good behavior. But even then, his decision-making is horribly flawed. I’ve noticed that wealthy children are rewarded more than children in poverty. If Santa is fair, and possesses the means to reward each child proportionately for their benevolence, why is favoritism extended to children in wealthier families? And if Santa is benevolent, why does he overlook impoverished families who simply need more to eat?

Santa Claus, you’re one messed-up hombre. Don’t think I haven’t noticed. You may be watching us, Santa Claus, but we’re watching right back. I’m on to you.