Monday, April 27, 2009

The Swine Flu and Life After People...

At this point, it's impossible to avoid the news media's intense focus on swine flu. Am I the only person who feels as though the news media is portraying the outbreaks as though it's the beginning of the end of all of humanity?

While it's sad that some people have died, the vast majority of those effected experience symptoms no worse than the typical flu. Unfortunately, that's not how this is being presented. The fear machine drives far higher ratings than a calm, drama-free, presentation of the facts. You'd think we're on the brink of having 28 Days Later become a reality.

Tonight I wanted to escape from the madness so I turned on TiVo to see what was recorded. Of course there were the typical staples found on many TiVos, such as 24, Heroes, and The Office. But today, there was something new, something perfect for the occasion. The first of a multi-part special from the History Channel called "Life After People."

The mini-series is a window into what transformations might take place if people were to disappear from the Earth suddenly. It starts at "Day 1 After People" and progresses through the coming weeks, months, and years.

At first, it's quite sad. The world would plunge into darkness in few short days as power grids go offline, many of our pets would starve to death, and the slow but certain march of wiping all traces of civilization would begin.

But this story is actually one of hope.

There's no question that we've polluted our atmosphere, devastated habitats the world over as we're reshaped them from forests to cities, and pushed millions of species to the brink of extinction. In the end, it doesn't really matter.

In a few hundred years, our sprawling suburbs would become forests once more. Our cities would be converted into new habitats for the wildlife that would undoubtedly return, at least until they crumble into piles of rubble. Slowly, the man-made world we live in today would return to the shapeless minerals and metals from which they came.

Sure, it's sad for all of us, but that's a selfish view of the world. Life would just go on... All traces of man would just turn to dust and blow away in time. I found that strangely comforting -- but maybe that's just me.

-s

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Twitter makes me laugh.

I've found that most people using Twitter, including myself, use it to tell their friends about mundane events in their lives, like brushing their teeth, clipping toe nails, etc.

Then I discovered Tina Fey, and about a dozen other comedians and associated funny people. Now, my Twitter feed is filled with updates from people that make me laugh. Score!

Who do you follow on Twitter that makes you fall out of your chair?

-s

What a day...

So while the rest of the overworld was out enjoying the amazing weather that mother nature has so generously graced upon us, I - along with a small group of friends - decided to stay indoors and play video games almost all day long.

If it wasn't for Alin asking that I do her a favor and run some errands for her, I would have stayed chained at this desk the entire day.

Now, it's 3:15AM and I'm still here. It's probably about time that I actually do something the rest of the world does every night... Get some rest.

-s

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's really great to be home.

I had the distinct pleasure to visit Memphis, TN, and Jackson, MI this week. My coworker, Camille, and I flew to Memphis on Tuesday evening and returned from Jackson just last night.

While we were there, we had the opportunity to interact with the locals while enjoying the warm weather.

By the end of our stay in Memphis, both Camille and I were feeling a little down about our visit. We hadn't made as much progress as we had hoped and were starting to feel a little home sick.

Memphis was an interesting city. We drove around plenty, and we both kept wondering, where are all the people? Everywhere we went, the city felt a bit... desolate...

The one thing we did enjoy about Memphis was Beale St. It's the focal point of the live music and club scenes in Memphis. Most of the bars had live music. Many of the songs were covers, but the bands performed them with great skill. It was one of the few highlights of our trip.

We were only able to spend the afternoon in Jackson, but I wish we had avoided Memphis altogether. The people of Jackson were plentiful, kind, and very cooperative. We were able to make significant strides towards reaching the goals we set out for our project, in just a few short hours.

Nevertheless, as exciting as our diversion was, I do have to say - I'm grateful to be home.

-s

Friday, April 10, 2009

A reflection on old blog posts...

I was just reading through blog posts from circa 2000-2001 and I can't understand why anyone ever read a word I wrote. For the most part, I just blathered from one completely inconsequential topic to another.

In fact, in many cases, I failed to form a complete sentence. I had spelling mistakes everywhere AND I seemed to like cursing like a sailor.

Sure, there were a handful of posts that were entertaining, but the vast majority were quite embarrassing.

In any case, it's not as if my blog posts have magically become more substantive. On the whole, they're all pretty boring.

But at least I'm now able to complete a coherent sentence without dropping the "f" bomb every three words.

-s

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Funny thing about Birthdays with Facebook...

So I just turned 29 on Tuesday. Yay. What did I get for all my troubles? Well, It rained. The music labels raised the price of good music and lowered the price of some of the old. Barack Obama went to Turkey and copped out on a campaign promise to my fellow Armenians. I also was given Birthday wishes by dozens of people thanks to Facebook.

The last one is what I find most interesting. People I know from as far away as Australia took a moment to wish me a happy birthday. People I've known all my life or just a few months alike wished me a great big Happy Birthday on my wall for all to see.

It was also fascinating to see how it would come in waves. Circles of people would send me a birthday wish, which would trigger it to show up on their feed, causing others to wish it as well...

The "network effect" in action, plain as day, all because I turned one year older.

That is all.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Oh glorious Sunday. What warm weather you hath brought us.

All I want to do is lay in bed and watch the hours and the sun go by. I love sleeping on Sundays. Having nothing to do. I will miss these moments, some day.

But not today. Today, I will sleep in and appreciate every last second that we have.

Carry on.

-s