Tag Archives: observation

And the Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

I am a geek and proud of it.

Now what exactly is a geek, you might ask? Sure, most people have heard the word before; it is often used as a derogatory term that is interchangeable with words like nerd, dweeb and dork. However, nowadays more and more people are viewing the word geek in a positive light, and it has even become a source of pride for some people, like myself.

The word’s origins aren’t exactly positive though. Versions of  the word are present in various dialects such as Low German, Dutch and Afrikaans and they translate to fool, freak, or alternatively, crazy. How insulting is that? I mean, I may be a crazy freak, but I am definitely no fool.

Anyway, back to the definition. Well, not really, because in fact there is no clear-cut definition. It is a term whose meaning is constantly disputed. I could ask ten people to define the word “geek” for me and I would most likely receive ten different definitions, albeit with some similarities between them.

My personal definition of “geek” is a little complicated, but basically it amounts to a person who either has a wide variety of interests in the less socially acceptable subjects, or who has a specific area of interest within these subjects. And just to clarify, when I say “less socially acceptable subjects”, I mean things that are not considered “cool”, like Sci-Fi, Fantasy, video games, Anime, Star Trek, etc. I’m not talking about things that are really socially unacceptable like bestiality or public nudity. Just so we’re clear.

In addition, geeks tend to have a love for technology. They need not be master computer hackers or anything though; it’s the interest that counts. And it needn’t even involve computers either; many geeks have a love for the latest phone technology, cameras, tablets, MP3 players, TVs, etc. The list goes on. Why all the interest? Because first of all, gadgets and gizmos are fun to play with. Secondly, they are intricate and require in-depth knowledge to use to their fullest potential. And herein lies another key trait of the geek: Passion for knowledge.

Geeks are very passionate about their subject(s) of choice. Whether it be about books, games, movies, technology, etc., geeks love to analyze and theorize and discuss and debate.  They love to pick apart the minutiae of the subject at hand. In fact, the word “geek” is starting to refer to just about anyone with a passion for something. We’re seeing car geeks, sports geeks, art geeks, science geeks, blog geeks ;) , pretty much anything under the sun geeks. The word is truly evolving all the time.

Many people also tend to associate the term “geek” with someone who is antisocial, but I believe that to be false. While it’s true that many geeks (but not all) feel uncomfortable at the bar and club scenes, it’s not because they are unable to socialize with those around them, it’s just that this type of atmosphere holds little to no interest for them. Conversely, take a dancing party girl and plunk her in the middle of a group of geeks re-enacting Monty Python’s Dead Parrot sketch (“He’s not dead! He’s pining for the fjords!) or playing an MMORPG such as WOW (translation: Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game and World of Warcraft, respectively) and let’s see how uncomfortable and “antisocial” she becomes.

More and more, the word “geek” is being redefined to refer to someone who is individualistic, creative, intelligent, and moreover, as someone who is unafraid to show it.

Shirt says: "Hello, my name is: Leerooooooooooy Jenkins. (At least I have chicken)"
It takes a true geek to understand this joke.

I believe that most people are more geeky than they’d care to admit. To them I say, take pride in your uniqueness! Dress up as a Star Wars character, wear T-shirts emblazoned with in-jokes, discuss the logic of the plot of the Lord of the Rings (why couldn’t the eagles just fly them to Mount Doom already?). The point is, you’re allowed to like these things, even if many people think it makes you “uncool”.  A little eccentricity never hurts. And hey, the more people who actually admit to liking these things, the cooler these things become in all of society, not just within the world of geeks.

And you’ll see, soon enough that world of geeks will be named… Earth. (mwahaha)

See? Don't these geeks look happy? Maybe one more so than the others...


Essential Tips for a Successful Interview

Almost everyone goes through at least one interview in their lifetime and it can be a stressful event, even for the most well-prepared of people. I myself have been through several of these oh-so-fun experiences and have learned many useful tips in the process.

There are subtle ways of influencing an interviewer into seeing you as a great potential candidate, whether you are or not. Just follow these 6 easy tips and there’s no way you can lose.

***

1. Prepping for the interview

Before even heading out the door, it is important to prepare yourself for your interview. While casual clothing, like your tattered jeans and your humorous novelty t-shirt, are comfortable and awesome looking, it is best to dress in business, or at least business-casual attire. Otherwise, the interviewer will become jealous of your comfy and stylish clothing and they may not hire you out of spite. In addition, be sure to have minty fresh breath in case the interviewer is a close-talker, or in case they fall in love with you and want to have an impromptu make-out session (this is a good sign that you’ll be hired).

Job Interview

Dress as stylish as this guy, and you too can work in a green office with a ghost and a snazzy conference room.

2. The handshake

This is your first point of contact with your interviewer. It can make or break the whole thing. When the interviewer offers you his or her hand, this is not a signal to give them a high-five. In addition it would be against your best interest to slip them some cash (at this point anyway; get a better feel for them first). Just give them a nice firm handshake; not limp, like a gross dead fish, flopping into their hand. Conversely, breaking all the bones in the interviewer’s hand with your iron grip may seem like a good idea at first – it shows how strong you are after all – but this is also ill-advised. You don’t want to make the interviewer feel inferior after all.

3. Take a seat

When the interviewer offers you a seat, I advise against taking their chair home with you. It is nice of them to offer it to you and all, but it’s more of a token gesture than anything else. Just wait for the them to offer it to you and then sit down. This conveys that you are declining to take the chair as a gift, but still shows that you like it and find it comfortable. It is considered impolite to do otherwise.

4. The questions

Most interviewers like to begin by asking you to tell them about yourself. This is your chance to shine. While some people like to go on at length about their amazing life experiences and accomplishments, like the time you ate 30 hot dogs without vomiting, or the time you blacked out and woke up naked in a strange apartment with a hobo, a chihuahua and 20 cartons of eggs, it’s best if you stick to the boring events regarding your education, training and work experience. The interviewer will be wanting to read all the exciting stories on your Facebook page later anyway, so they don’t want to be spoiled beforehand.

For the rest of the questions, just tell them exactly what they want to hear. For example:

  • Why do you want to work for us? Because you are the best at what you do and it’s been my life’s dream to work for this company. (I find that flattery can go a long way here; you might want to throw in words like “magnificent”, “amazing”, and “outstanding”)
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? I sincerely hope that I still work for this breathtaking company (again, flattery) without having received a raise or a promotion. (Any mention of them not having to spend more money on you is a bonus)
  • Tell me your greatest strength. My greatest strength is that I get things done no matter what. I will move mountains, part the seas, dig valleys and plant forests if need be to reach my goal. (Usage of hyperbole can be a nice way to show your creativity).
  • Tell me your greatest weakness. My greatest weakness is that I’m too humble. I’m the perfect employee after all, but I am never able to admit it. (The trick here is to take a positive aspect of yourself and make it sound negative. This will catch the interviewer off guard because they’ve most likely never come across this tactic before)

5. Eye contact

It is important to maintain eye contact at all times. This is crucial in an interview. If you keep looking at the floor or the ceiling, the interviewer will either become distracted and curious about what you seem to be studying so intently and start studying it themselves – they’re only human, after all – or they will think you’re hiding something, such as the fact that you’re slightly cross-eyed. It’s better to just get it out in the open right from the start; they might even feel pity for you and give you bonus points for it.

6. Your questions

It is always best to have a question or two to ask the interviewer at the end. To not ask questions shows that you’ve understood everything completely and are now showing off your intelligence to the interviewer. They don’t like that. Just play dumb and ask them to repeat something they already explained in detail, such as the duties of the position. Another option is to ask a strange convoluted question such as “If this company was a train travelling at 100 mph, and your rival company was a bus travelling at 80 mph, which one is more likely to crash and burn?” This will likely confuse the interviewer, but they will also respect you for challenging their intellect in such a manner.

***

And there you have it, dear readers! The next time you have an interview, follow these guidelines and you can’t go wrong. To deviate from these however is sure to lead to certain disaster, so tread carefully my friends.

Oh, and as a last tip, remember to smile… even if your grin makes you look like the Joker who’s about to kill Batman. It’s still better than your usual blank stare that makes you look like the voices are talking to you again.

I wish you the best of luck in all your future interviews. Unless I’m going for the same position as well. In that case, I wish you to fail miserably.


Mr. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

Hello once again, dear readers. Today I would like to introduce you to someone. This is, as dubbed by the Internet, Mr. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy:

(Photo Source: KnowYourMeme.com)

Isn’t he pretty? This photo was taken only a week ago, on March 31st, and it’s already gone viral online. Actually this was the original photo:

He does stand out in a crowd...

Just look at him, dear readers! While everyone around him is sweaty and all red in the face from exertion (you know, like normal people?) he somehow manages to look like he’s in the middle of modelling for a Nike ad or something. While it is possible, even probable, that he is also sweating and red in the face, his beaming smile and shining eyes make any imperfection invisible to the camera.

Some people have got it really good; it’s just impossible to take a bad photo of them. They can be hung over, covered in their own vomit (or even other people’s vomit) and dressed in a paper bag yet somehow, they still manage to look magnificent in photos. Don’t you just hate those people sometimes?

I know in my case, I’m the complete opposite of photogenic. I’m always the one in pictures with my eyes half closed or with some weird expression on my face that only seems to appear right as the picture is being taken. And I know I’m not the only one out there who suffers from this sad affliction. We just can’t all be as ridiculously photogenic as Zeddie Little (that’s the guy’s name; even his name is somehow photogenic, whether that makes sense or not). C’est la vie, I guess…

And apparently, everyone online  has fallen in love with this guy (including me – just look at that radiant smile!), which of course means that they chose to express their love through the magic of Photoshop. Here are a few examples that I found:

 

He was even in the newspaper:

So Mr. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy, I salute you for becoming famous by smiling at the camera. (Who would have guessed that was possible?) However, one of the pitfalls of fame is getting an inflated ego, which is so very unattractive. So, as a favour to you, I’m going to give you something to keep your head from swelling and becoming ugly:

Remember this and you can be beautiful forever...

Now don’t worry Mr. Ridiculously Photogenic guy. We don’t actually hate you, right dear readers? It just the little green devil called Envy For Not Being As Photogenic As You (the name just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) that makes us think we do sometimes.


Happy Birthday To Me!

Birthday Cake

Mmmmm... Cake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s right, dear readers, today is my birthday. I am now 25 years old. That’s one-quarter of a century, halfway to 50. I’m not sure if it should or not, but it doesn’t feel any different from any other birthday.

I find it funny how when you’re a kid, each birthday is extremely significant and a source of pride, as if suddenly going from 7 to 8 years old is a great accomplishment. Kids are very aware of their age and the ages of the other kids around them, because when you’re that age, that’s usually how the social hierarchy is decided. The older kids are the ones in charge and they get to do things that the younger ones can’t.

When you’re an adult, all of that changes. Your age begins to have less and less to do with your social or professional status. A 50-year-old person can just as easily be the subordinate to one of 30 years of age as not.

Also, the addition of one year or two of age begins to have less and less impact on our appearance. It’s easy to tell the difference between a 5-year-old and a 7-year-old, but can you tell the difference between someone who is 45 and 47? Maybe you can, but I sure can’t.

So, just to reiterate, 25 doesn’t feel any different from 24…. However, cake and presents are always good so I’m going to enjoy this day all the same!

I’m going to leave you now with the number one songs of 25 years ago on the date of April 4th, 1987. Why, you ask? Because it’s fun, that’s why ;)

In the US, it was Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, which you may remember from the classic 80’s movie, Mannequin.

And in the UK, the number one song at the time was a cover of “Let It Be”, performed by Ferry Aid, a British-American ensemble group brought together in the aftermath of the Zeebrugge Disaster.

You just gotta love that 80’s hair!


Take It All In

I’m going to start off by saying that I’m going to do this entry a little different from my weird, wacky usual. Talking about broccoli as evidence that pigs can fly and dying anthropomorphic birds is fun and all (it really is!), but sometimes I like to tone it down a bit to try to fool people into thinking that I’m at least somewhat normal. So let’s begin, shall we?

***

Today was a really nice day. That seems like a somewhat strange topic for a blog entry, doesn’t it? I mean, nothing particularly exciting happened; I didn’t come across anything out of the ordinary, or even meet anyone new. It was simply a really nice day.

It was sunny and warm, and I managed to take a nice long walk along the waterfront. There aren’t many days when I actually stop and take in everything around me. Even though I’ve only been in the city of Kelowna for about 6 months, I’ve already started taking all the amazing scenery for granted. How is that even possible? There are mountains, forests and a giant beautiful lake basically right outside my front door!  And when I say “giant”, I mean it. Okanagan Lake has a surface area of 351 km² (135.5 mi²) so it’s kind of hard to miss.

I snapped a few pictures with my phone to share; the quality isn’t great and I’m no photographer, but you can still see that it’s a sight to behold.

I even stopped to take a closer look at things that I normally would have just walked past.

Loch Ness has the legend of Nessie. Okanagan Lake has the legend of Ogopogo.

Most days, I would never have stopped to read this, but I'm glad I did. It's really quite beautiful and profound.

Even the ducks were out in full force today.

People in general tend to overlook the things that surround them once they’ve become accustomed to them. It’s just human nature; when there’s change, we adapt, and anything that was previously amazing to us simply becomes mundane.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. One can open one’s eyes and learn to appreciate everything once again; all you need is the desire to do so.

That’s why I’m so grateful that I decided to start writing and join the blogging community. In an effort to discover things to blog about, I have managed to open my eyes once again and really look at the world around me; and with the amount of talented bloggers out there, especially those who have an eye for photography (I particularly liked Frivolous Monsters‘ pics of Manchester), it’s hard not to.

Posting pictures like this most likely won’t become the norm for me. Like I said earlier, I’m no photographer and my camera just doesn’t do the scenery justice anyway. But I really did have a great time today doing this, so who knows what the future will bring?

In the end, I’m just thankful that everyone has been so supportive and encouraging. I really didn’t expect this blog of mine to go anywhere, yet today I managed to surpass 500 all-time views (which I know doesn’t seem like a lot to many of you; a lot of people get that or more on a daily basis, but to me it’s a tremendous accomplishment). And now, I get to look out of my apartment window and realize that I’ve got it pretty good:

Can you believe that I stopped noticing this view?


We All Scream For Ice Cream

Ice Creeaaam!!!

Most people have seen this painting before by Edvard Munch, called simply, The Scream; but have they ever stopped to think about WHY the man in the painting is screaming?

Of course they have, Chris. Lots of people have wondered that, and if you would have stopped to do some research, you would know that Edvard Munch actually explained his inspiration as – SHUT UP internal logic! You’re boring. It’s much more fun to try to interpret it ourselves.

So, why is this poor man screaming? Is he screaming for his friends, who seem to be running away and hiding from him in the background? Maybe they couldn’t stand to look at him anymore, since he looks like a wax sculpture of Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone melting in the sun… Or maybe he’s screaming because he’s realized he’s lost his Preciousss (Get it? Because he also looks like Gollum)? Or maybe, just maybe, he’s screaming for ice cream. Because as we all know, I scream, you scream, we ALL scream for ice cream… Apparently.

What do you fine readers think? Any thoughts or insights into the true nature of The Scream? Comment and let me know; but no research, you hear me? That’s cheating.


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