[Weekly Dose of Wisdom] Where’s Your Will to be Weird

It’s 2015 and weird is the new black; try it on! Embrace those strange thoughts that make you giggle, and could probably make an elderly lady blush; give those wonky clothes a go and flirt with fabulous; why not dye your hair a litany of pastel colors while feeling their alternating moods. Our entire lives, we’ve been force fed into believing that it’s better to fit in a box than to stand out. That gliding along in life is easier if you conform to inane societal standards about what things you should have accomplished in life rather than evolving into the type person that you’re astutely, intelligently and proudly determined to be.  Weirdness isn’t about other people or their opinions, weird is what happens when you choose to embrace your unknown and ebb with your own flow.

My entire life, I’ve more or less been a perfectionist – almost to a fault: there’s a thin line between perfectionist and OCD, but if you tell me where it is, I’ll clean it up. The world as we know it is a tumultuous, chaotic, messy, entropic place – so why are we under the assumption that internally we should be any different from our external environment?  I know it sounds strange, but it’s taken me almost 3o years to figure  out that it’s better to break the mold than be it.  And yeah, I’m full fledged, 110% positive that I’ve got the weirds; and I’ve got’em bad.  According to one of my favorite books – The Secret Language of Birthdays – I was born on the ‘Day of Idiosyncrasy‘, December 7th, and I think it’s absolutely fitting.  I like eating pico de gallo by itself and watching the weather channel, I talk to my cats and sometimes swear they’re conversing with me, I do most things backwards and spend a good proportion of my time laughing at myself, for either the weird shit that comes out of my mouth (seriously, say two near words together and immediately I’ll shout out their new illegitimate literary word child) or awkward things I actually physically do.

So, to inspire you to get a little strange, zany, crazy, silly, bizarre, uncanny, supernatural, odd, wonky and plain old weird this weekend – I’ve pulled some of my favorite quotes.  Enjoy your Friday and don’t be afraid to let your freak flags fly, my friends!

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[Wednesday Watercooler] ‘Murrica, Fuck Yeah.

In true and typical Amanda fashion – there’s been too many things whirring in my head and not enough hours in the day to properly pen and extrapolate on current events; but man, oh man, do they ever need to be covered.  First things first for any of my So.Cal followers – who managed to snag some pics of last nights epic, cotton candy sunset?!  I made a special trip to the roof and stayed until the clouds picked up hints of magenta and lavender; absolutely stunning!

For today, I’d love to focus on news about the good o’ Red WhiteBlue, ‘Murrica;
It’s like news of the weird, but better – because it’s all about US(A).

NBA Finals: Bringing The Heat

I don’t talk about it much – and most likely, it has heaps and heaps to do with the fact that I live in LA – but I’m a huge Miami Heat / Dwayne Wade fan.  That said, I’ve been losing my voice lately trying to kick their asses into high gear against the Spurs in the finals ( Sidenote: If I have to see Tim Duncan go up for another ten layups I might have to strangle a coach or something…) so it’s nice to have a little somethin’ somethin’ to liven the mood.  Take this video from Jimmy Kimmel Live where he got some of my favorite former and current ballers and makes them read mean tweets about themselves =)

See You Later, Alligator.

Things all over the states have been heating up lately, but nothing quite like what’s happened in Florida.  Over the weekend, a band of merry men went trapesing through the Little Econ State Forest in Florida in search of some magic mushrooms.  Unfortunately, it sounds like they ran into a few hiccups – firstly, there’s a little bitty thing called the law.  Officers stopped the group for the removal of plant life – which itself is reason enough for jail time – but during their search, the officers also discovered a two foot long alligator in their possession.  They received a misdemeanor for the destruction of plant life, possession of an alligator and violations of probation; in a while, crocodiles!

Science, Politics and Psychoactive Drugs: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

It’s crazy to think of the advancements we could have made for PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, mental illnesses – and, in general, science itself -if politics hadn’t gotten in the way of science and the empirical method.  The validity of the professors argument is only furthered by his exit from from the council.  To quote the article,

“Professor Nutt, who was dismissed from the Home Office’s advisory council on drugs in 2009 after clashing with ministers, said that UN conventions on drugs in the 1960s and 1970s have delayed the development of “innovative treatments” for PTSD and depression by 30 years and also set back research into areas of neuroscience such as consciousness.”

An Apple A Day Keeps the Geeks at Bay

The guys over at Apple are back at it and in a big way. Earlier this week, Apple released specs for their new Mac Pro at their World Wide Developer Conference, better known to geeks far and wide as WWDC, up in San Francisco.  This is the first new desktop in years coming from the gurus at Mac and us technophiles should definitely stop and take notice.  Not only is this the first Mac Pro with a flash based hard drive, but this model has duel AMD graphics cards, RAM that’s quick as a bunny, and 2.5x faster flash memory.  Bottom line: my birthday is in six months, who’s getting it for me?

One last rant….

Prism: The Irony and The Agony

If you’re reading this, then you should be more than aware of a current government initiative called PRISM. For their purposes, PRISM is a code word for a program the NSA is using to collect and aggregate data from across nine major internet companies to “combat terrorism“.  The companies are as follows: Facebook, AOL, Apple, YouTube, Skype, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and PalTalk – not to mention, numerous wireless carriers like Verizon; and they’re collecting information on you, right nowas we speak.  And what’s worse, these companies are now denying its existence.

The irony to me is what a prism actually is: a glass or transparent object.  Because this, this is anything but.

From the perspective of a Data Analyst, I can tell you right now that if you’re minding your own business the government isn’t much minding yours at all.  However, that’snot the real issue – the problem is the assumed deception of the American populous in order to collect an extremely large amount of metadata.

It’s not just my generation that’s up in arms – it’s the majority of the American public.  If it wasn’t for the whistleblower – Edward Snowden -we wouldn’t be privy to any of this information.  You can judge for yourself whether he’s a traitor or a hero – but I take the position of the later. He’s currently dipping and dodging all over, and attempting to seek asylym from the United States where he’s been deemed a traitor by our government. Then there’s Larry Klayman, a former Justice Department prosecutor, is filing a $20 Billion Dollar class action lawsuit that focuses on any complicit companies or officials as well as the above nine companies in question.

The fact of the matter is  we’ve been aware for a long time that the government is fond of phone taps, collecting both instant messages and text messages; and thanks to my mother I’ve been very aware of my internet footprint.  Once something goes online – it can’t exactly be deleted. For my generation – the e-generation, this posses a huge issue as most of us are already wary of the role the government plays in both our personal and technological lives.  Unlike our parents, we’ve more or less grown up with and grown into the internet – and now, all of a sudden, it feels like a lifelong friend has been turned against our best interests.