All posts by Paul

End of a year, start of a film

Yesterday I ended the year with a film.

I don’t watch many films, so this is kind of special. The film I watched was “Lucy“, with Scarlett Johansson.

Official trailer of “Lucy”

I accidentally came across this film as I was paging through the Google Play store and discovered it.

The comments for the film were quite mixed and also intriguing enough for me to decide to rent it and see it for myself.

I’m glad I found this film. It was (for me) very enjoyable and definitely worth watching. The idea of expanding the capacity of the human mind is something that intrigues me and this film deals with that. It does so in a rough and extreme way. It made me think of this more than I was already doing.

Absolutely a good film for me.

Guten Tag, Gutenberg

I’ve tried this new editor a few times. It has advantages. It also has serious issues for me.

I’m once more trying it in this post, since ‘lots of changes have been made’, so I heard.

Do you use WordPress? Do you use (and like) Gutenberg? How easy was the switch for you?

Right. I see one of my main issues with Gutenberg is still there. It’s a mystery to me how to add an image and add text to the left or right of it. (I don’t mean the caption.) I’ve heard it can be done. If you know how and you’re able to make this clear and easy, I’d love to hear from you.

I’ve written this post in the Gutenberg editor. After posting it I’ll switch back to the classic editor for now. This switch is going to be an interesting road.

What do you think about naturism? And what do you know about it?

Naturism. The internet is loaded with it…

…but it’s not naturism.

According to the internet at large, naturism is sex, porn, bad stuff, naked people doing ‘the unmentionable’ (whatever that is, because there are plenty of words – check any dictionary). The internet is quite clever, but the people filling it often aren’t using the right words for what they’re spreading. Unfortunately, using the ‘wrong’ words is the best way to attract lots of visitors.

Then what is naturism?

Let’s have a look at Wikipedia:

Naturism, or nudism, is a cultural and political movement practising, advocating, and defending personal and social nudity, most but not all of which takes place on private property. The term may also refer to a lifestyle based on personal, family, or social nudism.[1] Naturism may take a number of forms. It may be practiced individually, within a family, socially, or in public. Additionally, there is also militant naturism, including campaigning, and extreme naturism is sometimes considered a separate category.[2]

Right. You may notice something here. There’s talk of ‘nudity’. Yup. Part of it. There is no mention of ‘sex’ or ‘porn’. Correct. That’s not part of naturism (nor is it of nudism but let’s stick to one word for now to prevent confusion).

America: what does the AANR (American Association for Nude Recreation) have to say about it:

Our Mission: Simply put, we exist “To advocate nudity and nude recreation in appropriate settings while educating and informing society of their value and enjoyment.”

holding_handsRecreation. Yup again. Nude. Yup again. And no sex, no porn, although (still) the internet is loaded with it. Go to images.google.com, look for ‘naturism’ and prepare for what you’ll be shown if safe-search if off. That is not naturism. That is porn and sex and what-not.

Safety check: did you know that? Did you know the difference between naturism and porn? Honestly?

Britain: What does the British Naturism site say about it:

Naturism is the practice of going without clothes – whether that is just occasionally at a beach or in your garden, or as a more general part of everyday life. Naturism is healthy, sensible – who wants to wear clothes when the weather is hot – and great fun!

Gosh darn, still no mention of porn or sex. Is that disappointing? Instead there’s a sensible thing there: who wants to wear clothes when the weather is hot? Now I hear some folks say that we have air conditioning for that, which is the clever thing to use.

Yes, it’s smart to spend money on clothes that make you feel warm in summer, so you spend more money on a machine that cools you down artificially!

And why do people do that? Because they’ve been taught (indoctrinated, culturally branded) to believe that being nude is bad. Offensive. Not healthy. I guess that is why babies are born with nappies on instead of naked.

And who started this oppression in the civilised, Western world?

Adam and EveWas it the Christian God who created Adam and Eve “in his image”? After all, he put them in a garden, naked and all, and watched them. Adam and Eve therefore were the original naturists as they lived that way and enjoyed themselves.

Oh. Wait. God watched them. Was he the first God-person to watch porn then? Is the internet right after all?

Let’s assume that isn’t the case.

Through some trickery Adam and Eve were evicted from their garden and covered themselves in shame. So being naked is shameful from then on. Check. Wearing a fig leaf apron was the first step.

The clothing industry happily jumps on that bandwagon, and certainly the swimwear fashion designers.

modern swimwear

This must have been very comfortable in the Victorian era. I wonder… would you care for that? Or do you think modern swimwear is better?

I’d say: go for the Victorian ones. At least they keep you warm so long they haven’t been wet. These flimsy things don’t help anything in keeping you warm – not even in the water. And don’t they feel great when you get out of the water? Wet and clingy and getting cold fast, even when it’s warm? (By the way, lots of swimwear fashion resembled a fig leaf, in amount of cloth, for a while. Did you notice?)

Body acceptance

No. It’s about time that people rediscover naturism. Being naked isn’t bad. Being brain-washed to think that your body is ugly is bad. Making people think that they have to look like dolls is bad.

Remember: whether or not you believe in a god, you were born naked. If you believe/follow the fashion folks, you make them your gods. Look up body acceptance. Naturists accept their bodies. No one is perfect, and if someone tells you there is something like a perfect body, they lie.

Seriously… naturists are better off.

nudist swim

Did you know that? Or do you still think naturism is just a nice word for porn and sex all around? If you still do, please educate yourself. 🙂

 

The health and beauty industry thinks you’re all ugly.

Yes. All of you. Ugly. Unworthy. The health and beauty industry is probably amazed that you have the nerve to show yourselves in broad daylight.

male supermodelBoys, you really need to look like this. Otherwise you are NOT allowed to play. It’s not hard, you know. This is just a country boy sucking in his tummy a bit, nothing big.

supermodelAnd you, lady, why don’t you look like this plain, average girl on the right?

The health and beauty industry keeps telling you to shape up a little, invest a bit more in your looks, because you have to be young forever.

Right?

You have to!

And do you know how many people believe that? How many people chase those impossible goals? Too many. Even if there are only two, that’s too many. People are people in normal-people-shapes, not in the idiotic, thin, muscular, 19-year old, malnourished bodies that are digitally modified to look even more fake.

Please, stop chasing those crazy dreams. You can’t win. As soon as enough people come close to the beauty model, the health and beauty industry will change the goal and make you run the other way.

They don’t care about you. They care about your money, and they don’t give a shit about how many lives they destroy. Of course not many people will admit that, but I am convinced that the people who push others over the edge in their attempts to achieve the impossible are murderers.

And about the adjustments: have a look here.

fake

Here is an example how a supermodel looks without and with make-up and ‘adjustments’.

Not convinced? Look here:

Now be honest. Can you win from Photoshop?

Nope. Forget it. So forget that stupid race to become what no one is. Not even the supermodels…

 

 

Mijn jaarlijkse donatie. My yearly donation.

(English text further down.)

Reumafonds

Elk jaar tegen het eind van het jaar kies ik een goed doel en daar geef ik een mooi bedrag aan. Drie keer raden welk het dit jaar was. (Als je meer dan 1 keer nodig hebt moet je echt eens beter opletten.)

Ik doe dit in plaats van kerstkaarten. Die zijn goedbedoeld maar komen uiteindelijk in dozen en bij het oud papier terecht. Zonde van het papier, de inkt en de moeite van het versturen.

Steun je deze actie ook mee? Kijk op https://actie.reumafonds.nl/

====

Each year towards the end of the year I select a charity and donate a nice amount to them. This year it was the Dutch research foundation for rheumatism. I do this instead of writing and sending Christmas cards. I know everyone means well with those but in the end they are tossed away which is a waste of paper, ink and the money for sending them.

If you care to support me in this donating to this charity, please go to https://actie.reumafonds.nl/ (google translate or some other online system will assist you in navigating the site).

Living forever. How quaint. But what are the consequences?

Living forever. The Pros and Cons.

Very old manMore and more I hear and read things about how scientists are getting closer to the genes that need to be changed to make people live longer. At this moment there are people who live to over 100 years, but that’s clearly not enough.

I wonder how many people want to live forever. Of course having the body and mind of a 30-or-so-year old. Cool, right? Of course this means you’ll have to work forever because you don’t look like you need a pension. (Benefit: you don’t have to pay for a pension plan!)

 

Is it all that rosy as it looks and sounds?

Still I have some thoughts and reservations about this.

In 2100 the world will have 10 billion people (this is the medium growth projection – check out this wikipedia page).

Overpopulation

Suppose none of these 10 billion will die and they will keep making new people that also don’t die. Do you see where I’m going? It will get very crowded on planet Earth. And they will all have to eat. Is there enough land remaining for growing crops? Are we going to have space stations that create food which is then shipped down?

I guess it won’t come to that. Not everyone will be able to afford getting their genes modified to live forever. Only the rich will. (They’ll make sure of that.) The regular people will just work and die. Die of cancer, bad food and diseases we still don’t know of now.

 

Then there are the jobs

robot workerMore and more jobs are taken over by computers, robots and other machinery. What will those 10 billion (and expanding) people do all day? Twiddle their thumbs? Kill each other? (Which wouldn’t surprise me, honestly.)

Another consideration. Procreation.

If something like this living forever idea becomes reality I would vote for sterilising the people who get to live forever. Imagine what will happen if people live forever and make more people that will live forever. There won’t be space to put all of them – unless they start killing off the people that don’t live forever. But then, considering that the rich ones will live forever… who will do the work? Oh, right. The robots I mentioned above. Isn’t that a nice future to look at?

Do you want to live forever?

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

I don’t. Even when there’s always something else I want to do, I’m sure that living forever will get boring at one point. Just let me live a nice life (hey, I work hard enough for it) and let me get out of it when I chose to.

I guess in the end there can be only one…

Yellow glasses for driving at night.

Yellow glasses for driving at night.

Yellow night glasses

Yes. I got them. Yellow glasses for night driving. And they seem to work, which surprises me as I’m colour blind. I also have very light-sensitive eyes. I drove with sunglasses a few early mornings and that helped a lot but they do make things quite dark. How many people that read this use these yellow glasses as well? And do you think they’re a great idea?

They are not a great idea.

No. These yellow glasses are not a great idea. They’re a fix for a problem that the lighting industry should take on. This is a band aid for sore night-eyes.

If the need for this kind of glasses arises, that means there is something wrong with the light conditions at night. Lights that hurt and hinder people, creating the need for these glasses. That is the root problem of things in this case, and the best way to attack that problem is to change the night lights.

I’m not a light expert so perhaps my idea of using infrared or ultraviolet is ridiculous but perhaps there is something to be done with polarised lights, filters or something like that.

They are merely helpful, but…

These yellow glasses are helpful, don’t get me wrong, but they are yet another expression of investing in materialism to make life easier. Life that’s difficult enough to cope with when you consider everything that’s going on in an average (if that exists) person’s life.

So… I’m officially on the band wagon.

Band wagon

Actually not this kind. I mean the Xiaomi Mi Fit Band. Wagon. Sort of. Well, you get the drift.

Xiaomi Mi band.

An amazing friend of mine has such a thing. It’s like a nice price Fitbit and it comes with an app. It measures all kinds of stuff like your heart beat (important; if that stops you should have a physician check you out), the number of steps you take each day (fitness related, health related and so on) and it can show you the time. (Hey, who wants to hang around at work too long!)

Another cute thing it seems to do (I only got the band in about an hour ago) is that it can monitor how you sleep and make pretty graphs of that. And that’s where I hopped on the band. Wagon. (Keep your boo and hiss, suck it up, folks.)

I’m curious how that works and looks. Let the fun begin.

Of course I am in luck. Today the car was in the shop and I walked almost 8km (5.5 something miles, do the math if you’re curious). The step counter would have come in nicely!!

The looks.

How does it look? Well, like this:

Xiaomi Mi band
Xiaomi Mi band

If you’re curious about the thing itself, check out DX.Com. The band comes with a USB adapter with which you can charge the clock module (which you take out of the strap for that). My band arrived 24% charged so I hooked it up immediately. The little circle you see on the module is what you tap to activate the display and cycle through the modes you set up.

The manual.

Well, that is interesting. Since DX ships from China, the entire manual (which basically is a scrap of paper) is in Chinese. There are some pictures on it though, which helps just enough to get going. It was fun to see.

The app.

Xiaomi mi appThe app itself (I have the Android version) looks nice and so far works well for the tiny bit it had to do for me so far.

It guides you through pairing the band, setting up a profile, and it simply works.

You can set up if you wear the band left or right, the info you want to see on the display of the band and a few more bits and bobs. Nice is that you can preset the number of steps you think you want to achieve each day. I’m curious if the band will electro-buzz me if I don’t make it. 😀

If I’m not too lazy I’ll keep you posted about this toy.

Phones, phones, phones

Phones.

I’m intrigued by all the new phones that swamp the world. Nearly every day there’s a new phone coming out, or so it seems.

phones
Phones

This is a world of communication. Being connected has become part of our life. Some people take it to extremes by being connected 24 hours every day. Modern smartphones, whether you’re into Apple, Android, Windows, Tizen, the unfortunately (officially) deceased Ubuntu phone or any other platform, give you that option.

A new phone.

I wonder how many new phones a person needs. With so many new phones coming out every week, I wonder if the manufacturers can actually make a profit from all their new designs, options, gadgets and doo-dahs.

Don’t get me wrong: I couldn’t care less if they do make a profit; they’re rich enough as it is. I just wonder what the advantage would be to have a new phone every, let’s say, two months, just because the bezel is a little more rounded, the display is 0.2″ bigger or the camera is a bit better.

Are there people who change phones almost as often as their socks? Or even more often? (Eeuw?)

Consumerism.

Piggy bankThat’s probably the thing. The media are pushing people’s buttons to get the latest and greatest. Constantly. Get a new this and that or you won’t be happy. Get the new iPhone or your friends will laugh at you. Make sure you have the latest wearable gear or you look silly. Be hip, hop, modern, and most of all: spend your money. Spending money makes happy. (Okay, mostly that means happiness for the people who get your money but that’s beside the point.)

Freedom.

Our world seems to hand us freedom. The freedom to go where we want, when we want, and stay connected to all our Facebook friends (how many of them have you actually met?), connected to Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat and what not. And the world knows where you are, when you’re there and probably even why. Big data rules, and big data is watching you.

When’s the last time you went out for a walk, leaving your phone at home?

 

Purple doesn’t exist.

Purple is a figment of people’s imagination.

Really. Believe me. I know this. And why do I know this? I have never seen it. That is why I don’t believe in purple. It’s amazing how many people are convinced that it does though. Even when I ask Google to show me ‘purple’ it comes up with something:

This can’t be purple. I see 3 entirely different things but none of them is purple (apart from the actual word purple). For me these consists of “I don’t have a clue”.

My popular witch Hilda will hate me for this. Her favourite colour is purple as well while for me it’s not real.

Why do I state that purple doesn’t exist?

Because I’m colour blind. (Note to ignorami: colour blind doesn’t mean that I see in black and white. Colour blind is a stupid, wrong name for the fact that many people can’t see all the colours that are around.)

Purple to me is a word. A concept that other people’s eyes make them interpret as a colour. That also goes for stuff like mauve, beige, pink and other pastels.

It’s the same thing with religions and gods. Those to me are concepts that in other people’s eyes signify something. A kind of creature, a colour I can’t see. For me it’s not real.

If you feel that a god is real, that your religion is real, be happy with it. Just don’t expect me to see it the way you do. I’m religion blind in the same way I’m colour blind so I see things differently from how you do.

A test.

Do you see a letter or a number up here? Yes? Great. You can see your god. I just see a lot of little circles of a doubtful colour (green, brown, grey?) which make up the totality of a ball, a sphere. This is how I see my world, my surroundings. I don’t have a god colour to tell me what’s what. I can look at the whole of evolution, the world, space, the other planets and stars, and take those as the ball up there. Doubtful colours, but definitely a shape I can appreciate. In the entirety of the cosmos there are probably more colours I can’t see. More colours that you can’t see (beyond ultraviolet, beyond infra red, into the electromagnetic ranges). You are blind to them as I am blind to your precious colours.

I’m happy with that. I know what to expect. I know there’s more out there than I can see which is fine. As long as people respect that and don’t try to make me ‘see’ what they see (because again, I’m entirely blind to that) we’re all in harmony.

If you try to convince me that your god is the one and only, and that she’s black, has horns and teeth that would make a tiger jealous, then I will shake my head and walk on. Be happy with your tiger tooth god. It’s not mine. I don’t see it. It won’t bother me and if you’re a good follower it won’t bother you.

So please don’t bother to bother me with it.