Monthly Archives: March 2009

Battlestar Galactica: The 10 Things We’ll Miss Most

Written by giantfreakinrobot

Tonight we said goodbye to the most significant science fiction series on television. Great sci-fi like this only seems to come around one or twice a decade. It won’t be easily replaced now that it’s gone.

The finale wasn’t perfect, but it was an amazing way to say goodbye to the characters who have, if you’ve had the good sense to be watching, so deeply impacted all of our lives. For a detailed recap of the finale, go here. I’m not here to rehash it, I’m here to eulogize it, to laud it, to celebrate one of the greatest things ever to grace your television, and remember all the wonderful ways in which we’ll miss it. BSG is gone and there’s no replacing it.

adamatigh Battlestar Galactica Says Goodbye: Reasons Well Miss It
We’ll miss… drinks with Adama and Tigh. Sure Starbuck could really knock them back but when Adama and Tigh got together to hash something out over a bottle of scotch it was an event. Their late night drink sessions were symbols of what it really means to be a man. Their friendship was unbreakable and in those rare times when it seemed about to break nothing cured it like a bottle full of sweet nectar, maybe take a few swings at each other, and then spend a night passed out on the floor. If you’re a real man, then grab a bottle of whiskey and guzzle it down in honor of Admiral William Adama and Colonel Saul Tigh.

galactica Battlestar Galactica Says Goodbye: Reasons Well Miss It
We’ll miss… the battlestar Galactica. She’s one of the great design and imagination marvels of science fiction. While almost every other starship ever created was designed with either firepower or exploration in mind, the grand old Battlestar was designed with one true purpose: Dispensing deadly Viper fighters. She’s the first properly realized aircraft carrier in space and she’s beautiful in all her creaking, aging, rusting glory. There’s never been a ship like Galactica, with her endless metal halls, her dimly lit bar, her vast cargo holds filled with techs and refugees and soldiers. She was for a time both a protector and a home. She gave her life to give the people aboard her a future.

six Battlestar Galactica Says Goodbye: Reasons Well Miss It
We’ll miss… Six’s red dress. And not just the dress but the way Tricia Helfer fit into it. We sci-fi geeks have had our share of outer space babes to lust over but seriously, none of them can hold a candle to Six in that frakking red dress. Or better still on the none too rare occasions when Six stepped completely out of it. For a show as dark and gritty as BSG was, it was at times also incredibly sexy. This was televised science fiction made, for perhaps the first time in history, entirely for adults. Adults have sex and BSG was never afraid to jump in the sack.

viper Battlestar Galactica Says Goodbye: Reasons Well Miss It
We’ll miss… riding a Viper straight into hell. BSG made space combat exciting, frenetic, and full of energy. It felt like real combat. The camera was used to suck you in, bring you in alongside the Galactica’s half-mad space jockeys and let you feel the out of control danger of what they were doing. In BSG’s hands space had an edge. While the show was focused primarily on drama and character, it never shied away from blasting the frak out of everything in the general vicinity when the moment called for it. It refused to be hemmed in by the small screen, never has anything on television felt bigger and more cinematic.

starapol Battlestar Galactica Says Goodbye: Reasons Well Miss It
We’ll miss… the chemistry between Starbuck and Apollo. I never really bought into the whole love triangle thing the show’s writers tried to force them into, but there’s no denying that whenever they got together, whether to kiss or punch each other in the head, something special happened. Their relationship, in whatever state it happened to be in at the time, always seemed to be the center of the show. Over time other dynamics grew up around them but it’s always been Starbuck and Apollo. The next time you see them together Lee will talk with a British accent and Kara will call him Jamie as they reminisce about old times together on the set. That’s just not going to cut it. I like my Apollo American and with a ridiculously chiseled chin, and I like my Starbuck pissed, drunk and ready to frak the world.

cylon Battlestar Galactica Says Goodbye: Reasons Well Miss It
We’ll miss… wondering whether we’re cylons. For the first few seasons especially, it seemed like anyone at any minute could turn out to be a murderous robot. Later in the show things got taken even further, until Ron Moore had us, the viewers wondering if even we, sitting at home in our living rooms wearing Snuggies, might actually be cylons ourselves. Worse, even after we knew who the cylons were you could never be sure which ones you could trust. Is that Boomer walking towards me with a gun or is it Athena? And if it is Athena are we sure she doesn’t share the same thoughts as Boomer? How did Helo deal with this crap? Now the mysteries is solved and the next time you encounter a cylon it’ll probably while watching reruns of Xena: Warrior Princess. Though I do have this friend named Daniel…

roslin Battlestar Galactica Says Goodbye: Reasons Well Miss It
We’ll miss… politics… in space! Somehow political intrigue gets more interesting when it’s surrounded by an airless void. While America’s political process puts most people to sleep, watching Laura Roslin battle it out on the political playing field against the likes of Gaius Baltar and devious Tom Zarek was a thrill. The fascinating thing about BSG’s political landscape is that it always came in so many shades of grey. Even now I’m still not sure whether Gaius Balter was a villain or a hero. Most of the characters in BSG’s world, even the worst ones like Cavill, were a little bit of both. That kind of moral complexity is something you’ll almost certainly never get anywhere else.

soundtrack Battlestar Galactica Says Goodbye: Reasons Well Miss It
We’ll miss… the perfect score. Before BSG began it’s run on television I had no idea who Bear McCreary was. Now he’s in regular rotation on my iPod. His music, as much as the show’s visuals, had a hand in giving this small screen product such a big screen, cinematic feel. Episode in and out, BSG soared on music worthy of Hollywood’s biggest, longest epics, but compacted down into under an hour. Every piece of music is more unique and different than the next, yet they all scream indelibly: Battlestar Galactica.

imagine Battlestar Galactica Says Goodbye: Reasons Well Miss It
We’ll miss… imaginary friends. Gaius Baltar made talking to yourself cool again. Of course it’s only cool if your imaginary partner is as ridiculously sexy as Caprica Six. His weird and often hilarious conversations with a non-existent entity were from the beginning, a hallmark of the show. Even after so much of the mystery around BSG had been solved we were still left wondering what the frak was going on inside Baltar’s head. Now the show’s over and we still don’t really know? Doe it matter? Who wouldn’t want a Caprica Six inside their head?

scifi Battlestar Galactica Says Goodbye: Reasons Well Miss It
We’ll miss… the Sci Fi Channel Now that BSG is over with the channel has little else worth watching left. They seem to know it, since in the near future they’re changing their format and their name to become something else. Unless you’re some sort of Stargate nut odds are that most of us will simply tune out, at least until the spinoff show Caprica finally shows up. Should you tune in, you’ll have to endure their intentionally misspelled new name on flashy, all-genre compassing logos. Even if the channel never really delivered on the promise of dedicated itself to Science Fiction, having a place like that out there was at least, fun while it lasted. Rest in peace SciFi, SyFy just isn’t going to cut it.

gaeta Battlestar Galactica Says Goodbye: Reasons Well Miss It
We’ll miss… Gaeta’s singing. And his desperate struggle to do the right thing, even though he gets it wrong. And Dee’s desperate struggle to find something positive to hold on to, to make something out of this life… even though she failed. And Brother Cavill’s bitter cynicism and Three’s crazed quest for knowledge and Anders courage and Tyrol’s humanity and Ellen’s crazy bitch scheming and even Cally, goddamn stupid annoying Cally and her idiotic whining. We’ll miss you Battlestar Galactica, the good, the bad, the depressing, the uplifting, the gripping, the amazing must see television you gave us from which we simply could not turn away.

How to Destroy the Government in 3 Easy Steps

Witten by Joe Brewer

In eight short years, conservatives have effectively bankrupted many state governments and left the fed in shambles. And now citizens have to “make tough decisions” and share the suffering equally across the land (unless of course, you’re part of that lucky 1 percent who co-opted the functions of government to serve their own ends … they’ll be cozy with their offshore bank accounts, golden parachutes and permanent tax holidays).

Are you a teacher who educates our future citizens? Too bad. You’ve got to tighten your belt and let that job go. Manual laborer? Sorry, but that job can earn more money for our shareholders if it’s done in Micronesia. Need a college degree? Prepare for indentured servitude because you’ll be working to pay us off for most of your adult life. Health care? Ha! That’s just a Ponzi scheme dreamed up by a bunch of socialists.

Ever wonder how conservatives did all this?

Well, here’s your very own how-to manual for getting Big Government out of the way so you and your buddies can horde all the wealth to yourselves and build your empire.

Step 1: Blame the Individuals

Every battle has to have two sides, so you’ll need to divide the people against each other. This means that you’ll need to declare that “there’s no such thing as society” and focus the entire debate on the faults of individuals.

Enron screwed people over? That’s just a few bad apples. The business news a lap dog for corporate excess? That’s just Jim Cramer doing his thing. The economy in shambles? That’s just George W leaving his legacy.

And of course the housing crisis is the fault of greedy buyers. Industry can’t do right for us because of that welfare queen. And government can’t serve the people because of that corrupt politician and his special-interest crony.

Get the people talking about individuals and it’ll be easy to blind them to the public infrastructure they depend on. You don’t want anyone to make a peep when we gut the schools, defund public works and empty out the Treasury. Those problems will just be fodder to throw at the sorry Democrats we’ll blame when the fit hits the shan.

Step 2: Cut Taxes

Now that you’ve gotten everyone bickering about each other (and ignoring us), you can get to work dismantling the government. All you have to do is cut taxes. Yes, it’s that simple. One move and you get all the benefits of (1) weakening every social program; (2) making government services inadequate; (3) setting the stage for calling out “waste” and inefficiencies (more of that blame game!); (4) keeping your richest friends from ever having to pay for the infrastructure they exploit to make all that money; (5) getting nonprofits and opposition leaders in the government (progressives … eck!!) to spend all their precious resources fighting to keep things in the budget, and (6) outsourcing government operations to your buddies in the corporate world so they can profit from them.

This one move is strategic. It does all the work for you.

And when life starts looking dire, you get opportunities you never dreamed possible in a democracy.

Step 3: Exploit Disaster

If you’ve managed to accomplish steps 1 and 2, people will be in a panic. And we all know that panicky people make rash decisions. Now is your chance to push that unpopular agenda through the cracks – disaster capitalism at its best!

Remember how we tricked the populace into an illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq to secure oil revenues? That wouldn’t have happened if people weren’t scared out of their wits by the fright of terrorism. Think people would have gone for No Child Left Behind and allowed tests to replace learning in the classroom? We had to fabricate a crisis (which took years of hard work to create) to push that one through. And you know that there’s no way we could take away so many civil liberties with the Patriot Act if the debate was drawn out for weeks under public scrutiny.

So there you have it. Three easy steps to destroy the government.

If you’re an overachiever (you know who you are!), you might even try giving away billions to your buddies in the banking industry when the bottom falls out. Or consider no-bid contracts to our old pals in the energy and defense sectors when no one is looking. Or, and this takes some special skill, you might call any efforts to “increase revenues” just another example of irresponsible spending that got us into this mess in the first place.

Note 1: Take care that progressives don’t ever learn about this strategy. It could be nullified and made ineffective by exposing our agenda, allowing people to organize, or letting government work well enough for people to start thinking that government isn’t inherently bad and (gasp!) that it might be useful for something other than empire-building.

Note 2: Want a more detailed discussion of how these ideas were so successfully implemented? This excellent series by Sara Robinson will help you learn how to take over the common sense of an entire culture:

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Note 3: Not satisfied with this strategy? Maybe you’ll want to build a different kind of politics that works in another way.

Debunking 10 Myths About Guinness Stout

Written by Michael B. Dougher

In 1759 Arthur Guinness first began to brew his eponymous Irish stout, and probably sometime in 1760, people started making crap up about it.

Like shamrocks, freckles and bar fights, Guinness has become an icon of the Emerald Isle, known around the world for its impenetrable color, its complex pouring ritual, and its ability to balance well on a toucan’s beak. It’s also known for the wild rumors associated with it, from the common barfly’s claim of better-tasting pints in the old country to conspiracy theories of macabre secret ingredients. Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Asylum goes MythBusters on your favorite draught. Boston, we’re looking at you.

Myth Number 1: Guinness is heavy in calories … False
Guinness weighs in at 125 calories per 12-oz. serving. But wait, who drinks a 12-oz. Guinness? Nobody, since a pint is 16 oz. (20 for the lucky stiffs in the motherland). Do the math and you get about 170 calories per 16-oz. serving. Guess how many are in a 16-oz. Strawberry Surf Rider smoothie from Jamba Juice? 330. Thank us later, ladies.

Myth Number 2: Guinness is supposed to be warm … False
Guinness reports its draught is best stored at 42.8 degrees. Your average fridge is between 35 and 38, which is a bit on the chilly side. Unfortunately, most beer coolers in bars are even colder to accommodate our thirst for “ice cold” beer. Regardless, 43 degrees is neither warm nor room temperature. The obvious solution is to order two at a time, so one is always warming up!

Myth Number 3: ‘Guinness for strength’ … Undetermined
The famous ‘Guinness is good for you’ and similar advertisements from the 1930s — great marketing ploy, but just keep in mind it came about in the 1930s, when you could still claim your product did anything and not get in trouble with the law. We happen to think a pint of Guinness is the most important meal of the day, but we have no scientific evidence to back that up. Your mileage may vary. If Guinness does give you a boost, it’s probably more in the “liquid courage” category.

Myth Number 4: The flavor of Guinness stems from nefarious sources … False
The more outrageous stories about Guinness include the ones about how dead rats were found at the bottom of the vats in the St James’s Gate brewery in Ireland, thus explaining the unique taste of stout. Other stories have circulated that Guinness is actually filtered through lamb’s blood to get its taste. This one is classic barroom BS at its finest. Guinness has been the victim of more Snopes-worthy urban legends than any other libation, except maybe Corona. The basics of Guinness are barley, hops, yeast and water … from the Skull and Bones Society. Guinness derives its toasted flavor, which tastes anywhere from coffee to chocolate, and bitter hint from the manner in which its malted barley is roasted and the amount of hops used. The creamy taste of the head is a result of nitrogen bubbles released during the pouring process.

Myth Number 5: The St. James’s Gate brewery produces different kinds of Guinness for various markets … Kinda
Guinness is available in 100 countries and is brewed in nearly 50 of them, using locally sourced ingredients like water. Therefore, one could argue (and we know you will) that any Guinness brewed outside Dublin is materially different. The top five selling markets? (In order) Great Britain, Ireland, Nigeria, the U.S. and Cameroon. We were surprised by those two, too.

Myth Number 6: Water from the River Liffey in Dublin goes into Guinness … False
While the St. James’s Gate brewery sits next to the river, the water used to make Guinness comes from the Wicklow mountains to the south.

Myth Number 7: Guinness in a can is different from draught Guinness … Confusing
Guinness is available in draught, Extra Stout, and Foreign Extra. Draught comes in cans, bottles and, well, draught. Extra Stout comes only in bottles and Foreign Extra comes in bottles, cans and an Extra Smooth variety. Got all that? Good.

Myth Number 8: Strict vegetarians can’t drink Guinness … True
The production of the stout involves the use of isinglass, a byproduct of the fishing industry derived from dead fish. Isinglass is used as a fining agent for settling out suspended matter in the beer vat, and while it’s kept at the bottom of the tank, some isinglass may end up in the final product. So if you’re the type who avoids gelatin and whey in your diet, you’re out of luck. We can only imagine the histrionics this revelation might spark from PETA.

Myth Number 9: Guinness is black … False
Look closer and you’ll see that Guinness actually has a ruby red color, due to how the malted barley is roasted. Hint: This one is an easy way to win $5 from your friends.

Myth Number 10: The Guinness in Ireland is much better than the Guinness served in the United States … Up to you
While we would never judge a fellow tippler for his esteemed critique of the palate (especially after 2-for-1 atomic-wing night), this granddaddy of Guinness myths is usually spouted from the condescending lips of a recently returned study-abroad student, suddenly eminently more cultured than we are for spending three months puking outside the American-themed bar in some foreign city. Whether a pint is better in the Old Sod than it is here really has to do with a lot of factors — mainly, how many you’ve had.

iPhone 3.0 OS Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Written by Jesus Diaz

iPhone 3.0 OS, the next generation operating system for the iPhone, iPod touch, and whatever Apple device comes next. New features, new apps, here you will find all the information you need.


The new iPhone OS 3.0 adds over 100 new features including-at friggin’ last-cut and paste.

Copy & Paste text. When you double-tap over text, you will get a “cut, copy, and paste” bubble dialog. Double-tap again and a “paste” bubble will appear if there’s anything stored in your clipboard.

This works across applications. You can expand your selection points using your thumbs and, if you accidentally paste something you didn’t want to paste, just shake your iPhone to undo it.

Copy & Paste photos. You can also copy and paste photos. Now you will be able to select multiple photos by tapping the action button, copy some of them, and paste them in an email, ready to send.

New Spotlight. iPhone OS 3.0 will allow you to search across the entire information contained in your device, no matter where, as soon as the information is supported it. If an application is written to support the new Spotlight, its data will also be available in the search.

In this screenshot you can see Spotlight bringing results from your address book, maps, your iPod, and apps in your springboard.

Search in Mail, Calendar, and iPod. These Apple applications have specific search interfaces. The search in Mail doesn’t support the message content yet, but it supports searching in IMAP servers-that will save a lot of time logging into Gmail.

3G Tethering. This feature will allow you to connect your iPhone 3G to a laptop, to use it as a modem to access the internet. Carriers still have to sign-off on it, and probably charge more for it. None have announced it yet.

Landscape keyboard. Apple has added the landscape keyboard mode to other applications, like Mail, SMS, and Notes.

Multimedia messaging. A big one to send rich content to people without mail-enabled telephones: The new MMS function will allow you to include everything, from images to sound to vcards (no word on video, however.) Personally, I find these usesless having email, but some people seem to want it.

Support for new calendar types. In iPhone OS 3.0 you will be able to subscribe to calendars on the web using two protocols: CalDAV-supported by Google and Yahoo-and subscriptions via the .ics format-which is what Apple uses in iCal.

Improved stocks application. The stocks application now allows you to read related news, so you can enjoy yourself learning about the latest market scandals, stock crashes, and executives getting bonus packages from government aid while their companies sink into hell. Thank you, Apple.

Stereo Bluetooth A2DP audio. You will be able to pair your iPhone 3.0 with a stereo Bluetooth A2DP device, like headphones or speakers.

Note synching with iTunes.

Automatic login in Safari. The new version of Safari will remember login credentials, so you won’t need to introduce your username and password again while accessing Scoreland your work intranet.

Shake to shuffle music. If you are in your iPod application, you just need to shake it to start the shuffling mode. Hopefully this will be optional for sports people out there.

Wi-Fi auto-login. In case you have a subscription to a paid hotspot, your iPhone or iPod touch will autolog into it.

Anti-phising. Mobile Safari now can warn you against malicious sites trying to scam you.

Extended parental controls. Adult content filters can now be applied to movies, TV shows, and applications, in addition to web sites and music (porn apps, here we come).


Apple will include new widgets in the new version of the iPhone operating system:

Voice memo application. Obviously, allows you to record voice or any other sound, so you don’t forget any idea or want to play FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper.

Send and receive files. A dedicated application to exchange files between iPhones or iPods touch.


The new iPhone OS 3.0 adds 1,000 new APIs to extend the capabilities of new applications.

Peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connectivity. A new API will allow for two iPhones to connect directly-peer-to-peer-via Wi-Fi, without needing any Wi-Fi network.

They will be able to discover each other using Bluetooth, and then start a Wi-Fi connection transparently (we saw this technology at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, so you can check the video about how it works here.)

This opens a lot of possibilities. I doubt they will allow you to pass music, but you would probably be able to pass any other information, as well as directly communicating between applications in the two devices. One example: A pets game that allows two dogs to play with each other.

This feature could be combined with push notification, so your iPhone may receive a note from another iPhone, inviting you to play a game one-on-one.

Browse remote content. While the built-in iPod application doesn’t allow you to browse songs in other people’s iPhones or iPod touch, third-party applications will allow you to do that, according to Apple’s Forstall.

Use your iPhone/touch to control peripherals. A new API will let you use your iPhone or iPod touch as a control to your accessories. In this example, the iPhone is being used to equalize the sound in a loudspeaker.

However, the applications are endless. Johnson and Johnson is releasing LifeScan, an app that connects to a glucose monitoring device. The application can even alert other people automatically, in case something is wrong.

Maps inside other applications. New applications will be able to use Maps directly, which is now an API.

Turn-by-turn directions. Developers will also be able to create turn-by-turn applications using the GPS information from the iPhone and combining it with their own maps, without depending on 3G connectivity or Google.

Push notification finally coming. Hopefully this time it will be true. Push notification means that your iPhone OS 3.0 applications will finally be able to receive messages from the intarwebs automagically, so you can have an Instant Message application and have your iPhone vibrate or make a sound when a new message comes in, even if the application is not running.

Voice communication in applications. iPhone 3.0 applications will also be able to access a Voice over IP service. This means that you will be able to chat with other users while playing against them in a game, for example. This won’t use the telephone, but the internet over a Wi-Fi connection.

Rumbling. Games-or any other application-will also be able to rumble, like your console joystick.

Audio recording. Audio recording will also be possible from third-party applications using a standardized API, instead of custom workarounds.

Access your music from applications. Future applications will also be able to access the iPhone/iPod music library. This means that applications will be able to play your own music while they run.


The new OS will also offer an enhanced App Store, opening new possibilities for developers and consumers.

• Subcriptions to apps.
• Purchase additional content for apps, like new cities for a city guide application.
• Purchase additional levels for games.

Basically, this will allow developers to sell more things on top of their apps, and to consumers to expand their experience with those apps.

• This will work straight from the applications, so you can purchase new things through the software itself, even while it still goes through the App Store internally.


iPhone OS 3.0 will be a free upgrade to all iPhone users, including the first generation (not all features will be supported in the first generation, like Stereo Bluetooth support). iPod touch users will be able to but it for $9.95.

If you dare, you can sign up for the beta here.

20 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Time

Written by LeeAundra Temescu From Discover Magazine

1 “Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so,” joked Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Scientists aren’t laughing, though. Some speculative new physics theories suggest that time emerges from a more fundamental-and timeless-reality.

2 Try explaining that when you get to work late. The average U.S. city commuter loses 38 hours a year to traffic delays.

3 Wonder why you have to set your clock ahead in March? Daylight Saving Time began as a joke by Benjamin Franklin, who proposed waking people earlier on bright summer mornings so they might work more during the day and thus save candles. It was introduced in the U.K. in 1917 and then spread around the world.

4 Green days. The Department of Energy estimates that electricity demand drops by 0.5 percent during Daylight Saving Time, saving the equivalent of nearly 3 million barrels of oil.

5 By observing how quickly bank tellers made change, pedestrians walked, and postal clerks spoke, psychologists determined that the three fastest-paced U.S. cities are Boston, Buffalo, and New York.

6 The three slowest? Shreveport, Sacramento, and L.A.

7 One second used to be defined as 1/86,400 the length of a day. However, Earth’s rotation isn’t perfectly reliable. Tidal friction from the sun and moon slows our planet and increases the length of a day by 3 milli­seconds per century.

8 This means that in the time of the dinosaurs, the day was just 23 hours long.

9 Weather also changes the day. During El Niño events, strong winds can slow Earth’s rotation by a fraction of a milli­second every 24 hours.

10 Modern technology can do better. In 1972 a network of atomic clocks in more than 50 countries was made the final authority on time, so accurate that it takes 31.7 million years to lose about one second.

11 To keep this time in sync with Earth’s slowing rotation, a “leap second” must be added every few years, most recently this past New Year’s Eve.

12 The world’s most accurate clock, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Colorado, measures vibrations of a single atom of mercury. In a billion years it will not lose one second.

13 Until the 1800s, every village lived in its own little time zone, with clocks synchronized to the local solar noon.

14 This caused havoc with the advent of trains and timetables. For a while watches were made that could tell both local time and “railway time.”

15 On November 18, 1883, American railway companies forced the national adoption of standardized time zones.

16 Thinking about how railway time required clocks in different places to be synchronized may have inspired Einstein to develop his theory of relativity, which unifies space and time.

17 Einstein showed that gravity makes time run more slowly. Thus airplane passengers, flying where Earth’s pull is weaker, age a few extra nano­seconds each flight.

18 According to quantum theory, the shortest moment of time that can exist is known as Planck time, or 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 second.

19 Time has not been around forever. Most scientists believe it was created along with the rest of the universe in the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago.

20 There may be an end of time. Three Spanish scientists posit that the observed acceleration of the expanding cosmos is an illusion caused by the slowing of time. According to their math, time may eventually stop, at which point everything will come to a standstill.

8 Excellent Free Websites To Enjoy Your Weekend

Written by AN Jay

What do you do normally on weekends? Find a way to get busy in something to refresh your minds? This post will make you busy on your weekends to spend your time in more interesting way. Here we are listing down few of the unique free websites that are fun to use for everyone of you. This is the post in which you will know about 8 Excellent Free Websites To Enjoy Your Weekend Or Just For Fun.

Hollywood Hair Makeover

Hollywood Hair Makeover

With Hollywood Hair Makeover, you can try on your favorite star styles and colors before you make a trip to the salon. Just upload your photo or choose a model and let the transformations begin. Print your favorite looks and e-mail them to friends.



IMVU is a new way to hang out and have fun with your friends online. Just like an old-school text-based messenger, you download IMVU’s software onto your PC. But with IMVU you can create your own avatars who chat in animated 3D scenes. You can browse for new clothes, shoes, hairstyles, accessories, pets, furniture and more in the IMVU catalog. All the products are created by IMVU users and thousands of new items are added every day.



You can watch your favorite videos right from your browser, anytime, for free. With full episodes of TV shows both current and classic, full-length movies, web originals, and clips of just about everything, Hulu is the place to watch and enjoy premium videos from the biggest names in entertainment.

World Golf Tour

World Golf Tour

The World Golf Tour experience allows golf enthusiasts to play the world’s most challenging and exclusive courses through superior HD graphics on a PC or Mac platform for free, no download or software needed. WGT’s online community allows friends, families and golf fans to play a round of golf simultaneously, competing in tournaments for prizes, sharing scores, testing out the newest equipment and reading the latest news in the golfing world.



Weather Bonk is a mashup that lets you view real time weather information on a map. This can provide some very interesting information, particularly in areas with microclimates. The data comes from a combination of personal weather stations that are run from homes and schools as well as national weather services.



Kinset is for those of us who like to shop. Stroll down an aisle with hundreds of items on display. Pause when something catches your eye. Browse and linger while discovering new things. That’s what real shopping is about, and that’s what makes Kinset the first online shopping that’s truly enjoyable.


Mashade is the exclusive website for editing video game trailers and in-game footage. Why just watch your favorite video game trailers when you can mash them, mix them, and make them your very own? Once you have created your original masterpiece, share it with the world by posing it to your own website, blog and/or social network.



PicArtia helps you to create your photo mosaic online for free. It is popular for being fast, easy and free. Photo Mosaics are great gifts for friends, family members and even yours. Most of their users would print it in large size and use it as a poster for their office or room wall. Some users even use it in their blogs, websites or post it as an online gift to their friends on different occasions like school gatherings or birthdays.

The 7 Girls You’ll Date In College

Written by Ben Joseph

Your mileage may vary, but they are:

The Beginning:
Maybe you were good at sports, maybe you always sucked, but a semester of 4am burritos hasn’t helped either way. She’ll be cute, blonde, and look better in track shorts than she does make-up. Through careful deception, you’ll convince her you can still play intramural soccer sans heart attacks.
The End: 
This, of course, is a lie, and you’ll both discover that, in the strictest animal-eating/shelf-building sense, she’s more of a man than you. You’ll have fun, but as soon as you try to keep up with her on the field (and elsewhere), she’ll be forever left with an image of you, wheezing, doughy, and begging her to slow down.

The Beginnng:
Scene: An awful club with a one-word name like "Velour" or "Prolapse". You hate places like this. She’s skinny, tanned, and seems to be wearing a confusing handkerchief. She starts talking to you. You love places like this. Your friend’s a promoter or a DJ, whichever is cooler? She offers pills, and you desperately wonder if there’s a non-alphabetical difference between "E" and "X".
The End:
A few months later, you’ll be broke, exhausted, and starting to resemble Christian Bale from "The Machinist". She’ll pout, amused by your misery, and you’ll suddenly identify strongly with those sleepy YouTube puppies. Before even remembering if the sex was good, you’ll be dreaming of a world where naps are worth more than gold. Also, dinosaurs with lightsabers.

The Beginning:
After years of being told you’re a "nice guy", you’ll finally meet a girl who makes you feel like James Dean, if James Dean had Wolverine claws and once drank eleven Bud Lites in a single night. To her puritanical sensibilities, you’ll be a badass, and you’ll fucking love it.
The End:
Option A, she’s the real deal and will try to change you. There may be a girl worth waking up at 8am on a Sunday morning for, but you’ll quickly decide she ain’t it. Option B, under the thin veneer of virtue there’s a boatload of real crazy, and she’ll quickly realize your Level 60 Badass is as lame as the World of Warcraft reference I just made.

The Beginning: 
Not beautiful, not cute, just "hot". Whether it was Daddy, society, or the media who ruined her, she’s spent years fighting her natural looks to end up in a place that should, by definition, be attractive, but feels distractingly photoshopped. She finds you interesting, and, in a moment of weakness, you’re going to go for it.
The End:
You two will last exactly as long as your tolerance for crippling insecurities and songs by former Mousketeers. As insufferable as you find her, she’ll find you distant, inconsistent, and generally a jerk. You’ll still keep a picture of her to show off. She won’t.

The Beginning:
Between the tough internship and the actually interesting classes, you’ll decide that a girlfriend should be like your old Ford Taurus: not flashy, but reliable, low maintenance and often mistaken for an undercover cop car. One day after Lit class, you’ll ask her out and, when she says yes, you’ll pretend to be excited, just like you did when you were sixteen.
The End:
There will be movies, dinner, and perfunctory but satisfying sex. It will be, by all technical definitions, "a relationship". Then, as your schedule clears, you’ll realize you want something more, and that you just spent the last four months with someone "just good enough".  As did she.

The Beginning:
You’ve spent hours discussing weed, hoodies, and children’s television from the 80s. She was there when you thought you could play guitar; you were there when she had that tat of Jem & the Holograms removed from her inner thigh. In fact, you’re completely comfortable with each other – did you just discover the magic warp pipe to dating without fear or anxiety?
The End:
Well, yes, but without fear and anxiety, without the unknown, dating is about as titillating as a five-year-old Slanket. And nobody only a certain percentage of people (whose websites I find personally very confusing) wants to fuck a Slanket.

The Beginning:
Beautiful, funny, kind, she’ll inspire you to acts of poetry that will inspire your friends to call you gay. You’ll say it’s "love", defined here as a one-sided activity comprised mostly of staring at her Facebook. After ten months of carefully planned, slightly pathological courtship, she’ll take a chance on you. And it will be everything you hoped for.
The End:
Aesop had a fable about a squirrel so scared of someone stealing his nuts that he lost them. Actually, it might have been a lion. Or maybe it was a Michael Crichton novel. Regardless, you will always be afraid of screwing things up with her. And (irony alert) this is what will screw things up. You’ll realize you’re in a relationship in which you can never truly be comfortable, and, five sweaty weeks later, just as graduation rolls around, you’ll realize she’s moved on. Your turn.

5 Reasons To Quit Drinking Soda Drinks (And How To Do It)

Written by Celestine Chua

Do you drink soda drinks? How often do you drink it?

When I was young, I was an avid drinker of Coca-Cola and other soft drinks. Actually, I was pretty much a coke addict. I could never get past a day without drinking Coca-Cola. It was normal for me to have days when I would finish almost a whole 1.5 liter coke bottle.

As I grew up, I became more conscious of the need to be healthy. I started to relook into my diet, including my staple drink of Coke and soda. Over time, I realized Coke is actually quite detrimental to our health – so much so that I wonder why it even became such an ubiquitous drink! In my pursuit for a healthier life, I made the decision to quit drinking Coke at 18. I started to slowly forgo Coca-Cola and soda drinks. When I reached my early 20s, they were almost completely out of my diet. In the rare occasions where I do drink it, I would find the taste excessively sweet, acidic and unpalatable. When I look back, it was hard for me to even fathom myself putting so much of this chemical junk into my body when I was younger.

Here is a list of 5 top reasons why you should just quit drinking Coca-Cola and soda drinks.

1. Counteractive to Weight Loss Efforts.

One 330ml can of Coke contains around 160 calories. Assuming you drink one can of Coke everyday: that’s 4800 extra calories every month or 1.4lbs. In a year, that adds up to 57,600 extra calories or 16.8lbs! Granted, you will not be gaining an absolute 16.8lbs since our body metabolism adapts accordingly from consuming more/less calories, but you will still be gaining an extra layer of weight just by drinking Coke/soda drinks over other healthier, lower calories options.

Contrary to popular belief, Diet Coke/soda is counteractive to weight loss efforts as well. I used to think Diet Coke should be a diet staple when I was trying to lose weight, which I later I found out wasn’t the case at all. Diet soda has been found to increase possibility of weight gain by 41%. While there are many theories explaining this counter-intuitive finding, I thought to test this out for myself. I tried the following two scenarios in separate stretches of time: one drinking diet coke and another drinking just water.

The result? I found a much higher tendency to go into binging attacks when I drink diet coke. The most plausible explanation I found is artificial sugar in diet sodas confuses your body when it tastes something sweet that isn’t sugar. As a result, it makes your body crave for actual, sweet food. So while you may be taking in 0 calories from drinking diet soda, there is a higher likelihood you will grab consume more food after drinking the soda, which then leads to weight gain.

2. Stains and corrodes your teeth.

Coca-Cola and sodas with colorings stain yourteeth, as many are already aware. In addition, they have been shown to destroy 10 times more teeth material than fruit juices in just the first three minutes of drinking in a test. Slices of enamel were placed in Coke and other carbonated drinks for 48 hours, where there was a 5% weight loss of the enamel in the end. The high acidity content (pH 2.0~4.0) causes corrosion of your enamel. Granted, lab conditions do not mirror reality, but the corrosive effect of Coke on your teeth is something that accumulates over time.

3. Limited hydration.

Coke and soft drinks contain caffeine, which is a diuretic. A diuretic is a drug that speeds up the rate of urine production – meaning it removes water from your body. While you can get your thirst quenched when drinking Coke, you do not get as hydrated as compared to if you just drink pure water.

4. Artificial stimulant which alters your mind.

Caffeine is also a psychoactive stimulant drug. It affects the central nervous system and alters brain function, resulting in temporary changes in perception, mood, consciousness and behavior. By increasing the levels of adrenaline (a stress hormone) in your body, you end off setting off feelings of anxiety and tension in your body. Instead of being able to operate as a fully conscious being, you end up having less control of your thoughts, emotions and behavior.

I noticed that whenever I do drink Coca-Cola or soda, my mental thinking is not as clear. It feels as though my thoughts become more rapid, jumbled and haphazard. Even though I’m supposedly more alert, I’m not fully in control of the higher faculties of my mind. It feels more like my mind is operating by itself and my conscious self is only allowed to observe in the background to give limited inputs. If this was in the past where I was drinking Coke everyday, I would never have been able to make this observation. However, drinking Coke after being Coke/soda-free for many months made the contrast very stark to me.

5. Causes insomnia and sleeping disorders.

The caffeine prevents drowsiness by (i) blocking the effects of hormones serotonin and melatonin and (ii) blocking adenosine receptors (sleep-inducers) from being binded. Apart from causing insomnia, it also prevents you from getting the full benefits of sleep, as the excerpt below from How Stuff Works shows:

The most important long-term problem (of caffeine) is the effect (it) has on sleep. Adenosine reception (sleep inducers) is important to sleep, and especially to deep sleep. The half-life of caffeine in your body is about six hours. That means that if you consume a big cup of coffee with 200 mg of caffeine in it at 3:00 p.m., by 9:00 p.m. about 100 mg of that caffeine is still in your system. You may be able to fall asleep, but your body will probably miss out on the benefits of deep sleep.

The last time I drank (diet) coke, it kept me up all night until 6am, even though I tried turning in at 2am. My mind just went into overdrive mode and I could not sleep even though my body felt physically tired. If you drink coke/soda and you are finding it hard to manage your sleeping schedule, it might be the caffeine causing the problem. The problem is further aggravated if you are a naturally hyperactive person too (like me).

While you may appreciate caffeine for keeping you awake for a particular morning meeting or presentation, bear in mind that the boost is only temporaryand at the expense of the natural functions of your mind (see point 5 above). While you may feel more alert after a dose of caffeine, it is just a stimulated feeling. Whenever I consume caffeine, I feel like my mind has been pried awake beyond its desires. Even though the lights are on in my brain, I can only perform low level tasks which do not require much thinking. Higher functions of my mind seem to be beyond me. I pretty much feel like a zombie walking around with limited mental capacities and a body heavy as lead.

To make things worse, after the initial effects wear off, I am left with a state of fatigue worse than beforesince I was denying your body of the rest it deserved. To quote Jacob Teitelbaum, “Caffeine is an energy loan shark. What it lends you in the morning it takes back with heavy interest in the afternoon.”

How To Quit Drinking Coke / Sodas Successfully

So, how can you quit coke and soft drinks?

1. Identify a substitute drink (that’s healthier). For me, after I quit drinking soda, my natural inclinations for drinks are:

(1) Plain water – (nearly) free, healthy, gives a fountain of benefits. Doesn’t get any better than this. If you are to dine outside, plain/mineral water will always be a reliable option.
(2) Fruit and/or vegetable smoothies which I make myself using my blender.

I would recommend not to substitute it with coffee – the higher caffeine levels makes it an unhealthy drink as well (more than 2 times compared to Coke, on a per oz basis). I personally do not drink coffee because of that. I have also never been fond of the taste of coffee anyway – it has a bitter undertone which does not sit so well with my taste buds.

2. Get rid of the soda drinks in the fridge. Remove all traces of Coke and soda drinks inside your fridge. It may seem like a waste but it’s better than downing them into your body and ruining it.

3. ….And stop buying them home. After you eliminate the remaining traces of those drinks, don’t purchase them anymore! Tell your family (or housemates if you live with other people) about your goal and tell them to stop buying the drinks. Better yet, educate them on why they should quit drinking and get them to quit as well. If this is not possible, ask for their help to put the drinks out of your side.

4. Tell your friends of your goal. This way, you are accountable to them as well. Your friends can serve as gatekeepers of your decision.

5. Mentally block out the soda section in the menu when you dine outside. Since you are going to give up sodas, there is no need for you to look at the soda section. This prevents any second thoughts.

6. Ensure you have enough sleep. So you do not have to resort to drinking caffeinated sodas to keep you awake later in the day.

7. Keep a record of the days you go without drinking Coke or sodas. Mark it on your calendar if you have one. When you start seeing a whole succession of soda-free days, you will be tempted to keep the ball rolling.

8. Persevere. As you start cutting away Coke and sodas from your life, you may find withdrawal symptoms in the first week (depending on how heavy a drinker you were before). These symptoms may come in the form of restlessness, anxiety, cravings to drink again. Push through! They will start melting away after a few days in the face of your determination.

Try it and see how it works for you Chances are, as you start freeing yourself of Coca-Cola and soda drinks, you will find your body feels so much more refreshed and cleansed. You can feel yourself becoming healthier. Your thinking becomes clearer as well. 🙂

The 10 Most Controversial ‘South Park’ Episodes

Written by Dave Lake

As the animated series begins its 13th season, we look at some of its most outrageous episodes

'South Park'/Comedy Central

Tom Cruise and Scientology are two of the many targets of “South Park”


Trying to choose the 10 most controversial “South Park” episodes is like trying to choose the worst Rob Schneider movie — there are just so many to choose from. But as the show begins its 13th season, on March 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Comedy Central, we thought we’d round up the episodes that have generated the most publicity over the years. And there have been a lot of them. Right from the get-go, this scathing satire, centered on four kids from South Park elementary, built a reputation on being an equal-opportunity offender, leaving no stone unturned and no topic too taboo. Many learning institutions in turn banned the show’s merchandise from their grounds, and several countries have banned the show’s broadcast entirely (we’re looking at you, former Soviet Union), no doubt stoking the fires of its brainchildren, Trey Parker and Matt Stone. There were many amazingly offensive and amazingly hilarious episodes to go through, but we were up to the challenge of finding our 10 favorites, and we present them to you here with clips from each.

Episode:Trapped in the Closet
Season: 9
Controversy: The mother (or should we say motherf—er) of all controversial “South Park” episodes is no doubt this one, which skewers Scientology, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and R. Kelly in one fell swoop. Dubbed Closetgate, Comedy Central, a network owned by Viacom, pulled a rerun of this Emmy-nominated episode, supposedly under pressure from Tom Cruise, who threatened to bail out of promoting his upcoming film “Mission: Impossible III,” which was being released by Paramount, a division of Viacom. Isaac Hayes, who had long performed the voice of Chef on the series, and who also happened to be a Scientologist, quit the show abruptly just days prior to this episode’s broadcast. He later returned, and this episode has seen multiple reruns.

Episode:The China Probrem
Season: 12
Controversy: The episode implies that “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” is a raping of the franchise by having the film’s star, Harrison Ford, literally raped several times in the episode by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg in an variety of famous movie rape scenes. Favorite “South Park” haters the Parents Television Council cited the episode for “exploiting the sensitive topic of rape for a trivial movie satire.”

Episode:It Hits the Fan
Season: 5
Controversy: Inspired by the saucy language of ABC’s “NYPD Blue,” the episode opens with the gang talking about “Cop Drama,” a network show planning to air a scene with an uncensored S-word in it. “South Park” then drops 162 uncensored S-bombs — that’s one every eight seconds — for the remainder of its 22 minutes, with a counter at the bottom of the screen keeping track of each one. But aside from the gratuitous use of language, the episode ponders a larger question: Why is it considered offensive when an animated comedy pushes the envelope via edgy language, while a serious drama doing the same thing is considered art? Another episode, titled “With Apologies to Jesse Jackson,” pulled a similar stunt using the N-word.

Episode:Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo
Season: 1
Controversy: A Russian Pentecostal organization demanded that the Russian government revoke the license of the nation’s oldest private entertainment channel after it aired this Christmas-themed classic from the show’s first season featuring a singing, hat-wearing turd. The organization’s appeal was flushed and the station’s license was kept.

Episode:Jared Has Aides
Season: 6
Controversy: After Jared Fogle, the spokesman for Subway restaurants, visits South Park to discuss his weight loss, the boys misunderstand his methods for losing weight. Fogle explains it was a series of appointments with his personal trainer and his dietitian, his aides, which the boys misinterpret as his AIDS. The rest of the episode’s plot revolves around Butters, South Park’s favorite overweight kid, and his abuse at the hands of his parents after they think he’s attempted a liposuction surgery on himself at home. Ironically, Comedy Central banned the episode, not due to its AIDS-related material, but due to its portrayal of Butters being abused by his parents.

Episode:Scott Tenorman Must Die
Season: 5
Controversy: Consistently voted one of the show’s most popular and most outrageous episodes by fans, “Scott Tenorman Must Die” is notable both for the appearance of the band Radiohead as themselves (most celebrities are impersonated on the show) and the depths with which Cartman will go to seek revenge. In this case, feeding the titular character chili made from the remains of his parents. It is also, according to Stone and Parker, the first and only episode to not have two plots.

Episode:Terrance & Phillip in Not Without My Anus
Season: 2
Controversy: Conceived as an April Fools’ Day prank, and fueled by the generous publicity received by the Season 1 cliffhanger, the second season premiere, which was intended to answer the question of who Cartman’s parents were, instead focused on an unrelated episode involving the show-within-the-show characters of Terrance and Phillip. Fans were outraged, and as such Comedy Central pushed Parker and Stone to quickly create the real episode, which they did, and which aired three weeks later.

Episode:Bloody Mary
Season: 9
Controversy: The Catholic League protested the episode because of its depiction of a Virgin Mary statue bleeding from its rectum. It originally aired on Dec. 7, 2005, the night before the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Catholic holiday relating to the Virgin Mary. There were conflicting reports that Comedy Central had agreed to not rerun the episode, however the network denies ever having agreed to such a demand. There was also outrage in New Zealand, where the nation’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference attempted, unsuccessfully, to stop the episode from airing.

Episode:Hell on Earth 2006
Season: 10
Controversy: In the episode, a guest at a Halloween costume party shows up as wildlife expert Steve Irwin with a stingray barb sticking out of his chest. After being confronted for wearing such a tacky costume, the guest turns out to be Irwin himself, and is subsequently removed from the party for not wearing a costume. The episode aired just weeks after Irwin died from having a stingray spine puncture his lung while filming a segment for a television show. Shortly after the episode aired, a friend of the Irwin family issued a statement saying the episode “goes too far too soon.”

Episode:Cartoon Wars Part II
Season: 10
Controversy: In 2005, after a Dutch newspaper published a series controversial editorial cartoons featuring the Islamic prophet Mohammed that sparked violence in several countries, Comedy Central censored a photo from the episode that depicted the prophet appearing on an episode of “Family Guy.” In its place, the show ran a title card reading “Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network.” Aside from the political overtones, the episode also takes aim at “Family Guy” and its writers, as well as a network executive named Doug, presumably a dig at Doug Herzog, president of Comedy Central.

What is your favorite outrageous “South Park” episode? Comment and let us know.