Archive for the ‘Stuff’ Category

Rock and Roll!

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

ancollision band imageA while back I posted a video with the band of some friends of mine here, and now their EP is out! Actually, I don’t know if you can call it EP anymore, after the demise of the LP (kids, google it 😉 ) – but its a limited number of songs on an album.

The band is AnCollision and the album is named “Certain Value”. This is music right up my alley, hard beat, guitars, rugged vocals – can one ask for more?

I know that I am doing promotion for my opinions on this, but I really think kids with talent and an ear for music should get a chance.

You can listen to the complete album on Spotify if you follow the below link – and feel free to buy it on iTunes too!






 
 

 

Music will set you free!

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Well, perhaps not – but undoubtedly music is something that improves our lives, whether you use it to set the mood, shorten drives or really listen to it. I used to be a hi-fi freak and spent ridiculous amounts of money on cables, speakers and electronics, before I had to spend all my money on family and more mundane things, like food and rent. I still think music is an important part of my life, and I try to really listen to it from time to time.

Prior I linked to some friends of mine that went to Ghana in Africa to help out an orphanage, and two of those kids have started up a rock band here in Norway, based out of Asker and Bærum. I thought I’d do a shameless plug to (hopefully) improve their fan base somewhat – because their music is really good and with their upcoming album, they could really need a boost in attention 🙂

They call themselves AnCollision and play guitar based, melodic, straight forward rock music. Below is a music video they have made without anything other than a iPhone and some free editing software. I thinks its cool 🙂 They are currently recording their first album, out in November 2013 (on Indie Recordings) and will distribute on Spotify, Wimp, iTunes and other digital platforms in addition to physical media.

This is, in my humble opinion, a good example of ordinary guys getting a break and using modern technology in their quest to get their music out to the masses. It’s incredible how computers, smart phones and inexpensive software has made it possible for “ordinary people” to do what demanded a complete record company, talent scouts, PR-people, technicians, distributors, record company execs and the kitchen sink  just a few years ago. Power to the common people!!

Anyway, have a look at their first video and if you like it, feel free to support them and share the links in any way you want – its much appreciated 😀

 

 

Rabies!

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
The bat is the most likely carrier of rabies

The bat is the most likely carrier of rabies
copyright: Merlin D. Tuttle, Bat Conservation International

Yesterday I became aware that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia is warning travelers to Norway of the rabies carried by bats in my country. Have a look at this link, in Norwegian only. Apparently they are warning about rabies in bats in all European countries on their “Health Information for Travelers” pages that cover most, if not all, countries in the world. Rabies is a very, very serious illness and I am not saying that getting a vaccine against it (or any other serious disease for that matter, vaccines are a good thing!) is not smart, but there should be a level of quality control in the warnings posted.

Here is the complete warning from the CDC:

Rabies is present in bats in Norway. However, it is not found in dogs and is not a major risk to most travelers. CDC recommends rabies vaccine for only these groups:

  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities in remote areas that put them at risk for bat bites (such as adventure travel and caving).
  • People who will be working with or around bats (such as wildlife professionals and researchers).

In Norway the doctors are suspecting that a case from June 2013 – the death from meningitis of a woman in an Oslo hospital – may be rabies related. If so, she has picked up the disease somewhere other than in Norway – as we have not had a rabies death since 1815 and there has never been any confirmed cases of rabies in bats or any other animal on Norwegian soil. That means that we have had no deaths from rabies in almost 200 years. My country has done tremendous work to keep the disease out, even though it has been present on occation in our neighboring countries. The woman had been visiting her origin country in Asia, a place with substantial amounts of rabies in animals. She has most probably picked it up there.

Anyway, it is still not confirmed whether it is rabies or not – but we do know she did not pick it up in Norway if it is.

I like the work of the CDC and all other organizations that are warning travelers or its inhabitants of the possibility of infectious diseases – and I think information is the key to prevent the unnecessary spread of easily avoidable diseases and infections. I do not, however, condone the spreading of fear that this is an example of. It is important that the information coming from the CDC (and others) is correct, truthful and updated. This information about Norway is not, and it undermines the believability of all CDC information in my view. I do not have the numbers, but I bet that many other countries on the “rabies list” do not have problem with this disease either.

What about other diseases that they are warning people about when traveling, how accurate is this information?? I don’t know, I have not checked all the information available on their page, and I do not have information on the various diseases present in all the ~200 countries of the world.

Global Rabies WHO 2008

copyright: who.int

 

When checking on the Internet for information about the subject, I came across the World Health Organization overview of rabies in the world, and it’s just as inaccurate, unfortunately. WHO also uses the shotgun approach and claims that there is rabies present in bats in Norway and all other countries in Europe, in addition to the US and other places. Only New Zealand is said to be completely rabies free. The WHO also warn travelers to get vaccines if likely to get in contact with bats.

Europe is not a country, nor is Africa, North or South-America, Asia or Oceania – and the information provided cannot cover whole continents, it must be country specific. If the CDC and WHO are reusing information from one country on all the others in the same vicinity, it’s hurting their credibility.

The thing you do not want when informing people about potentially life threatening diseases, is the loss of credibility – it can be a killer.

Good stuff I found on facebook

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Every day I, and probably most of you, see a lot of images with quotes, funny stuff, political statements or “like if you don’t want kids to get cancer” in my Facebook news feed. The quality of these differ a lot, some are downright genius – most are not and some are just plain bad. I post these from time to time too, when I like them for some reason and they have some content that I like or find funny/provocative/interesting/dumb or any combination of these. Below I have collected some stuff that I have received and/or posted in my Facebook feed, feel free to use them if you want. I have no idea who has the rights to these, if anyone – so use them at your own risk 🙂

arthur c clarke quote

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snowden at the terminal  - like the movie upside down world map opinions are like assholes anti fascists indispensable people arthur schopenhauer quote truth 603550_463633923654263_2087669242_n 564870_10150679855981501_1924298134_n 419627_597248580292796_485343556_n 337987_10151023839376501_1713258328_o 315961_10150338343901501_944452057_n

Julian assange quote Russels teapot offended 560176_10150834231011501_141876870_n 534368_10150629861461501_290075374_n 531423_10150664572211501_560274994_n 483708_10151918141216501_282903388_n 405661_363899010306225_205344452828349_1354528_1765088331_n 314370_10150331514421501_247452656_n 165263_10151995534231501_1805514592_n 64461_10151889608086501_1860624830_n 45342_10151072438221501_2011606355_n 19930_10151804207451501_1628726827_n

 

christians and atheist motivation to do good

christians and atheist motivation to do good

Some nuts and bolts and stuff

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

I have not statistics blingyoubeen writing much in this blog for a while, and when coming back here today – I discovered that it has been almost one year since I last wrote anything at all (364 days to be exact). Still, even without being up to date on the current affairs of the world, or to be more precise: writing about whatever is going that needs my comment (if anything) – I am still receiving some traffic, albeit no or very few comments, on this blog. I do love comments, so if you have any opinions that you feel need to be aired, please do – I am all for discussion!

Actually, before I forget – have a look at my last post and please go to the linked site and define your favorite things. Its bloody difficult to reduce the number to only three.

At the moment, this blog is being accessed by about 100-150 different IP-addresses per day and that made me curious. What are people searching for in order to get this blog as a search hit, high enough in the responses from google, bing or whatever people prefer? Well, WordPress to the rescue – there are statistics!

Looking at the total statistics, a lot of people have been searching for the same thing – and my number one is Lizzie Miller from way back in 2009. She was the model that was somewhat “controversial” because of her un-model-like body, with some extra pounds here and there, somewhat unfit (but completely normal, as I have been told repeatedly) appearance. I did a piece on this here, if you are interested. I wanted to voice my opinion on this topic, and many got back to me with their comments. I appreciate all those that took the time to inform me, educate me, disagree with me and generally not praising my view on things. I like those that disagree, agreeing is not productive – but I still stand by my initial post on this 🙂

More than 4000 search hits on the word “snus” as well. Snus is, for those of you that are not Swedish or Norwegian, a form of smokeless tobacco that is banned in the EU but is available in many other countries under a myriad of names, probably in different cuts too. I find it strange that the EU would ban smokeless tobacco while at the same time allowing cigarettes, that we know will kill a large percentage of its user base, but that’s just me. Tobacco is all bad, but snus is much less harmful if you are addicted to nicotine and need your daily dose of that. Works great on long flights too.

People seem to need demotivational posters from time to time, probably to underline a point or get likes on facebook. I have some, not many, that I put up here a long time ago – the ones I at the time found to be the funniest. I have not really been looking for any of these since then, but if you have suggestions on good motivational or demotivational posters – please post them in the comments below. Some of these are pure genius!

Matt Damon seems to be popular and he has been for the duration of this blog. I did a post on his increased weight for a movie, and now “Matt Damon fat” is high on my charts, so is “Matt Damon shirtless” and just plain old “Matt Damon“. I guess men search for the fat version to feel better about themselves, women just find him generally attractive. In his new movie, Elysium, he is as fit as ever. Damn you, Matt Damon!

Also, Bling water is something that many have an interest in. I bought a bottle of this by mistake once, and wrote some stuff about it. Thinking back, I find this to be one of the greatest hoaxes out there, right next to Scientology, people that can speak to the dead and most kinds of non science based medicine. Getting people to buy water purely for the image of you that it reflects is either really smart or completely .. eh .. its really smart. Low production costs combined with a high retail price is the best business idea I have ever heard of. You can still get it at the bling store, if you want it. I never drank mine, it was too expensive to open for a long time, and when I wanted to taste it – it was out of date. Water does not really get out of date though, but having it on a shelf for a long time is not the best way to store it, so it went in the sink.

I also had a look at the search hits that somebody only searched for once this year, and there are some strange ones there. Have a look a the image to thestatistics blingyou2 right. You have to have a strange mind to enter some of that stuff into a search engine, stuff like “poverty kids happy”, “omer bhatti michael jackson gay lover”, “lesbian islam” and “fat shirtless actor pictures”. I like the one about “dead fritjof nansen” though. Go here for his infamous nude picture, taken prior to his death, btw.

I have written some things about serious topics too, like the sexual abuse of children, folks I know that help poor children at orphanages in Africa and policing in Norway and on the Internet. They don’t seem to bee that popular, though.. 😉

So – have a look at the other search hits and think about what brought you to this place. Anything productive, intelligent or useful – or just wasting time like most of us do when on the Internet?

What is most important to you?

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Have you ever used the service Stumbleupon? It’s basically a service where people add things they find interesting within a certain area, be it photography or humor, and by doing so recommend it to others with similar interests. I use it from time to time, when I have no idea what I want to read or if I am bored with whatever I normally check when I go surfing.

One of the really great things about this service, is that you will be sent to web pages you probably would not find yourself or through google – usually because you did not think of actually searching for it. I have experienced numerous times that I have an interest in stuff I did not know I had an interest in 🙂

When stumbling around I wast presented with a blog that asked me what my favorite things are. I was about to zoom on by when I realized that I actually didn’t really know. I am, probably like most of you, living in a society where we are overwhelmed by things – we basically have everything one could possibly want or need. By having everything its easy to loose track of the most important things among them. Not necessarily physical things, it could be thing you do rather than a thing you have, but still – what is most important? Is your computer, your TV, running in the woods, being with friends, diamond rings, your car, cool speakers, an iPad 3 or whatever the version is now? You are asked to only give two things. While most of us could probably name a dozen things that we like, it’s actually more difficult to name only two.

Frankly, I am not certain at the moment, so I have not written anything. Not many people have at the moment, as a result of low traffic or people just not being able to reduce it to only two things. It’s strange how such a simple question can result in not being able to produce an answer off the top of your head.

I will think about it and write something when its clear to me, and I urge you to challenge yourself in the same way; What are the most important things for you or in your life?

Not as simple as you thought, eh?

National heroes are people too

Monday, October 17th, 2011

copyright: AftenpostenThere are very few things Norwegians are more proud of than our explorers. I have written about Roald Amundsen in this blog before, but this time it is our polar explorer, Nobel peace prize winner and all around good guy Fridtjof Nansen that has stirred up an interest. The usually calm and collected Norwegians have even, in some cases, been angry that the images was published.

The newspaper Aftenposten published images of the nude Nansen, images he had taken himself and sent to his American lover/mistress/girlfriend, Brenda Ueland, in 1929 – one year before he died.

How we are used to seeing Nansen, on the old 10 kroner bill.

Some think that this was beneath the well-respected newspaper and that his memory and image should have remained untainted. I do not. So what if he wanted to show off his body (including the penis, as it is attached you see) to his mistress? Does that make him less of a national hero and important figure in our history? I do not think that it does, if anything it shows that even the ones we look up to, idolize, try to imitate and worship are just people with flaws – just like you and me – and the only reason you don’t see sex tapes with historical figures is that the technology was not in place.

Speaking of technology, the Facebook page of the newspaper had to remove the image, or risk being banned, due to the no nudity clause of the social media platform. 80-year-old images of 67-year-old men may be damaging to watch..

I find it liberating to see that even our heroes are people too, even national heroes 🙂

Funny signs

Friday, September 25th, 2009

At the moment I am lacking something that I really want to write about, so I have indulged in “Google image searches” instead 🙂 There is a heap of funny stuff out there in Intenetland and I found some signs that i found amusing. Some are meant to be funny, while others probably was put up in all sencerity – making you wonder what  the people that put up the sign without checking it thoroughly are really thinking..

The best headlines of [insert year]

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Newspapers, and especially tabloids, have a tendency to overdo everything, to catch your attention and basically sell more papers. Also, many headlines are decided upon by the desk, and not the actual journalist who wrote the piece, and sometimes that, combined with deadlines and a hectic work environment, results in funny headlines.

I have added a few of them below, and you can find more on the Internet. I have seen many of these labeled as “Best headlines of 1997”, “Best headlines of 2002” etc, and the only thing that is for certain is that somebody claimed that they were real headlines at one time or another, but I can not vouch for that .

I find many of them rather funny:)

  • Include Your Children When Baking Cookies
  • Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert says
  • Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers
  • Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case
  • Iraqi Head Seeks Arms
  • Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?
  • Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over
  • British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands
  • Clinton Wins on Budget, But More Lies Ahead
  • Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told
  • Miners Refuse to Work after Death
  • Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant
  • Stolen Painting Found by Tree
  • Two Sisters Reunited After 18 Years in Checkout Counter
  • Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One
  • War Dims Hope for Peace
  • If Stride Isn’t Settled Quickly, It May Last a While
  • Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures
  • Enfields Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide
  • Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
  • Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead
  • Man Struck By Lightning Faces Battery Charge
  • New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group
  • Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft
  • Kids Make Nutritious Snacks
  • Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy
  • Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half
  • New Vaccine May Contain Rabies
  • Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

If you have any more suggestions or other compilations of headlines, please feel free to post them in the comments.

While on the subject, I did a quick check for more newspaper related stupidity, and found the following headlines and clippings. Its amazing that some of this stuff was actually passed by whoever passes stuff.

Is black always “black”?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

– Albert Einstein

Color challenged square

Color challenged square

According to Times Online, there is a shift in language on the way, particulary in the public sector, as everybody eager to be most politically correct. A number or names and descriptions, sayings and the like is now, per se, viewed upon as racist or ethnically demeaning. I am not writing about the normal racial slander you would expect, various organisations have decided, out of the kindness of their heart I guess, to limit or ban the use of certain words – as they are sexist, racist or carry with them a “hierarchical valuation of skin color”. I assure you that I am not making this up!

Lets have a look at some of the examples of this:

Black day – Use “miserable day” as the color black is expressed as bad and therefore it indicates that the skin color black is bad.

Ethnic minority – Minority is something small, therefore less than the majority, and thus “smaller or less important”.

Gentlemans agreement – Potentially offensive to women, one should use “unwritten agreement” or “an agreement based on trust”.

Master bedroom – Indicating a man, and threfore bad and sexist against women.

Black sheep of the family, black looks and black mark – Does not really have anything to do with skin color, but makes “black” out as something less desireble and therfore reinforce the badness of “black”. Equally, everything “white” is positive and therefore bad.

The stupidity of this is almost beyond me, and I foresee great challenges in the future. If we can not use any colors that may have some resemblance to any ethnicity, how can we say “what a horrible black sweater”, “I got a sun burn and now I am all red and terrible”, “He is yellow (cowardly)” and so on? One should always fight racism and bigotry, but this is not the way to do it.

Whats your opinion on the subject, if any?