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  • Leave It Better Than You Found It

    Are you familiar with the phrase “leave a room better than you found it?”

    Growing up, I always thought this was some trick to get me to clean things up that weren’t my mess.

    As I got older, and more messes were definitely my own responsibility, I realized it was a lot easier to take two minutes to clean a little something as I go than it was to let it pile up and have to deal with a huge mess.

    But now I am old enough to see what this statement really means.

    Life is an abnormality. The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy in an isolated system is always increasing. If you put two colors of sand in a jar and shake the jar, the sand will only ever become more jumbled. You cannot organize sand by shaking it.

    However, if you put a human in the mix, they can organize the grains of sand and separate out the different colors.

    Life, during its span of existence, is capable of countering entropy. This is unnatural. This is against the laws of nature. This is our strength. This is our battle cry. This is how we prove to the universe that we exist.

    When you clean up your kitchen, you are imposing order on a system whose entire existence moves towards disorder. Vacuuming the carpet is rapidly organizing materials that expected their entire existence to be disorder and chaos. When you scrub your bathroom, you are breaking the rules of the universe.

    As living beings, we are capable of directed action. We can do things nothing else in this universe is capable of doing.

    When your mother says “leave it better than you found it,” she’s really telling you to prove that you’re alive. To leave a mark on the universe that is a scar against the natural order. To show defiance and spit in the face of chaos. She’s telling you to be a warrior.

    I knew there was a reason I enjoyed cleaning so much.

  • Humorous Scriptures

    While reading the scriptures, I’ve occasionally come across verses that seem funny or odd. Sometimes in context, sometimes out of it, and sometimes just odd or poor word choices in translations. I’d like to share what I’ve collected so far. Being a Latter-day Saint, or Mormon, many of these versus will come from the Book of Mormon.

    They’re sorted by the order they appear, Bible first, then Book of Mormon. Bible translation is the Revised King James version, which is standard for the LDS church. Feel free to comment and add your own if you have some.


    The Camel brand cigarette is millennia old.

    Genesis 24:64

    And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.


    Moses, supposedly the meekest man on Earth, has several scriptures where he goes into a rage. Such as when the Israelites get tired of eating the miraculous manna they find outside their tents every morning, so they demand meat from God. He gave it to them, but with this stipulation.

    Numbers 11

    19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;
    20 But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the Lord which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?


    A description of a murder. How a man died after having a nail driven through his temple. I think the record they were transcribing from started skipping.

    Judges 5:27

    At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.


    The prophet Elisha does not take well to being mocked.

    2 Kings 2

    23 And he went up from thence unto Beth-el: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
    24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.


    The proper treatment of the wicked: break their arms until they stop being wicked.

    Psalms 10:15

    Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.


    Proverb’s method of educating your children is to beat them until they’re smart.

    Proverbs 22:15

    Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.


    History’s first recorded food fight.

    Zecharaih 5:1

    Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.


    The dangers of falling asleep during a religious lecture.

    Acts 20:9

    And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.


    The prophet Abinadi was driven out of a city for preaching. Later he comes back in disguise. A disguise doesn’t last long when you quote someone saying your name.

    Mosiah 12:1

    And it came to pass that after the space of two years that Abinadi came among them in disguise, that they knew him not, and began to prophesy among them, saying: Thus has the Lord commanded me, saying—Abinadi, go and prophesy unto this my people, for they have hardened their hearts against my words; they have repented not of their evil doings; therefore, I will visit them in my anger, yea, in my fierce anger will I visit them in their iniquities and abominations.


    Amulek and Alma converted a bunch of people. The prophets were then captured, and their converts were thrown into a big bonfire. I imagine Amulek’s voice in verse 12 resembled that of Eeyore.

    Alma 14:12

    Now Amulek said unto Alma: Behold, perhaps they will burn us also.


    True to politics, “a few particular points” can be translated as “all the points.”

    Alma 51

    2 Nevertheless, they did not long maintain an entire peace in the land, for there began to be a contention among the people concerning the chief judge Pahoran; for behold, there were a part of the people who desired that a few particular points of the law should be altered.
    5 And it came to pass that those who were desirous that Pahoran should be dethroned from the judgment-seat were called king-men, for they were desirous that the law should be altered in a manner to overthrow the free government and to establish a king over the land.


    Helaman lays siege to an enemy held city in order to steal incoming provisions.  The wording implies he takes some humor in this deception.

    Alma 57:10

    At length their provisions did arrive, and they were about to enter the city by night. And we, instead of being Lamanites, were Nephites; therefore, we did take them and their provisions.


    Being on fire is good for moral.

    Helaman 5:24

    And when they saw that they were encircled about with a pillar of fire, and that it burned them not, their hearts did take courage.


    Book of Mormon: The Musical.

    3 Nephi 4:31

    And it came to pass that they did break forth, all as one, in singing, and praising their God for the great thing which he had done for them, in preserving them from falling into the hands of their enemies.


    The Lamanites are the ancestors of the modern day American Indians. See also: Indian reservations.

    3 Nephi 6:3

    And they granted unto those robbers who had entered into a covenant to keep the peace of the land, who were desirous to remain Lamanites, lands, according to their numbers, that they might have, with their labors, wherewith to subsist upon; and thus they did establish peace in all the land.

  • How to Catch a Mouse

    In nine easy steps. Click the images to open another window with a larger version.

    Step 1:
    Please a mousetrap under the sink.

    Step 2:
    When the mouse triggers the mousetrap, rush to it, only to find that it was too smart to actually get caught and is running around under the sink.

    Step 3:
    Throw a bowl on top of it.
    Optional: Place something heavy on top of the bowl.

    Step 4:
    Stick something under the bowl, like a plate, to seal the mouse in.

    Step 5:
    Realize the plate isn’t flat enough when the mouse gets out. Panic and try to catch him under the plate. Become shocked when the plate is not the bowl. Then recapture the mouse under the bowl.

    Step 6:
    Slide something clear and flat under the bowl, like a ziplock bag.

    Step 7:
    Tape it up.

    No, really. Go wild!

    Step 8:
    Take some pictures of the mouse through the clear plastic.

    Step 9:
    Drive a few miles away and let it go, because you’re too squeamish to kill it.

  • Surgery and Rollcages

    My sister recently got her adenoids out. She was supposed to get her tonsils and adenoids out, but the doctor doing the surgery decided that they adenoids didn’t need to come out. So a little after she got out of surgery the second time, she decided it would be a good idea to go four wheeling with her finance.

    She came over and told us about it afterwards. “Yeah, the rollcage works great. None of the windows even broke or cracked. We just rolled it back over and drove away. We had to replace some transmission fluid that leaked out, but it was fine.”

    Here’s a picture:

    Sister's Rolled Truck

  • Attack Moth of Doom

    I was helping my mom with a problem on the computer, and took a break to check on something in my room. As I opened the door, a moth came out and flew in my face, then ran off and sat on the wall.

    I gathered the medium-to-large sized moth up in my hands, intending to release him outside. My mom’s computer was on the way to the back door, so I figured I’d show her the moth. I walked up to her with my hands cupped together, and held them in front of her.

    “Isn’t not going to attack me, is it?” she asked.

    “Yes,” I said sarcastically.

    I slowly uncupped my hands so I wouldn’t make it fly away, but it still did, and went straight for her neck. She screamed, it fluttered around there for a bit, then went for the ceiling.

    Then she started hitting me. She always does that when I scare her. And I’m usually laughing too hard to fight back. It’s just not fair.

  • Bunch of Stuff Happened

    It’s probably best to order things chronologically rather than categorically for this post. It’s a long story that lasts about five days. I’ll see if I can condense it into less than five days of reading.

    It all started on Thursday, December 14th. “High wind warnings” were on the news, saying winds would get up to 80-90mph with 130mph gusts. Silly me didn’t realize quite how serious this is. If these numbers don’t mean much to you (and you haven’t been watching the news), then this is enough wind to knock over many, many trees. And when trees fall down, they land on things. Like power lines. And cars. And roads. And houses. But back to the story at hand.

    I showed up at DigiPen campus around 4pm, I think. My plans were to mat mount the final project for Art 101 so I could turn it in before 5pm the next day, when it was due. Then I would work on animation. I’d expected the power to go out, as I’d brought some flashlights.

    When I arrived at school, there were signs posted at every corner that the school was closing at 10pm instead of midnight due to the high winds warning.

    After I left, it was only slightly gusty. I took the “back road” home, like I usually did, because even at 10pm traffic is decently heavy and moving around 50mph through Bellevue. Besides, the back road was a straight shot to my house, and the freeway went in the opposite direction for a bit before turning my way.

    The back road was already littered with tree branches. It was fun to dodge them, and felt a bit like a video game. Then something above me went SHAZAM! and all the lights on the street went out. The scariest part of the drive was when a few cars were coming in the opposite direction so I was effectively blinded, and my car a puddle I didn’t see and sprayed water off the side of the road. Normal enough, except the puddle didn’t end. After the three cars had passed me, I could see the end of the “puddle” about 50m further up.

    The last exciting thing about the back road was when I was halfway home. The sky lit up briefly with this beautiful blue and purple explosion in the distance. I was sure it was the power at my house. Fortunately, it was all the power just before my house. Unfortunately, that meant the streetlight were out, and traffic in the Seattle area is notoriously bad not because of the sheer amounts of people, but because the people suck at driving. So no one had no idea that a downed traffic light means you’re supposed to behave like it’s a stop sign. And no one knew the proper way to handle a six lane, four way intersection as a stop sign, either. I’ll admit, it’s a little daunting, but if you face it logically you don’t have a problem.

    The power didn’t go out until an hour or so after I got home. I spent that night doing general maintenance. I cleaned the dust out of Goliath, this webserver, I put a new PSU in the internet gateway box (which had a faulty fan for the past year or so and required external cooling), and I took the last of the good pieces out of my downed main computer (namely, the CPU) and put it into my secondary machine. So I’m still down to one desktop computer, but it’s almost as good as my best one was. I also did a little general cleaning around my desk. The rest of the night was spent drawing some Trivium comics.

    So the power went out Thursday night. Friday morning at something before 7am I get a call from my good friend xcXEON wondering how things were and if everything was ok. I told him we were out of power, but otherwise fine. I was out of touch. I don’t normally watch the news — I’d heard about the strong winds from my brother, and probably then only because I live in the same house as him. The scope of power outages and damage was much larger than I thought it was, which is why he’d thought it important enough to call me. I enjoyed talking to him, it had been a while, but then I had to get ready and go to school. I had a final project to turn in, and an animation to redo so I could try to up my grade in Animation 101. I had my friend check www.schoolreport.org to make sure DigiPen wasn’t closed, got up and headed out.

    Bad idea. The first road I tried was blocked by half a dozen downed trees. (Ok, only three were visible, but I bet there were more further down) After going through a dozen intersections with broken stoplights, I finally made it to DigiPen after only a little over an hour. Not like it meant much. The doors are electronically sealed, and there was no power. A random programmer and I took a walk around the block to gawk at all the pretty damage from downed trees. Later, the head of facilities showed up and told all the people milling around the sign that said “DigiPen’s closed” that the finals will be rescheduled, and the final project that’s due will be turned in at the start of next semester. I asked about www.schoolreports.org and he said they’d managed to leave a message for them around 8am. The cell phone lines were jammed, and there was probably a downed tower or two.

    I was not looking forward to driving home. Against my better judgement (I claim curiosity), I took the freeway home. I noticed a few cars by the side of the road as traffic crawled along and wondered why they were there.

    A few places started getting power restored during the day. The first ones were the stores and malls. Makes you wonder. A gas station or two got power, and then I noticed something a little scary. There were only one or two gas stations in the area that had power. The line of cars wrapped around the block.

    The night, my dad informed me he was out of gas. Completely empty, and maybe only enough to drive to the gas station. I told him since I was going to be up late working on drawing Triviums, I’d take his car out at around 11pm and gas it up.

    Another bad idea. There was one gas station with gas left (the others had their lights of with “no gas” signs in the driveways) and the line was still around the block. I managed to make it home, and left a note for my dad to take my car, since it still had half a tank.

    Saturday, my friends I’m working on Booster Logic with called me and said their power was back, and that I could stay with them until mine came back.

    I left out two events. One was a trip to a church Christmas dinner party where I brought my phone charger and charged it while I was eating, and the other was a trip to Bellevue Square Mall where I picked up the Playstation 2 game Disgaea: Hour of Darkness. I got lucky. The game’s rare, and the Gamestop at the mall just happened to have ae copy when I was there.

    So when I got the invite from my friends, I packed up my PS2, Disgaea, Shadow of the Colossus (another great game), a change of clothes, my clothes for church, and left. My dad wasn’t interested in taking a free shower for some reason, so he stayed behind in our dark, cold house that was starting to smell a lot like burnt candles.

    The next couple days were a blur. Disgaea is awesome. I felt no guilt, as the power was out at my house and all my plans revolved around the internet (which they didn’t have yet). Been a long time since I’ve played a game for more than an hour or two without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else more important.

    I called my mom about halfway through to see how they were fairing at home. Turns out my dad had tried to light a fire and hadn’t put it far enough back in the fireplace. Nothing burnt down, but the entire house was filled with smoke. It still smells, and probably will for weeks. They also got invited to stay at someone else’s house, but for some reason my dad had declined them again. I’ve been taught that doing good deeds is all well and good, but denying other people the good deeds they want to do isn’t actually very nice. I don’t think anyone ever taught him that. Or maybe he just really needed his special matress for his back, since it’s so bad. Who knows. (I’m rather certain he doesn’t read this, and my mom isn’t tactless enough to tattle-tale on me, so I should be safe in questioning his sanity here.)

    So the last thing of note that happened was this: I woke up this morning at around 10am to the sound of my phone ringing. My brother was calling to let me know that the power had come back on, and that he wanted to make the internet work, but the power buttons on the router wasn’t working. I let him know it wasn’t broken, and I’d just flipped the switch on back, but I’d prefer he wait for me to get home and get everything working.

    I started packing up and I noticed the end of the extension cord that I unplugged my phone from wasn’t glowing green. I checked, and the cable modem/router wasn’t lit up. Oh noes, I thought. What have I done! Then I noticed that the red light on my PS2 wasn’t lit up, and I realized the power was out.

    So I packed up, came home, turned on my computers with only minor issues, and here I am.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get those Triviums I drew inked, or this Christmas Special will never go live.

  • Whoops, and Stuff

    My /var drive filled up and MySQL started freaking out and stuff. As such, much of the site wasn’t accessible. I’ve fixed the problem, supposedly permanently. Not totally sure — need to check up on it in a month.

    Here’s some videos and stuff I’ve been sent recently. Fun stuff.

    Media Photo Fraud (bad news)

    Using DDR for… Dance? (neat)

    Tetris Car (funny)

  • YTMND Links

    I don’t normally cruise ytmnd.com, but my brother had a few things he wanted to show me, and I found it really interesting how something can be found, spoofed, improved, spoofed, and just made to be really funny.

    A little history. In the movie Finding Forester (good movie), Sean Connery spoke the words “You’re the man now, dog!” Someone took a picture and put it to the sound bite, and a new internet fad was born that eventually developed into the ytmnd.com site that everyone knows today.

    Having said that, I present you with the following links that had me hurting with laughter. Please note that these contain sounds and pictures. And occasionaly to get them to sync right you need refresh the page after loading it.

    Baking Cakes


    Cosby Pokemon
    http://billcosbypokemon.ytmnd.com/ (original)