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gargnob
Yesterday, I was presented with the news that Bill Paxton had passed away. I got it from Facebook. These are the emotions I went through:

Sadness. I liked quite a few movies he was in. I especially liked how he didn't always play the same role. He could be the main character or play a bit part and it felt like he was giving everything he had to make any role come alive! Not all actors do that.
More sadness. Then doubt entered my mind... After all: just how many times has Morgan Freeman died now? And he's still (as of this writing) alive! Googled it and... Yes, it was true...
Most sad! The fact that I live in a world full of "fake news" and "alternative facts" means that I CAN'T just accept news anymore. I HAVE TO look things up for myself. Most troublesome...

Still sad that he's passed away, of course, but most sad because of my reaction. My faith in humanity is dwindling and I don't like it!

To put it in the words of Private Hudson from Aliens (1986):
"That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?"

:(
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I had more thoughts about podcasts and figured I'd just write them down.

Which do I prefer? That is a VERY difficult question to answer. Some of my favourites are more or less oposits but I like them anyway. For different reasons. I figured I would just write down some criteria and see if I can think of anything worth saying (probably not).

Content
I pretty much ONLY listen to podcasts about movies. Currently on my list is also one about comic books or comic book movies. I USED to read comic books, but these days I prefer "real books". When I'm online though, I sometimes read webcomics. Not quite the same thing in my view. Physical media vs digital... That's a topic for another day.

Length
This is an important one! Those who have read the reviews I've written for the paper (there came out three issues last year, should tell you something), compliment me on being able to tell a LONG story in very few words. The same is true for podcasting. If I were forced to chose though... Shorter is better. When you have very little space to move around in, you make sure to get to the point quickly and not ramble. One of the lengthier ones was 4.5 hours... That is too long! Yes, I've listened and relistened to it multiple times. In it the hosts did interviews with the screen writer, producer, actors, etc. etc. Very informative. But most of the time, especially these days, I don't have 4 and a half hours I want to spend on any turn based game and have the podcast playing in the background. Maybe I just haven't found a good game in that genre for a while?

Professionalism
A difficult one... If the podcast has interviews with Hollywood superstars, they need to be pretty big and well known. Also, if it's someone just starting out, the sound might be ... less great. From what I understand, there is a LOT of hard work going into editing these things.
Personally? I prefer the least professional. The process of the hosts growing and learning how to do podcasts is worth listening to. For me.
One that I removed from my list recently had hosts with a LOT of experience. They were all professional reviewers that wrote for magazines and blogs. They knew EXACTLY what they were doing! To me they came off as a bit arrogant and eventually I gave up on them.

Number of hosts
I have listened to podcasts with just one host and others with five or six people. I'd say: if you can manage to have all people in one room it IS doable. If they're all on Skype the podcast turns into: "oh sorry, I didn't mean to speak while you were speaking". It can be done but... Also there is the question: who is speaking when? I'm not watching a vidcast, I can't SEE who is speaking. Therefore it's a benefit, for the audience, if the voices are distinct.

Fun
I listen to podcasts because I want to hear them. I want them to be funny! It feels, to me, that that is more easily achieved when the hosts do NOT know what they're doing. Again: when I find a podcast with totally inexperienced hosts just starting out, go through the archives and find out that they've done 2-300 already, I am VERY happy. That means that they didn't know what they were doing, but learned and got better. It's not always WHAT you say but HOW you say it. If the hosts sound like they're having fun, I am having fun and will continue to listen.

Conclusion
“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” - From the book Diggers by Sir Terry Pratchett
I DO have an open mind. I am willing to hear people out regardless of how weird or strange they might be. For podcasts that means I usually listen to 10 or 12 episodes before making a judgement on it. After all: maybe the co-hosts get exchanged three episodes in? After five the host has finally figured out the mixerboard? The first few were simply to show off that they had interviewed celebrities and then the podcast went in a totally different direction? You wouldn't know that if you only listened to one episode. Also, at least me, I ALWAYS, if possible, listen from the start. It's not always available. After all, after ten years you might not want anyone to listen to your first attempts...
No, I have never actually put that much thought into it before... That's why I have a blog now, to force me to think about such things. Tomorrow I might think about cucumbers. (I get the green colour, but why are they bent?). You never know with me! The worst part is, neither do I... I just sit down and start writing and all of a sudden I've written a new blog post.
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I mentioned the other day that I listen to podcasts. The post was mostly about not paying for stuff online and how I won't pay for the content I get. (in "real life" I get quite a few of my books free from the library).

But THIS post is about podcasts. It's a VERY big topic. But I will only write about my experiences and only what I feel like writing about. Or not, maybe I'll stop in the middle of a thought, hit POST and not actually get to the point I was planning to make. It has happened before, it will again. Which is why I write more than one blog on quite a few topics.

I don't listen to that many podcasts lately. It used to be that I did. A LOT of them! So what has changed? Gaming.

I used to play a game called Marvel's Avengers Alliance. And other games of that type. The "type" being: games that are turn based which don't actually take up that much attention and you can listen to podcasts while playing them. Music and sound effects? Not important in most cases. Not really. Not when I can listen to deep analysis of the motion picture industry... Or less serious podcasters that swear a lot and mostly make fun of film makers. I listen to both categories and get different enjoyments out of them. Still: I get enjoyed so I keep doing it.

Then a few years ago, I started playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. It wasn't the first MMORPG I had played. I had played quite a lot of others before. However, the difference was: how new quest were handed out. In "normal" MMOs the quest giving was given in written form. True, there was undoubtedly quite a lot of effort being put into those texts, but most oftenly I would scroll down to "mission objective" and read: kill 7 wolves. The rest of the text wasn't important to me! However, in SWTOR they had hired actual voice actors to give you your tasks. Also: there were eight (8!) different quest lines to play. One each for the 8 different classes. True, there were plenty of side quests that were available. After doing the same ones over and over for different characters I would skip that part... You still had to hit your side of the dialogue, but eventually you learned what was the most "beneficial" choice to make and just did that.

Currently I'm playing Skyrim. (wide sweep with right hand, followed by both hands coming together twice with the palms facing the speaker and the hands held horisontally. Sky. Rim. I am trying to learn a bit of sign language, since quite a few of my "co-workers" can't communicate with words). Also known as Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim. It came out in 2011 so if you haven't heard of it or played it you're not really into the genre... I bought it last summer. As mentioned before, I'm more into turn based strategy games. The thing about Skyrim though is that there are voice actors for the quest giving. But also: it's an open world. You can get attacked by oponents pretty much ANYWHERE! Therefore it's a benefit to keep your wits about you and listen to footsteps and mumbled conversation going on to the sides. When you're in cities, where there aren't any bandits or thieves (except the shop keepers, some of them overcharge like...), you can overhear conversation that leads to clues that help you complete quests. You CAN'T listen to podcasts while that is going on!

Also, I spend more time on Facebook, watch more Youtube clips and read more webcomics than I used to.

All in all, I don't listen to as many podcasts anymore. Do I miss them? Sometimes... Oh well, things change, maybe I'll delete Skyrim and stop visiting Facebook tomorrow. But not today. Not today...
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I just came back from watching Star Trek Beyond (2016) with my brother. This blog will spoil quite a lot of that movie, so if you haven't seen it... Well, read on at your own risk is all I'm saying.

The starship Enterprise is told to go somewhere that no one has ever gone before? That's original... Really early, before things actually start happening, my brother said "oh no, they're in danger, will the ship blow up?!?". Which of course made me go: "no way! then they would have to steal another ship, possibly a Klingon Bird of Prey and then travel back in time to save some whales!". (referencing Star Trek III (1984) and Star Trek IV (1986).

Yeah, it is kind of hard NOT to make references to earlier movies, isn't it? The debacle over the latest Star Trek 2 (2013) made me NOT watch it. How could they possibly recast Ricardo Montalban from the earlier Star Trek 2 (1982)?! Sorry, I just didn't watch it. If you liked it, then it's my loss, isn't it?

Got sidetracked, how unusual...

No, what made me actually pause the movie and start an (almost) heated rant was the attack on the ship. Their enemies made DARN sure NOT to kill any of the crew. So did the Enterprise crew. Yet situations arose, time and time again, where people's lives were at risk and quite a few died due to circumstances. At one point a character IS asked about the motivation behind the bad guy and they get told "To save you... from yourselves.". A bit cryptic, but it at least SOUNDS like good intentions. The best villains are always the hero of their own story. True, some collateral damage might happen, but they did it for the greater good!

So, why, oh why, when all they actually wanted was a MacGuffin, didn't they just ASK? It was just in a drawer on the ship. The crew tried to GIVE IT AWAY earlier in the movie. It was of no use to the federation. True, it might sound a bit weird for someone else to want a, seemingly, useless artifact, but they could've made up a story.

The only reason I can think of is to have a big action scene. One which ended with, shock of all shocks!, the destruction of the Enterprise.

Yes, I prefer action movies over the more long winded and heavy sci-fi of the older Star Trek movies. But it just felt pointless. It felt like their enemy was stupid. Maybe that was his motivation? Stupidity?

Maybe I just expect more from the villains...
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Yes, still spending too much frigging time on Facebook... Truth be told: I spend more time in Skyrim, so there, Zuckerberg!

Anyways, on my Facebook feed today a picture showed up that I had posted a year ago. They do that to tell you that you used to be wrong / how you've changed over the year / are still thinking the same thing. Or something. The picture? Not important, it's the text and the message that was important and those I can write down here:

I can't do that.
It's against my religion!
Cool

You can't do that.
It's against my religion.
Not cool

My comment (a year ago):
Why religious people shouldn't be rulers... Personal view, of course.

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A year later, do I still feel the same? Yes! We have freedom of religion in this country (since 1951). You cannot tell ME not to kill my neighbour because it's against YOUR religion! You CAN tell me that it's against the law though. Also, she's cute, so I wouldn't...

There was an election for dictator of the world recently. He was sworn in while holding his hand on the bible. When will it be the Quran? What? Impossible you say? Religion shouldn't dictate who we elect to office? Why is the bible still ok then? Also, it's used in courts. Religion is everywhere! Except... Here. We swear on the book of law. Freedom of religion, remember?

A LOT of the laws we have fit with the commandments in the bible. Not all of them though, thankfully... Bacon can still be eaten! Yay! Suck it, Leviticus! The tribe of Aaron might wish to continue following that rule, but our ancestors were vikings who ate a LOT of pork!

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Where was I before started thinking about double decker cheese and bacon hamburgers...? Right, do onto others as you would have them do onto you. One of your neighbours is a devout Muslim, should YOU give up pork because of it? Another is a Buddist, should you stop eating meat altogether because of his beliefs? There are a LOT of religions in the world. Wikipedia mentions the number 4.200. Referencing "World Religions Religion Statistics Geography Church Statistics" as retrieved in March, 2015. Almost two years ago, undoubtedly more have started since then?

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The point being: if we were to accomidate to ALL of those, we could hardly do anything!

In conclusion: when telling someone they shouldn't do something, do NOT reference the bible! Turn instead to the book of law. (locally, it's dark blue, very heavy and standing over there *points left*). That which you dislike isn't IN the book of law? Tough. You should go to the law makers, not the person doing something you disapprove of. Love thy neighbour as thyself. Remember that one?
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This one has a backstory which might take up a lot of space... Oh well.

A few weeks ago I was having a LOT of problems with my external hard drive. The problems had been building up for a long while and finally my brother and I went to the store and bought a new one. Next came transfering the files from the old busted one to the new one. It went pretty well. Just one teeny, tiny problem... The podcasts were impossible to transfer? Over the years I've downloaded a few podcasts. Most of the ones I listen to are about movies, a subject I was quite obsessed with a few years ago. These days I watch one or two movies a week... I can stay in that world vicarious by listening to others talk about it. Also, all of them are in English. English isn't my first language, so listening to it spoken means learning new phrases and ways of communicating. True: I mostly listen because I like it. Maybe I will move on to listening to music. Again? My brother listens to audiobooks, that's his thing. I've tried but... You need to be more attentive to a book than a silly show where missed points are less important. Also, I listen to my podcasts over and over again. All in all, at the time of the loss, I had something like 1600-1650. Now they were gone.

One idea was to download them again. True, I had listened to most of them a few times by then. But I was still enjoying them. So I would get them back! Mostly out of random, I picked one podcast site I had listened to for... 10? 15? More? Years. Turned out, I couldn't. To download the podcasts, I had to subscribe and pay a monthly fee.

NOW we get to the topic at hand. Took me long enough... I chose NOT to pay for it. Cheapskate? Maybe? After all, I had listened to them for a long time and had enjoyed it, why WOULDN'T I pay? After all, hosting a site costs money, the people podcasting need to eat, watching movies isn't free (the prices the movie theaters charge these days... ouch). But no: I didn't pay. Why not? They DESERVED to be payed for all that effort!

I've actually given this quite some thought. The simple answer is: I don't want to. I WANT everything to be free to me. A bit of shame there...

In the end though: I didn't download podcasts from that site, but there are, probably, hundreds or thousands of other sites where I can download new ones. Which I do. I still mostly listen and re-listen to the ones I've already downloaded, but I try to add new stuff all the time.

And that's the way with most things online, I feel. If a webcomic starts having too many banners, a vlog has too many advert breaks or a podcast keeps trying to sell me stuff, I will stop frequenting that place. There are a LOT of other places online where it's still free.

Speaking of which... Livejournal sometimes have adverts on their site. I am on Livejournal. Surely I am making BIG MONEY from my visitors? Nope. I have yet to see a single cent for anything I've put online over the years. My first online presense was a movie review site (geocities, might still be out there somewhere... I think it was pre-2000 though). Yes, I HONESTLY thought I would get sponsors and make it rich from writing online! The thing is though... That money has to come from somewhere. Why would any company pay for the minimal trafic I generate with this blog?
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This one ... wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. Hitchens's razor, that I wrote about yesterday, had one definition. Only one. Selling out? There are more definitions than I can shake a stick at... I need a bigger stick!

If I were to try and define it: getting payed to do what you do.

Usually there is a change in behavior towards appeasing those who are paying you.

Example: someone claiming VERY clearly that they would NEVER make a commercial for TV. And then doing it. The artist in the example, noted on wikipedia, was George Carlin. Yes, afterwards he DID mention that he did it to pay off tax debts to the IRS.

It appears that the phrase is used quite commonly online. When someone appears to change the way they do things or a change towards more main stream is seen as selling out.

Betrayl seems like a common thought amongst the artist's fans. The artist has changed and they don't like it.

Me? I'd sell out in a second! What? I have bills to pay! As does everyone...

Although... I'm too honest to not tell people I was doing it. If I were to start praising a company or product that I hadn't before, I wouldn't be able to lie about why I did it.

Yeah, because a big company or politician or something would care enough about MY blog to pay me change it...

Just like with my stand on bribes, as mentioned in a previous blog: the idea of anyone doing that is so slim as to be impossible. I don't think I have enough readers that anyone would find it worthy to invest in. Spend a few extra millions on another luxury trip or something, Who cares about what one person writes...
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I have written before about Occam's razor, "the simplest answer is most often correct" before, but this time I actually went a step further and asked: why is there a razor involved? Wikipedia was, not surprisingly, quick to answer:

"In philosophy, a razor is a principle or rule of thumb that allows one to eliminate ("shave off") unlikely explanations for a phenomenon."

Is that sexist? Women DO shave their legs though... And yes, I have now spent WAY more thought into this than needed, let's move on to Hitchens and his razor.

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Since Hitchens wrote his principle in the 21st century, and not the 14th, we can actually ask him if we get it wrong. Also, any bending of the words can be checked with him so as to make it easier to understand what he meant. I call that a win.

In the simplest terms:

"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

Simply put: if I claim that global warming exists the burden of proof falls to me. If you were to claim that global warming DOESN'T exist, the burden falls on you. Or as my mother would've said it when I grew up: think before you speak!

Since I spend so much time on Facebook these days, I see a LOT of claims being thrown around. Usually if I ask about evidence, I get the oh so clever come back of "Google it, bitch!". I'm not a female dog, what are you talking about imaginary speaker?!

Hithens's razor in that example simply means that it's the person MAKING the claim that should've looked it up on Google. Not me. But no, it's so much easier to just make stuff up and belittling your critics than to put in the effort to look it up...

Saddening, isn't it?

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Of course, Hitchens wrote that himself. He was the very first to think of it! The Latin proverb "Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur" (What is freely asserted is freely deserted) was NOT used in the beginning of the 19th century. Don't believe me? Google it!

Please don't, my statement is incorrect and I would look a fool if you disputed it... Why should I care if I look foolish though? Every time I'm wrong about something I learn something new. That way I'll be right the next time. Learning is a good thing. I highly recommend it!
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So, there are a few ideas floating around in my head sometimes. I have neither the drive, the courage nor the investment capital to make them a reality, so I'll mention them here. Maybe YOU can put them in use and make a fortune? Stranger things have happened...

Smash a printer
The first one is based on a scene in the movie Office Space (1999). In the scene, the three main characters steal the printer from work and then smash it into pieces! A bat is used as well, but they mostly use their feet and fists.
The idea is to buy in a lot of printers and other office equipment (preferably from a junk yard), hand the customers bats, hammers, sledgehammers or big, big boots and just let them have at it. Why many printers? To make the experience as personal as possible for the customer. After all, it's easier to be mad at something that looks EXACTLY like that f-in' machine that keeps complaining about non-existant paper jams, lack of paper seconds after you filled the tray or claiming to be out of ink even though you replaced it a moment ago and "out of print error"?! What the f*** is that sh*t?!?!
In short: let those feelings out in a controlled environment and we might hinder someone from doing that to people?

Hit the boss
Ever hit a boxing bag? Ever notice how boring that becomes after a while? Now imagine, instead of the name Everlast being printed on the side, there is a picture of your boss on it. Every hit you make is a strike in your boss's face! Of course, if you like your boss, another picture could be there? And no, I'm not talking about a picture and some tape to hold it in place. I'm talking about having it custom made for you. It's the personal touches that count. Now go out there and hit that cunt!

Puzzle with the kids
I had this idea years ago, mentioned it to someone who said it already exist? I had never seen it though... A quick google search and ... yes, it already exists. Oh well. So I'm just rehashing someone elses idea, but still.
When you get your photos developed, instead of having them delivered as boring paper you get them as personalised jigsaw puzzles. Your girlfriend, your kids, an experience. Solving a puzzle is relaxing and now you get a nice picture to see when you're done.
Like noted though, this isn't new... Oh well.

Haggis
What? You've taken tacos from Mexico, pizzas from Italy and smorgasbord from Sweden. Is haggis from Scotland really that big a step? True, you can't import it from the UK to the US (something about sheep's lungs being banned?), but sheep are everywhere, aren't they? Surely you could make your own? Wikipedia also mentions how it's sometimes made Kosher or even vegitarian. We're not talking spotted dick here, just a sheep's heart, liver and lungs boiled together with onions, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt inside a sheep's stomach. Agreed, that sounds disgusting, but I'm sure there's a market for it. After all, people eat oysters, don't they?

Bells for bicycles
Some way of telling people that you're about to pass them. I'm thinking an auditory system would work best? Maybe even make it illegal for bikes to NOT have them?
Yes, this is facetious. But when was the last time you heard one? Every time I do, I go "huh, it's been years since I heard that last...". Maybe we could make them more fun or something? A different sound other than "ding" or "ring-ring"? Not too loud, of course, scaring people isn't the goal, just warning them. Eh, what ever.

These ideas have been going around and around in my head for years now, and now I've written them down. Feel free to use them as you see fit.
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This blog has taken a year and a half to write. Worth remembering...

A year and a half ago, Wednesday, just after 6 pm, I got a call. It was from the emergency room at the hospital in Lund.

"I'm looking for Magnus Jönsson, is that you?"
"I'm Magnus"
"You are the first born son of Bo-Göran Jönsson?"
"That is my father's name"
Etc.

The person calling had been given the task to call me and informing me that my father had passed away. He HAD to ask a whole bunch of yes or no answers to make sure I was the correct recipient. But I wouldn't answer "yes" to any of them. Thereby making the call last a LOT longer than it needed to.

Even at the time, I wondered to myself: why am I being difficult? He is only doing his job, why are you being an a-hole towards him?!

The answer lies in who usually calls me on the phone... My friends hardly ever contact my via phone. E-mail or phone messaging means you can THINK about your answer for some extra minutes. Me and quite a few of my friends NEED that extra time... It's a social interaction issue...

No, who usually calls me are telemarketers. And if THEY ask you "is the sky blue?" you do NOT say yes! ANYTHING they ask, you answer with no or sort of, passively, confirming. If you were to utter the phrase "yes" they will cut and paste it into an oral agreement for stuff you don't want and then bill you. This is so common, or at least the stories are, that I simply can't use that phrase anymore.

On July 29th 2015 that became clear when that call happened. I simply COULD NOT answer "yes" to any of his questions!

Am I the only one thinking that telemarketing should be done away with? I mean, from what I gather from friends and stories online, NO ONE buys anything from them. They don't BENEFIT anything to the companies that employ them. They are just a hassle leading to people not answering phone calls from numbers they don't recognise.

Yes, third blog post in a row about a passed away parent... What ever happened to my humorous blog?
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