Archive for October, 2014

So Dilma won

Posted in Brazil with tags , , , , , , on October 27, 2014 by MISANTHROPIST

I don’t know if that small title will mean much to you but Dilma Rousseff is in for a second term. As a gringo I knew shit all about Brazilian politics until me and my girl spoke about it. She’s very happy that Dilma won. She’s taught me an awful lot in the time we’ve known each other about society there, a little history mixed in with politics. I’ve gained an understanding of the candidates in their election. It has been interesting to learn about a culture that isn’t essentially my own. I got an entire lesson from her about all of it going back over a year. Politics and international relations is her thing.

I’ve been told that Dilma had made some mistakes and seemed to have strayed at times, that’s the nature of politicians I can’t really point fingers here. She spoke of Dilma as if she had done a lot of good and helped the people who need it most, that she had actively fought to make Brazil what it is today which is refreshing compared to Cameron and Co. Around that time I saw that Brazil had been taken off the World Hunger Map and that their economy although it had slowed is still growing. Around about the same time I heard about some oil, she joked that she wondered if the US would warm up in relations with Brazil now they’ve found oil. Brazil seems to be doing well as a whole, making progress and slowly prospering despite it’s problems.

I wish I could sit here and type all of this stuff but shit I could write a small novel. Although I wasn’t a part of it, it was entertaining to see it all unfold. The local candidates were some of the most personable individuals I’ve ever seen chatting openly and joking with constituents over twitter. There was an unfortunate plane crash where a candidate died while I was in the country. I saw some candidates making career moves it was genuinely exciting to watch it all unfold. I guess what matters now is where Brazil goes from here.

So if you’re a Dilma Rousseff Supporter congratulations.
Hopefully I can get rid of David Cameron come the next election.
-Misanthropist.

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Quitting smoking-ish Day 5

Posted in Smoking with tags , , , on October 26, 2014 by MISANTHROPIST

I say quitting smoking-ish because although I’m not smoking cigarettes I’m still vaping nicotine so I guess it isn’t really quitting. I’m well and truly addicted to nicotine which is not something I’m entirely comfortable with. Could be worse, right? It’s actually surprisingly satisfying despite the fact it is not a cigarette. I’ve begun screwing around with the flavours mixing rum and coconut for a malibu type flavour. It’s not bad actually. I have so much e-liquid I’m stocked for a few months. I’m hoping I’ll see the effect of cutting out some of the chemicals and byproducts associated with smoking, at the same time I’m hoping these E-cigarettes have no health issues in store for me.

Not bad so far… Not bad at all.
-Misanthropist.

Today I was cleaning

Posted in animals, News with tags , , , , , , on October 26, 2014 by MISANTHROPIST

Today I was cleaning, as you do, and when I got to the cats litter tray I realized my eldest cat had missed the missed the litter tray. It happens what can I say. Then I noticed that the shit had landed on the open pages of The Sun newspaper, how apt I thought to myself. Anyone here who grew up in England knew The Sun as ‘the paper with tits on page three’ other than that I saw no reason to look at it. It’s a low end rag with leanings to the political right which generally caters to your average joe. Don’t take that as an insult your average joe might be more intelligent than mine. To be honest the only things worse than the sun are the one not worth reading at all and the messenger of doom and gloom The Daily Mail. I realize I’m shitting on The Sun here but compare to The Daily Mail; The Sun is relatively harmless.

Once I stopped laughing to myself I had to tell someone about it, someone who understands my feels and could share that chuckle with me. Unfortunately those kind of people seem to be in short supply at the moment. Probably why I’m posting it here. I don’t know if there are enough brits here to appreciate it but what the hell. I’ve been short on posts lately and this seemed noteworthy. If you happen to be interested do a little research and you might agree with me. I’m not sure if The Sun has an equivalent anywhere but The Daily Mail is damn close to Fox News without being called Fox.

The Ebola Virus

Posted in Death, Medical, Misanthropy, News, People, The Media, Travel, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by MISANTHROPIST

Before we get into this post it is important that you understand what the Ebola virus disease is. It’s pretty damn scary I’ll give you that but not quite as scary as the media would have you believe. EVD is a serious illness that requires a serious response from healthcare providers, most of them poorly equipped and trained to deal with it. Nobody expected the outbreak to spread this far but with the advent of air travel disease pandemics are a stark reality that we should, by now, be prepared for. The Ebola Virus Disease, or EVD for short, is a disease that affects primates caused by the Ebola filovirus. Symptoms start between two to twenty-one days after contracting the virus, with a fever, sore throat, muscle pain, and headaches. Typically, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash follow, along with decreased function of the liver and kidneys. Around this time, affected people may begin to bleed both within the body and externally.

That said the hollywood bleeding from all orifices image you have in your head right now is a pretty rare occurrence, I read somewhere that it happens in very few cases. Bleeding does happen but it is rarely the horror movie-esque vision we’ve all come to associate with contracting EVD. The main thing that scares people is the lethality of this virus which is up to 70%. Usually this would be a blessing in disguise in that the virus would not spread very far but in the modern world the long onset of symptoms actually works in the virus favour. Think about it, how far could you travel by air within 20 days? An outbreak in Africa could reach Europe in that time and begin a brand new outbreak half way across the globe. Luckily the person isn’t very infectious before the onset of symptoms. If it was infectious before symptoms presented then the lethality of EVD would be unprecedented.

It is actually highly unlikely that a widespread outbreak would occur in Europe or the USA because of advanced medical infrastructure, sadly Africa will not fare as well. Another thing that is unfortunate is that due to the nature of the disease healthcare providers are the ones at the highest risk of contracting EVD, as we’ve seen recently in Europe and Africa it is usually the Doctors and Nurses who suffer at the hands of EVD when carrying out vital work to stabilize their patients.¬† One thing that really gets me is that the worlds response to Ebola has been piss poor. Nobody gave a damn when this began and now it’s on our doorstep, only now are we working toward a vaccine and/or cure for it. I’m guessing it was assumed it would burn out much like previous outbreaks. Well it didn’t and here we are, it angers me slightly that nobody is concerned until it is on their doorstep. Such is humanity.

I can’t believe how twisted some people’s perceptions have become, whether it’s from sensationalist headlines of blatant prejudice. The media’s understanding of EVD seems to be largely hollywood and if the media are being so blatantly idiotic I probably shouldn’t expect individuals to be much better, especially the uneducated ones. Most people are unaware that you’re more likely to die of aids than Ebola. I’ve heard all sorts of shit, mostly racist shit from idiots talking as if Africans are to blame for a virus that has been around for a long time, accusing Africans of bestiality and saying the Ebola serves them right. I can hardly believe my ears at times. I’ve even heard people talking of glassing Africa in general. Then again the stupidity isn’t exclusive of white people. Many uneducated Africans don’t even believe Ebola exists because they can’t see it, yet they believe in god. Double standards much? People in the in Europe and the US don’t have the excuse of lacking education though.

Many people fail to understand the reasons behind the latest Ebola outbreak, even the ones who aren’t stupid are plain ignorant of the situation in West Africa. Make no mistake, it is an absolute clusterfuck. I’ll try to explain it the best I can. The economic situation in many parts of Africa is pretty dire, so much so that many people cannot afford farmed meat. A traditional market exists for bushmeat which has boomed in the wake to economic downturn, after all, people need to eat and nobody expects them to starve. Traditionally the people who collect bushmeat are highly knowledgable of the animals they are collecting, they would spot a diseased animal and avoid it. With the boom in the bushmeat industry greedy or just plain desperate individuals have entered the industry who lack the specialist knowledge of the veterans and from that you get people picking up diseased meat.

In most cases it isn’t a problem if it is prepared properly but with something like EVD if you cut yourself while preparing the meat you contract Ebola. Back to the economic situation, Africa is ill-prepared to deal with something like Ebola. They lack equipment and training which leads to healthcare providers becoming infected. Healthcare workers dying means less people to treat the disease. It is unfortunate but the situation in Africa is becoming unmanageable if it isn’t already out of control. What doesn’t help, again, is the lack of education and suspicious nature of the locals. Surely you’ve heard of the people who broke into the Ebola clinics and stole soiled bedding while releasing patients into a ghetto who will inevitably infect others in such cramped conditions. The whole situation is a clusterfuck and if we had gotten on top of it when it began we wouldn’t have three thousand plus dead on our hands.

I could hardly believe what I was seeing when a Fox News anchor was the voice of reason regarding the Ebola outbreak. That was something I thought I’d never see in my life time. Pigs can fly. I read somewhere that this Ebola outbreak started in 2013, so why does it take till 2014 and thousands of deaths to do something about it. That piss poor response coupled with people’s prejudices really annoys me. I’ve never been so ashamed of the people I live around. Is that person really promoting a genocidal ideology to stop the spread of Ebola? Their grandparents thought against fascism and this sort of shit and there they are condoning it. Ebola doesn’t discriminate, people do that. Shit like this feeds my misanthropy, there’s a part of me that believes the world would be a better place if they contracted Ebola but as I mentioned before Ebola won’t go out of its way to kill idiots.

I can only hope that we learn from this outbreak, lest it happen again with something far more contagious and lethal. This post probably came out nothing like I wanted it to be due to my becoming pissed off half way through writing it. I’ve wanted to write this for a while but couldn’t find a way to word it or set out the post.
-Misanthropist.

Quitting smoking.

Posted in Smoking with tags , , , , , , on October 21, 2014 by MISANTHROPIST

It’s about time I quit smoking, this would be my second attempt. It’ll be good for me to quit but yeah I’m not even going to bother with something like champix, I rarely experience the side effects of medications but with champix I wouldn’t even risk it. I know I said¬† before that I was concerned about the hazards of the E-cigarette and its lack of regulation but it seems I’ve found a safe retailer and well made liquids. I wish I had the equipment to test the content of the liquids for myself but unfortunately I don’t. So here goes I guess. It’s an interesting little thing, essentially a vaporizer used for smoking marijuana but somebody had the bright idea of putting liquid containing nicotine in it.

One thing I’m quite taken by thus far is the flavours. Coffee, Lemonade and other flavours I enjoy. Takes the sting off of missing the other chemicals and byproducts of combustion found in normal cigarettes. It’s oddly satisfying, and so far I am pleased with the results. I also liked the idea of being able to smoke in public places and not out in the rain but we’ll see how long that lasts. I’m reasoning to myself that not going out every hour for a smoke will in some way increase my general efficiency in many of my endeavors. We’ll see how that holds up into the month. One thing I know for sure is that it’ll save me a shit ton of money. I’m quite pleased with that.

-Misanthropist.

Studio.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 15, 2014 by MISANTHROPIST

Friday last I was back in the studio recording another guitar bit for my friend and we finally got something done. Only took us five months on and off. I played, he recorded and mixed it in and finally we got something done. I’m back in on Friday for round two, hopefully it’ll be as productive as last Friday. Many a time it has degenerated into just drinking because I was too fucked up to play or he was fucked up and couldn’t be bothered so we just talked and looked at some tracks. Nothing much got done. Most of the time I’m pretty on task but when we’re on one it’s a wonder anything gets past the drawing board. Things seem to be moving forward now which is nice. It’s a good thing we’re not paying for the studio time.

He did something very interesting with the sound of me coughing before the guitar started, he flipped it and added it into the track, he also added me fucking around during testing ‘Testing… one… two… five…’ It gave him the idea to give me the boom and let me record my guitar at home. He also told me to record random sounds around my home for him to mix in. It started as an EDM thing but has morphed and become highly experimental. It’s all fun, we’ll see how it goes. I’m just happy it is moving forward and shaping into something.
-Misanthropist.

Namaste, me and IT.

Posted in Misanthropy, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2014 by MISANTHROPIST

It’s been a while hasn’t it? My apologies. I’ve been on a computer course and between that, some other issues and being ill I haven’t had much of a chance to post anything. There’s so much going on in the world right now, so much to write about that I can hardly think of where to begin. Lets start with the small things. My computer course. At the mercy of the job center’s infinite wisdom I was sent on an IT course with a company called Learn Direct. I attended an interview to find that they didn’t provide courses of a high-caliber, nothing there interested me so I went with something basic and useful an IT course which I would use to brush up on IT and combat my lack of Excel knowledge. It wasn’t like I really had a choice, the illusion of choice is not the JSA’s forte.

A month after the interview I did the diagnostic tests required which I basically smashed so I was put onto the higher course provided. The weekend went by and I came on monday as I was due to. The first thing that struck me was the instructors hairstyle. Japanese, I’d seen zen practitioners and samurai portrayed with that hair before. This man was no samurai. On examination I noticed a herbalife pill dosset box which lead me to surmise that he was a buddhist or health nut who took tenants of buddhism into his life style. Thinking back he was a pale man, small in stature. Probably a vegetarian which leads me to believe he was a buddhist, most likely of the zen variety. Either way the herbalife made me chuckle internally.

The rest of my class were very poorly versed in IT with the exception of myself and another girl recently out of school. There were a bunch of people I never interacted with at all during the entire course but of the ones I did speak to, these were the most interesting. Firstly there were the ‘The Only Way Is Essex twins’ a walking stereotype of Essex girls. If you know what TOWIE is I need say no more. Then the 70-year-old woman who used Google plus and had 100 followers on Twitter, to be honest the fact that she had a Twitter account or even knew how to turn a computer on was amazing in itself. I should have checked her bag for a Guy Fawkes mask.

My first day ended very quickly with me going home four hours early. The class and tests were for Microsoft Word, a program I’ve been using since before I can remember. I learned a little about functions I was previously unaware of but other than that I passed the tests without reading any of the material. This is around the point that the course began to annoy me. If the instructor had let me do the course in my own order I would have been able to finish it in three days, we were told it should take seven to eight. He would not let me continue after the Word exam so I decided to leave early, that early day combined with one day of illness put me behind meaning the course took me about five days out of the eight. I could have blitzed that course in three.

Something I always found annoying about education and work was that I was always made to follow a path set out for me instead of giving me free reign over my job or study. If I had been allowed to do things my own way work/study would be completed at least three times faster. One other thing that annoyed me with the MS Word unit was the Mail merge part, mail merge is outdated and nobody I know uses it. It is useful but I’m pretty sure most Email providers have an equivalent tool available to their users. Mail merge is an outdated feature. The next unit was Microsoft Power Point, another program I am extremely well versed in. I’ve given presentations to the board of Executives at London City Airport. I think I can handle making a power point presentation.

Another issue I found was that the software they were using, while helpful to people who know nothing of IT, was fucking me up. During the testing if you tried to use a keyboard shortcut or a left click shortcut it would count as one try on the question. This didn’t only apply to shortcuts but also many other helpful features that we use day-to-day on a computer. The whole thing had started to piss me off by day two and the instructor had begun to irritate me to the point where I began to call him ‘Namaste’ in a mocking tone. As I had mentioned before the only program I needed any guidance on was Microsoft Excel, I ended up teaching myself as I couldn’t be bothered to wait for namaste to get done with the towie twins who would flutter their fake eyelashes and get the answer from him.

I gained an appreciation for Microsoft Excel from this course, I understand why people hate it but it is a beautiful and extremely useful program if you know how to use it. I’d recommend versing yourself in it, you can create organizers and all sorts of helpful things using it. It may be frustrating at first but it is worth knowing. I think in the end the lowest I scored on any testing was 75%. I wanted to retake it but I was not allowed which further compounded my frustrations with the course. I was late in twice due to my illness and the instructor pulled me in to ‘have a word.’
‘Well aren’t you the cutest thing namaste’ I thought to myself. I told him that I walk to the course, I’m ill and yeah I’m a little late but I’m way in front on the course. In the end the other girl ended up beating me by a day due to my sick day.

Come day two I was so annoyed I began the next few days by waking up, getting ready, eating a small breakfast and rolling myself a nice joint for the walk there. A joint at 7am you say? Why not? I could use the de-stress and it wasn’t like I was particularly challenged by any of the topics. Just needed some chewing gum and some deodorant to get that acrid yet beautiful smell from my clothing and breath. I passed the course with flying colours and earned something called a European Electronic Driving License, which sounds like total bullshit to me but is an accredited qualification. Let me give you some history, back in school I was dropped into a low set in IT for some reason… Standardized testing came around and my English and Math scores were high enough to put me into the top set where I was told I had three months to finish two years worth of course work. I almost did it and ended up receiving a D,D grade in ITC.

If my school wasn’t a joke I would never have had to take this course. Anyway, its history and I’ve got my grade up now with this certificate so my IT grade won’t be scrutinized. The other reason I took this course was that I saw her dad’s PA in action. He was an idiot by all accounts and it made me wonder if PA work was the way to go. He seemed to do very little for what he was paid, I thought maybe I should get in on that. He purchased a plane ticket for her then began to crap himself after he had not received any email conformation from the airline, this was because he had used her email address instead of her father’s one. Imagine if that was a bid for a business contract, he would have lost it. Like I said, an idiot.

I was considering doing further courses with them but nothing they provide is to my taste. No offense to anyone studying with them, I don’t understand your personal circumstances, but my academic career was not a total failure. I don’t really need anything they offer but I do appreciate the knowledge I did gain from the course even if it was slow and frustrating at times.
-Misanthropist.