Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas and its hype


 I am not feeling hyped up for Christmas. I probably haven't felt the Christmas hype for a few years now, and also even in some years when my situation was good, I still had some holiday depression. And I will explain a few things about why the Christmas hype is just that, hype for a lot of people. Or at least try to organize my own thoughts and feelings about it. 

I used to love Christmas. I still love giving and getting presents. I  still love shopping for presents for family and friends. But I can do that any time of year, and not just on Christmas. 

Even when things were good, and I was not inn the bad financial situation I am in today, some years Christmas was a bit difficult for me. I always disliked the big family gatherings/dinners/lunches. Don't get me wrong, my own family are all good people, it's just that I am not the type of person who wants to be around people all the time. I prefer to spend time alone and recharge. One hour of family gathering is more than enough to make me want to crawl in a hole with a book and some junk food for a week. 

Also, my family and me are from two totally different planets. I hate discussing politics. I hate discussing economics. I hate greek music, and when I hear the bad music that is called "skyladiko", I leave the premises immediately. I can''t stand it for a second, it gives me a headache and makes me want to puke. The same with traditional greek music. It's awful, and it's just noise. 

I want to discussing science fiction. I want to discuss books. I want to discuss science. I want to discuss a good movie, like Gravity for example. And in all the family gatherings, I am really bored. Politics, economics. Religion. And I am an atheist, and I have to tackle the subject really slowly or I'll cause a scene. And, at some point, I was studying maths and physics at the Open University in the UK, because I love maths and physics. And someone asked me: "But is it relevant to your job? Will it give you any money?" Which was not the point. I did not go to study maths and physics for money. I did it because I love it, and I stopped because I cannot afford it at the moment, but will continue when my economic situation improves. 

 And of course, I have few but good and select friends. And most of them, spend the holidays with their family, so I rarely could go out on Christmas or New Year's Eve. And on top of that, in those days, everything is packed, traffic is awful, and to get from point A to point B, when normally it takes 10 minutes, you could get stuck in traffic for an hour. So, most of Christmas and New Year's Eves are spent like this: wait for the change at midnight, eat, spent 15-30 minutes, then back to my place. 

And to add: the awful Christmas and New Year's shows, everyone wants to watch. I absolutely hate those. Awful greek music, awful shows, TV stations think they are doing something special when they are actually producing total and utter trash. And then there was this year on New Year's Eve when I was forced to watch the last "Big Brother" show, where the winner was announced. I was saying, please change the channel or close the TV, this is not something I like at all. It was the only time I ever watched a reality show of that type, and NEVER ever want to watch something like that again. 

And also there were the years where I had no boyfriend, and was feeling lonely. Noone to talk to really, and would even cry when I was alone, as I was feeling depressed. Noone who would at least try and understand, and want to do the same things as me. And I know lots of people who, even not admitting it, they would do the same. 

And of course, the last years are even worse. In 2005 I lost my father to cancer. In 2007 I lost my little sister to a car accident. And Christmas time is when I am feeling those losses even more than usual.

And today? I am not feeling the Christmas hype. I am not feeling the Christmas hype. I am in a bad economic situation, can't afford to buy even a small present for my nieces and nephew, or anyone really.

I will be forced yet again, to stay home, and pass those days with my mom, who will watch one of the awful TV shows at Christmas and New Year's Eve. If I had some money, I would go traveling, and spend Christmas and New Year's somewhere else, but not here.

I don't know if people reading this will find themselves agreeing or disagreeing. I probably have forgotten a lot of stuff, or have not analyzed some things properly. Right now, I want this whole Christmas thing to be over.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016

What is your favorite book?

When I get asked that question, I find myself not being able to answer it properly. I don't have just one favorite book. I have many. Some of those are on my recommended reading list on the left sidebar.

What makes a book to be favored? I can answer that for myself, but feel free to add your comments and your thoughts on it.

Favorite books become those you never get tired of reading again and again. Favorite books become those you always recommend to friends, and know they will adore them too. Favorite books become those you remember the plot and little details about it.

What are some of your favorite books? And what makes a book become a favorite?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Reading on the metro

A couple of days ago I was on the metro, and, as always, I had my book with me to read.. I had at least 20 minutes of a metro ride to go for some business, and another 20 minutes to get back home.

So, I find a seat and start reading. Sometimes I can't find a seat, and I read standing up, if the train is not packed with people.

The metro, though, arrived at my station before I could finish my chapter. But I want to finish that chapter!!! I get out, stay on the platform, either standing or sitting on the benches, and finish my chapter. Then I go about my business.

The image is "Northeast Train at Dusk" by Sally Storch, oil on canvas, 2005.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Thursday, February 06, 2014

New Cosmos Series

The new Cosmos series will premiere on Sunday 9th March. As I grew up watching the original Cosmos series and one of my influences has been Carl Sagan, I am waiting so much for this new series. I was excited since I first heard about the new Cosmos, and more so when I learned that Neil DeGrassi Tyson has been selected to host the series. Needless to say, I hope this new series is as good as the old one, and I hope that it will positively influence children and adults alike to learn more about science, our world and the universe. We are made of stardust, as Carl Sagan said, and we ought to learn about stardust and its wonders.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Expanding Earth. Bullshit hypothesis.

There is one huge train wreck of a thread in a forum I am a member of. This thread is about a hypothesis called Expanding Earth (EE). Yes, these people believe without a shred of evidence that the Earth is expanding by mass addition. Most of them argue about geology, and that the geological features are best explained by this mysterious mechanism of adding mass to the Earth, and not by our current theories of plate tectonics. However, the Expanding Earth proponents are forgetting physics. Because the underlying problem is one of physics, not geology. The questions which cannot be answered and have not been answered are the following:

First of all no extra matter being added has ever been detected, on Earth or on any other planet. And if the Earth is expanding, then so should other planets and bodies be expanding too. Unless of course, the Earth is the only body expanding, for which EE proponents need to show why it's only the Earth that is expanding and not all the other planets, and for that matter all the bodies in the Universe, whether they are planets, stars, comets, etc.

But let's start from the basic question: where does this extra matter come from? How is it produced? What is the mechanism of this mysterious mass addition? And what is the mass being produced? Is it quarks, protons, neutrons, what? And how does it combine into atoms heavier than hydrogen in conditions that are nowhere near the conditions in the cores of the less massive stars? And where does the extra energy from to combine protons and neutrons into atoms heavier than iron? These last conditions are found only in the tremendous explosions of supernovae! And how does all this matter get distributed at the right places? What about conservation laws? These are questions to which the EE proponents have no answer for.

Even if we take the view that bodies do expand, more problems to account for: if the Sun was less massive, [and in fact the opposite is true because the Sun is losing mass due to solar wind, radiation, etc.], it means less gravity in the past, and increasing gravity! Which should be seen in the evolution of the Solar System, and probably some of the outer objects like the Kuiper belt objects would not have been gravitationally bound by the Sun.

But the problem for EE proponents is even worse: if all bodies expand due to mass addition, then most stars would have turned to black holes by now. Because at a certain point, gravity exceeds the radiation pressure of the core, and the star collapses into a neutron star or a black hole, depending on its mass. But if mass addition continues, then black holes is all that should have remained. So, we should see more black holes in galaxies; in fact, more than half of the stars that we now see in our skies should have turned into black holes, due to the extra mass.

And we do not see any expansion in the Earth right now, nor in any of the planets of the Solar System or the Sun, for that matter. Did expansion by matter addition magically stop? And if it did, why did it stop? What is the mechanism that starts and stops this expansion?

The EE hypothesis is nothing more than utter fuckwittery of the highest order. I am just writing this post to get my frustrations out with all the retards that believe this kind of shit. And if you are one of them, then please go get an education before coming here and start talking utter bullshit.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Religious child abuse

This photo was taken in the island of Tinos in Greece. The island is famous for the icon of the Virgin Mary, who is supposed to make miracles happen.

The church of the Virgin Mary in Tinos where the icon is held, is one of the most profitable businesses in the world, or should I better say one of the most profitable scams. People from all over the world flock there, especially on the 15th of August as a pilgrimage, parting with some of their most valuable possessions in the vain hope of having a miracle happen.

Some, or rather a lot of people, walk on their knees to the church for a big length, sometimes doing this for a couple of hours to reach the church in humility. I can't imagine what this does to their knees, and how many of them will need to spend more money on doctors to fix their knees because they are idiots.

But if these people want to make the Orthodox Church richer and risk their health, it is their own business as long as they are adults. They have no right to impose this on their children. As the photo shows, some idiot parents made their small child walk on its knees to the church. What does this abuse do to a small child?

In other parts of the civilized world, these parents would have lost custody of their child. This is a disgusting practice, and this is child abuse. I am disgusted at those parents, they cannot be called parents, but child abusers.

NB. The photo is courtesy of Stefanos Papanikos.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tattoo: my first tattoo

I finally decided to get a tattoo. I had something in my mind, and looking online, I found a few designs I liked, and finally I decided upon one. My advice to anyone who wants to have a tattoo is to look thoroughly, to be certain that they want that specific tattoo. Do not rush into the decision. As for me, I am really excited about the result with my tattoo.

Choose a good tattoo artist. It seems like I chose a great one, and so the result is much better than I ever expected.

The two photos are of my new tattoo.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Death and the Maiden

Today I learned that the father of a good friend of mine died of a heart attack. I am reminded of what I went through a few years ago, and that, no matter what, the death of a loved one leaves behind a huge black hole. A black hole that can never be filled, no matter what.

In 2204 I lost my grandfather to Alzheimer's. In 2005 my father died of cancer. In 2006 I lost my grandmother of natural causes, she was around 100 years of age. In 2007 my little sister died in a car crash.

The pain from these deaths, and especially my little sister's who would be 31 today, can never go away. It mellows with time, it might not be as sharp and as strong as in the first few months, but it still is there. There have been times when I saw someone on the street that looks like my sister or my father; but then as they come closer, reality hits me again. It's not them. It's someone else.

When my friend called, I did not know what to tell him. I just told him that I am sorry, I offered my condolences. I was devastated. I called him a bit later again, to tell him that if he needs anything, even just to talk, to call me. I understand what he is going through, I went through the same pain and the same anguish myself.

I know that I am not going to see my loved ones ever again. They are dead. They are ashes to ashes and dust to dust. I don't believe in afterlife or anything similar.

One of the worst things that someone told me when my little sister died was that god wanted her as an angel and took her. It was on the phone, and really I wanted to smash the head of that idiot. That is supposed to be comforting? On the contrary, it made me angry. There is no god, there are no angels, there is no afterlife. All we have is this one fucking life and we better live it to the fullest.

I am the Maiden. And Death is around us all the time.