The Entropic Universe

Once when I was in 9th grade physical science class the vocabulary word “entropy” was introduced to me. As clear as day I can still remember in our text book a photograph of a teenage girl’s room a complete and total mess next to the paragraph explaining the relationship between entropy and work. It explained that entropy is a natural state and the universe has a tendency toward entropy. Continue reading The Entropic Universe

Celebrating Singleness

0607_fireworks_green.jpgFor some reason, it’s always on the top of our (me and my friends’) minds. Whether it’s our religion constantly reminding us that we are not fulfilling the full measure of our creation, our family constantly demanding cute grandchildren and fun in-laws, or whether it’s actually an inborn ‘tick-tock’ of the clicking biological clock, rarely does a day go by that I (or a friend) am not reminded of my single-ness.

… And yes, despite my constant dodging of the issue, I have to admit that I am finally getting to the point where I might enjoy someone to share the rest of my life’s experiences with.

But I will say that when this single stuff is all said and done (which hopefully it will be someday), I won’t have regretted a moment of it. I have gotten to know amazing people I would have never known, had career opportunities I would have never taken otherwise, and gone on adventures I would have never anticipated if I weren’t single. I have had incredible freedom to become the person I want to become, shaped by the friends, family members, and clergy that I have surrounded myself with.

I am a little disturbed by the tone of despair that I hear in other singles’ conversations. I think some times we are so caught up in our ‘singleness’ that we forget how incredibly lucky we are. Sure, we all ‘want somebody to love’ as the songster wrote, but we shouldn’t ignore the fact that as singles we have the wind at our backs and nothing by possibilities in front of us.

I believe in marriage and family, but it’s no secret that having a spouse and kids at an early age is a lot to expect of someone, and a veritable ball-and-chain which limits the amount of risk your decision making can tolerate. In fact, for every person who has demanded ‘where is your wife?’ there has been someone else saying, ‘you know, I think you might be onto something – take your time and choose wisely.’

When all is said and done, I am right around the national average for people settling down and looking for a spouse. Even though I have never been satisfied with ‘average’ in most areas of my life, in this I think I am perfectly content to be right where I am.

Red Flag of Surrender, Blu Prevails

Today, the ‘red’ flag of surrender was raised by Toshiba, the maker of the HD-DVD format DVDs and disc players.  They have announced they will not produce any more products with the HD-DVD technology.

It’s final.  Blu is better than Red.

For those who’ve been hiding under a rock for the last 2 years, HD-DVD was one of the two competing next-generation DVD formats who were competing for the High Definition DVD market.  It was an all-out VHS vs. BetaMax rehash.

Sadly, last time evil prevailed and VHS became the standard.  However, this time methinks the powers that be have made the correct choice, and Blu-ray was the right way to go.

The only thing that makes this victory even more sweet is that Microsoft backed the HD-DVD format, and once again has picked a loser.  Now what are all the poor souls who bought Xbox 360’s going to do?

What does this mean for the average bear?  If you’re planning to buy a new dvd player in the next year or so, you will have two options – future proof and pay a little more for a Blu-ray, or get a very cheap standard DVD player.

I say ‘future proof’ because unless you have one of the most recent HDTVs (one that does 1080p), you will not reap the full benefit of the Blu-ray disc.  In some cases, you might as well be watching a standard DVD.  Don’t let silly people who speak of ‘upconverting’ make you think it’s the magic bullet either.  You won’t see much difference in DVD vs Blu-Ray until you have a top of the line HD set.

Do you need to upgrade all your DVD library?  No.  Blu-ray players will play standard DVDs.  But Blu-ray discs cannot be played on standard DVD players.

Personally, I will wait until a high quality player is under $150 before I upgrade.  Right now the low end players are still well over $200.

Another Tragedy

In case you haven’t heard the news, there has been another fatal school shooting, this time at Northern Illinois University, outside of Chicago.

From what I could gather from the news brief, the gunman entered from a door on the lecture hall stage and opened fire facing the crowd.  Six people were killed.

Which leads me to ask this question: why???  Why do these people enter our temples of learning, and do such senseless violence?  Why prey on the innocent young people, whose lives are just beginning?

The fact that schools have become the madman suicide shooter’s location of choice just triples the tragedy for me.  Our universities represent one of the pinnacles of our modern society. We put great resources and importance to the development of our minds and the enhancement of our societal understanding.  Our schools represent the ultimate in openness and freedom of thought.

Then someone goes in and shoots up the place, contrary to the very foundation and idea of the university.  Suddenly a place of openness and freedom turns into a place of terror and distrust.

It’s hard to make sense of it all.

Top 24 is Chosen

I’m not going to have much to say here. It was kind of a boring episode, as it should be. I mean, how long can we watch these poor people cry and sob, and how predictable is it that they are going to tease with the ones who cry and sob but make it anyway… ugh. Some times reality TV bugs me.

Pro: Mr. Fake British Accent did not make it. He was an interesting fellow, but just kind of rubbed me the wrong way for the weirdest reasons. Maybe it was that he lives in his car, and the car wasn’t a hybrid or something. I don’t know. I just have this inexplicable negative feeling toward him. I think he might have a future, if he can just umm… grow up a bit.

Con: Why don’t we get to see more of the Hollywood auditions of the people who don’t make it? This would have made today’s blog so much better, as I would get to totally disagree with the judges on something. Grrr…

And to go along with that, why do you doctor the Hollywood week episode for those people you want in the top 24 but who screw up? (Brooke White) I’m a little frustrated with the editing here.

MAJOR CON: How come you ignored my Jelly during Hollywood week? HELLO! I didn’t’ even know she was in the top 50. We didn’t see anything since her first audition. I almost defected to a skinnier chick! I think this year I’m going to have to have 2 womens though. ‘Cause while Jelly has the equipment, Syesha has the voice that should have gone along with it. I just want a woman who can take paint off the walls… is that too much to ask???

Pro: Simon really wanting Kyle the Oxford Shirt Man to be in the Top 24. I thought that was one of the most classy moments ever, even if he still had to say no. (Which remains the correct decision, I’m afraid. His voice was just way too untrained in comparison to the others.)

Con: No Obama or Clinton commercials. Shucks.

Pro: All my other picks (besides Car Man) made it in.

Con: So many of these singers I have yet to hear anything substantial from… this will make next week’s performances crucial!

That is all. Let the comments flow.

Oh and PS > Someone needs to give Paula a lesson on how to draw a metaphor… the whole sYESha thing was a great idea which was totally bungled!

Is Google Anti-Mormon?

In the last two days I have seen a record number of visits to my blog! Thanks for coming and checking it out!

As I looked at the analytics for the site, I noticed that many people are getting here by googling “mormon girl american idol,” so I decided to google it myself and see what kind of page ranking I am getting…


Awesome! I’m #2!! Silver medal! (to use Mitt-terms)

However… I’m a little ticked at how google parsed my blog on there – and how it parses every other entry on that page. Apparently it insists on associating Mormonism with craziness, atheism, and mocking other religions.

Oh well, anything to drive a bit more traffic to the site!

Stay tuned.. top 24 blog coming soon…

Hollywood Week

All right, America. We all have had a good laugh at our fellow goofball countrymen in the last few weeks, but nowthe real competition begins!

I liked the changes to Hollywood week a lot. It now seems like much more of a solo effort, with the getting rid of the group performances and less of the baiting the contestants against each other to ‘create’ some of that great reality TV. The offstage stuff was actually boring compared to the onstage drama of who would part of the creme that would rise to the top…

I think the addition of the contestants playing instruments was a great new trap for many of them to fall into. Most thought it would make them look more talented, when actually it just exposed their overall mediocrity even more. For most it was a bigger sign that they weren’t great musicians.

Now for some individual comments:

Brooke, my little Mormon chick, you look like a walking candy cane or “Where’s Waldo!” You really need to get a couple of shirts that do not look like the Cat in the Hat’s hat! You are extremely talented, and are a lock for the Top 24. You have a very unique flavor in your voice. I just hope we don’t get sick of your saccharine sweetness too early. Even if you are innocent and kind and ultra-Mormon, can you please just try to pretend to be slightly less fragile than you are?

Oh, and one more thing… get a bit of a tan too, please. The white balance is killing the camera men!

David Hernandez, Mr. Super Falsetto with a beautiful Break… you are definitely a lock for the top 24. You think you are hot stuff though, and so you bug me. It’s nice to see someone who has the confidence to actually know how good he is, though. So it’s a balance, then.

Was it just me or were there way too many “thank you”, “thank you” going out from the stage? As if they had already won the top prize. Gimme a break. Just stand there and take the heat (or the compliments) for cryin’ out loud!

Miss Amanda the Rock n Roll Nurse Lady: OK… fashion police! You gotta fix that awful blond dye job on the bangs. Nasty. It almost looks like a front hair piece the way the hair is layering over itself. I love the color of your voice, but there’s something a bit too grating about it. Simon is right, you need some other colors to that voice to get anywheres in this competition. You’re in though.

Mr I Live In My Car Dude needs to get a comb or some hair product – his voice is almost there. It has some really cool moments, but I get the feeling he has no idea how to control it. And lose the fake British accent for crying out loud. His breakthrough moment was his first audition. He actually put some heart into it, choosing substance before style. If it weren’t for that performance, his Stand By Me (which I would rename, “Run Away From Me”) would have sunk him from this competition. He is young, has a story, and is a memorable character, so he’ll be in the Top 24. He doesn’t appear to be the musician he thinks he is, though, which will probably sink him early on in the competition.

Danny Noriega is proof that there are SO many others on this show who can sing, but who just don’t get the camera time. I think they’ll put him in the 24, but I just can’t pass judgment yet. He has good possibilities.

Carly Smithson needs to brush her tongue. Looks like she just finished a lollipop before coming on stage – but she did put something extra into it that song. Then, she just kept bringing it with each subsequent performance. Her Irish blood is carrying her through. She has beautiful moments. She will be in the top 24. She could be a real artist some day, not just a singer.

Mr. Oklahoman Politician… “y-eever eat deer jerky?” ohhh how hideous. He looks so much better without glasses – he should go with that look. And does the man own anything but oxford shirts?? Please! But, really, he shouldn’t make it into the top 24. He doesn’t have a great voice at all, and I think they keep putting him through out of pity, or just to have the right guy/girl balance.

Side note: There was a commercial for Barack Obama in the middle of AI, the first political ad to be run in my state. Awesome strategy Barack!

16 year old David boy is totally making it through on his excellent song choices! The question is, can he actually go the distance? It’s so funny when he says that he gets that “tingly feeling”… but don’t worry ladies… it’s only when he sings… 🙂

Syesha — wow.. I’m really impressed. This is the girl that was sick for the first days, and after fighting the sickness, she really came and busted it out. She didnt’ even make the excuse of being sick when she tanked her audition. I think she could really go the distance. She has an awesome set of pipes. She might have to be MAH WOOOMAN this year, even though there’s not as much of her to love as I would hope.

Mr. Australian man, lots of passion, not a lot of skill. I thought his version of Bohemian Rhapsody was awful and pitchy, actually. I was really surprised that the judges were so positive about it.

Aisia had a really unique sound to her voice, but even now as I review this note, I can’t remember her… so I will say, she’s unmemorable.

Perhaps the saddest moment of the night was seeing poor Paula when she had to say no to somebody. Ohhhh Sad.

Overall, a great hollywood week! Now we’re onto the big time!