politicians and virgins

Yay, video rewind time! My favorite videos this week have a political lean because I’ve been trying to educate myself a little more about the GOP candidates.

#1 Awkward first kiss of virgin newlyweds

There’s apparently a new “reality TV” show out called The Virgin Diaries. It’s about “real-life virgins” and how they go about everyday life. I don’t know why this seems like a show that anyone would want to watch, but I guess it is kind of the anti-Jersey Shore. This clip certainly did not convince me to begin watching the show…

[youtube KAVcFt9r52o nolink]


#2 Ron Paul on Trash TV in 1988

Since we’re on the topic of trashy TV, I thought I’d share this video of Ron Paul that I had not seen before. In this 10-minute video. Ron Paul is on some really weird show in the 80s as a presidential candidate. In it, he’s trying to argue that the U.S. should end the war on drugs. Interestingly, he’s making the same argument in this race. The host of the show is extremely rude. I guess we’ve come a long way if the worst part about TV today is Jersey Shore and/or Fox News.

[youtube IHB2I83_N_k nolink]


#3 Rick Perry Offending… Everyone

Last Wednesday, Rick Perry released a campaign ad titled Strong. In the four days since then, his video has managed to garner nearly 630,000 dislikes on YouTube. His video has the “achievement” of earning more dislikes than Rebecca Black’s Friday. It’s hard to fathom these numbers until you watch the video. And if you want more fun, there are a million remix videos available for your viewership.

[youtube 0PAJNntoRgA nolink]



breaking down the rockets schedule

Basketball is coming back, about a month behind schedule. The NBA announced their regular season schedule today and, unlike in recent seasons, decided not to screw the Rockets badly. Since I can’t wait for the season to begin, I’m going to go ahead and break down their schedule to get an idea of what we can look forward to.

Conference Breakdown

The Rockets will play 18 games against the Eastern Conference and 48 against the Western Conference. They play every team in the Eastern Conference once or twice and every team in their conference either three or four times. Looking at the Eastern Conference, they play the teams that made the playoffs last year only once each. That means only one game against the Heat, the Bulls, the Celtics, the Knicks, etc. This should be awesome. It’s a good year to be a bad team. The Lakers, for example, will have the Heat on their plate twice, as will the Mavericks. The three teams that the Rockets do play twice from the East are the Bobcats, the Wizards and the Raptors. These three teams scrounged up 79 wins between them last season.

On the Western Conference, though, things are a little tougher. Of the eight teams that finished above the Rockets last year, they play half of them four times, this season: the Spurs, the Thunder, the Nuggets and the Grizzlies. I am completely okay with that. The Nuggets is missing about half their team (although most of them should be back the last two times Houston play them), the Spurs are aging and the Grizzlies have to hold on to their contracts to remain competitive. The Thunder are scary, but the team will be done with them mid-March, which means they won’t be a nuisance when it comes to qualifying for the playoffs.

Opponent Winning Percentage from Last Season

Against the Eastern Conference, the average record of the Rockets’ opponents is .446. That translates to about 37 games over the course of a season. Very manageable. The same metric on the Western Conference is 0.532, which translates to 44 games won. 2 games above .500 while playing 16 games against teams with a better record than Houston last season? I’ll take it. Their overall opponent record weighs in at .508 (42 games). This happens to be just about their record last year, so Houston should be good to go.


Back-to-backs have been the bane of the Rockets’ existence and this season the NBA is introducing something even more nasty: the back-to-back-to-back. The NBA announced yesterday that 7 teams would be playing more than one back-to-back-to-back this season. I was sure one of the lucky ones would be Houston. However, the league decided to be kind, this year.

The Rockets play 1 back-to-back-to-back affair and 21 back-to-backs. The toughest sequence is at the beginning, when Houston takes on San Antonio, Memphis and Atlanta in the last three days of 2011. The first and last of this sequence will be hosted at the Toyota Center, so at least that is some respite. The other back-to-backs are mostly harmless, although they do feature two bizarre sets where they play OKC and Denver home-and-away on back-to-back nights. I guess neither team has the advantage there…

30 of the Rockets games come after a 1-day rest, seven are after a 2-day rest, two are after a 3-day rest and they even have a 5-day rest, presumably coinciding with All Star Weekend.

National TV

Houston will have 7 games on “national TV”. The reason for the quotes are that all these games will be on NBA TV. Yup. Not a single game on ABC, ESPN or TNT. I guess I shouldn’t be too annoyed because this implies that they are going to be playing relatively weak teams. The national TV games are against the Magic, the Clippers, the Blazers, the Mavs, the Lakers, the Kings and the Heat.


In terms of stretches, the schedule-makers have been kind, as well. Of the 33 away games, 9 will be played in 1-game segments (a lot of travel, I guess). 3 will be played in two-game road trips and they will have four road trips longer than two games, the longest being a 6-game trip trek of the West in early February. The home split is pretty similar, with 8 single-game homestands, three 2-game homestands and four homestands longer than that. The 6-game homestand, the longest of the season, will be right after the Rockets finish their 6-game road trip.


Schedule-wise, the Rockets have a relatively easy one, which is a nice side-effect of being a mediocre team in a short season in a league that is operated by a greedy commissioner. The beginning of the season is tough but it does settle down pretty nicely. If the Rockets end up struggling, it will be because of poor coaching, poor execution or badly thought-out trades (or bad refereeing). The schedule has been kind to them. Let’s hope they can make it back to the playoffs, finally.


delving into dangerous waters

I have always been politically apathetic. This may be because I’ve lived in countries that are by-and-large democratic but are geographically and population-wise so large that the desire to enact any change is counteracted by static inertia. It didn’t help that I went to Rice, where most everyone is generally apathetic about, well, everything.

Growing up in India, “politics” was used as a verb that basically was the equivalent of “abusing power”. Sample:

“They were going to fix those roads but then the minister just did some politics and suspended the project.”

Politics and politicians have a very negative connotation in India. At least, this was the feeling I got, growing up. I remember hearing stories about voters being bullied or attacked at poll-booths to make sure they voted for a specific party. Or the countless articles about political parties dividing voters on the basis of religion. Or social class. I’m sure this stuff happens everywhere, but it felt more magnified in India because there are about a billion people living there and fragmenting the voting pool that much is going to result in hung elections all the time. I’m actually still not aware of the details of how the Indian democracy works. I should probably put that down on my TODO list.

It didn’t help the image of politicians that most of them appeared to be wrinkly, old men with little to no educational background. I remember reading a joke somewhere, recently, about the way India functioned. The best and brightest of our country’s population is striving for the jobs in engineering, medicine, management, etc. This is mainly due to the way our society has developed wherein these areas of study are supposed to be better and other areas (essentially liberal arts) are thought to be inferior, for some reason. That’s the topic for another discussion, though. Anyhow, the joke basically goes like this.

The (theoretically) smartest Indian kids go into fields that have historically helped a country in industrialization and general maturation. The others end up going to the management positions or the government and (mis-)managing those who are (theoretically) intellectually superior to them. I emphasize the word ‘theoretically’ because I don’t want to present that as my opinion. However, I do feel like the general perception in India is that the politicians are stupider than the general public.

Anyhow, enough about my paltry childhood from a political perspective. As I said in the first sentence of this post, I have always been politically apathetic, as a result of the dire situation in India. When I came to the US as a wide-eyed college student, the last thing on my mind was the political situation here because, frankly, I had better things to spend my brainjuice on, and I wasn’t allowed to vote so it wasn’t like I had any ability to create change, anyway.

I was a junior/senior in college at Rice when Obama’s campaign in 2008 rolled around and while I didn’t pay too much attention to his political viewpoints or ideologies, it was interesting to see young people interested in politics. Now, I don’t know if that was just because that’s how things were in the U.S. or if it just happened to coincide with my friend circles or if Barack Obama just happened to inspire hope and change, but it was refreshing nonetheless. When I was in college, generally Obama was considered to be a good thing. I didn’t bother to collect my own data but instead went with the flow. I didn’t campaign for Obama or against McCain, but Palin appeared to be a Bad Thing so I was generally happy when Mr. Obama took office.

Over the last four years I have graduated from college and am now fending for myself independently. While nothing Obama has done or hasn’t done has affected me personally, I feel like the situation for a lot of people has changed dramatically. Of course, Obama’s rivals have taken advantage of this to engage in some good ol’ propaganda-disbursement. And we have the GOP candidates lining up to earn their party’s bid for the 2012 election. And, of course, the candidates come with their own baggage, whether it is a slew of sexual harassment accusations or the inability to speak in public and sound intelligent (also known as the GWB-syndrome).

So, I have finally decided to do my own research. Since I am not affiliated with either party and I have a generally dislike for politicians (see: rest of article) I feel like I am at a good stage to decide for myself what I think about each politician and their viewpoints. Since it’s the Republicans that are occupying the news waves (Occupy movement-related pun intended), I will be starting out by looking at those guys and their thoughts and agendas. I’m hoping to be able to supplement my thoughts with media, as well.

I’m not going to make any commitments about what kind of content I intend to put up here. This may be the first and last post I have about this subject (mostly due to laziness). However, I do think I have finally reached a stage in my life where it is important for me to figure out what all the issues are, decide where I stand based on my viewpoint of the world, and figure out how that meshes with what our “leaders of tomorrow” have in mind.

I welcome you to post comments, thoughts, retorts throughout this process to encourage discussion as that will only increase the amount of information available. I would also like to apologize in advance if I ruffle anyone’s feathers.

deadmau5, rapping and self-help

I watch a lot of the internet and the internet is always throwing up awesome videos. So I decided to start a completely irregular section on this site called video rewind where I basically peruse the videos that I most enjoyed watching over the span of time since the last posting. I’ll hopefully cut down on posting these videos on Facebook since about 104% of my visitors come from Facebook. WARNING: I may steal videos you show me and post them without credit, thus making me look cooler than I am. It’s all part of the ploy.

#1 Deadmau5 in London for the Nokia Lumia Launch

As a fan and user of the Windows Phone 7, I’m always looking for opportunities to promote it. As a fan of Deadmau5, this was kind of a perfect event. Even if it was in England. But this is sick. Light projection on a London building while Deadmau5 breaks it down. The Nokia Lumia looks interesting. Once Nokia refines their designs a little bit and comes to the US, I’ll be replacing my HTC HD7S with a Nokia offering. This is way in the future, of course. I just got a new phone.

[youtube SX2Gd-kqV5s nolink]


#2 Nerdy white kid KILLS “Look at Me Now” (while cooking pancakes)

This video has amassed 1.6 million views in 1 day. Let that sink in. More people watched this video since yesterday than there are people in Trinidad & Tobago. More people probably watched this video than people took showers in Estonia since this video was released. I’m assuming Estonians don’t like to shower. This dude, Mac Lethal, drops an insane rhyme to Chris Brown’s Look At Me Now. While cooking a stack of pancakes (that I hope someone will eat). He may even rap faster than Busta Rhymes. Me, I’m still working on being able to read Busta Rhymes’ part while he raps in while listening to Look At Me Now.

[youtube Teaft0Kg-Ok nolink]


#3 How To Greet People (and other self-help)

I found this guy’s channel becauseĀ  YT promoted it to me before they went all crazy and changed the front page. This is from April 2011 so some of you may have already seen it. Here, evmoneyTV breaks it down and tells us socially awkward creatures how to make an… interesting… first impression on people.

[youtube g6J4Iij5-uk nolink]