Coffins, caskets and shrouds: how to die ‘green’.

Ever considered asking Alexa to order a Knight Black Brush Casket with velvet interior? Probably not. For most people, putting bodies in a coffin is an unpleasant experience and therefore one we avoid doing. Or even thinking about.

But it’s 2019 and we wanted to update you on the ins and outs of the e-commerce market for coffins and caskets. Also, we have questions. As said, you may not have considered asking Alexa to order a coffin, but it might just work. Because Amazon sells them online. However, the fact that you can now order an A.I. to order your final resting place doesn’t change one thing: coffins are bloody expensive.

Cheap deaths, cheap deaths, cheap as they can be

So, being the cheapskates that we are, we went looking for alternatives and wound up looking for the one thing Aliexpress doesn’t sell cheap replicas of. This is a weird thing, isn’t it? Think about it. You’re going to spend $1200 on a casket or coffin, and judging from the Amazon-reviews that is SAVING money. Some beds are cheaper and you’re presumed to be alive sleeping in those. Spending all that money for a box to put you in the ground, or worse, immediately burn seems like a huge waste. As well as an environmental hazard.

So are there other options? Yes. Yes there are. Some coffins are made of cardboard. And if you want to spice things up in your final resting place: some have custom prints on them. That may be a little better, but you still make cardboard out of wood. Shrouds are also an option and that seems like a better alternative: if they’re not polyester, the cloth is usually made without destroying forests and biodegradable. Also, you’re not burning up fine quality material or putting it in the ground.

However, there are also options that just don’t make sense. While we suppose that it’s fairly attractive to sell cheap laminated plywood coffins, we don’t see how – as one company does – they can be sold as the environmental option. They’re still dead wood with plastic on top. And while pine is biodegradable, that doesn’t necessarily mean Feet First Coffins is a responsible use of wood – especially if you plan on being cremated-, even if it is an improvement to the non-biodegradable coffins and caskets that dominate the market.

Nosedive

Scary: Black Mirror episode Nosedive vs. social ratings irl

Netflix Original series Black Mirror is definitely a must see. Social media and advanced technology play a big role in this dark, yet surprisingly gripping series. Today we’ll take a look at one of the best episodes: Nosedive. SPOILER ALERT.

Bryce Dallas Howard plays Lacie Pound, a thirty-something woman in a very pastel looking futuristic version of the US. In the first shot we see the slightly overweight Lacie run at dawn, with something like a smartphone in her hand. We hear a sad piano melody play as backgroundmusic. As Lacie passes a group of other joggers, a guy says: “Hi, Lacie.” She squeels: “Hi!” and appears to send something with her phone to the guy. Soon we see what is it.

A five-star rating

Apparently in the reality of Nosedive, everyone is on a kind of Facebook, slash Instagram-hybrid, rating each other with one to five stars. We cut to a scene of Lacie in her bathroom, practicing smiling and laughing at her mirror. In her eye is a kind of lens which projects information on the mirror about herself: Lacie, 4.243. This is her social score, as we discover soon after. Lacie lives with her brother in a small apartment, but her heart is on a new place. At a coffeeshop Lacie is still looking at the picture perfect posts of people she knows, rating them. The barista JJ offers her a free cookie, so Lacie replies with a high-pitched: “Sounds awesome!”, after which she and JJ send 5 star-reviews to each other. A picture of Lacie’s cup of coffee with a half eaten cookie next to it (she spits out the bite) gets her a number of 5 star ratings. They make her smile. Interacting with a disgraced co-worker, result in a few one-star ratings. To counteract this, she posts a picture of a toy she made with her childhood friend Naomi. Naomi, incidentally, has a 4.8 rating and a seemingly perfect life.

Real life rating

In real life we sort of seem to do everything for that kind of social rating as well. On social media we ‘like’ each others posts and we enjoy getting likes on our own. The more likes you get, the better it feels. Our succes is visible in the amount of followers on social media. This kind of social rating system is starting to take hold in other parts of life. In China there is a social rating system active already. With a lower rating, people have more difficulty to get loans, for instance. At the end of 2018 statistics say that already 17 million flights have been denied to people based on their rating and 4,5 million weren’t allowed to get a train ticket. It’s pretty scary that the world in Nosedive is closer than we think. The pretty lives people show on social media are not as pastel in reality. People choose to show the beautiful parts, like in this eposide. It’s not yet the daily task we see here, but life does seem to get more ‘online’ and fake, like Lacie’s disgusting coffee. How does it play out for her?

Fake everthing

Lacie wants to opt for a nice apartment, but she needs a 4.5 star rating to apply. That evening Naomi asks her to be her maid of honor because of her post. This will be great for her rating, so she applies for the house and transfers the deposit. “She fucked Greg!” Lacie’s brother incredulously exclaims. Lacie starts practicing the perfect speech for the wedding, including a forced tear at the end. A fight with her brother about the fakeness of her life makes Lacie late for her cab to the airport and after she bumps into someone, her rating starts going down. From this point on the episode shows Lacie trying to make it to the wedding, all the while losing more points and getting increasingly more agitated.

Losing everything

At the airport she is denied a ticket because her rating isn’t high enough, so she has to rent a car. Things go from bad to worse. It becomes painfully clear that having a lower rating means that everything is more difficult and that the people around Lacie even rate her based on her lower rating alone. As it turns out, Naomi only invited her to the wedding because of her rating. “When I asked you to speak, you were a 4.2, okay?” Naomi says on the phone, “And the authenticity of a vintage bond low four at a gathering of this caliber played fantastically on all the simulations we ran.” She says Lacie isn’t allowed to come to the wedding anymore with a 2.6 rating.

In a world where it looks like everyone has a big social network, Lacie turns out to be totally alone. Breaking down completely and sneaking into the wedding, Lacie ends up loses all her points. (Roll credits: Nosedive.) When she’s arrested and put in a cell without her smartphone, she suddenly seems to experience… freedom. There is nobody to impress for a 5 star rating and there is no one to give a rating to. Losing everything she worked and faked so hard for, Lacie is finally free.

We wonder if we will ever be freed again of the social rating systems that imbedded themselves in our daily lives. We’ll just have to wait and see.

procrastination

Ten tips to sucker punch your procrastination

Reading this article will cost you three minutes which you could also spend working. Interested? Then you’re most definitely the type of person who could use these tips against procrastination.

You know how it goes. You have work to do, but all kinds of other things seem to pop up. Instead of just doing the job, you get sidetracked by little things and procrastination is the result.

It’s not satisfying to look back at your day and come to the conclusion that you wasted your time on crap. However, there are things you can do to get yourself going. It’s a battle, but you can win. Here are ten tips for you to sucker punch your procrastination in the gut and get stuff done.

1 Be aware of procrastination

Not everyone even notices he or she is procrastinating. When you become aware of something, you can work on it. That is the first step.

2 Remove distractions

Damn that smartphone. All your friends and the entire internet in the palm of your hand. Put the device out of reach, as far away as possible, to lessen the temptation to check it. Also, turn off every single notification. Try to remove all other things in your vicinity that might distract you.

3 Non-negotionables

Decide what your ‘non-negotionables’ are for the day. If that is one particular task, write it down on a post-it or something and put it in your field of vision. When you finished the non-negotinables, you’ll see the threshold for other tasks has become a lot lower.

4 Five minute start

Take five minutes to actually start with your task. Stay focused those five whole minutes and the likelyhood of your brain committing to completing it is higher. Sometimes it’s your brain that needs a kickstart. Five minutes of concentration can do the trick.

5 Cut it in pieces

One big ass cake is not easy to eat. If you cut it into pieces and finish one slice at a time, you can still finish the cake. This sucks as dietary advice, but it’s a great way to manage large and complicated tasks. Try cutting up the task in smaller bits. Multiple small bits make a whole. And if not, at least you managed to finish a part of it.

6 Be realistic

It can be tempting to set your expectations too high. If you have a task involving nine parts, for instance, be realistic about what you’ll be able to complete in a day. If three parts is reasonish reasonable, set your goal at ‘at least three’.

7 Scratch ‘I have to’

Saying ‘I have to’ over and over will not improve your mood. If you change it to ‘I choose to’ or ‘I want to’, you take control and responsibility. It’s all about mindset in the end.

8 Look at the consequences

Wat are the consequences of putting off your tasks? If anything, the first consequence is how you feel about yourself. Feeling like a lazy procrastinating loser is not the best feeling in the world when there’s stuff to do.

9 Look at the benefits

Take a look at the benefits of finishing your task. How will you feel when it’s done? Your mind will be more at peace, the task is, you know, done, and probably somebody else also benefits from your work. Focusing on the positive is always best.

10 Use a ‘helpline’

Ask someone, a friend or colleague, for instance, to help you. He or she can ask you whether you finished your task at a set or random moment during the day. Or check up on how far you are. A little pressure or control can work wonders.

These tips might help you battle procrastination. If you indeed manage to finish the task, reward yourself. You’ve earned it.

Facebooking parents vs. the privacy of their child

If you are on Facebook, you can’t ignore the ‘proud parents’ posting about every cute, smart or funny thing their kid does. Sometimes it’s a video of said kid taking some wobbly steps or petting a goat. Other times it’s a quite disgusting picture of the kid trying and failing to eat ice cream. In short: a lot of kids born today have their whole childhood shared online. Do the children get a say in this violation of their privacy? No.

Xennial parents are the worst offenders. Xennials are people born roughly between the late 70’s and early to mid 80’s. As a true Xennial, I’m right in the middle of it, albeit without kids. There was no internet or cellular phone when we were children. Pictures of our ice cream covered faces had to be developed and picked up a week later. There was no such thing as Facebook. Our parents showed the pictures to their friends in real time, face to face. It’s funny how the people who absolutely hated their parents showing that embarrassing childhood photograph to aunt Jo are the ones posting about everything their offspring does.

Privacy

What about the privacy of those kids? According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child kids in fact dó have a right to privacy. Parents are posting pictures and videos without the children’s consent. Because this domain is still in its infancy, there are not many rules or regulations yet. Time will tell what happens when said children grow up and discover just how much private stuff mom put on her timeline for everyone to see.

A few years ago an 18-year old Austrian (not to be confused with ‘Australian’) girl actually sued her parents for violating her privacy. She had asked her parents to remove the 500+ pictures and video’s of her childhood from Facebook. They had shared their daughthers’ life with over 700 ‘friends’. The parents refused.

Worries

Of course Facebook is just one of many social media platforms. And people do get more aware of the problems. About 94% of the people worry about their privacy, according to a survey. In a world where you have to give information about yourself almost everywhere, I worry as well. My advice is to think about the future when you post a picture of yourself or others online. I, for one, am grateful to be a Xennial whose extremely embarrassing childhood pictures are locked away safely.

Sierra Burgess

Sierra Burgess is a Loser: another ugly duckling story

Netflix movie ‘Sierra Burgess is a Loser‘ is the classic tale of the ugly duckling falling for the handsome jock-guy. In this cliché riddled modern teen drama the high school ‘kids’ are, as always, in their twenties and speaking like they have an autocue nearby. Fact: in real life people do not. And we never have. If you’re planning on watching Sierra Burgess, SPOILER ALERT.

Believe me, we like the ugly duckling story just as much as any other former ugly duckling, but it’s getting so damn stale by now. Truth be told, the ending was clear within the first ten minutes. If you mix She’s All That, Ten Things I Hate About You, Mean Girls and 13 Reasons Why, you’re pretty much there. Except the supposedly losery girl is actually quite obese in this movie, in stead of a damn supermodel wearing glasses or overalls. But Sierra is witty and intelligent as fuck, of course. And beautiful, in her own way. Of course. And she can sing. There is some Cyrano in there as well. (Or, Roxanne, which is basically the same story.)

We can sum up this movie in two sentences. 1 Witty Fat Girl is texting and calling Handsome Guy, who thinks he’s texting and calling Dumb Pretty Mean Girl. 2 After some obvious misleading misunderstandings Mean Girl turns to Nice Girl and Witty Fat Girl gets Handsome Guy.

Real life

As someone who actually was that ugly (albeit slender) loser girl between the age of 4 and 15, this movie pisses me off. The volume of unrealistic bullshit is staggering and the amount of teen romcom drama cliches curled my toes. No, Netflix. It doesn’t work like that in real life. Not in the late nineties, not today. No matter how witty or smart you are, you never get The Guy if there is a more pretty girl around who is also witty.

Sidenote:
As a pretty okay-ish looking adult, I actually asked my ‘The Guy’ what that pretty girl had that was so damn special. “Nothing.” he said, “I don’t even remember her. I remember you more than I remember her.” It was quite satifsying to meet him after I grew into a normal adult, to be honest. It is also *very* satisfying to see that the popular girls who bullied me have turned into unattractive fat housewives… but I digress.

Back to high school drama. Real life doesn’t work like all those movies and series show us. It’s rare to be the ugly duckling and actually turn into that swan. Or rather a normal, happy, healthy duck. Quack.

Fake versus real: a list of things

I’m going to make a list about the… lets call them ‘Fake High School Romance Drama’s’. I have named a few movies (and another Netflix-serie) which are similar to Sierra Burgess is a Loser. Which boxes do they tick off and what is the difference with real life?

1 Age of the actors

The young actors having to play high schoolers are mostly in their early- to midtwenties, something that sticks out like a sore thumb. Of course we’ve seen this in Grease, when a 30-year old had to play 17. Come on, Hollywood. Is it so hard to find decent actors who actually look like teenagers? Apparently. The massive Shannon Purser, who plays Sierra (and Barb in Stranger Things), is born on june 27, 1997, which means she was at least 20 at the time SBiaL was filmed.

2 Way of talking

I’ve said this earlier. The way the ‘kids’ talk is way too mature and witty. Nobody talks the way the teenagers do in movies and series. The worst might be Ellen Page as Juno, (Juno) who talks like she’s reading a philosophy book out loud all the time. In real life we mess up our lines. We stutter or shut down. We talk like human beings, especially when we’re teenagers. Okay, we may get a few good lines every now and then, but it’s mostly improvising the crap out of everything.

3 Peer groups

The jocks, the losers, the cheerleaders… It appears people fall into very sharp categories in Fake High School Romance Drama’s. Real high school is less divided, at least where I’m from. Birds of a feather flock together, so you probably have some things in common with your friends, but in my experience it’s not that extreme. The majority of us don’t really fall in any category anyway.

4 Adults

The parents and/or teachers in the FHSRD’s are mostly divided into two groups: understanding and cool or aloof and dense. They appear to be completely oblivious to the lives and struggles of their kids/students, giving the most unhelpful advice or grounding someone for no apparent reason. Adults in the real world are just people, in stead of stereotypes. Personally I have never even heard of someone who was actually grounded.

5 The same story

All those stories have the same premise. There is a high school where nearly everyone is ridiculously pretty. (Have you seen the actors and extra’s in 13 Reasons Why? My. Effing. God. It’s like a model bomb exploded over there.) There is an unpopular girl, she falls for a handsome guy and there are popular kids who act like assholes. In the end the unpopular girl overcomes her loserness and the mean ones learn their lesson. In real life this does not happen. Mostly because the mean jerks don’t even realise what assholes they are and ugly losers just don’t get their overly goodlooking love interests. They get other ugly losers and that’s okay.

6 Prom

I’m sure you can name at least 3 scenes involving a prom. Carrie, anyone? The ugly duckling is wearing a lovely dress and has transformed into the beautiful swan she was meant to be. The love interest is stunned by her new appearance, after which there is a shared dance and/or kiss. Don’t we just love extreme make overs… In reality nobody suddenly shines like a diamond at the prom. Either they were good looking to begin with or they stayed themselves, but in a better outfit.

7 Happy ending

Most endings are happy ones. Well, except for 13 Reasons Why, of course, but that’s a whole other story. In reality there is no end. Life doesn’t magically stop after the prom. Most people don’t end up with their high school sweethearts anyway and the naive ones that did, have turned into single parents by now. I’m quite glad I didn’t marry one of my high school sweethearts. The thing is: you’re a child and your brain and personality are in no way finished before the age of 25. So it’s fine to date and to learn what you want out of a significant other before tying the knot. There are no end credits in real life.

Why so serious? It’s a movie, Wordy!

I hear you. In reality the guy would be appalled, hurt and offended by the blatant catfishing the girls pulled off. But this is a movie, so the pretty guy takes the loser girl to prom. Of course things are totally unrealistic in movies, because we enjoy watching the FHSRD’s. We root for the loser to get the guy and we wish we could indeed turn out crazy pretty at our prom. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy watching Sierra Burgess is a Loser, but it was just so painfully predictable. I said: “Both of you.” out loud at the exact moment the pretty boy did. Every plottwist came at the exact moment I expected it and the end was precisely as all those other movies. (Except for the obese thing, but the guy said he liked that. Real women have curves, y’all! If curves mean having your belly hanging over your belt… Muffin-tops are the new six pack, I guess.)

I’d like to see a FHSRD where the actors are actually teenagers, where not everyone is beautiful and where the lead just gets over his or her crush and goes on with life. We at Reasonish did and we turned out pretty fine.

Roll credits.

By the way

The title is stupid. Sierra does very well in school and she has a sweet best friend who’s there for her. She’s a tutor, she speaks multiple languages, she plays an instrument, she can sing and her parents are caring, wealthy, succesful and happily married. Sierra may be unpopular, but she is NOT a loser.

 

Fat Pride Protester "climbing the barricades"

21 examples of Thin Privilege that are actually bullshit (and one that isn’t)

Some things are genuinely stupid, and one of them is fat people copying the call for social justice that historically mistreated minorities are making. In the US, fat people aren’t even a minority and obese people only a small one. Medical professionals call this development a problem for good reason. But we’re not going to go into that. We’ve recently learned that more and more fat people are climbing barricades in protest against ‘fat shaming’. We’ve also tried googling to get pictures of that – we desperately wanted to see what that looked like – but got diddly.

But, let’s assume the fat pride movement is righteously standing up against inequality between obese and non-obese people and that there are issues of weight to be dealt with. That still makes it stupid to just outright copy every bit of doctrine from another social issue. That brings us to ‘thin privilege’, a thinly veiled rip-off of ‘white privilege’. We found 22 things that some fat person complained about on the internet as being ‘thin privilege’. Now, the author of this piece has not got a perfect BMI, but let’s assume he does. For his own ego as much as the sake of argument.

1. You’re not assumed to be unhealthy just because of your size.

This is true, but it’s not ‘thin privilege’, it’s ‘not having visual indicators of being unhealthy’-privilege. Obesity is one of those indicators associated with not being healthy. Being a walking skeleton is another one.

2. Your size is probably not the first thing people notice about you (unless you’re being thin-shamed – the opposite of fat-shamed).

If you’re really short or extraordinary long people might notice that first. The rule is this: people notice the thing that sets you apart from the others most. Some of those things you choose, some you’re born with. And if you don’t have anything that people notice ‘first’, then people apparently don’t notice you at all. Also noticing something is not the same as shaming. Above all, this isn’t privilege. Not being noticed for your size doesn’t get you anything.

3. When you’re at the grocery store, people don’t comment on the food selection in your cart in the name of “trying to be helpful.”

We’re guessing you aren’t carting around a selection of fresh vegetables, a modest amount of meat, some fruit and a minimum of carbonhydrates when that happens.

4. Your health insurance rates are not higher than everyone else’s.

That depends on the country you live in, but it’s still not “thin privilege”. That’s profit-driven healthcare screwing you more than healthy people for being more at risk. Give them any other excuse and no regulatory provision to stop them, they’ll do the same thing. You might want to start working on that universal health care idea if that bothers you.

5. You can expect to pay reasonable prices for your clothing.

Have you heard of a little thing called the internet? A few minutes of Googling gave us quite a few ‘plus size’ results (Walmart, Macy’s). We’re sure you can do better.

6. You can expect to find your clothing size sold locally.

Have you heard of a little thing called the internet? Seriously, you might want to try it out if your backwater town is not carrying anything other than the three most common hillbilly-sizes.

7. You can expect to find clothing in the latest styles and colors instead of colorless, shapeless and outdated styles meant to hide your body.

You know what white privilege is about? Not getting shot or arrested for nothing. Not having a disproportionate chance of serving jail time because of the colour of your skin. This ‘example’ is probably the best reason ‘thin privilege’ isn’t a thing. Privilege is not about how well the market caters to your bland and boring let’s-follow-the-fashion taste in clothes.

8. You don’t receive suggestions from your friends and family to join Weight Watchers or any other weight-loss program.

This is just a “22 things I hate about being fat”-list. That’s it. “I am so underprivileged because my friends suggest I do something”. See? That’s stupid.

9. When you go to the doctor, they don’t suspect diabetes (or high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other “weight-related” diagnoses) as the first/most likely diagnosis.

You know, doctors spend a lot of time studying to become doctors. The probable reason for them suspecting weight-related diagnoses as go-to causes is the commonality of these in overweight people and the fact that you’re fat. Other than that, it’s really not a lack of privilege to have fucking doctors check for weight-related diseases before moving on to tell you that you’re not going to die of cancer even if Dr. Google says you did and to walk it off. If anything, that’s special treatment thin people don’t get.

10. You don’t get told, “You have such a pretty/handsome face” (implying: if only you’d lose weight you could be even more attractive).

What. The. Fuck. Are. You. Complaining. About. YOU GET TOLD YOU’RE PRETTY. TAKE THE FUCKING COMPLIMENT.

11. People do not assume that you are lazy, based solely on your size.

You’re confusing privilege and prejudice, here.

12. You’re not the brunt of jokes for countless numbers of comedians.

Because that’s all comedians joke about. Just fat people. That’s it. There’s never been a comedian who made a joke about anything other than a fatty. Come to think of it, have you heard about the fatty who wanted to climb a barricade? Yeah, he didn’t.

13. Airlines won’t charge you extra to fly.

You can be pretty obese before being charged extra to fly. At some point you’re just taking up more than one seat. This is not ‘thin privilege’. United Airlines has a seatbelt-rule: if, with an extension of 25 INCHES, you can’t get the seatbelt on, you need an extra ticket. We’d argue that anyone in the extension range doesn’t qualify as ‘thin’.

14. You are not perceived as looking sloppy or unprofessional based on your size.

 Roacking a suit this way: not thin privilege

That looks neither sloppy nor unprofessional. Does the fact that you buy local, colorless shapeless styles that hide your body instead of going on the internet have anything to do with this particular complaint?

15. You can eat what you want, when you want in public and not have others judge you for it or make assumptions about your eating habits.

Once again guessing this isn’t about eating healthy food in moderation in public.

16. You can walk out of a gas station with a box of doughnuts and not have people yell at you to “Lay off them doughnuts, fatty!” (This actually happened to one of my friends.)

This is getting repetitive, like your doughnut-munching friend’s eating habits.

17. People don’t ask your partners what it’s like to have sex with you because of your size.

So, people are interested in what it’s like to have sex with you and somehow you’re complaining that this is a lack of privilege.

18. Your body type isn’t sexually fetishized.

Rule 34 says it is.

19. You’re more likely to get a raise or promotion at work than someone who is fat.

This is actually the one thing in this list that is a privilege, but it is for skinny women only (up to the point where they are no longer skinny, after that the difference is slim). Skinny men are actually paid less than their less-skinny colleagues.

20. Friends don’t describe you to others using a qualifier (e.g. “He’s kind of heavy, but REALLY nice, though”).

Once again, being fat is the only negative qualifier you can get. Muslims, black people, autists, unemployed, homeless people and what have you, or basically anyone slightly different from the norm of the friend and their conversation partner do not ever get this. Ever. Just fat people.

21. The media doesn’t describe your body shape as part of an “epidemic”.

Pretty sure the anorexic crowd disagrees. And both are of concern to scientists, given the fact that these trends stem from unhealthy eating patterns. That makes it legitimate concern and concern is not a lack of privilege.

22. You can choose to not be preoccupied with your size and shape because you have other priorities, and you won’t be judged.

The first part of that sentence is what you tell yourself when you cry yourself to sleep eating Ben & Jerry’s. The second part is when you wake up in the morning. We know. 

See. There’s fat-shaming, which is rude. But then there’s fat-complaining and it’s just whiny.

humans

Humans are cute! Here are 15 reasons why.

Humans are so very cute. These bipedal primate-decendant mammals have a lot of interesting habits. Let’s take a look at some of those that support our claim that humans are just. so. damn. adorable.

Here is a list of evidence.

1 Sound-mimicking

When a human hears a catchy tune or sound, it will often start to mimic it. That can even go to the point that it starts annoying itself. They are capable of creating totally new sounds and they like to entertain others with them.

2 Paterns and traditions

Humans are inclined to like paterns and traditions. They teach their young the paterns they learned from their elders, even when they make absolutely no sense. For instance they celebrate the day they were born and congratulate eachother every year bascially with being alive.

3 Nests

Most humans enjoy spending time in eachother’s nests, not to sleep, but just for fun. Often they will create a nest together, but they also visit other nests to play with eachother. They are very social mammals that like to share their nest.

4 Helpfulness

When a human notices another human in distress, it will often try to assist. Most humans are very compassionate and will try to help, even at their own risk. Especially when the body starts secreting moisture from the eyes, humans feel the need to comfort the other.

5 Water playtime

Humans aren’t aquatic mammals, but when they discover a particularly pretty waterhole, they feel the urge to get in and just play around. They even make artificial waterholes to frolic in, although they can’t hold their breath for very long.

6 Adopting creatures

Sometimes humans adopt creatures from other species into their family. Humans even raise them alongside their own young and they don’t seem to notice the obvious differences. They like playing with the creatures and touch them for comfort.

7 Decorating the body

Humans tend to colour and decorate parts of their bodies to impress the other (or the same) sex. A lot of them even permamently mark their bodies, without it serving a purpose. Sometimes they attach metal bits to their cartalidgous membranes or other parts, even when it decreases their attractiveness drastically.

8 Cocooning

When the sky goes dark and night falls, humans start getting drowsy and want to cocoon. They use fluffy, soft bedding to make a nest, in different colours and patterns. Their nests tend to be square and each has it’s own designated part of the nest.

9 Treats

Humans are really into treats. A lot of them will save treats for a later date when they are bored, or needing comfort. Some take their love of treats too far, so their bodies expand to unhealthy sizes, because they have difficulties with selfcontrol.

10 “Ow!”

Humans tend to say “Ow!”, even when they haven’t been really hurt. They say it when they think they míght have been hurt, but aren’t sure yet. It happens when they trip or bump something. The young tend to make a lot of noise to let the adults know they might have been hurt. Sometimes they even fake injuries to get attention!

11 Space exploration

Humans are very curious creatures, so they try to explore space. They haven’t gone very far, but they’ve found rocks and they are very excited when they think they found something new. The concept of ‘infinity’ is something humans are still incapabele of understanding.

12 “Sorry”

Saying sorry for something totally involuntary is a recurring habit. They say it to eachother, for instance when gas leaves their body. They excuse themselves when they sneeze, but congratulate others on their sneezes.

13 Excitement for others

When humans are competing eachother, some of them can get really excited. They start cheering and clapping for the competing ones, even though they’re not doing anything but watch themselves. When their favorite people lose the game, they can get very upset.

14 Collecting stuff

Humans are collectors. They want to have a lot of things in their environments, even if it doesn’t really serve a purpose. They just like to look at things they own. Owning a lot of stuff usually makes the human content and proud.

15 Odd leaders

Humans select weird people to lead them. Quite often the leader actively ruines the territory it is charged with leading. Sometimes the leader turns into a powerhungry dictator, but humans have been selecting odd leaders for thousands of years. They appear to enjoy complaining about the leaders they have chosen themselves.

Google Translate

Google Translate-fun!

All your base are belong to us.” If you know this meme, you know how translations can get messed op. This phrase is a translation from the opening cutscene of the 1992 Mega Drive port of the arcade video game Zero Wing (1989). It’s in what people call ‘Engrish’, because the original game was in Japanese.

Translations from other languages to English, for example using Google Translate, can result in weird thing. In Japan people walk around with T-shirts with random English words on them, without knowing what they mean. Try Googling ‘Engrish shirts Japan’ and smile! Generators online don’t always give the correct result.

Engrish

Translate that shizzle

What if you take lyrics from famous songs, put them through a couple of layers of Google Translate and then back to English? Why speculate! Watch new versions of songs you already know with a healthy dose of Google Translate slapped on. Malinda Kathleen Reese is funny as hell in these sort-of music videos.

Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody

Miley Cyrus – Wrecking ball

The Phantom of the Opera

Pokémon

The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Hellfire

The Beatles

Celine Dion – My Heart Will Go On

Adèle – Hello

 

 

 

hobby-horsing

New hobby for girls: hobby-horsing

You might have heard about real life Quidditch, where adults run around a field with a toy broomstick between their legs? Well, in Scandinavia there is a stick horse-version of this, called hobby-horsing. Teenaged girls run, jump and prance around with a toy horsehead on a stick between their legs.

Hobby-horsing sounds exactly like it is.

Hobby-horsing around

The ‘sport’ is really taking off. In Finland there was an actual championship. Girls take the horsing around quite seriously, naming their ‘steeds’ and practicing their routines. Although it looks sort of silly to see girls in their teens prancing around with a toy on a stick, you could call it a sport. There are some gymnatics involved and the competitive element makes it pretty sport-y. It certainly beats darts.

Watch the Finnish championships here.

Kingsday

Kingsday in the Netherlands: a traditional garage sale

The Netherlands are celebrating Kingsday, a national holiday. It’s the birthday of king Willem-Alexander, who turned 50 today, so all kinds of festivities are scheduled. One of the main courses on every Kingsday is the market, a kind of a garage sale, but without garages. People put a blanket or something on the floor in the street, and sell their stuff.

Imagine everyone cleaning out their attic and selling the mess they found for peanuts. It’s a Kingsday tradition and even the day before you can see chalk on the street with words like ‘taken’ or ‘occupied’. It means someone wants to sell his or her stuff in that spot. Funnily enough the Dutch honour those chalkwords and put their own blankets and crap somewhere else.

Kingsday

For over 30 years it was ‘Queensday’ on April 30th, the birthday of the Queen Mother, but since the coronation in 2013, Kingsday is celebrated on April 27th. Traditionally, the King and his family visit a random city or town somewhere in the Netherlands, waving, smiling and generally functioning as pet monkeys for the crowd. The function of the King and Queen is mostly ceremonial and days like this prove that. Most Dutchies enjoy the festivities and the fact that they have a day off work…