Thursday, 20 August 2009

Win-win or a Hideous Game?

Perhaps the movie Fight Club's scene where Pitt and Norton raid the liposuction clinic's rear dumpsters for bags of human lard to be delicately repackaged into flavored body products isn't so far fetched these days. With the world growing ever larger, and the people's rear ends in proportion to the exponential explosion of the population, people are finding fairly creative ways to get rid of the excess blub.
One particularly enterprising Beverly Hills doc used patient fat, converting it into a bio-fuel for his vehicle. Innovative, ingenious even, but unfortunately too risky to be put into place. I do wonder, however: How much fat does it take to fuel one vehicle? Wow, I could totally imagine what life would be like if the world took such ideas seriously. Something like that could lead to an entire industry of couch potatos, or "fat farmers", who sit around, gorging on ice cream and bon bons for months while watching their 800 channels on a sunken divan. Then, when sufficiently "ripe," they turn a profit on the sucked-out cells for four bucks a pound, turning the lazy American stereotype into a brilliant entrepreneur. Wild.
I even came across a website for a Dutch organization that claimed to offer free liposuction to people, then converted the fat into baked goods for starving people. It at first appeared far-fetched, but the site that I investigated appeared legitimate. However, I have been unable to relocate the site, and the Dutch are known for their pranks, so I'm not quite certain that this was not just a beat-all take-em-to-the-cleaners. If not, the bioethics issues are the size of the cookies at Diddy Riese...

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Patterns Are the Writing on the Wall

It's funny how history repeats itself over and over. It makes me think that perhaps history and human experience is just a series of logarithmic patterns, bound to repeat sooner or later. Perhaps it is, or perhaps we, as humans, naturally gravitate toward certain highs and lows. Who knows? I always find it immensely fascinating whenever I locate a person in history who has been through almost the exact same scenario that I'm currently facing on personal scale.
Recently I came upon the bio of Gene Kelly, not very disputably one of the most talented entertainers the United States has ever seen. Sifting through the details of his early years before MGM fame and glitz, I discovered that a 17-year-old Kelly originally set out to study journalism (parallel exhibit A) at Pennsylvania State College. Because of economic conditions at the time (1929), Kelly quit his studies in order to find a more stable position to make ends meet (parallel exhibit B). In 1930, his family opened a dance studio, where he taught while eventually going back to school and earning a BA (family business parallel exhibit C). He actually enrolled in law school (consideration of a law degree parallel exhibit D), but dropped out after two months to pursue dance teaching and choreography. Finally,in 1937, he moved to New York City to pursue his dreams and expand on his natural given talents (moving to a big city parallel exhibit E).
The life of Gene Kelly not only draws personal parallels for me, but also for others facing economic and career hardships at this time. It's an inspiring history lesson for people today. So a person's career of choice is facing a slump, uncertainty, or even complete elimination from the viable marketplace; that doesn't mean that a person cannot make a go at a fabulous career. Now is the time to ramp up the creativity, perhaps, to explore our other talents and natural gifts. You never know where it could lead. You may one day be dancing in roller skates, eh, Gene?

Monday, 10 August 2009

Evil evil evil

For trying to do something environmentally sound, I get burned. My resume/news show website, is currently down. I decided to switch to a new hosting service that used wind energy to power its servers, and now am faced with a lengthy domain transfer that could take up to five days. Right. Just before I skipperdeedee off to find my fame and fortune in Los Angeles (or at least find someone who will take a shine to my skills). How annoying.
I am now going to try to squash everything into a file and likely create resume multimedia CDs for the event (inevitably) that I can't get the site functional in time. Plus, I will have my Maglama YouTube, the measley thing that it is at the moment, as well.

Thursday, 6 August 2009


Neglecting my blog has become a bad habit that I need to overcome. I have been busy working on several video projects, articles, reviews and profiles, and have actually been pouring my heart and soul out on personal blogs in light of this depressing economic times. Frankly, I haven't had much emotional energy for this sort of commentatorship. Sure, I'll chew the fat about it over coffee with an intellectually elevated colleague or friend, but formulating ideas that I think are worth something in writing takes a lot out of a person. Besides, most of my other spare time is taken up by scouring online ads for full time work.
Speaking of online job ads, leave it to scammers to take full advantage that every other human being in this country is looking for work. Via Craigslist especially, I will apply to a position, only to receive an email shortly thereafter prompting me to follow a link to "complete my application online." Perhaps some of these sorts of human resource websites are legitimate, but somehow I doubt it. Somehow I wonder if it's all a ploy to get people's addresses, phone numbers and other such information. To me, it seems like quite a hassel to go through to get people's info, but you never know. Anything's possible in this day and age. I have yet to find any significant "buyer beware" articles online regarding this sort of thing. However, when someone I don't know directs me to an unfamiliar link and asks me to put in my information, I have every right, as a web-savvy consumer, to be wary.
It's taxing on the mind and emotions to constantly be looking over one's digitized shoulder, but nowadays, with the free-wheeling information exchange of the Internet, we have no choice. I feel increasingly pained for those individuals who lived through the era of handshakes and heartfelt promises. The Harold Hills were few and far between, and a man or woman's word was just as good as signatures and certificates. Now we practically have to require a blood test for every transaction. And, thanks to people like Bernie Madoff, our trust in friends, colleagues and business people is in even more of a shambles.
It disgusts me that scammers prey on people's emotions and seek to kick them while they are down. One recent scamming ring would call elderly folks pretending to be their grandchildren, claiming to be stranded in a foreign country needing money to get home. It's crazy what these people will do. I've heard of some shameful phishing scams in my life, but this one was probably one of the worst.
We'll never be able to avoid these scams completely. A sucker is born every minute, as they say. People will run to the broken back window and forget about the front door. Here's a good site that offers SOME hints on avoiding these crazy schemes online:
Also, if you haven't already, check out for information on chain emails, fake giveaways, and other stories that sound too surreal to be true (usually they are).