I made an iPad app for browsing photos from any website – http://www.steamclocksw.com/prism/. It works great for photos of kittens, comics, landscapes, photography, and so on. Will people use it for anything other than porn?

- Allen

December 16th, 2011

Well… do the iPad users have stands, or are you expecting them to hold the iPad?  Right now, it’s a bit heavy to hold (and navigate) an iPad with one hand, so I would say: Porn will not be the primary use.

Now, if it was lighter…

One day I turned into a crow. I was at a park and I was drinking and smoking weed when suddenly a friend and I heard a pack of crows cawing then suddenly I started feeling convulsions in my throat and began to caw and flap my ‘wings’. I didn’t turn into a crow literally but you get what I mean. I stopped cawing then my head was stuck to the left and I could not face forward or turn to the right as much as a tried. I got my friend to take me to the hospital and then it suddenly stopped! Do you think it is spiritual or should I take it realistically?

- kim

December 16th, 2011

I think you need to quit smoking weed and drinking!

If a guy felt that his effort to get attention from someone he has a crush on has failed, will he show anger towards her? What if he felt she really liked him, but refused to show it? What if someone else started flirting with him and he began to like that attention and shifted his focus, will he totally forget his first crush, especially if he saw her regularly?

what if his personality is the passive aggressive type and yet acts like an ?alpha? male, and she was not impressed by that?

- Jane

May 6th, 2011

Dear Jane:
You are WAY over analyzing things! Remember the old adage about how to impress a man: “Show up naked. Bring beer.” We really are that simple.
So, to answer your questions (bearing the above in mind):

q1) If a guy’s efforts to get attention fails, will he show anger?
a1) Yes. But as soon as the hockey/football game starts, or the pizza is delivered he’ll forget all about it. Attention span of a dog…

q2) If he feels she really likes him, but she is refusing to show it
a2) He’ll continue trying because he hasn’t actually been rejected. Bumblebee keeps hitting the window…
a2) eventually something else will distract him, though.

q3) someone else starts flirting with him, will he forget his first crush?
a3) Yes. Until he’s alone and reflects on the fact he screwed up somewhere. Could take years for that to happen, as the world is full of distractions.

q4) He’s really passive-aggressive but acts like an “alpha male”
a4) If he’s acting like an “alpha male” then he’s probably not really passive-aggressive. Good that she’s not impressed, as he’s probably a psycho.

I’m 16 and I like to learn a lot about quantum physics, the energies of the universe and of humans, auras, stuff like that because it’s intriguing. I’m an artist, but I have thoughts slowing my path down to where I want to be as an enlightened, charismatic individual. Whta can I do to build up my confidence, elevate my natural energies, and excell in my art? Also what’s some social advice you’d like to throw in as well? Thanks

- Ricky james

November 11th, 2010

Ricky:
Question was: what can I do to build up my confidence, elevate my natural energies and excel in my art?

Answer: Excellent question. First, to build up your confidence, you need to excel in your art first. Confidence that’s not based on anything real is itself not real. The problem with school these days is that in elementary school you pass no matter what (so as to spare fragile confidence in young kids). So passing isn’t based on anything. To put it another way: if everyone in a race gets a trophy, why not just walk in the race instead of running? To elevate your natural energies is also easy: excel in your art!

This answer, then, is: excel in your art and you will be more energetic (excited about doing your art) because you’re good at it, and will become confident because other people will recognize you’re good at it.

So your next question should be: HOW do I excel in my art? Please note that I don’t even really know what kind of artist you are. Fortunately, the advice I am about to give applies to ALL and ANY human endeavour. According to Malcolm Gladwell (please do a google search and watch his TED talk), and other researchers, it takes about 10,000 hours of dedicated study to become an expert at something. Practice playing basketball or hockey for 10,000 hours and you’ll be a great player, far above average. Study physics with intensity for 10,000 hours and you’ll be an expert at physics. Really concentrate on music or drawing or sculpture for 10,000 hours and you’ll be really good at those things as well. It really is that simple. And when you get really good at something, it changes your life.

How long is 10,000 hours? Well, let’s say you can spend 4 hours a day, 6 days a week working hard at something. That’s 24 hours per week. So 10,000 hours is 417 weeks or about 8 years (assuming no vacations). That’s how much time you have to work at something.

Incidentally, Americans watch (on average) 33.7 hours of TV per week (http://www.digitalhome.ca/2009/11/time-spent-watching-tv-continues-to-climb-in-u-s/). Canadians watch (again, on average) 19.6 hours of TV per week (www40.statcan.ca/l01/cst01/famil36a-eng.htm). So, the average American becomes an expert at watching TV in just 5.7 years — typically before they’re even teenagers! Canadians become TV watching experts after about 9.8 years.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, I’m just pointing out that to be an expert takes time. Obviously, watching TV cuts into that time. And thus, I will now give you the 4 useful pieces of advice that you also asked me to throw in:

1) Time is valuable. Time is what makes you good at something. Don’t waste it on things like TV and video games; there’s no upside in being an expert video game player. Beware of people who always want you to do things for them without doing anything in return; they are simply stealing your time as surely as a thief would steal physical items.

2) The number one thing that determines whether or not you will be happy in life is who you marry. You will not be able to adequately judge this until at least age 25 (and possibly 30) if you are male; your testosterone will cloud your judgement. But try.

3) NEVER get on the wrong side of compound interest. In other words: avoid debt, debit cards and credit cards and loans. You will almost certainly need a mortgage at some point, so this advice is impossible to follow perfectly. However, do not believe what people say about using a credit card to build your credit rating. Trust me: if you have $60-80,000 in the bank and have an income based on the fact you’re good at something, the bank will be more than happy to give you a mortgage even without you having a credit card. Bonus point: it’s hard to steal the identity of somebody who deals only in cash.

4) While I firmly believe that “social networks” are a complete and utter waste of time, your REAL social network is very important. It’s a case of quality versus quantity. You never know who will someday be in a position to do you a favour, so be nice to people when they’re small/young/unimportant. It will pay off. And keep track of the people you find interesting; invest some of your time in them. The old saying that “it’s who you know, not what you know” actually has an element of truth in it. The problem with social networking is people seem to collect hundreds and hundreds of “friends”. Can you really have hundreds of friends? Spend your time with the people that really matter.

5) Karma exists.

Hope that helps!

What is the origin of the phrase “dang diggy dang?”

- Chris

November 11th, 2010

What a bizarre question… fortunately, I know that answer.  That should not be a surprise to you.

Oh, by the way: I’ve had to answer two questions today.  First time that’s happened in a VERY long time.  So please scroll down a bit and read the other question of the day as well.

Question: what is the origin of the phrase: “dang diggy dang”.

Answer: it’s a phrase that’s commonly used in Rap and Hip-Hop music.  I think it’s primarily used as a filler because that sort of “music” often is (to be kind) rather light on meaningful lyrics.  So, think of “dang diggy dang” as being the rap/hip-hop equivalent of “la la la la la”.

But where did it originate?  Well, as far as I can recall, it came from a very early Rap song.  I managed to find the lyrics: http://somethingsomething.blogspot.com/2007/09/80s-music-video-sunday-37.html

and the music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hXPu32FuE4

As the music will likely eventually disappear, the song is: Jam-On It by Newcleus.  It’s kind of a combination disco/rap song from 1984.  Yes, it’s that old.  You may have been conceived to this music; there was a lot of “experimentation” back in the 80’s.

It’s kind of catchy, if meaningless.  So I think that the next generation of rappers must have “gotten their groove on” with this particular proto-rap song.

Dear Mr Old Guy.

I’m a 21 year old filmstudent from Amsterdam. At the moment i am sitting in the libary with a fantastic view over the city. Today is the last day of the gaypride festival. Tons of boats, filled with 2 million hysterical homosexuals are coming by. They seem very happy and I am happy for them. But the thing is, I’m not so happy with myself at the moment.
I should start making my shotlist for a short film which i will be shooting in a couple of days. But I can not concentrate.
While i’m thinking, typing this letter and watching the (pink) view, time is flying by.
I can not deal with time. It’s uncontrollable. ARGHHH
So, maybe i should make a film about a guy who decides that he will live 8 days, instead of the regular 7 days a week. 8 days each filled with 21 instead of 24 hours. He is doing this by starting every day, 3 hours earlier then the rest of the world. The result of his concepts is that he will have an 8th day between sunday and monday. I have a lot idea’s about what will happen to this guy while he is experimenting with time. Do you have some thoughts, or idea’s on this 8th day? All comments, whether they are philosophic, scientific, spiritual or what so ever, will be very helpful!
I thank you.
Aram.
Ps. Dear justaskoldguy.com visitors. I would appreciate if you will not steal my concept. If you are considering stealing my concept: don’t do it. Seriously. That would be bad. Ver very bad.

- Aram de Groot

August 8th, 2010

Aram:

This is one of the most interesting questions that I have ever received, so I’m going to sit here and do some free associations…

  • I hope your movie starts similar to the way your question started, with a guy on a deadline sitting in a location where he can watch 2 million homosexuals in a parade.
  • Ideally, the protagonist in the movie will have a job that gives him flexible time — such as being a software developer.  Hmmm… maybe some of the people working at my office are experimenting with 21 hour days.  Or, more likely, 27 hour days…
  • Luke 1:59 from the King James version of the Bible: “And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.”  I did a search on Google for “8th day” and there are 44 million hits.  So the concept of an 8th day will resonate with movie-goers, probably.  That’s good.
  • Perhaps every week something weird happens on the 8th day related to one of these things and at some point he becomes paranoid that the 2 million homosexuals are going to circumsize him… this would be a climatic event, so to speak.
  • one week: Beatles song: “8 Days a Week”.  He meets Ringo.
  • another week: the band “8th Day” is involved.
  • look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Week#Christian_.22eighth_day.22  Surprisingly, between 1929 and 1931 the Soviet Union had a 5 day week!  They changed to 6 days in 1931 and it stayed that way until 1940.  So… another week, some communists come for a visit, figuring he is improving things further.
  • another week: the Etruscans visit (look up Nundinal cycle in the same article I listed for Russia).
  • another week: the Celts.
  • The 8th day will need a name.  The 7 day week is named after the Sun (Sunday), the Moon (Monday), Mars (Tyr, for Tuesday), Mercury (Wednesday), Jupiter (Thor, Thursday), Venus (Freya, Friday) and Saturday (Saturn).  So that leaves Neptune and Uranus… but he might just name it after his cat.  The homosexuals would probably prefer one of the two planets; I leave it for the reader to guess which one.
  • Can’t call the movie “The Eighth Day”, because it’s already been used: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0116581/
  • There are 8 notes in an octave.
  • and 8 is a nice number for mathematical purposes.  You can easily refer to the first half of the week or the last half of the week or a quarter of a week.
  • plus, it’s easily represented in a computer since there are 8 bit in a byte.  So a byte could be a week and each bit represents a day.
  • I think he patents the concept of 8 days in a week and then starts converting the world, which is maybe how the homosexuals find out about him…  sample patent: sprinkler that lets you set an 8-day schedule, pre-recording of television, etc. (when you think about it, being able to record 8 days in advance is kind of handy).
  • On the 8th day, God created… pirates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB5t5fpNWCY
  • a 1997 movie called “Eight Days a Week”: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119054/plotsummary
  • go to www.imdb.com and search for “eighth day”.  Ten movies!  Including one coming in 2010 which looks interesting.
  • Hmmm… another movie called “The 8th Day”… an apocalyptic porn movie:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghaJwNvOBbI&has_verified=1
  • clearly, this idea has religious overtones.
  • He needs to visit Oldguy, who just happens to be obsessed with time (have an hourglass on my desk, for example).  The sand has worn the hole larger, so an hour goes by in 52.5 minutes now… Coincidence?  I think not, as the plot will eventually show.
  • Scientists discover that the constants in nature are… not constant (which, incidentally, some people think might be true).  The speed of light is changing, meaning that the subatomic forces that hold things together are dissipating (or something like that; this is a movie, not science class).  So matter is about to fall apart and the world will end.
  • Or maybe the constants in nature are constant and what’s happening is the earth’s rotation is speeding up.  Why?  Like a figure skater pulling their arms in, it would happen if the earth maintained the same mass but got smaller.  Perhaps a slow-acting black-hole caused by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in France/Switzerland sank to the center of the earth.  Normally it would suck the earth up pretty quickly, so you have to come up with a reason that it would be slower.  Ah!  okay, it’s slow but will eat up the earth in a few days unless something is done.  So Oldguy’s buddy El-Si the Physicist comes up with a way to rewire the LHC to kill the black hole.  So the spinning stabilizes with a 21-hour day (and now we need an 8 day week).
  • Now that the earth is spinning more quickly, all kinds of interesting climate issues will result.  Probably more wind for awhile?  Centripetal force that counteracts gravity a bit?  Come up with some reason that it solves the global warming issue and then we learn the the LHC was intended to do this all along.
  • Or the spin could reheat the earth’s core and you can claim that they needed to do that because earth’s weakening magnetic field was about to let in too solar radiation.  Again, the idea being that the LHC was intended to do this all along.
  • We’re getting close to 21Dec2012 (end of Mayan time, some say).  Might be able to bring that in as well.  Ideally you can have half a dozen groups that wanted to speed up the rotation for their own purposes.  Heck, maybe they all wanted to do it but nobody got around to thinking about how to stop the increase in rotational speed!  That would be a Dr. Strangelove-like plot where they don’t think too far in advance, making it necessary to have a hero come up with the solution (Oldguy, of course).
  • Bonus: fat people suddenly weigh less!
  • Sadly: the moon drifts further away.
  • All of these plots are independently managed by homosexuals intent on circumcising our hero on the 8th day, of course.

I have enjoyed this exercise.  If you find any of the ideas useful, please let us know (you don’t have to say which ones — it would spoil the movie!).  And if you want more… Just Ask Oldguy.

Oldguy, when do you think that all of this population control will slow down?? I mean why won’t you all just send some nukes on a some overpopulated cities?? Instead of a slow pace to try and not draw attention?? I mean its obvious whats going on

- Bryant Emory Henson

July 12th, 2010

Bryant:

A bit convoluted, but there’s a question in there…

Q1) when will all this population control slow down?

A1) I don’t think there’s much population control happening now!  Perhaps you want to know when the population growth will slow down.  In either case, here’s what I think about population growth and control… we’re screwed.

Hans Rosling gave a good TED talk on this.  In short, earth’s population will hit 9 billion within 50 years.  It turns out that the higher the standard of living, the fewer children people have.  Perhaps it’s because they want lots of kids in the hopes that those children will support them when they age.  Or maybe it’s because they’re really poor and the only entertainment they have is… well, you know.  Or maybe it’s because they can’t afford birth control.  Personally, I think it’s mostly that they have little else to do but reproduce but I could be wrong.

So, he figures that the only way to stop the population growth is to increase the standard of living of people.  But the trouble is… we don’t have the resources to do that.  We’re going to run out of oil and coal and natural gas about the same time we hit 9 billion.  So we’re screwed.

Okay, maybe some miracle energy source is found and we magically raise everyone up to the standard of living currently experienced in civilized places like, Europe or the USA/Canada.  We’re still screwed.  How come?  Because we’ll run out of water.  And arable land (without irrigation, much of which comes from aquifers, we have less arable land).

Q2) So why not just send some nukes on some overpopulated cities.

A2) Oh, it will happen.  If not nukes, then bio-weapons.  Or maybe plain old war.  Back in the late 1930’s a German leader named Hitler (you may have heard of him) made Lebensraum a key Nazi policy.  What’s Lebensraum?  It’s literally “living space” — they wanted space and raw materials.  It didn’t work for Hitler, but he didn’t have nukes or bioweapons.  Somebody will try it, you can be sure.

Everybody wants control.  Everyone wants to be in charge of the world — and they figure that the best way to get it is to outnumber every other group!  The Catholic church is not big on birth control… the more Catholic babies are born, the more Catholics there are; other religions do the same, even if they’re not as up-front about it.  Heck, in Canada people still get “baby bonuses” ($100/month per child).  In 1988, the province of Quebec started writing cheques for $8,000 per baby (they were worried that English Canada would out-populate them).

Q3) You seem to imply that there is a slow pace of trying to kill people off so as not to draw attention to what’s happening.  Leading me to believe that you really think we are successfully slowing down population growth!

A3) I like conspiracy theories as much as the next person (maybe more!).  I hope that the BP Gulf oil disaster won’t kill the planet, but even if it does, I doubt that it was done on purpose.  I don’t believe that the oil spill in the Gulf is an intentional attempt to kill millions of people in the Southern USA.

Population will increase until two things happen: we run out of resources (and many people die) or we pollute our environment and drown in our own waste products (and many people will die).  Just like bacteria: unlimited growth while food is available and while their waste products don’t kill them.  Life really is that simple at some level.

How much of your blood volume do you have to lose before you die?

- Karen

June 29th, 2010

This is a very simple question, and I thought that it would be easy to answer.  Not so!

The general consensus seems to be that a blood loss of 30-40% would be fatal, but even that is an over-simplification.  It turns out that it depends on the SPEED of the blood loss.  If the blood is lost quickly, 33% can be fatal; if it’s lost slowly then up to 66% could be lost before death!  Why the difference?  Well, a sudden loss can result in either of these two conditions (both of which can be fatal due to heart attack or stroke):

  • too little fluid in the blood vessels for flow to happen properly (kind of like when the pipes in your house are drained of water)
  • not enough blood cells left to carry enough oxygen.

Here’s the best reference: http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec14/ch172/ch172b.html

How to manage your time efficiently without losing a minute

- M.A.L

June 14th, 2010

Although I am slow answering this question, the delay is with cause… the question is excellent and I’ve probably spent 3 or 4 hours (cumulatively) trying to come up with the best answer possible.  Thank you for the quality of the question.  Here goes:

Set a goal.

It doesn’t matter what your goal is, since by definition:

Any time you spend working towards your goal is time that is not wasted.

And, time spent NOT working towards your goal is, by definition, wasted time.  Now, some of this “wasted time” is unavoidable, so don’t begrudge unavoidably wasted time but instead fully immerse yourself in it; you may discover something new.  Examples of this would be doing a few chores for your parents, talking with grandparents and that sort of “social activity”.  However, to a large extent you must guard your time, because nobody else will guard your time for you.  Always remember this important rule:

Time is all you really have in life.  Be wary of people that want to spend your time for their benefit.

My definition of wasted time is time that is spent NOT working towards your goal and about which you have full control.  Doing this one simple thing will save the average North American 9 years of life:

Do NOT watch television.

According to Nielsen, the average American spends 9 out of 65 years watching television! Nowadays, web-surfing and video games are starting to replace television – but ultimately they’re all the same: if you’re staring at a screen and not actually creating something, you’re probably wasting time.

This is a perfect example of someone else (specifically, advertisers) wanting to control how you spend that singularly valuable thing in your life: time.

Here’s a fact: it takes about 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.  That’s about 4 hours per day for 9 years.  Follow the link.

The only thing most North Americans become expert at is… watching television.  Because that’s the only thing they work hard at.

Frankly, I could give you many little things that you can do to save a few minutes here or there, but by following this one simple item you’ll get an extra 9 years or more of life.  That’s enough time to become an expert in the field of your choice.

What on earth is an iPad? It looks shiny, but should I buy it?

- Robert

May 17th, 2010

Ah, the iPad… so much to say, so little time…

Answer One:

In a nutshell: everyone who wants a complicated computer already has one. The iPad opens up the world of computing to the other half of the world’s population. But here’s the thing: half the people that already have a complicated computer would prefer something simpler. So you can also think of the iPad as “pain relief”.

Do the math: this is the style of computing for a minimum of 75% of the population.

Answer Two:

The iPad is the future of computing in a way that you probably haven’t thought much about: efficiency. I’m not talking personal efficiency (although that’s likely true as well), I’m talking power. You’ll probably not believe me, so here’s a reference.

From that link, I’ll assume that you have a nice G5 desktop Mac with an LCD monitor. Let’s assume that the computer is used 3 hours per day and is in “sleep mode” the other 21 hours:

G5’s power consumption = 365 days x (3 hrs x 110 watts + 21 hrs x 3.5 watts)

= 365 (330 + 73.5)

= 365 ( 403.5 watt-hrs)

= 147,277.6 or 147 kWh. which at 14 cents/kWh costs you $20.58 (by the way, a typical desktop machine with a separate LCD monitor is perhaps double this)

iPad’s power consumption: 365 days x (3 hrs x 2.5 watts + 21 hrs x 0.17 watts)

(I got the .17 from a review where the iPad lasted 6 days while playing music at 50% volume through headphones; 25Whr/144 hrs is .17 watts/hr. So this isn’t even sleep mode!)

= 365 (7.5 + 3.57)

= 365 (11.07 watt-hrs)

= 4040.55 or 4.04 kWhr which at 14 cents/kWh costs you 56 cents.

Ballpark: you can run about 40 iPads for the price of one desktop computer.

So… using an iPad is the ethical thing to do for the kinds of tasks that most people use computers for; it uses less of the earth’s dwindling resources.

My prediction: in a few years, Apple will replace the black border around the screen with super high efficiency solar cells; version 8 of the iPad will be self-charging. Critics will blast Apple and complain that the price should go down as Apple is no longer including a power adapter in the box. Don’t get me started on the savings in raw materials, shipping costs, packaging, etcetera.

Answer Three:

The iPad brings computing closer to people by removing a layer of indirection: the mouse.

In a lot of ways, current computers rely more on magic than the iPad does: “don’t watch my hand moving the mouse, simply watch the cursor flit about the screen like a working Ouija board at a seance…”.

There’s a lot of cognitive processing that takes place when you are forced to wave your hand around on a desktop somewhere to the left or right of where you’re looking. There is much less cognitive dissonance when you simply move your finger and touch the thing you want to affect. That, of course, means you can save valuable brain cycles for more important things.

I have been typing for so long that it is as if there’s a direct link between my brain and the computer screen. I think something and it appears as text on the screen. That’s part of the reason that my answers to all these questions are so long — I am able to communicate at the speed of thought! But not everyone types over 100 words per minute. For most people, typing is an inefficient way to command a computer to do something (it pains me to watch Allen eke out his thoughts… he might as well be given a chisel, a hammer and a piece of flat rock…).

Simply pointing and touching the screen is much more direct.

Answer Four:

The iPad, when running iPhone apps at double-sized resolution, will allow women in the 45+ age range to continue avoiding the wearing of glasses in public.

I have heard women in this demographic say: it’s unfair that men get better looking as they age.  Well, I’ve got news for you: we don’t. It’s just that our flaws become blurred… and if you squint too much, you get wrinkles.

Answer Five:

Seriously, the iPad is the first “complete” example of what will be the next trend in computing.  I was at the National Computer Conference in Chicago back when the Xerox Star was introduced (1981).  The Xerox Star was the first commercial example of a computing system with a mouse, a graphical interface and a laser printer.  I watched their demo for many hours (it repeated every 15 minutes).  I knew at the time that I was seeing the future of computing, and I have exactly the same reaction to the iPad.  It’s the next paradigm.

After this will be voice, then implants as we continue our evolution towards becoming Borg.