Is Math Real??

So, does math exist?! This video presents two ideas…one, that the concept of Math exists on its own in the universe and we discover it and its functions like species on this planet and the other is that we humans have created Math and use it as a metaphor, a story, to describe other things…check out this crazy video. What do you think?!

Is Math a Feature of the Universe or a Feature of Human Creation?

 

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High School Classmates as Pokemon!

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 11

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Your High School Classmates Are Pokemon - Image 1

Enough Nerds! Bring on the Jocks!

On College Humor, writer Will Hines shares his thoughts on why we need more Jocks in the world…if only to offset the nerds. It turns out, the nerds have won against the jocks, but we need the jocks now more than ever. Hear him out. You can find the full article here.
Enough Nerds Bring on the Jocks - Image 1

 

Every day I read another blog post or news article claiming that the nerds now rule the world. Hint: the nerds have ruled the world since at least the early 1990s. I say bring back the jocks.

News posts proclaiming that the nerds’ day has “finally” come are usually just announcing the success of nerd culture in the mainstream media, like high ratings for The Big Bang Theory.

But nerd culture succeeding in mainstream media has not been news since 2004, when The Return of the King won the Academy Award for Best Picture. To remind you: The Return of the King was not just a movie that centered on hobbits and elves, but was based on a hugely long BOOK about hobbits and elves. The only way its success would have been more a victory for nerds would be if you replaced the Enya score with a Weird Al Yankovic polka. And this was almost ten years ago.

Or else the “nerds are finally ruling” news story will proclaim that a “nerdy” actor was declared attractive in a People Magazine poll. Usually a “nerdy” actor like Topher Grace or James Franco wearing glasses. They are no more the nerdy underdog than Tina Fey’s character Liz Lemon, who is presented as a helpless loser despite being a super-hot, wealthy, high-powered television writer.

 

Enough Nerds Bring on the Jocks - Image 1

Even discounting faux nerds, ACTUAL nerds have long ruled society (mostly thanks to the rise of the Internet). The 1980s worshipped grey-haired, suit-wearing bullies like Donald Trump and Lee Ioacca. Now we build shrines to Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Aforementioned “Weird Al” Yankovic places his songs in the top 10, and also had children which implies he’s had sex. The most critically acclaimed band of the last 20 years is called Radiohead.

Certainly in our social circles, the nerds solidly rule. They’re rich as shit and they have cool websites. Glasses are cool and everyone has them. MTV’s ratings dip, but a “Shit Girls Say” youtube video gets someone a TV show. Attractive people learn HTML; the unemployed don’t understand twitter. Engineers buy second homes; gym teachers get their hands caught in toasters.

I would point to the actual shift of power in 1996, which is when my father got an e-mail account. In his eyes I suddenly changed from someone suspected of losing the remote control to someone who could fix e-mail. The power felt good. And similar shifts in power were happening across the country.

The success of the “nerds are finally ruling!” framework comes from a two-fold desire: 1) to see the underdog win and 2) to see ourselves as that underdog. Despite the undeniable success of nerds, they still iconically stand for “underdog” and we all insist on being that underdog.

Ask anyone what they were like in high school and he or she will invariably say “Oh, I was such a nerd in high school.” No one would say: “Oh, me? I was popular! Hated those nerds!”

 

Enough Nerds Bring on the Jocks - Image 1

I’m as guilty as anyone. First thing I remember about high school was that I got varsity letters for math team, chess team, and marching band. This is true: my school (Danbury High, from the mean streets of rural Connecticut) awarded varsity letters to any club that competed against other schools. I have an improbably puffy letter D emblazoned with a trumpet, knight, and alpha.

Makes for a good story and solidly establishes my nerd pedigree. Let the sympathetic views pour forth!

What I never tell anyone is that I was elected prom king. And that’s because no one knows. At my prom, which I attended with an actual human girl as my date, my class advisor pulled me aside and excitedly told me, “You’re gonna be prom king!”

And I begged her, BEGGED her, to make that not true. “I can’t be prom king, it would be humiliating,” I told her. My friends hated the popular people, and I knew it. There was no way that I wanted to be coronated forever as a, gulp, WINNER. After listening to me ramble about chronic stage fright and threats of a nervous breakdown, she relented. And someone else was announced as prom king.

The nerds, and the allure of being one, has ruled for a long time.

Frankly, I wish more people wanted to be known as jocks. We need them. Hemingway was a jock. Teddy Roosevelt. Amelia Fucking Earhart. Mickey Mantle. People who stood their ground, spoke their minds and made no apologies for being awesome. In an era when politicians parse every last syllable of their sound bytes with fear and camouflage, we need people who are fearless, task-oriented, and who know the power of a simple declarative sentence. Someone to call a play, hit the homerun, and make no apologies to anyone.

 

Enough Nerds Bring on the Jocks - Image 1

Comic-Con? We need a Jock-Con, where former homecoming heroes come from across the country and dress up like the cast of Hoosiers. I want Joss Whedon to re-make Rudy. And Barack Obama to stop quoting literature and humiliate Mitt Romney in an arm wrestle (he probably could, and it would be awesome).

Look for “Revenge of the Jocks,” a ten-part movie franchise, to start this summer!

Unless Tina Fey divorces her husband and asks me out in Elvish, in which case I surrender my opinion immediately.

Top 5 favorite Modest Mouse songs!

Today’s Top 5 list is your top 5 songs from the band Modest Mouse. Before we get started, make sure to check out and like the Top 5 facebook page found here: http://www.facebook.com/thetop5five

Modest Mouse is an indie rock group from Issaquah, Washington. Their lead singer, Issac Brock, formed the group with drummer Jerimiah Greene and bassist Eric Judy back in 1994. They released their first studio album in 1996 called “This is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About”. They have released six albums in total to date, with a ton of EP’s like Sad Sappy Sucker and Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks.

Modest Mouse

Today, my guest blogger is Jessica Rita, a California native who is a huge fan of this band. She has seen them live a number of times and found the task of ranking her favorite songs extremely difficult. Affectionately referred to by her last name, Rita has a quick disclaimer before we get to her list.

Here is a quick disclaimer from Rita and then her list to follow:

There are a few things I’d like to say before I get to this list.

Once upon a time, I listened to shitty music. Well, other people still may enjoy what I consider “shitty music,” and whatever, I get that, But I’m 24 years old and don’t necessarily feel like I need to rock out to KORN anymore. I’m tired of hearing about how amazing Tool’s newest album is or how Alice in Chains really gets the hardships of adolescent youth. Generic rock just isn’t good, guys! Now I’m not saying you should stop listening to that stuff, if it’s what you like, then so be it. All I’m saying is it sucks and I’ve got Modest Mouse to thank for helping me realize the poor decisions I made in music when I was 15 years old. So on to this list!

5. Satin In A Coffin – Good News For People Who Love Bad News

In all honesty, I do believe that Modest Mouse’s earlier albums and EP’s are stronger than any of their newer stuff, but that doesn’t mean their new stuff isn’t good! Also, Good News For People Who Love Bad News has a ton of great songs. Bukowski, Bury Me With It, and The Good Times Are Killing me are solid few off this album that I love, but I specifically chose this song because, well, It’s badass. The intro with the banjo alone is enough to say this is one of my favorites, but then the lyrics start up and I find myself exaggerating my voice to sound like Isaac’s… like a lot, almost dirty, even.

4. Here It Comes – Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks

This song is so much fun! There is clapping involved, and talking about drowning in birthday cakes, which, by the way, sounds like an awesome time. And what’s up with the intro? Is it being played in reverse? It’s a catchy tune and just a good time all together! I’ve got fond memories of driving and trying to learn the clapping. Oh, those dangerous memories. This album is wildly underrated, and songs like this are just unfortunately not on the radar.

3. Trailer Trash – The Lonesome Crowded West

Let’s be real here, this whole album is pretty much all of my favorite MM songs, but for the sake of diversity, I’ll limit myself to 2 songs off The Lonesome Crowded West for this list. It was a serious hardship to pare down only 5 songs by a group that has been around for so long and have released such great albums, but Trailer Trash was never not going to be on this list. I mean, c’mon! This song is almost 6 minutes long, and never once gets boring, that’s rare these days! It’s such a raw, vulnerable, sad but sweet song and one of the most honest songs on this album. No matter how many times I hear it, it will always tug at my heart strings.

2. Cowboy Dan – The Lonesome Crowded West

Cowboy Dan is my second choice from this album. This song plays out like a movie in my head, every time. A crazy, emotional, overwhelmingly explosive movie. Holy adjectives, Batman! Seriously, though…  Cowboy Dan is such a jerk!  But I just can’t stop feeling bad for him. I always told myself that if I ever got a Modest Mouse tattoo, it would be of Cowboy Dan shooting a rifle, Petunia from Pete and Pete style. If you don’t know about Petunia, look it up. I doubt that would ever happen, though. Regardless of how sad and dark this song can be, it’s always going to be one of my favorites. I like my Cowboys drunk and my mice modest.

1 All Night Diner – Building Nothing Out Of Something

My Number 1 choice! All Night Diner is my all-time favorite MM song. For real, this song puts me such a good mood every time I hear it. One of my fondest memories is being with my best friend Susana, singing our hearts out, repeating “Have I told cha! You can really get it on; yea, you can really get it on!” The lyrics don’t really make much sense, and the overall feel of this song is wacky and confusing.

“When I have sex, I’m always thinking about the pavement
so I can avoid premature ejaculation
I got up, remembering to thank him
Better things to do so I’ll start drinking.”

Pure gold, I’m telling you.

A few that weren’t on my list but definitely noteworthy:

Dramamine

I Came as a Rat

Fly Trapped In a Jar

Education

& literally everything on The Lonesome Crowded West

So that was Jessica’s list! Full disclosure…as with most things, and ESPECIALLY with music, my tastes tend to change from week to week, much less moment to moment! So my list is how I am feeling right now. If we did this list 4 months from now, I would wager it would look far different. Here is my list:

5. Missed the Boat – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

I tend not to be a “music purist” or take the hipster route of “bands are only cool if you like their early stuff before they were popular”. I am glad too because I wouldn’t want to miss a song like Missed the Boat. I loved this song the moment I heard it, but it became even more sentimental after singing it with friends. Whenever I hear it, to this day, I will yell out “shake shake shake shake shake”.

4. Good Times are Killing Me – Good News for People Who Love Bad News

This album is one of my favorites of all time. I was the perfect age and perfect place in my life to hear this album, and when things like that add up, BOOM! You love it and everything about it becomes ingrained in your mind and heart. It is one of those albums you can listen to straight through with now skips at all. The more I think of it though; a lot of Modest Mouse albums are like that. This song in particular has always stood out though.  It is one of my favorite songs to sing along to.

3. Dark Center of the Universe – The Moon and Antarctica

Ugh, this is the most impossible choice because I could probably choose any song of this album and put it in the top three spots. This is my favorite album from MM and, like Rita, I will limit myself with picking. I will pick Dark Center because of the “fuck you” attitude of it. Screw you! It took a lot of work for me to be this way. James “Sawyer” Ford in the first season of Lost exemplified this song. Wonderful song off a wonderful album!

2. Baby Blue Sedan – Building Something Out of Nothing

Perhaps a dark horse, but one of those songs if you go back and listen to…God it’s just so sad and perfect. Ever dated a friend and broken up with them and they just stick around and still hang out with you and your friends? There is that deep, hidden, stashed away bit of longing that you miss them but they are sitting right in front of you? Or ever split with one of your best friends because you each went to different colleges? Then you come home and things are just different and there is that single moment you realize things will never be the same? Or even when someone you loved passes away but there are little reminders of them around the house and everything feels the same but something huge is missing? Think of that moment and listen to this song. You will feel it. And then when it’s over, just do the best you can to move on.

1 Broke – Interstate 8/Building Something Out of Nothing

Ugh, My number one song. It means a ton to me given the circumstances I first heard it and the moments in my life when I continued to hear it. I look back on this list and already regret not putting on Paper Thin Walls, Out of Gas, Night on the Sun, You’re the Good Things…basically there are too many. This was probably the hardest of the lists to make so far, and I thought it would be one of the easier ones. Back to Broke, the song I chose as my number one. It is one of those songs that’s beautiful and I just heard it at that perfect time where it attaches itself to a moment and you know you will never forget the song and the event all in one. At that moment, I was broke and I know that I never want to feel that way again. Music that can dredge up that kind of emotion years later is powerful. Maybe this isn’t the most famous song they have, or the most fun to listen to, or the most fist pumpin, hard rockin, earth quakin, booty shakin, love makin song they have, but it is a song that, to me, is beautiful and powerful and worthy of my number one spot.

So there are 2 lists for this band. Try to make a list with the songs you currently like from Modest Mouse. Like I said, Music and your feelings towards it change drastically from moment to moment which makes it really hard, but also a really fun challenge. I already think that my list would change if you asked me right now! Good luck to you!

Top 5 Albums That You Listened to During Your High School Years!

Welcome to a music Monday! Today’s top 5 list will be music albums that you listened to during your high school years.

High school was a time that you either loved or hated and the music that you listened to often tells the story. For this list, the albums did not have to come out during your high school years, they would just be the ones you listened to during your high school years. I think it will be fascinating to see the difference between guys and girls, and the influence of WHERE and WHEN you went to high school. Also, feel free to include Greatest Hits albums if that is the actual disc or tape you listened to. Anyway, lets meet the guest lister!

For this list, my guest will be Adam Boucher. He is a friend of mine that went to high school in Wisconsin and eventually went to college at UW-Oshkosh. He recently moved out to Los Angeles.

This list was his idea that he submitted via the website user idea page which you can find here: https://thetop5five.wordpress.com/user-ideas/ He was the first person to do this, so if you want to submit your own idea for a list, I will post it! You can find Adam’s personal blog here: http://urbancharlie.wordpress.com/

Here is what Adam writes and here is his list:

For me, high school was a kind of crummy time, the same story of feeling stuck and wondering when adulthood would begin. The soundtrack of those four years  has stuck with me to this day, rife with memories, good and bad.

5. Third Eye Blind by Third Eye Blind (1997) – This album was all over the radio and you couldn’t get away from it. For a while, I hated it, because it was all you would hear, but then the catchiness of “Semi Charmed Life” grew on me. I bought the CD, and learned to love every track.

4. Americana by The Offspring (1998) – This was my rocker back in the day. Similiar story to 3EB, “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy) was on the radio every tenth song, it seemed. I bought it on recommendation from my cousin, Jim, and it stuck with me.

3. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998) – My first taste of Neo Soul. I fell in love with Lauryn’s voice when listening to the Fugees, and had to get her first solo effort. I loved the sound of this album, and this was the gateway to Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and many other artists I would grow to love.

2. Enema of the State by Blink-182 (1999) – I have always been a sucker for pop punk, and this album hit me at just the right time. Nowadays, it’s a little dated, but I think this CD didn’t leave my CD changer in my room for three years straight.

1. Exile on Coldharbour Lane by Alabama 3 (1997) – My main source for pretty motherfuckin’ country acid house music. I still listen to this album today, start to finish, with no skips, and I love every second of it.

(Note from the editor: You might recognize this song as the opening theme to the show The Sopranos. I implore you to check out the rest of this album. None of the other songs are really this dark or heavy. It is a super fun album)

Honorable mentions to Nimrod by Green Day, Devil Without a Cause by Kid Rock, Who is Jill Scott, Words and Sounds Vol. 1 by Jill Scott, and Comfort Eagle by Cake for being CDs with good tunes, but not full albums of love like the Top 5.

Most of Adam’s albums are from around the 90’s/2000’s. Mine tend to be older albums. Here is my Top 5 albums of my high school years:

5. River of Dreams by Billy Joel – I loved this album as a kid, but it sort of fell out of favor with me as I discovered other music. However, for some reason, I always went back to it. It was a constant. Maybe not always in the foreground, but it was always there ready to be played. It was solid. Singing the title track with my sister Lindsay was our “Bohemian Rhapsody” moment.

4. Exhile On Main Street by The Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones were a band that just opened my eyes to what music could be. I responded way more to them than I ever did the Beatles and to this day I still love the band and especially this album. It is just a matter of time until someone submits their favorite Stones songs or albums, and this album and song will probably make either of those lists for me!

3. Enema of the State by Blink 182 – Who DIDN’T have this album? To me, this was the quintessential album of my high school generation. This was at the height of Blink’s popularity and the childish songs were exactly what an adolescent boy would fall in love with. I recently just listened to this album for the first time in years and I still remember every word to every song.

2. Appetite for Destruction by Guns and Roses – Good lord, one of the best albums of all time. Hard rocking, in your face guitar with the beautiful and raw vocals of Axl Rose. This album is hit after hit after hit after hit. It is only a matter of time until we do a top 5 singers on this site, and rest assured that Axl will make my list.

1. The Doors by The Doors – Really, this could be any single Doors album, but I will choose the first for this list. The Doors are a band that I liken to the movie The Goonies, you have to experience them at the right moment in your life, or the magic and feeling will miss the mark and you will just feel indifferent. This album hit me at the most perfect time in my life and influenced me for better and for always. It opened the doors (pun intended) to all my other music tastes moving forward.

(Full Disclosure: I had a ton of fun making this list. It was a great trip down memory lane as well! Thanks again to Adam to submitting it.)

What are your top 5 albums of your high school times? Share your list with others down in the comments area!