Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Latin Feel Good Playlist

Here we go, coming straight from the depths of 20sb chat, I present for your hearing pleasure...a Latino/Hispanic based play list. I listen to music in all languages, but if I had to divide up the hearing time, I think English would beat out Spanish by a very thin margin. This post was encouraged, and therefore I am giving out a shoutout to Risha aka R...Rawr at Epitaph for a Heart.

Hmm, blogger isn't allowing me to link her blog site to the text. Wtf blogger I thought we talked about playing nice. Also, side note, I think I'm actively suffocating from the smell cologne coming from the computer cubicle next to me. What makes you think that diving into a bottle of cheap smelling scent will make you more attractive. Women confuse me sometimes, but guys really piss me off a lot of times. It happens.

The first song that I will present to you is "Danza Kuduro" by Don Omar featuring Lucenzo. Now I'm not normally a fan of "El Rey" but this beat is addictive. This song is perfect for the private dance party in your room, strippers may or may not be included. What I like most about this song is the mixture of African rhythm, Latin melody, and electronic feel. Far too many songs these days are going the eurotechno or the house backbeat route, and that's well and good, but it gets old very very quickly.

The next song is "Mi Nina Bonita" by Chino and Nacho. No, not a food item, but rather two pretty good melodious guys. This song is easy on the ears, danceable, and overall very up-lifting. The harmonies are good, maybe not excellent but with that trumpet backdrop do I really need more people singing? Not really, no.

Moving on to "Te Mando Flores" by Fonseca. Fonseca has taken over the tropical, Caribbean rhythm crown Carlos Vives and boy does he run with that thing. This brings to mind a sort of tropical festival, complete with people dancing in the streets and lots of confetti being thrown everywhere. Someone wipe this grin off my face because this song just makes me chuckle and want to go find some street performers.

Then you have "Todo Cambio" by Camila. Again, I am not normally a fan of Camila, and I think they are generally overrated. But this song, damn, this song almost makes me a fan. It is smooth, with some subtle harmonies and its like a feather dropping into a pond. It has an easy gliding down, with no effort, and yet it still makes waves in the pond water. That is what real music should sound like, if you are going for the delicate, emotional side of song composition.

Finally we have "Tocame" by Jandy Feliz. I grew up with Jandy, and his tropical merengue feel has always been in my head for when I decide to go record my album. This is just a well-around great introduction merengue and the tropical flavor that Caribbean Latino music has to offer.

Use this playlist well, and let some more dance beats in your day. More playlists are soon to follow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Some Math You Probably Know

I started this blog with the idea that I was going to write about music I liked and math I enjoyed. So, a few months later, and there are several music posts. Not so much on the math side though. My bad, folks. Today, I'm going to fix that once and for all. For your reading enjoyment and possibly the first time you have touched math in a long time, I present...the Pythagorean Theorem.

Originally credited to Pythagoras of Samos, one of the first "true" mathematicians. I mean, the man developed his own cult that declared their religion to based off of mathematics and how numbers had spiritual properties. Not your average middle school algebra teacher indeed. His theorem is taught to all the middle school-ers out there, the simple rule about all right triangles. Now a right triangle is any triangle with a 90 degree angle in it. Got it? Good.

Here we go, simple and nice to look at as far as math theorems go. Plus, it's very easy to plug into your calculator! But how about proving the lil' muthafucka?
Well, actually that's pretty easy too.
So easy in fact, that even people you wouldn't think were into math got into the whole mix as well - James Garfield, for instance. That's right, President James A. Garfield did some math on the side of being a politician and future president. His proof is really short, sweet, and easy to explain, hence the reason I chose it for this blog post. I found this proof (and EIGHTY-FREAKING-NINE others) at Cut-The-Knot, a really cool and thorough math site. Check it out to learn more about everything math-y. So let's get to the proof itself:

First, let's imagine a trapezoid:
This baby has two parallel lines and a right angle, like so

Then you label the sides:

Next draw the lines, making 3 triangles:

Now it's all simple area formulas from here :P

The area of a trapezoid:
Area = ((base 1 + base 2)/2)*height

Well base 1 = A, base 2 = B, and height = A+B

But this figure is also made up of 3 triangles and the triangle area formula is:
Area = .5*base*height

Area of Trapezoid = Area of Triangle 1 + Area of Triangle 2 + Area of Triangle 3

Triangle 1 = A*B*.5, Triangle 2 = A*B*.5, Triangle 3 = C*C*.5 (as you can tell from above image)

Woot, okay then

(A+B)*.5*(A+B) = .5AB + .5AB + .5C*C, thats putting area of the trapezoid equal to the 3 triangles

Let's multiply the whole line by 2:

(A+B)(A+B) = 2AB + C*C
When we do the multiplication of (A+B) squared we get,

A-squared + 2AB + B-squared = 2AB + C-squared

Subtract 2AB from both sides and you're done!

A-squared + B-squared = C-squared

As far as proofs go, this one is practically giving itself to you. Hopefully, I'll do more proofs and mathematician biographies as the year goes on. We'll see.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Keep Your Dreams Up

Trying to write up to my standards every post has been slowly killing me. So, I will just let it flow for this post. Everyone has a dream. Sometimes they are little dreams, like making a good impression for your first interview or dunking the basketball. A lot of them are huge dreams, such as writing a best selling book or becoming a big-name actor. Yet, the most important thing at the end of the day is not letting go of that dream.

Dreams get abandoned all the time. The reasons are many and list a wide variety of details, but one thing stays the same for everyone: regret. Waking up years later thinking, "Man I should have gone for that job." or "I should have asked her to stay." Now, you are just left with memories of what could have been.

But let's not get focused on the negative side of dreams, and instead let's talking about keeping them alive. It isn't easy. Our wishes are like weak flames, that need constant encouragement, careful monitoring, and thousands of hours of dedication. No wonder so few flames become a full rage fire. And so, to keep your spirits alive, I offer you a song, something I found on the internets. It is called Dreams Up by Hoodie Allen.

In simple terms, Hoodie raps about how he keeps at the dream of making it big, of making it as an artist and rapper. There must be hundreds of thousands of people out there trying to make it in the rap industry, let alone the music industry and the road can get quite rough. People get lost, or worse think they are farther ahead than they actually are, with a very skewed view of their life and success.

Some lines to think about:
"The only road I know is like the steepest now
and I'm on the outside but they can't keep me out

'Cause that's not the way my life should be
I'm overall nice and a tight MC"

This song has a tight feel, and the combination of fighting lyrics along with the upbeat beats add the shine to this finished product. "Dreams Up" should be added to the wake-up playlist, the song that reminds us that all our efforts are not in vain. Believe in yourself and in Hoodie, so we can keep dreaming to make it big someday.

Dreams Up by HoodieAllen

Friday, January 14, 2011

Bringing Sexy (Science) Back

It seems to me that the main factor in casting television shows these days is attractiveness. Turn on your TV and it is sex this, romance that, love interest here, cheating there, oh no's, uh-oh's, and hell no's. Viewers worry about the storyline sure, but sometimes they are more preoccupied with who is with which character and where, how, how often are they doing it. There is sex and attractive people everywhere, in every field. There are all the television hospitals with their doctors all eyeing each other and feeling each other up (ER, General Hospital, House, Grey's Anatomy). Then you have the lawyers who defend the innocent, take down the corrupt, and establish courtroom sexual tension (the Law & Order franchise, Damages, The Deep End). Cop shows are a standard for any television network and the fighting crime has never looked so good! (Blue Bloods, Southland, the CSI's).

Now you are probably asking yourself, "why are you doing a full recap of all the shows that are on TV, Rio? I have TV Guide for that kind of crap." True enough, any cheap ass entertainment magazine from the gum rack could provide you with enough eye candy and spoilers to last you a lifetime. My point is...where are my engineers? All the playas doing the Gauss, the Newton, and the Heaviside? Sure, a writer gets his own series (Californication) and of course high school teachers are the highlight of 2010 (Glee). Furthermore, even the freakin' mathematicians have a show dedicated to their exploits (Numb3rs). But the guy who designs car engines? Nope. How about the people who design skyscrapers? Nada. Clearly, the sexiness has left the engineering laboratory. But I am here to bring. it. back.

All hope has not been lost. Creating a sexy engineering show should not be that hard. We used to have MacGyver, so it is simply a case of cutting off the mullet, losing the vest, and putting on a suit...right? At this present time and day, our main representation is Howard Wolowitz, who is an aerospace engineer on this lil' old show that you may not have heard of, The Big Bang Theory. Yes indeed, the guy believes himself to be a ladies' man AND still lives with his mom is the engineer on prime time television. Take a look for yourself:

Oh yea, take a good look at that sexiness. All right, all things considered, Wolowitz is not too bad. There are a few good quotes here and there:

"I'm a horny engineer...I never joke about math or sex" (Can't say I do the same)
"I was once robbed by a pre-op transsexual on J-Date and that didn't even crack my top ten."
"Women, huh? Can't live with 'em; can't successfully refute their hypotheses." (AMEN brother)

It's time for some new blood, some new additions to the main roster of the small screen. A script needs to be written, and this baby should bring out the sexiest parts of engineering, machine lubricant not included. Ideally it would include a mixed cast of attractive guy and girl engineers, a bagful of suspense and drama, and a topping of action. Screenwriters should also look to include a heavy dose of sexual tension between the cast members, and a very high sex appeal for the very fact that these people are the very embodiment of science. They can build shit, and are not afraid to use heavy machinery. Lab coats and calculators will not be looked at the same after all of this.

Hollywood, if you are reading this, take note and give me my creator's credit. There is a whole revolution of attractive smartness about to happen. I am just the messenger of this new movement, but I would not mind being the face (blogger?) of your new engineering shows. Get the science out there, and make it wild.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Not-So-Serious List for 2010

Last post I wrote a semi-serious list of lessons I had picked up from the year 2010, but creating that list was a lot harder than you would think. You see, I kept getting these random sentences that popped into my head when I was trying to be all reflective and self-analytical. Instead of "Commitment! Responsibility!", all I could get was "Sex! TV! Dinosaursssss". You can totally see where I am coming from. So, in honor of all these crazy thoughts that pop into my head I decided to post them in their original un-filtered form.

(Asking myself) "So, Rio, what did you learn in this year 2010?"

  • Somehow, in internet math, stupid comments are the solution to even stupider discussions
  • On the web, everyone that disagrees with you has a 20-inch dick, multiple degrees in every intellectual field, and has lived more than you ever will
  • I stopped whining, because there was always someone with a worse sob story than mine...bastards.
  • The blue button on the remote is the "keep" button, great to know after all the good movies were deleted off of the family DVR
  • Trojan viruses are filthy little shits, but you can call me muthafuckin' Achilles by the way I fight them off my laptop
  • Farting in your car...during your long the New England wintertime is only hurting yourself and not entirely funny since you are the only one in the car, dumbshit.
  • Making your own passport photos is an excellent way to feel super-spy, terrorist, and cheap all at the same time.
  • Blogging anonymously might not work if you use your blog's email to respond to a flirty girl
  • I still blush when a sex scene pops up and I'm around my parents, even at 21 years of age
  • Yet I don't blush when I have to explain things like this to my brothers:
  • In sex, there are 3 things you need: Enthusiasm, Knowledge, and Physical Endurance...I have 2 out of 3, I'll let you all guess which two though.
  • If you are in a cleaner bathroom than you thought was possible, you are probably in the ladies' bathroom
  • Just when you thought you had found a nice happy place...the trolls reveal themselves and not even Jesus, Gandhi, or Mother Theresa could resist screaming at these morons.

A quick summary, but a necessary one. All these points have little stories attached to them, but they in themselves are not gut-punching, tear-rolling hilarities. Let me know if you have any unserious lessons from 2010 to share.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Top Ten Lessons of 2010

First of all, happy 2011 to everybody. I have been away for a while, and I know this is unacceptable but I will make it up to you. I promise. I'll even cross my heart and all other 4th grade playground talk that confirms our unbreakable oath. With the end of the previous year, everyone is busy doing their New Year's Resolutions and promising themselves to be overall better this year. Since I have been deemed as "unique","original", and "just plain fucking weird" from birth I decided to do something different for the beginning of the year. Let's look back and see what exactly Rio has learned in these past 12 months.

Lesson #10: Work Hard, Play Hard
Pretty obvious rule here. The reason I include this is that people can't seem to avoid extremes, and this lesson is not an exception. I either meet "sweet-awesome" partiers that can't handle the real world or the extremely annoying and up-tight workaholics. Prioritize the things you enjoy in life; your movies, TV, music, sports, blah blah blah. These things are important to keep yourself loose and flexible, you lose focus when you are stressed and anxious which then only leads to bad decisions and sloppy work.

Lesson #9: Agree to Disagree
Unanimous agreement on any topic at any given point of time is highly improbable. Politics, religion, scientific theories, and even what movie to watch tonight will be questioned by someone in your group. To this fact I have no doubts, since I have even had a discussion of how a sandwich should be made during class. Yet if we make an honest effort (key word: honest) to understand what the other person is saying, then mutual respect can be found. With respect, then we can appreciate any ideas different to our own, even if we disagree to the point of death.

Lesson #8: Attitude is Everything
Battles have been won and lost on morale and determination. Switch in "I AM THE FUCKING MAN (or WOMAN)" instead of "what's wrong with me? i can't believe i'm like body loves me...". See what happens? You literally tear yourself to pieces and you end up with nothing, nada, zip, zilch. Whether you will succeed or fail will rest on how often you can raise your head and tackle the task at hand. Another suggestion for your line to yell is anything from the movie "300"...

Lesson #7: Change your methods to Change your results
This quote comes to mind; "To have something you have never had before, you must do something you have never done before". Ah, so true and yet so hard to implement. You must either hold your nose or tighten your belt, because you are neither too high or too low for any activity that will benefit you. If the goals you place before you are that important, then you have give them the proper dedication they deserve. Do not be afraid to be compete and win, and do not be aloof to the needs of others in your journey to succeed.

Lesson #6: There is no substitute for hard work
"How do you get to Carnegie Hall?"
The person who truly succeeds in any field is the person who has put in the most time and effort. You don't open your arms and hope that the sky will dump a best-selling book for you to publish. Certainly you don't expect an attractive lover in a package to come randomly through the mail (would be lots of fun, yet still a tad bit awkward). To that effect, if you want something, go get it, and keep at it until you do. Plain and simple as that.

Lesson #5: Dreams come and go, but Passion is forever
If there is something in your life that brings you joy and benefits you, then whatever it is; good for you. This activity/object/person is great. And if this thing is all of the above and you can't imagine a single day of your life without it, then we have a case of passion. Passion refers to whatever has carved a space in your heart/soul/being/other names for your existence, and it can not be removed easily if at all. Little kids always declare that one day they are going to be an astronaut, then a doctor, then a race car driver. As you get older, you realize what is truly important to you, what you are truly passionate about. You can't fight the feeling and good luck trying to get rid of it, so I only suggest we embrace our passions and try to incorporate them as much as possible in our lives.

Lesson #4: Family Love
The members of your family (either blood or not) are always going to be your source of support and loyalty. These are the people you can trust, the people you can always let in and talk about what is on your mind, and most importantly the people you can depend on in times of crisis. True friends, parents, and your siblings will have your back and they will always hope for the best in your life.

Lesson #3: Liberty with Responsibility
This one is difficult for people to wrap their minds around (including me, though I have improved on it this year *makes peace sign*). The more liberty you have and demand, the more responsibilities you must take on as a direct result. You want to live on your own? You have rent to pay, utilities to not overuse, and roommates to deal with. Have a car? You know the drill; insurance, maintenance, and gas. There is always a correlation between personal liberty and the things you are obligated to do to maintain that level of benefits. Too many people of my age group naturally assume that they have can have it all, but don't want to do anything to keep it all. You want a strong economy and job market in this country AND have benefits when you are older? Well the money has to come from somewhere, so don't look at me that way when I say that we need more taxes to get rid of the deficit. To quote Spiderman: "With great power, comes great responsibility".

Lesson #2: Priorities are essential
How you organize your life can and will decide whether you are happy or frustrated. Are you accomplishing all that you want to accomplish? Or are you just flopping around, doing nothing, and getting pissed off at yourself for doing nothing? Your priorities are the foundation of the direction your life will take. What is important, what is essential, and what is not so much have to be determined by you. Nobody else can tell you what is the most important thing in your life, and nobody else is going to remind you that you have to focus on the essentials and not on the distractions (Facebook, Angry Birds, Youtube, your girlfriend...what? oh that's my distraction :P).

And finally,
(drum-roll please)

Lesson #1: Every action has a CONSEQUENCE
You choose your successes and failures. What you decide to do or not do will affect the future, keep that in mind. Don't cut corners today, saying you'll make it up tomorrow because life doesn't work that way. Time marches on. Don't stop yourself from making that crazy life-changing decision because you are too scared. Regret stays around for a long time people! When taking action, pause, and ask "is this going to benefit me in the future?". If so, go for it and if not, forget it immediately.
...Unless it has to do with food, food is a game-changer. Anddd sex.

So yeah, make good choices folks. If you made so not-so-good ones in 2010, you now have 2011 to make all better again. That and you should blog about the not-so-good ones, get some readers and laughs out of it. Go for gold.