May 29, 2009
Bill O'Reilly recently made some interesting logic in defense of torture. I think the logic is good, but should bring us to the exact opposite conclusion he makes. Here's the scenario. Our armed forces have become big fans of using unmanned Predator aircrafts in Pakistan. These drone planes fly in remotely, and are quite good at taking out their target. Unfortunately, there are quite often civilian casualties.
But, most people, including a recent guest on O'Reilly's show, claim that to be "acceptable collateral damage", because of how it has allowed us to decimate Al-Qaeda's leadership.
So, this guy O'Reilly's interviewing starts railing at O'Reilly for not coming down against waterboarding. O'Reilly paraphrases with, "If we believe this guy has information that will allow us to track down key Al-Qaeda leaders, why wouldn't we?"
The guest responds with, "I can't believe you're even thinking about allowing torture."
O'Reilly ends with, "You just ok'd the killing of women and children in pursuit of the same result."
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:29 AM
May 28, 2009
You hear stories about Dominican ballplayers in Major League Baseball, where their mother finally flies up to the states to watch their son play for the very first time, and they hit two home runs in the game.
I would definitely strike out every time. When my wife and I are playing tennis recreationally at the high school down the street, I get nervous when people walking by glance over. When I ran cross country and played basketball in school, I preferred for my parents not to show up.
My question is, can I switch? Are there people born scared who learn to not only get over it, but thrive under the spotlight?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 6:37 AM
May 27, 2009
I'm a Jon & Kate Plus 8 fan. This reality show chronicles the life of a family with twin girls, and sextuplets. It's good television A) because the kids are ridiculously adorable B) because the mother is entertainingly neurotic C) because the family is amazing.
The kids are so polite and personable, and the parents are so good with them. I feel like I'm getting free future parenting lessons, and would quickly give gold medals to each parent for their abilities.
Just last year, Jon & Kate traveled to Hawaii to renew their vows. Today, they admit to heading for a possible divorce.
After watching these people for so long, you do feel like you know them. And I was quite angry/sad/hurt when I found out about it. A couple of days separated from that, and now I'm just left with the understanding that marriage is fragile.
Our emotions are powerful. Our memories can be selective. And just like, something so beautiful can be lost. Keep your guard up.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:21 AM
May 26, 2009
I was mowing my backyard this weekend and came across a bloody leg. Confused, I looked around and saw nothing. Then, as I got to the other side of the yard, I came across fly-swarmed intestines. I continued my search to find a hand in the middle of both these discoveries. And in the far corner of the yard, what I had been waiting for, a rabbit head.
A. Our fence and backyard are completely enclosed, so that animals can not enter.
B. The rabbit parts were strewn about the yard.
How did this happen?
May 22, 2009
May 21, 2009
Shouldn't iTunes have killed these already? Oh, you released an album with your 12 most successful songs? Well, the problem is that in the digital world, I can already go and buy each of those songs individually off all of your old albums. All you have really done is released a free Mix-CD recommendation guide for us.
Now, I know what you're thinking. What about the one or two new songs they sneak on the album? Exactly. That brings up a great point. I think we're about to see a big swing towards the release of singles and things like 4-song EPs as well.
Because there's no real cost-benefit of creating a 12 song album anymore now that it costs a band virtually nothing to put new music on iTunes. We're about to get a lot more of it, in a lot of new forms...and no more greatest hits albums. Be excited.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 8:00 AM
May 20, 2009
I recently came across a quote, taken from Obama's Inauguration Address. (15:26 if you want to see)
"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
I remember him giving this line. But only after recently reading it again was I truly moved.
This is just about as powerful a line as man can write and yet, it almost rings flat as he hurries through it. If you watched the video, you'll notice only a dull, delayed applause. He simply doesn't give powerful statements like this enough time to breathe. By delivering every phrase with authority and gravitas, he ends up emphasizing none of them.
Obama speaks with eloquence, thought and power. He simply needs to work on his timing and dynamics. Maybe pick up an instrument...or take an improv class.
Because with lines like this, he would have us.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:11 AM
May 19, 2009
I just launched my first Web site for a company I developed the identity for. My wife had a bellanina facial massage from them last night, and loved the experience. The company is based out of Elwood, IL, near Joliet. If you're in the area, you should definitely check them out.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:17 AM
May 18, 2009
As the homeless population increases within a city, more and more people start begging. And more and more people start ignoring or pretending not to hear the cries coming from the palms of the beggars. And that city gets a reputation for being unfriendly.
Isn't it likely that there is a direct inverse correlation between homelessness and friendliness in major cities?
It's why I can't live in a city. I really don't think it's good to give cash handouts to beggars. And yet, I always feel bad when I don't.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:53 AM
May 15, 2009
A friend recently told me an interesting story. She was taking a train downtown to meet her friends at the Sox game. She started talking with a guy on the train who was a scout for the opposing team. They walked to the ballpark together, and her friends had not yet arrived. It began to rain, so rather than wait outside in the rain for her friends who had her ticket, she accepted his invitation to come inside with him. Even after her friends arrived, she decided that her new seat, right behind home plate, was far better than getting a nosebleed with her friends. She enjoyed the rest of the game with her new friend.
Instantly, I fell in love with not only the story, but the romantic possibility behind it. Now, I have no idea whether this man was mildly attractive or even in my friend's age group. But, if he had been, would we assume this to be a providential setup?
Could it be that we try forcing ourselves into certain relationships/jobs etc. assuming them to be divinely guided whenever they stem from unique stories like this? And why is that how we assume God works?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:00 AM
May 14, 2009
when i hear one, my first reaction is, "oh, i wonder if that's someone i know?"
when i see a cop, my first reaction is "holy crap, am i doing anything wrong?"
both the car horn and hiding police cars have been abused to the point where neither serves a purpose.
please unite behind me in calling for their abandonment.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 2:53 PM
May 13, 2009
May 12, 2009
May 11, 2009
"The Republican Party has had its success over the years, because it's supposed to stand for something, whether or not it ever does. The reason the Democratic Party never stays in power is because it stands for everything."
If I asked you what the idealized Republican Party stands for, you'd probably say something to the effect of small government, low taxes, strong defense, right?
If I asked you what the idealized Democratic Party stands for, I'd get a thousand different answers. That's a huge marketing problem.
If you don't believe me, let's try it.
Posted by Eric Olsen at 7:02 AM
May 08, 2009
...as a political end game. A democracy simply allows for the tyranny of the majority, rather than the whims of a single man. In the democracy of the United States, this leaves us with a fairly free nation. In the democracy of Palestine, this leaves us with Hamas.
Even our democracies must be checked by a limited-government constitution. One that does not allow for the many to vote themselves money from the few. One that does not allow for the many to strip the rights of the few. One that does not allow for the many to make decisions for the few.
It is up to us to not allow our constitution to "evolve" to meet the needs of the present. That's what love is for.
May 07, 2009
This commercial has been out for a while, but I want you to look beyond the physical comedy this time and listen to the message.
The First Diet Cola for Men.
It's brilliant. Because that's precisely the messaging someone like me needs to hear. Seeing a male drinking a Diet Pepsi out of those old sky blue cans literally made me feel uncomfortable.
Obviously this is silly, and a character flaw on my part, but it's reality, too. And bravo to Pepsi for trying to exploit it. In fact, I was so impressed by this commercial that I actually picked up a 2-liter of Diet Pepsi Max the other day at the store. But, after seeing it contained aspartame, I quickly put it back. It gives me headaches.
May 06, 2009
May 05, 2009
May 04, 2009
Let's say the U.S. starts to regulate carbon emissions on individual motor vehicles, and new catalytic converters are developed and mandated on new model cars in order to meet these regulations.
Now, let's say you could, with some technical know-how, manually remove this converter and save 10% on your fuel efficiency. However, your carbon emissions go up ten-fold. Would you do it?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 9:20 AM
May 01, 2009
Here's the problem. I don't believe anything my politicians or media personalities tell me anymore unless I want to hear it.
If they tell me a politician I dislike has been caught in corruption, I am quick to accept it because it fits the mold I have in my head.
If they tell me there's a dangerous pandemic on the loose, I don't take it seriously beacuse a) they usually grossly exaggerate these things, and have a good incentive to do so in the case of media (ratings), and b) i don't want there to be a dangerous pandemic on the loose.
So, if one actually comes, will we even believe it?
Posted by Eric Olsen at 10:16 AM