Month: June 2017

Watch: Unhinged Jackie Chan plots revenge against IRA terrorists

An Asian immigrant seeks revenge after his daughter is killed by terrorists affiliated with the IRA.


 

Get ready for a new Jackie Chan adventure.  When his daughter is killed by an explosion organized by the IRA, he has to find the killers to find peace. Jackie Chan to feature as “the foreigner,” the now-unhinged and vengeful father. Pierce Brosnan plays a British government minister with ties to the IRA, who denies that he knows the names of the killers. But Jackie Chan knows better.

Despite his age Jackie Chan is featured here (apparently) doing his own stunts, as he traditionally does. Definitely not a family friendly movie; no real softness or light humor to be found.

The film is based on a novel by Stephen Leather, called “The Chinaman.” The name change is notable and understandable.

🍵

matt is excited about this film. he’s ready to watch an asian guy kick some white Irish terrorist butt! follow matt on twitter @brapachinensis

9 BILLION U.S. CHICKENS KILLED!!! or, Some Problems with Sensationalism

So there is an article in the Huffington Post about the ill treatment of this canine in the movie A Dog’s Purpose. It basically shows the dog balking at the edge of a warm, man-made river that they were using for some part of the movie. The dog is meant to jump into the river and, according to the article (I didn’t see the movie), fish a kid out onto dry land. The article shows the clip (link below) of the scared-to-death dog attempting to back away from the edge, while a man is trying to coax/coerce the dog into jumping into the river. The video is possibly more poignant when you hear the voices of the director and/or camera crew shouting words of encouragement at the dog. Some of them also tell the handler he should simply throw the dog in.

Many people react to videos like this one with outrage and disgust. Many condemn the actions of the crew and pity the dog. I think these gut-feeling reactions are mostly justified; the dog is being coerced into doing something it is intuitively scared to do, while the handlers are disregarding its fears. But I think we should also take into account the possible feelings of the handlers and crew. They could be tired after a day of work, impatient because the dog has been uncooperative, and they probably understand that the dog is perfectly fine because of the extensive safety measures in place. And the dog is surrounded by people ready to help it. It is also a Hollywood dog; I bet it is groomed, loved, and treated with care. The actions of the camera crew and handler, while not necessarily exemplary, may be understood better with (possible) additional context.

I’m going to widen the lens a bit for some perspective.

According to a study in 2007, more than 9 billion chickens and half a billion turkeys were slaughtered during that year. This is in the United States alone. In the year 2000, in the U.S., 41.7 million cows and calves, 115 million pigs, and 4.3 million sheep were all slaughtered for food. The number is undoubtedly much higher worldwide. Among companion animals that enter shelters, “approximately 2.7 million… are euthanized” each year (ASPCA, Pet Statistics). These figures represent a lot of animals that are directly killed by humans; many of them are mistreated before death, while the majority are simply neglected to some degree or another. Livestock are given food whose purpose is too fatten them up, cats and dogs in shelters are given very little love and care, and animals throughout history have lived lives of suffering.

I think it was my uncle who told me the following story about one of his uncles or extended relatives: He (uncle’s uncle, a farmer) took a bag of kittens and, going down to a nearby stream, dashed them to death against some rocks. The family couldn’t afford to feed and take care of the fledgling cats, unfortunately. Spaying/neutering cats must have been too costly, time consuming, or simply wasn’t a practice on farms in the Southwest. In this case, human needs outweighed the cats’.

Continue reading “9 BILLION U.S. CHICKENS KILLED!!! or, Some Problems with Sensationalism” »

Cheap Gyms are Bad

Normally, you would think that low prices are good. Deals are good. Deals are great, even. Haven’t you ever walked into a Costco, left $300 poorer, but still have a smile on your face because you’d probably have paid $500 for the same items if you weren’t buying in bulk?

A gym however, is not something you want a deal on.

At Equinox (and I assume other luxury gyms,) you will walk out over $140 poorer per month, doing the same ineffective workout you’d do anywhere else, but yet, it will leave you so much more satisfied than the $10/month + no commitment at Planet Fitness or whatever.

Cheap Gyms are Bad, But Not Because They Are Inherently Bad

A cheap gym can be compared to a classic economic theory, Tragedy of The Commons. For those of you who were browsing Facebook during your microeconomics lectures, this theory basically describes how when a finite resource such as fish, fossil fuels, or… a gym is available to everyone, it becomes overexploited. And bad.

For some backstory, a few years ago I was a member of a Synergy Fitness in my hometown of Merrick, NY. I paid around $20-25 a month for membership. It was a good gym with a lot of equipment, and was constantly expanding because they kept buying property around the location. A perk was that it was within walking distance of my house. On the other hand, it was also within walking distance of my high/middle/elementary school.

I hate small talking with people when I’m working out, and I hate having to even look at some of the goons I went to high school with. I ended up quitting Synergy, and only working out when I had access to the free gyms at college. Now that I’ve graduated, not ever being able to lift for the rest of my time living in Merrick was not something I was going to consider. Luckily, a brand new gym had opened, just half a mile further away from Synergy. Enter Crunch Bellmore, with beautiful brand new equipment, huge space, and an extremely attractive rate of $10 per month. And yet, I dread going there.

Now don’t get me wrong, Crunch Bellmore is actually a pretty great gym. When you go and there’s nobody there, you’ve got a lot of great equipment to get a good workout in with. This brings us back to The Tragedy of The Commons though. When a really great gym is $10 per month, there is never nobody there. Post-work hours, 7-8pm is disgusting at Crunch. You’ll wait half an hour to get some dumbbells because one of the benchwarmers from High School Football is trying to superset or some shit. I decided to start going at 9-10 PM, sometimes at the risk of not getting my full workout in before the gym closes at 11. And yet even at such an odd hour, I’d have to circle the parking lot 3 times before I found a spot, and would still probably have to wait for equipment and have at least one “Sup bro, how’s life? Working? Sick bro me too.” And since it was cheaper and probably even nicer than Synergy, everyone who I saw at Synergy back in the day… was now at Crunch.

My Free Trial at Equinox

The great Kanye West once said, “I need every bad bitch up in Equinox, I need to know right now if you a freak or not.”

Well, I suppose he actually said it a few times, but the funny part about this statement is that almost everyone in Equinox is a bad bitch.

Since October, I’ve been working for a Bulge Bracket Investment Bank, and I was recently informed of our discount at Equinox, which waives the $300 enrollment fee, and cuts the monthly fee down by $30 a month. (Which is still $140…)

I pass by the 50th Street location every day when I go home from work, since it’s placed right next to the downtown 1 stop. I’ve always had the itch to try a luxury gym, so I thought a free trial couldn’t hurt.

You can get a free trial by entering your email on the www.equinox.com website. This free trial period was the best and most painless out of any other trial I’ve done. Comparatively, Gold’s Gym would not give me more than one free day in the gym, and sent me 50 emails about signing up. Lifetime Athletic wouldn’t stop calling me for 2 weeks even when I said I wasn’t interested. Equinox called only one time, and allowed me to respond at my own pace via email.

The Equinox Experience

Here’s a list of things that make my experience at Equinox pretty great:

  • Less crowded at peak hours
  • Check into the gym/sign up for classes via iPhone app
  • Locker rooms with built in locks
  • Top of the line equipment, nothing is ever broken
  • More attractive people to aggressively stare at during your workout
  • Occasionally get free personal training sessions
  • Depending on location, some provide workout clothes for you
  • Elaborate showers, free Kiehl’s products

On paper, this may not sound like it’s worth 14x the price of my old gym, but it covers the most important thing when it comes to fitness: You’re excited about your next workout, and you don’t dread your next visit.