Friday, 3 August 2012

Checklist For Moving To a New Place

I just moved to a new place. I've had to move a lot in the past few years and I was hoping to settle down for a few years at least in this new place (henceforth referred to as X). Unfortunately, I didn't do my homework very well and I ended up with a very nice place, but it's too expensive. It turns out that I could have found very decent apartments cheaper.

I did do one thing right, I only took a 6-month contract. This means that if I do find something nice at the end of my contract, I can just move into that new property. X is a big city and there are always new properties available. 

The way I went about it was to book viewings for one day in X and then decide according to those viewings. I was not in the mood to go to X again as that would mean a 4-hour return trip as well as 10 hour of viewings and travelling within X. I should probably just have stayed in X for a couple of days and booked many viewings during that period.

I also did not go to just one neighbourhood and I ended up having to travel long distances within X too. So here's my checklist on what I should do next time:

  1. Look for properties 1 month in advance and set aside 2-3 days for viewings.
  2. Shortlist 15-20 properties which are within budget and not too far from intended place of work.
  3. Call and book viewings for at least 12 viewings during a 2 day period or 18 for 3 days. Make sure properties booked for one day are not too far from one another.
  4. Go for house viewings and note down likes and dislikes of every property, including distance to work and amenities, size of rooms (bathroom, bedroom,...), price of property and if it includes bills.
  5. Do not forget to ask what is included and this includes furniture, cleaning of communal areas, type of tv/broadband bundle, how many people living in the house.
  6. Shortlist 3-4 properties which you'd want to live in and rank them. Contact the top 2 first and see if you can arrange for a better price.
  7. Sort out of everything.
Now all I need to do is remember that I've written this here o.O

Friday, 20 July 2012

The Conspiracy Thread II

In my previous post of months ago The Conspiracy Thread I, I spoke about the US and the "birthers". This time I will speak about groups that control the world. A few examples include the Bilderberg group, the Freemasons and the Elders of Zion.

Little Info
Apparently we are all puppets. There are groups in this world who aim to control you. It seems they're actually successful at doing so too. I had a discussion recently with someone I know, who told me that the entire Arab Spring was orchestrated by groups, which run the US. He said these are probably the Bilderberg group and the Freemasons. The Knights Templar might also be involved.
These groups are responsible for war and peace around the world. They orchestrate everything, including the financial crisis, which made them even richer. Of course, all of this is based on nothing more but anecdotal evidence, but it doesn't stop people for believing in them. The reason for why these groups exist, why people believe they're evil villains will be explained in parts below.

The Villains
Let's first see what the conspiracy theorists get right. I will only speak about the Freemasons in detail, but they usually use very similar arguments for the other groups.
So, the Freemasons are a group of people, who originated many centuries ago. The way they work is that they have initiation rites and rituals. Most of these have been kept secret for this entire time. Few rituals are known exactly. This secretive nature is what gives rise to many theories about them, since all meetings happen behind closed doors. Membership is by invitation only and some very influential people were or are part of the society. This includes kings, celebrities, bankers, and so on. This adds to the entire message that the Freemasons actually conspire against the common people in their own interests.
It is of note that the Freemasons also have certain rules to join and the most prominent one is to express your belief in a single deity. This usually means that and polytheist or even atheist could not join the group.

The Freemasons are believed to influence the world by deciding on policies in these secret meetings. They are involved in everything including finance, wars, drugs, terrorism, coup d'etats and more.

There are many problems with these thoughts. The first problem is that it does not make sense for a group to be able to manipulate so many people at the same time. First of all, the question is how ? For example, if I were Syrian, what would push me to protest in the streets and risk getting shot at ? According to the conspiracy theorists, the Freemasons or other groups would be manipulating me to go out there. How are they doing that ? On top of this, how would they get me, my sons, my father, my uncles and others to go out there and get shot as well ? None of this makes sense. It makes a lot more sense to go out there and protest because the Syrian government has more than a dozen police agencies which are tasked to make sure no one speaks out against the government.
The second problem I see is that there are many reasons to keep meetings secret or private. It's because they just do not want people to know what they're talking about. When I speak to a family member about personal issues, I don't want other people to know what I'm talking about. The Freemasons is basically a giant network of rich or influential people, they probably discuss business matters all the time, which are to be private.

Too Much Power
The biggest problem of them all is that if it were all true and these groups can basically mind-control the entire world, then it means they are too powerful for me. I'd much rather live my life in ignorance and be happy, enjoying life with my family, going to work and providing food for my children and so on. It just would not make any sense to fight such powerful people who can overhear anything and manipulate 500 thousand people to go out on Tahrir square all at the same time to protest a leader that might have possibly send the military to kill them all.
While Good vs. Evil fights always end up with Good overcoming Evil in fairytales; If Evil truly were that powerful, then it would be better to live our lives in peace and enjoy ourselves.

The End

Sunday, 4 March 2012


Terrific (adjective)
1. Extraordinarily great or intese
2. Extremely good
3. Causing terror
I've just been wondering about the word "terrific". It comes from the Latin "terrere", which means to be filled with fear or "terrificus", which means to cause terror or fear. It seems to me however that nowadays most people use terrific in a very positive sense.
"My son is the best. He's got terrific grades in school. All A's. He even got awarded this grant" - Proud dad.
I'm just pondering about it.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Quote for Peace

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. - Dwight Eisenhower, President of the United States.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Future of Power ( Part I )

Like with my post about Libya, this post has become rather long and so will be split in several parts. This is Part I.
As has been seen from the disaster in Japan, and before that in the US and the USSR, nuclear power can be very dangerous. This article is going to talk about the different types of power generation available and what I think should be done. After giving an overview on some of the different sources of power I will mention what I think would be the best course for the future and the world. 
Nuclear Energy
"Nuclear power will help provide the electricity that our growing economy needs without increasing emissions. This is truly an environmentally responsible source of energy." - Michael Burgess 
One of the most controversial sources of power, nuclear power can power entire countries with little to no greenhouse gas emissions. Nuclear power carries with a certain cleanliness that most other sources of power do not have, this is taking into account the amount of power generated from a nuclear power station.
France for example gets a majority of its energy from nuclear power stations. While some other countries do not even have any nuclear stations. Nuclear power does come with several disadvantages and those are pretty massive disadvantages.
Almost all nuclear plants that are in use today have the risk of melting down. This is basically when the things that generate the power get so hot that they literally melt and generate massive amounts of dangerous radiation. It is more complicated than this, but basically, many people can die or can get horrible diseases or genetic mutations which they can transmit to their children.
Another major disadvantage is that generating nuclear power also generates nuclear waste. This waste is basically what is left over after the fuel has been used up. No one knows what to do with these millions of barrels of waste and so they are usually just held in some cooling pool (since they can also still output dangerous radiation too and need to be cooled down for a while) until they can be put in a massive storage facility to be forgotten about. Of course that's not a very good permanent solutions and some countries have been known to sell some of the waste to other, usually poorer, countries so they do not have to deal with it. This has been reduced lately, but probably still happens.
There is however one thing that countries can do with the waste and that is to use it once more for fuel. The advantage of doing that is that the waste of that is about 75% smaller, which means a lot more of it can be stored away. The disadvantage is that after being re-used or reprocessed, the fuel can then be used in weapons with enough engineering capabilities and some effort. This is why the US has not been reprocessing its nuclear fuel for decades. Other countries have done so however. Some countries are afraid that this fuel, which isn't as closely guarded as military equipment can be stolen or sold to rogue entities, which might use the reprocessed fuel in a very dangerous and harmful manner.

The advantages of nuclear power is that it is 'cleaner' than coal and other fossil fuels, in absolute terms, less of it is needed than coal. The following numbers only serve as an example and are not true, but serve to demonstrate my point.
If 10 tonnes of coal are needed to power 10 houses for a year, then 10 tonnes of nuclear fuel can be used to power 500 houses for 5 years. That's what I mean by less of it is required. It is basically more efficient than coal and gas.
While the Fukushima disaster has put a big dent on nuclear energy, people should think twice before dismissing it outright. Many advances in technology nowadays allow for safer plants with more and more rigorous safety measures. The newest generation of nuclear power plants are not only safer, but also more efficient. It is important to realize also that the Fukushima plant had been running for almost 4 decades before and earthquake and a flood hit it. Before that, it had been running without incidents for all that time.
In addition to all of this, another source of nuclear energy is called thorium. Unlike Uranium, it does not have the properties to allow for a nuclear meltdown and thus spares people all the nasty repercussions of those. Thorium is quite plentiful in some regions of Earth and as such could be used by some countries as a perfect way to get energy with close to no downsides. From my understanding, it is very efficient and and its only trouble is the nuclear waste.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Syria in Trouble

The Syrian people are being killed every day by its rulers. The government is supposed to help its people and provide for them, but instead the Syrian government is sending soldiers to attack its populace. Nothing is being done as people stay and wait passively without raising their voices. Russia and China, who are friends of the Syrian government chose to veto a UN council vote against the Syrian crackdown on the protesters.

If nothing is done, the voice of the people will fall silent to violence and bullets.
In numbers:

  • 18000 people are arbitrarily detained
  • 25000 people have sought refuge in neighboring countries
  • 70000 people are internally displaced
  • 300 people have been murdered in Homs over the last 10 days
  • 5400 people have been murdered over the past year

These are a people who are fighting for the same rights you and I have in Western countries.
Help them by voicing your opinion about it to people around you, signing petitions online and raising awareness about this.