Archive for February 2016

LEGO Architecture – Venice   1 comment

This is one of three sets that LEGO debut in their Skyline series in the Architecture line. The Venice is the smallest of the three at 222 pieces. This is as miniaturized as you can get as far as LEGO bricks are concerned. They managed to fit 5 famous Venice landmarks.

Built on over 100 islands in a marshy lagoon at the edge of the Adriatic Sea, Venice has a skyline that rises from the water to create a unique architectural experience. There are no roadways or cars in the historic city; instead 177 canals crossed by over 400 bridges give access to innumerable narrow, mazelike alleys and squares.




The Rialto Bridge (Ponte di Rialto) spans the Grand Canal at the heart of the historic city and was built between 1588 and 1591.

The single-span design with a 24 ft. (7.5 m) arch included three walkways: two along the outer edges and a wider central walkway between two rows of small shops. The entire structure was built on some 12,000 wooden pilings that still support the bridge over 400 years later.


Bridge of Sighs

Designed by Antonio Contino and completed in 1602, the Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri) is an enclosed bridge that passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the old city prison to the interrogation rooms in the Doge’s Palace.
The bridge’s romantic name is thought to refer to the sighs of convicts as they saw their last view of Venice before being taken to their prison cells.


St Marks Campanile

The 323 ft. (98.6 m) tall St. Mark’s Campanile (Campanile di San Marco) stands alone in the corner of St. Mark’s Square, near the front entrance to the basilica. The brick structure is 39 ft. (12 m) wide on each side and 160 ft. (50 m) tall, upon which sits a belfry housing five bells.


St Marks Basilica

St. Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) is the most famous church in Venice and the best-known example of the city’s unique Italo-Byzantine architecture.
The current structure is thought to have been constructed between 1073 and 1093. The basilica is laid out in the design of a Greek cross and the tallest of the five domes reach 141 ft. (43 m) in height.


St Theodore and the Lion

Two granite columns stand guard at the entrance to St. Mark’s Square (Piazza di San Marco). Both columns are believed to have been erected in about 1268.
On top of the western column is a statue of St. Theodore, the first patron of the city. On the eastern column stands the winged Lion of Venice, the symbol of the second patron of the city, St. Mark.

I’m done.


Why You Don’t Need To Use The Oxford Comma   Leave a comment

Apparently I’m out for blood on the internet today.

Do you ever question “facts” and “knowledge bombs” shared by your friends? Are you the type of person who just accepts them as truth? Or do you just say “interesting” or nod your head in agreement and forget about it 5 minutes later? Either way, you don’t have to use the Oxford Comma.

Here are some of the pictures circulated online showing examples of why you need to use the Oxford comma.


A quote from the preface or dedication page of a book: “Among those interviewed were Merle Haggard’s two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall. This book is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God. Highlights of Peter Ustinov’s global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector.”

635730031076583071326694264_presidents and rhinos

With the Oxford Comma: We invited the rhinoceri, Washington, and Lincoln. [Description: a picture of two rhinoceri, President Washington and President Lincoln.]

Without the Oxford Comma: We invited the rhinoceri, Washington and Lincoln [Description: a picture of both President Washington’s and President Lincoln’s heads superimposed on two rhinoceri]


Why I still use the Oxford comma.

With: I had eggs, toast and orange juice [Description: a picture of two eggs + toast + orange juice.]

Without: I had eggs, toast and orange juice. [Description: a crude drawing of a person saying “I had eggs” to a toast with a face, covered in orange juice, saying “OK.”]

635729985546797887-818574807_jfk and stalin

With the Oxford comma: We invited the strippers, JFK, and Stalin. [Description: A drawing of JFK, Stalin and two strippers.]

Without the Oxford comma: We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin. [Description: A drawing of JFK and Stalin as strippers.]


See a pattern?

It’s the same example. The only different scenario is the toast and orange juice photo. Nevertheless, all of these scenarios can easily be understood given the context of the sentence.

Many have suggested that you rearrange words without using the Oxford comma.

Instead of “We invited the strippers, JFK and Stalin”

Do “We invited JFK, Stalin and the strippers.”

It still does its job and it’s grammatically accurate. However, if you don’t want to change the word placement and your intent is to invite the two-piece wearing JFK and nipple-tassel clad Stalin, you can use a colon.

“We invited the strippers: JFK and Stalin.”

Grammar is context-based. Oxford commas are still optional. You don’t need it. Unless you actually think Nelson Mandela broke bread with Methuselah and appreciated phallic stimuli or you hear voices and talk to orange-juice-covered toasts. Then by all means, use the Oxford comma. No judgments.

*walking away*

I’m done.


Posted February 21, 2016 by StupidSystemus in Rant

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You Have NOT Been Using Chopsticks Wrong   1 comment

So people online have been raving about this new “revelation” regarding wooden chopsticks. Apparently, the tail end of regular wooden (bamboo) chopsticks that come in red or generic paper wrapper provided at many Asian restaurants can be snapped off to act as a rest or holder to keep the tip of the chopstick untouched to the table. Chopstick aficionados, young Asians, and hipsters-alike got themselves questioning their life experiences.


“How did I not know this?”

“Why was I so stupid not to realize it?”

“Why didn’t my parents, aunts, and uncles tell me this is how wooden chopsticks work?”

“Did I just bring dishonor to my family?”

It’s not a thing. You’re not stupid. There is no secret. You didn’t bring dishonor to your family.

So that everyone will stop sharing these pictures or sites that promote misinformation like they found the holy grail, here’s the actual source of the photos:

Slow Chopstick is a design concept for wooden chopsticks that incorporates the fluted design of the tail part of a toothpick (a very old Japanese traditional design), so it can be easily snapped off. The separated end is used to keep the front end of the toothpick (and with this specially designed chopstick) untouched to the table.


So no. The tail end of regular wooden chopsticks is never meant to function as a rest or holder. This is a specialty product with easily “snappable” ends. You’re not “doing it wrong.”

Now you’re a little bit smarter in an ocean still full of misinformation.

I’m done.

Posted February 21, 2016 by StupidSystemus in Rant

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WTF Fridays – 孔明の罠 – Kaizo Trap   Leave a comment

A Kaizo trap is a type of video game Hope Spot: You have just finished a difficult challenge, such as defeating a boss, completing a level, or even winning the whole game. The battle is over and you breathe a sigh of relief. Then the game kills you during the victory cutscene, and you have to do it all over again.

The player has to find a way to defuse the trap before completing their actual goal, as their fate is otherwise unavoidable after triggering the cutscene and losing control of their character.

This is what happens in the video. A courageous girl fights 8-bit hell to rescue her man in Guy Collins’ animated dubstep adventure.

I’m done.

People at Work Think I’m A Smartass   1 comment

So we had a meeting on Thursday last week. Usually we start by going over our agendas. This time, our managers decided to let everyone else discuss their projects instead of them talking.

So our guest in the meeting talked about this Sharepoint best practices meeting and to respond and vote for their preferred date for the meeting. One of my co-workers mentioned how she couldn’t find the vote button in the email. I’m not expert on Microsoft Outlook 2010 myself, but when you use these programs daily, you tend to pick up how it works or do your own research. Being sincerely helpful, I replied to my co-worker and said “you have to open the email.”

The voting option in Outlook desktop client emails is only visible if you (1) right-click on the email itself or (2) open the email in its own window. If you right-click the email, you’ll see the word “vote” as one of the options if that email has voting enabled. To open the email, you either double-click it or press “Enter” while the email is highlighted. The “Vote” button will be at the top menu options. It will NOT be present if you view the email in the preview window.

After my comment, my co-worker gave me that look as if I was mocking her. Everybody else laughed. My manager thought I was being a smartass. One of the few times I speak up at work and that’s what I said. I didn’t realize it until a few minutes later how it all seemed to everyone else. I already knew that most of my co-workers are not as tech-savvy as me. It was at that moment that I realize most people in that room probably didn’t know what I was talking about. (There are several other moments from last week when co-workers didn’t know what Excel VLOOKUP is, but I digress)

After the meeting, I explained to my co-worker that I wasn’t being a smartass. That I LITERALLY meant to OPEN the email. I talked to another co-worker and she didn’t see the voting button either until I showed her. It’s not really technical. Then again, I’m operating on a highly-technical level compared to them. I guess that makes me seem smarter (not that I’m not). Not a smartass.

I’m done.

Posted February 14, 2016 by StupidSystemus in Musings, Personal