Monday, 30 May 2011

Thoughts about casnios

I'm pretty sure that I don't need to write a whole introduction about what a casino is. I'm fairly confident that it's common knowledge as to what goes on in a casino, and why people go there. With that being said, casinos are not a bad place.

Unless you go only in hopes of looking like this guy.
Casinos are not a bad place, if you go just for fun. If you feel like you've got some extra money to burn, why not go to the casino and have some fun? Try out your luck? You might win, but you probably won't. It's that slight chance of winning that makes it so fun! It's the times that you go in hopes of "winning big" that make it a bad place.

I'll bet on blue!
Now every time I go to the casino, I have a set plan. I've got 200 bucks in my pocket, and I'm probably going to be going home with nothing. That's it. I know there's a slight possibility that I may win more, but its pretty unlikely, and I'm just playing for fun. Most people however, go with the sole intention of winning, which is wrong. Every time I go to the casino, as I'm walking around, I look at all the people there, and just can't help but feel sorry for most of them. I'm sure those that have been to the casino before, have seen people playing one two, maybe three slot machines at the same time. I once sat down at a machine, for literally 5 minutes, and played for 20$, while the person next to me managed to already spend 300$ in that short time frame.

There's one little fact that most people forget about casinos... A casino is a business. The owner of the casino hopes to MAKE money, not lose it! And guess how they're making money? By taking it from the fools who think they'll become rich enough to open their own casino. It wouldn't be a very good business model if the owner lost more than they made.

In conclusion, I think the casino is a pretty fun place to go if you just want to have a fun night out with your friends, but don't go expecting to come home a millionaire, because well... You won't.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Secrets about McDonald's

I'm going to take a break from all the super serious and borderline conspiracy theorist postings, and just post a little fun, and maybe for some informative blog. Today's blog will be about things you could order from McDonalds that aren't really on the menu!

Can I see the secret menu please?
Now I'll admit, the first time that I tried any of this, I was pretty drunk. It was a late night, me and my buddies got hungry, so we went to McDonald's. One of my friends was like, "Hey Steve, I dare you to order a double cheeseburger, but tell them to make it like a Big Mac". Being in a highly intoxicated state of mind, of course I agreed without question. I went up to the counter, and made my order.

Steve: "Two double cheeseburgers, and ummm... Could you make them like a Big Mac?"
Cashier: "Make it like a Big Mac?"
Steve: " Yeah man, you know, chop up some lettuce, throw it on there, and then dabble it in some Big Mac sauce. I want a double cheeseburger, but I want you to pretend you're making a Big Mac."
Cashier: "Oh, I guess I could do that... 2.93$ please."

Much to our drunken surprise, it actually worked, and tasted AMAZING. And just like that, I realized that you could get any sauce, on any sandwich. The rest of the night was filled with cheering and awe of our discovery. I'll now share with you some other "inventions" that I've tried over time, and have come to know and love. Ever since this discovery, I've never truly ordered off the McDonald's  menu.

My favourite sandwich to get when I'm on a budget is a Jr. Chicken with Spicy Thai Sauce. This is an incredible sandwich for the price. at 1.47$ a piece, how could you not get it? The Thai Sauce just adds the extra flavour that the original sandwich was missing. This is highly recommended!

What you know 'bout spices?
Another favourite of mine when I feel like splurging a little bit, is a Quarter Pounder with Big Mac Sauce. I like Big Macs and all, but I find that the patties are too thin, and you can't really taste the meat too well. But the problem with the Quarter Pounder is that it feels like it's missing something... After you add Mac sauce, you can't go back to eating normal Quarter Pounders!

Last but not least, is the infamous McGangBang, however, I add a little twist to mine. I call it the MacGangBang. And I'm sure you've all ready figured that out. I ask for Big Mac sauce on the double cheese burger. Hahaha. For those that don't know, the McGangBang is a Jr. Chicken sandwich INSIDE a double cheese burger. Probably one of the manliest (and greasiest) sandwiches around. But it's a pretty good (and filling!) bargain for only 3$!

Double Down's got nothing on me boys
I hope you enjoyed my creations and suggestions. Has anybody ever tried this before? Do you have any other crazy sandwiches that you enjoy? Tell me in the comments section!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Thoughts about carbon taxes

Everyday, we hear more and more from the media, or our governments, about becoming more environmentally conscious. We hear suggestions such as, recycle waste, re-use water bottles, try to limit carbon emissions. Now don't get me wrong, these are all great suggestions! However, as environmental issues get more and more media coverage, governments are already planning on how to turn mass hysteria into profit.

I'm sure that the concept of carbon taxes isn't new to anyone. Most Canadian's who were following the recent federal elections would have definitely heard the term. During the election campaign, most parties unveiled their "green initiatives". One party in particular, the NPD, actually vowed to raise gas prices in order to punish those who drive more! The NPD wanted to implement a carbon tax on all fossil fuels consumed in Canada. Their logic for this was that people who drive SUVs, cars that are not "fuel efficient" (another word that gets tossed around a lot today), or who abuse the luxury of driving should pay extra fees for playing a bigger part in the destruction of the environment. And that really struck a few chords with many Canadians.
The fun part however, was that the platform was unveiled in such a way that to a layperson, it was unclear whether the carbon tax would also be applied to natural gas, which is used in home heating. And well, this is the government we're talking about, so of course it would have! So whether you drive more or not, if you want a warm house during the cold Canadian winters, you'd be paying out of your ass for that privilege!

You want to drive this car? Sure, bend over.

Most of the other parties proposed other "green" initiatives, such as promises to reduce waste. They could all be loosely quoted saying, "If we reduce x amount of waste, it would be like taking of y thousand cars off the road." But wait, I have a better idea! If these people were serious about being leaders, and were serious about the environment, and seriously wanted to get cars off the roads, why don't they just do it!

All roads would look like this
 Now, I don't mean actually getting all the cars off the roads. I'm not telling the government to ban driving. I'm saying get rid of all the negative effects of driving. Drive without carbon emissions. What? That's possible?! Of course it is. Just doing a quick Google search for "engines that run on water", will yield you 62,200,000 results. There are even engines that could run on chocolate!

So why don't we have this technology for everyday use? Simple. The governments make too much money off oil. And the governments want to keep making money off oil. Another reason why these engines will probably never be made to good use is because, what's stopping from somebody who's low on fuel (water), from going to a ravine and filling up their tank for free from there? What's stopping people from collecting rain water to use as fuel? Nothing at all, which scares the government, because there's no way to profit from that! They don't give a rats ass about the environment, or carbon emissions. What they do care about is money, and taxes.

Look at all that free fuel

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Thoughts about gas

Everybody who drives a car has probably thought about this recently, or heard somebody say this recently. Gas prices are freaking ridiculous!

Excuse me, but is this a joke?

That picture was taken about two weeks ago in Toronto, Canada. For the American readers who might not understand, that's $1.41 per LITRE (1 L = 0.264172052 US gallons). Now granted this was about two weeks ago, and the price per litre did quite a bit as of today's date (which is extremely odd because prices normally don't drop that much, but we'll get into that later). According to Tomorrow's Gas Price Today, tomorrow, May the 26th, gas is expected to cost around $1.30, while a barrel of crude oil will come in at about $98.30. Now generally, up until about two years ago, you could easily predict the price of gas on your own by dividing the price of a barrel by 100. Using this method, gas prices should be hovering around $0.98 per litre? So why the huge mark up?

Well 8% of the mark up is due to the sleezy tax grab in Ontario known as HST. For those who don't know before the summer of 2010, there were two sales taxes in Ontario, PST (Provincial Sales Tax) and GST (Goods and Services Tax, or the federal sales tax). During the summer of 2010, a new controversial sales tax was introduced, which would merge both the GST and PST, into one tax, the HST. So what right? You had to pay both taxes either way right? Wrong.

Many things used to be exempt from either the PST (gasoline for example) or the GST (no example comes to mind, haha). After the HST was implemented, the 8% PST was to be merged with the 5% GST, creating a universal 13% tax on all purchasable items, thus increasing the price of certain necessary commodities, for no reason, except to gain more profits...

Back to the main point at hand, gas is a consumable, and non renewable commodity. As people use more and more of it, there's less and less to go around. Which in turn drives up the prices to what we see today. Does anybody remember when you could buy a litre of gas for 40 cents? I do... Anybody remember when people were complaining about gas being 80 cents? I do... And I'll probably re-read this post some time next year, and laugh at how I was complaining about paying $1.30 at the pumps for a litre...

But why are the prices so high? Surely we're not facing a gas drought?! I know a lot of European readers would probably be laughing to themselves, while shaking their heads. Yes, it is true, gas prices in Europe are MUCH higher than in North America. But there's one key difference between a random European country and Canada. Canada has it's own oil. Canada refines its own oil. Others will blame the high prices on the insanity happening in the Middle East right now. Once again, Canada shouldn't be affected by this. But it is...

And I'll tell you why:

Canada is notorious for harbouring monopolies, and  having a sever lack of regulation. Canadian's pay exorbitant fees on almost EVERYTHING, be it cellphone bills, internet bills, TV bills, phone bills, alcohol, and yes, gasoline.  There is virtually no competition on any major front in Canada, especially in the domain of Oil Refineries. Lack of competition, coupled with the lack of government regulation and interference, allows the corporations to set any price they like, just because they can. What's stopping the refinery from charging Canadian's $1.40 per litre? Nothing at all. If you want to drive, you need gas. That's the bottom line.

How do you feel about this?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Thoughts about University

As I've mentioned in my introductory post, I'm a university student. I pay around 8,000$ a year for tuition alone, and then another odd 1,000$ for books. Now, by no means is my family rich, but we're not poor either. We're "rich" enough that I don't qualify for a student load, but "poor" enough that my parents cannot pay for my tuition. I want to go to school, but I can't pay for it... This leaves me with a dilemma.

In order to go to school, I have to work. And I work pretty hard... I'm a full time worker, and a full time student. How is that possible you ask? I go to work from 7am to 3pm, come home, eat something quickly, and try to catch my bus to make it to school on time for a 7pm class. At least I have the weekends free, haha. All of this would be fine, if I was actually taught something.

I find the only time where I did any learning was in most of my first year classes. The professor would ACTUALLY go over the material, and explain it in their own way. After completing my third year, I find that more and more professors are simply reading out of the book instead of actually lecturing. This is very discouraging for me, because that means I have to go over all the material on my own again, and understand it on my own! What's the point of going to class then?

It's a little ridiculous if you think about it. I'm paying so much money, in order to work my ass off and get a stupid piece of paper that says I completed "school". I'm not really paying for an education, because the professors are hardly doing anything. I'm paying to know what books I need to read in order to pass an exam. Good use of my money huh?

Society places so much value on a university education, but honestly from my experience, it's mostly bullshit. You're paying to learn on your own. Why pay at all then? Why aren't you able to study on your own, read whatever books you'd like, and then opt to take a certification test of your knowledge. Obviously this test wouldn't be free, since somebody would have to mark it, and there's costs associated with processing. Even if it costed 1,000$ to take the test once, it'd still be cheaper than the 36,000$ (8,000 a year for four years, plus textbooks) you'd end up spending on an "education". This would be an alternative solution to getting a degree, and a more practical one for many people. But alas, it's obvious that the whole education system is based around business first, education second, so this will never happen.

Monday, 23 May 2011


Hello, my name is Stephen.

As I've decided to start a blog, I thought it'd be proper of me to start with an introduction, and maybe write a little about what readers could expect from this blog (yes, I'm being very hopeful thinking that I'll actually get readers, hahaha).

As it is written in my about me section, I'm a 21 year old psychology student from Canada. Being a student and all, I'm very interested in what's happening in the world, and I have many opinions about many things. Some of my opinions would be largely agreed upon by the majority of people, while others may not receive so much approval. I'm not very vocal in the real world about these things, but I'm hoping that I could be over the internet. I'm wondering what other people may be thinking about these issues as well.

In the future, I hope to write about my ideas about many things, and maybe hope to get some other people thinking about the same issues.

That's all for now, I think that will suffice as an introductory post!

Until a later date,