Monday, December 31, 2012

The Muslim Guide to Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse

One of the handful of shows that I have fallen in love with recently is The Walking Dead on AMC. I'm sure some of you have already heard of the hit show--which is based off of a popular comic book with the same name--but for those who haven't it's a pretty basic premise cut from the same cloth of those countless George A. Romero "Land of The Dead"  films in the zombie horror movie sub-genre. It's been done to death, but that hasn't stopped people from eating it up (no pun intended).

Basically a man wakes up from a coma to find that the world has been overrun with flesh-eating walkers or zombies. (sidenote: It's funny how the show NEVER says zombies but instead coins new terms like "biters", "walkers", "geeks" as if the word doesn't exist in the English lexicon) The series follows the path of the man and other survivors as they try to adjust to the reality of being in a zombie apocalypse. For those who don't really know what a zombie is look at the definition below and a sweet picture of one :) .

Monday, December 24, 2012

Give Me All Your Downtime...

Whenever I'm not updating PhilAsify 101 when I should be, there are several factors which are usually the culprit. Sometimes it's the whirlwind of life and all its unexpected surprises which take me away from blogging/writing, but for the most part it could be something as menial and time-consuming (and FUN) as video games.

I used to be a huge video gamer. Then I had a period where I rarely ever played video games, but that was mainly because I didn't have the cash to plop down 300 bucks for the latest console. Once I was able to, I found myself immersed in countless unproductive hours and late nights mashing buttons. There's even been times where I'd be so lost in the beautiful crisp graphics and vivid colors of the "Uncharted" series that I didn't realize that my back went stiff from hours of sitting on a workout ball staring up at my big screen. Getting to bed that night really sucked.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

[VIDEO] Worst Prayers Ever in Cinema and Television shows Epic Botches of the Salat.


I got a good kick out of this video above so I thought you guys would too. It's from comedic Muslim video blogger, Hamzah Moin, best known as the Maniac Muslim. I actually had a discussion a while back with my wife over some of the worst inaccurate depictions of Islam and the salat in Hollywood or independent films.  

You'd think that when the production crew is planning this movie out, they'd at least hire a Muslim to play the part, or to an even lesser extent, get a Muslim to serve as a consultant to preserve authenticity when it comes to Islamic rituals and practices like they would with a film protrayal of any other culture. But no, let's caricature it up! 

My message to the Maniac Muslim though, I'd say that the absolutely worst prayer ever depicted in modern cinema would have to be the one performed in the movie Sabah: A Love Story. To anyone who has read my blog, "The Good The Bad and The Ugly of Muslim Themed Movies"  you would be more than aware of the repulsive place in my heart in which Sabah resides. Yes, its not only an abomination, but a total abortion of a film. A complete dissertation can be conducted of all that is wrong with Sabah and just how horrible it is. But I digress.

The scene which takes the cake and places Sabah in the walk of shame in the category of worst prayer ever is early in the film when Sabah's immodest sister is praying salat while the rest of the family is sitting around. It focuses on her, erroneously finishing the prayer by cocking her head left and right, then immediately whipping off her abaya, cleavage and all hanging off of her and swiftly getting up and walking over to join her family in some hookah smoking and belly dancing. UNBELIEVABLE. It's laughable how this movie was intending to depict a conservative Muslim family, and they have this scene. Uncles would faint and then wake up and start riots after seeing even a fraction of what this movie contains. I wish I could show you the clip or make an animated GIF of it so you can see for yourself, but Netflix (where I saw the trash) had the common decency to take the movie down.

Hamzah, if you're able to have the misfortune to find that movie, this would definitely far surpass the Morgan Freeman worst prayer ever by leaps and bounds. Maybe you can make a part two video of some more Muslim botches on the Silver Screen, Inshallah.

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's the Holiday Season and I'm Muslim! Oh, great...

So if you couldn't already tell from the soundtracks blaring on the PA system of all the restaurants and stores you walk into, I'm here to tell you, it's the holiday season! 

The season to be jolly, to be exact, and jam to nonsensical Christmas tunes. And for many, 'tis the season to light a match to the last 6 months of your income.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Back From Blog Hiatus


Surprise, surprise PhilAsify Fans (which I'm sure at this point probably only consists of 3 people, including my wife--on second thought, my wife doesn't regularly read my stuff, so howdy you two!) I'm back with a blog update.

I just want to cut to the chase and apologize for the blog drought I put you guys through. It's was unannounced and unexpected and that's because I hadn't planned to have gone this long without updating. The lack of PhilAsify greatness stemmed from a combination of lazy spell that I go through on occasion which superkicked any semblance of productivity and consistency I had with my writing.

Luckily, an article I stumbled upon brought me back to reality and brought to attention a lot of the flaws in my repertoire. The article, 15 Excuses Writers Make (That aren't fooling Anyone), pretty much busted me out directly, pinpointed all the lamebrain excuses I use as a crutch when I go through an unproductive writing slump. It opened my eyes to my failure of meeting my writing goals, not only when it comes to blogging, but other projects I've thought up but have not yet followed through on--like books and screenplays.

I recommend this article to those like me who need that swift kick in the pants from time to time. It really helps. And if you can, feel free to comment on the article and share your thoughts. And in the meantime, I will try my utmost to regain consistency and not leave you guys hanging.

Til next time, friends.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Speak Good or Keep Silent



Just had to share this unreleased single by Abdul-Malik Ahmad from Native Deen (it's not finalized but was posted for Native Deen fans to give feedback) that I've been jamming repeatedly since I stumbled upon it a week or so ago. It's hot! Abdul-Malik hits hard with his lyrics with this great reminder to all, Muslims or not, to watch your mouth and not backbite people.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama Re-Elected, Same As It Ever Was


The Election 2012 bombardment is thankfully over and Barack Hussein Obama retains the title of President of the United States. No thanks to me, anyway. Yeah, that's right, I didn't vote. Not because I didn't want to (eh...maybe) but mainly because of a technicality where my precinct I had to vote at was way too far for me to reach and would've been a hassle getting off work and heading over there.

I wasn't as enthused about this election as I was in 2008 when I first voted. For one, I don't think there will be any monumental change. There unfortunately was just a lot of apathy involved because politics is basically making a bunch of promises to the people and then failing to live up to them. Plus, there's the conundrum of trying to please everyone which in the end just pisses a lot of people off.

Yup, the presidency is not an easy job by any means. I know I wouldn't have the stomach to do it. However, Obama seems to be handling it better than most so I'm glad he's given four more years, especially if Bush got four more years after pissing off everybody and their mama.

I have a few gripes with elections and just the system in generally that turns me off to voting. I have heard good points from both sides of the spectrum, those who say you shouldn't vote if you're not informed enough or feel strongly about it and others who say it's your duty to vote and be involved and such. Both sides make valid arguments. Unfortunately, when a system is flawed to begin with, it's very discouraging. Here are a few of my gripes:

-The Electoral College. This needs to go. I can't believe this has stuck around for so long when it's just the lamest, most convoluted  unnecessary system of getting a person elected. Popular   vote should be all that matters. I'm tired of little rural towns with 50 people living there are what truly decides who wins the presidency.
-Third parties never being given a fair shot. You got the crips (blue democrats) and the bloods (red republicans). That's it. Why not the Latin Kings? We need a third party that stands a chance. I hate voting off of labels and tickets. If you think you can do a better job and have a good strategy in place, why the hell should I care whether you rep the blue or red. I just hate that it's still a big deal.
-The Precinct Situation. Yeah I get that this is mostly to capture demographics and information of a certain area but I think it's lame that just because of where your address is you have to vote at this Washateria, Library or this Elementary School. Why can't I vote wherever I want? If there's a polling place right nearby, why do I have to go to a different one to vote and ONLY that one? It's idiotic.

These flaws above need to be addressed, among others. What I always notice when looking at results online or on TV is that the numbers are usually small, or not as big as they should be, it doesn't reflect the population because a good chunk of people aren't voting at all. It could be because of these issues. It could be because of attack ads, the bombardment of phone calls and solicitations when no real monumental change or impact happens when all is said and done. 

Yes, I'm glad there are those who exercise their right to vote and get involved in politics and it definitely is important to be informed but a lot of the time it's that perception that those who we elect are just sitting there chillin', goofing off and playing games then putting a serious face on when there's a microphone in their face and the camera is rolling. Behind closed doors, they don't really get in there and get to work on facilitating change and catering to the people they represent, the people who voted them in! Politics is a turn-off for a lot of people, including myself because the deceit, corruption, dishonesty and greed involved. 

I hope inshaAllah (God willing), there will come a time when these situations are addressed and the focus can be on truly helping make the world a better place to live and not just being elected into an office for recognition and helping one's own interest rather than of the population.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Muslim-themed Movies


Whether it's through reading, listening or watching a movie, I think it's safe to say that everyone loves a good story. There's nothing like diving in head-first into the world of a good book, or being captivated by the rush of emotions a movie brings. That's because stories are a reflection of life. An interesting analogy which summed it up perfectly was: "stories are like human currency". You learn about peoples cultures, beliefs, and values through stories. You are introduced to new ideas and are able to relate to situations and look back on personal experiences through a good story. Even as a Muslim, a good story is what inspires, strengthens your faith and engages your mind, be it from the Qur'an or the Hadith.

As a lover of storytelling with a degree in creative writing, I spend a good chunk of my free time looking for movies that tell a good story. One of my favorite filmmakers Spike Lee spoke about the intention behind his movies, “I'm just trying to tell a good story and make thought-provoking, entertaining films. I just try and draw upon the great culture we have as a people, from music, novels, the streets.”

The medium of film is a powerful tool and whether you know it or not, a lot of our values, perceptions and ideals are shaped by films, directly or indirectly. Many different cultures have used film as a means of showing the positive side of their identity and educating the world about their culture. I can easily note African Americans, Jewish people, Latinos, Christians as those who have used film in this way. But what about Muslims?

You don't really see a lot of movies with a Muslim theme, that is, where there is a Muslim main character and the story deals with the struggles and challenges the Muslim character or characters have to endure. Movies which do contain Muslim characters or themes are usually negative and that needs to change. As more and more Muslims pursue a profession in the creative arts and the film world, the Muslim narrative can be shown to the masses rather than just the caricatures we see today. I myself hope to contribute by coming up with movie scripts with a Muslim theme which aims to enlighten the rest of the world on our struggles and what Islam really is about.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Whacked Out News: NY Cab Driver Returns $21K Left Behind by Passenger

Who says "Whacked Out News" always has to be something negative?
(NEWSER) – Taxi driver Mohammad Asadujjaman says he was just following his mother's advice to always be honest when he went out of his way to find a passenger who left a handbag containing $21,000 in the back seat of his cab. The Bangladesh-born med student ended up making two 50-mile trips to Long Island to reunite his passenger, an Italian grandmother, with her cash, passport, and jewelery, theGuardian reports. 
"They were so, so, so happy," the 28-year-old cabbie said of his passenger and her family, whose vacation would have been ruined without his honesty. Asadujjaman says he was never tempted to keep the cash, and declined to accept a reward from the family, saying that he couldn't take it because he is a devout Muslim. "I'm needy but I'm not greedy," he said. "It's better to be honest."

Very admirable gesture from the brother given the circumstances since cab drivers barely make squat and with the high standard of living in The Big Apple, finding that chunk of change would be tempting to anyone. I like that the article said he didn't take the money because he is a devout Muslim. I make an attempt to be as devout as I can be but even I know that Shaitan would be tempting my broke behind to take the moolah and split. Begone Satan!

When reading this article, I was more interested in what the comments would be underneath. One person said, "Wow, who knew there were actually good Muslims out there?" I didn't know if that was meant to be sarcastic or not but it stood out to say the least. Other ragged on the guy for not taking the dough and some commended him for being virtuous and better than themselves because if they were in the same position, they wouldn't be as selfless. 

There was actually more to the story as brother Mohammad actually REFUSED a reward of $2,000 from the lady he returned the money to as a token of her appreciation. When asked why he turned down the dough, Mohammad said, "When I was 5 years old, my mother told me, 'Be honest, work hard and you will raise your station,' Gotta hand it to the brother as he is truly in the right mind frame. The blessings and raised status in the eyes of the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth is a far better reward than a couple of wrinkled up benjamins in this life. In the words of the Native Deen song, "Small deeds, never overlook!"

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fajr, the Lazy Killer

I truly respect successful writers, no matter what form. Be it a novel, a textbook, poetry, a Hollywood screenplay or blogging; the ones who are on the grind and churning out writing pieces on the regular deserve all the props you can throw at them. I can only dream of possessing even a small fraction of their productivity. What's their secret to success? Well, I know that. They wake up early and write in the solitude of the early morn while the rest of the world is still catching their Z's.

Now naturally, this shouldn't be a problem for me. As a Muslim, it's essentially a must to be early risers because we have to pray the first obligatory prayer of the day, Fajr, right at the break of dawn. Of course for many Muslims, even devout ones, this can be easier said than done. I'm sure a ton of Muslims don't wake up for Fajr and ignore the Adhan(call to prayer) clock and fade back into La-La land (guilty). Then we have another segment who do get up, pray the Fajr prayer and plop right back into bed (guilty of this too)!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Spittin' The Truth: Rapper Hopsin Blasts Society in "Ill Mind of Hopsin 5"

Ever since my Islamic enlightenment a couple of years back, I've cut mainstream music out completely. I don't know what's "poppin' on the streets" and couldn't tell you one song looping on the Top 40 Hit Stations other than "Call Me Maybe" and that's only because today's media has allowed this song to be absolutely unavoidable. The only other times I'm exposed to hip hop and pop music is at the gym, playing video games or at certain restaurants and gatherings. Whenever I do willingly lend my ear to some tunes, it's very selectively.


Hip Hop is dead for the most part. Gone are the days of a true narrative to a song which enlightens the masses on the often harsh realities of the world we live in. However, there are a handful of artists who still use the genre of hip hop for what it was meant for, preaching the truth and opening minds.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

6 Creepy "Muslim" Men All Women should Avoid



Come little children, gather round the campfire. It's horror story time.



Have you heard this scary tale?

American girl meets exotic Muslim boy. Sparks fly. Love is in the air. Muslim boy proposes marriage. American girl excitedly agrees. BUT American girl needs to convert first. Huh? We didn't talk about religion at all before? Doesn't matter. Say some Arabic words (shahadah) and throw this thing on your head (hijab) and you're good. Now the story can take a variety of horrifying interesting turns...

Friday, September 28, 2012

Is Losing Your Job a Death Sentence?


Just this past week, news broke of a man in Minneapolis, Minnesota walking into a Sign store and shooting and killing four people including the owner of the store. Who was he? A disgruntled former employer who was fired not too long before he decided to start bustin' caps. After drawing a swarm of police and SWAT teams to the scene of the crime to confront him, the man turned the gun on himself, dying before the police could apprehend him.

The sad thing is, stuff like this is happening way too often. Ex-employers fired for one reason or another vowing revenge on the boss who handed them the pink slip, students grabbing guns and blasting away professors who gave them a failing grade. Patience and preseverence are a thing of the past. Accountability is now an ancient concept. Blame the economy and the curriculum all you want but in the end it's all on your own head.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Be Afraid...Be Very Afraid": A Horror Movie about Jinn?

"You ain't never had a friend like me!" Uh...no.
Like many movie-goers, I love a good horror flick. Unfortunately in Hollywood, a halfway decent one is few and far between. Some border on goofy campy horror (The Leprachaun series, Nightmare on Elm StreetCabin in the Woods) while others rely heavily on special effects and an unneccessarily copious amount of gore (28 Days Later, Hostel) and label that as horror. Some start out promising but then are dragged out into convuluted, contrived pieces of trash (The SAW Series, Paranormal Activity.)

A good Horror movie ideally is supposed to take the viewer out of the comfort of watching as a third party and pull you inside the film into the same helpless situation of the hero. It's supposed to make you feel vulnerable and uncomfortable without the need for cheap gags like the overuse of blood or a quick swishing camera cut. Horror movies, even if the premise or elements involved are fictional, should at least feel real; if the plot of the film can realistically happen or have actually occurred in real life, it makes it even better. If a movie gives you nightmares where you wake up in cold sweats and makes you ponder the situation long after the credits roll, it has succeeded!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

YOLO? No Bro!



I Dare Ya!

Don't you love popular sayings? I'm particularly fond of expressions like "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder", "Laughter is the best medicine", "A Picture is worth a thousand words" and who could forget this one:


powered by Splicd.com

However, one that is gaining a lot of traction is the expression ,"You only live once" (aka. "YOLO" to the youngsters). YOLO has taken pop culture by storm ever since the phrase was coined in a song by rapper/singer Drake. Now it's all over people's Facebook pages, on people's T-Shirts, flooding up the Twitterfeeds (#YOLO) and is regurgitating out from the mouths of the simple-minded masses.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dang it Feels Good To Be A Muslim

A movie that has fast become one of my all-time favorites after the catching it on Netflix is Office Space. I had always heard good things about the movie and how it had become a cult classic but for years since it's release in 1999, I slept on it. Boy was I missing out on some hilarity! An outstanding element from this hysterical comedy is it's soundtrack, which uncharacteristic of conventional comedy movies, features an abundance of gangsta rap music. Office Space pulls it off brilliantly. The awesome thing is the use of hardcore rap songs actually enhances the comedy. One notable scene is the main character goofing around the office and doing whatever he dang well pleased to the tune of, "Damn, it Feels Good To Be A Gangsta." 

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Block: Documentary "The West" Gives People a Gritty Dose of Life in Southwest Houston


Happy Friday readers.

In my recent efforts to enrich myself and broaden my knowledge, I made a promise to myself to watch at least 1 documentary a week on any particular subject. This past week I stumbled upon one which hits really close to home and that's because the documentary was about and filmed in the area of Houston I called home from middle school all the way through college: Alief, Texas (aka SWAT; South West Alief Texas). 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Birthday Reflections


Yesterday was not only the memorial of the 9/11 tragedy which took place 11 years ago but it was my birthday. I turned the big 2-5. While reaching the quarter century mark in life may be seen as a grand milestone for some, I beg to differ.  Sure you get birthday shout-outs from friends, acquaintances, co-workers and well-wishers--and while the kind words are much appreciated-- honestly, what's there to celebrate? You're one year closer to dying, congratulations! 

It's just another day if you ask me. Now back when I was younger, totally different story. In my childhood years, I thought of my birthday as my own personal christmas and would go into crying fits when all I receive is home-cooked biryani from my mom. In retrospect, I should've appreciated and been grateful for my mother's loving gesture of cooking my favorite Pakistani dish. Instead, I slammed doors, and repeatedly shouted "This is the worst birthday ever!" because I didn't get some extravagant toy or video game system I had been drooling over. Fast forward to today, if that's all I received for my birthday, I'd be fully content.

A funny tidbit I'd like to ruminate on though is what I've been offered on my birthday and turned down. The customary birthday treats for an American man by friends or colleagues is typically a beer and a trip to a strip club, at least that's how it's viewed in my workplace apparently. My guy coworker friends would've offered me these very things but didn't after I enlightened them on my beliefs. I did take pleasure in a chuckle or two from their playful jokes about it on the day of my birthday: "So no strip club at lunch time? The offer's still on the table, man!" "Haha, no thanks. No booby bars for me", I replied. Unfortunately, after you rule out those two things, a man has no idea what to give another man in this culture, so they give nothing.

Now I'm not deliberately trying to be morbid or cynical nor am I butt-hurt that my birthday didn't resemble something out of MTV's "My Super Sweet 16" TV show. The way I see it is: why celebrate something you had no control over? You didn't have any say in when you were going to pop out of your mother's vag. It's not some phenomenal accomplishment of yours. If anyone should be given a cake and a present on your birthday it should be mommy dearest for all that pain and pushing she did in labor trying to get you out of her!

I'm not going to get into the argument of whether celebrating birthdays is Islamically correct or forbidden or what have you. I'm not a scholar on the matter but I do believe it's permissible. Celebrating your birthday with some friends, or your spouse or kids, close family isn't some deplorable act but I feel making it a grand anticipated, lets-go-nuts jubilee is questionable. Sure go have a little fun and eat some cake but also use your birthday as a reminder that while your age is counting up, your life is counting down. It has been since you popped out the womb. Usually a birthday is an excuse to just free your mind and let loose and thinking about something like your mortality is a downer. 

Rather than getting yourself all depressed from thinking this way, harness this reality and channel it in a productive manner. Evaluate your life and prioritize on what's really important if you haven't already. Ponder the purpose of why you are living and reinforce those God-ordained duties back into your life. I feel that is the best way to benefit from your birthday.

Monday, September 10, 2012

You Just Got Knocked the Fajr out!

It's the start of a new work week, so rather than dive into my usual PhilAsifical soliloquies, I thought we go a little bit light-hearted today. I just had to share this video that I got a kick out of (pun very much intended) from the world of Mixed Martial Arts. 

Though regarded as a brutal sport by critics, MMA rakes in a ton of dough in ticket sales and PPV buyrates, in large due to the hype of fighters verbally jabbing one another before getting down to real fisticuffs. The masses are suckered in plopping down the cash when the fighters hold press conferences which are merely highly publicized smack-talking sessions. Despite this, fighters usually show a great deal of respect and sportsmanship when the final bell is rung. You usually see guys who seemingly hated eachother with such passion and fervor, shaking hands, hugging and sharing laughs mainly because win or lose, they got PAIIIIID son! Dollar dollar bill ya'll!

However, a line never to be crossed in the world of ultimate fighting, maybe because committing such an act is so abominably idiotic, is taunting IN THE MIDDLE of the fight. As this video below shows, you do not taunt during fights unless you wanna get knocked the Fajr out! Talk trash about my skills, put down my family and my training regimen, throw everything and the kitchen sink at me before the fight and in pre-match interviews but if you dare do the "Come at me, bro!" taunt to me during the fight, you're gonna be on the ground faster than a sinner on the Night of Power baby! Shai Lindsey learned this the hard way.

PhilAsify 101 Featured on MuslimMatters!

Salams and Hello to my loyal readers which at the moment may only be myself and my wife (and that's usually only when I force her to read my blogs). Now PhilAsify 101 has only been around for only a few months and already it's been a rollercoaster ride in terms of my enthusiasm, creative and consistency in keeping up with the being a new blogger.

I've had my fair share of ups and downs. Some weeks I was on a roll, churning out ideas and tapping away on the keyboard. Other days, laziness kicked in and I was spending more time hanging out on Yahoo's Frontpage than logging in hours on my posts. Ideas were hard to come by. Other times, life got in the way and I couldn't put the world on pause to go sit and put my thoughts into paragraphs. It's even more difficult and deflating when you don't think anyone's reading your stuff, so in turn no one is anticipating anything and thus there is no pressure to please the masses. But I don't want to make excuses.

I'm not writing for the $$Dollar Signs$$ though if some green were to come into play and allow me to leave my day job, that's fine with me. It is crucial that I continue reminding myself that PhilAsify 101 first and foremost is for myself, the "Writer who doesn't write", to break from my self-appointed title and get back in a creative groove. I'm not writing for the glory of recognition or a paycheck, I'm writing so I can be more of a producer and less of a consumer. And apparentl--as I recently have discovered--people enjoy what I have dished out so far when my posts are visible to a wider audience, as was the case when my blog "Top 10 Traits of a Real Man (Muslim Style)" was posted on MuslimMatters.org.

I was surprised to say the least when I noticed that my article started trending and was shared and tweeted up to 5,000 times. There was also an array of feedback both positive and negative, which doesn't bother me as opposed to no comments being posted at all. All I could say to myself was "Wow, people are actually reading and reacting to my stuff!" There were even personal messages sent to me telling me how excellent a reminder this was to them and duas being made for me to keep up the good work.

It's safe to say this buzz about something I myself had written and the fact that it helped people and triggered thought and discussion made me excited and gave me an invigorating power boost. I am determined to improve and come out with more material. All praises are due to Allah for this initiative and I hope with His help to continue my blogging journey and help myself and others along the way.

Til next time, this has been your friendly neighborhood PhilAsifer.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Modern Media Brain Busters and How Islam Solves Them

Do you remember Brain busters (also known as brain teasers)? And no I'm not talking about the awesome finishing move former pro wrestler Bill Goldberg used to do. These were nauseating logic puzzles and riddles which you had to do in elementary school from time to time. For the geniuses and those with access to the answer key, it was typically a stress-free activity. However, for the normal human population, they were sheer torture designed to question your sanity. I'm talking about the brain busters which made you cringe and had the power to burst your blood vessels, doubt your intelligence and purpose in life to the point where you'd wither into a corner of the room, curl up in the fetal position and rock back and forth in agony.

If you're still a little hazy on what I'm referring to, take a look at the example below. (Note: For those that do figure out the words or phrases suggested, good for you! But couldn't you have rather done without the mental anguish your brain went through to find the answers?)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ramadan Reflections: Back to Life, Back to Reality

Hey there gang. Your favorite PhilAsifer is back on Blog street after a month long sabbatical observing the month of Ramadan. So let me quickly get you up to speed on what's my month consisted of, aside from the heartburn I endured from being without food all day.

I spent most of the month trying to get tight with the Qur'an like crossed fingers and soak up in that Iman(faith) boost that's customary at this time of year. This followed up with the inevitable Ramadan slump where the consistency that was prevalent in the first week just started falling apart. The Ramadan nutrition and workout regimen that my wife and I tried to follow just wasn't happening anymore so we went from working out at Suhoor time and after Iftar at the gym to NOT working out at all. This seemed to have a domino effect with the rest of productive goals during Ramadan.

I had hoped to start and finish reading the Qur'an, both reciting it in Arabic and reading the English translation but because of work, the messed up sleep schedule, and my tendency to make up excuses when I very well could manage my time better resulted in me falling way behind. Unfortunately I only finished 10 juz (parts) out of 30.

But no need to pout. Ramadan should serve mostly as a self-evaluation period which most people don't take the time out to do. If anything is to be gained during Ramadan aside from what's typical, it's a keen sense of self. You begin to notice what you suck at doing, what you don't put enough time into, what you procrastinate on, what bad habits that you have trouble breaking. The old cliched phrase certainly rings true, "The first step to solving a problem is to recognize that you have one." And Ramadan does that!

A friend of mine on Facebook put up a status that summed up the end of Ramadan profoundly as compared to the rest of the year. I'm merely paraphrasing but he said, "The preseason (Ramadan) is over now the real season begins". Using this sports analogy couldn't be more accurate. Just as in sports, preseason is when you start shaking off that rust from being away from the court or field and start whipping yourself back into shape. Preseason is when you start recognizing your flaws and putting in the hard work hours to eliminate or reduce those flaws so when the Season begins, you're clicking on all cylinders.

Ramadan is not to be treated as a spirituality/religiousity binge. It's not a time where you get extra generous, empty your pockets to charities, do all your prayers and show all your hospitality in the span of one month and then the rest of the time you're a sinning, lying, cheating, cussing douchebag. The beauty of Ramadan and fasting from not only food and drink but from distractions like TV, the Internet and such is that you have A TON of time on your hands. Time that you don't normally have (or make) the rest of the year because your busy watching YouTube videos, working, and all-in-all wasting time. Ideally with that time, you evaluate yourself, find out more about yourself, your flaws and what you can do to improve yourself for the real test, which is the rest of the year! The Season!

I'm writing this blog out mainly for my own benefit over anybody elses and this advice is directed to myself first and foremost as a reminder. Evaluate yourself, fix your flaws, set realistic goals and put in the work to make things happen and InshaAllah success will be in your future.


Marinate on that until next time.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ramadan To-Do List for Non-Muslims

Note: This is an freelance article I wrote a couple years back on Suite101.com, since Ramadan is now upon us, I decided to dust off this article for your benefit :

Ramadan is currently being observed by Muslims across the globe, but that doesn't mean someone not of the faith can't benefit from the festivities.


To Muslims, the month of Ramadan has always been regarded as a time for self-evaluation and spiritual change. Followers of the faith reflect on what they have done in the past year, their attitude, conduct and habits and try to reform themselves for the year ahead. Looking at it from a different perspective, Ramadan is like a new year's resolution where a commitment is made and then diligently practiced in the forthcoming month in hopes that one's efforts carry over to the rest of the year.

A multitude of Islamic websites and blogs, to-do articles are written to aid Muslims as they seek to make the most of the blessed month. However, the occasion also serves as a great opportunity for non-Muslims who are seeking to learn more about the Islamic culture and practices.

Learning About Islam – Read the Qur'an


The main reason Ramadan is so special is because Muslims believe the Qur’an was revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad during this month. Muslims commemorate the revelation by reading the Qur’an and reciting a portion of it during prayers every night of the month. Muslims also spend time reflecting on the Qur'an's message.

The Qur'an carries a universal message and would make a great addition to a bookshelf. While reading the Qur'an, one may notice that the format is not of a normal book with the content listed out. Having an open mind is key since The Qur'an is to be read as a conversation, which is actually how it's understood by Muslims: a direct conversation of God's Word to humanity. Reading the Qur'an may very well open a new perspective on the faith which is the essence of peace and moderation, a contrast to the extreme that it is often misunderstood as being.


Understanding Islam – Practice Fasting



Want a taste (no pun intended) of what Muslims experience during Ramadan? Take a shot at fasting. As prescribed in the Qur'an, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, avoiding all food and water as a demonstration of self-restraint and devotion. In addition to the religious benefits, studies by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Intermountain Health Care have also revealed that fasting serves as an effective detox method.

For Muslims, fasting isn't just abstaining from food and water, but also a spiritual fast. During the fast, Muslims are to refrain from using profane language, engaging in gossip, losing their temper, lying and having sexual intercourse with their spouse. These actions are a deterrent from the spiritual meditation to be achieved through the recommended duties during the day of prayer, personal reflection and remembrance of God. While some may believe that one has to be quite disciplined and devoted to achieve such a feat, it can be accomplished through practice.

To properly commit to a Muslim fast, one is allowed to wake up before dawn to have some nourishment before the day's fast begins. A light meal and a glass of water will enable the individual to endure the fast in the coming hours. Many Muslims enjoy some weight loss during Ramadan, providing they can avoid the temptation to binge at night when the day's fast is complete.

Visit a local mosque or Islamic Center



Muslims frequent the mosque more than usual during Ramadan, as it serves as a spiritual retreat from the distractions of life. Visiting the mosque can be beneficial if an individual is seeking to speak with Muslims about their experiences, get information about Ramadan and develop relationships with the Muslim community.

At various universities and cultural centers, booths are set up during Ramadan which offer information about Islam and Ramadan in general. Muslims are encouraged to be extra generous during this month and most will be very welcoming to a non-Muslim who wishes to observe the festivities. This integration can create greater social and cultural awareness which promotes tolerance and understanding. This falls in line with the Qur'an, where it is stated that people were all created differently (ethnicity, tribes, nationalities) so that they may come to know one another.

Join the Muslims for Iftar Dinner


Iftar is the breaking of the fast for Muslims; it occurs at sunset. Going to the mosque for Iftar or any other dinner gathering is an ideal time to observe the sanctity and brotherhood/sisterhood among members of the Muslim community. Every night of the month of Ramadan is treated like Thanksgiving. People are sharing plates of fruits, laughing and enjoying each others company. Mosques often prepare plenty of food for observers free of charge but also generously give away free food to anyone who attends, no matter the faith.

Learning about and observing the traditional Ramadan-related practices can provide non-Muslims with a greater understanding of Islam and the Muslim community.

Sources:

Translation of The Holy Qur'an. Trans. Abdullah Yusuf Ali. Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an (January 1, 1987).

Study Shows Fasting Holds Health Benefits. Carrie Van Dusen. UWire.com. Retrieved on August 12, 2010.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Illuminating Prayer Rug:"Alhamdulilah for Technology" or "Eww Bidah!"?



During my usual frolic on the interwebs, I stumbled upon an article which touched on an interesting project currently being showcased on Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects. Get this: A prayer mat that glows/lights up when it faces Mecca. The blog on Mashable.com entitled "Holy Tech! Prayer Mats Light Up When Facing Mecca", raves about the artistic rug with its electro luminescent lights and built-in digital compass. Take a gander at the article by clicking the appropriate link. (Note: I do find it funny by the way that the creator, Soner Ozenc, initially was working on designing a flying--FLYING carpets, when this idea struck him. Cue the "Magic Carpet Ride" song.)

I have mixed thoughts about the invention, but lean towards positive. In the age we live in , technological advances is not only making our lives easier and more convenient, but is making spirituality/religion and the act of getting closer to God hip and fun as well. For Muslims, we have apps for the Qur'an and Hadith to be read in the palm of our hand, apps that remind us of our daily prayer times complete with Adhan (Call to Prayer alerts), we can listen to Arabic recitations from our phone or tablet at the touch of a button (or touchscreen). You can't help but say MashaAllah to all of this. And what this light up prayer rug, coined as EL Sajjdah, brings is technological innovation into your one-on-one conference with the Creator. It's a beautiful sight to look at to the point where on top of its primary use for prayer, it makes an excellent piece or art on your wall.





One issue that has already been brought up is how this invention could effect Islamic ettiquette when praying the salat, most notably the possibly detriment to focus and concentration required in the prayer (known to Muslims as khushoo). It is haram (forbidden) for one to be distracted by external things when trying to pray to Allah(swt). It's bad enough Shaitan jumps into our ears and tries to screw up our prayers with thinking about trivial nonsense now we have a shiny light to "ooh" and "ahh" about when we're supposed to be laser-focused on making sure our act of worship is worthy of being accepted and not chunked right back in our faces on Judgment Day for being crappy.

Some may call it an illuminating point of focus and for others a glowing distraction. I guess it really would depend on the person. But there is a good argument to make to those that would see it as a distracting extravagance. The way I see it, when praying your eyes need to be fixed onto where you will be doing the Sajdah (placing our face and forehead for prostation.). A good load of these old-school prayer rugs have images of the Kabah or a fancy domed Mosque with a crescent moon at the top to stare at. The whole reason for the images was to keep a persons eyes from looking elsewhere, darting left and right, looking up at the wall or ceiling because it would nullify the prayer.

So my question would be: What makes the glowing lights different or bad compared to the image of the Kabah or Mosque etc.? If it helps keep your eyes fixed so you can focus on your prayer, then all is good. If you're a hyper-distractable 6 year old (or Homer Simpson) that is easily astonished from shiny things, then yeah the EL Sajjdah is not for you.

I wouldn't mind buying one for my home, for the right price. The EL Sajjdah is not going to be mass-produced until it reaches it's goal of $100,000 on Kickstarter. You can pre-order or make a pledge to help them in this project by clicking here, which expires August 14th.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A PhilAsifical Review of The Dictator

The DictatorHello folks. A quickie blog here today. The wifey and I watched Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy The Dictator this past weekend. And no, I don't feel like a horrible Muslim for having went to see it. Since the initial trailer for The Dictator came out during Superbowl Weekend in January, I've heard the opinions of Muslim friends, collegues and such vehemently bashing the making of this movie and practically wanting to boycott seeing the movie as if the movie was called "Lowes: Lumber with A Vengence".

Now I've been a huge fan of Sacha Baron Cohen's work. He's a brilliant comedian and touches on political and societal issues that some people feel uneasy about discussing without ruffling someone's feathers. I loved him in Borat--Bruno on the other hand, not so much--the fact of the matter is SBC pokes fun at the way people act and the preconceived notions and prejudices instilled in the human psyche to the point where it makes one question the absurdity of some of their feelings toward issues such as ethnicity, nationalism, politics, societal ills and yes--religion. This film is no different.

Some people thought that the movie was going to make Arabs and Muslims specifically look bad. Now there's no question that Borat poked a little fun at Arab culture, just as he pokes fun at all cultures, even his own Jewish heritage--which he lambastes the most for the sake of laughs. But to say that the movie is bunching up all Muslims into this bubble and saying that they all are like the people in the dictator is just nonsense. There was no indication that his character was even Muslim and in one scene he denied being Arab. He was a mish-mash of all of the infamous historical dictators in appearance, dress and rhetoric. He didn't praise Allah, or pray salat, or do anything remotely pertaining to the religion of Islam. Maybe he may have diverted away from doing such because of fear of possible backlash since some Muslims have no sense of humor when it comes to them being the butt of the joke, but will happily laugh at the expense of others. I'm not sure. But I think it was handled greatly and one doesn't leave having sort of ill feelings towards Muslims, Arabs or Islam. I especially enjoyed the fun he poked at American democracy toward the end of the film being very much like a dictatorship.


In conclusion, I enjoyed it and had a good laugh and don't think I need to take a new shahadah because of it.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ramadan's A Comin!

Excitement is in the air folks--at least for Muslims--as the holy month of Ramadan is fast approaching (no pun intended, hope you caught it). 

For those who have no idea what Ramadan even is, it is a sacred month for Muslims because on this month 1400 plus years ago, the foundation of the Islamic faith was laid out when the Holy Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). To commemorate the blessed event as believed to be ordained by God, Muslims all over the world give charity and pursue a state of tranquility through prayers and meditation and strive to increase their Islamic knowledge and better themselves. Most of all during this month, Muslims fast from morning til night for the full thirty days which means No food and no water during that time period.

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed upon you as it was prescribed on those before you so that you may learn self-restraint [2:183] 

In this verse from the Qur'an above, God states that fasting was prescribed upon Muslims just as it was prescribed to people before us. A good number of religions hold fasting very near and dear to their hearts like Catholics do for Lent, Jews for Yom Kippur so it certainly is not a exclusive practice to one faith. And the sole reason as described from the same verse says the whole point of fasting is to "learn self-restraint". The Arabic term used in the verse is Taqwa and it really isn't something that can be so easily defined and boxed into a word like "self-restraint". Other words that attempt to capture the meaning of Taqwa is "God-consciousness" or "God-awareness". It's really all of the above. Fasting is a means to purify yourself and show obedience and reverence to God to show that He's the only one worthy of going through the task of fasting for.

Something I can't get enough of during this time of the year is the typical reaction from non-Muslims when they hear that I am starving myself, "Whoa man! You're gonna die! I can never do that." It's really not that bad when it comes down to it and various sources ranging from physicians to dietitians have declared it's actually good for your body. But of course, the cleansing and detox benefits are just a small bonus to what Muslims really would like cleansed when the month ends--their sins. During Ramadan, Muslims shut themselves out from (or should at least do their best to try) worldly matters like gossip and all channels of entertainment and do their best to try and bring themselves closer to God.

For me and I'm sure for a lot of people the difficulty really isn't in the actual withdrawal of eating and drinking, but of the "mental fasting" which is to avoid anger, envy, greed, lust, vain talk, sarcastic retorts, backstabbing, and gossip. And for married couples, no sexual intercourse (from dawn to dusk). That's right, all that fun stuff that seems impossible to stop for even one hour out of the day has to be avoided for a month. Music and trivial time-wasters like watching tv, and all that other stuff should be cleaned out or brought to a minimum.(bye bye gadgets, game consoles and uh oh Facebook!) I think people would find that more impossible then not having water and food.

All of this alludes back to the Quranic verse of teaching people self restraint and to learn to appreciate the essentials of life and not all the things people want but don't need. Avoiding all those goodies and distractions for a month I truly feel cleanses the inner soul and after the month I believe it makes one that ventures in it a better person. Muslims also believe that during the month, Satan is locked away in Hell so he can't bug any of you into doing stuff. So commiting any sin or crime during this month is done on ones own will and from their character. There's a lot people can learn about Ramadan and one measly blog can barely cover all the bases. During this time, your favorite PhilAsifer will only be on sparsely, only to possibly post Ramadan oriented blogs.

But til then folks, I'll be seein ya. Happy Ramadan and happy everything else.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mirrors for One Another

One of the most commonly misused and misunderstood terms found in daily American street vernacular is the word "hater".  Judging from the evidence gathered and research conducted, that's because people who use the term don't even know what they're talking about. 

Hater is tossed around so excessively these days and is inappropriately uttered so often--regardless of the situation--that I feel it has set the English language back 50 years. Urban Dictionary has a whopping 136 different definitions of hater ranging from the ambiguous to the just plain stupid ("someone who hates on people"). For the sake of brevity I will post the most agreed upon meaning tabulated by most thumbs up votes.

Hater [heyt·er] noun

A person that simply cannot be happy for another person's success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.  Also can mean a person that is pessimistic and negative and just points out the negative attributes of a person, overlooking any positive qualities the subject of hate may have.

Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesn't really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock someone else down a notch.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ballin' On A Budget: BOB in Action

I found a funny clip from the vault of the interwebs recently that I just needed to share with ya'll in regards to my oft-praised credo, Ballin' on a Budget. For the past couple of parts I've stressed that BOB is a state of mind. And it's something that when implemented, is always on. You don't just throw caution to the wind when it comes to your hard-earned funds. Whether your out hanging with friends, taking your lunch break, thinking about what you want to do this weekend, it is imperative to stick to your guns and be wise with your money. And to make the most of any "fun money" you happen to gather, you have to milk it for all it's worth. You gotta bargain, keep your eyes peeled for deals. Yeah, I know you're not a 43 year old housewife but you make coupons your best friend. You EMBRACE frugality and show no shame. Sure, you're friends and even family may laugh and crack on you. But if they are doing that, then a BOB'er is doing the right thing!

The following clip below is from the Dave Chappelle movie Half Baked that he not only starred in but co-wrote. Chappelle's writing credit in this flick demonstrates my fellow Muslim brother from another mother Dave as being skillfully aware of the BOB concept. Heck, from this scene alone he deemed himself a BOB extraordinaire! In the clip, Dave's character Fillmore is on a date and has very little money, but not a problem. Watch and revel in how Dave cleverly and hilariously makes the best of it with the chump change he has. I'm not condoning stealing money from the homeless or dealing drugs by any means but just from the essence of the scene, it's Dave Chappelle making Ballin' on A Budget look easy. I hope you have a pen and pad handy. (Caution: NSFW due to language)




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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ballin' On A Budget: The Saving Game - 6 Saving Tips to Help You Swag Smart

See? Pigs aren't completely useless and haram!

A Little Backstory


Before diving into the lesson of this article, I just want to clarify something in case it wasn't comprehended from the Ballin' On A Budget Introduction. I didn't coin the phrase, nor do I have it trademarked to sell T-shirts (good idea though), none of that. "Ballin on a budget" is not a novel concept. In fact, the phrase--if I can recall correctly--was primarily used in a derogatory manner to people on the streets. Yup. People used "Ballin on a Budget" in a joking manner to crack on someone that was trying to fit in and flaunt his goods but did not have the name brand, top-of-the-line crap. (Example: "Yo, look at Tony rockin' those New Balance shoes and that $4 bottle of champagne. He's ballin' on a budget.")
 
What I'm trying to do here is take the negative connotations attributed to the phrase in its original state and roll it up into a positive. I want to make it good to ball on a budget, admirable, respectable. Using what I've learned from great financial gurus like Dave Ramsey and his "Total Money Makeover" book, I want to modernize and convey his message in a way that today's generation can click with. I want to put those words "Ballin on a budget" into action by presenting practical ways one can properly do so. Prepare your mind to be illuminated with 'da knowledge! Let's proceed shall we?

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Interfaith Ministry

Note:The following is a fiction story I wrote a while back that has never before been published online. Seeing as PhilAsify 101 is my own personal hub for not only benefiting you all from reading my thoughtful content but also to motivate and put on display my love of creative storytelling and fiction writing. So sit back, relax and take 10 minutes out of your day to read this short piece. And if you're feeling extra generous, share it! :)


The dreaded workweek has finally taken its final breath. For some this would signify movies, surfing, club hopping and plenty of other unadulterated fun— especially in the peak of the blistering summer heat. But for an elite group of individuals, the ministry would once again commence. The ritual has been a long celebrated tradition that originated during Rashad’s senior year of high school and has lasted all the way through the pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree.
 

Rashad Ahmed had recently earned a degree in business administration but his passion—and minor— is creative writing. Ever since he was younger, rather than just simply play with toys, he’d orchestrate full-length feature films with members of the Justice League and the X-men. Rashad would create hysterical sitcoms and riveting dramas which consisted of oddball pairings like his Hulk Hogan action figure and his younger sister’s Barbie doll. His most successful series was a sitcom entitled “We Are Family” starring a Darth Vader action figure, Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Chompers, the Beanie Baby shark. Rashad could construct a story out of anything yet his parents wanted him to focus his energies on skills that would actually generate revenue and allow the family to live comfortably. That was the reason why Rashad’s folks had immigrated to the states from Egypt in the first place.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Top Four Sinfully Annoying Internet Blog Trends


Being new to the blogosphere, I quickly realized that I have a lot to learn when it comes to posting my innermost thoughts together for the world to see. It's not easy crafting my commentaries into the perfect combination of keystrokes with just enough wit and useful information to engage a human being to click my article and scroll through. I also know that the best and most successful of writers are ones who read ten times as much as they write. So I take a good chunk of my time to read and observe what's out there, what's hot and what people latch on to when they want to get their fix on the world around them. What have I found? That people are making the very action of reading content annoying, laborious and complicated!

I mean no wonder people are reading less and less! The tactics that businesses and popular blogs are doing these days almost compel a person to just go to someone's Twitter feed to find out what's going on rather than reading things at length from credible sources. Or even more shocking, gather information by talking to a human person... face-to-face! Here are some of the gut-wrenching shenanigans that I can list off the top of my head:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ooh, A good Khutbah!

Mmm caramel! For those of you who read my "A Khutbah is like a box of chocolates" article I posted a while back, Alhamdulilah this past week I was treated to an ooey gooey khutbah with melt-in-your-mouth goodness! Brother Atif Mahmud, a Houston-area teacher and khateeb gave a phenomenal khutbah about the wonders of reading. 
 
He spoke at length about how we are becoming a society that hates to read, a lot of it due to the technology of all those gadgets with a lower "i" in front of it. He threw out statistics he obtained that stated that last year, 90% (I think) of people neither read or picked up a book in the last year! Atif even alluded to the Ray Bradbury novel Farenheit 451, which is a story set in the future where Americans outlaw and burn books by the thousands to eradicate learning and literacy, and said in a way things are becoming just like the story as people are reading less and less.

In the end he presented to the congregation, notably the parents, to teach their child to love to read good books. He urges those non-readers to get back into reading books that stimulate the senses and exercise the mind. In conclusion, he said that if folks don't have a desire to read and appreciate good books, then how will they have a desire to read and appreciate the Qur'an?

It was a very thought-provoking Khutbah and I just hope that the audio will be posted up sometime soon on the interwebs for more people to listen to that great reminder. It especially touched a guy like me with a liberal-arts degree in Communications and a creative writer at that to further go back to my passions of storytelling which I will now be giving people glimpses of on PhilAsify 101.

I will be posting up short stories and other bits of literature I have created and also make book recommendations. So stay tuned and take care, class!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Whacked Out News: Man you gotta cop them new Adidas Slavery Shoes! They off, I mean ON the chain!

Wow. I know the shoe industry makes slaves of us all with its outrageous prices and churning out hideous design after design but I didn't know they would be so explicit and direct about their intentions!

Adidas was all set to release a shoe that, check it, had shackles attached to the dang thing! Ankle cuffs! But then they canceled its promotion and shipment to stores after receiving tons of negative feedback from its facebook followers.


Heres how they were pimpin' these things on Facebook last week:
"Tighten up your style with the JS Roundhouse Mids, dropping in August. Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?"

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Violence and Corruption and Drugs. (Oh my!) It's just Karachi, The Most Violent City in Pakistan

PhilAsify reviews the VICE Guide to Travel: Karachi, Pakistan


Well, let me take to to the neck of the woods
of my hood, show you wat we livin' like
Walkin' like a man, finger on the trigger
Got money in my pocket, I'm an uptown n----
--"Neck of The Woods" Birdman ft. Lil Wayne

This past weekend I sat down and watched the Vice Guide to Karachi, Pakistan. For those who don't know, VICE is a Montreal and New York City based magazine and media entity known for its whacky news columns. Their style falls in the same category of Maxim, Manswers, TMZ in that it pokes fun at pop culture and world affairs and has that sarcastic, expletive-laden and blunt sort of way it conducts its journalism that guys love. 

Some of their more interesting documentaries have been travel guides to dangerous and crazy places in the world, getting a glimpse of how things operate and how a citizen can get by doing things they wouldn't want their parents to know. Their very latest series that has been posted up is their Vice Travel Guide to Karachi, Pakistan. I have a link to video 1 below and you can follow the 5 video series after the first clip ends. I do want to warn you that it's not for the faint of heart and is definitely not a brochure to the beauty of Pakistan.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Truth about Why Women and Men can't be "Just Friends" [VIDEO]


Credit to: 

I don't believe this video above is totally necessary to drive home the fact that women and men can't be just friends, but the sample of people interviewed is most certainly reflects the larger part of society and transcends race, culture and religion. It really should be common knowledge.

It's just not possible for Men and Women to just be friends. If a guy or girl has a friend that is of the opposite sex, a homegirl/homeboy or what have you and believes things will always be strictly platonic, they are fooling themselves! If not on one end of the spectrum, then definitely on the man's end.


Update (10/22/12): ScientificAmerican.com recently put up on article which gave results of a study conducted by researchers who brought 88 under-graduate opposite-gender friends to their labs for testing, asking them various confidential questions regarding their attraction to their friend. The article basically concludes that Men and Women ultimately can't be "just friends" because males will undoubtedly have urges and primal attraction to their lady friends despite having a platonic relationship. From the article: "So, can men and women be “just friends?” If we all thought like women, almost certainly. But if we all thought like men, we’d probably be facing a serious overpopulation crisis." (My Thoughts: Booyah!)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Finally, A Video Game Movie that Doesn't Suck?

I've watched my fair share of Video Game movies and like most gamer fans, I find myself horribly disappointed. Many can hearken back to a time of enjoying an epic game for hour after captivating hour sitting in front of the boob tube, immersed in the magnificent cutscenes of games like Metal Gear: Solid Snake and Final Fantasy. And while sitting there with our friends or siblings we would say, "Man, they gotta make this a movie. It'd be sooo **insert dated reference for awesome**". The highlight of a gamers life from days gone by are those times after school bonding with the our favorite action heroes the Mario brothers, Liu Kang and that guy from the Grand Theft Auto games. When we picture a Hollywood film with these amazing characters, we expect nothing less than a classic cinema experience for the ages.

But Alas, when Hollywood actually gets ahold of those button mashing masterpieces, it creates an abortion of a movie. If you don't remember (or have gone in and labotomized your memory of such godawful films) let me refresh your memory: