Sunday, July 26, 2009

#5 = ابن خلدون

ADW Quiz

1. Which country (unmentioned of course) had the most sons to which shout-outs were given this week?

2. Which of the celebrity gangstas of our era has served the most jail time (Suge Knight, Tupac, Snoop, or Martha Stewart)?

I love ibns so much. My sons are totally having ibn-something as one of their superfluous middle names. I just gotta think of a cool agnomen for myself of which they can be the ibn. Or maybe me and their mom will have a cool portmanteau like Brangelina. Knox Leon Jolie-Pitt is a pretty stupid name. Had they named him Knox Leon ibn Brangelina Jolie-Pitt, that woulda been way cooler

I promised to diversify the Awesome Dude of the Weeks and think I've done a pretty decent job of it thus far. Here go the first 5 with the places they've impacted. I didn't intentionally insult Inca people or West Africa or 75% of the population of Brazil, so I don't wanna get angry emails berating me for saying they don't have medicine of social sciences there

this video is the first to refer to a future dude of the week. Flashed pics of potential dudes before, but calling out a nameless person with his dates in an official ADW teaser is unprecedented. This also marks the second time that Biruni got himself a picture, making him the most revered person in the history of ADW

there was also a raging debate amongst the staff over which picture would be used for ibn Khaldun's official ADW ID. Initially the young, sexy one was prefered, but it was the wrong size. The old man pic of him fit perfectly, plus his selection as an ADW is due to the Muqaddimah[1], which he wrote during his white-bearded era, so it was more appropriate as well. A small yet vocal minority protested and resized the sexy pic. Even though the dates look cooler when written in white, ultimately the sexy picture was chosen instead of the old man one

not quite sure why I hate alchemy so much. Glad that Paracelsus has been forgotten and am confident that even if someone would look him up they would shake their head and wonder why he was ever taken seriously. Absolutely no question that Robert Boyle won that versus. We had us a Scopes Monkey Trial, but folks still get offended 'bout teaching children science in science class. Glad to see one of the previous millennium's smartest people nonchalantly mention evolution as if it were common sense[2]

was surprised to only find two similar biography things on the youtubes. This one and one in French. The French one also has a part 2. The youtube totally came through though when I typed "ADW" into its search engine. Mine come up if you type in "Awesome Dude of the Week," but I wondered who had dibs on the acronym. Turns out the answer is Dwayne Wayne!!!!!!


[1] here go a translated version:

[2] here is an excerpt where he explains to Mike Huckabee and all the haters how evolution works (taken from Scroll down 'bout a quarter of the way or just do a Ctrl F for "monkey"

One should then look at the world of creation. It started out from the minerals and progressed, in an ingenious, gradual manner, to plants and animals. The last stage of minerals is connected with the first stage of plants, such as herbs and seedless plants. The last stage of plants, such as palms and vines, is connected with the first stage of animals, such as snails and shellfish which have only the power of touch. The word "connection" with regard to these created things means that the last stage of each group is fully prepared to become the first stage of the next group.

The animal world then widens, its species become numerous, and, in a gradual process of creation, it finally leads to man, who is able to think and to reflect. The higher stage of man is reached from the world of the monkeys, in which both sagacity and perception are found, but which has not reached the stage of actual reflection and thinking. At this point we come to the first stage of man after (the world of monkeys). This is as far as our (physical) observation extends.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

ADW #4 = Napoléon Bonaparte

there were a few people I had in mind for the first "other" dude (trying to rotate between 1/4 Persian/Arabs dudes, 1/4 Chinese dudes, 1/4 Indian dudes, and 1/4 "other" dudes). Had been kicking around the "Napoleon is responsible for the United States being awesome" theory for a while though, and this seemed like a good venue to express my extremely dubious claim. And it certainly legitimized my argument by tossing out obscure characters from the Ninja Turtles, Miss Universe stats, and unnecessarily insulting both Thomas Jefferson and Al Gore

still manage to drop some knowledge along with the ridiculousness though. Unless you grew up around there, there is absolutely no way you'd ever heard of the Pig War. Everyone knows the Cuban Missile Crisis, but this one was way closer to actually happening. And the story behind it is absolutely hilarious

best thing 'bout this one was that I got a ringer to pronounce Napoléon Bonaparte. Tired of flashing that rose by any other name pic, and this was an easy one. Couldn't quite get my over-the-top Pepé Le Peu accent right though. Recorded dozens of me exaggerating Maurice Chevalier, but then I had a stroke of genius and figured I could get a real French guy to say it. Took a surprising number of youtubes ere I found someone talking. Most of 'em were either just words flashing or music and re-enactments of battles and stuff. This was the first guy I got and the combination of his speed and those notes playing in the background were just too funny

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

ADW #3 = ਗੁਰੂ ਨਾਨਕ ਦੇਵ

this one might offend some people as it is 'bout the creator/founder of a major religion. Totally wasn't being rude at all though, just a light-hearted introduction to Sikhism for lots of folks. I accurately depict Sikhs as athletes and super-models and taxi drivers. Translated the 3 pillars in terms to which everyone can relate and respect. Don't tell me that "love God" ain't a succinct and non-confusing way to explain Naam Japna. Kirat Karni = "do things to make your grandma proud" is slightly more controversial, but is nonetheless pretty phenomenal. And Vand Chakna as "be a good neighbor" is perfect

Lots of bonus points for me for using a picture of Sonny and Preeti Caberwal too. Coulda chosen someone easy like the prime minister of India or a thug like Udham Singh, but the intention of this was more of the Sikh next door aspect. Which is also why I chose not to perv it up

I don't think Ruth Bader Ginsburg has ever ruled on kirpans (the "swords" that #10 Guru Gobind Singh made everybody get), but for sure she'd think they were totally cool. The Canadian Supreme Court thinks kirpans are fine, but I wasn't 'bout to use a picture of the Canadian Supreme Court. You'd think a country like Canadia would have something like a Supreme Court that isn't completely pathetic and embarrassing, but never ever ever underestimate the embarrassing patheticness of Canadia. Why am I so insulting of the Canadian Supreme Court? This ain't a comedy skit or a Christmas joke, THIS IS WHAT THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADIA ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE!!!!!!. Just another reason that all their hockey teams deserve to be moved to places like Texas and Florida and Arizona

Thursday, July 2, 2009

ADW #2 = 明成祖

by week two I was already finding it difficult to meet my loose quota of trying to maintain a balance between 1/4 Arab/Persian dudes, 1/4 Chinese dudes, 1/4 Indian dudes, and 1/4 other dudes. Originally had someone else in mind for the second installment, but I might've set the proverbial bar of awesomeness too high with the first one. The only other guys who seemed sufficiently cool enough to follow him were other ibns. Granted I got Euro-ibns and Afro-ibns and Arab-ibns and Central Asian ibns, but I can't make an exception and put two of 'em back-to-back this early in the game. Already have a few new youtube friends and I don't want them to get the wrong idea. There will be plenty more ADWs that will appeal to their particular interests, but I ain't limiting myself to any particular culture/religion/time period (although I gotta confess that them 10th-13th century ibns are my favorites)

had to dig deep and pull out one of the big guns for this one. Several GOAT emperor dudes from which to chose, but this guy has such an over-the-top resume of awesome feats that making a youtube for him was easy. Barely even did more than casually mention his accomplishments as well, since I didn't think there was really much need for elaboration. First 30 seconds are his name, then his dad gets the next minute or so, 45 seconds on dude himself, then it's just castration and dead hooker jokes

hadn't even realized it 'til I was already almost finished with the research, but I had written a story involving 明成祖 back in the day. When I wrote the blog 2 years ago, the Chinese wikipedia page to which I link at the end didn't have an English counterpart. It was a pretty hilarious punchline back in September '07. I assure you that when I wrote it, there was no way you could fact check it without knowing the story better than I did. Even now try asking the google keywords like "9 generations" "chinese emperor" "usurper" and hate me for not allowing you to verify my bedtime story. Dissemination of knowledge is a good thing, but the improvement of the internet does take some of the fun out of mischievous antiquated jokes

from a technical standpoint, this one was a vast improvement over last week's. Only one really sloppy sound goof, and it is only awkward for a few seconds. A coupla mistakes (whatever the oral equivalent of typos are), but no big deal. Soooooo much better than the other one as far as editing and all that. Recorded the entire thing in a single take and only cut-and-pasted in one other audio bit. This one took me a total of 2 days start-to-finish, which is a significant improvement over the month that it took me to do the first one. Lots more pictures too, although I'm still having trouble with the youtube video thumbnail thing [1]"


[1] had thought that the still picture used to represent it was taken from the halfway point. Youtube gives you a choice of 3 frames, supposedly they are taken from the 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 marks of the video, but from my experience that is not the case. Of the 7 videos I've uploaded to youtube, only 2 of them take the picture from the halfway mark and only 1 uses a picture from either the 1/4 or 3/4 point. So basically of the 21 thumbnail images I have, only 3 of them are from when they should be