Monday, January 31

Ohio State University class reads Twilight in English?

Typical Buckeyes. Not only do they let Terrell Pryor sell his gold pants and turn in the worst research paper ever written, the school is now now reading Twilight as part of an honors English class (Click 261H with Garcha for the syllabus). This is wrong on so many levels. The other books required for this class are Frankenstein, Dracula and The Taming of the Shrew. Yeah, stinking Twilight stacks up to those titles...ok. I mean seriously, why is "The" Ohio State University reading a book written specifically for 14 year old girls who have nothing better to do, besides chew bubble gum and post pictures of Justin Bieber all over their walls using pages from J14 magazine while they text their friends about how awesome the latest episode of Glee was because Britney's back, baby.  At least the Twilight books have stood the test of time and been analyzed by countless scholars and profs all searching for that deeper meaning and theme, right? At least an irrational fan base hasn't developed solely because of a certain actor's six-pack and endless supply tanning lotion as he breaks our favorite girl's heart. Grand Valley has some pretty stupid classes, and I have bought some pretty stupid books, but this tops the list. This is a Big Ten school? This alone should place them in a category outside "Legends and Leaders." More like "Losers."

Now of course this could all be a hoax, where Garcha gets out in front of the class the day after the drop deadline and lights the book on fire and says "Haha, joke's on you, suckers!" In that case, I would be pleased with that school down south which Michigan refuses to name (and also beat in football). She would be smart to trap a bunch of Twilight nerds (do they have a special name like Gleeks?) in a room and give them actual literature that you won't see in the checkout line at CVS. But probably not. I mean her credibility as an educator must be at an all time high right now.

What's next, the Buckeye Quidditch team moves up to division I and plays in the Horseshoe? John Cooper is coming back to coach? Terrell Pryor will sell his Quidditch sportsmanship robes and still get to play in the Hogwarts Inter-House Championship? Will Marice Clarett be sipping Grey Goose and get caught with illegal wands in his car before his professional Quidditch tryout with the Denver Broomsticks? Will they win a national championship only because the Miami Hurri-wizards best chaser (Willis McWizard) broke his leg? Who will Greg Oden take to the Yule Ball? Will Buckeye fans be divided in thier support of Team Troy Smith or Team Justin Zwick?
Answers? Most likely, yes and Oden won't get into the Yule Ball because he is too old looking.
Story Via: The Daily What

By Aaron Brandt, who read The Prisoner of Azkaban on his first car ride to GVSU without getting car sick.

Fun fact: OSU's coach, defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator are all named Jim. You can also follow Ohio State Quidditch on Twitter here- http://twitter.com/#!/OSUQuidditch

Friday, January 28

Taco Bell Fires Back!

The folks at Taco Bell did not take kindly to the lawsuit against them about their beef-less beef, so they posted a response. 
Honestly, this doesn't change anything. I don't care what percentage of their beef comes from a cow; the amount of preservatives it takes to keep meat edible long enough to be reheated in a Taco Bell microwave is enough to keep King Tut looking prime for a few hundred years. And I'm sure the sodium content is within the daily value, right? And I don't trust anyone with the name Creed. 

By Aaron Brandt, who doesn't blindly trust press releases. 

Thursday, January 27

The Cleveland Cavaliers

For my Advertising 305 (Sports Promotion) class, I have to come up with a promotional plan for the 2010-2011 Cleveland Cavs. This is a very involved, year-long project that requires me to follow the team all year in order to develop a strategy to get butts in the seats. Thanks to an inverted alphabetical order drafting system, I was left with one of the last picks of an NBA team in my class. I took the Cavs because I figured they might be doing something interesting to make up for the loss of LeBaby. The are not.

Not only is this the worst team in the NBA (they have lost 28 out of 29 games, including 19 losses in a row), they have ZERO marketable stars. When Antwan Jamison is the best player on your team, you have problems. When Anderson "Flop until you drop" Varejao is the face of your franchise, you have a crisis. No one goes to games. No one watches the games. No one even knows there is a team in Cleveland. The attendance has had the sharpest decline from one year to the next since MJ left the Bulls.

So what's the point of all this? Well, as a downtrodden Pistons fan, I at least have some hope. They still have a chance at the playoffs, and after the season, they might be able to improve. Not even a first round pick and Kobe Bryant can take the Cavs out of the cellar next year. I think the Pistons should just make the Cavs their new NBDL team and call it a day. Meanwhile, i'll rack my brains for one reason Clevelanders should show up to the train wreck that rolls into town ever so often. And that reason certainly isn't that homeless dude's voice.

By Aaron Brandt, who once threatened to be a Cavs fan if the Pistons didn't draft Mateen Cleaves. Phew, dodged a bullet on that one!

Tuesday, January 25

Whats in a Taco Bell taco?

Nothing good. Accoring to Gizmodo, there is: "Beef, water, isolated oat product, salt, chili pepper, onion powder, tomato powder, oats (wheat), soy lecithin, sugar, spices, maltodextrin (a polysaccharide that is absorbed as glucose), soybean oil (anti-dusting agent), garlic powder, autolyzed yeast extract, citric acid, caramel color, cocoa powder, silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent), natural flavors, yeast, modified corn starch, natural smoke flavor, salt, sodium phosphate, less than 2% of beef broth, potassium phosphate, and potassium lactate."


 Yum. And there is only 36% beef in all that muck. And take a look at the meat before it gets "cooked" (microwaved). This is reason number 4,056 why I have not eaten fast food in almost four years. Seriously, people eat this stuff and then wonder why they are fat or unhealthy. Then I have to pay my tax dollars to dilate their kidneys and insert pacemakers into their over sized gullets. Then again this taco "meat" isn't as bad as what chicken nuggets and patties are made of... Anyone want an apple?
PS, that's not a new variety of ice cream, that's the goop they shape into "chicken" nuggets.

By Aaron Brandt, who used to order a number two at McDonalds. I was young and stupid. Pass the butter sandwich, please.

Thursday, January 20

A blog about health insurance

So the house voted to repeal Obamacare recently, leaving the healthcare picture as cloudy as an Allendale winter night. Sometimes our healthcare is provided, but as the economy struggles, more and more businesses are cutting benefits and even cutting all healthcare, leaving people to fill in the gaps or find something on their own. And now we won't have a government program to pick our healthcare for us. This means we must sort through the seemingly daunting maze of healthcare plans and providers in order to find affordable health insurance. However there is a solution. Medical Health Insurance Today offers a way for the average person to find decent healthcare. Do you need health insurance for preexisting conditions? No problem, medicalhealthinsurancetoday.com will help you not only learn about the basics of healthcare, from family care, short and long term care, business health care and all the way to international travelers health insurance. The process is simple. All you have to do is enter a zip code, complete the short application and then receive a free, no obligation health insurance quote. Again, there is no problem that this website does not cover. There are categories that help you better understand the world of healthcare, such as information in expat insurance, insurance specifically made for the state of California, how to add children under 26 to a plan, and how to buy individual health insurance. There are also numerous articles posted by MHIT, explaining the latest news and information about healthcare. When Obamacare passed, there was comprehensive coverage detailing the ins and outs of the new system which has since been extinguished. They also post a list of recommended health sites, which include many valuable resources for basic and complex health issues. Sites such as WebMD, The National Institutes of Health and The U.S. Department of Health and Human services are all recommended. The site does a terrific job of informing people about all the issues, both simple and complex, concerning healthcare. Tired of watching cable news and wondering what the words "health insurance for pre existing conditions" or "expat broker" mean? This website is your answer.

Thursday, January 13

Did Terrelle Pryor write TCU's billboard?

I admit I was rooting for TCU in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin. While they did not deserve to be in the National Championship, a victory would help to speed up the BCS playoff system that we all want. And they have cool uniforms. So of course TCU was pumped and played up the "us against the automatic qualifiers" dialoge, despite the fact that they were three point favorites. Fair enough. Especially after Ohio State's president Gordon Gee said, "I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it's like murderer's row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day." Fine schools like Marshall, Ohio, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue and Michigan? (Even thought I happen to agree with him) But that's a different blog for a different day. So they put up an apparently hastily written billboard all over town declaring their superiority. Cool. They get to revel in the moment. But at least use proper grammar. Did Terrelle Pryor write this? It should say "CONGRATULATIONS TO TCU for its BCS Rose Bowl Victory- Little Sisters of the Poor." TCU is singular, leaving some disagreement between the subject and the pronoun. But hey, they are moving to the Big East next year, which isn't exactly a bastion of education. And if Boise State had managed to follow a similar path, the billboards they put up would probably have been placed wide right of the freeway... 


And an update on the LHN sign- 11 people hate it, one person doesn't know about it, and nobody likes it. Be sure to cast your vote, because this poll has no impact on anything. Also, all the letters that were falling off have been removed.  


By Aaron Brandt, noted sign hater.

Tuesday, January 11

I hate Verizon. And its stupid iPhone.


UPDATE: Thanks to my mother, who was able to get a hold of Verizon, they are sending me a new phone (something called an Envy Touch?) free of charge. Still, I am peacing out of my contract in 5 months.


On the literal eve of the Verizon iPhone announcement, Verizon once again became the bane of my existence. Once again, they basically sent me out the door of their store with a broken phone and a "sorry about that sonny." For the second consecutive time, my piece of trash LG Dare has failed me out of the blue, with the same error. For the second consecutive time, I was just minding my own business, going to the store, when I pulled my phone out of my pocket to check the time, only to discover the words  "SERVICE REQUIRED" blaring across my touch screen. Once again I went into the store and asked for help. And for the second time in my life, the nerdy guy behind the desk asked me "Did you turn it off and take out the battery?" Really? What a great idea! I didn't even think of that! (sarcasm alert). Of course, they couldn't fix it in the store, so they called someone else, who asked if the guy in the store had taken out the battery, who eventually transferred the call to someone else who asked if anyone had taken out the battery and so on for about 30 minutes. They couldn't seem to figure out the problem, and had to order a "new" (clearly refurbished) Dare from some warehouse, leaving me without a phone for 5 days. When I finally did get the same phone, they tried to charge me $15 to get my contacts transferred. I wasn't having any of that. So summer and fall passed us by, and BAM, the same problem occurred. So I took it in, and once again, they wasted my time trying to fix the phone. I told them straight up that they would not be able to fix it (which possibly made the guy mad).


This time, after 30 futile minutes, they told me that they do not have any old Dares laying around in their warehouse. No, I have to buy a new phone, which inevitably means I will have to buy the $10 Internet that comes with all new phones. I would also have to pay almost full price for the phone (minus the laughable $30 upgrade for being one year, six months in to the contract) and renew my contract for another two years. Or I can find my old Razr (which I lost) and use that. Awesome Verizon, your crap phones have led me to use a phone that wasn't even new five years ago. I use my phone to text and call. I am not so pathetically addicted to my email or Facebook that I need a constant update at all times. If I need to go on the web, I'll use my laptop. I don't care about apps, and I do not want the Internet that they force all customers to purchase. My phone broke for the second time, and I have to pay for it? How does that make any sense? Of course I am not done fighting, and I will make a few unfriendly calls to "Bob" in Indonesia, and ask for his supervisor (Frank), but for now, I am hopping mad. My goal is contract termination. I want out. I want nothing to do with Verizon and their useless help center, their garbage phones, their idiotic replacement policy and their expensive contract. My phone broke for the second time and I have to buy a new one and renew my contract? Sounds like a conspiracy to me... Take your iPhone and shove it, Verizon.

By Aaron Brandt, who did nothing wrong and has to pay for Verizon's  mistakes.