Why Everyone’s Explanation of the Blue-Black / White-Gold Dress is Stupid

Sometimes, the internet sucks. Like, really sucks.

No tricks. I’ve got the real (unposted) answer below.

This whole freak out is going around about whether a blue and black dress is, in fact, blue and black or whether it’s white and gold. Here’s the picture.

Tons of scientists and lame-os have chimed in about how our eyes perceive color differently and whatnot. Some of it’s interesting The best one I’ve read is about how our brain is adjusting to the perceived amount of ambient light we think is in the picture.

Here’s the problem. IT’S ALL BS.

I’ve promised you the real answer. Here it is:

LCDs have different viewing angles, many of them bad. While looking at the picture of the dress on your screen, slide your head up and down while keeping the screen still. White-Gold becomes Blue-Black.

Is it magic? No, just stupidity.

Now, I totally understand that the brain, to some degree, is compensating for the over-exposed picture and needs to “pick” a correct color setting. But you can put my theory to the test. Print out the picture and see if you have the same problem.

(PS. Am I the only one that thinks this would make a great Black Mirror episode?)


I often see attempts to control the nature of man.

Nothing overt. Nothing that is even that self-aware. Just ideas. Behavioral limiting. This often leads to grand statements like:

"Society would be better off without God, or porn, or <insert personal vendetta here>."

But the flaw is in the belief that the bad doesn’t come with the good.

Think of all the wonderful/horrible things that mankind has done in the name of God.

Think of all the wonderful/horrible things that mankind has done in the name of Science.

Think of all the wonderful/horrible things that mankind has done in the name of Discovery.

Think of all the wonderful/horrible things that mankind has done in the name of Profit.

Is it sensible for us to say that these greater ideas are detrimental?

I used to hate FOX News. I used to wince at the shameless arrogance of its reporting. But you know what? It’s just serving a need. My problem isn’t with FOX News, it’s with the people who watch FOX News.

It isn’t the thing; it’s the people.

Many who want to dictate which factors are acceptable in society do so in the name of bettering man. "Imagine if the concept of God never existed," they postulate. This line of thinking usually assumes that man is inherently good, but that there are some bad influences that inevitably skew this nature.

The problem is, people aren’t inherently good. People aren’t inherently evil. People are just people. Many of them aren’t too bright. Many of them are extraordinarily kind. Many of them are condescending, and polite, and rash, and patient.

Many of them are wonderful/horrible.

Settling the Toilet Seat Debate

Should the toilet seat be left up or down? Men want it up to act as a urinal. Women use it down and would prefer to leave it that way. Who’s right?

The old adage is that the woman wants the seat down so she doesn’t accidentally ‘fall in,’ whatever that means. First of all, if anybody, ever, ‘falls in’ the toilet bowl, they are an idiot. I would like to hear a well articulated argument where this isn’t true. There is simply no defense for a grown-ass-human to accidentally sit in a dirty bowl of crap-water.

Secondly, some women and men have looked to statistics. I can’t tell you how many arguments I’ve seen about the toilet seat that were based on optimizing time. But let’s stop analyzing the percentages that men and women need to sit versus stand. Sure, statistical analysis is interesting, but keep in mind that all of this work is to decide who should save half a second. (That’s another way of saying that this isn’t the kind of problem that needs statistical analysis.) All of these studies are failing to grasp the big picture. The only factor they are considering is the time is takes to do the deed. Now, laziness might be a good enough reason to do something if it were the only reason, but it’s not.

There are, it turns out, several good reasons why the common wisdom of both men and women is wrong. Not only should the seat be down, but so should the cover. Always. Here are 4 reasons why:

1) The Toilet Bowl is Unsightly

U.S. law dictates that everyone have a low flush toilet. Scientifically, this means it "uses less water to force crap down the drain." This set-up often causes all types of unsightly skid-marks to line the porcelain path on the way down. Why expose guests and others to that view, especially if they’re not even using the toilet?

2) The Toilet Bowl is Dirty

This goes hand in hand with #1, but I’m listing it separately because it’s a health concern. Thousands of microscopic feces organisms fly into the air and all around the bathroom when you flush with the cover open. Scientists regularly find objects like toothbrushes coated with this. Now, as disgusting as this is to think about, the fact of the matter is that these germs aren’t so bad. We can handle a bit of it. But see if you’d rather flush with the cover open after pondering this.

3) The Cover Protects Those that Don’t Know Better

Hey, I know what a toilet is. I don’t stick my hand in the water under any circumstances, even if it’s on fire. But I had a dog growing up that would regularly drink out of the bowl. This is horrible. Pets are one thing, little kids are another. Why not prevent access to something that we think is disgusting when it’s not in use?

4) The Cover Protects Us from Ourselves

You might thank me the next time you put your cell phone down and it bounces off the counter and off the toilet cover instead of into the bowl. A $400 phone will always be a toilet phone once that happens, even if it’s waterproof.

ADHD Does Not Exist

Is it a surprise to me that a new TIME magazine article features a doctor who doesn’t believe that ADHD exists?


Hell no. Call me careful. Call me paranoid. Whatever you say, I don’t think people should be popping pills regularly. This is, of course, acceptable for treatments of serious conditions and mental disorders, but even popping a tylenol for every little headache gets a bit excessive for me.

As a nation, do we really want to raise an entire generation of people who are hooked on stimulants? Who need them to function normally? The real answers- exercise, diet, sleep- are never the sexy answers. Why bother trying to live healthier when you can swallow a pill? Unfortunately, one of the most important lessons people can learn in life is that that quick solutions are usually just stopgaps.

Today, we may think it’s crazy that Coca-Cola used to contain cocaine, or that opium was given to children, or even that alcohol was commonly used in medicine. 50 years from now, people will look back today and marvel at a generation who believed they could only concentrate properly if they took drugs. It’s a lie that Big Pharma propagates. It’s a fad that people buy into. But it’s not the truth.

Zimmerman Trial Outrage

I am sorry, I hate hitting on political talking points but there is so much misunderstanding and misinformation about the law that I had to get a few words in about the Zimmerman trial. As an added point, I detest the issue of race being used ignorantly and blindly where it has no place.

So I’ll start out for the record as saying that I support the verdict of the Zimmerman trial. None of us truly know what happened but with the amount of evidence available I believe justice was served. Remember, it is better to set a guilty man free than send an innocent man to jail – it is the basis of our legal system. That said, I don’t think Zimmerman broke the law.

On Race

There’s no proof that Zimmerman was racist. In fact, despite wanting to be a police officer, he spoke out against the department’s cover up of the beating of a black homeless man.

On the other hand, while I’m not accusing Martin of being a thug, the prosecution’s star witness said he called Zimmerman a cracker. So if there’s any proof of racism here, it’s against Martin.

But to the real point – was Zimmerman racist? The answer is: it doesn’t matter. We live in a free country and people are allowed to be racist if they want to be. What the law boils down to is criminal activity and Zimmerman’s actions may have been unwise but they were not illegal. Martin’s attack on Zimmerman, however, was.

On Thuggery

Many want to testify to the character of Martin one way or the other, either as an indication of his fault or his innocence. While some of his history may have been relevant in order to make certain assumptions about his character and his likely intentions, again, the truth is: it doesn’t matter.

Martin’s actions that day are all that matter. While the incident wasn’t well documented, all available evidence leads to the presumption that Martin engaged in violence first, which was the only illegal act. Whatever Martin may have tweeted about before is irrelevant, and in fact, I am not in the camp that thinks he was ‘looking for trouble’. I believe he was just a teenager returning ‘home’ from the store after getting some candy. What happened was surely a tragedy but Martin was to blame.

On Martin’s Size

Many use Martin’s ‘small size’ as ammunition to present Zimmerman as clearly taking advantage of the situation. Sorry, I don’t buy it. I am a grown man, on the skinny side but I work out and am in shape, and I weigh the same as Martin. 158 pounds is plenty big enough to cause damage. I understand that Zimmerman is heavier but that is much less of an advantage when you are on the ground being pounded in the face.

On Stand Your Ground

Anyone citing this tragedy as proof that Florida’s Stand Your Ground law doesn’t work either a) is grossly misinformed, or b) has a political agenda. This is because Zimmerman never invoked the Stand Your Ground law. That’s right, this case had nothing to do with Florida’s special protections and the two should not be mentioned together.

Instead, this was a case of simple self defense. Zimmerman may have unwittingly incited Martin into violence, but what happened before is hardly relevant. The case answers the simple question: when someone is on top of you potentially beating you to death, self defense is a valid option.

On Fault

Anyone angry with the Zimmerman verdict will say that he was an adult and should be blamed for his actions, which range from harassment to stalking to racism to forcing a violent confrontation. This is all completely irrelevant, because while I would have done things differently if I was Zimmerman, he did not do anything criminal. People are afforded many freedoms in this country and profiling someone, following them, and asking what they are doing are not illegal actions. They may be ignorant, racist, ill-advised, etc. but they are not law-breaking offenses.

For the sake of argument, even is Martin was a choirboy and Zimmerman called him a nigger, the escalation to combat was wrong. Even if Martin felt unfairly harassed he should not have responded the way he did. It all comes down to the simplest of lessons we learn as children: it is wrong to solve your problems with violence.

In Closing

While I am not black, I was young, and I can relate this to some of my personal experiences. Do you know how many times as a teenager I had adults treat me like a punk kid up to no good? Or had the employees in 7-11 follow me to make sure I wasn’t stealing candy? It wasn’t uncommon. And do you know how many of those times I responded by punching the adult in the face, knocking them down, and beating them? Never. And, sorry if it makes light of the matter, but that’s probably why I’ve never been shot at either.

People outraged at Media Coverage

I keep seeing posts from people who are outraged at the news coverage of the Connecticut school shooting. People complain that the topic is being spammed everywhere, missing the irony that their last 6 Facebook posts were about the incident. Even worse, Morgan Freeman is freely quoted as being a genius who claims the news is making heroes out of the killers and shouldn’t be plastering their names everywhere, which only serves to convince others to do the same and become infamous. For one, attributing Freeman to that quote was a hoax and the whole thing never happened. Even if it did, that wasn’t the actor being a genius- whoever wrote the quote is just a person echoing what every serial killer expert and crime behavior analyst has said over the past 50 years.

So is there some truth to it? Is the media behaving irresponsibly? Yes, and perhaps. I’m surely not defending them. But what the majority of the people don’t understand is that traditional news is a platform for old people to be outraged. Kids aren’t tuned in to Fox News watching this story unfold. You know who is? Parents who grew up without the internet who can’t believe how different the world is today. You know why you are saturated by this coverage? Because you choose to be. Who in their right mind bitches about a tv show and keeps watching it? You are part of the problem. If you don’t want to be inundated with sensationalist media, don’t give it views or clicks.


The United States is firmly rooted in the separation of church and state but often the moralities and rules of each get intertwined. If marriage is an expression of love, why is it governed by law? If it is a legal contract, why burden it with religion or values?

I understand that when a couple gets married and starts a family, laws need to be in place to protect this union for various reasons- shared assets and children chief among them. But these laws should be separate from marriage and the concept of love. What if two married people get divorced? Are there not still rules between them for custody arrangements and the like? What about a couple that has children without ever getting married? Child support is still owed. Even common law marriage exists. All these rulesets exist outside the bounds of normal marriage yet we still feel the need to tie them together.

Conversely, marriage is a sacrament in Catholicism, and certainly important in other religions. People should be able to walk into a church and get married and have the law stay outside of that. A religious union with a partner should be possible without needing to owe them money afterward if things don’t work out.

Where is the separation of church and state?

A couple, heterosexual or otherwise, should be able to enter into a contract to share responsibilities commonly associated with marriage, like tax status. This can be a legal document and the law can govern this as it likes but all the moralities associated with marriage shouldn’t be tied into this legal status. All the noise about same-sex marriage is fascinating to me. In many cases there is already a same-sex union available that enjoys all the legal benefits of marriage except it isn’t officially considered ‘marriage’- yet isn’t that all the law should care about anyway? What is the point of governing that extra level of meaning?

These days marriage is a legal contract- this can’t be denied. There are even several separate contracts that come with it now, like prenuptial agreements. But why is this contract burdened with sex, religion, and morality? And why is a religious sacrament burdened with law? Both these institutions fill two completely separate needs- we should keep them as far apart from each other as possible.

Pet "Rescues"

Sometimes I hate living in LA. I’m all for forward thinking but the better-and-smarter-than-you attitude is pervasive. It’s gotten to the point where you can’t just get a dog anymore- you need to "rescue" it or you’re some kind of horrible monster.

I understand that pet stores don’t have the most humane practices and that declawing cats is getting frowned upon these days. Times can change for the better. And if you want to rescue animals that is a perfectly acceptable thing to do. But if you’re just a normal person who wants to get a dog or cat, you are allowed to do it the old fashioned way and buy it from a family who just had puppies and kittens.

I had a friend find a puppy on craigslist, buy it from a household, and tell me that it was a rescue. She didn’t say this in a made-up-cover-story kind of way. No, instead there was some very sketchy self serving logic reasoning that things would be bad for the puppy if it wasn’t adopted by her. To avoid being judged my friend felt like she had to appear philanthropic, when really all she wanted was a dog.

This kind of societal pressure probably just comes with the territory when living in LA, but honestly, we shouldn’t care about appearances so much. Enlightenment is great but sometimes it gets a bit preachy for my tastes.

‘Doing Good’

At Why I Hate Everything, I mostly try my best to talk smack about contemporary media and people. But today is a bit different. It is not a person or a group of people or a product that I am complaining about, rather it is a specific argument I hear too much of. So as I do my best to tear down an argument, think of this as a sort of one-sided debate.

‘Doing good’ so that you can go to Heaven is not a selfless act – it is working the system. It’s simple Game Theory. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not evil to do good to serve your self interests. It can be totally benign. You may see doing good as working out for others and working out for yourself – everybody wins! But make no mistake, if you are worried about the rapture and all that then you are worried about your own soul. Nothing wrong with that- I would just like to make the motivation clear without making a judgment call.

Likewise, people who are now good because they have hit rock bottom are suspect. While it’s impossible to make a blanket statement that can cover what is in someone’s heart now, the simple fact is that the person changed because being bad wasn’t working for them anymore. They felt repercussions, saw the light, and figured out a way for their life to be better. They figured out how to survive.

There’s nothing outright wrong with any of this. The point where I start to get rubbed the wrong way is when people try to convince me to be a good person so my soul can be saved. I am not in the business of determining what happens to anyone’s soul. Me? I’d rather be good because it is the right thing to do. I would rather be good in my natural state, without thinking of myself or the repercussions. I don’t avoid murdering people to not get thrown in jail, rather I don’t do it because it is a horrendous act against humanity. Likewise, not being an evil son of a bitch, or ‘doing good’, shouldn’t need ‘avoiding Hell’ as a motivator. Being good at gunpoint just doesn’t seem very noble.


I walked in to a pizza place today and a bum standing outside, out of nowhere, asked me, "Hey do you sell weed?" and I said, "No man." and went inside.

When I walked out with my pizza the same guy asked, "Hey do you have any spare change?" and I said, "No man." and walked away.

Here’s the thing – dude just admitted to me that he was looking to buy pot. This is what happens to money that you give away.