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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 72 – Contemplation

Contemplation is essentially the long thoughtful observations we have of calm and lengthy intent. It is the considerations we all have at some point in our lives that involves your attention and musings on a particular subject. When you contemplate you are thinking things over and have the process go through your mind where your senses bring in some information from external stimuli we encounter throughout the day and they formulate interpretations and analyze that info with our brains. Something that I personally love to do is derived from contemplation. Wondering is one of my favorite pastimes and they are basically the thoughts from which you have no basis for making an accurate or seemingly accurate decision or interpretation of events you have probably yet to experience. The thing that I like about wondering is that it spikes curiosity and can lead to potential inspiration. When you are contemplating you can be weighing the pros and cons of a particular situation. When you think something over you usually have multiple options or choices to choose from. If you are in that predicament where you need to decide over which options to pick from and will probably weed them out until you find the right one for your particular situation. If you make a decision you may have second thoughts on your actions or decisions. You may second guess yourself like when you make a decision but then think over the particular circumstance where your decision may not hold up and because of that you may realize that there may be other aspects you must consider before making a final decision. These second guesses as well as general contemplations are usually implemented in tough predicaments like when there may not be exactly one clear cut decision over another. Contemplating over things can also be used for recreation like philosophy and abstract concepts of life like I’m talking about now. I love contemplating over far out ideas because trying to wrap my head around them is enjoyable to me but it can also be a very useful tool in helping to improve your life. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 71 – Predictions

Predictions are basically forecasts or foretellings in a statement or claim that a particular event in more certain terms will occur. If you make a prediction you are then making something known in advance. Making a prediction is pretty much taking a guess. One example is predicting what’s going to happen and it can really be about any topic you could possible think of. The catch is that the situation has to be unclear about the outcome or it is currently unknown to you at the point in time in which you make the conjecture. One of the most basic examples of this that I have personally faced many times is guessing how many skittles are in a jar. Guesses usually apply to the future but it doesn’t always have to be that way. This is because instances of which you don’t know what will happen are always prevalent in the realm of the future but you can also not know about what happened in the past or present and make guesses about them in that regard. If that is the case then you will get a better and more accurate detailing of the actual outcome of what you are guessing about because it already happened. If you are predicting about the future you will need to wait until the time comes to verify if your prediction was correct or not. When making a prediction you should use your intuition and knowledge to take an educated guess. They are of huge importance in order to increase your accuracy and chances of being correct. When talking about guesses I need to refer to insider information. When there are stakes on the line with guesses and bets (when you place your possessions on the line as a wager in hopes that your guess is more likely to happen then the next guy’s prediction) everyone involved doesn’t necessarily have the same knowledge or understanding of the situation. When a horse racer watches a horse race, they will probably know who is more likely to win than I will. This creates an unequal playing field and gives him a greater chance of winning whatever I put up for grabs by betting. Insider information is a form of this unequal playing fields and it is illegal in the respect to get a leg up on the competition. Specifically in insider trading, you trade, usually stocks, with some type of information you have received internally that gives you a better idea of what is most likely to happen in the near future. While nobody knows exactly how the future will turn out, planning and being the change you want to happen in the future is a huge way in increasing the odds that your predications become a reality. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 70 – Distractions

Distractions are essentially the things that change the direction of someone’s attention and can be the used to deceive or beguile an individual. One of the biggest distractions can be entertainment that provokes your interests and gets your mind off the worries and vexations in life like escapism. While this may seem like a positive from this standpoint because it can ease the pressures from stress that we will inevitably face in life, it can be a negative in the fact that it severely decreases your productivity levels. It directs your attention away from your primary task usually with something cool or interesting. If you become distracted, it usually comes from something that plays specifically to your individual being to make it so you can’t resist. They can come in many shapes and forms especially in this technological world. In this day and age there are hundreds of TV shows that, combined with the internet as well as psychological things like subliminal messages and ads, can keep our attention away from what we are supposed to be doing for hours, possibly days, on end. Diversions are a specific form of distractions. They are usually external factors that take the initiative to make you notice them instead of what you are supposed to do usually in attempt to hinder your productivity. Staying focused is an important part of getting anything done especially in regards to your productivity because if you get distracted you have the potential to waste time, money, and resources that otherwise could be invaluable. There are those times though that it is good and can even be beneficial to get “lost.” Some of the greatest inspirations come from getting sidetracked or daydreaming. This is because your mind wanders to areas you probably wouldn’t have voluntary though or known about. This gives you a fresh perspective to view the world by and thus I have come to the conclusion that every once in a while it is worth it to daydream in school. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 69 – The End

Ah the beloved number 69! This time I am going to talk about the end. I believe that there has to be some point that everything that exists today or has existed at some point came into being. I also believe that there may not always be an end. While an end provides contrast from the beginning by creating a definitive timeline from which things have existed, I don’t necessarily believe that everything has to have a definitive time. When it comes to organic things and in general most other objects in existence, the elements and compounds that make them up gradually wear down. The human body’s metabolism can only sustain life for a certain amount of time. As life progresses and medicine gets more advanced, we can prolong this duration but it still will eventually have to end. Inanimate objects also have an “expiration date” per say because at a chemical level, their matter will be transformed into something else. Whether it is an ice cube melting or burning a tree, matter goes through changes every day. While it may still exist (water will still be around even after the ice melts) it will exist in a different form with unique properties. In this sense things can last forever, just by continuously changing its form or combining with others. I also find it rather hard to determine how something lasts forever because we personally will not be around long enough to make that observation. While we may be able to look back into the past and determine how long something has already existed for, we still can’t make the determination that they will continue to exist for infinite time in the future. For this reason we are not able to undeniably state that something will last forever. They also don’t have to be physical at all. The relationships we form in life are ones that we hope to never have an end. In fact those relationships will definitely last far beyond our own ends. This is why people have funerals, remembrance, and memorial services, because our relationships continue on even after death. This is what I consider the legacy that you leave behind. Because you know you can’t take material things with you, you leave behind the memories that you have experienced with everyone who hasn’t met their end yet. People often fear the end because of all the uncertainty that is associated with it. We obviously have no idea what the end is like but it is important not to be scared of it. If you worry about the end then you will not be enjoying the time you have to spend on Earth and build meaningful relationships that help provide meaning in your life.

-Allan Nicholas

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 68 – Origins

Origins are the properties that can be attributable to your ancestry that is the source of something’s existence from which it is derived. I believe that there is always a beginning to everything that exists right now. These beginnings are what we can define as the origins of things that are currently in the universe or has been as some point in time. Origins can also be thought of as the starting point like in life. Everyone has points in life where they can start a new life. One specific and probably biggest example of this is birth. There are also many times when you may have the opportunity to start a new chapter or era in your current life because of events and the environment. Whether it is moving to a completely new town, going to college, or getting a new job to start a new career, there are pivotal moments in our lives where we can essentially get a blank slate to live our lives the way we may not have been able to in the past. These times are basically the originators of our new selves. While it may be a once in a lifetime chance to be the person you’ve always dreamed of being, leaving behind all the “baggage” (i.e. friends you’ve made and emotional bonds you’ve formed) you have developed throughout the years of your existence so far can be very difficult. When talking about origins, it is also important to realize that not everyone starts at the same position. There isn’t one universal quality that we all have by being alive except that we are all breathing and have bodies. We all have parts in our lives that will most likely be similar. For people in our immediate vicinity at least, we all will probably go to school, move on to college, get a job and probably get married, maybe even have kids. The thing is that not everyone lives the same way of life. The environment also plays a huge role in what you are capable or doing or can do in the future. Even though we may not always all start with the same thing, I don’t think that we are ever left with nothing. At the very least you are left with what your parents genetically endow you with. Your origins can take you in almost any direction depending on what you want. I suggest that you always strive for improvement regardless of where you start. If you don’t try or care to improve upon you origins then you won’t be able to reach your full abilities. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 67 – Realizations

Having a realization is coming to understand something clearly and distinctly. It can be both conscious and subconscious like at a first impression you basically make about 7 – 10 determinations about a person whether you realize it or not. With the blink of an eye, you judge characteristics of others that include attractiveness, likeability, competence, trustworthiness, and aggressiveness. You may not realize it but you body language, facial expressions, and overall demeanor are huge factors in what other people think of you, especially if they don’t personally know you well. Besides first impressions, our realizations about life help formulate our perceptions of reality and ultimately make a huge impact on our own individual lives. If you make a realization it means you have become aware of your current environment and have cognitively noticed what it going on within it. You then process external stimuli that you will face in almost every second of your life. Whether it is the face of a person, of a fly buzzes across the room, all of these ignite an internal spike in cognitive recognition if you are aware of their existence. If your surroundings bear down you with you detriments you have built in defense mechanisms that are innate in psychology. Whether you try to suppress the negative feelings that the world is giving you, or displace your hatred towards something by redirecting your feelings to another target, you are then submitting to the defense mechanisms that help us survive life, especially when life is unfavorable. Denial is also one of the digest defense mechanisms that we have. It is basically refusing to acknowledge the existence of something that is at a basic subconscious level completely believe that it isn’t possible to happen. While some may choose to stay in denial forever, other may come to terms and accept the truth. While what your environment present you may not be ideal, you need to move on to move forward. You also have to make sure that your perspective isn’t skewed by bias. If you can learn how to deal with life’s challenges and can get around and over them then you can improve your life from it tremendously. Life may not always be exactly what you want but you can always work to change the future. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 66 – Surprises

Surprises are basically the astonished feeling you receive when a sudden unexpected event happens. The event occurs with some type of disbelief associated with it and it takes time for you to be able to adjust. It can also be both a positive or negative thing. The point of a surprise is to catch off guard the individual who the surprise is for. I always look forward to seeing the reaction of someone when I jump out from around a corner to scare them. They are not ready for it at all so their response is completely candid. This is because if you are surprised it means you are blindsided by pieces of information of actions so your response is completely heat of the moment. You are left with no time to prepare and you are most likely unsuspecting if it is a true surprise. You won’t have any clue of what was going on prior so it will then play against a weakness because unawareness then develops into a vulnerable spot on your collective being. If you are trying to surprise someone, the best way to go about it is to attempt to sneak around going unnoticed. The whole premise of a surprise is to be secretive. You can’t let any of the receiving parties have any clue or inclination of what’s going to happen or it won’t be an effective surprise. In order for a surprise to work well, it needs to completely slip past awareness. It can’t be something that you consciously recognize and realize what is going on. Sometimes people have some awareness of events that are going to happen but don’t have the desire or believe it has such a direct impact on their lives that they no longer attempt to pursue information on it. Sometimes I get suspicions that there may be something going on that I am not aware of some scheme behind my back but I’m not concerned enough to figure out exactly what is going on. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Monday, November 15, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 65 – Danger

Danger is usually perceived as the condition of being susceptible to injury. It is normally viewed as being the cause of pain or loss and is almost always associated with negativity because if danger is anywhere in your life it isn’t in a very stable environment. Danger shakes things up by making things vulnerable to harm and nobody likes to be hurt or have to endure more stress or pain that is required from living and breathing here on Earth. If there is danger around, that means that something is at risk of going wrong. The greater the danger that is present, the greater magnitude of injury or pain. It also comes with an increased potential for some aspect of a plan or life to turn out terribly wrong. Danger has been known to completely ruin a life so people would naturally choose not to associate, interact or be in the presence of it. Danger places a noticeable threat on things that you hold closely to your heart and stuff that you hold deep emotional attachments to. If the threat is big enough, there’s a chance that whatever is placed in the direct path of the danger won’t exist after they collide. This can apply both physically and figuratively like if you are in physical danger you are at risk of dying or your plan has a chance of failing because of danger. When faced with potential danger, you need to weigh the risks and benefits of each situation. If you are being reckless you leave yourself more vulnerable to danger. You should only commit a possible dangerous action if the foreseeable outcome provides more benefits than detriments. There is no guarantee if safety in dangerous times and if you are put in harms way there is a good possibility that there will be an unfavorable result will occur to your well being. The best that you can do is to prepare for it as much as you possibly can. There are some interesting responses that our body has developed instinctually to deal with times of danger. If we feel threatened we exhibit a fight or flight experience but ultimately awareness is your best defense. Danger’s greatest enemy is awareness. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 64 – Obligations

Obligations are basically commitments that can be defined by Google as the act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action. Some commitments are derived from the events that you’ve given your word to be present in a particular case. They are the personal relations in which one is indebted for a service or favor. They can be thought of as the things you are forced to partake in and possibly even against your will. A majority of the time in your life you spend on things that you might not necessarily want to do but are necessary and important to the progression of life. Regardless of what we want to do in life we all need to follow through and deliver the promises we make. If you don’t we will then lose credibility and your reputation will suffer. One of the ultimate keys to success is having others believe that you are a reliable person who can be trusted. If no one can trust you, you won’t form strong bonds with other people that are necessary to a happy and successful lifestyle. If you don’t, you will be perceived by the general public in a negative light. Another aspect of obligations is the liabilities. Liabilities can basically be defined as the parts of your life that can be presented as a weakness and potentially leave you vulnerable. If this is the case, then they may be others who are willing to take advantage of you in these conditions and exploit such weaknesses. There are many liabilities that everyone has in life that can basically be considered the baggage we all carry with us in life. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing because such “baggage” can provide meaning in our life like our friends and family. If you have a sick mother you need to take care of, you will take care of her because you love her but it is a liability because people can turn that emotional attachment against you to harm you. You need to make sure they are properly taken care of or managed in attempts to prevent such a weakness from being exploited. If you leave them unchecked or unguarded they may come back to haunt you in your future. You need to take responsibility for your obligations and liabilities and that is a very important step for a successful life. If you can keep your commitments and protect the liabilities you will inevitably have, you are well on your way to have a happy and successful life. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 63 – Celebrations

Celebrations are the entertaining festivities for special occasions usually to mark some happy event or potentially a milestone where much effort time and resources have been spent to reach a particular goal. Celebrations are usually used as mediums from which others cheer for the success they or others have achieved. They are used to show appreciation for the amount of benefits the current situation you are in has afforded to you or your surroundings. If you celebrate, it means you’ve accomplished a certain aspiration or some other event took place that has made it a worth while time to splurge, go all out, and make a deal about it by partying hard. In fact when you celebrate you will most likely party in the presence of others who were involved in the achievement at hand. There are many instances where celebrating is an appropriate response. Whether you have finally gotten the promotion you’ve always been looking for, or you got an A in your math class, there will always be something in our life we can be proud to say we did. By celebrating and partying because of said achievement, you are showing that you are proud of your actions and want others to know about them. When you are celebrating you are relishing in the success or outcome of a challenging obstacle. The celebrations are made even sweeter if you are celebrating after a hard earned achievement. If you try really hard in order to complete something and it proved difficult to you, once you finally do get around it, you get a sense of satisfaction knowing you have the potential to beat or solve really hard problems. When you get a taste of success, you will want to emulate and repeat such instances again and again in future ventures. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume that you would rather continue to celebrate frequently as apposed to a once in a lifetime kind of celebration. I love to celebrate and I don’t think I’ve met anyone who doesn’t like a good to have a good birthday party celebrating your life ever year.

-Allan Nicholas

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 62 – War

Wars are the situations in which sides are pitting against each other and it is usually an armed conflict and can be perceived as an active struggle between competing entities. War usually occurs when there are strained relationships but can occur unprovoked and just happens because one side wants to forcefully take something from another. There are many motivations that can in a sense cause feuds and some include land, power, resources, and other finites resources that you can possibly run out of requiring you to get more from others. Two main reasons why war would break out could possibly be because one side wants something the other owns and they don’t negotiate for it or one side just has a straight up problem with another and will do anything to exterminate them. While the latter usually only occurs in extreme situations where genocide is likely to follow, the former is usually the underlying case for almost all armed conflicts. There are many transformations that occur from the beginning of war to the end. This process can have different locations and weapons that change as time progresses but the underlying themes and motivations explained above pretty much transcend time. When I talk about transformations I also refer to the individual sides and how certain sides or aspects may be flourishing but can get completely destroyed during the whole warfare progression. The economy of big business usually grows exponentially like defense contractors but the growths of other aspects that don’t relate to war get inhibited by all the fighting. Different sectors will inevitably prosper and others will be squandered by war. Big business related to governmental affairs like the defense contactors I said before will most likely benefit from killing but things like populate get reduced depending upon the chaos and destruction caused by war. The outcomes of wars can vary dramatically from case to case. Depending on the power of each side, the war can end quickly or result in a stalemate which are the worse because the destructions just spreads unless there is diplomacy involved or one side gives up. When you talk about wars you need to talk about the winners and losers involved. The winner is usually the one that forces another to surrender or defends successfully against the incoming attackers. If you are attacking and win, you will get in a sense “prizes” that can come in the form of money, resources, and other desirables that motivated you to fight in the first place. If you successfully defend an attack you will probably get to keep one of the most precious prizes of all which is your life. Regardless of which side wins of losses, the winner has the capability to write history the way they see fit because the losing side has no say in the matter. Finally, I think it is important to talk about the ending of war all together. I believe that it is the worst conflict resolution technique and should only be used in the extreme of cases which I believe are never really justifiable. However, I think that until we learn alternative behaviors and ways to deal and interact with each other we may be doomed to repeat history by not learning from our past mistakes. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 61 – Bias

Bias can in a sense be described as a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation. It is the leaning viewpoints that are in an unfair way clouding judgments. Everyone has a certain perspective on almost every issue or topic and it is human nature to have beliefs but finding out where they originate from and are formulated is something interesting to think about. We all have our own opinions but when you really think about it, I believe it is pretty surprising how much our opinions are influenced by the rest of the world. Your opinion can be manipulated by external factors to the point where it may not necessarily seem like it is truly deep down what you really believe but what you think you or have been taught to believe. I remember watching a new episode of Family Guy where Brian hated Rush Limbaugh because of what others said about Rush but after reading Rush’s book, Brian completely agreed with Rush’s viewpoint. The reason for this is because Rush’s beliefs were the next seemingly logical point presented to Brian and they didn’t come contested with a contradicting point. This meant that Brian wasn’t critically thinking and he was accepting the viewpoints of others without second thought just because it seemed like a good idea. He is accepting the bias of others without realizing that there are other choices and perspective out there. It is surprising how strong the external influence is on your life through advertisements, the internet, and other forms, and it is very rare that your opinions are 100% your own. This is especially the case is your have a vested interest or something you care about is at stake because it makes your more defined in your beliefs, efforts, and motivations. Being impartial means that you basically unaffected by the biases you are surrounded by daily and is almost impossible to achieve. Being impartial allows you to not get caught up in emotions and other aspects that could completely change your perspectives which can be a good thing but sometimes it is important to associate yourself with a side and feel strong about a particular standing. One way to help simulate impartiality is by playing devil’s advocate. Like I said before, it can be important sometimes to fight for something because it can give your life purpose but it cant get to the point where your are so stubborn in your beliefs that you won’t recognize or give other views a chance. Getting a full viewpoint and seeing all sides involved in a particular situation is very important in order to live a successful life. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 60 – Violence

Violence is basically a turbulent state that has the possibility of resulting in injuries and destruction. There are plenty of aggressive behaviors that are associated with anger. I did a previous note on anger and rage and this post will relate a lot with that because the two concepts are basically intertwined. I believe that violence can basically be operationalized to describe the behavior as the intention to injure or damage property. One of the big questions in today’s society is about asking whether or not violence is engrained in society. The media plays a huge role in this I believe because they portray these violent acts. I also believe that violent behaviors we see in the news every day are directly related to the amount of crime. One of the many theories of why there have been crime increases is that technology plays a role in inspiring citizens to commit violent crimes especially in children with videogames and television. One instance where this concept is prevalent is in children’s television programs. In cartoons like SpongeBob and Phineas & Ferb, there is a lot of violence that we don’t necessarily recognize as being a bad thing but find it comical because of the situation it is currently in. One specific thing I notice is when characters like SpongeBob, Patrick, or Squidward get hurt and in the next scene they seem completely fine. The one who is inflicting the pain also impacts its connotation like if SpongeBob commits a violent act it will be on accident but if Squidward does something violent, it is probably on purpose with the intention to injure SpongeBob. The humor used in these cartoon shows is used to take the significance of the pain off a focus point to the children and make it appear funny to the audience. While it may make the show entertaining, the only problem with this is that children may cause pain to their friends and family thinking it’s funny but they will have to learn the hard way it isn’t. The reasoning for using violence is dependent upon the current predicament and can be used in some conditions that have a justification for acting violent. If you are getting provoked to be violent, you still aren’t justified in your use for violence because you should be able to control your actions with self control. If you actively go out of your way to incite ruckuses and fights, then you are potentially a danger to society and should be punished. I believe that violence is never the answer unless it is used for self defense but that is a sticky subject because it is hard to sometimes determine if something was done out of self defense from an external perspective. Everyone has their own mentality on how to deal with violence as well like the eye for an eye approach. The sensitivity you have for others and your connections to others at an emotional level will determine how you will act to them especially with things like empathy and apathy. Deep down we all relate to each other through what we feel but it varies from person to person like some may care about others pain and others may want to inflict pain upon you. In early times of human history there was an internal sense of justice carried out by the individual but now there is a code of conduct that we all must abide by through the laws that the government enforces through police. I personally believe that unfortunately there will always be violence. In my opinion, I don’t believe that world peace is completely achievable but if future generations are being taught alternatives to violence we may be able to evolve past our basic instincts. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 59 – Slippery Slopes

Slippery slopes are basically the points in life in which the further you go down a path the harder it is stop let alone try and turn around or switch direction so it is a time in which you need to head with extreme caution. When I’m talking about going down a path I mean that when you take certain actions in life, if you continuously do them without restraint then it will become tougher and tougher to stop. It develops habits and if these habits aren’t associated with positive behaviors then it can end with negative results. It doesn’t also have to relate solely to your actions but the actions of others or your environment as well. A good concept or visual picture to consider when you’re thinking about this topic is the snowball effect. This is a perfect representation for this as a figurative term for the process that starts from an initial state of little significance but then build upon itself becoming bigger and bigger. While this may not necessarily be a bad or good thing per say, one thing that is almost certain to happen is that the “snowball” goes beyond the scope of your control as it progresses into an avalanche and because of this it could be potentially dangerous but possibly also beneficial depending on the situation. It is important to realize that things can get out of hand very quickly if not properly maintained so you need to actively observe and keep in check the different aspects and parts of your life that you wish to have a say in. Depending on your personality, you may be a person who is viewed as a control freak you needs to posses control over the current predicament. You may need to have the situation under your power and influence and exercising your capabilities in order to make life be the way you want and envision it to be but make sure those actions are well thought out. Slippery slopes once they get started are also hard to stop so you need to think well in advance of where you want the situation to go before it actually does get out of hand because then you’ll just be riding down the avalanche not being able to get out. If you want the future to head in a certain direction you need to be the change required to initiative it and early on before it is too late. You can’t just sit back and watch and expect or hope that the avalanche will stop or go in a direction you want it to. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 58 – Traps

Traps can be considered the situations used to capture and contain an object whether physically in the same location or abstract like in a verbal conversation you can get trapped in a hole and backed into a corner. The point of traps is that they usually put you in a compromising situation. If you get caught you will be perceived as committing a despicable act that you normally wouldn’t have been thought capable or possible by you. There are many ways in which these situations can occur and I believe one of the most popular form of traps is usually brought about by a vested interested that you posses getting turn on you. For instance, something that you care about and think highly of can leave you vulnerable and able to be taken advantage of. In superhero movies, the villain always lays a trap for the hero by kidnapping a loved one of the hero and making them come to a location usually to be ambushed. Being caught in a trap can also be caused by carelessness and being unaware meaning that it is possible you will be caught off guard. Two of the most common reasons you can be trapped is because of your emotions or aloofness and not being consciously attentive of your environment. Now that we know the main causes of getting caught in a trap it is important to recognize the different forms of traps. Two of the main types that I can think of off the top of my head are guilt traps and bait traps. Because there are different types of traps they also vary in effectiveness. This effectiveness is primarily determined by the situation it is implemented in. If you yourself are trying to establish a trap you need to take into consideration the probability in which a character will fall prey to the trap you intend to create. If you are the one who fell victim to a planned trap, it will probably become quite difficult for you to get out of it. Another important factor of a trap is the ability to leave a lasting impression on the one who got caught. If you are trying to lay a good trap you need it to leave a mark or scar on the individual in order to make an impression. I am in no way endorsing you should trap someone or become the next Jigsaw the in the movie Saw 16. I personally believe that the best policy when it comes to traps is practicing avoidance. There are usually two ways in which you can deal with a trap and that is either to try to escape/avoid it or face it head one. Before you make this decision you want to be as aware as possible of your surroundings in order to avoid a trap. There may be signs that can give away the surprise of a trap or just through instinctual behavior you may realize its presence. It is always better to try to avoid a trap then have to find out ways to get out of it. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Monday, October 18, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 57 – Mannerisms

Mannerisms are basically how your personality, beliefs, and values will impact how you will act. It is a behavioral attribute that is distinctive and peculiar to an individual. These include the way in which one walks, talks, thinks, etc and almost all aspects of life have different methods of acting and behaviors that will be unique to a certain person and vary on a case by case basis. Almost everything has an underlying context or purpose for why it happened whether conscious or unconscious. There are probably some ulterior motives that you may or may not realize that determines and pretty much creates an excuse or alibi for why you acted a certain way at a certain time. The important thing to know is that they are specific actions, thoughts, etc that are distinct to you and that your mannerisms are unique to you alone because it is derived from your upbringing and nature. I have had the nature vs. nurture debate plenty of times and have come to the conclusion that both the genes that you are comprised of as well as the events and experiences you are exposed to will play a huge role in the mannerisms that you have when you grow. What you learn and live with as a child will set the stage for what you will become later in life. The genes and one of your parent’s biggest contributions to you come in the form of hereditary characteristics that, in addition to your upbringing, will also lay the framework for your mannerisms. While your mannerisms at one point won’t necessarily mean that your certain humor as a teenager will stick with you through adulthood, it can be pretty good indicator of how you will act in the future. Of course if you crack immature jokes when you are 17 doesn’t mean you will continue to do so when you’re 57 but it still gives a sense that you find certain subjects funny. If you know someone’s mannerism pretty well you can usually accurately predict what one will do, think, etc in a given situation placed in the right environment under the right variables. The motivations for what they do and why they do it is a good indication of what they’ll do in the future. It is important to keep in mind that everyone has their own unique quirks and signature styles meaning they will not always be interested in the same things you are so you shouldn’t expect it all the time. This is a good thing though because these unique aspects of individuals make life interesting and exciting. I like to think of the Fairly Odd Parents example of when everyone was a grey blob life was a dull drum but everyone’s personalities shown through their physical casings and still proved to make life fun and interesting. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 56 – Decisions

When you need to make a decision, you can basically picture yourself being stuck at a crossroad where you are in a sense forced to pick an option that is currently available to you. In order to make one, it is helpful to have some background information and prior knowledge regarding each option to give you a chance at making a good decision. When discussing decisions, you need to talk about those who are in the position to make them. It is usually the authority figures or those with power who are the ones that have the final decision and overruling say in the decision making process. They are the ones who have the greatest opportunity to make their dreams, desires, and wills come true. The ones who have the final say aren’t the only ones involved in making decisions though and it is important to recognize the other contributing factors. There are plenty of other people who get a say and act as influencers in a given situation. If you don’t have a lot of power it may be more difficult for you to affect the outcome but you can always try to change the perspective or persuade those who do. Not only do people have an impact on decisions but your environment can play a huge part in skewing or distorting ones viewpoint in order to have them think a certain way. If you are the president of some desert country and you need to decide where you will spend your resources, you environment will make issues such as water more imperative than say road construction. Another important question to ask regarding decisions is, “What are the implications and effects of a certain decision?” It is important to look at how the decision you make will impact the lives and future of others involved in the current predicament and how will it lead the path to future. When making a decision it is at the upmost important to think clearly and you should always try to get a big picture perspective because it is the best way to make an all encompassing choice. You must make sure you aren’t too biased or make hasty heat-of-the-moment decisions that will in the long run negatively impact your life down the road. In almost every single event that takes place, the variables involved are most likely going to be too numerous to control all of them. Because of this a particular situation may not seem like there is one seemingly obvious right or wrong choice you can make. There are multiple important factors that you must consider before making a good decision and they include reflecting on the past, looking towards future plans, intuition, instincts, guts, and using your own personal best judgments. If you do apply all of these to your decisions you will no doubt allow for and set the framework for the best decision possible in any given situation you will face. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 55 – Questions

Questions are the backbone from which we develop our knowledge and information. Questions are pretty much doubts and uncertainties about the truth or factuality or existence of something. They relate to curiosity and wondering and allow humans to discover more about themselves and the world around them in attempts to lead the way for a better future. These questions are used usually when you have a lack of knowledge and by doing so it means you have taken the initiative and shown the drive to want to learn more on your own time. Sometimes the tactic of asking questions even though you already know the answer is employed in several situations. It is a method to test the one providing the answer to observe what their response is and compare it to the knowledge you have already previously developed. Another type of questioning comes in the form of interrogations. It is when you question others in order to achieve some desired outcome or answer. Your questions in these cases don’t have to ask for facts but also personal opinion and perspectives in order to find out what exactly is going on and relate accordingly. In order to find the “right” answer you are looking for, it is imperative that you ask the right question. Phrasing and wording are important factors involved in the process of trying to receive the answer you are seek. In interviews you won’t receive the desired response unless you can set a basis from which you build upon the questions you’ve asked until it reaches a final answer. The main importance of questions is that they are an imperative part of learning more about the world and improving society as well. We’ve all heard the saying that there aren’t really any stupid questions and I agree with this. The only thing I have to say is that I believe questions can be construed as stupid when they have little to no relevance to the current subject at hand. The only stupid things about questions is if you ask the same ones over and over again because that means you won’t learn from the answers you’ve been given thus you won’t be able to progress and improve your life.

-Allan Nicholas

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 54 – Reliefs

We all have or will inevitably experience those stressful situations where we feel like we are in a place where things will never get better. Reliefs are those feelings that come when something burdensome is removed or reduced. Those burdensome feelings can come from plenty of environmental factors that occur throughout life. Whether you get a bad grade on a test or something else terrible happened, it may not at the present moment be clear that life will eventually improve. In order to receive some feelings of relief, you must be currently in a tight spot to get better or feel a sense of relief. So many situations can cause you to desire or posses a need for appeasement. Like I said before, almost all reliefs aim at attempting to decrease stress. Every action or event in your life that is considered stimuli will provide some sense of stress (both good and bad) on you but it all matters on how you choose to deal with it. Pressure can put a huge weight on your shoulders and it is a major form of stress on the lives of individuals ranging from preteens to full on seniors. There are many other forms of stress as well but when your environment comes bearing down it is human nature to feel anxiety. The way you act and respond in high pressure situations is a huge part in trying to improve a situation. The collectiveness and calmness that you exhibit and display in your life all relates to the amount of composure you have. The composure you have then directly relates to how well you can deal with stress and when you need to experience some sense of relief. There are multitudes of coping mechanisms and methods from which we can then get on with our lives. This relief usually comes from an external source when you can’t deal with it yourself. Everyone could always use some miracle worker and hope that they will come to the rescue and saves the day but then it allows you to get over what you may not be able to have by yourself. We all need someone to lean on for support and comfort and it is necessary for a successful and happy lifestyle. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 53 – Tough Skin

Every single action or event in life will have some type of impact on you and your life. The reaction an individual has based upon this stimulus is all dependent upon said individual’s personality. There are multiple ways to deal with a given situation such as bottling up the emotions that one can feel. If you take this approach though you will inevitably start developing secrets and deep dark hidden thoughts and feelings and if it does continue drastically you may lose the ability to connect with others on a deeper level either by choice or by habit. If you choose this path I believe that there is a term called “tough skinned” that can apply to you. By being tough skinned, it means you don’t let your environment influence you a lot. The one of the benefits to this is that you keep the negatives out of your life. The world is filled with evils and if you don’t get fazed by them, they would be detrimental to your lifestyle. There are plenty of things that I wouldn’t want to be introduced to like war and inhumane and criminal acts that occur in everyday life. By being tough skinned it also means that you for the most part keep others out of your life. You probably either completely ignore those that are in your social network or you may just exclude yourself completely from all your relationships. This is one negative of what being tough skinned can do for you and sometimes it is necessary to share and relate to others. In life you can’t do everything on your own and in almost every situation you can accomplish so much more by working with others like in teams. Getting along with everyone in your surroundings is imperative for success in the future. If you help others you will then have a shoulder to lean on for support and reinforcement that allows you to feel comfort and reassurance. There’s no right or wrong way to live your life and nobody can tell you differently so being tough skinned or not isn’t necessarily good or bad. It is up to you and if you do leave yourself vulnerable to external factors you have the potential to be hurt by those around you. If you let your relationships affect those feelings instrumental to happiness, you leave yourself open to being harmed. The positive spin to this is that those relationships provide meaning in life and they are the key to a happy and successful future.

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 52 – Waiting

Waiting means that you are anticipating the occurrence of something happening in the future. It is the period in which you are basically inactive because of an inability to pursue a particular subject usually because of an external factor. During this time period you could just be sitting around doing nothing but I consider this a huge waste of time. I believe that you should always take full advantage of the time you have been gifted of having here on Earth. I think that a productive thing to be doing during this time period where you can’t really progress because you need somebody to do something first, you should be utilizing it to its full advantage by planning and calculating. These are some of the major actions that you can take to make sure that the event you are waiting for will be worth the period of wait when the actual time arises for it to happen. In order to make sure that the wait was worth it, the event must occur at the right moment. Sometimes it might not be up to you to decide when things will happen so this advice may not apply to you but it is still helpful to know for future reference. When you are searching for the best time to strike you can either dive right into the situation where the situational variables may not be just right or you can just sit back or wait long periods of time trying to find the opportune moment to strike. The negative of just rushing into a situation is that the environment may not be set up correctly to achieve the desired results but it definitely can limit the time consumption. If you wait for the right moment you can waste lots of time where you can do other things instead of just waiting. If you aren’t completely attentive then it is possible that you could miss the right time and opportunity to accomplish a task. If you do decide to wait, patience is key and how much willingness you have to just sit there and use up time when you could be doing something else more meaningful. Motivation and determination are huge factors that can determine how long you’ll wait. Your loyalty also plays a role and how much loyalty you have to those who you are waiting for will be an influencer in what you are willing to do and how much time you’ll wait. The important thing to realize is that you can’t always control your environment but you most likely can control your response in almost every situation. While someone may have you wait, you can ultimately decide how to deal with the situation. For the most part you want to actively seek out the change you want to occur. If you want a successful and happy lifestyle you can’t just sit back and expect it to happen because you are the most reliable person for yourself and if you do want something done right (or at least done reliably), it will happen if you are able to do it yourself. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 50 – Rage and Anger

Rage and anger are the emotions that you associate with actions that negatively impact you or hit a particular section in your being where aggressiveness and other violent characteristics are derived from. The way you can tell when someone is feeling angry is by observing their behavior. Anger can be exhibited in a variety of actions that are normally considered to be negative or detrimental to their environment around them. One example is through temper tantrums. It is an act in which you can tell someone is furious with their current predicaments. Depending upon the personality and ego of a particular individual, their reactions can be completely different from anyone else. Some may decide that releasing the anger in a venting session (like my past note) is most beneficial to them or it is more important to keep it bottled up inside because their situation isn’t an appropriate environment to display your feelings like in front of your boss. You may react to a negative situation with only violence showing an eye for an eye approach or you can react with sadness and take a submissive stance on the situation as well as choosing a multitude of other options. The important thing to exercise during these moments of intense anger and rage is the ideal of self control. Self control is an important characteristic to master because it is inevitable in life that events will piss you off but knowing how to deal and get along or around obstacles in your path is the key to a successful lifestyle. I want to relate psychology to this because I have learned many interesting facts in my psychology class that relate and attribute to the anger one feels. Your ego that is the main contributing and controlling factor in your personality and has two main influential factors involved. The first one is superego which basically determines your sense of justice and what you believe is right or wrong. The other one is your id and that is basically the primal fury that can feed anger. In life we all have deep down wild and raw emotions that all situations and stimuli can affect. Almost everything you go through in life has the potential to make you feel specific emotions especially rage. Having knowledge and analyzing our perspective allows us to better understand these raw emotions and thus give us the opportunity to control them. In this day and age, most of humanity is civilized. We have come from savages and cavemen and through learning to control our emotions, it has given us the ability to advance our species and eventually lead to societal gains as well. Society then in turn advances the intellectual properties of humans through collaboration and evolution and it all boils down to learning to control the anger and rage as well as the other spectrum of emotions we will feel. So next time your parents piss you off, think about your actions because you wouldn’t want to regret how you react. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 51 – Locks

Locks are from a literal standpoint, objects that we use to create a cut off from others to gain entrance. This also can be applied to a philosophical viewpoint as well. The very concept of the word lock is to create a barrier from which only certain individuals can gain access to. Some ways in order to accomplish getting past the barrier can be done by knowing someone who has access themselves like in a club or if you yourself are qualified to join. This means that you have the ability to circumvent this blocking factor without the help of external factors. When talking about locks you need to look at the privacy aspects of the topic. The whole reason of instituting a lock in a particular situation is to prevent access to certain parties because you want to keep something private. It is drawing a line to what is off limits. When you are trying to keep something under wraps you usually put it under lock and key. Whatever is being kept hidden usually won’t be revealed from the inside because those who would make it public can’t gain access to it unless the have an inside source. This is very prevalent in the world of journalism as well as the stock market with insider trading and stories. When you have a lock, the hope is that it will effectively keep certain individuals or groups out that you wouldn’t want to be involved in the current situation. Only those with the key to the lock can be allowed or allow someone else to be accepted and get around the barrier set in place. An important part of keeping things locked is because you may not want others to know everything about you. We all have our secrets and if everyone had to reveal everything they were thinking right then and there, life would be completely different. What others know of you has the potential to change their perspective, interactions, and thoughts in respects to you. They can completely modify your world with their impact on your life so you must portray yourself in a positive light. If others view you as being a liar or annoying, it could impact your life by possibly losing a friend or having that perspective spread from person to person. Another interesting thing about keeping things under lock and key is the whole mystery aspect of it. Mysteries lead to wild imaginations and if you can’t form an idea off of a factual basis then your thoughts can lead to rumors and the spreading of misinformation and confusion. You don’t want others to get the wrong idea of you.

-Allan Nicholas

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 49 – Resistance

If you are resisting something, it means that you are taking part in the action of opposing something that you disapprove or don’t agree with. It means that you are defending your space and preventing the advances of that something encroaching into your territory. If you are very resilient it means that you are trying your hardest to prevent an outcome you see the future headed in. You want to change this future because it doesn’t benefit you or a particular party you care about. An interesting perspective to take on this topic is that change is a natural part of life and trying to resist it can be detrimental to your future. The thing to consider is that impeding the progress of change in a certain direction doesn’t mean you are resisting change itself. You may see the future as a completely different picture and in order to get it there you must take a stand for what you believe in. The magnitude and result of your efforts to putting up a fight depends on your motivation and want of another future or to keep things the same. If you do desire to keep your environment the same you are then resisting change and that can be a very negative thing to do. Resisting change also means that you are resisting the natural improvement and developmental process of life. It may seem like a terrible thing at first when you naturally grow up and your life changes greatly, but it is important to try not to resist the positive change that comes from maturing. When it comes to counteracting change, you are not allowing one outcome to happen but it is important to take the initiative to be the change you envision. If you want life to be a particular way you need to make it that way. Your success in doing so is directly related to the amount of work and determination you put into it. If you truly want to accomplish your goals you must dedicate your efforts to get around the the obstacles you will inevitably face in life.

-Allan Nicholas

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 48 – Bait

Bait can pretty much be considered as trying to direct the view and perspective of a particular individual. There are many forms in which bait can be perceived as. Whether it is jailbait or baiting you to give into peer pressure, baits will try to coax us into making decisions and committing deeds which we would have most likely not done otherwise. The main point is to draw them in especially if they are elusive and hard to catch. Their primary purpose in life is to be used to attract the attention of specific parties. Their effectiveness is dependent upon the amount of notice that they garner from the respective individuals. What I mean by that is do those who you are trying to bait care about what you are attempting to do. The success that can be outputted is highly related to the amount that the bait plays to the baitee’s interests. If you make it seem important to the individual then they will be more likely to care and fall for what you are putting on. Baits will not work if the individual is onto your case and is made aware of your underlying actions. If so, they will most likely use that knowledge in a fashion that is detrimental to you and your future. Like Bugs Bunny in Looney Tunes, Elmer Fudd always got the short end of the stick when he tried to capture the infamous bunny. If you can do manage to make a believable scenario in an amazing manner, you can make it to the point where they cannot resist and their efforts to escape are futile. You basically create artificial motivation from which a person will be in a sense possessed to carry out a desired action. It is important for you create perceivable benefits to those who you are trying to bait and if you do so, they will probably go out and actively seek and find what you have set up for them. The thing with baits is that it is usually a trap. Baits usually have a direct relationship with setting up an environment in a particular organized fashion. You want to arrange the surroundings in a specific style that usually involves getting the individual you are trying to bait into a particular positions or location. Baits most likely have an ulterior motive and because of that you need the presence of the baitee for a certain reason that probably varies from a case to case basis. Baits are a huge part of manipulating your environment and trying to get your life the way you want to be.

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 47 – Rants

Rants are the acts in which you express your displeasure with a current predicament. It is usually in a public manner because at some point you can’t contain your rage or anger. There are two main ways to express anger and that is to bottle it up or let it out. I believe that bottling emotions aren’t always appropriate depending on your situation because you may not always be able to release the sense of anger that has been amassed. It is important though to recognize the boiling point at which you just can’t take anymore. When you get to this point, one little minor annoyance that you wouldn’t react greatly to can make you blow up and seem like you are taking things way out of proportion to the negative impact they have had on you. This culmination of rage and anger is unhealthy and can cause serious danger and harm to yourself and those around you when you essentially explode with rage. The point of rants is that they are a venue from which you can vent. When you rant you are blowing off steam. It is believed that by ranting you reduce stress and I think that we can all attest that it feels much better internally once you release all that pent up anger that stress has caused. There have been different studies used to prove these beliefs but it has been theorized that in the long run your self esteem will become depleted as you continue to try and release stress. The thing with ranting is that it isn’t solving the solution it is just trying to evade the problem but it won’t go away unless you actively try to solve it yourself. An important part of ranting is allowing others to understand your troubling situation. Ranting is usually done in front of an audience or a crowd whether it be multiple people or just a close personal friend. Ranting is also only one form of trying to reduce the negative emotions that pop up inside of all of us during some point in our lives. If you rant to others you make it apparent to friends and family that you require some help and possibly have others actively attempt to life your spirits. This then allows you to realize that others care for you and it makes it known the support and reinforcement available to you. You can then take advantage of it in the future whenever you need help.

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 46 – Understandings

Understandings are basically how well you can realize the existence and purpose of what is presented to you. You also need to be able to realize their methods in order to make life easier to live for yourself. If you understand what is going on, it can reveal the truth and thus create a comfortable situation for you. You will worry if you don’t know exactly what’s going on in a situation that you care about. By understanding what is going on, the barriers that would potentially halt progression are removed. A particular instance in which this applies is school. We go by trying to learn and understand the concepts taught by our teachers in different subjects such as math and science and if we don’t know it well enough, we tend to worry when it comes time to be tested on our knowledge. When you are aware of what is going on, it is essentially saying that you have a full grasp on the information being presented to you. In order to do so you need to completely be aware of almost every aspect of what you are trying to understand like how the topic at hand operates and the affects they have on life and in particular, your life. A good way to increase that amount of topics from which you are comfortable with is to ask questions. Questions are a huge way to increase understanding because you are inquisitive and thus take the actions to reveal any potentially obscured points. If you are on the transmitting end of spreading knowledge, you need to know your target audience in order to maximize the amount of people who will fully understand what you are saying or the point you are trying to advocate. It is important to recognize that not everyone will understand the same things mainly stemming from an individualized perspective on life. What a PhD in Med School knows about medicine, a little kid probably still hasn’t even recognized the concept of medicine. To make your point widely accessible to the general public, you need to make your point clearly identifiable. If you want others to understand and thus realize or relate to the point you have to make, you need to make it as concrete and obvious as possible. In life it is impossible for you to understand everything that is going on but there is a negative consequence to this. Misunderstandings and confusion will likely ensue if you are unsure of a particular topic. Because of this, collaboration or progression becomes stunted and it has the potential to waste tons of resources like time and money. Being on the same page increases the flow of productivity and thus the advancement of society. Having an understanding of the world or the topic you are working with removes obscurity and gives you a directed path to work on in order to improve your future as well as the lives of others.

-Allan Nicholas

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 45 – Pity

Pity is the feeling you get when you feel sorry for other’s misfortunes. You in a sense share in the emotions or suffering of others and in a way where you can try to understand what others are going through. The way people intend to deal with their pity is completely up to their personality and the different aspects that make up their collective being. The two main options I can think of off the top of my head are watching from afar or actively trying to help those who are currently in a terrible predicament. Depending on your relationship with said individual, that will determine how you choose to deal with and potentially assist them or not. If it is a complete stranger, you may not necessarily help them out as much as you would a friend depending on the situation. You may not necessarily know what you can do in a situation however, especially if it is drastic. You will probably feel helpless in situations where you can’t provide any recognizable help. If you can’t think of anything specific to make others feel better, just being there and your presence helps some if you are in good standing with the individual. The important thing to remember is that what they go through will never mean as much unless it happens to you directly. You may try to empathize and share their pain but you can’t always fully relate to how another person’s situation is playing out. Having pity isn’t exclusive to external objects but can also be internal as well. Having self pity for yourself is a common thing because every once in a while we all feel sad about what is currently going on in our lives. Some negative event can take place that ruins our moods and causes some to feel, maybe even subconsciously, a sense of pity on ourselves. First hand experiences are always the most impactful ones on your life because you then form a basis on how you view the world because of experiencing certain events. These events transform how you feel, what you do, and what you will end up doing in the future. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 44 – Enough

Getting enough means that you have as much as necessary and have an adequate amount that is sufficient for the purpose and task at hand. I personally believe it is for the most part a great place to be because you are completely satisfied with what you currently have. The only exception is that you have had enough of a particular thing for the simple fact that it is annoying you. You would get enough of a behavior, action, etc. in order to prevent future instances of that something happening again. If your little brother is portraying behavior that you would classify as annoying like poking you repeatedly or being loud and obnoxious you would tell them you’ve had enough and to stop. For this purpose though, it is the amount at which you are satisfied with and you personally feel like there is no more that needs to be added or less that needs to be removed. I like to think of it as being just the right amount like with Goldilocks and the 3 bears; it isn’t at the extremes but just the right amount. The only problem is that it is sometimes hard to attain these “perfect” amounts because of the limitations and restrictions life puts on us. There are different bars set by each individual that they use to determine what is satisfactory to them that probably will contrast with the general public. What you want and how much you want of it probably won’t be the same as your next door neighbor. It is important to realize that while your bars have the possibility of being reached, they may not all be realized because of the current predicaments that you are in. There aren’t infinite resources in the world and because of that you can’t always get exactly what you want. This makes it imperative that you are appreciative of what you have and accepting of what you do get. This could be transformed into a good thing however, because if you know you won’t always have more gas to use in the future or other things that you cherish in life, you will start to respect them more and treat/use them appropriately. This can also apply to the belief that too much of a good thing can be bad. You may love eating candy but you will eventually get sick of it and it has the potential to cause cavities. While it may be sad to realize that things eventually wear out, including people, the emotions associated with that become diluted with time. You will soon forget that you don’t have any more Kit Kat bars to chew on but you may move on to some healthy carrots instead! (yea right) While I was joking about that previous example it does highlight and important action in life, trying new things. Even though you may have “enough,” and that enough is defined by you, you should never get complacent of where you are in life. It is imperative that you never get enough or get tried of improving your life because I don’t believe there ever is a limit on that. You can never get enough of success and you should always strive to achieve it.

-Allan Nicholas

Monday, October 4, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 41 – Obviousness

Something that is obvious is characterized as being easily perceived by the senses or grasped by the mind. The ideas and concepts as well as objects and events that are made apparent in ways that would gain the attention of its audience especially in a dramatic way would be considered as being obvious. Something is obvious when it is recognized by the general public. They are usually only obvious when there is background knowledge about that particular topic because without a basis of understanding for what’s going on you can’t be expected to know something that is supposedly “obvious.” If there is a reference to a popular TV show or a major event happened, you can then categorize something as being obvious. The only problem with these generalizations is that everyone has different perspectives on life. What one person make think is totally obvious may go completely unnoticed by another. They may not watch football so it is not obvious to them what teams are going to be great this season. You need some basis and facts about a given situation in order to determine what can be considered as obvious to one but maybe not the other. If you are the one who doesn’t notice something you may get left out and possibly miss opportunities like in conversations if you can relate to another person about football you have the potential to become good friends if you aren’t already. If you are ignorant of what is apparently obvious you are contributing to your obliviousness. If you are completely lost, teasing and making fun of your ignorance will most likely ensue. The good thing is that once you become aware of what is going on around you, it becomes easy to be brought back up to speed. The only thing is that the damage has already been done and the very act that you didn’t know that something that is common knowledge will cause you to be made fun of for many times to come. I still get flack from thinking that Virginia was north of us from 1st grade.

-Allan Nicholas

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 43 – The Unknown

The great unknown is pretty much anything that doesn’t have any familiarity associated with it. From areas of land to concepts, anything where little info or knowledge is aware about a particular topic can be considered to be unknown. It is basically having a void that can only be filled by learning about it. What we know builds our perception of life. What we believe to be the truth forms our own personalized form of reality from which we live by. We may not always live the same way and this is because we all see the world from a different life and this is partially because we all know the world differently. Knowing the world helps create comfort and the ability to prepare allows you to feel some control over your current predicament. I would have to say that knowing the truth of a given situation can allow you to be prepared and thus feel more confident in how things will play out and your role in the way the world works. A lack of control over a situation can potentially lead to depression. I remember learning in Psychology class about how a belief that you have no control and your actions don’t play a role or have any impact in how the future will transpire and means that you will probably suffer some sort of depression. The unknown almost always has the characteristic of being mysterious. Embracing it can be a huge part in discovering the mystery involved in life. Some people refuse to explore the dark voids of life and by doing so they can sometimes in a sense be refusing to view the inner depths of themselves as well. Others are willing to tackle it head on looking for an adventure. The mystery in life can cause emotions of fear or even curiosity and those reactions are again all based on individuals like would you be running away from it or want to run out and discover it. The more that we find out as time progresses the more we realize that there is so much in the world that we don’t know about yet. We don’t even recognize the extent to what we don’t know. Science tries to explain it but our perception of life is hiding things from us like dark matter and other topics that are still shrouded in mystery. We humans want to live concrete lives but certain things are unexplainable and accepting it can make your life easier because of ignorance and lack of worries that will accompany them. The only thing is that the greatest discoveries in life that have advanced society spawn from an interest in shedding light on what is unknown.

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 42 – Is Honesty the Best Policy

Our parents at a young age try to instill values and morals in us that will make us be the most successful individuals and be a productive member of society. We are always told to tell the truth but there are plenty of people in the world who don’t heed those words. People everyday lie and steal to get where they need to go. If you get caught then you will suffer the consequences but there are still plenty of people who get away with their immoral actions (*cough *cough* OJ Simpson *cough*). When trying to determine if honesty is the best policy you need to check how honest you are yourself in life. In all honesty (pun intended : P) we have all told a lie at some point in our life. The reasoning behind each lie and the severity of each one will vary on a case by case basis but all of them bend or mask the truth in some shape or form. There are so many reasons for why someone would lie like because you want to make someone feel better or avoid punishment. In many other situations, lies can save hassle like you lie just because it is much easier to get on with your life than going through the time consuming process of having to explain the situation appropriately. They can also save feelings and help make situations more comfortable for all those involved. We have all heard of white lies used to soothe and consul your friends and family. As much as lies can help they can potentially do more harm and if people find out about it you will lose so much more than anything you could possibly gain by lying. You will lose credibility trust with almost everyone else. Lies are used to mask the truth and it can be imperative at points in life where you need to know the truth in order to have a happy and successful future. It helps keep people safe and by being aware of what’s going on you can plan for the future. If you are completely unaware of what’s going on you can possibly be put into harm that could be completely avoided. We all want the truth but is life easier without it? Ignorance can in fact be blissful because some things are hurtful to hear but living a lie isn’t a good thing either. You need to determine for yourself on a case by case basis whether it is worth it to tell the truth or not. While there may be occasions every once in a while that may be easier to deal with if you lie about them, as a general rule you should always tell the truth. In no way shape or form am I condoning behaviors like lying and stealing. The philosophy of telling the truth is very interesting and thought provoking and motivations behind them are a driving factor in how people interact with each other and how society works.

-Allan Nicholas

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 40 – Spoilers

When something gets spoiled it becomes corrupted and is altered from its original condition. The actions that external factors give away hint at or may even completely reveal the unexpected and usually without you requesting it. Spoilers usually deal with endings or surprises and areas from which you are excited to be revealed but only after delving into the story elements. Usually when there is a potential for a spoiler, it means you have been given a back story and in a plot there is usually a suspenseful point. If you have no background in the story there is less attachment and the ending has less significance but it will usually ruin it for you in the future if you ever wish to read or see the story in the future. Good stories always have some huge point where the action and suspense rises significantly attracts the attention of others. Most people enjoy being surprised or inspired by enchanting tales that can engross their attention through certain tropes. If it’s a horror movie, you’ve got the stereotypical blonde cheerleader and if it’s the comedy you’ve got the bearded guy (who happens to be named Allan) who likes people to join his lone wolf pack and sing about tigers. With spoilers it usually relates to predictability. If you know how a story is going to end without it actually being spoiled to you, you know that it is predictable. It doesn’t necessarily ruin the ending and enjoyment level but it does have the potential to ruin it. That is exactly what spoilers will do for a majority if not all of the time. Spoilers will most likely ruin the endings and that great feeling internally you get when presented with an amazing storyline. You get a sense of satisfaction from finding out what happens at the very end of a good movie. This sense of satisfaction only comes if you actually were concerned with how things were going to turn out. If you don’t care that (SPOILER ALERT) Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker’s father than you don’t care that I just told that to you. The philosophical significance of spoilers is that they completely change the perspective from which an individual will look through. The unfortunate thing it that it is most likely for the worst now that you know what will happen but it also lets you prepare yourself for what’s to come. I have to say though that in movies (and books because spoilers can apply to them too) you usually look forward to seeing where a story takes you because you become involved in and emotionally attached to the characters and their roles in life. There are those that regardless of how many times they watch The Notebook, they will still cry at the very end when you find out the old people were the young loving couple… oops probably spoiled that. : P

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 39 – Catching Up

Catching back up means you are getting back to a position or spot in life where a majority of others are currently at and involved in. For instance, if you want to catch up in math you need to be learning the material the rest of the class is supposedly learning together. Because everyone has different perspectives, abilities, work ethics, etc it is inevitable that at some point in time some of the individuals involved, say in the math class, will get lost or even possibly get ahead of where the rest of those involved are expected to be. If you are one of these individuals, it means that you yourself have fallen behind. It could also mean a couple of other things like you have chosen to spend your time in other ways than on your main objective and choosing not to complete the task at hand. It could also mean that the task presented to you takes more time for you to accomplish than it does for others. These two examples set the basis for reasons why you fell behind the expected progression. There could be plenty of valid excuses like the time consuming obstacles just require more work and effort from you than they normally to do anyone else. This may be because of a disability which in that case, your environment should accommodate your specific needs like providing you with more time to allot to your specific task. It is important to remember that everyone has their own pacing. Not everyone is good in math or can speed read so you need to consideration that everyone doesn’t work with the same skill level in the same subjects as everyone else. With things like deadlines, they help by trying to keep structure and timing to make sure that everyone is on the same path on the same page. One negative of trying to catch up is that you must do more work in less time. If you need to catch up you will need to make up for lost time. If this is the case then your performance when compared to others may suffer because they’ve had adequate time to complete the requested tasks while you will not. The important thing about getting caught up is that you are being brought up to speed. You get debriefed on what has happened and transpired while you were working to get caught back up with everyone. Being current and up to date is very important (see my Current News post for more). Once you finally get back up to speed it is important to stay there in order to effectively improve your life and not use up as much time to just fall behind again. It reminds me of how when I walk next to a person with really long legs I need to sporadically jog a little just to catch up because I gradually fall behind. I get to the same place they are but by doing more work. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 38 - Accusations

When you make an accusation it means that you have a belief that somebody had committed a certain act. The thing is that that accusation may not be a commonly held belief or is noticed by the general public so you announce it. By making an accusation, you make public that some negative events had transpired. You put egos on the line and it sets the stage for determining what actually occurred and most likely one person will go out negatively impacted by the accusation. If you accuse somebody of a crime and they are proved innocent you look like a liar and you lose your credibility and respect. Even if you prove your point you need to be careful because the remaining audience may start to view you as a tattletale. One the other side of the spectrum, if the accused is found guilty, they will probably be indicted and receive consequences for their actions. In order to make your claims valid there needs to be some proof or physical evidence in order to convince and sway others to take your accusations as the truth. Your argument is only valid if you can effectively prove your point. You need to provide examples that can accurately and fully represent your viewpoint and be expressed clearly so others may see the current situation as you do. If you can do this you can most likely get others to believe what you are claiming. The accusation is only the first step though. You need to then rally support and gain followers built around that claim in order to be successful in proving your point. If you can get others to back up your beliefs, your argument gets fortified and is more likely to be accepted. After all, your argument is only strong if you can get others to agree with what you have to say and doing so by clearing getting your message across. All of this doesn’t matter however, if those in authority disagree. In a democracy everyone should technically have an equal say but those in power are the only ones who can really act on those words and make decisions that override all other thoughts. The final judgment comes from authorities who provide over the current setting. Almost regardless of whom you get to believe you, the final decision and word comes from those who are in power. In a trial, the judge is one of the prominent figures who gets to determine who the guilty and the innocent are and the consequences as well. So before you accuse your brother of stealing your food, make sure you are on your parent’s good side.

-Allan Nicholas

Monday, September 27, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 37 - Getting Involved

Getting involved means that you decide to take part of the world and go out and explore all the great things it has to offer. You apply yourself to different situations and you try and use your time wisely in order to have a successful lifestyle. You don't want to waste away the limited amount of resources and time that you are given by not trying to reach your full potential and be as successful as you can be. The way you operationalize the word success is huge in determining what you should work and strive for in life. The main point of getting involved is to provide meaning in your life. By getting involved you get a better sense of what you may enjoy doing with your life in order to instill values as well as positive emotions too. When you get involved, you take advantage of opportunities that are around you. By being proactive and taking the initiative, it is a very important in order to find out about what is available to you and utilizing them before it's too late. In order to get involved, you must dedicate time and effort to a goal. Hard work and determination are a vital part of seeing the intended end result you desire. You must also try your best to find and scope out the most viable options from which you build and develop your life off of. If you want to play a role in something occurring, the only way is to be the change that you want to see happen; you can't just sit around and wait for it to happen. If you do decide to get involved, you need to take caution and realize that you become associated with it. You need to be careful and make sure that you only get involved with something that would aspire pride from the general public. If you name becomes attached to a certain act or name, you want to be able to appreciate the work you’ve done and be proud to say that you did such a thing. The important thing about becoming involved is that it is a necessary part for the advancement of society and your collective being as well. If you sit back and don't strive, you won't progress or have your dreams come true.

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 36 - Teams

Teams are essentially the groupings of individuals working together. They are usually brought together for a specific reason tasked with a specific challenge or to solve a certain problem. Teams are usually comprised of individual parts and those who are a part of it have some judgment or power in the team. They are on it usually because they've made it past a certain cut off point and have a vested interest in the subject at hand. If there is no tryout period from which certain individuals get chosen to participate, then they usually join by their own free will and want of being involved. When you are a part of a team, you usually share a common goal with the rest of your teammates. You then collaborate with them in order to achieve an end result that is desired by all parties involved. For instance, if you are on a sports team you will work and do whatever it takes to try and achieve a common goal of winning a championship. The worth of a team is determined by the sum of all its parts. We have all probably seen the TV show called the Weakest Link. Well this show has some good values to be learned from it! I believe that you are only as strong as your weakest link so you need to be concerned with everyone on the team. A good way to maximize the amount of success your team will have is by playing to your team's strength and defending your weaknesses and improving both at the same time. Another influential factor in the amount of success a team will have is the chemistry involved in a team. In order to be successful you must also build off of each other. You shouldn’t bring down the team for your own ideals. There is a tremendous amount that can be learned from everyone who you work with and there is also so much that you can help others with. You must consider when thinking about teams is that there is a greater margin of error but also a greater chance of success if the whole team can work together as one. A member of the team's mistake could affect the performance of the team and you need to make sure there is the right people who are on the team in the first place. You can't control everyone on a team but you can try to create the best environment to create success. If done correctly, teams can accomplish way more than one person can alone.

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 35 – Tailoring

When I say tailoring you may think of getting your suit tailored to fit you specifically. When I am talking about tailoring I am referring to a more philosophical definition like making adjustments to meet a specific need or market. Tailoring means you modify different objects or events in order to suit their individual needs. You would do this in the first place because not all things work for the general public so you need to make adjustments specifically to those involved. For instance, not everyone likes reading so you need to tailor to their interests by making it an action or a romance novel based upon the individual in question’s persona. When I think of tailoring I think of creating a custom experience from an individual basis. Everyone is unique so what one person may want in their life will probably have some variations and discrepancies when compared to the next guy. This tailoring is basically formed by match ups that develop off of interests and likes. You normally want to be tailored to something that you can relate to or want to be around like what will provide you with positive emotions like happiness. These matchups are all based on chemistry and relationships. How well things can get along, work together, compliment each other, etc will all play roles in how well an event or object is tailored to a person’s specific wants or needs. There are also certain types or character traits that can mesh well together. There are people who get paid to go help people find their perfect matches and who utilize knowledge on how well an individual’s personality with mesh with their potential soul mate. In fact, meshing is a huge part of determining how successful a tailoring will be. If things go well with each other they will most likely have a happy and memorable future together. Check out more at!

-Allan Nicholas

Phun-size Philosophy # 34 – Deadlines

Deadlines as defined by Google are the points in time at which something must be completed. They act as the restrictions that directly deal with the aspect of time. They limit what is capable of getting done by making time be the limiting factor. The less time you have to do something the less you can work to try and perfect it and make it better. They create a breaking point and try to force progression by setting a point in time when you have to have something accomplished by. It can be seen as a goal that is set in order to build upon in the future because if you take a lot of time to get one thing done then you won’t be able to do anything else or as much in the future with the remaining time left. The only catch is that it will only be work if the person who is being given a deadline is motivated to complete the task or are fearful of the consequences of not doing it. Those individuals involved must truly want to get something done or are too afraid to not meet the deadline in order to meet the deadline with intended results. When talking about deadlines you need to take into consideration what will happen if you don’t reach the due date like are there punishments associated with it. It is also important to recognize that those punishments get amplified dependent on the importance of the task that has a deadline. A common status that occurs to particularly lazy participants is procrastination. Procrastination is the state of mind comprised of laziness and a lack of motivation. Procrastination is actually a very bad quality to have because it is a hindrance to the advancement of society. If you possess such a trait like procrastination then you will inevitably face a crunch time when up against the clock. In desperate high pressure situations, keeping your composure is an important part and shouldn’t be influenced by the building stress from the looming due date. To prevent this, planning is the key to success. Figuring out a time line to utilize a planned course of action can effectively use your time to accomplish the desired outcome before the deadline. So when you’ve got a big project due next month, plan it out before it comes to the night before the deadline so you won’t have a breakdown from the stress.

-Allan Nicholas

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Phun-Size Philosophy # 33 - Favors

Favors are basically when you ask for help by members that you usually know to accomplish something necessary to your progression that you probably wouldn’t be capable of doing all alone. When asking for a favor you usually are requesting assistance that usually comes with a price. When you ask for a favor you will most likely become indebted and must return another favor when they are in need and other abide by other basic underlying rules as well. During the period right before you ask for a favor there is usually a time when you and the other parties involved barter and negotiate an agreement from which all of you can create a win win situation. For instance, somebody probably won't be willing to write your paper for you unless they get something in return like you walk their dogs for them. The thing also with favors is that they don't always involve paying another person monetarily for their services but it might require you spotting someone for some Qdoba one day. When it comes to favors there are usually conditions that apply in deals between friends and family. If people have a willingness to help you that means that those helping you will probably receive something out of the deal. They may not need to have a material reward or service in return for their helpful actions but it is also helpful and great to give compensation for those who have assisted you in improving your lifestyle. Whether it is a present or just a thanks, it can't hurt to repay the favor. Sometimes when you have made an agreement to have a favor done for you, there may be terms set by your assistance because receiving help becomes an integral part of success for society and individuals alike. When it comes to deciding terms and conditions that come accompanied by a favor, you need to consider the situation from which these favors are derived from. When your environment and surroundings start to create pressure and a sense of desperation, the willingness to accept and receive help goes up significantly. We've all heard the saying desperate times call for desperate measures and the more you need the help the more you will be willing to accept terms to a favor that you wouldn’t have normally. Favors are formed from the basis of friendships and trust because you would normally only ask friends and family for favors. You also need to pay back your dues because while it isn't a legal binding agreement, it does have the potential to ruin trust and friendship if a certain outcome occurs especially if you refuse to return the kindness and helpfulness others have afforded you. Favors are vital to life and improvement because they stress ideals of cooperation and working together to better the lives of others and benefit the well being of others.

-Allan Nicholas

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Phun-size Philosophy # 32 – Deriving From

Deriving from something means that you have progressed from an originating point where things start developing their skills, abilities, and basically all other facets of life. For instance, you derive from your parents and inherit traits that they possess. It doesn’t just have to apply to the collective beings of humans though as it usually can include almost anything else in existence that has had multiple iterations and modifications made from it. When you derive from something you take parts of other things that are the help lay the foundation from which future things will come into existence from. In order to have a strong base to build off of you need to take hints, processes, ideas etc from previous generations that have been reinforced with time and experience. You know from basically the Stone Age that a round wheel is way better functioning than a square one so in order to build the next super car you need to take that into consideration and derive future ideas and concepts from past ones. This is where I like to go into the concept of originality because in some way shape or form everything is derived from something that has happened in past generations. Whether it has been a toothbrush or TV show, the underlying parts that it is comprised of have usually been done before. For instance, I found this little gem on the internet at that basically summarizes all the different tricks and structures used in TV shows. By taking and mixing together these different tropes you can basically get the plotline or story of almost any show in existence. The important part when taking something from someone else is that you have to innovative in its implementation and basically but a twist on it in order to make it unique and a breakthrough product that can be used to better humanity. I need to stress is that with this post I am in no way condoning stealing or plagiarism or anything of the sort. With all great ideas there is almost always a copyright associated with it to ensure the protection of their intellectual property. Patents are another way to try and prevent fraudulent copies. They can be used by companies called patent trolls who hold onto patents of generic things especially in the technology sector. I know of one in particular that Apple holds on sliding an icon over from the left to the right. That means that if any other phone manufacturer tries to put an “unlock by sliding your finger” thing on their phone they would have to pay Apple royalty fees or risk getting sued for patent infringement. This is one negative I find with patents and while they are helpful, I believe at some points they do stifle innovation by taking ownership of ideas and actions. It could be a viable way for creators to be compensated and recognized for their creations or inventions but only if implemented correctly. Right now if you put in a request for a patent through the U.S. patent office it will take about 6 years for it to get reviewed and approved. That is not acceptable in my opinion. I think it is important to pick and choose and mix and match what has already been done to find out new combinations and possibly discover better meshes or iterations of already great things. I think that if you have a great vision it is possible to put other ideas and products to better use. There may be an intended use for a certain product but it is completely possible that it could be implemented in another fashion to achieve a desired result that was never thought of before. There are plenty of inventions that had come about by a mistake or accident. My personal favorite was the ice cream cone that resulted from an ice cream vendor running out of cups to serve his treat on so he asked a nearby waffle seller to wrap a waffle into a cone and voila, the modern day ice cream cone. Maybe you see a hole in society that could be filled by mixing two different foods together or something entirely different. The possibilities are endless!

-Allan Nicholas