Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Nephews Hiking

My brother took this photo yesterday of his sons and their mom hiking at Unicoi State Park in the North Georgia Mountains. I hope they had fun!

Sandra Day O'Connor Regrets Bush vs Gore Vote

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor recently regretted her decision siding with the conservative side of the court by stopping the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election essentially giving the presidency to George W. Bush.  She told the Chicago Tribune "Obviously the court did reach a decision and thought it had to reach a decision," and she added "It turned out the election authorities in Florida hadn't done a real good job there and kind of messed it up. And probably the Supreme Court added to the problem at the end of the day." Makes me wonder what the present day would be like if the recount had been allowed and Gore was (possibly) declared the winner. 

Fact of the Day: Evil Soda

South Carolina Governor Coleman Blease hated soda which was a rather new drink in his time. He was so passionate about it that he stated his disgust in his inaugural address in 1911 where he called drinks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi "evil" and begged people to drink beer instead. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Secret World of Arrietty (2010 Film) Review

 As many of my readers know, I'm a pretty big of fan of the films by Hayao Miyazaki from Studio Ghibli. I actually didn't know much about The Secret World of Arrietty until a few months ago. I guess one of the reasons why is that this movie isn't directed by Miyazaki like usual, but written. Though it's not purely original as I found out it's based on the English children's novel The Borrowers. It's not even the first movie to be based on the novel either, as there has been a made-for-TV movie in 1973 and a major motion picture starring John Goodman in 1997 both under the name The Borrowers.

Fact of the Day: Water Oxygen

While it's common knowledge that fish breath underwater through their gills, their supply of oxygen is not limitless. If too many fish populate water shallow enough where there's not enough dissolved oxygen to go around can mean disastrous results for fish. The same rule applies to aquariums as well, as many tanks are far too small for most types of fish. Which makes many people wonder why their fish don't stay alive for very long. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Flowers Blooming

This is a photo I took at Daisy's house, and I was shocked to see four bushes blooming with beautiful red and purple flowers. They were plain and green not terribly long ago. Daisy's father is a great gardener. 

Fact of the Day: Monroe and Noah

While little is known about President James Monroe's religious views, he did seem to hold some bias. When he served as Secretary of State under James Madison, he dismissed a man named Mordecai Manuel Noah from his small post simply because he was Jewish. Noah protested and gained letters from John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and then-current president James Madison advocating the separation of church and state and religious tolerance. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Me and Daisy's 3rd Anniversary Dinner

Yesterday (April 26th) was our 3 year anniversary together, but I had to work. So today I took Daisy to her favorite restaurant Longhorn Steakhouse. She loved it!

Things I Like: Taffy Candy

This is my most recent bag of taffy (blue raspberry) I got at The Fresh Market. I'm surprised taffy isn't more popular. It's one of my favorite candies but so hard to find sometimes. 

Fact of the Day: Saturn Day

Saturday's name is derived from the Roman god Saturn also known as Kronos in Greek mythology. He was one of the eldest gods, best known for being the father of Jupiter (Zeus). 

Friday, April 26, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Batman: Dark Tomorrow

Before the awesome Arkham games, Batman had a less than stellar track-record with his video games. Usually better than his super-pal Clark Kent, but not by much. Batman: Dark Tomorrow was promised to be an awesome game with stellar graphics, fantastic game-play, and an incredible story but the final result was the complete opposite.

Mark Sanford Debates (Cardboard) Nancy Pelosi

The disgraced former Governor of South Carolina Mark Sanford is trailing behind in the special election congress race against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert-Busch especially after news broke that he trespassed at his ex-wife's house. Sanford and conservatives have found it hard to attack Colbert-Busch, so the other day Mark Sanford was seen on the streets of South Carolina debating a cardboard cut-out of Nancy Pelosi who is the House Minority Leader. Weird thing is, he lost the debate. Never take debate tips from Clint Eastwood! 

Fact of the Day: Frigga Day

Friday is named after Frigga, a Norse goddess who was also the wife of Odin. In other European languages, Friday is named after the Roman goddess Venus. Such as viernes in Spanish, and vendredi in French. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rayman Origins (360) Review

 While Rayman might be one of Ubisoft's biggest hits, I'm actually quite new to the series. Rayman: Origins is actually my first game in the series unless you count a demo of Rayman 2 on Dreamcast. While Rayman 2 and Rayman 3 were fully 3D games, the original was a traditional 2D platformer. I could see why Rayman Origins wanted to go back to it's roots.

Fact of the Day: Thor's Day

Thursday's name is derived from the Norse god of thunder Thor. In some other European languages Thursday is named after the Roman god Jupiter (who could be considered a thunder god) such as jueves in Spanish. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K in Helicopter

My mom took this photo of my nephew Mr. K at some carnival many months ago. Brings back memories of my childhood, and I bet Mr. K is having as much as fun as I did back then. 

Fact of the Day: Odin's Day

Wednesday's name comes from Wodan, more commonly known in Western World as the Germanic counterpart of the Norse god Odin. In some other European languages the day is named after the Roman god Mercury. Such as miércoles in Spanish, and mercredi in French. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Nap Time

I took this photo while babysitting my niece Little Iz for the first time today. She got a little cranky if she stayed still, so when I got tired I put her in her swing. Turned the lullaby music on and she went to sleep within the minute. Couldn't believe it was that easy. 

Fact of the Day: Day of War

Tuesday get its name from Tyr, a god of war in Norse mythology and one of the sons of Odin. He was comparable to Mars, the god of War in Roman mythology. Because of this, the name for Tuesday is often named after Mars in other languages. Such as Martes in Spanish, Mardi in French, and Martedi in Italian. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Batman: Vengeance

With the success of the various animated series based on Batman in the 1990s inspired a few video games. One of the most notable (based on The New Batman Adventures) was Batman: Vengeance which was an action game featuring Gotham's greatest hero.

Fact of the Day: The Day of the Moon

Monday's name comes from a Latin phrase meaning "day of the moon". The name also carries the lunar meaning in other languages such as Spanish's Lunes, German's Montag, French's Lundi, and even 月曜日 (Getsuyobi) in Japanese. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K Playing Baseball in Yard

My brother Zach took this photo of my nephews playing baseball in their yard with their dad. Mr. K just started playing in a little league so I suppose practice makes perfect. 

Fact of the Day: The Day of Sunshine

Sunday gets its name through language translations over time that originated from a Latin phrase meaning "day of the sun". 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Batman: Gotham City Racer (PS1)

 In the late 90s and early 2000s it wasn't uncommon for video games to try to compete with the Mario Kart series. I don't know if that was the reason for Batman: Gotham City Racer, but it seems likely. I guess Ubisoft should of mention that the game isn't really a racing game.

Fact of the Day: American Hummingbirds

The hummingbird is native to almost every U.S. state including Alaska. The only exception is Hawaii. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Big Fish (2003 Film) Review

 I somewhat recall when Big Fish hit theaters in 2003, but I never went to go see it. I learned Tim Burton had directed it, and that got me interested  While a lot of his newer films are often overly gothic and star Johnny Depp too much, his older films were often pure gold. Though this movie was actually based on a 1998 novel of the same name so the plot isn't purely original.

My Favorite Photos: A Long John Silver Birthday

This was taken at my nephew Mr. K's fourth birthday party with his brother Mr. C. Even though the party had a Scooby Doo cake, they also had their own hats and eye patches for treasure hunting. 

Mark Sanford Loses Support of the Republican Party.

A few days ago the disgraced former Governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford (who left the country to see his secret girlfriend and lied about it) got in hot water after he went to his ex-wife Jenny Sanford's home without permission which Sanford claimed to be watching football with his son.  Because of his behavior the National Republican Congressional Committee has refused to spend another penny on Sanford's political campaign for a special election to win SC's 1st Congressional Seat. He faces Democrat Elizabeth Colbert-Busch (who's the sister of comedian Stephen Colbert) on May 7th. 

Fact of the Day: Presidential Father

When President Warren G. Harding died suddenly on a speaking-tour, word took about a day to spread to Vice President Calvin Coolidge that he was now President of the United States. Coolidge didn't find out until late at night, and he was actually sworn into office by his father. He was re-sworn in by a federal judge to clear up confusion on whether his dad had the power to do so or not. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fact of the Day: Solar Moonlight

While moonlight is light coming from the moon, its real source isn't lunar at all. Moonlight is actually mostly reflected sunlight and a little starlight.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 (2013 Film) Review

 As a huge Batman fan, I was excited to see the first part of The Dark Knight Returns which was based on Frank Miller's comic. I loved it so I made sure I saw the final half as soon as possible.

My Favorite Photos: Cat Trying to Meet The Fish

I took this photo today when I went to pick up my fiancee, and I saw her cat Furball on the fish tank. He keeps trying to get the fish on the inside. The only thing he could do was to get a better look at it. I eventually had to get him off the tank so he didn't break it. 

Nintendo Unveils The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 2 (3DS)

 Even though it's a normal Wednesday (big news is usually saved for an event like E3), Nintendo showed off a new trailer for a brand new Zelda game for 3DS. And yes it is a sequel to the SNES classic A Link to the Past.

Fact of the Day: American Elephant

While elephants are well known for inhabiting Africa and Asia, a very close species of elephant-like creatures were also once in the Americas. The Mastodon lived in North America and Central American until their extinction about 12,000 years ago.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Look Into History: First Amendment

The first amendment of the U.S. Constitution is seen by many as the greatest part of the Bill of Rights. It gives the people the freedom of speech/religion along with freedom of the press which at the time of passage was rare in the world and in modern times still not available in many countries. It's original text goes as follows "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Despite being one of the most beloved amendments, it's also seen many abuses in American history.

A Look Into Video Games: Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker

 During the turn of the millennium, the Batman animated shows had come to a close, but a new one called Batman Beyond had started. It was set in the distant future where an elderly Bruce Wayne recruits a young man named Terry McGinnis to become the Batman of the future. In 2000 they made an animated movie called Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker which showed Batman's greatest nemesis return to torment the new Gotham. The movie was well praised, however the video game based on the movie was almost universally hated.

Fact of the Day: Two Bostons

The city of Boston in Massachusetts is actually named after a town named Boston in Lincolnshire, England. Many of the city's most prominent residents during it's early years had come from Boston, and thus the name was chosen.

I also wanted to note that I had actually written this post three days ago.  I was deeply saddened by the tragedy that happened in Boston yesterday at the end of the marathon race. A moment of silence for those who lost their lives and the injured both physically, mentally, and emotionally. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Things I Like: The Green Mile (1999 Film)

 The Green Mile was originally a novel by Stephen King in 1996. I was surprised they never used his name when the movie came out, but I guess it was because it wasn't technically a horror film.

Fact of the Day: War of Patriots

While World War II had two major sides, a lot of countries had different names for the war and only fought certain nations its allies may have not. In the Soviet Union (which saw almost no involvement in the Pacific) people referred to the war as the "Great Patriotic War" in Russian. Though the term specifically refers to the Soviet Union's battle against Germany and its allies. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Batman: Return of the Joker

 Batman: The Return of the Joker (known as The Revenge of the Joker on the Sega Genesis) was one of the first major video games staring Gotham's greatest hero in the early 90's. It came out after many video games based on the 1989 film Batman, but this one was instead based on the original comics.

Fact of the Day: Grapefruit Ancestor

The grapefruit is believed to be a hybrid fruit of the Pomelo and a sweet orange. The pomelo is a fruit native to Southeast Asia, and can be green to yellow when ripe. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Boiling Springs Spring Fest 2013

 Yesterday I went to pick up my fiancee Daisy in the town she lives at and right near her house I noticed a carnival right next to the local library. Apparently Boiling Springs, SC has two of these carnivals every year (and they do a terrible job getting the word out) and we missed the one last fall. When I saw they returned we went soon after they opened later that afternoon.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 (2012 Film) Review

 As many of you know I'm a big Batman fan. I will give almost any adventure featuring the Dark Knight a shot. I didn't really know about the The Dark Knight Returns movie until fairly recently. It's actually based on an original comic book series by Frank Miller, and after I heard that I jumped at the chance to watch it.

Fact of the Day: Congress After Presidency

John Quincy Adams was elected to the House of Representatives after his term as President. He served his role as congressman for almost two decades after that. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Things I Like: The Wizard of Oz (1939 Film)

 The Wizard of Oz may be the most classic movie ever made, and it's hard not to love it. While it wasn't the first film to be based on the works of the Oz books, it's certainly the most memorable.

Pac-Man (Game Boy) Review

 For many years I've been a fan of the Pac-Man series though sometimes I wonder why I bother. I got a 3DS a few months ago and I have been getting old Game Boy games that I missed from ages ago on it's Virtual Console. I noticed Pac-Man was available, and even though I wasn't expecting much I was curious to see how awful or surprising this version was. I remember loathing the NES Pac-Man.

Fact of the Day: Elephant Patience

The pregnancy for a mother elephant usually lasts about 22 months. Which is almost two years long. A normal baby elephant will weigh about 230 pounds. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Zoo Birds

This was back in December 2010 at the zoo in Columbia, SC. There's a little area where you enter and you can interact with some colorful birds. You can also get a cup of nectar to feed the birds if you wish. But be prepared because as soon as you enter that door, they'll swarm you over it. I'm glad I stood out of the way, and just watched the birds. 

A Look Into History: Margaret Thatcher

Three days ago former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher had died. During her rule she was nicknamed the Iron Lady and gained a legacy of strong supporters who praised her policies countered with an opposition of critics who were equally dissatisfied with her government.

Fact of the Day: Iron Metal

Iron's chemical symbol Fe is derived from the Latin word ferrum which means "iron".