Friday, May 31, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Little Iz and Blue

This is a photo of my niece Little Iz and her father's dog Blue. Even though Blue is quite the large dog now, she's still a puppy on the inside as she's only one. Little Iz just turned five months, and now she's starting to play with Blue. 

Grumpy Cat The Movie?

Apparently Grumpy Cat is getting her own movie now. Details are very limited at the moment, but apparently the theme of the film will be akin to Garfield. Even though I love Grumpy Cat, I can't help to be a little grumpy to imagine how bad the movie could be. I hope they choose have it animated, and maybe get some good talent to make a great comedy. 

Fact of the Day: Canadian Basketball

Basketball was invented by Canadian Dr. James Naismith. As a professor, he attempted to create a game to keep his class active on a rainy day. The results were bigger than he could have imagined. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Hummingbird Feeder

 While I'm not exactly in a great spot for a wonderful selection of bird sightings, I regret that I've never seen a hummingbird in person. So I decided to get a feeder to increase my chances of seeing one with my own eyes.

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons & Oracle of Ages Now on 3DS

 Back in 2001, Nintendo released one of the greatest pairs of games in it's history. Usually Zelda fans have to wait at least two years for a new adventure. But luckily we got not 1 but 2 Zelda games on the same day. Once both games were finished, they could link up for one last adventure to finish the plot. Now both are available on the 3DS' Virtual Console.

Fact of the Day: Great Depression Ice-Cream

Rocky Road ice-cream was given the name by William Dreyer and Joseph Edy to describe the condition of the times as it had been invented around the era of the Great Depression. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Things I Like: Soap (TV Series)

 Soap was a TV series that ran between the late 70's to the early 80's. It was in reality a brilliant sitcom that parodied typical soap operas. It was also one of the first roles for Billy Crystal. I remember seeing episodes on TV as a kid, but my mom got all the episodes on DVD and I enjoyed them all.

Crazy Congresswoman Michele Bachmann Retiring From Congress in 2015

Michele Bachmann, the former Republican presidential candidate known for her bigotry against the LGBT community, conspiracy theories, and bizarre gaffes is announcing that she will not run for re-election next year. In 2012 she also almost lost her seat by a narrow margin. She claims her move was not stay in the House longer than a president can stay in the White House. But many have pointed out (which she denies) that she's retiring because she has been investigated for ethics violations for her failed 2012 presidential campaign. 

I wouldn't fear her trying to make a run for the Senate, as (despite her district) Minnesota is a blue state, and while a moderate Republican could win a seat, there's almost no chance she could do the same given her record and "fame".  I wouldn't be surprised if she will be offered to be a full-time complainer on a conservative TV or radio show. 

Fact of the Day: Roebling Bridge

Even though he designed the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge, John A. Roebling did not live to see it completed. One day while working on the bridge, Roebling's foot was crushed by a passing ferryboat. He refused medical treatment, and died as his conditions became worse.   

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Ultimate Spider-Man

With two successful Spider-Man games based on the first two movies, Activision decided to make a new game based on the Ultimate comic books from Marvel. Unlike many other Spider-Man games, other Marvel characters made appearances, and Venom was a unique playable character.

Random Photo: Wasp and Hornet Why Trap

I got this wasp/hornet/yellow-jacket trap a few weeks ago after having trouble with some wasps or maybe hornets gathering around my porch. It actually uses two sides with some attractant to lure the pests in but they can't get out. It actually worked pretty well, the only downside is that the supply only lasts about 2 weeks. The upside is that you can reuse the whole thing over and over again.  

Fact of the Day: Three Mountains

In it's early days, European settlers once called what is now Boston, Massachusetts "Trimountaine" meaning "three mountains". The three mountains were actually prominent hills, two of which were leveled out when the city became modernized. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Things I Hate: Wario Land II (GBC)

 I had the original Wario Land as a child and it was one of my favorite games on the Nintendo Game Boy. I had defeated the final boss and found all secrets in the game. I actually never had a Game Boy Color so I had to miss out on Wario Land II, though I later learned you could play it on the older systems like Pokemon Gold and Silver just without color. I did get Wario Land 2 via the 3DS' Virtual Console and I didn't dig this sequel.

Fact of the Day: Decoration Day

While Memorial Day honors all American soldiers who lost their lives in wars and conflicts, it actually originated as a post-Civil War holiday known as Decoration Day. It had honored all the Americans lost in the battles of the Civil War. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Superman (1978 Film) Review

 With the newest Superman film Man of Steel about hit theaters, I thought I'd watch the older Superman films. I had seen them as a child, but it's been so long I forgot most of the moments and the plot. So it's almost like seeing a brand-new adventure for me.

Bob Dole Reflects On The Far-Right Modern GOP

In a recent interview, former presidential nominee Bob Dole gave some comments on the current state of affairs with politics such as the gridlocked congress. He mainly expressed disbelief that both sides can't agree enough to set up a budget or legislation. While he did put some blame on President Obama for a lack of communication with congress in his first term, he also admitted that the GOP had become too extreme. When asked if he would fit with the modern Republican party he stated his doubts and commented with "Reagan wouldn't have made it, certainly Nixon wouldn't have made it, because he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it."

Fact of the Day: Koala Diet

A koala bears' diet consists virtually of nothing but the leaves of a Eucalyptus tree. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) Impressions

 As many of you know, Mario is one of my favorite video game series ever. Since the original Super Mario Bros. I've been jumping over cliffs and defeating Bowser more times than you can count. I got a 3DS not terribly long ago, and outside Mario Kart 7 and a few Virtual Console games I don't have much for it. So I decided to get Super Mario 3D Land which was Mario's first adventure for the handheld.

Fact of the Day: Charles Towne

The city of Charleston, SC was founded as Charles Towne in 1670. It was named in the honor of King Charles II of England. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace

 Out of all the super-heroes, Spider-Man has the best luck when it comes to video games. He had many great games, and Mysterio's Menace was the first Spider-Man game to release for the Game Boy Advance.

Bowling in May 2013

 Daisy and I like to bowl about every month, but we somehow haven't played a match in a good bit. We invited one our friends to join us in a match too. We had a lot of fun, and I did a lot better than the last time.

Fact of the Day: Mayberry Democrat

Despite being born and raised in the "red state" North Carolina, late actor Andy Griffith was a proud member of the Democratic Party. He declined an offer to run against Republican Senator Jesse Helms in 1989. He campaigned for Barack Obama in 2008, and also advocated the new policies for Medicare under the Health Care Reform bill in 2010. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Random Photo: Waiting At the Movie Theater

I took this photo many days ago when we saw The Host. We were waiting for a group of Daisy's friends to meet us there. While the movie theater only shows movies that are too old for the main theaters, I do feel some nostalgic for the more classic look of the place. I still remember when this theater was one of the best ones in town. Oh how times have changed. 

Pope Francis Says All Good People Are Redeemed

While I've always had some criticism for the papacy, but I was pleased to hear some of the comments Pope Francis made recently. In short he said that "doing good" is what unites humanity together and everyone is redeemed if they do so. He even extended that view to not only agnostics (which I am) but atheists as well. It's wonderful to see a highly respected religious leader try to make peace for all faiths and ideologies. Which is breath of fresh air for me; as hearing bigoted men like Billy Graham and Pat Robertson spout non-sense has made me a little jaded to say the least.    

Fact of the Day: Eiffel Mastermind

The Eiffel tower is named after it's main creator, Gustave Eiffel of France. He also made bridges and worked on the railway system. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Batman Beyond Season 1 Review

 As many of you know, I'm a big fan of Batman. Back in 1999 after the success of the classic Batman cartoons came to an end, a new show was to become it's successor. Set in the future where Bruce Wayne is far too old to be Batman anymore. I had long heard of it and had seen clips from years past, but I decided to give the series a shot.

Random Photo: Found Nemo

Turns out he was cloning himself over and over all this time. Though I guess some his clones felt a little blue about it. 

Fact of the Day: Giant Starfish

In the waters near the antarctic, researchers have found giant starfish. Though the starfish are not mythical in scale, only ranging about two feet in size. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Microsoft Reveals Next Console Called Xbox One

 Yesterday I turned on my Xbox 360 to play some Halo 4 and to my surprise Microsoft put up a notice that they would reveal their next console. While it's code-name had been Durango (seriously?) fans had often referred to it as the Xbox 720. And now it's called the Xbox One. Not to be confused with the original Xbox. The One means the one stop for all your entertainment...or at least in Microsoft's dreams.

A Look Into History: Third Amendment

The Third Amendment of the United States Constitution forbids any soldier from forcing a home-owner to provide him shelter and food without consent. It's original text goes as follows "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."
The amendment was an obvious reaction to forced quarterings by the British Army during colonial days. Lt. General Thomas Gage had found it hard to persuade colonial groups to provide food and shelter for British soldiers, so parliament had passed bills forcing them to do so.
The 3rd Amendment is one of the least cited parts of the U.S. Constitution. Mainly because any attempts to contradict the amendment haven't occurred since the American Revolution. The only major court case to use the 3rd amendment as a major defense was Engblom v. Carey where New York correction officers had gone on strike. National Guard troops were sent in their place for the interim, and the housing used for the officers were taken by the National Guard troops. A federal court ruled that the action did indeed infringe upon their 3rd amendment rights.

Fact of the Day: Freemason Presidents

In the course of our American history, 14 presidents (and other presidents who tried to join) have been members of the Freemasons. The presidents include George Washington, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, James Garfield, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, Howard Taft, Warren Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford. The Freemasons are a fraternal organization dating back to 1390 or earlier. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Argo (2012 Film) Review

 I remember hearing about Argo about this time last year. I liked the trailer, but missed it in theaters. After hearing it had won the Oscar for Best Picture, I had to give it a watch. It's actually based on actual events though some of my criticism will stem from some of its inaccuracies.

Georgia's Bibles In State Parks Crisis

 A lot of debate is taking place concerning Georgia's issue of having bibles in it's government-run state parks.  A visitor had found not one but nine bibles in his cabin and complained citing an obvious abuse of separation of church and state. The state of Georgia had originally intended to remove the bibles until their Governor Nathan Deal objected and stopped the action.

Fact of the Day: Baltimore Ruth

Before going to the major leagues, Babe Ruth played for the minor league team the Baltimore Orioles. The team itself went to the major leagues in 1954. The team would go on to win three world series titles as of 2012. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Favorite Photos: PS3 Family Time

This is my brother Brandon and his daughter Little Iz playing PS3 while she watches. Maybe when she gets a little older she'll play her first video game. Hopefully it's more Mario than Call of Duty. 

France Approves Marriage Equality

While marriage equality is getting approved by many new U.S. states, our friends in France have just given equal rights to all couples for the entire nation. The new president of France, Francois Hollande just signed a bill yesterday which passed both houses of French parliament, and has gotten approved by French courts.  Unlike the recent passage in Minnesota, France's bill will be effective in days. Hopefully the United Kingdom will follow soon as a bill has passed through one of their houses of parliament. 

Fact of the Day: Ice Land

In all the area that Antarctica covers, less than 2 percent of that area is not covered in ice. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Host (2013 Film) Review

 Outside briefly seeing one trailer for The Host, I didn't pay much attention to it. My fiancee Daisy invited her friends to watch a movie with us, and since one of them already watched Iron Man 3, we had to pick something else. They settled for The Host, which was based on a novel by Stephenie Meyer, the author of the Twilight books. After hearing about the awful critical reaction, I didn't know what to expect.

Fact of the Day: Hawaiian Letters

In the Hawaiian language there are only 13 letters, and virtually all words end in a vowel. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro

 I had the original Spider-Man game on N64 and loved it. However back in 2001 I was disappointed to learn that the sequel Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro was a Playstation 1 exclusive. Because of this I had to miss it, and from what I hear that wasn't such a bad thing.

Fact of the Day: First English Bible

The first completed English bible is often credited to Protestant Reformer William Tyndale. Despite his contribution of the "Tyndale Bible", other Christians did not appreciate his views. He was executed for heresy by the Holy Roman Empire. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Little Iz at Mother's Day Lunch

This was taken during Mother's Day at Denny's of my niece Little Iz and her dad (my brother). I didn't get to go but my mom did and she loved spending the time with her granddaughter.    

Fact of the Day: Panda's Favorite Food

While pandas can eat other plants and small rodents, roughly 99% of their diet consists of bamboo. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Spider-Man 2: The Sinister Six

 While the original Spider-Man for Game Boy Color was very much like an 2D version of the Spider-Man game for PS1/N64/Dreamcast, the sequels for both games were radically different. While the PS1 sequel starred Electro, the Game Boy Color sequel featured an different plot featuring Spider-Man's old villainous team The Sinister Six.

Fact of the Day: Ketchup as a Vegetable

During the early days of the Ronald Reagan administration, the government tried to reclassify things like ketchup and pickle relish as vegetables. The move was mainly in hopes to budget cut while abiding by USDA standards for school lunches. The effort failed after intense criticism from the opposition. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Little Iz's New Chair

It's hard to believe my niece is already four months old, and she got a new chair to entertain herself. It's too cute. 

Minnesota Passes Marriage Equality

 While most of the northeastern states are passing marriage equality like a domino effect, the first mid-west state to pass marriage equality on a state house-level is Minnesota. Both the house and senate passed the bill with a majority. Last year voters in the state rejected a proposal to restrict marriage rights to straight couples via the state constitution. So since the majority of the people support it, it was no surprise to me to see the state government pass it.

Fact of the Day: Green and Red

While Jalapeno peppers are traditionally green, they do turn red during the end of the growing season. While they become less desirable they can be eaten whether they're green or red.