Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sarah Palin Leaving GOP For Freedom Party?

While answering questions for a bit on Fox News, Sarah Palin was asked if she'd start her own freedom party if the Republican Party continues to cater to moderate viewpoints. The former Governor and now professional complainer entertained the idea, and said that her and other right-wing extremists may be forced to leave. No word on whether or not this theoretical "freedom" party will continue the standard Republican polices of prohibiting marriage equality, voter oppression, Christian theocracy, or worker rights though. But if this washed-up politician has anything to do with it, you can bet on it.  

My (Sorta) Favorite Photos: Carowind's Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia

This is Daisy and I shortly before we went to see Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia. Dinosaurs is the new theme for the park and they updated their action theater to compliment it. Well they removed all the fun parts to it to my horror, as they took out the seats that moved with the old movies. Now it's really a just a 3D movie about dinosaurs which was a little boring. It also caused us to wait outside a very long time in a terrible heat-wave. The change may be the dumbest idea Carowinds ever had. 

Fact of the Day: Uncle Sam

The personification of the United States, Uncle Sam was believed to be based on Samuel Wilson. During the War of 1812, he was appointed to ensure that the quality of meat consumed by the Northern Army during the war was in good-standing and properly packaged and labeled. Some soldiers knew of Wilson and his nickname "Uncle Sam" and his popularity and legend took off from there.  

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Watchmen (2009 Film) Review

 A few years ago I read the original comic book Watchmen and loved it. I didn't know exactly what to expect, but the plot, characters, and the twist near the end were superb. I don't know why I missed the 2009 film after I read it, but I did. Now in 2013 I get to see how well it holds up to the legendary comic.

Fact of the Day: Great-Nephew Bonaparte

Charles Bonaparte may have been born in America, but he was also the great-nephew of the French Emperor Napoleon I. Charles may not has been as famous as his great-uncle, but he managed to serve in fairly important roles in the federal government. Since he shared similar progressive and liberal views of president Teddy Roosevelt, he was appointed Secretary of the Navy and later Attorney General. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Carowinds Twister Ride

 My mom took this photo of Daisy and I at Carowinds during our first ride of the day. While weren't the first to enjoy it that day, I guess we can't complain about long-lines.

Fact of the Day: Boston Education

The first public school in America was located in Boston, Massachusetts. The school was actually older than the United States as it was founded in 1635 while there were still colonies. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Day Yesterday: Carowinds 2013

I spent the majority of my day yesterday at Carowinds theme park in Charlotte, NC. It's the only park in my local area where you can visit and return home in a day. It was fun but very tiring, I'm still rather exhausted. 

Fact of the Day: Helen Keller Holiday

June 27 is officially Helen Keller day which was honored on her 100th birthday in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter. Keller was deaf and blind, but still accomplished many things in her life such as Bachelor of Arts degree and was even a respected author. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Supreme Court Stands Up For Marriage Equality

Today the Supreme Court announced its decision on the two biggest cases for marriage equality in history. Both the Defense of Marriage Act (which prevented the federal government from recognizing gay marriages) and California's Proposition 8 were declared unconstitutional.

Fact of the Day: Faux Sharks

Despite their visual similarity to sharks, bala sharks aren't true sharks at all. They belong to the family of freshwater fish known as Cyprinidae. It's closest relatives include carps, and true minnows. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Random Photo: Shark Tank

I saw these Bala Sharks the other day while getting things for my betta fish. Not very ferocious are they?

Fact of the Day: Karate

The popular martial art karate was actually invented in the 19th century in the Ryukyu Kingdom now part of present-day Okinawa, Japan. It was inspired by ancient martial arts styles of the islands and Chinese kenpo.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

My New Fish Aquarium

 As I've already said yesterday I gave Daisy my old fish tank for her new betta fish as I planned on getting my betta fish Yuki a bigger tank. Her old tank was just a 1.5 gallon and I felt kinda bad after awhile because as she grew it was obvious she needed more space. So she now has this 3 gallon tank which luckily managed to fit on this side-table (there's not really anywhere else I can put a tank), but will be harder to clean.

Fact of the Day: Planetary Rings

While Saturn is most well known for its vibrant and beautiful rings, they're are also rings on other planets in the solar system. Though they are smaller and less visible; Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune all have their own. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Daisy's New Fish

Back in October of 2012 I got my very own betta fish which was my first fish ever. Well Daisy has been very interested in getting her own fish lately for her house, and I was thinking about getting a bigger tank for mine. So I told Daisy if I got a new one (which is about double in size of the old one) that she could have my original tank.

Conservative Christians Plan To Defy Supreme Court on Marriage Equality Ruling

With the Supreme Court soon to announce the results of the two big cases concerning marriage equality rights, religious conservatives are now somehow planning to defy any ruling that will give more rights to the LGBT community. The results of both cases could give the rights for anyone to marry similar to the 1967 case Loving v. Virginia which struck down any law restricting marriage based on race in every state in the union. Or it could at least give more freedom in some states. 

If the ruling turns out favorable, more than 200 conservative activists from state house members to religious leaders have already pledged to defy the Supreme Court. Now I'm not surprised to see their discrimination and bigotry, but I can't help to laugh that they somehow think they can overrule the nation's highest court. The Supreme Court can overrule the president, and congress, so what kind of authority do these 200 activists have?

Fact of the Day: The Other New York

The city of Toronto in Canada was originally known as the town of York. It was named in honor of Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany. Frederick was also the 2nd child and son of King George III. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Mr. C In the Zoo

My mom took this photo of my nephew Mr. C at the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina many days ago. They were in the farm area, and Mr. C got to see the goat here. Hopefully the goat wasn't as mean as the ones from my childhood. 

Fact of the Day: Separation of Church and Kennedy

During the 1960 presidential election, some Protestants feared that Democratic candidate John F. Kennedy would take orders from the Pope because he also happened to be Catholic. Under pressure, Kennedy made an famous speech in Houston before a protestant audience affirming his duty to separate church and state. Kennedy would later win the election in a very close race against Richard Nixon.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012 Film) Review

 I loved the original Lord of the Rings films from a decade ago. Like many I was puzzled on why they never tried to make a movie based on The Hobbit which was the original book set before Lord of the Rings. After the Lord of the Rings movies were finished, there were talks of perhaps making a Hobbit movie but nothing happened. Now almost a decade later they decided to do so, though it's now going to be a trilogy.

Fact of the Day: President Tyler

Following an unpopular presidency, John Tyler did not stay retired. During the outbreak of the Civil War, Tyler sided with the Confederacy. He ran for office and was elected to the Confederate Congress shortly before his death in 1862. He was the only president whose death was not officially recognized by the federal government. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Mother and Baby Giraffe

My mother took this photo of the giraffes at the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina. If I'm not mistaken this is the same mother giraffe that gave birth last year. The little giraffe became a bit of a celebrity for a time. 

Fact of the Day: War of Deception

While the Vietnam War was already in effect, a conflict known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident was so grossly exaggerated that Congress granted President Lyndon Johnson the authority to assist any South Eastern Asian nation that was considered under the threat of Communist attacks. With that the war against North Vietnam escalated. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K at Bat

As I mentioned before, my oldest nephew Mr. K started playing his first year of baseball. My mother took this photo last Saturday of him at bat. He didn't do terribly well but neither did the rest of either teams. I was at least two years older than he is now when I started and even then getting everyone on the team to hit the baseball and run in the right direction is a miracle. Hopefully everyone had fun. 

Fact of the Day: Cordell Hull

The longest serving Secretary of State for the United States was Cordell Hull. He served under FDR for eleven years. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Spider-Man: The Animated Series Season 2 Review

 As a kid I loved the Spider-Man cartoon that ran during the 1990s. I watched the original season for nostalgia and loved it almost as much as back in the day. In the end I still had the motivation to continue onward.

Fact of the Day: Bunny Land

Coney Island in New York gets its name from "coney" which used to be an old nickname for rabbits. The animals used to flourish the island before people developed the land for the resort. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Little Iz with Great-Grandma Jean

This is a photo of my niece with her great-grandmother Jean who is my mom's mom. To my knowledge I think that's her last great-grandmother still alive. I was three when my last one passed away so never really got to know her. Hopefully Little Iz will get to know her for at least a few more years than I got to know mine. 

Fact of the Day: Esperanto

Esperanto is the most widely spoken language (with estimates between ten thousand to two million speakers) that was intentionally devised instead of developing naturally. It was created by Dr. Ludwig Lazarus Zamenhof who spoke many languages with Russian being his native language. Esperanto is most popular in Europe and Eastern Asia. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Nintendo Unveils Super Mario 3D World (WiiU)

 With a lot of stuff shown at this year's E3, I somehow missed the news on Super Mario 3D World. I just got finished with it's prequel Super Mario 3D Land a few weeks ago, but this time the 2D meets 3D game-play hits consoles with the WiiU.

My Favorite Photos: Greenville Elephant

My mom took this photo yesterday when she went to the Greenville Zoo (in my home state of South Carolina) with my oldest brother and his two sons. My nephew Mr. C is on the right, I wonder if the elephant is his favorite animal in the zoo?

Fact of the Day: Mother of Computers

Even though she was a countess, Ada Lovelace's legacy is more known for her contributions to computers. She was also a mathematician, and her skills helped Charles Babbage create one of the earliest computer-like devices known as the Analytical Engine

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Things I Like: The Colbert Report

 I remember seeing Stephen Colbert on the Daily Show many years ago from time to time. I didn't watch The Colbert Report when it first came on television but now I can't get enough of it.

A Look Into Video Games: Armor Lock (Halo)

 Armor Lock was an armor ability in Halo: Reach. It basically freezes a player in place but makes them invincible for a short time. My experience had always been pretty terrible at using it efficiently. But I remember facing a ton of people who could use it like pros.

Fact of the Day: Daikon

The white radishes that originated in Eastern Asia are commonly known in America as Daikon. Its name is taken from its Japanese name 大根 (Daikon) which literally means "large root". 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Superman Returns (2006 Film) Review

 With Man of Steel already in theaters, I've been trying to watch all the Superman films except Superman III and Superman IV since they're regarded as terrible movies. Another reason is that Superman Returns is a sequel to the original films that ignores any events in the third and fourth movies.

Fact of the Day: Green Libya

From 1977-2011, the national flag of Libya was pure green with no other designs or details. It was chosen by then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as a symbol of his political philosophy. It was often listed as one of the worst flags in the world. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Escape from L.A. (1996 Film) Review

Back in 2011 I had watched Escape From New York which was a classic movie from 1981. It was set as a thrilling tale of an anti-hero's quest to save the President of the United States in New York City which had been turned into a mega-prison. I loved it, but I waited a good bit to the see this sequel that was made 15 years later.

Fact of the Day: Home Run King

Babe Ruth's legendary skills as a baseball player were also given more respect for his long-standing record of 714 home-runs in a career. It would eventually be broken by Atlanta Braves player Hank Aaron in 1974. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Nintendo Unveils Mario Kart 8 (WiiU)

 While Super Smash Bros will obviously garner more attention, I was also happy to see Mario Kart 8 for the WiiU. I liked Mario Kart 7 on 3DS, and while some games in the series do disappoint a little, they're still superb racing games.

Super Smash Bros. (3DS and WiiU) Revealed

 With E3 here, I was somewhat expecting Super Smash Bros for WiiU and 3DS to be shown. I was delighted to see the news as I soon as I woke up.

Fact of the Day: Eiffel Liberty

One of the Statue of Liberty's main designers was Gustave Eiffel, who was also the man behind the Eiffel Tower.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us (360) Review

 Last year I didn't pay much attention to Injustice: Gods Among Us as when I heard the title I didn't realize this one was based on DC comic's Justice League heroes and their super-villains. I also wasn't shocked to learn that the people behind the Mortal Kombat games were behind Injustice. They had made Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe a few years ago, but this time they focus only on Superman and his friends.

Fact of the Day: Holy Astronomer

Despite intense opposition to the Big Bang Theory from churches and various Christians, one of the first men to propose the theory was Georges Lemaître of Belgium. In addition to being an astronomer, Georges was also a priest.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Halo 5 Officially Revealed

With E3 2013 here, many new games are being revealed but few games are being looked at with such excitement like Microsoft's Halo 5. They sadly didn't show much but a small scene of Master Chief walking in a desert. Then a huge robotic bird-like figure emerges from the sand. It then shows a 2014 date which means it will certainly not be a launch game for the new Xbox One this year. 

My Favorite Photos: Little Iz Holding PS3 Controller

This is my brother holding his daughter Little Iz while we were playing PS3 the other day. It didn't take her long before she tried to grab the controller for herself. Won't be too long until she figure out she can actually control the video games as well. 

Things I Like: Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone (1989 Film)

Even though they do a terrible job fitting into the Dragon Ball Z story time-line in terms of making sense, I do remember liking a lot of the original movies. The first Dragon Ball Z movie was Dead Zone which was suppose to be a precursor to the plot before Raditz lands on Earth.

Fact of the Day: Californium

Californium is the only element named after a U.S. State. It was created at the University of California, Berkeley in 1950.  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Random Photo: Dunkin Donuts

After a family trip, we stopped by to get some donuts on the way home. We don't have a Dunkin Donuts here, and they have the one type of donut no other place seems to have. When I saw the one with strawberry icing I felt such luck as it was the last one left.