Saturday, August 31, 2013

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS) Review

 I was a huge fan of the original Animal Crossing on Gamecube. I remember seeing it for the first time as a Japanese-only N64 game called Animal Forest. They gave it a chance in America, and it did very well. I was a bit disappointed in Animal Crossing: Wild World so I ignored the Wii Animal Crossing called City Folk. It's been almost 8 years since the DS game, so New Leaf really appealed to me.

Fact of the Day: Bohrium

The element Bohrium was first discovered by a German research team in 1981. They named it after Danish scientist Niels Bohr. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Things I Like: The Last Samurai (2003 Film)

 
 Personally I'm not a big fan of Tom Cruise, but I really did like The Last Samurai. It's historical fiction, and it's also set around the same time period as one of my favorite anime shows Rurouni Kenshin. Like Kenshin, the Meiji Restoration and the aftermath of the Boshin War heavily influence the story. While it may seem silly that a Caucasian actor would be cast in a movie about Samurai, Cruise's character is based on the French officer Jules Brunet who was a veteran of Japan's Boshin War.

Fact of the Day: Cassius Marcellus Clay

Former heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. in 1942. He chose his new name after his conversion to Islam. His original name was obviously inherited from his father who was named after a famous abolitionist politician from the 19th century.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Little K is Home

My niece Little K's mother took this photo of her yesterday when they drove her home for the first time. My brother (her father) had some health issues when he was born, and I can still remember my mom telling the story of how upset and worried she was that he had to spend so much time at the hospital. Luckily Little K had no problems and went home fairly quickly. 

Fact of the Day: British Hawaii

The State Flag of Hawaii is the only one in the country that has the British Union Jack flag in its design along with the red, white, and blue stripes. The flag is the same one used from the days when Hawaii was still a kingdom which had undergone significant British influence. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Nintendo Unveils the Nintendo 2DS

I had heard speculation that Nintendo would make a 3DS handheld without the 3D, but here it is the properly named 2DS. It plays all 3DS games just without the option for the 3D view. It also has a flat design in contrast to the traditional clam-shell designs since the original DS. The less expensive 2DS will make a splash in North America on October 12th of this year, the same day as the new Pokemon Y and X. 

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009 Film) Review

 I had originally ignored X-Men Origins: Wolverine back in 2009, but I heard the newest movie The Wolverine was a lot better. The film is about Logan's early life and how he became Wolverine, and I figured I might as well see his origins tale.

Fact of the Day: Old London Subway

The first subway (also known as a metro) in the world took place in London, England in 1863. The Metropolitan Railway served the city until 1933.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My New Niece Was Born Yesterday

My brother Zach's daughter Little K was born yesterday around nine at night. Here's my mom as the proud paternal grandmother. 

Fact of the Day: Divine Right of Kings

While he wasn't the first monarch in the world to claim a super-natural right to the throne, King James I of England (also King James VI of Scotland) was the first English monarch to use the theory of the Divine Right of Kings. Claiming that as King he has to answer to nobody on Earth, and is given the right to rule by God. Coincidentally he also oversaw the English translation of scripture known as the King James Bible, which still features many supporters who strongly oppose any other English translation.  

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Bowser (Super Mario 64)

Even though he's now been defeated numerous times, Bowser's appearance in Super Mario 64 on N64 (and DS) is one his most memorable. Mainly because he shows up all the time.

Fact of the Day: Bolivia-Peru

The country of Bolivia was once part of Peru during the era of Spanish rule. After Simon Bolivar led Latin America to its independence he gave the option for either Bolivia to separate or stay united with Peru. They named the new country in his honor. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Baby Blue

My mother took this photo awhile back when my brother Brandon's Great Dane dog Blue was still a puppy. She was adorable, and I regret not being able to see her when she was that little. 

Fact of the Day: Too Cold For Sharks

Antarctica is the only continent virtually free of any presence of sharks. Though with global warming, waters may become warm enough for them to live comfortably in a few decades. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Bowling August 2013

I took this photo of Daisy earlier this month on our monthly bowling trip. Even though she rarely wins, she's always delighted to knock down the pins. In the second game, I managed to get 135 which is the best I've done in almost a year. 

Fact of the Day: Taikun

While tycoon in English usually refers to legendary businessmen like Howard Hughes or Bill Gates, the word was taken from Japan. In Japan 大君 (Taikun) was a title meaning "great lord" that referred to the supreme military general and ruler known as the Shogun. The word was brought back to the United States, and one of the first people to receive the nickname was President Abraham Lincoln by his aides John Hay and John Nicolay. 

Thanks to Kay and her mom for letting me know this one!

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Bowser (Super Mario World)

After Bowser's defeat in Super Mario Bros. 3 he returns to invade the Dinosaur Island in Super Mario World. Not only ruining Mario, Luigi's, and Princess Peach's vacation, but causing havoc on the Yoshis.

My Favorite Photos: Little Iz at Costco

My sister-in-law took this photo of my niece Little Iz a few weeks ago while at Costco. This is apparently the first time she could sit up all by herself. 

Ben Affleck is the New Batman

Since the new Batman/Superman film was announced, many wondered who would play the Dark Knight as Christian Bale said he wouldn't return after Dark Knight Rises. Apparently the role is now for Ben Affleck, though this isn't the first time he's played a super-hero. Back in 2003 he played the title role in Marvel's Daredevil film. Though many aren't sure of how well he'll do as Batman. Though I'd like to remind everyone of the skepticism they had when they heard that Heath Ledger was playing the Joker in The Dark Knight. 

Fact of the Day: Samuel Town

The capital of Connecticut, Hartford is named after a town in England called Hertford. It was the original home of one of the town's founders Samuel Stone. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Star Trek (2009 Film) Review

 Though I know a good number of things about the original Star Trek show, I never really watched it nor any of the movies either. I also ignored The Next Generation and other sequel series. But the 2009 film simply called Star Trek begins the story anew, and after hearing about it's sequel Into Darkness I was intrigued.

Fact of the Day: Pluot

Pluots may look like plums, but they are actually a hybrid fruit. It's a cross between a plum and an apricot. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Things I Like: Hyperbolic Time Chamber (Dragon Ball Z)

One of the coolest moments of the later-part of Dragon Ball Z was the Hyperbolic Time Chamber. It was a unique training arena where one day on Earth would be one year in the chamber. The first two to use it were Trunks and Vegeta who emerged as strongest characters at the time due to their increased strength as Super Saiyans. Though they were quickly outmatched when Vegeta let Cell absorb the Androids.

Fact of the Day: Vermont Republic

Even though Vermont and its people fought for independence, and considered themselves Americans, they were not part of the original 13 states. Due to a boundary dispute from New York, Congress failed to recognize Vermont as a state. From 1777-1791 it existed as it's own republic, but most citizens wished for Vermont to join the union, and they later got their wish when it became the 14th state. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz No Longer Canadian

With a lot support among those on the far-right, freshman Senator Ted Cruz had been pondering about making a serious run for president in 2016. Though there was something that had been holding Cruz back, and that was the fact he was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. Apparently Cruz is a dual citizen of both the United States and Canada, but not for long. He's officially going to denounce his Canadian citizenship.

Random Photo: Piggy Bank

I actually never remember having a piggy bank as a child, but I saw this one painted like a baseball and decided to get it. I usually lose my coins, and I thought it be a nice piece of decor. Where's it going to? Well Daisy and I started to attend our local Universalist Unitarian church and since it's rather small I try to give what I can. 

Fact of the Day: Butterflies and Moths

While Butterflies and Moths are similar creatures, their biggest difference is what time of the day they're most active. Butterflies are (usually) active during the day, while moths (with some exceptions) are mostly nocturnal creatures. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Favorite Photos: My First Ferris Wheel

 During all the carnivals and fairs I've been to as a kid, I don't remember anyone in my family going on the Ferris wheel. I'm not a big fan of heights, but I felt bad when I got too scared to ride one at a carnival my fiancee Daisy and I went to earlier this year. Luckily my city had a special occasion where there was a Ferris wheel in downtown.

Fact of the Day: Ben Franklin Morning

While Ben Franklin never saw the use of Day Lights Saving Time in it's modern form, he did suggest an early version of it during his time in France. He suggested that the citizens of Paris could save candles by waking up earlier and using more daylight. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker (2000 Film) Review

I originally didn't watch Batman Beyond when it first premiered over a decade ago. But I did enjoy watching the first season of it very recently. Though many of the original villains were very bland, and many of Batman's old enemies didn't show up in the future. Though the reason I wanted to watch The Return of the Joker was for the futuristic revival of Batman's greatest nemesis.

Fact of the Day: Providence

The capital of Rhode Island, Providence was named by theologian Roger Williams for "God's Divine Providence" in 1636. Williams was exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for his political and religious views and was thankful to find his "providence" in what is now Rhode Island. Unlike the Puritans from Massachusetts, he was one of the strongest advocates for religious freedom and the separation of church and state.  

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Pineapple Under the Sea

While I got my fish Yuki a Spongebob decoration, it was Spongebob himself. Daisy got her betta fish Natsume, Spongebob's pineapple house. It's cute I admit, but Daisy tells me that Natsume doesn't swim through it that much. 

Fact of the Day: Astronaut Senator

While John Glenn is most famous for his career at NASA, he was also a United States Senator from 1974-1999 representing Ohio. He also made attempts to become the Democratic nominee for both Vice President, and later President losing both times to Walter Mondale. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Bowser (SMB3)

Though he technically returned in Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels (the real Super Mario Bros. 2 in Japan), Bowser's return in Super Mario Bros. 3 was his true revival. After being bitterly defeated by Mario, King Koopa returns with his seven children to defeat the plumber in a rematch.

Fact of the Day: Prince Phillip

While Queen Elizabeth II is set to surpass Queen Victoria as Great Britain's longest-serving monarch in a few years, many not familiar with the royal family don't know that her husband is still alive. Prince Philip was born a prince to both Greece and Denmark, and married Elizabeth shortly before she became Queen after the death of her father King George VI. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook (2012 Film) Review

 When Silver Linings Playbook came out last year, it had been largely ignored by me. But I took more notice when Jennifer Lawrence (who also played the main hero in The Hunger Games) won a Oscar for Best Actress for her role in the film. I wasn't too terribly sure if I'd like it, but I was curious to see if it met the critical acclaim.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fact of the Day: Sherman Pledge

General William Sherman was one of the most notable Union Generals in the Civil War and is often referred to as the first modern military general. Supporters threw his name as a possible candidate in the 1884 presidential election and Sherman responded to the news with this quote "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.". 

My Favorite Photos: Buster the Cat

While I was at my brother's house the other day, I finally got to see his new cat Buster. His old cat Mike passed away early this year, and they finally got a new one. Since he was a stray he's got health problems, and he's had some problems adjusting to life staying indoors. But he's been pretty good about getting along with their dog Blue. He was a bit more friendly than Mike was. 

Fact of the Day: Animals

The word "animal" is derived from the Latin word "animalis" meaning "having breath". 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Christian Judge Changes Child's Name in Tennessee

In Tennessee, a judge recently changed a child's name during a custody hearing. Except the parents went in not agreeing on the boy's surname, not his first name.  The judge took objection of the child being named Messiah DeShawn Martin as a Messiah to Christians means savior. So she took the liberty of changing his name to Martin DeShawn McCullough claiming that “The word Messiah is a title and it's a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ.” in her ruling.

The Other Guys (2010 Film) Review

As many of you know, I've been a big fan of most of Will Ferrell's movies. I overlooked The Other Guys when it came out in 2010. My brother had recommended I see it, and I eventually got around to it. It's basically Will Ferrell's take on action movies.

Random Photo: Goodbye Old TV

 The other day I said goodbye to my old TV I had gotten so long ago I can't really remember. It served me well though, however it was dated. Especially with each passing year.

Fact of the Day: NATO

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization known simply as NATO is a treaty alliance of the United States, Canada, Greenland, and most of Western Europe. The alliance started shortly after World War II, and stood as the Western counterpart to the Soviet Union and it's allies. The one thing that's kept the treaty important for its member countries is that an attack on any NATO country is consider one on all. Though the most serious defense rule (which calls for all members to work together) has been used just once after the events of September 11th, 2001.

Monday, August 12, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Betta Fish Meets Spongebob

 I got my betta fish Yuki a new tank awhile back and I decided to get her a new piece of decor. Well more like a friend. Nobody better than Spongebob Squarepants!

Fact of the Day: French Vermont

The capital of Vermont, Montpelier was named by one of the city's founders Jacob Davis. He named the settlement after Montpelier, a city in southern France. The name was chosen as France had become very popular due to their helpful role in the American Revolutionary War.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My 25th Birthday

 Since I had to work yesterday on my birthday, it wasn't the greatest to be honest. But when I got home I had gotten my first birthday cake made of ice-cream.

Fact of the Day: Scottish Lake

Most lakes in Scotland are called lochs like the legendary Loch Ness. The reason is that loch is the Scottish Gaelic (and Irish) word for "lake". 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Brandon's Baptism

While my religious views are the polar opposite of my brother Brandon, I'm happy to see him do something that meant a lot to him. Despite having rather conservative views on the Bible, from what I've seen and heard his church ironically tries to be rather hip and cool. They actually had a huge event the other week where they did all the baptisms in the local city's auditorium. Though I wouldn't be a fan of getting dunked in that giant tub of water. 

Fact of the Day: First Lady Madison

First Lady Dolley Madison was raised a Quaker. When she married future-president James Madison (a deist), her church expelled her for marrying outside her faith. Her husband was also one of the biggest supporters of the separation of church and state in America's early days.