Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Church Challenges NC In Favor of Marriage Equality

Like most of the South, North Carolina is not for marriage equality yet. But I was glad to see the United Church of Christ (a very socially-liberal branch of Christianity) challenge North Carolina as they wish to marry all couples regardless of if both persons are of the same gender or not. Saying it violates (and I believe it does) their 1st amendment rights to do so. Conservatives have long hid under the excuse of "religious freedom" but I wonder what they can say about this actual case of religious freedom.  

My Favorite Photos: Carnival Tiger and Penguin

I took this photo shortly before we left the carnival the other week. While Daisy got the penguin from the basketball game, I got her the tiger from the one where you use the hammer to ring the bell. 

Fact of the Day: Senator Baker

When the Civil War begun, Abraham Lincoln's close friend Edward Baker was a Senator who strongly believed in winning the war against the South. Even as a Senator, he volunteered for the Union Army. He sadly lost his life in battle before the war was over. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Julie & Julia (2009 Film) Review

I vaguely remember hearing about Julie and Julia back in 2009. Up until recently I didn't have much idea what the movie was even about. Amy Adams is one of my favorite actresses, and since she had a starring role I had to see if it was any good. The movie is based on the lives of two actual people from different times but both with a love for cooking.

Fact of the Day: Garlic

Garlic has had a long history with humans dating back thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians were among the first to recognize the health benefits of eating garlic. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Mechanical Bull at Carnival

Daisy took this photo of me riding the mechanical bull at the local carnival. This is the first time I've tried, and it was just as difficult as I imagined. Though it's not so much the force that will throw you off, but the lack of balance. It would constantly lean forward, and it takes a lot to remain on for long after that. 

Fact of the Day: Mighty Dolphins

In the 1972 football season, the Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to remain undefeated throughout the whole year including the Super Bowl. No other team has been able to match this accomplishment as of 2013. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ultimate Spider-Man (TV Series) Season 1 Review

 As many of you know, Spider-Man is one of my favorite super-heroes. I had heard of the cartoon series that originally came out in 2012 based on the Ultimate Marvel comics version of Spider-Man, but never saw it until now. It features a teen-aged Peter Parker who is recruited by Nick Fury to join SHIELD in order to become a better super-hero.

Fact of the Day: Quince Pear

The pear-shaped fruit quince are commonly produced in Argentina, but remain somewhat unknown to most people in the United States. Despite its rareness in North America, it's closely related to pears and apples. All three are members of the Rosaceae (Rose) family of plants. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Carnival Basketball

 Since I couldn't get her the large stuffed animal, Daisy wanted to play the basketball game. The challenging basketball one wasn't set-up during our visit, so we had to play this easy version.

Fact of the Day: Cold Primate

The Japanese Macaque (also known as the snow monkey) can easily live in colder climates. Besides humans, no other primate lives farther north or in a colder area. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mario Tennis (GBC) Review

While Mario Tennis is one of Nintendo's best known Mario spin-offs, I missed the one for Game Boy Color since it came out in 2001. It had received a lot of critical acclaim back then, and some said it was even better than the N64 Mario Tennis.

Fact of the Day: Disaster

The English word "disaster" is ultimately derived from a Greek word meaning "bad star". As in ancient times people would think a falling star (in reality a comet) meant disaster.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Carnival Star

Since most of the rides weren't ready by the time we got there, Daisy and I instead played the classic carnival games at the local fair. This one wasn't there last year, but you use the pellet-gun at the paper target. There is a red star on the target, and to get one the giant stuffed animals there cannot be a single piece of that star left. While it was fun, I found it practically impossible.  

Fact of the Day: Lobster Retreat

When lobsters flee, they actually swim away from the danger backwards. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mamma Mia (2008 Film) Review

I honestly never heard of Mamma Mia back in 2008. However Daisy and I really adore Amanda Seyfried, so eventually we had to see it. I really enjoyed Seyfried as Cosette in Les Miserables which like Mamma Mia is a musical-film based on a stage-musical. However unlike Les Miserables, Mamma Mia was never a novel.

Fact of the Day: Swan Cousins

The closest living relatives to swans are geese and ducks. They are all members of the bird family Anatidae.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Boiling Springs Spring-Fest 2014

I took this photo the other day when the carnival in Daisy's small-town returned. We had went last year, but we didn't get on much of the rides. Half of the place was ready on the first day it opened. One of the ladies there told me because of the rain, that the mud was slowing everything down.  

Fact of the Day: Everest Air

At the top of Mount Everest, there isn't much oxygen in the air. As such many of the people that get close to the top often have tanks of oxygen with them. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Akira (1988 Film) Review

 While not as familiar as Dragon Ball Z or Naruto, but anyone who really likes anime or manga would eventually hear of Akira. I tried to read the manga a few years ago but didn't have time to read the colossal story. I wanted to see the film even though I hear it's not as good as the manga.

Fact of the Day: Saint Paul

The capital of Minnesota, Saint Paul is named after Paul the Apostle. Before Minnesota was a state, St. Paul took its name from a local chapel. The chapel itself was named because Paul was the favorite saint of Father Lucien Galtier. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Little K's First Easter

My soon-to-be sister-in-law Tiffany took this photo of my niece Little K this morning. She got her first Easter basket with flowers and an adorable bunny. 

Fact of the Day: Easter

While Easter is considered a Christian holiday, many of its roots actually came from an old Germanic religion. The name Easter itself comes from the Germanic deity Eostre (also known as Ostara), and people would honor her around April. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Grandma Donna and Little K

This is my mom and my niece Little K while they were at a restaurant recently. Ever since she was born, my niece has been a "mama's girl", and she can't really tolerate anyone other than her mom for very long. But she's now getting more used to her Grandma Donna.

Fact of the Day: Franklin Grandson

Benjamin Franklin's grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache started his own newspaper. However he was harshly critical of both the presidencies of George Washington and John Adams. He was thrown in jail because of the Alien and Sedition Acts which did not tolerate criticism. He died before Thomas Jefferson pardoned everyone affected by it.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bill Clinton is About to Be a Grandfather

Back in the 90's I remember seeing the First Family, and Chelsea Clinton was one of the few presidential children in modern history to grow up in the White House. Now she and her husband are expecting their first child in the near future. Since they're getting to a very elderly age already, I'm sure Bill and Hillary are thrilled about getting their first grand-child. Imagine if that child may be a future president one day. 

Cars (2006 Film) Review

 While I love Pixar, back in 2006 the idea of Cars sounded rather stupid to me. It also seemed rather plain for a studio that often produces creative magic. My nephews are big fans of the movie, so I decided after eight years that I would give it a chance.

Fact of the Day: Orange Citron

While nobody is completely sure where lemons originated, we do know of its lineage. Genetic evidence has shown that it was a hybrid of a sour orange and a citron. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Saturn Getting a New Moon?

Apparently that is the case, though the new moon which is being called Peggy is very small. It's basically made of mostly ice as it came from Saturn's rings. It isn't too big of deal even to Saturn itself as it has many moons though most people only hear of the large ones.  Though it is rather neat to see this "moon" being created. 

My Favorite Photo: Nephew Checkers

After Mr. K's birthday party, we went out to eat at a restaurant. Up front they have these checker boards and chairs. My nephew wanted to play a game of checkers with his mom before we left. 

Fact of the Day: Nephew Justice

While politically independent, George Washington considered his views close to the Federalist Party. His Vice President John Adams was an official member of the party. Due to their friendship, it is no surprise that Adams made his first Supreme Court nominee one of Washington's nephews. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Chocolate Bunny

Every Easter, Daisy asks me to get her a stuff-animal bunny. I was thinking about not getting her one this year as she had enough already, but we found this one that smells just like chocolate. 

Fact of the Day: Darwin's Resting Place

For his scientific achievements, Charles Darwin was buried at Westminster Abbey. Not far away from other legendary scientists such as John Herschel and Issac Newton. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Balloon Volleyball

Daisy took this photo of me and my nephew Mr. C after Mr. K's birthday party was over. They had a balloon, so I made a "net" out of their cushion blocks. He really enjoyed playing volleyball, though I would intentionally miss the balloon many times to make him happy. 

Fact of the Day: Falling Star

In many ancient societies, people were not fascinated by comets and meteoroids but terrified of them. From their perspective, many would think one of the stars was literally falling or moving from the sky. As such they were often seen as bad omens and a sign of terrible events in the future. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Mr. C vs Pinata

 Before his brother's birthday party, my nephew Mr. C wasn't feeling good. So during the middle of the party he went inside to rest. He came back out after they had gotten all the candy from the pinata. Still Mr. C saw the pinata and insisted on using the baseball bat. There wasn't much left of the Ninja Turtle by the time he was done. 

Fact of the Day: Nathaniel's Phone

The first successful pair of headphones were invented by a man named Nathaniel Baldwin. He made them by hand in his kitchen for use in the US Navy. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hop (2011 Film) Review

While there are countless Christmas movies, you don't really see any films based solely on any other holiday. I remember hearing about Hop in 2011, and liked the idea of a movie based on Easter. Nothing exactly clever, but you don't see it happen all the time. I figure since Easter is almost here that I'd finally see it.

Fact of the Day: Battleship

While many present-day Navy ships might be mistakenly called battleships, the last ones were made during World War II. They then lost their importance in the following decades as different kinds of ships made them obsolete. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Random Photo: Mama and Sulley

I took this photo at Mr. K's 5th birthday party. My mom saw his present of Sulley from Monsters University and it makes a funny expression. Then she started mimicking it, and everyone was laughing. 

Fact of the Day: Jamestown

The capital of Wisconsin, Madison is named after former President James Madison. The former president had recently passed away and they used the city to honor his memory. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Anchorman 2 (2013 Film) Review

I really thought the original Anchorman movie was pretty funny. I'm also a little shocked to realize it's been almost a decade since the film came out. My mom usually calls anything Will Ferrell does (except Elf) "stupid" but she admitted to enjoying the original. If that's not a compliment, I don't know what is.

David Letterman's Successor is Stephen Colbert

While I respect David Letterman, I've never watched much of the Late Show. Though I'm really happy to see after Letterman retires soon, that Stephen Colbert will take his place. While I'll miss the Colbert Report, and his alter-ego self; he certainly deserves the role. I've seen him a few times out of character, and he seems to be just as talented with comedy and interviewing. Best of luck to him in 2015. 

Fact of the Day: Mortimer Mouse

Walt Disney originally wanted Mickey Mouse to be named Mortimer. Though his wife convinced him it was a bad idea. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K vs Pinata

This was my nephew Mr. K at his birthday party hitting the Ninja Turtle pinata. Mr. K and all of his cousins took forever to make any candy fall. Though about 3 tries after the first candy then all the candy was gone. 

Fact of the Day: Kimono

The traditional Japanese garment, kimono is well known for its unique and beautiful design. However its name is rather plain. In Japanese 着物 (Kimono) literally means "thing to wear". 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014 Film) Review

 Like many of you know, I'm a huge fan of the Avengers-related movies. I thought the first Captain America was an excellent film, and he was personally my favorite of the Avengers. Everyone knows of Captain America's role in World War II, but his modern-day adventures and villains are not as famous as other superhero tales. Does a 21st Century Captain America hold up?

Fact of the Day: Red Moon

During a lunar eclipse the moon can turn red especially during a full-eclipse. Typically the moon shines because of sunlight, however during an eclipse it passes in the shadow of the Earth. The reason it turns red is that some sun-light passes through the Earth's atmosphere and reflects upon the moon.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Favorite Photos: TMNT Pinata

This is my sister-in-law setting up the pinata for my nephew Mr. K's birthday party. I never had a pinata at a birthday party neither did my brothers. This pinata looks like Michelangelo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I loved the Ninja Turtles when I was little so I think it's pretty rad. 

Congressman Vance McAllister Found Unfaithful to His Wife.

Congressman Vance McAllister (R-LA) was caught kissing a married woman on his staff, and now is hoping people will forgive him. McAllister himself has been married for several years and the father of five children. I found a bit of irony here as he won a special-election last year to Congress and gained a political edge when he started to express how devoutly Christian he was. He was also known as the Duck Dynasty congressman as he represents the district they live in and has gotten the endorsement of some members of the Robertson family.