Saturday, May 31, 2014

Funny Story: Cat Ghost

Shortly after my fiancee Daisy's cat passed away, she told me about the "cat eye" ghost in her kitchen window. Both Daisy and her mom were talking about seeing it, and I was very skeptical. So the next time I came over I wanted to see this feline phantom for myself. I saw it, and it looked like a very crooked pair of cartoon-like eyes you see when a cartoon has a scene where the lights go out. Was there a scientific explanation for the cat eye ghost?

Fact of the Day: Pavlov's House

During World War II"s Battle of Stalingrad, an apartment building was defended by Soviet sergeant Yakov Pavlov and his soldiers. German forces attacked it for two months, but they could not defeat Pavlov before more Soviet troops came in to help. After their success, a general joked that Germany lost more soldiers trying to take Pavlov's house than they did when they took Paris. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Mary Poppins (1964 Film) Review

 Not terribly long ago I watched Saving Mr. Banks which retold the story of how Walt Disney got P. L. Travers to let him make a movie based on her book Mary Poppins. I honestly never saw Mary Poppins, though I knew of the character and fondly remember a Simpsons parody of her. Travers hated the film, though it did extremely well with critics. So after seeing it, do I side with Travers or not?

Fact of the Day: King Seal

While most seals are typically seen as docile, the leopard seal however is far from it. It preys upon other seals, penguins, fish and krill. The only animal it should fear is the orca whale. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Funny Story: Foul Ball

From first to tenth grade I played baseball in a local little league. During one of my last years, I did something rather funny while up at bat. It took me several tries to hit a good throw, but I finally got on base and eventually got to home plate. When I got back, all of my team-mates were cheering. Turns out that I hit a foul ball, and it hit the other team's coach standing on the left side of the field. 

Fact of the Day: Lunar Saturn

Saturn's largest moon Titan was discovered by scientist Christiaan Huygens in 1655. He named it Luna Saturni, which literally means Saturn's Moon in Latin.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sherlock (TV Series) Season 2 Review

Very recently I watched the first season of Sherlock, a modernization of Sherlock Holmes and was absolutely amazed by it. It was beyond brilliant, with such wit and incredible mysteries. Unlike most TV shows, Sherlock has only three episodes a season, Though they are like their own films, so they're not over that quickly.

Fact of the Day: Sherlock Bell

The character Sherlock Holmes is based on a man named Joseph Bell. Author Arthur Conan Doyle had met Dr. Bell when he worked for him as a clerk. Doyle was impressed by how Dr. Bell could figure out conclusions from the smallest observations. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013 film) Review

 I had heard about The Secret Life of Walter Mitty last year, but was only mildly interested. Certainly didn't have the motivation to see it in the theater. I like Ben Stiller, and the premise seemed promising enough to me to watch it in 2014.

Fact of the Day: Friend of Newton

Isaac Newton may be a legendary scientist, but he didn't achieve everything on his own. Without his friend (and legendary scientist) Edmond Halley, Newton would have never wrote his book Principa which stated mathematical laws and principals that greatly aided the study of science.    

Monday, May 26, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Husky Promise

Four years ago Daisy made me promise to get her a stuffed-animal husky dog the next time we went to Chimney Rock, NC. It took us about four years to go back but she got it. It's technically a wolf, but it was the one Daisy thought was the cutest. 

Fact of the Day: Chihuahua

While the origin of the Chihuahua breed of dog is debated, it almost certainly happened in present-day Mexico. It is very likely they were descended from a breed of dog called the Techichi. They were favored as companion dogs by the ancient people of Toltec. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Funny Story: Diet Contradiction

Being a vegetarian, I typically don't criticize anyone's food choices as I personally despise people who comment or ask stupid questions about mine. Though I remember an ironic story about a guy in high school who said he was vegan, which is a well-known diet where you do not consume any food or drink that comes from an animal even if it is still alive. Then moments later he was eating a snickers bar. I had to tell them that it was obviously made with milk. 

Fact of the Day: Lady Laura

In his younger days future-president George W. Bush struggled with alcoholism. He said his wife Laura gave his life stability and because of her he finally gave up alcohol entirely in 1986.   

Saturday, May 24, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Mini-Golf in NC

Daisy took this picture of me while playing mini-golf in Chimney Rock, North Carolina. We had fun, but like usual I won. 

Fact of the Day: Warm Ocean

The Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world. However because of its temperature, plankton have a hard time surviving. Since plankton are a major source of food for a lot of ocean creatures, marine life is very limited in comparison to other oceans. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sherlock (TV Series) Season 1 Review

 When I was younger I read a few of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, but other that I'm not terribly familiar with the character that much besides the stuff he's synonymous with. Someone told me to watch the show Sherlock which originated in the United Kingdom. I was shocked to realize that there was only three episodes per season, but they're almost like individual films so it evens out.

Fact of the Day: Gail Dairy

Though not exactly the first person to do so, but Gail Borden perfected the process of making condensed milk. Before it, milk was mainly limited to those who were near a cow. In age before pasteurization and refrigeration, it was the first way to store milk for long periods of time and still be safe to drink.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Daisy at Chimney Rock Mini-Golf

Daisy is often pretty terrible at mini-golf, but she did much better than usual when we played mini-golf at Chimney Rock. I took this photo after she got the golf-ball in on her first try. 

Fact of the Day: Darwin Moth

Charles Darwin once inspected an particular type of orchid from Madagascar which had a certain problem. Nobody could really figure out what kind of insect could pollinate the flower due to its unique shape. Darwin suspected it was some kind of moth with a lengthy string-like mouth. The Morgan's sphinx moth was discovered about 21 years after Darwin had passed away, and it was almost exactly as Darwin thought it would be. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Personal Story: Camp Zip-line Fear

When I was about eight my mom took us to a Methodist Church which had a summer camp. It wasn't really their summer camp, but I'm pretty sure it was a place called Lake Junaluska up in North Carolina. When I was about ten or so I went with my brother and they had the typical stuff you'd expect from a summer camp. Such as swimming, crafts, paddle-boats, and even a zip-line which is almost like a ride that takes you from one distance to another really high up in the air.

Fact of the Day: Comet Tail

Comets are especially known for their beautiful "tails" seen from the sky and space. The tail is caused when the Sun causes the frozen nature of the comet to change with a lot of dust and gas whirling out. Typically this can only happen when they reach the inner-solar system.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Random Photo: Daisy's Chimney Rock Shirt

While at the little village at Chimney Rock in North Carolina, my mom got my fiancee Daisy this t-shirt as an early birthday present. You can tell by the smile on her face how much she adores getting new t-shirts. 

Fact of the Day: Father Austin

The capital of Texas, Austin is named after Stephen F. Austin who is considered the "Father of Texas". Spain allowed him to colonize the region, which led the first Caucasian-Americans to live in Texas. He lived to see Texas become its own republic.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Green Hornet (2011 Film) Review

I remember hearing about The Green Hornet in 2011, but it didn't interest me terribly much. Honestly the Green Hornet hasn't been relevant for decades, and revivals after a long time are usually mediocre. The only reason I considered watching it was because it had Seth Rogen in it.

Fact of the Day: Swimming Elephant

Despite their appearance, elephants are wonderful swimmers. Some can swim as far as 30 miles without stopping. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Random Photo: Fly Fishing

While at the little nature trail in the North Carolina mountains, we saw this guy fly-fishing in the little river. I would never expect many fish in water so shallow, and we never saw him get a single fish either. 

Fact of the Day: Denny Doughnuts

While Denny's is a well-known diner-style restaurant, it ironically began as Danny's Donuts in California. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z (PS3) Review

 As many of you know, I'm a big fan of Dragon Ball Z. There was once a time where no Dragon Ball Z games (for America anyway) were around, but now there is more than enough to forget. Battle of Z caught my attention as not only is it fairly new, but it also features characters from the recent (and currently Japan-only) Dragon Ball Z movie Battle of Gods.

Fact of the Day: Astronomer Annie

Despite being deaf, and a woman in a time of gender inequality, Annie Jump Cannon worked for Harvard as an astronomer. She was the first person to classify and rank stars based on their temperature with accuracy. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Little River

While at the little nature trail near Chimney Rock village, I took this photo of the little river. It's beautiful in spring time, but the best part is that the water isn't deep at all. So there's not much fear of falling in, as the worst thing that can happen is that your shoes won't be dry anymore. 

Halo 5: Guardians Coming to Xbox One in 2015

When it came to Halo 5 on Xbox One it wasn't a matter of if, but a matter of when. Now it's suppose to release in the fall of 2015. The box-art may seem to hint a new playable character or (less likely) new armor for Master Chief. A year and a half is a long time for fans to wait, but there is a rumor of a Halo 2 remake in the same fashion as the remake of Halo 1 on 360. 

Fact of the Day: Aardwolf

While it's a close relative to the hyena, the aardwolf does not eat large animals or even mammals and birds. Its main diet consists mostly of termites. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Random Photo: Pyramints

While at Chimney Rock village in North Carolina, I saw these "pyramints" in a little bakeshop cafe. I thought they looked really cool. It's a shame I hate anything but milk chocolate, and I can't stand mint either. 

Things I Hate: Resistance: Fall of Man (PS3)

 I remember when Resistance: Fall of Man came out in 2006. It was a big deal, and one of the PS3's earliest notable games. I didn't play it until recently, but I did hear of its concept. As it's set on a Earth in the 1950s that never saw World War II due to a alien race taking over Europe.

Fact of the Day: Friend of Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln became fast-friends with fellow Whig/Republican politician Edward Baker in their early political careers. They were so close, that Lincoln named one of his sons, Edward Baker Lincoln after him.   

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Despicable Me 2 (2013 Film) Review

As I mentioned before, Daisy and I watched the original Despicable Me not very long ago. I liked it, and she loved it enough to make sure we saw the sequel almost immediately. Sometimes sequels to animated films can be rather awful, but this one may be even better than its predecessor.

Fact of the Day: Mouse Island

In 2012, an Alaskan island known as Rat Island was free of their centuries-old rat population. As such they changed the island's name to Hawadax Island. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Daisy and I

Though we didn't visit the mountain at Chimney Rock, we did walk the little nature trail near the village. My mom took this photo of Daisy and I , and I think it's one of the best pictures of the two of us.  

Fact of the Day: Topeka

The capital of Kansas, Topeka was given its name from a man named Joseph James, Jr. who was of Native American and European descent. Nobody knows for sure what Topeka means, but James Jr. told them it meant "a good place to grow potatoes". 

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Arriving at Chimney Rock Village

Recently my mother, my fiancee Daisy, and I went to Chimney Rock village. It's a little area with shoppes and restaurants near a mountain called Chimney Rock. Though it sorta rained that day, it just so beautiful to be in the mountains away from the city. 

Fact of the Day: Lord of Titan

The mountains on Saturn's moon Titan are all named after mountains in J.R.R. Tolkien's stories of Middle-Earth. For example Titan's Doom Mons is named after Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

This is my mom and me shortly after I was born in 1988. I was the youngest of her four children, and she had done a great job raising us to be the people we had become. She always misses the days when we were younger. Though she now has four grandchildren to spoil. 

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013 Film) Review

I was a big fan of The Lord of the Rings movies, but I still wish they hadn't split The Hobbit into a trilogy. Two movies would of been a good idea, but the first one An Unexpected Journey certainly had a lot stuff that wasn't in the book. I was glad to finally watch The Desolation of Smaug as they finally reach the mountain and see the mighty dragon.

Fact of the Day: River Dolphin

While dolphins are known for living in the ocean, there are also river dolphins. They can be found in freshwater rivers in South America and Asia. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Random Photo: Blue at the Door

With my brother and sister-in-law out of town, my mother and I (though she's been doing most of the work) have been looking after their dog and cat while they are gone. My mom let Blue outside while I was over there, and she came back almost a minute later. She was whining to get back in as a rain storm was about to start. 

Fact of the Day: Yam Potato

Sweet potatoes are sometimes called yams despite not being true yams. While they do look similar to yams, they aren't even closely related. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Clarence Thomas Thinks States Can Establish Their Own Churches

Probably the most conservative judge on the Supreme Court (though Antonin Scalia is pretty close), Clarence Thomas has never been much of a friend to true freedom of religion. With a recent ruling on public prayer meetings, Thomas noted afterwards that he personally thinks states can establish their own official religions/churches. Going back to a line of thinking where states don't have to worry about what's in the U.S. Constitution. In the 18th and 19th century, a lot of states did get away with things that were unconstitutional including ignoring the liberties granted in the Bill of Rights. In the early 20th century, the supreme court finally made rulings that did not tolerate states doing so.

Funny Story: What the Rock?

In kindergarten I remember sitting at the lunch table on a normal day. Then in a conversation I said the word "rock", and then most of the kids around gasped or pointed at me. Then I remember a teacher pulling me aside and taking me to some office. It was only until years later that I assumed they thought I said the curse word that starts with F. Little sad that kids in class even knew what it was. Too bad my speaking skills weren't terribly great back then.   

Fact of the Day: Our Spot in the Galaxy

Mankind had once thought the Earth was not only the center of the solar system but the center of the universe as well. Not only was the idea proven wrong with our solar system, but our solar system isn't even close to the center of our galaxy. We are about 27,000 light years away from the center.