Friday, July 31, 2015

Random Photo: Scary Ride

Awhile back I noticed this kiddie ride at the Gaffney Outlet Mall in South Carolina. We noticed a paper that said "out of order". That doesn't' surprise me, with a face like that, it creeps even me out. Who was the artist who thought that was a good idea?  

Fact of the Day: Little Richard

The musician Little Richard's mother originally wanted to name her son Ricardo. But an error ended up giving him the name Richard instead. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Favorite Photos: Dinner and a Dinosaur Movie

 So yesterday I took my wife Daisy to see Jurassic World. Before the movie she wanted to go out to eat, so we settled on Zaxby's before the movie. We were suppose to meet a friend at the movies a little before it started, and then we learned she was eating there at the same time but we never saw her because she sat on the other side.

Jurassic World (2015 Film) Review

 I remember when the first Jurassic Park came out when I was just five years old. I don't think I saw it in theaters, but I probably watched it with my brothers when the VCR version came out. I didn't like Jurassic Park II so much that I didn't give a second thought about seeing the third movie. This new movie somewhat ignores the events of the two original sequels, but is it any good?

Fact of the Day: Bird Dinosaur

Most dinosaur artwork shows the extinct animals with very reptile-like skin. However in recent years it's been discovered that some dinosaurs certainly had feathers like modern-day birds which themselves are descended from avian dinosaurs. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grumpy Cat Meet Grumpy Puppy

The Grumpy Cat meme is one of my favorites. Mainly because the cat just looks grumpy naturally, it wasn't just a one-time event where the cat makes a grumpy face. Now we have Grumpy Puppy, who does quite live up to that nick-name. So do you think the puppy looks grumpier than the cat?

Question: Do You Drink Tap Water?

While it seems bottled water has been around a long time, though I remember they started to get really popular in the late 90's to early 2000s. I think the fact that a lot of Americans don't drink enough water could be because we had lived with mainly just tap water and even before bottled water was the "cool thing" I don't remember drinking it much. I drink far more water than I used to, and it's always been in bottles. 

Fact of the Day: Aardvark

The word aardvark is derived from a South African dialect of Dutch from words that mean "earth pig" in English. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dentist From Minnesota Killed a Lion

A man named Walter J. Palmer recently was discovered to be the man who murdered a popular lion named Cecil from the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.  He apparently lured the lion out of the park (due to the help of the crooked people who work at the park) and shot the lion with a bow and arrow. Turns out that Palmer is a dentist from Minnesota and this is not the first he's hunted larger animals for entertainment. I can understand hunting for food even as a vegetarian, but hunting animals for fun and especially protected and cherished animals is downright evil. 

Things I Like: Trident Original Flavor Gum

As a kid, I chewed gum for the taste. Mostly the fun ones like bubble-gum and flavors like grape and strawberry. But as an adult, I need gum to counter bad-breath. Trident Original Flavor has been my most recent favorite gum, ever since Daisy got some. I tried one piece after one restaurant's food gave me bad breath, and I could just feel how it was making everything smell good again. 

Fact of the Day: Robert the Bruce

During the reign of Robert I of Scotland (more commonly known as Robert the Bruce), the monarch had led his country during the First War of Scottish Independence. His leadership drove the English out of Scotland and regained Scotland's role as an independent country. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

My Favorite Photos: Cat Couch

 In early July, my mother-in-law tells my wife that she must come visit her great aunt who lives in Massachusetts. The visit wasn't too great as nobody mentioned to me that Daisy's great aunts speaks almost no English, only Laotian. My brother-in-law's cat was there though, and he's pretty people friendly still.

Fact of the Day: Stalin Prophecy

When Vladimir Lenin was dying, he wrote a testament about his views on Joseph Stalin and the future of his country. While he had considered Stalin an ally, he feared what his personal views, rude attitude,and thirst for power would do for the Soviet Union. He suggested that Stalin should no longer be General Secretary, but Stalin used his power to suppress the release of the letter until he could assume power. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Funny Story: God's Bicycle

At my Unitarian-Universalist church, we recently had a guest speaker named Ron Robinson who happened to be a Methodist minister and a college professor of religion. He was on the more liberal side of Christianity (the UU church has many members of all points of view, religious and non-religious) and he made a joke that pokes fun at the logic of the creation-fall theology of many conservative Christians.

Fact of the Day: Rice at Weddings

A common wedding tradition for many years was to throw rice as the couple left the church/building, but in recent years this practice has stopped. Since then most people throw either bird seed or some other alternative because it is believed that rice would burst the stomachs of the birds who would eat the rice. Though this belief is merely an urban legend, rice is perfectly safe for birds to eat. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

March of the Penguins (2005 Film) Review

I had heard of March of the Penguins back in the mid 2000s but never saw it. I heard it was good, and I wanted a documentary that wasn't about the arctic. Sure Antarctica isn't that different at a glance, but it's on the other side of the world and with completely different animals.

President Obama Urges Kenyan Government to Respect LGBT Rights

Just recently President Obama has visited Kenya (his father's homeland) for the first time as a U.S. President. Before his visit, many Christian pastors in the country urged him not to speak about the rights of the LGBT community. Anyone who is LGBT (which under current Kenyan law) can face a considerable amount of time in prison. I had the time to hear a lot of their remarks and they were beyond hateful, and it is quite disrespectful for them to ask a President of the United States to be quiet on an issue. While in the country President Obama urged the importance of equality for all people while in Kenya, and I'm proud of him for standing up to those bullies.  

Fact of the Day: Penguin Dad

Unlike most other animals in the world, Emperor penguins are active fathers. When the mothers go to hunt for food, the fathers wait long periods of time without food to care for both the egg and when it hatches as a baby. Usually the mother is absent at the time of the baby's birth. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

My Favorite Photos: Little K's Friends

My sister-in-law took this photo of my niece Little K on the couch with her buddies. It's too adorable to ignore. 

Jeb Bush Wants to Demolish Medicare

The former Florida Governor and Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush has made his support official for the Republicans in Congress who wish to "reform" Medicare by turning it into a voucher system. Saying it should be eventually phased out into something different. I noticed he also made comments that Americans need to work more hours, and doesn't care if they have benefits. Isn't it a coincidence that a millionaire from a wealthy family would think that social programs and better working environments isn't a good idea? Instead of turning Medicare into a system the elderly can't afford, we don't we join the rest of the world and expand it so every U.S. citizen regardless of age, military status, or income? 

Fact of the Day: Saladin

The Sultan and military leader known as Saladin was a major figure in the Third Crusade. Despite successfully stopping Christian invaders, he was well admired by friend and foe alike. When he died, he had gave away his entire fortune to his poor subjects. Which left nothing for his funeral. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey (1991 Film) Review

 I had seen Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure last year and liked it. I wasn't too terribly impatient to watch the sequel, Bogus Journey. I heard it wasn't as good, but a co-worker told me that even though that may be true, it's still very comparable. Turns out he was right.

Fact of the Day: Fossil Deity

The 19th century saw the discovery of many fossils and the discovery that there were animals from a long time ago that don't live today. A lot of people in the Western world believed that life went mostly unchanged from the beginning of Earth due to a belief in the creation myth of their religion. Some thought the possibility of an animal going to extinct was impossible, as that was to almost say that their deity had made a mistake creating them. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My Favorite Photos: Summer Milkshake

In the middle of July it was super hot and I decided to take my wife Daisy to a coffee shop that also serves ice cream. It was a nice day to have a milkshake. 

Fact of the Day: Domestic Mallard

Most domesticated ducks descended from a species of mallard ducks around 4000 B.C. either in China or Southeast Asia.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Merlin (TV Series) Season 5 Review

 As many of you know, my wife and I have been watching a lot of Merlin recently. So much so that we finished all five seasons in a very short span of time. It features a younger cast of characters than what is usually in Arthurian legend, similar to that of Smallville and Superman comics. What did I think of the last season?

Fact of the Day: Marine History

The U.S. Marine Corps started in 1775 during the American Revolutionary War. It disbanded a few years later until it re-formed in 1798. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

My Favorite Photos: IHOP July 2015

 In early July, we went to IHOP for a nice late breakfast. Daisy got want she wanted, which was a lot of bacon, eggs, and some other stuff. Along with some kind of pancakes with all kinds of sweets on top of it. It's been the first time in awhile I've seen her finish all of her food. She's usually too full and needs a to-go-box. But I think she couldn't resist finishing the pancakes she saved for last.

Fact of the Day: Comet

The English word comet is derived from the Greek word kometes which means "long-haired star" in English. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Franklin Graham Suggests Bringing Back Racist Immigration Policies

I usually ignore the insanity spouted by the evangelist Franklin Graham but someone pointed out his recent comments about the Chattanooga tragedy done by a lone terrorist who had immigrated to the U.S. from Kuwait. Graham suggested that we stop allowing Muslims into the U.S. suggesting a policy similar to what happened to Japanese people during World War II. What happened to the Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans back then was nothing short of racism and evil. Until right-wing Christians realize that all faiths and beliefs should unite against those who use their ideologies for evil, this war on terror will never end. 

Bridesmaids (2011 Film) Review

I had heard of Bridesmaids back in 2011, but never gave it much attention. I thought it was a chick flick, but it's more a comedy that men might enjoy more than women. It's one of the movies made by Judd Apatow who's known for a lot popular comedies. 

Fact of the Day: White Wedding Dress

A white wedding dress is typical for most brides in the Western world, but the tradition didn't start until about 1840 when Queen Victoria was married in a white wedding dress. Before then many colors could been have been worn, or the bride would wear her best dress. It wasn't until later that Christians would attach the tradition of a white wedding dress with the concept of innocence and purity. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Sad Story: JROTC Battalion Commander

At my high-school I was in the Army JROTC class, and every Friday we had P.T. which was like gym but way tougher. The toughest P.T. was the first, and that was not because of the lack of experience. We actually had a 9th Grade Campus, so our battalion commander came down from the "big school" to instruct us on our first Physical Training class.

Fact of the Day: Chicago Cubs Curse

During the 1945 World Series, the Chicago Cubs faced the Detroit Tigers. A man named William Sianis took his goat to one of the games of the World Series, but was told to leave after it had bothered a lot of fans watching. When he left he said "The Cubs ain't gonna win no more" and many fans believe he put a curse on the team. As they have never won or gone to the World Series ever since.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Question: Do You Like Restaurants That Serve All-Day Breakfast?

Being a vegetarian, I like restaurants that serve breakfast all day since it gives me more options. Though some restaurants do it good and some do it well. IHOP can serve me a perfect pancake or waffle no matter what time of day, some places will have stuff sitting there getting stale by the time someone wants it. Though I wish more fast-food places did all-day breakfast since lunch should not begin at 10:30 in the morning. 

What do you think about places with all-day breakfast options? 

Fact of the Day: Croissant

While croissants are typically believed to be a French invention, they originated as an Austrian twist on a pastry from Eastern Europe. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

My Favorite Photos: Star Lanes Bowling

 Now that we have our own bowling shoes, we haven't been too picky about where we go bowling. Star Lanes is a local bowling alley in our town, but it's on the other side of where we live. So I had never been, Daisy said the lanes were "old". Seeing the place did remind me of bowling lanes you'd see from a few decades ago in movies/tv shows.

Fact of the Day: Adam West

The actor Adam West (best known for playing in the 1960's Batman TV show) was born William West Anderson. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Funny Story: iPad Happiness

My brother was telling everyone about my niece Little K one day. He mentioned how much she loves her iPad. He said one time she hit her head real hard to point of many tears, and as soon as he said "iPad" her mood went back to happy. Little K was in the room at the time, and when she heard "iPad" in the story, she looked at my brother with the biggest smile on her face. 

Fact of the Day: Turtle Difference

The main difference between turtles and tortoises is where they live. Turtles live in water and tortoises live on land. Tortoises also generally can't swim especially in deep water. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Am I Sick Of Pluto? No

The New Horizons spacecraft after nine years has finally completed (from what I understand) its flyby mission of Pluto. When I was a kid, I used to think Pluto was the lamest of all the planets (and I wasn't too mad when they took it off the list of planets) but I found this new mission to be fascinating. Isn't it beautiful? 

My Favorite Photos: Johann the Cat

My wife Daisy's brother just recently got a new kitten. He named it Johann after the composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Her brother is a little weird. But little Johann is a cute little kitten. Her brother and his friend rescued him down in Columbia, SC, so Mr. Johann is a lucky cat. 

Fact of the Day: Marry Anning

In the 19th century, a British woman named Mary Anning found many fossils (mainly from the Jurassic) that led to some of the first scientific thoughts about pre-historic Earth. Her two major discoveries were the Ichthyosaurs and the Plesiosaurus. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Here's Pluto Now In Color

The first real pictures of Pluto have recently came to light, and these are the first pictures of the dwarf Pluto in color. To the left is one of Pluto's moons Charon. If I read right, the best pictures are to come out tomorrow. 

Question: Would You Ever Stay In a Haunted House?

I used to be very fascinated by ghost culture and I would remember seeing TV shows that would list the most haunted places in America. A lot of them were now inns or hotels where people could actually sleep for the night. While I somewhat believe ghosts aren't real, I believe in the possibility enough not to try sleeping in a haunted house. 

Would you have the courage to sleep in a haunted house? 

Fact of the Day: King Giraffe

King George IV of Great Britain had his own pet giraffe. It was given to him as a diplomatic gift from Egypt. The giraffe was not very healthy, and despite kind treatment from the king, the giraffe died within two years. It was said that King George IV loved his giraffe very much, and was quite heartbroken when the giraffe passed away.  

Sunday, July 12, 2015

California and Oregon Making It Easier For Women's Reproductive Health

Unwanted pregnancy (especially among teenagers) is still a big problem in America, but two states (California and Oregon) have recently passed bills making it easier for women to get forms of birth control. The most obvious is birth control pills which usually require a doctor's prescription, but under the new laws in these states, it will be a pharmacist who approves after a simple health screening at the pharmacy. 

My Favorite Photos: July 2015 Movie Trip

Even though it's been out in theaters for awhile, there was quite a bit of people in the theater with us when we went to the movies not long ago. Daisy convinced me to watch Inside Out instead of Jurassic World. I'm actually glad I did because (as I've already said before) it was awesome. Daisy really liked it too. When she needed another soda, she refused to leave her seat. So I had to be the nice husband and get it for her. I didn't want to leave my seat either. 

The Lady (2011 Film) Review

The Lady is about the Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi who is very important to the country's history of taking steps towards democracy. She's still alive, and I recently heard that those still holding on to the country's power keeping find up reasons to prevent her from being the most powerful person in the country. 

Fact of the Day: Burmese Democracy

In the Asian country of Burma (also known as Myanmar), the country had been ruled by a military dictatorship known as the junta since a coup in 1962. It seemed that the military junta gave in to democracy in 1990 by giving other parties the chance to have power. A woman named Aung San Suu Kyi led a pro-democracy party to win a super-majority in that election. The military-junta ignored the results, so instead of becoming Prime Minister, Aung San Suu Kyi was eventually put under house arrest until 2010.