Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fact of the Day: Tunisia Alien Planet

In the Star Wars film series both Luke Skywalker and his father Anakin Skywalker grow up on a planet called Tatooine. The name for the planet comes from the film location of the town of Tataouine in the country Tunisia. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

Photo: Virtual Reality Goggles

This is my wife wearing the VR goggles at the 2nd floor of the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia. I did it as well and it looks like you're literally on the side of a field at a live football game. No matter where you turn (360 degrees) everything moves in real time. 

Favorite Quotes: Wife's Birthday

"The best way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once."

-Joseph Cossman

I think this is probably one of the truest statements you will ever hear. My wife Daisy was born on September 11th (1986) so it's pretty darn hard to forget her birthday. I could imagine how awful my life would be if I did though. 

Fact of the Day: Scary Soviet Driving

From 1964 until his death in 1982, the Soviet Union was led by Leonid Brezhnev. Personally Brezhnev loved driving foreign cars. While on a state trip to Washington D.C. he really wanted to drive Nixon's Lincoln Continental but the Secret Service wouldn't let him. He apparently tried to convince them though as he said "I will take the flag off the car, put on dark glasses, so they can't see my eyebrows and drive like any American would". Brezhnev was so reckless at driving that Henry Kissinger replied "I have driven with you and I don't think you drive like an American!". 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Photos: College Football Hall of Fame Anchors

 At the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia, the 2nd floor is considered Virtual Reality. By the far the coolest is the anchor booth. You sit down and read the lines off a monitor.

Question: What Would Martin Luther King Jr. Think of America Now?

Martin Luther King Jr. died almost a half-century ago, and while it's not possible to ask him (duh) I'd say might be fairly easy to suspect what he'd think of a more modern America. I think he'd be proud that America has become more diverse and civil rights are strong in the legal system now. However I think he'd be ashamed of how many people are still racist, but yet claim they're not in public but then say something that logically confirms their bigotry. I also wouldn't blame MLK if he rolled over in his grave when America "elected" an Angry Creamsicle to be the new President of the United States either. 

What do you think MLK would of said on the status of a 2017 America? 

Fact of the Day: William Mulholland

While Los Angeles is one of the largest and most notable cities in the world, the city owes a lot to a man named William Mulholland who was responsible for building a aqueduct that gave the city a supply of water in its early history. Sadly for Mulholland, his career came to an end when a dam he had personally inspected quickly collapsed in one of the worst man-made disasters of its time.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Photos: The Literal College Football Hall of Fame

 The College Football Hall of Fame is more than just records of the past elite players and coaches, but the top floor is what you'd literally think it'd be. Everything is digital which is fine by me. Huge touch screens are there and they're all the same so it doesn't matter which one you pick.

Question: Do Kids At Restaurants Annoy You?

I've never really encountered this to be an issue. While there a few kids that are hopeless because their parents have no ability (or the sense to fix it) to control them, most kids at restaurants usually don't make much noise or cause a scene. Why? It's because they have something to do. Most kids are at their worst moments when they're bored out of their minds. Most of these times, it's with mom while she's looking for crap that she never needed in the first place. I know because that's exactly how I remember it when I was young. 

Do they bother you while you eat food? 

Fact of the Day: Manuel Noriega

Manuel Noriega was a military commander who eventually became the dictator of Panama during the 1980's due to the help of the American CIA. Outside of his military career, Noriega was a notable criminal (big into narcotics) but the CIA still helped and even employed him. Noriega proved to be too much of a headache for America, so they eventually deposed him and sent him to American prison for the crimes he committed in the past. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Photos: College Football Hall of Fame Football Helmets

At the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, when you first arrived you tell them you're team and you then see this huge wall of football helmets. They literally have every college team and I couldn't even squeeze them all in this photo.

Question: Can You Believe The Thing About Chocolate Milk?

I'm surprised this story made the splash it did, but it does make me shudder a bit. A recent survey found out that seven percent of actual grown-ups (not kids) think chocolate milk comes from brown cows. Honestly I can believe people are that stupid. Most people of average intelligence can be dumb as rocks, so you have to imagine how much dumber the lower half is. 

Can you believe people are that dumb? 

Fact of the Day: Modern Day Noah's Ark

Lead by the creationist Ken Ham, the Ark Encounter is a "Bible-sized" boat that is a tourist attraction based on the Noah's Ark story of the Bible which is located in Grant County, Kentucky. While two similar boats have been made in the modern day to replicate the biblical ship, Ken Ham's is the largest of the three. While Ken Ham had it built to help "prove" the Bible, his ark not only doesn't have animals on it, but it also doesn't even float. It was also built with the help of many laborers, electric equipment, and cost many millions to build. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Photo: College Football Hall of Fame

On our last day in Atlanta, we visited The College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta. This is the only one in the nation, so we were lucky it was so close to our home in South Carolina. It used to be in South Bend, Indiana from 1995-2012 but they moved it to attract more guests.  I can see why they had an issue with tourism as even in Atlanta, it doesn't swarm with waves of tourists like the other places we visited. But don't get me wrong, I really liked this place and I'm rather weak when it comes to college football fandom and knowledge. 

The Giver (2014 Film) Review

 Even though the memory isn't quite sharp, I do remember The Giver back in 2014 but I never saw it. Certainly not a movie I'd go see in theaters on a whim. You easily notice the film's two biggest stars one of whom is Meryl Streep whom I don't like nearly as much as other people do. I am a big fan of Jeff Bridges though, and I was surprised to learn that not only is this based on a novel from 1993 but Jeff Bridges tried to get this movie made shortly after the book's release with his father Lloyd Bridges in the titular role of The Giver. The novel wasn't stand-alone either, as it was part of a fairly healthy sized series. Seeing how it's been a few years, and as far as I know there is no plans for a sequel, I kind of worried on if this film did well at all.

Fact of the Day: Granny Lee

At the end of the American Civil War, Robert E Lee was respected by friend and foe alike but his biggest critics were actually at the start of the war in the South. His men initially called him Granny Lee because of his timid style of command. Confederate newspapers generally had the same fears of a less aggressive style of command. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Photo: View of Atlanta

 When we got our hotel room in Atlanta, Daisy said she wanted the tallest floor to me. We got stuck with whatever room was ours. I thought it was an odd thing for her to say. Then in the mornings, she opened up the blinds and gazed at the view. We were on floor eleven I think, so it was a decent view of Atlanta.

House of Cards (TV Series) Season 5 Review

 House of Cards is still one of my favorite television shows to watch even if the last two seasons don't hold a candle to the first two. To be honest, Frank Underwood's rise to power is far more interesting than his attempt to hold on to the position of President of the United States. At the end of the fourth season, we saw the end of the primaries for President which secured President Frank Underwood the Democratic nomination with a rather shocking addition of First Lady Claire Underwood as his running mate. Frank Underwood spent many months planning the fall of President Walker, but now there are more than a few people trying to take him down as President. Will Underwood/Underwood make it past 2016 and into 2017?

Fact of the Day: The 12th Amendment

Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr had an awkward moment after the 1800 President election. While they ran as running mates, the choices were technically unclear of who should be president or vice president. Electors created a crisis where Aaron Burr could had possibly be chosen as president instead of Jefferson. Soon after the 12th amendment was passed to ensure that the ballot made it clear there was difference of which candidate was running for what office. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Photo: Mama Mia Atlanta Restaurant

 As we waited for day two to be almost over, we stopped at Mama Mia which obviously has a pizza theme, but serves just about anything besides seafood or international stuff. We didn't really plan on it, but we just happened to be near it at the right time. 
Daisy had a burger and a side of fries. I will say the food was good enough, but the restaurant was HOT that day. And their drink machine was down so we got drinks in plastic bottles instead. This is one of my biggest pet peeves at restaurants. 

Story: Lost People at Work

During training at one of my old workplaces, I was given a brief intro by the Loss Prevention guy. The whole thing was just an company-mandated thing about intimidating anyone who might be tempted to steal, and since I would never do such a thing morally (and not stupid enough to try either) I found it mundane, But at first the LP guy asked me what I thought his job was. I basically explained what it was, he was there to prevent theft, and also stop any other kind of loss at the store like incorrect practices and making sure things are safe. He told me one guy said "You're here to find lost people" and the guy wasn't kidding. He told me that the guy didn't last very long there since he was not the sharpest knife in the drawer. 

Fact of the Day: Bride Burning

Bride burning is a practice that occurs often in or around India. A bride is brutally murdered through burning by the husband and/or his family after the bride's family refuses to give out additional dowry. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Photo: The Westin Hotel in Atlanta

We didn't stay at The Westin but Daisy was interested in it since it was suppose to have a rotating restaurant on the top floor. A little boy had died in an accident up there a little bit before we arrived in Atlanta and Daisy was oddly curious on what the place looked like. I'm glad we didn't stay at The Westin, it dwarfs almost every building in Atlanta, and I don't like heights. I hear it was the tallest hotel in the world at one time and that doesn't shock me. 

La La Land (2016 Film) Review

 At the Oscars this year, La La Land was the talk of the talk. Emma Stone won Best Actress which apparently was the reason they had a mishap of wrong envelopes as La La Land was incorrectly named Best Picture. That being said, I was interested especially as I like Emma Stone especially for her role as Gwen Stacey in the 2nd wave of Spider-Man films. I haven't seen much with Ryan Gosling (except The Notebook), but I know he's considered a heartthrob for many women. I heard their chemistry in this movie was really good, and people just love it when two really attractive celebrities have that love story whether it's fictional or not. Though while I'll admit Emma Stone is cute, Ryan Gosling's real-life partner Eva Mendes certainly has her outclassed in terms of looks. But anyways, did I like La La Land?

Fact of the Day: Johan de Witt

Johan de Witt was a key figure in Dutch politics during the mid 17th century. His stance of having far less power for the monarchy directly made him the enemy of William III Prince of Orange, who actually co-ruled England with Mary II. Supporters of the monarchy murdered Johan de Witt and were said to have eaten his liver.  William III was probably very likely to have influenced de Witt's murderers to take drastic action. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Photos: Atlanta's Underground Mall

 On the 2nd day after our trip to Zoo Atlanta, we went to The Undeground which is a mall in Atlanta. We heard good things from people who had been there years prior. However The Underground now is sadly, a waste of time. Most of the places here are empty and the few tenants never appealed to either of us.

Story: Matt and Ashley

At a former work-place of mine, we had a guy named Matt. I considered him my friend in a co-worker kind of way, but he did have his faults. When it came to women, Matt would often come off kind of (or really) creepy. Matt mentioned to me that he thought a girl that worked there named Ashley was pretty cute. And I would agree, she didn't have much of a "body" as men say, but she had a cute face, a nice smile, and a pretty awesome personality. 

There was just one little problem, Ashley only dated women. Matt was rather new, but I had known for quite some time. But to be fair, Ashley had a really short hair-cut, and wore flannel shirts all the time. You can say what you want about stereotypes, but it shouldn't have hit him as that much of a surprise. He was "are you sure?" and I was like "one hundred percent". The sad thing was that I knew Matt had a girlfriend at the time, and I assume he probably wasn't the most loyal of men. 

Fact of the Day: Christian Cremation

For most of Christian history, cremation had been more than just taboo for the deceased. Due to a biblical belief that EVERY dead person would rise up one day, burial was more than just strongly encouraged. The Catholic Church would actually cremate Protestants as a "punishment".  

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Photo: Niece Zoo Gifts

At the last gift shop before we left Zoo Atlanta, I saw this thing where it's blue gel-like "water" and the little plastic flamingos can ride the waves and never stop floating. My niece is having a birthday in August, so while it may be early, I figured it'd be a neat gift for her.  
Since the flamingos is a not a big present, we decided to get her another small one to add to it. Daisy really liked the red panda, and there was another just like it in that one. So my niece Little K will get this one too. 

Question: Do You Wear Sunglasses?

I'm sure everyone has at one point, but I wear them all the time. It has to get very cloudy for me to take the off. But I'm glad I do because they block out UV light which will protect my eyes in the long-run. 

Do you wear shades? 

Fact of the Day: Italian Pinatas

Like many things from Hispanic culture, pinatas were introduced to the New World by Spain. The tradition was common in Europe and the word pinata comes from the Italian word pignatta. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Photo: Zoo Atlanta Flamingos

I will say I liked the flamingos at Zoo Atlanta, but the funny thing is that I totally overlooked them as we came in. They're right near the entrance and I was stumped on how we didn't see them when we read the zoo map. 

Things I Like: Dragon Ball Z Kai (Season One)

Dragon Ball Z Kai is a re-do of the old Dragon ball Z series. It's basically updated visuals (but not a 100% redraw) and they cut all the "filler" that was anime-only. My wife had never really seen the series, so I showed her this once she asked about the series. She's really liking it. Looking back it's a little funny how Goku is so "weak" in the Raditz fight.

Fact of the Day: Arrow Cross Party

Like World War I, Hungary was allied with Germany during World War II. Its ruling party was the Arrow Cross Party which adopted the racist polices of Nazism as opposed to the very similar right-wing ideology of fascism. The ruling politicians were replaced (most were executed or imprisoned) by Soviet puppets after the end of the war. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Photo: Atlanta Giraffes

I remember being a bit let-down by the giraffes at Zoo Atlanta. I remember Columbia's Riverbanks Zoo's giraffes and they seemed so much taller to me there. I don't think there is a reasonable explanation because I can't really understand why unless none of these are fully-grown which I doubt. 

Me Before You (2016 Film) Review

 Now to be perfectly honest, the only reason I ever even wanted to see Me Before You was because Emilia Clarke a.k.a. Queen Daenerys Targaryen from HBO's Game of Thrones was in it. I was also pleased to see other GOT cast members show up like Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) and I even noticed Samantha Spiro (Melessa Tarly) as well. I also didn't recognize the film's male star Sam Claflin at first but I do now recall his role as Finnick Odair in the The Hunger Games movies. I also noticed Matthew Lewis who most people would remember as Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter film series. With a strong cast there is much to like, however I did hear mixed things about the movie. Was the story as good as the crew?

Fact of the Day: Jefferson Victory

In a fairly close electoral count, Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams in the U.S. Presidential election of 1800. However Adams supporters figured that Jefferson probably would have lost if slaves were not counted in the population that boosted electoral values. Someone eventually said that Jefferson had rode into the temple of Liberty on the shoulders of slaves.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Photo: Petting Zoo Atlanta

There's a petting zoo in Zoo Atlanta. Unlike others, there doesn't seem to be any feed you can get out of a gumball-like machine for a few coins. They just give them hay as you watch them. They were all chowing down at the time, so the goats didn't even notice us. 

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch) Review

Even though the Nintendo Switch is a very popular new console, ironically the first two big games could also be found on the WiiU. While Breath of the Wild was co-launched Mario Kart 8 was certainly out for years. Now granted Mario Kart 8 was one of my biggest disappointments in the series, and if they needed to re-tune any of them, it would be this one. Since I no longer have a WiiU or my old copy of Mario Kart 8 I figured I'd get this mainly because of multiplayer. Now granted it never feels right spending the dough to get the same game twice, so are the new upgrades worth it in the long-run?

Fact of the Day: Panthers

Technically there isn't really any creature purely known as a panther. The term refers to both the African and Asia leopards and the Jaguars of the Americas. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Adam West Dead at 88

I was sad to hear that TV's first Batman has passed away at 88. He managed to have a mildly successful career many years after Batman especially if you count voice acting, and I will miss him. 

Photo: Vulture and the Zebra

While at Zoo Atlanta, I saw this zebra lying down and thought it was strange. As I got closer, it was fake and designed to look like a corpse. I didn't even notice the vulture staring it for a few seconds. I bet that was probably a little cruel to the vulture since it's probably like wax fruit to him. 

Question: Who Were You Named After?

I wasn't really named after anyone important. My parents apparently had no ideas on names which is rather sad. Apparently my name originated from my brother Steven who had a friend named Adam in school or something like that. He suggested it and it stuck. My middle name however is after my paternal grandfather Blair. 

Funny enough my first and middle names might of been Hank Waltrip. Apparently my dad's "heroes" were Hank Williams Sr. (Hank Williams Jr. is a man I despise) and Darrell Waltrip (I also I don't like Nascar), so I suppose fate figured it'd be too ironic. 

Were you named after someone?  

Fact of the Day: Colorful Topaz

The gemstone topaz can be produced in many different colors, but ironically in its purest forms the mineral actually has no color. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Photo: Zoo Atlanta Food

 We hadn't originally planned to eat at Zoo Atlanta but I was hungry by the time we saw the panda bears. They serve the typical tourist spot food like burgers,fries, and pizza.

Favorite Quotes: Trump is a Disgusting Pig

"If Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her."

-Donald Trump

I like this quote because it truly shows how horrible of a man Trump really is. He said this on The View years before his real entry in politics began. Ivanka Trump is a gorgeous and extremely attractive woman, but only a monster would think of his own daughter in this fashion. I guess the reason Trump really got interested in reviving his public view of Christianity is maybe he read the part about Lot and his daughters. It makes me rather embarrassed to think that one day in a history book (assuming we aren't wiped out in a nuclear winter) children will read his name among the list of U.S. Presidents.  

Fact of the Day: People's Park

In 1969, a large group of students led a protest over the use of land that belonged to the University of California. Then-Governor Ronald Reagan considered the site to be a haven of communists, and ordered the police to harshly remove them. The incident became known as Bloody Thursday which resulted in one death and many injuries among students. One man became permanently blind after being shot in the face by the police. Reagan wasn't very sad over its aftermath as a year later he said "If it takes a bloodbath, let's get it over with. No more appeasement." on the matter. The site actually did become a real park called People's Park which stands today. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Photos: Many Many Pandas

 While it's not even close to being the only gift shop at Zoo Atlanta, the one near the pandas is (surprise surprise) Panda-themed. There's other stuff but it's hard to find anything that isn't Panda something.