Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Years! Have a Great 2013!

I'm wishing you all a great New Years! As we enter 2013, I hope everyone enters the year with a positive attitude. If there's one resolution to make, then let us strive to be better people. Be kind to your fellow man, and we will all live in happiness. 

A Look Into Video Games: Mecha-Dragon (Mega Man)

 The Mecha-Dragon is a boss from Mega Man 2. He serves as the first major threat after all the robot-masters are defeated.

Say Hello To My Newborn Niece

 So yesterday my niece (I think I'll call her Little Iz here on Neko Random like how I call my nephews Mr. K and Mr. C) was born. I was at work at the time, but I didn't get to see photos until after the end of my shift even though the news broke over the phone on lunch.

Neko Random's 2012 Favorites

Another year has come to past, and I have to say 2012 was a blast. There were up and there were downs, but I do think it was a good year. So here's a list of my favorite things from 2012.

Fact of the Day: DNA's Memory

While life has been evolving for eons, old traits can reappear after being absent when one species evolved into another. This is called an atavism, and it's commonly nicknamed "an evolutionary throw-back". For example in extremely rare cases biologists have discovered hind legs in whales, hind fins in dolphins, extra toes on horses, and teeth in chickens. An example found in humans are vestigial tails, and large teeth. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Favorite Photos: Brandon and Blair

This was my older brother Brandon with my cousin Blair. They were always a good bit older than me, so it was strange to see photos of them in their younger days. I doubt I was even born at the time of the picture. 

A Look Into Video Games: Heat Man (Mega Man)

Heat Man is a robot master from Mega Man 2. Based on Fire Man, he's the first fire-robot crafted by Dr. Wily.

Things I Hate: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962 Film)

 When I was a kid, I was really fascinated by Godzilla. I remember seeing this title at Blockbuster, and I begged my mom for us to rent it. This was probably the first "versus film" I've ever seen, and I hated it.

Fact of the Day: Harry Houdini's Real Name

Even the magician Harry Houdini's name itself was an illusion. He was born Erik Weisz in Austria-Hungary but later changed his name to Harry Weiss after his family moved to America. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vladimir Putin Has Betrayed Russia's Orphans

 Russian President Vladimir Putin recently signed a bill passed by Russia's parliament that ended all U.S. adoptions of Russian children. The bill had extreme favor in both houses, but even certain leaders in the Russian government are opposed to it. The Kremlin claims that the move was to protect orphans from abuse, but that's a cover for the truth.

My Favorite Photos: Mama and Zelda

This was taken many years ago when my dog Zelda was still fairly young. She ran up to my mom as she liked to play chase with the chew toy. She'd make us try to get it, and run away when we got too close. 

A Look Into Video Games: Crash Man (Mega Man)

 Crash Man is a boss from Mega Man 2. He is one of the first robot masters crafted by Dr. Wily though he's a bit forgettable.

Fact of the Day: Mortal Monarch

Qin Shi Huang became the first Emperor of China by defeating several states and unifying China. His impressive accomplishment made history, and Huang wanted to hold on to that glory forever. He was obsessed in trying to find a path that would make him immortal. He ironically died from poisoning after he took some mercury tablets that promised him eternal life. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Favorite Photos: Bright Green Eyes

This was taken several years ago at my brother's house in Charleston. My brother Zach and his then-girlfriend Maryanna were spending time with my brother Steven's dog Marty. The dog is very goofy, but I always crack up when the flash from the camera make his eyes so illuminated. 

Batman: Year One (2011 Film) Review

 Before the Dark Knight film trilogy, I was never the biggest fan of Batman. I liked the superhero sure, but outside the major incarnations I never really watched much of Gotham's favorite hero. But now I'm giving more versions a shot, and I recently got the chance to watch Batman: Year One which is obviously an origins film.

A Look Into Video Games: Quick Man (Mega Man)

 Quick Man is a robot master created by Dr. Wily in Mega Man 2. He may be one of one of my favorites of all time.

Fact of the Day: Engels

While Dutch is the official language of The Netherlands, an estimated 85-90% of the population speak English as a second language at a comfortable level. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Fifth Element (1997 Film) Review

 For many years I've heard spectacular things about The Fifth Element, but never seen it. Never had the chance to watch it except once on TV but it was in the middle so I skipped it. Luckily I got the chance to watch it, and I have to say I've can't believe it took me 15 years.

Fact of the Day: Shakespeare Family

While he came up with the most famous love story, little is known about William Shakespeare's marriage to his wife Anne Hathaway. He married her when she was 26, and he was only 18. She was also pregnant with their first child at the time of the wedding. They would later have a son and another daughter. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My 2012 Christmas

 Christmas is by far my favorite holiday of the year. And I can say 2012 was a decent one.

Fact of the Day: Naval Marines

While the U.S. Marines are their own separate military branch, they do fall under the U.S. Department of the Navy. The Department used to only focus on the U.S. Navy but included the Marine Corps in 1834. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Things I Like: Jingle All The Way (1996 Film)

 Even though it's goofy and stupid, I liked the movie when I was a kid.

Japanese Words for the Day: Christmas

 Christmas is クリスマス (Kurisumasu) which is based on the English word. As most of these will be.

Fact of the Day: Date of Christmas

While the Bible gives no exact date for the birth of Jesus, it was officially declared December 25th by Pope Julius I in the year 350. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Of Mayans and Morons

 As practically everyone knows, a few days ago was the supposed "Mayan doomsday", and yet nothing happened. I had waited years upon years for that day to pass. I've heard about it since I was little but took it seriously around middle school. I was watching some TV show where someone was preaching that we had "only 12 years left", and honestly that didn't settle right with me. I was relieved to actually take the time and research Mayan culture to find out there was no apocalypse prediction at all. Just an end to some long-count calendar.

Fact of the Day: Santa's Female Reindeer?

While Santa's reindeer are all male, but in real-life they would be lacking their antlers. Most males shed their antlers when December comes. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

My Favorite Photos: Daisy At Christmas 2011 Gathering

This was Daisy at my maternal family gathering in 2011 exactly a year ago. I had to work, but she went there to get to know the family better. She even got a few things like candy. 

A Look Into Video Games: Air Man (Mega Man)

Air Man is a boss from Mega Man 2 and one of Dr. Wily's earliest robot masters. He's one of my favorites.

Fact of the Day: Twelve Days of Secrets?

While the Twelve Days of Christmas song has no confirmed meaning other than what it states, a lot Christians believe there are code-words in the whole song. For example it's believed that the partridge in the pear tree symbolizes Jesus and the ten lords a-leaping represents the Ten Commandments. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

My Favorite Photos: Zach and an Old Friend

This is a picture from rougly five years ago of my brother Zach and some bird one of his old girlfriend's owned. I have to admit that takes some courage. I'd be freaking out if a bird got that close. 

Shakespeare in Love (1998 Film) Review

 I remember hearing about Shakespeare in Love in the early 2000s when my English teacher got some videos with the film's cast talking about Shakespeare and his plays. I always found high school English classes' love for Shakespearean plays over-rated, so I skipped my interest in it during 10th grade. Now in 2012 I learned it had won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1998, so I had to give it a go.

Fact of the Day: Jingle Bells in Space

The first song played in space was Jingle Bells on the Gemini 6A. They were played with a harmonica and small bells. The musical instruments are now preserved by the Smithsonian Institute. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Favorite Photos: Last Thanksgiving With Uncle Jason

This was the last Thanksgiving we had with our Uncle Jason four years ago before he died the next year. He is missed. 

Fact of the Day: American Christmas

Christmas wasn't an official holiday in America on the federal level until 1870.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K Meets His Grandma

This was taken 3 years ago down in Charleston. My mother went to go see my new-born nephew Mr. K at my brother's home. She was so happy, and it's hard to believe he's grown so much since then. 

A Look Into Video Games: Bubble Man (Mega Man)

 Bubble Man is one of the robot-masters in Mega Man 2. He is the first aquatic robot created by Dr. Wily.

Fact of the Day: Alabama Christmas

Alabama was the first state to recognize Christmas as an official holiday in 1836. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K and McFly

This was taken several years ago when my nephew Mr. K was still very young. He was just around the age where he could play with dogs and cats. My brother's cat McFly was not a fan when he started to grab his tail. 

A Look Into Video Games: Wave Race (Gameboy)

 Most people think of Wave Race 64 as the series' first game. However the original game was released on none other than the Nintendo Gameboy in 1992.

Fact of the Day: Father Frost

Ded Moroz (translated as Father Frost) is the Santa Claus in the culture of most of Eastern Europe. However the earliest tales of Father Frost depict him as an evil wizard who would freeze people and parents would give him presents to get their children back. However he reformed his wicked ways and now is a good person. His (usual) helper is his beautiful granddaughter Snegurochka whose name translates as Snow Maiden or Snowflake Girl. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Favorite Photos: Zoo Pond

This is the River Banks Zoo's goldfish/koi pond in Columbia, SC. So many fishies, I hope they like the cold water, because it was freezing when we went down there. 

A Look Into Video Games: Metal Man (Mega Man)

 Metal Man is a robot master from the Mega Man series. He is the first robot-master fully designed by Dr. Wily himself.

Fact of the Day: Odin Claus

The Viking god Odin is one of the inspirations for Santa Claus. There are tales of him flying around with his horse Sleipnir handing out both gifts and punishments. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Search for Santa Paws (2010 Film) Review

This month I meant to watch a lot of Christmas movies I have never seen before. I failed my goal, but the other day my girlfriend Daisy and I needed a movie to watch. So I saw The Search For Santa Paws and decided to give it a try since Daisy got mad when I skipped "the puppy movies" when I chose to rent The Amazing Spider-Man awhile back. I also liked Air Bud back in the day (oddly enough this is considered part of the series), so I was willing to see if this one could impress me.

A Look Into Video Games: Crash Bash (PS1)

When Mario Party became a hit for the N64 in 1998, other companies took notice. Sega tried giving Sonic a chance to be a worthy rival on Dreamcast and failed. Sony released Crash Bash around the same time as Sonic Shuffle and the results were a good bit better.

Fact of the Day: Teddy Hated Christmas Trees

Being an environmentalist, President Teddy Roosevelt did not allow Christmas trees in the White House. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Things I Like: King Kong (2005 Film)

 It's hard to believe it's been seven years since the film came out. I remember all the hype like it was yesterday. I saw it during holiday time in 2005.

A Look Into Video Games: Elec Man (Mega Man)

 Elec Man is the one of the original robot masters who were turned evil by Dr. Wily. He's one of my favorites for two reasons.

Fact of the Day: Christmas Stockings

While the origin of the Christmas stocking is uncertain, the origin may lie in the popular legend of St. Nicolas. The story told of an old man with three beautiful daughters, but were too poor to get married. The father would not accept charity, so Saint Nick came in at night and put gold coins in the stockings hanging out to dry. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Pokemon Trozei! (DS)

 Besides Mario, the Nintendo series with the most spin-offs is probably Pokemon. In 2006 Nintendo released Pokemon Trozei! a puzzle game for their new handheld.