Monday, April 30, 2012

A Look Into History: Nicolas Fatio de Duillier

Duillier was a Swiss mathematician who lived during the 17th-18th centuries.  He became good friends with Issac Newton who impressed him with his theory of gravity. He also played a role in the quarrel between Newton and Gottfried Leibnizr about which man first invented calculus. Nicolas gained a little fame for his explanation of zodiacal light, among smaller scientific accomplishments. 

A Look Into Video Games: Farfetch'd

Farfetch'd is a pokemon from the original 150 set. I never really used him much but I always remember his goofy name. Also he taught me what a leek was, which is the onion he always holds. 

It's original Japanese name is カモネギ (Kamonegi) which is probably a combination of 鴨 (Kamo) meaning "wild duck" and 葱 (Negi) which means "leek".

A Look Into Video Games: Halo (Cancelled PC/Mac Game)

While we all remember Halo as the FPS that revolutionized the genre in 2001 on Xbox, it wasn't originally going to be for Xbox. Not even a FPS game either. Before Microsoft nabbed Bungie, it was originally suppose to be a 3rd person strategy game for PC and Mac. 

Looks really rough, but at least they kept most of their ideas. Master Chief never really kept that mini-gun though. Even though it's neat to see the early shots, I'm really glad it evolved into a FPS. I don't really care for strategy games, and I also wouldn't have some of the best multiplayer games ever made. 

I still wonder if Halo had stayed in it's original form if it would have taken off or not. For the people who got to play and see the early builds, apparently the word was positive. Granted some of Bungie's other games are forgettable and it might of landed in the same place. Who knows?

Fact of the Day: Red Stone

The word "ruby" comes from the Latin word "ruber" which means red. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Look Into History: Panic of 1893

The Panic of 1893 was a depression that hit the United States. It was mainly caused by a burst of the train industry's bubble which lead to the failure of the banks. People had no faith in the economy and rushed to withdrawal their savings. Then the issue of gold and silver metals as a currency caused even more trouble as trust in silver plummeted.  

America suffered devastating unemployment rates and was it's worst crisis until the Great Depression decades later. The economy slowly recovered and set normal after going to a full-gold standard and new gold mines helped set things back to normal. 

A Look Into Video Games: Magnemite

 Magnemite is a pokemon from the original 150, and one of the goofiest of the original pokemon. Most of the other ones were based on animals but this is like a robot magnet. How does it eat rare candy? I never got that. Never used it very much either, but I admit I should've since some computer trainers had some tough ones. 

It's original Japanese name is コイル (Koiru) which is based on the word "coil" which generates magnetism if it has a electric current. 

My Favorite Memories: Charity Basketball Game

The event was actually for our family, after my father got cancer. At this time, he couldn't even walk without help from something. 

It was also one of the last memories I had with my father before he died. 

But they did a good job at keep us kids happy to ease the pain. We had a good time hanging out with our cousin Chris on the far left.

We also got to take a try at the basketball throwing contest.

We all lost.

We at least got snacks. 

I still remember the popcorn being pretty good. 

I don't remember the actual basketball game too well though. 

Fact of the Day: Californian Fiction

Historians dispute the origin of California's name, however the strongest guess is that is comes from the 16th century book Las sergas de Esplandián. The novel featured an island called California which was inhabited by only women. When Spanish explorers traveled around the western parts of North America, they often thought they had found the "real" island of California. 

Cinderella III: A Twist in Time (2007 Film) Review

My girlfriend is pretty huge Disney fan, and we watched the first two Cinderellas back in January. While the original still holds up, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True was an obvious let-down in quality. I was a bit worried about Cinderella III: A Twist in Time, but I was pleasantly surprised. 
While the 2nd film seemed like a recycling of a rejected TV series idea, the 3rd movie offers an interesting and central plot. The evil step-mother and her daughters manage to steal the magic wand from Cinderella's Fairy Godmother, and come up with a plot for revenge. They use it's power to turn back time to the morning of when Cinderella fits her foot in the glass slipper. 
Except the step-family remember everything, and they use magic to make the slipper fit Anastasia's foot instead. When Cinderella comes downstairs, her final proof of the other glass slipper breaks into pieces due to her step-mother. Which leaves Cinderella crushed, but she eventually catches on and attempts to find Prince Charming and set things right. 
While it might not be for everyone, I enjoyed watching it with my girlfriend Daisy. The animation is clean and colorful, and they managed to bring a cast of voice-actors that do a terrific job of imitating the old voices from the 1950 original. The plot delivers an interesting tale for fans with plenty of heartwarming moments. It may not be a Disney classic film like the movie that started the series, but it shouldn't disappoint. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Look Into History: Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr.

Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. was John F. Kennedy's older brother, and his father's initial hopeful son to claim the presidency. He left law school to enlist in World War II, and joined the Navy. Even after serving enough time to return home, he volunteered to stay to help the allies to victory. However he was killed in action aboard his plane, and his father's political hopes transferred to his younger brother John. 

A Look Into Video Games: Slowpoke

Slowpoke is a pokemon from the original games. I never really used him in the games (though I faced some with excellent defense levels), but I remember him mostly for being stupid. 

Which is merely implied in the games, you had to watch the anime to see why Slowpoke is a slow poke. 

His Japanese name is ヤドン (Yadon) which might be a combination of  宿借り (Yadokari) which means "hermit crab", and 鈍感 (Donkan) which means "thick-headed".

Some Random Photos From the Past Few Days: Restaurants, Lunar Golf, & Sugar Bears

Daisy and I celebrated our 2nd year anniversary (of dating) the other day. It was split between two days since I had to work on the actual day. I still hung out at her place during that day, and she wanted some Hardees for breakfast. I'm kinda glad it wasn't McDonald's since she can finish a sausage biscuit and some hash-browns faster than the pancake meal she always gets. 

Then she wanted Wendy's for lunch, and we faced the longest line there. I guess everyone was hungry at the same time. 

I filled up my tank the next morning, and thankfully gas prices are falling slowly. If it hit the 4 dollar mark, I think we'd all lose it. 

That night I took Daisy to the mall, and to a restaurant inside called Garfield's. It's one of her favorite places to eat. 

The gimmick of the place is that you can draw on the paper table covers. Sounds dumb, but it can pass the time. 

Daisy drew her favorite stuffed animal I gave her, a polar bear named Anthony. 

The food was okay, Daisy was just glad to have some steak. 

An old arcade closed down in our mall, and noticed something new in it's place. It was a glow-in-the-dark mini-golf course. Daisy wanted to try it about as much as I did. 

Daisy had been to mini-golf places with me, and she was never that good. 

But she did pretty good, since it's a bit easier. 

Though I admit, they have some pretty creative ones. I like this one where the golf ball drops into either of the two holes and falls on either side. Daisy managed to knock the ball off the barrier and right next to the right hole. Lucky shot. 

But she wants to come back, so we'll see about that. 

They also had a new stand near JCPenny, and I first thought it was one of those exotic animal showings. But it was actually a stand selling pets. They called them Sugar Bears, but their real name are Sugar Gliders. They're like flying possums, and they were just little babies. But they certainly could glide from what I saw. I don't particular want one as a pet though. 

Near the end of the night we went to Barnes and Noble. Daisy got herself some Orange Juice from the cafe. 

And I bought her a huge chocolate chip cookie. 

Fact of the Day: Old Flute

The oldest flute dates back to about 35,000 years ago in what is now modern-day Germany. It was originally made of vulture bone.

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Favorite Memories: Nephew's Baby Shower

I don't think I've been to a baby shower besides back in fall of 2010. My brother moved back up to the upstate of South Carolina from Charleston, so they had it a bit late. Why did I go? Because my nephew Caleb was already born.
So it was the first time I ever got to meet him. Though it was hard to get much time with Caleb, about 20 of his other family members were also there. 

A Look Into History: Lapland War

The Lapland War was a minor war (which can be counted as part of World War II) between Germany and Finland in 1944-1945. Finland was in a rather uncomfortable situation, after losing to the Soviet Union in another event, they were ordered to demobilize their troops and to drive out Germany at the same time. The war ended with Finish victory and German troops retreated to Norway. However they did leave behind massive amounts of property damage, so Finland suffered huge losses in that area making it a very bittersweet victory. 

A Look Into Video Games: Slingshot (The Legend of Zelda Series)

The Slingshot is far-ranged weapon in the Zelda series, which often comes before the powerful bow and arrow. Even though it arrived rather late, it's one of the series' staple items. 
I still remember using it for the first time in Ocarina of Time inside The Great Deku Tree. Take that Mr. Ladder! It definitely made sense for kid Link to use the slingshot while his older self used the bow and arrow. 
However they later gave a slingshot to older Links in the series. Most notably Skyward Sword. Not a bad weapon, but so weak compared to the Bow and Arrow. Once I got the latter I felt invincible.