Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Weather 4

Heat is 熱気 (Nekki)

Sneak King (Xbox 360) Review

Back in 2006, Sneak King was released with a trio of titles for the Burger King restaurants as a cheap video game (which also worked on the original Xbox) that could be purchased through one of their value meals. The idea was as strange as the look of the Burger King himself, but people made a pretty big deal out of these games. I recently got my hands on a copy of Sneak King, and it's about what I figured it would be. 

A Look Into Video Games: Scizor

 Scizor is a pokemon from the 2nd generation of games as the evolution of Scyther. Despite changing colors, his look is more tame and elegant. Though he certainly packs more of a punch. I never used him much in the games, but I loved Scizor as a pokeball item in the Smash Bros. games. No weak opponent will last against Scizor.

Fact of the Day: Kitty Fish

The Catfish gets its name from the "whiskers" on it's face that resemble that of a housecat. However they are not really whiskers, but barbels. They have taste-buds which are vital to finding food in murky water. 

Random Photos: Malls, Early Holiday, & Kitty Cat

 The other week Daisy and I hung out with my mom shopping all over the place. We stopped by the mall to eat at the food court once again. And to use some coupons to get a free drink from Chikfila. Daisy doesn't mind getting the whole package with her drink though. I prefer to eat somewhere else in the food court.

Monday, July 30, 2012

On the Origin of Species (1859 Book) Review

Even though most of the world has heard of On the Origin of Species, those who support or denied Charles Darwin's work have probably never read the original material. The book is over 150 years old now, and I decided to get myself a copy and give it a read. The most notable difference between On the Origin of Species and a modern book on evolution is that Charles Darwin is a man of the 19th century. While he doesn't write like a Shakespeare play, his style of speech mixed with his time period is a bit hard to relate to or follow.

Japanese Words for the Day: Weather 3

Wind is (Kaze)

A Look Into Video Games: All-Night Mask

 The All-Night Mask is a special item that gives Link the ability to stay up without sleep in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Well sorta...

The Dark Knight Rises (2012 Film) Review

It is really hard to believe that it's been about four years since The Dark Knight in 2008. While I thought Batman Begins was a good movie, I was wowed so much more by it's successor. But a third movie is the one to caution and fear since history has told us that it's usually the one a filmmaker fumbles with such as movies like Godfather III, Spiderman 3, X-Men 3, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. A co-worker of mine saw it at the midnight premiere and said she didn't enjoy it at all, and led me to almost wait for the DVD release. However after talking to a few more friends, I decided to see it yesterday afternoon.

Fact of the Day: Frank's Land

France's name is derived from the Late Latin Francia which means "land of the Franks". The Franks were an ancient Germanic tribe that inhabited the region. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Panzer Dragoon II Zwei (Sega Saturn)

 Panzer Dragoon II Zwei was a rail-shooter sequel to the original game that launched on the Sega Saturn. For those who don't know German, Zwei means "two" so they might as well could of called it Panzer Dragoon Double 2 in Germany.

Fact of the Day: Dark Sky In Alaska

Alaska is the U.S. state with the least amount of sunlight per year. 

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (2011 Film) Review

As I often say, my girlfriend Daisy gets a 50/50 share in the picking of the movies we watch together. And this time she chose Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, which is based on a popular children's book series. I honestly never heard of Judy Moody before this, since the books came out practically when I reached high school. They were a good bit after my time to say the least, so I couldn't enjoy the nostalgia factor as I often do with franchises like TMNT or Toy Story. But I went in with an optimistic mind since family-friendly movies can often be good.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fact of the Day: Jupiter Lights

While many people know of the Northern Lights (The Northern Hemisphere's aurora), the same spectacle also occurs on other planets. Which include the huge planets Jupiter and Saturn. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fact of the Day: Light-Minutes

The light of the sun takes only 8 minutes to go over 90 million miles to reach the Earth.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gumby: The Movie (1995 Film) Review

As a kid, I was a pretty huge fan of Gumby. Even though the episodes I was watching were like 40-year old re-runs. But one day, the re-runs stopped and I never really saw the show again. But I recently came across Gumby: The Movie, which actually came out in 1995. I can't remember if I saw this movie or not as a kid, but it seems all-new to me.
I actually forgot about a good deal of the show. Like Gumby being able to jump into books to enter a whole new world of people and culture. But the movie is primarily set in a farm-town book, and centers around the success of Gumby's new music band.
But one day, the Blockheads are watching the band perform in the park, and notice that Gumby's dog cries out tears that form into pearls. So they kidnap the pup, and replace him with a robotic clone. They slowly do the same to the rest of Gumby's group in order to make the dog (who only cries when Gumby's band is performing) weep so they can get wealthy off the infinite pearl making abilities of his tears.
 After I watched the film, I read some of the critical reviews from 1995 and was awfully surprised that most of them shrugged it off. It was released at a time of Toy Story and Nightmare Before Christmas, so I guess the 1950's clay animation and humor wasn't exactly exciting or cutting-edge for them. But as an grown-up fan in 2012, I really enjoyed the film. It's just as charming as the classic show, with a few parodies based on films released long after the original series' run.

A Look Into Video Games: Umbreon

Umbreon is a pokemon from the 2nd generation of game, as a new option for Eevee to evolve into. I never could do the requirements for the evolution to work, but this dark-type pokemon is no joke. During my more recently play-though of HeartGold on DS, I faced a few Umbreon that gave my team quite the scare. Taking down an Umbreon is usually a top priority in winning a match. 

Fact of the Day: I See Alaska!

The Danish-born Vitus Bering discovered Alaska after a expedition to Siberia under the employ of the Russian Navy.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Random Photos: Rainy Days, Hot Summer, & Baby Tortoises

 We've been having some pretty crazy weather lately. We had one week just full of rain.

A Look Into Video Games: Espeon

Espeon is one of Eevee's possible evolutions in the pokemon games. It was first introduced in the 2nd generation of games, and Espeon is a psychic type pokemon. While the original 3 Eevee evolutions were good, Espeon was one of the most formidable pokemon to face in battle. I had some regular A.I.-trainers give me a pretty good challenge, and even surprised me when Espeon took out one of my best pokemon with a impressive attack. 

Fact of the Day: Southern Lights

While the Northern Lights are a spectacle adored by many in Alaska, Canada, Russia, and Nordic Countries, those in the Southern Hemisphere can also see their own version. The aurora australis can be seen by all in the far-southern regions of the Earth.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Japanese Words For the Day: Weather 2

To say cold as in the weather would be 寒い (Samui)

A Look Into Video Games: Postman's Hat

 The Postman's Hat is one of the masks (or should they say hat?) in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. You basically get it after helping out the Postman, and he leaves Termina on a happy note.

My Favorite Memories: Climbing Stairs At Chimney Rock

This is shortly after I met my girlfriend Daisy in May, 2010 as we went for a trip to Chimney Rock (a mountain with a nature park and shoppes) in North Carolina. Such a great view, but the stairs will eventually wear you out. Take the elevator to ease the pain on the way up. Climb back down. 

Things I Like: Panzer Dragoon (Sega Saturn)

 Since I never owned a Sega Saturn, I never played Panzer Dragoon on it's original console. Luckily Sega included the full-game as an unlockable bonus in Panzer Dragoon Orta on Xbox. 

Fact of the Day: 2nd Smartest Animal

Humans are by far the most intelligent species in the animal kingdom, and the 2nd smartest species is also the one that is most closely related. Chimpanzees are a bit smarter than dolphins; they can make tools, can hunt collectively, problem solve, long-term memory of names, use sign language, and can even make symbols for objects and combine them to express an complex idea.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Japanese Words For the Day: Weather

 I haven't done these lessons in a good bit, but I've been a bit lazy in my studies so in addition to giving everyone a taste of language lessons, it also helps me remember some vocabulary. I'd figure we start with something simple like weather which in Japanese is 天気(Tenki).

A Look Into Video Games: Gilded Sword

 The Gilded Sword was the final form of the Kokiri Sword in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Once you get what the swordsmith demands, he'll upgrade the Razor Sword one final time. Unlike the Razor Sword, this final upgrade is permanent and can't be broken.

My Favorite Memories: Milking The Cow

This is my brother Zach milking the faux-cow at the Columbia Riverbanks Zoo in South Carolina. It's a cute display I admit, though the cow looks a bit too happy.

Fact of the Day: The Martians Have Invaded!

In 1938, Orson Welles read a radio drama based on the 1898 novel The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. The main theme of the novel (as well as the radio drama) was of an alien invasion by Martians. With people in panic over World War II, some listened to the drama during the middle of it and thought it was actual news broadcast. There was mass panic in the United States and Canada, until everyone was told the full-story. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Things I Like: Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (2005 Film)

Even though the book is way better (I read it after the movie though) I really liked this movie better than first three films.

Fact of the Day: Angle Land

England's name is derived from the Old English "Englaland" which meant "land of the Angles". The Angles were a local Germanic tribe who set the foundations of the nation's early history.

A Look Into Video Games: Togetic

 Togetic is the first evolution of Togepi from the 2nd generation of pokemon. Togepi wears that shell so long, that it's not part of it's skin when it changes into Togetic. I like the design, but I don't think I ever evolved my Togepi. I think you had to evolve it with enough "happiness" or something like that... Emotions are hard to keep up with in video games.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fact of the Day: Glowing Beetles

Fireflies are not true flies, they actually belong to the beetle family of insects. Thanks to Amanda and her Firefly post for giving me this fact!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The American President (1995 Film) Review

 Back in 2006, I first saw The American President in my government & economics class. It was towards the end of the semester where work was practically done but school wasn't out yet. So our teacher (oddly enough his brother was a Republican state senator yet he choose a very pro-liberal film) let us watch it, but we didn't get to finish it due to time constraints. But now I've properly watched it from start to finish, and I have to say I quite enjoyed it.

A Look Into Video Games: Togepi

 Togepi is a pokemon from the 2nd generation of games, and was also a big hint about Gold and Silver's new egg hatching feature. I always thought Togepi was a pretty cute pokemon, and you got to respect a pokemon with a eggshell for pants.

Fact of the Day: Pealegume

Despite their name, peanuts are not true nuts but rather legumes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Watched The Invincible Iron Man (2007 Film)

 Before the 2008 live-action movie Iron Man wowed theaters, Marvel crafted an animated feature film just a year before. I think I passed by it on the shelf quite a few times without giving it much thought for years. But since I'm in a Marvel mood, I decided to give it a watch.

A Look Into Video Games: Razor Sword

The Razor Sword is the 2nd sword you can obtain in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Even though it looks a little ugly, I wouldn't mind the cosmetic inferiority if the sword was more than useless.

Fact of the Day: Hot Winter?

The Earth is closest to the sun in the month of January, which is usually a month everyone would say is pretty cold. Seasons are more affected by the tilt in the Earth's axis (in the Southern Hemisphere winter-summer times are backwards) than it's orbit position.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Favorite Photos: Fall Festival

This was at my old church's fall festivial/halloween event. It was decent, they hold it near Halloween (so you can still trick-or-treat) and every booth is some kind of game. 

A Look into Video Games: Vampire Killer (MSX2)

 For many who grew up with an NES, most of us fondly remember the original Castlevania game. However Japan got a 2nd Castlevania game that we never recieved.

Fact of the Day: Land of The Saved

El Salvador actually means "The Savior" in Spanish. Which is an obvious reference to Jesus Christ.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Look Into History: Scopes Trial

The Scopes Trial was a landmark case in 1925 regarding the creationism-evolution debate. John Scopes taught his high school class about the subject of evolution, which was against the law at the time in Tennessee. It violated the state's Bulter Act which prevented any public school teacher from denying the Biblical account of man's origin. Ironically Tennessee required teachers to read books that featured evolution in them, which contradicted the Butler Act. 

A Look Into Video Games: Pichu

 Pichu is a pokemon from the 2nd generation of games, and the pre-evolution of staple pokemon Pikachu. Pichu is okay but I know it was created as a "cuter" Pikachu for girls to obsess over. I never really understood the sense in the games; meaning that it's strange Pichu never existed in the original if it's the first form of Pikachu. Do they just hide really well when they're born? I know Professor Oak has a horrible pokedex and people skills but that's ridiculous.

My Favorite Memories: Staring at the Sea

 This was shortly after our first visit to the Charleston Aquarium back in the early 2000s. It was also the first day I got to see the ocean for myself. My middle-school self is on the far right.