Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Dragon Quest/Warrior (Famicom/NES)

 Dragon Quest was a land-mark RPG not only for Japan, but for the entire genre as a whole. While it wasn't the first classic RPG exactly, it's certainly the first one to make a major splash for the general community of gamers. Shortly after its inital release in 1986, Japan made it the nation's #1 video game franchise which still holds true today.

Japanese Words for the Day: Produce 6

Eggplant is 茄子 (Nasu)

Fact of the Day: Rus Land

Russia's name is derived from Rus, a former state in medieval Europe. The name itself is derived by a group of Vikings of the same name that founded the ancient state. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Japanese Words For the Day: Animals 2

 Deer is 鹿 (Shika)

Spider-Man: Edge of Time (Xbox 360) Review

My local library recently came out with a video game section, and it grows slowly with the months. The other week I dropped off some books for my girlfriend Daisy, and decided to see if anything good was on the shelf. Mostly junk, but I did see Spider-Man: Edge of Time, and I decided to give it a spin since most of the Spider-Man games have been pretty decent.

Fact of the Day: Why the Sky is Blue

The reason why the sky is mostly blue during daytime is due to Rayleigh scattering. When the sun's light shines down, colors with longer wavelengths (e.g. red and orange) scatter far less than blue's short wavelength.   

A Look Into Video Games: Coo (Kirby Series)

 Coo is Kirby's owl friend and ally in the Kirby series. While he's made a few appeareances over the years, I mainly remember him in one of my favorites Kirby's Dreamland 2.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Metal Gear Solid (Gameboy Color)

 I didn't get into the Metal Gear series until Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes on Gamecube, so this Gameboy Color title totally passed me by. But in retrospect, Konami had a lot of guts to release such a title. Especially given the demographic and power of the platform.

Japanese Words For the Day: Animals

 Animals are 動物 (Dobutsu)

Fact of the Day: Sheep Vision

Sheep have rectangular pupils which gives them excellent peripheral vision. They can even see a good bit behind themselves without turning their heads.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Super Pac-Man

 If you don't count Ms. Pacman, Super Pac-Man was the first sequel to the original game released in arcades during 1982. So what makes this Pac-Man super? He turns into a bigger version of himself.

Japanese Words For the Day: Produce 5

 Beans are  (Mame)

Fact of the Day: Roman Land

Romania's name is derived from its history of being conquered by the Roman Empire and how its people became "Romanized". 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Produce 4

 Raspberry is キイチゴ (Kiichigo)

Texas Should End Corporal Punishment In Schools

 Corporal Punishment is the practice of physical punishment for bad behavior, and in 2012 the practice in the Western World is pretty rare. I went to public school in South Carolina (with no paper laws prohibiting it) from kindergarten all the way up to my high school graduation in 2006, and I was never hit by a teacher either by hand nor ruler. But now a school in Springtown, Texas has come under criticism when two teenage girls came home with bruises after they were beaten by two male assistant principals.

A Look Into Video Games: Excitebike 64 (N64)

 Excitebike was one of the NES' biggest hits outside the major contenders like Mario and Zelda, but I'm surprised Excitebike 64 really never made quite the impact. I wasn't as into video games during the N64 era, so this slipped by and I never noticed for years.

Fact of the Day: Sunflower Fruit

While it's traditionally known as a "seed" the sunflower seed is really an achene, which is a small dry fruit which contains a seed. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Produce 3

 Peach is 桃 (Momo)

Fact of the Day: Qutun

Despite it being one of the most comfortable fabrics, cotton's name is derived from the Arabic "Qutun" which is a generic term meaning "fancy fabric". 

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Tetris 64

 As a huge fan of Tetris, I can't believe I haven't heard of Tetris 64 until recently. Despite being in English, the game never made it to America or Europe but stayed in Japan.

Japanese Words For the Day: Produce 2

 Grapes are 葡萄 (Budo)

Fact of the Day: Phillip's Land

The Philippines get its name from King Phillip II of Spain who was honored with the namesake by explorers while he was still a prince. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sgt. Frog Season 1 (Anime Series) Review

 I remember hearing a lot of buzz around the time Sgt. Frog hit Japan many years ago. But it took some time for Funimation to make a English dub which is now on Netflix Instant. Once I saw it on there, I was hooked.

Upstate Pride 2012 March for Equality

 As many of my readers know, I'm a very liberal person. Last year I went to Upstate Pride with my local Democratic party, and I had a blast. This year I just had to go back. As a straight male, I feel that everyone deserves the same rights as everybody else, and I'm not shy at giving support to my fellow humans.

Fact of the Day: Apple Rose

Apples are actually members of the Rosaceae family, commonly known as the Rose family of plants. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fact of the Day: Northern Country

Norway get its name from an old Norse word meaning "northern way". In Norwegian, Norway's name is Norge. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Produce

 Apples are 林檎 (Ringo)

Things I Like: Daytona USA (Arcade/Dreamcast)

 I remember the arcade version more fondly, but I also played a little bit of the Dreamcast version of Sega's classic racer. Apparently they were a bit different, but it doesn't matter.

Origin: Spirits of the Past (2006 Film) Review

 While browsing through the movies on Netflix Instant, I came across Origin: Spirits of the Past. As a fan of anime, I decided to give it a try even though I've never heard of it before. Guess it was one of those anime films that failed to make a splash in America.

Fact of the Day: Can't See Red

Bees don't see the color red. They often can have a hard time finding a red flower in a green background. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Balloon Ability (Kirby)

Kirby's balloon ability power made it's only appearance in Kirby: Canvas Curse for the Nintendo DS. Since Kirby is basically a balloon with arms, it's not exactly the most memorable special power he's ever used. Though it's decent, and I like the range of it's attack. 

Fact of the Day: Washington City

Since Washington D.C. was built as the capital of the United States, it's not part of any U.S. state. Which ironically gives them no representation in either side of Congress. Citizens can still vote for city elections and for president. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Arctic Tale (2007 Film) Review

 Yesterday Daisy and I needed a movie to watch together, and I saw this one lurking in the racks of the local library. I needed something a little different, and since polar bears are Daisy's favorite animal this seemed perfect. I think she was a little shocked to learn that this was a serious educational documentary than a family-friendly fictional film.

Japanese Words For the Day: Trees 3

 Myrtle Tree is 百日紅の木 (Saru Suberi no Ki)

Fact of the Day: Two Separate Planes

As a general rule, the President and Vice President never travel together. In the case of a freak accident, the Speaker of the House would become president through the role of succession. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Japanese Words For the Day: Trees 2

Fir Tree is モミ (Momi)

Thor: Tales of Asgard (2011 Film) Review

 For such an old Marvel franchise, Thor has not gotten as much attention as other Marvel classics such as Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, and The Hulk. If it wasn't for the character's key role in the foundation of the Avengers team, I doubt any movie would of been made. But I liked the 2011 film Thor and his role in The Avengers film, so I decided to check out this prequel movie.

Fact of the Day: Non-Salted Water

About 70% of the Earth's surface is covered in water, but only about 1-2% of that water is fresh. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Japanese Words For the Day: Trees

Cypress Tree is イトスギ (Itosugi)

Fact of the Day: Red Moon

While the Red Cross is known for it's humanitarian work throughout the world, its name isn't the same everywhere. In countries where Islam is the dominant faith, the group's name changes to the Red Crescent. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Back-Drop Ability (Kirby Series)

 The Back-Drop ability is a special power in Kirby's Adventure and it's GBA remake Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland.

Japanese Words for the Day: Flowers 5

 Roses are 薔薇 (Bara)

Fact of the Day: No Zero

Despite being one of most recognizable written mathematical systems, Roman Numerals failed to produce a symbol for "zero". Though the Romans did have a word for it. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Yoshi's Safari (SNES)

 As a child, I really loved the character Yoshi when I played the Mario games. I'm suprised I never heard of Yoshi's Safari until the 128-bit era of video games. One of the reasons is that it uses the Super Scope light-gun accessory which failed to become popular.

Daisy's 26th Birthday

 Daisy had her birthday on the 11th, so I took her out to eat, and gave her a little mini-party of sorts.

Fact of the Day: Roads Are More Dangerous

While his wife (and co-discoverer of radiation) died of radiation exposure, Pierre Curie is sometimes wrongly credited of sharing the same fate. He actually died before his wife in a street accident. He slipped and fell over and a horse-drawn cart ran over him. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Japanese Words For the Day: Flowers 4

 Hyacinth is ヒヤシンス (Hiyashinsu)

A Look Into Video Games: Ganondorf (Ocarina of Time)

 Out of all the appearances by Ganon, his Ocarina of Time incarnation is my favorite. His story was a bit more fleshed out. The first time he took a humanoid form as well, dubbing the name Ganondorf. You first learn he's an claimed ally of the King of Hyrule, but Princess Zelda does not have the same trust as her royal dad.

Fact of the Day: Doggie Deaf

Dalmatians are prone to ear trouble, with many dogs often becoming deaf. Only about 70% of the breed have normal hearing.