Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fact of the Day: Halloween 1926

The most famous magician to ever live, Harry Houdini died more mysteriously than the tricks to his magic acts. He died on Halloween night in 1926 from complications of a burst appendix. A popular story told of a college student who punched him in the gut because he claimed he could take any blow without pain. The events may have been unconnected as he was aware of his appendix problems, but refused treatment for it. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fact of the Day: 4 Festivals in One Holiday

Halloween comes from 4 select events. The one it borrows most from was the Celtic festival Samuin which means "summers end". Another was the Catholic "All Souls Day & All Saints Day" which was invented by the church around 800 A.D. to replace Samuin. The next is the Roman Feralia festival which commemorates the dead.  The final one is the Roman Pomona festival which honored the goddess of fruits and trees. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Morning Glory (2010 Film) Review

I've been hearing about Morning Glory for a good while now, but I kinda put it on my "watch later" list. I like Rachel McAdams and Harrison Ford, so I couldn't resist giving it a try eventually.

Japanese Words for the Day: Underwater Life 4

 Herring is ニシン (Nishin)

Fact of the Day: World's Largest Pumpkin

The average weight of a pumpkin is roughly 10-20 pounds, but farmers have grown some much bigger. The world record was just broken this month by Ron Wallace. His pumpkin debuted at a local fair, and weighed in at 2,009 pounds. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Yu Yu Hakusho: Spirit Detective (GBA)

 Back in 2003, I was a huge fan of the Yu Yu Hakusho anime on Cartoon Network. Unlike Dragon Ball Z, video game makers took no time waiting to make a video game version of this anime. While many had already been created in Japan (the anime came out ten years earlier in 1993), Atari made a brand-new adventure for America and Europe. Oddly enough, Japan never saw this game reach it's shores.

My New Betta Fish

Daisy got a new fish the other day as her parents got it from some relative. So I decided to get my own fish tank. I actually learned a lot about fish care within 2 days, and I was astonished to find out that the only fish (or almost the only fish) that can live in a small tank is the Betta fish. So that's what I got.

Fact of the Day: Magic is NOT Real

Despite the concept of "magic" being pure fantasy and fiction has not stopped superstitious folks from believing it's real. During 1450-1750, a Christian-dominant culture (the Bible mentions magic/witches many times) in the western world led to thousands of "witch-hunts", where an estimated 35,000 people (roughly 80% women) were executed for a crime that didn't exist.  Paranoia still exists today, a prime example being the extreme opposition to the Harry Potter books by various fundamentalist groups and individuals. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Giovanni (Pokemon Series)

 Giovanni is the leader of Team Rocket, the antagonists of the original games who tried to conquer the world with pokemon. Since their plans were unrealistic, Giovanni was also a part-time Gym Leader for Viridian City. He's not too difficult to defeat, since he mainly uses ground-type pokemon. I was a bit sad to never seen him comeback after the original game.

Japanese Words for the Day: Under-Water Life 3

 Marlin is カジキ (Kajiki)

Fact of the Day: Turnip-o-Latern

The first Jack-o-Laterns were not made from pumpkins. Instead turnips, beets, and mangelwurzel were used. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Pokemon Trading Card Game (Gameboy Color)

 In 1998, Pokemon took America by storm. The video game was big, but so was the anime. Perhaps at a time, the trading card game might of been the most popular medium. I remember long waits at comic book shops, cards going for pretty pennies, and official tournaments at Toys R Us. I also remember Nintendo's digital version that came out two years later in 2000.

Fact of the Day: Young Love

Mitt Romney met his wife Ann (then Ann Davies) in elementary school. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Fishing

 Fisherman is 漁師 (Ryoshi)

A Look Into Video Games: Pac-Man (Atari 2600)

 With the incredible success of Pac-Man in 1980, many people really did have "Pac-Man Fever". What they didn't have was Pac-Man to play at their house. Atari asked programmer Tod Frye to make a Atari 2600 version of the arcade classic, and the results were poor at best.

Fact of the Day: Smart First Lady

Following in her brother's footsteps, First Lady Michelle Obama attended Princenton Univesity in the 80's. She earned a degree, majoring in sociology in 1985. She went on to earn a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard in 1988. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

President Obama vs Mitt Romney: Final Debate

Two nights ago, President Obama faced off against Mitt Romney in their final debate focusing on foreign policy. While it was tad more civil this time around, plus it was a more focused sit-down debate akin to the Vice Presidential one; it was still pretty heated.

Japanese Words for the Day: Underwater Life 2

 Cod is  (Tara)

Fact of the Day: Voted Against Miss Lilly

Despite denying and mocking Democrats who claim that ultra-conservative Republicans are voting a "war on women", Paul Ryan did vote against the 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The bill amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964, giving women more legal power for equal pay in the workplace. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Blaine (Pokemon Series)

 Blaine is the 7th Gym Leader in the first generation of Pokemon. Ironically he's pretty easy to beat since it's a piece of cake to establish some good water pokemon to take down his fire pokemon.

Japanese Words for the Day: Underwater Life

 Carp is  (Koi)

Fact of the Day: Long-Time Senator

In 1973, Joe Biden was elected as one of the youngest Senators in the history of Congress. He kept his post for 36 years until he won the role of Vice President in the 2008 election. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Lizards and Amphibians

 Frog is  (Kaeru)

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

 Originally released in 1987 in Japan (1990 for America), Dragon Quest II was obviously the first sequel to Enix's original RPG smash-hit  While it doesn't look too much different from it's predecessor, it did make notable improvements.

Fact of the Day: Government Sent Him to College

Despite his anti-government and pro-individualism views, Vice Presidential-hopeful Paul Ryan went to college using social security benefits given to his mother after the passing of his father. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Birds 8

 Stork is コウノトリ (Konotori)

A Look Into Video Games: Sabrina (Pokemon Series)

 Sabrina is the 6th gym leader in the original pokemon games, in which she specializes in psychic-type pokemon. Sabrina is certainly not easy to battle, as her team is pretty strong. Her Alakazam took out a good few members of my pokemon during my battle. You can face her again in the 2nd generation, but by the time you reach her it's a piece of cake. 

Fact of the Day: Two Firsts as Vice President

Vice President Joe Biden is the first Delawarean and Roman Catholic to hold the office. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Birds 7

Robin is コマドリ (Komadori)

A Look Into Video Games: Castlevania: The Adventure (Gameboy)

 In 1989, Konami had great success with two Castlevanias on NES and with another soon on the way. But they also produced an original Castlevania set in a different time than Simon Belmont. In-fact, it's a prequel game set 115 years before the original.

Fact of the Day: Fluent in French

In his youth, Mitt Romney spent years as a missionary in France for the Mormon Church. He became fluent in French as a result. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Birds 6

 Quail is ウズラ (Uzara)

Sgt. Frog: Season Two (Anime) Review

 A few weeks ago, I watched all of season 1 of Sgt. Frog, an anime where frog-like aliens attempt to conquer Earth. Until they realize they're too lazy, stupid, and unmotivated to do so.  Keroro and his crew are back and it's pretty much the same as before.

Fact of the Day: Speaks Indonesian

While he's humbly states that he speaks no foreign languages, President Obama does know some limited Indonesian. He learned it after spending a few years there as a boy when his step-father moved their family there from Hawaii. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Birds 5

 Parakeet is セキセイインコ (Sekiseiinko)

Things I Like: Batman Begins (2005 Film)

 While I thought it was the weakest in the trilogy, I did think it was much better than most of the other Batman films that predated it. I liked how Christopher Nolan didn't mimic Batman, he recreated it.

Fact of the Day: Mister Willard

Mitt is actually Governor Romney's middle name. His first name is Willard. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Birds 4

 Kingfisher is カワセミ (Kawasemi)

President Obama vs. Mitt Romney: 2nd Debate

 Last night President Barack Obama faced off against Mitt Romney in their 2nd debate in the classic town hall format where undecided voters ask them questions. Obama was considered to have "lost" the first debate by the general public, so he had a lot to recapture while Mitt Romney planned to keep his momentum.

Random Photos: New Computer Desk And More

 I got a new computer desk a few weeks ago, but didn't have much free-time to put it together. So my girlfriend Daisy and I spent a good hour but I think we did a good job.

Fact of the Day: Presidential Author

Before he got into politics, Barack Obama wrote a memoir book called Dreams From My Father which came out in 1995. In 1997, the future-president served as a freshman in the Illinois State Senate.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Birds 3

 Falcon is  (Hayabusa)

Road to Avonlea: Season 1 Review

 I honestly never heard of Road to Avonlea until my girlfriend picked it out. She said it was like Anne of Green Gables (it's based on the book Story Girl, which shares the same author) and I really liked the mini-series they did for that one. While it shares the same setting, Road to Avonlea has it's own independent story.

Fact of the Day: Stuck in France

Even though he claimed to have supported the Vietnam War, Mitt Romney managed to get out of serving due to his missionary work in France for the Mormon Church. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Look Into Video Games: Koga (Pokemon Series)

 Koga is the 5th Gym Leader in the original pokemon series. His speciality is poison-type pokemon which makes him somewhat challenging. About the time you reach him, Gym Leaders are no longer cake-walks.

My Halloween Stuff: Part 1

 With Halloween coming soon, I decided to decorate far more than I ever done in the past. Because I feel holidays aren't truly holidays unless your house changes a bit too.

Fact of the Day: Hawaii to Indonesia

After his mother divorced his father, Barack Obama later had a stepfather. His stepdad was Lolo Soetoro who met his mother through the University of Hawaii. Soetoro eventually returned to Indonesia, and the future president spent a good bit of his childhood there as a result. Through his mother's 2nd marriage, he also has a sister, Maya Soetoro. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Japanese Words for the Day: Birds 2

 Dove is キジバト (Kijibato)

A Look Into Video Games: Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble

 While the first two Viewtiful Joe games were pretty straightforward, it didn't take Capcom long to make a spin-off game. Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble was a fighting game similar to Super Smash Bros. or Powerstone.

Fact of the Day: Mitt's Mom

While Mitt Romney's father got elected to Governor of Michigan, his mother Lenore also tried to get into politics. She ran for Senate against Democrat Phillip Hart in 1970. Hart won by an overwhelming margin.