Sunday, March 31, 2013

Brave (2012 Film) Review

 When it comes to animated films, Pixar is king. However when Brave came out last year, I wanted to go see it but never got around to it. Got the chance to watch it last night, and I have to say I can't believe I waited almost a year.

Fact of the Day: Lunar Easter

The date of Easter changes every year due to the determination being based on the old lunar calendar. Easter is always celebrated the Sunday after a full moon. If the event lands on Sunday, then it's celebrated exactly a week afterwards. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Favorite Photos: JROTC Honors Day Medal

Back when I was in high school, I took JROTC (a military class) because my brothers had taken it. Unlike my brothers I never had much respect for the hierarchy of cadets who thought themselves to be so superior. Honors day every year was usually very depressing, as you could easily tell which favorites would get awards and trophies. But my last year there I was totally shocked to receive an award from the Marine Corps (even though we were an Army JROTC) for leadership. Even though I never got the chance to wear either the ribbon or medal, I still treasure it. 

Fact of the Day: City of Angels

The city of Los Angeles' name is derived from Spanish words which translates as "The Angels". Which is why one of the nicknames for Los Angeles is "city of angels". 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Things I Like: Ninja Warrior (TV Series)

 G4 was originally a channel designed to make shows about video games. Eventually they lost thier purpose and begun to make shows that didn't have anything to do with it. But I have to thank them for Ninja Warrior, which was one of their few good ideas. Though Ninja Warrior isn't really a G4 show, but a long-running obstacle course challenge called Sasuke (which is a nick-name for ninja) in Japan.

Fact of the Day: Mr. Braille

As a small child, Louis Braille lost his sight due to an accident. Regardless of this, he overcame his disability and mastered using his other senses and abilities. He created the reading and writing system called braille, which has become an invaluable learning and communication tool for the blind and visually impaired. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Superman: Countdown To Apokolips (GBA)

 If Clark Kent's news reporting skills were on par with his video games, then he'd probably be a janitor at the Daily Planet. Arguably the "best" Superman game was Superman: Shadow of Apokolips on PS2 and Gamecube which earned decent praise with some mixed reaction. Atari made a prequel game Superman: Countdown to Apokolips a year later in 2003 for GBA.

Fact of the Day: American Palace

The Iolani Palace was the official home of the Hawaiian monarchy until 1893 when the last queen of Hawaii abdicated the throne. It now serves as a museum, but it also counts as the only royal place in the United States of America. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Oz The Great and Powerful (2013 Film) Review

While the books were legendary in their time, the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz was a huge hit and virtually preserved the series place in history. It was one of the most classic films ever made, and despite numerous other TV shows and movies based on the land of Oz, nobody has come even remotely close to recapturing it's magic. Now in 2013, Disney has produced a prequel (to the book the 1939 film is based on) set long before Dorothy Gale followed the yellow-brick road.

My Favorite Photos: Charleston Ghost Tour

Charleston, SC is a city of rich history, and it's said that a lot of places are haunted. We took a ghost tour for fun many years ago (back in 2005 I think), and it was a little disappointing. The guide claimed we'd lose control of our cameras, and other spooky events. Nothing happened, but it was quite the experience. 

Fact of the Day: Terrible Candy

While it's common knowledge that chocolate is toxic to dogs, they're also bad (and perhaps worse) for our cats too. Except cats usually have a distaste for chocolate while dogs usually devour any that comes in their reach. Regardless keep chocolate away from your pets just to be safe. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wreck-It Ralph (2012 Film) Review

 I heard about Wreck-It Ralph last year, but honestly 2012 was a fantastic time for movies. I wanted to see some other films just a little bit more so I decided to wait to see it when it hit DVD. Wreck-It Ralph combines classic video game culture with an original story.

Fact of the Day: First Lady Adams

President John Quincy Adams' wife Louisa Adams was born and raised in England. To this date, she is the only first lady to be born outside the United States. The couple remained married until John Q. Adam's death in 1848, and had four children together. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Things I Like: Donkey Kong (NES)

I was born in 1988, so needless to say it was impossible for me to experience the original Donkey Kong in the arcades in 1981. Nintendo did release Donkey Kong on NES later on, and I did play that version via the Gamecube version of Animal Crossing which let players find NES games as unlockable gifts. It was Mario's first video game, so it's a must for every gamer.

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K's 4th Birthday Cake

My nephew Mr. K just had his 4th birthday party last Saturday even though his actual birthday won't be until the first of April. Mr. K and his brother Mr. C love Scooby Doo right now, and I wasn't surprised to see his birthday cake look like the Mystery Machine van. Never had one that cool as a child. 

Fact of the Day: End of Dinosaurs

The reason the dinosaurs died out is believed to have happened during The Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event about 65-66 million years ago. While many theories have been stated, the most credible is one from an asteroid/meteor impact. The force of the impacts was terrible enough, but a dust cloud formation blocked sunlight for years leaving catastrophic consequences for all life when plants and plankton had little sunlight for their photosynthesis. It's believed about 75% of all species vanished after the event. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Superman: The Man of Steel (Xbox)

 After the miserable failure that was Superman 64, there were 2 brand-new Superman games just three years later in 2002. Atari had created Superman: Shadow of Apokolips for PS2 and Gamecube which was based on Superman: The Animated Series. However they also made Superman: The Man of Steel around the same time for Xbox which was based on the original comic books.

Fact of the Day: Arctic Fast

Despite it's size, the polar bear can run at speeds averaging at about 25 mph. However this speed will fall quickly as they can only run for short distances. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mario Golf (GBC) Review

 Like most gamers, I enjoy most of the titles in the Mario series. While I'm not the hugest fan of golfing, I did enjoy the two Mario Golf games on N64 and Gamecube. I totally missed out on Mario Golf for Game Boy Color back in 1999. I heard fantastic things about it over the years, so I didn't hesitate to get it on the 3DS' Virtual Console.

Fact of the Day: Moon Weight

Gravity on the Moon is about 17% of what it is on Earth. A person that weighs about 150lbs wouldn't even weigh 25lbs on the moon. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Random Photos: Batman, Candy, and Breakfast for Lunch

 The other day I forgot my lunch at work, so I decided to check out Jack in the Box for the first time. It's been around for awhile, but I never see it too crowded. I heard they served breakfast all day, and being a vegetarian that kind of expands my options a little. I got a biscuit and some fries to see if they were any good and was slightly impressed. It was a lot better than the ones I sometimes get at Bojangles.

A Look Into Video Games: Bugsy (Pokemon)

Bugsy is the 2nd gym leader in the Johto Region in the 2nd generation of Pokemon games (Gold,Silver, Crystal) as the leader of the Azalea Gym. His specializes in bug-type pokemon, which is true to his namesake. Except he is one of the easiest gym leaders in the game. He's only got 3 pokemon, two of which are Metapod and Kakuna which don't have much of an offense. The only thing to worry about is a moderately powerful Scyther who isn't terribly difficult. 

Fact of the Day: Southern Democrat

Despite being a huge hit in the country music genre which does well in southern and conservative states, Tim McGraw is a proud member of the Democratic Party. He's praised President Obama, and former President Bill Clinton, and hopes to one day become Governor of Tennessee or a senator representing his home state. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Birdhouse is Finished!

 Awhile back my fiancee Daisy and I decided to get a wooden birdhouse and paint it. While it was fun to give it some color, I knew we had to put it to good use at some point. Except this birdhouse wasn't as simple as the pre-made versions.

Fact of the Day: Spicy Milk

What's the best solution to cool a hot pepper? Well the easiest thing might be a glass of milk. Peppers are spicy because of a compound called capsaicin, and milk contains a protein called casein that essentially neutralizes the capsaicin. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Falkner (Pokemon)

 Falkner served as the first Gym Leader of the Johto region in the 2nd generation of the Pokemon games. He specializes in flying-pokemon using pidgey and pidgeotto during the initial battle. I have to say that he was a complete joke. Brock was a much tougher first gym leader (especially in Pokemon Yellow), but it's pretty hard to lose to Falkner. I had no trouble at all.

My Favorite Photos: The Big Charleston Bridge

This was taken many years ago in Charleston, SC. We took a drive down to some kind of new park, and it was located pretty close to the ocean. It also gave you a much different perspective on one of the big bridges the city hosts. I don't know about anyone else, but it sure made me feel small. 

Mark Sanford Vs. Elizabeth Colbert Busch?

 When Senator Jim DeMint resigned his seat in Congress, Rep. Tim Scott was appointed to replace him. Which left another seat in congress open as a result. So South Carolina's 1st Congressional District (most of the coastline including the beautiful Charleston) is now holding a special election to elect a new congressman or should I say congresswoman?

Fact of the Day: Ocean Ancestor

The first animals on Earth are believed to be ancient sea-sponge-like organisms that evolved from a flagellated eukaryote. The fossils providing the evidence for it were found in Australia in rock that was 665 million years old. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Mario is Missing (SNES)

 When most gamers think of Luigi's first adventure to save Mario, they would probably say Luigi's Mansion on the Nintendo Gamecube. However they'd be wrong, because Luigi got the star role of his own game in 1992. Which was Mario is Missing, one of the few bizarre Mario spin-offs in the early 90's.

Fact of the Day: Vulcan Volcano

Volcanoes got their name from the Italian island Vulcano which its own name was derived from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Superman: Shadow of Apokolips (GC/PS2)

  Superman: Shadow of Apokolips was the first Superman game to be released after the abysmal Superman title on N64. The three year difference left many fans skeptical of the game's quality. Could it be as horrible as Kal-El's worst moment in video games? Fortunately for super-fans, that answer was "no".

Fact of the Day: Jefferson-Adams Feud

After losing re-election, John Adams' friendship towards his successor Thomas Jefferson became strained for various political reasons. He did not attend Jefferson's inauguration though the two later became friends again in their retirement.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Road to Avonlea (TV Series) Season 4 Review

 Last year my fiancee Daisy got me watching Road to Avonlea which was a TV show related to the Anne of Green Gable movies we watched when we first started to date. Honestly we're both big fans, even though I was completely unaware of the series when it originally debuted in the 90's.

Fact of the Day: Dinosauria

Dinosaurs got their name from the British scientist Richard Owen in the 19th century. He derived them from Greek words meaning "terrible lizard". 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Things I Like: ALF (TV Series)

 The series debuted shortly before I was even born, but I saw a few re-runs over the years. But my mom eventually got the whole series on DVD, and watched every one of them with joy.

Fact of the Day: Big Canine

The gray wolf is the largest member of the canine family. Other members of the family include other wolves, dogs, foxes, coyotes, and jackals. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

I'm Excited For The Wind Waker HD (WiiU)

 One of my favorite video games in my early high school days was The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker on Nintendo Gamecube. The game originally came out in Japan in late 2002 making it over 10 years old now. Now Nintendo has decided (as HD remakes are popular on PS3 and 360) to upgrade one of the most visually artistic games ever made for the WiiU.

My Favorite Photos: Princess Little Iz

My sister-in-law took this photo of my niece Little Iz the other day. It's hard to believe she'll be 3 months old very soon. She started to laugh the other day, and I suppose before I know it she'll say her first words. 

Fact of the Day: Washington Perfection

George Washington is the only president to receive every single vote in the electoral college. James Monroe won every single state in the 1820 election (running unopposed) though one single elector named William Plumer pledged 1 vote to John Quincy Adams. Some credit the move to preserve Washington's legacy, but others claim that Plumer thought Monroe was a mediocre president. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Donkey Kong (Game Boy) Review

 While Nintendo was founded as a playing-card company in 1889, their current success originated over 90 years later when Donkey Kong hit arcades in 1981. While it wasn't Nintendo's first video game, it was their first big hit, and led it's hero Mario to countless sequels and spin-offs. In 1994, Nintendo produced a new game that gave Mario the chance to confront his old nemesis. Now in 2013 I finally got a chance to play Donkey Kong '94 thanks to the 3DS' Virtual Console.

A Look Into Video Games: Rayman 1

 While Rayman may be known for his 3D adventures, most forget his true origin. He debuted in a 2D platforming game, and it was exclusive (for just a week) on the Atari Jaguar.

Fact of the Day: Fort Sumter Damage

The first battle of the civil war took place at Fort Sumter off the coast of Charleston, SC. Despite being called the "epic" start of the civil war, there were no casualties during the battle. However during the surrendering ceremony, an accidental weapons explosion caused the deaths of two union soldiers. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Warioware (GBA)

 Wario has been Mario's rival ever since his debut in Super Mario Land 2 on Gameboy. In 2003, Nintendo decided to make-over Wario, and give him a brand-new and somewhat bizarre series. The game ended up being Warioware which featured not mini-games but "micro-games".

Fact of the Day: No Oscar For Me

Legendary actor Marlon Brando won an Academy Award for his role as Vito Corleone in the film The Godfather. However at the 1973 Academy Awards, a Native American woman walked on stage in his place. She delivered a message that Brando rejected his award in protest of the poor treatment of Native Americans in the film industry at that time. Currently only 1 other actor has refused to accept an Oscar. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Lumines

 2005 was an important year in the battle between the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP. Both system's had few notable games, and it was this year that gamers started picking sides. One of the biggest games for the PSP was Lumines, a brand-new puzzle game by Q Entertainment.

Fact of the Day: Darwin and Wallace

While Charles Darwin is synonymous with evolution, another man independently co-founded the theory of evolution through natural selection. His name was Alfred Russel Wallace, who was also a British naturalist like Darwin. When On The Origin of Species was published, Wallace was one of Darwin's biggest defenders. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Superman (Sega Genesis)

 The early 90's were a golden age for video games, and DC wanted to give the Superman a shot on the Sega Genesis. So Sunsoft made a platformer in 1992 starring the Man of Steel.

Fact of the Day: Helium Sun

Helium is named after the Greek god of the Sun, Helios. The gas was discovered during a solar eclipse in 1868. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ashley Judd Running For Senate?

Even though she debated running for Senate in 2014 a few months ago, apparently sources say Ashley Judd's run for Senate is almost official. The actress and social activist is planning to run in her home state of Kentucky. Her battle will be tough as her opponent is the top-ranking member of the Republican side of the Senate.