Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005 Film) Review

 Back in 2005 I knew well about the second movie based on Roald Dahl's classic book. Though the first film from 1971 was one of my favorite movies of all time. I was rather upset about how much different this movie was, but it's easier to understand that this is not a remake of the first film. Tim Burton actually got personal approval from Dahl's widow (Dahl hated the first film) to make a film a bit more true to the original book.

Fact of the Day: Tyrant Dinosaur

The legendary dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus Rex's name is derived from the Greek words for "tyrant" and "lizard". Rex comes from the Latin word for "king". 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Colorful Puppy for New Baby

My mom took this photo of my brother's girlfriend Tiffany and her little sister during the baby-shower for my upcoming niece. My mother also got her the present in her hands, which talks and plays music. She got the same thing months ago for my other niece Little Iz. Tiffany's nephews and niece were also there and they got rather upset that no presents were for them.

Fact of the Day: Batman City

In Turkey there is a city and province known as Batman. Though it has nothing to do with the super-hero but apparently got its name from a nearby river.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Rest in Peace Furball the Cat

Last night after taking Daisy home, she calls me a little after I got home. Her family's cat Furball had passed away. I wasn't totally shocked, we had learned that he wasn't likely to see 2014, and it was more a matter of which month it would happen. He kept getting so skinny that you could tell the difference. I'll miss him though, he was the sweetest and most people-friendly cat I've ever met. 

My Favorite Photos: Shower Present Table

Despite having many friends and family not being able to make it to the baby-shower, I think my brother and his girlfriend got a decent batch of stuff for their upcoming daughter. Both grandmas went a little overboard but I guess that made up the difference. 

Fact of the Day: Liberal Texas

Despite being the capital of a red-state like Texas, the city of Austin is known for an overwhelming majority of liberal and Democratic residents. It is often nicknamed "The People's Republic of Austin" by conservative Texans and Republicans in the state house. In the 2012 presidential election, over 60 percent (versus Romney's 36 percent) of Austin residents voted for President Barack Obama. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Baby-Shower Snacks

My mom took this photo of Daisy and I at the baby-shower for my upcoming niece. Here you can see Daisy with almost every snack from the kitchen table. This is also the first photo I've shown of my brother's (the soon-to-be father) new house.

Fact of the Day: Caspian Lake

The Caspian Sea in Eurasia is actually the world's largest lake. Which is also over four times larger than Lake Superior in North America. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Things I Like: Dragon Ball Z: Return of Cooler (1992 Film)

While it didn't make it to the United States until 2002, this was a decent sequel to Cooler's Revenge. While it did feature Frieza's brother Cooler, it was obviously inspired by the Androids Saga in the main story-line.

My Favorite Photos: Little Iz Newest Accomplishment

My sister-in-law took this photo of my niece Little Iz the other day. She can now sit-up all by herself. She's still working on learning on how to crawl. 

Fact of the Day: Puerto American

Despite not being a state, and having a Spanish-speaking majority population; Puerto Rico is officially part of the United States of America. It's a commonwealth though it's also referred to as a territory as well. Every person born in Puerto Rico are also U.S. citizens. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006 Film) Review

 Along with the original Spider-Man film, the first two X-Men movies were one of the first super-hero silver-screen adventures I really enjoyed. In 2006 I ended up ignoring X-Men: The Last Stand as I heard of some of the events of the plot and some of them didn't settle right with me. I was hoping First Class was going to renew the story, but a new film called Days of Future Past is a sequel not only to First Class but The Last Stand as well. So I felt obligated to go ahead and watch the third movie.

Fact of the Day: Elderly Canine

The oldest dog to ever live (with veterinarian records proving it) was a beagle/dachshund/terrier mix named Max.  He was born in 1983, and he passed away in May of 2013 which was a few months short of his 30th birthday. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Car on the Hill

My mom took this photo about a month ago I think at some science center that my nephews went to. This is my nephew Mr. K learning motion and physics with the wooden car. 

A Look Into Video Games: Autosentry (Halo)

The autosentry is an armor ability first appearing in Halo 4. It creates a tiny robot that searches the area for enemies and fires at them from a distance. I used it a lot in the campaign as a effective way to take down foes without wasting any supplies. I rarely used it in multiplayer as it often misses, and can easily be destroyed. 

Fact of the Day: Dark Leopards

Black panthers aren't really their own species of animal. In the Eastern Hemisphere they're really leopards, and in the Americas they're really jaguars. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K's Kitchen

My mom took a photo of my oldest nephew Mr. K in his little play kitchen. Which is really cool because who has a kitchen with Mickey Mouse? 

Pat Robertson's Worst Predictions

Pat Robertson, the former Baptist minister (who once tried to run for president in 1988) draws a lot of attention for his very bizarre (and often hateful) comments about various topics over many decades. Robertson is now in his 80's, and while his political and social views are rather disgraceful, his "divine" predictions over the years have been hilarious.

Fact of the Day: Uncle Sam and Aunt Columbia

While Uncle Sam is the most famous personification of the United States, the female counterpart of Sam is Columbia. Columbia's name is inspired by Christopher Columbus, and she herself was the namesake of the District of Columbia. Better known as Washington D.C., the nation's capital.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Things I Like: Dragon Ball Z: Cooler's Revenge (1991 Film)

 Even though it didn't reach America until over a decade later, this was one of my favorite Dragon Ball Z films. Though like the rest of the original films, it makes little sense with the main story. But its set after Goku defeats Frieza on Namek.

My Favorite Photos: Baby Shower Cake

My brother took this photo of the cake he got for the baby shower for his first daughter who is expected in August. That's right I got another niece on the way! In less than five years my mother went from a new grandma to four grandchildren. 

Fact of the Day: Branch Bean

The soybean known as edamame gets its name from its name in Japan. It literally means "branch bean" as eda (枝) means "branch" and mame (豆) means "bean". 

Monday, July 22, 2013

John Boehner Says Congress Should Be Judged By Laws It Destroys

Ever since the 2010 mid-term elections, Congress' approval ratings have hit an all time low. During the last 3 years Congress has passed less bills than it did almost a century ago. While most Americans wish both parties would compromise to progress our nation's interests, it seems Speaker of the House John Boehner has a different story. He claims that Congress shall not be judged by how many laws it creates but how many laws it repeals. 

I know there exists thousands of  useless laws that have existed since the foundation of our government, but seriously. And it's no surprise that the one law that Boehner wants to repeal is Health Care Reform. When you try countless times to repeal a law that will be vetoed by the current president, you're not helping your country. You're making your ultra-conservative fans symbolically happy. 

My Favorite Photos: Birthday Amazement

My mom took this photo of my nephew Mr. K's birthday party during present time. I can say with confidence that he was real happy with all his new stuff. Including everyone's favorite orange tiger here. 

A Look Into Video Games: Promethean Vision (Halo)

Promethean vision is a armor ability in Halo 4 and currently the only Halo game that offers the power. It basically acts like infrared vision though you can easily see through walls and obstacles. Never found much use for it in the campaign as there weren't many surprises lurking around the corner. Thought it was really rad in multiplayer until it stopped working after a few seconds. Its limited use almost destroys its usefulness. 

Fact of the Day: First Subway in America

The first subway (also known as a metro) in America was in Boston, Massachusetts in 1897. It still exists today though it's origins are in the Green Line subway rail. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Jeopardy! (Xbox 360) Review

Just recently a South Carolinian named Ben Ingram became a bit of a local celebrity when he appeared on the game show Jeopardy! He ended up winning eight games which is quite impressive. It also got me thinking about Jeopardy and was wondering if there was a Xbox 360 version of the show yet. I found out they had made one in 2012, and I was more than eager to get it.

My Favorite Photos: Blue and Mike

My mom took this photo of my brother's cat and dog early this year. We learned Mike the cat was dying, and they eventually had to feed him regular food when he wouldn't eat cat-food anymore. Their dog Blue was probably very jealous of his meal to say the least. 

Fact of the Day: Department of Defense?

In terms of government spending and budgets, the United States has the largest military in the world by far. It also outclasses the next twelve countries on the list combined together. All of those countries are part of the United Nations and four of those countries are also members of NATO. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

England and Wales Approve Marriage Equality

The other day, a bill making marriage equality official has just passed British Parliament. While it won't be until mid-2014 before it is enforced. Though it doesn't cover the entire area of Great Britain as Scotland and Northern Ireland won't be affected. Scotland has a separate parliament and their strong urge of independence from Great Britain usually keeps British bills from effecting them. I hope they will pass their own bill very soon. 

My Favorite Photos: Bowling July 2013

 Daisy and I go bowling about once a month, and our trip in July was quite strange. The odd part is that we went on a monday at noon, and the place was very crowded.  There was two (maybe school) buses in the parking lot, so there were a chaotic group of children there as well.

Fact of the Day: Cretaceous Park

While the T-Rex is synonymous with the movie Jurassic Park, the mighty dinosaur did not live in the Jurassic time period. It actually lived much later on in the upper Cretaceous period. It was also one of the last non-avian dinosaurs to roam the earth until the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event 66 million years ago. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Rise of the Guardians (2012 Film) Review

I remember hearing about Rise of the Guardians last year around summer time. When I heard a little bit about the film I immediately thought of it as Holiday characters meets Marvel's Avengers. I thought it held promise but I missed it in theaters though I finally got the chance to see it almost a year later.

My Favorite Photos: Biltmore House

My mom took this photo last winter when they went to the Biltmore House in North Carolina. It also happens to be the largest home in America, and it's over twice the size of Bill Gate's mansion. Though it doesn't really have any residents, it's now in truth a museum. I went on a 7th grade field trip, and I sadly didn't get to go along last year. Had to work on the day they went. 

Fact of the Day: Icelandic Names

New parents in Iceland must get personal approval by a government committee if they choose to give their child a "new" name.  If a child is named something outside the approved list (over 1,700 names for boys, and over 1,800 names for girls) then it is given consideration as long as it fits Icelandic spelling and grammar and isn't likely to cause embarrassment later in life. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Storm Knocked My Power Out

Around six last night a huge storm came out of nowhere and brought out some havoc in my town for about thirty minutes. When I got home, nothing worked except the hot water which is thankfully warmed by natural gas. Woke up this morning and nothing had changed. Now about a day later things are finally back to normal. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Things I Like: Jeopardy (TV Series)

 Jeopardy is older than I am, and my personal favorite game show. Those who know me well, shouldn't be surprised at all. The questions are usually pretty tough, the way of answering strange, but I could never get enough of it.

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K's Frog Artwork

My mom took this photo of my nephew Mr. K coloring with crayons earlier this year. The paper says "blue berry frog" and for some reason he's using a red crayon. Reminds me of my childhood, we'd just pick up a crayon that worked and started coloring. 

Fact of the Day: Founding Father

While George Washington was a founding father of America, he had no children of his own. Many believe he was sterile when he caught smallpox earlier in his life. He was a step-father to two of Martha Washington's children from a previous marriage.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Things I Hate: Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July

 I remember seeing Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July as a kid. Not only would they show it during Christmas time, but obviously in July as well. While I loved both Rudolph's and Frosty's original movies, this Christmas duo's movie was terrible.

My Favorite Photos: Grandma Donna's Purse

My mother took this photo the other day when she was spending time with my niece Little Iz. Apparently she had fun playing with her grandma's purse. Old grandma had to take it away when she tried to chew on it. 

Fact of the Day: Perfect World Series Game

In baseball, a perfect game is when one team never reaches a base for any reason. The only time it has happened in a World Series match was during the 5th game in 1956. The accomplishment was done by pitcher Don Larsen of the New York Yankees. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

My Favorite Photos: Carowinds Geese

 I saw these geese (I guess they're geese) while at Carowinds theme park. They were just relaxing around in the green area near the walking path. They didn't seem to be people-phobic at all either.

Fact of the Day: Separation of Shinto and State

After World War II when the United States occupied Japan, the American government separated the official Shinto religion from the Japanese government. Not only did the separation apply only to the government, Emperor Showa was forced to deny the ancient claim that the Japanese Imperial Family were direct descendants of the sun goddess Amaterasu. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

A Look Into Video Games: Sprint (Halo)

Sprint was an armor ability in Halo: Reach which allowed a player to run at a very fast pace for a short amount of time. Since you can't use any weapons while sprinting (except melee) it's use is rather limited to mostly evasion. I found it rather useless, I can see why they made sprint (though a little slower) an universal ability in Halo 4. 

My Favorite Photos: Carowinds Windseeker

Though it doesn't look so tall in the photo, this is one of Carowinds' newest rides the Windseeker. It's kinda like that fair ride with the swing chairs that spins. Except faster and about 300 feet in the air. I admit I admire the cleverness of the ride, but I was too scared to try it. 

Fact of the Day: Ted Canada

Despite popular support from conservatives to run for President of the United States in 2016, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) (who just assumed office in 2013) was actually born in Canada. Though he may qualify as a natural-born citizen (the U.S. Constitution isn't very clear on what qualifies as person as such) to run for President as his mother was American. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Captain Olimar Confirmed for Super Smash Bros. 4

 While Super Smash Bros. Melee contained the entire cast of the original game, Brawl sadly left out some characters from Melee, some of which were my favorites. Now with the newest Super Smash Bros. game, logic would say that not everyone will return. But Captain Olimar of the Pikmin series will not be one of them. Which isn't terribly shocking especially considering the news broke right before Pikmin 3 releases on Wii U.

Things I Hate: Vegetarian Confusion

One things I hate as a vegetarian is the constant questions when someone learns that I don't eat meat. One of my pet peeves is when somebody goes "What about fish, that's not meat?". Eating fish is no different than that of any other animal. No fish, no shrimp, and certainly no sushi either. Vegetrians usually chose to be so for ethical reasons. Those who chose to eat fish but not beef, pork, or poultry are done maily for health concerns. They are pescetarians, not vegetarians.