Thursday, July 31, 2014

House of Cards (TV Series) Season 2 Review

 Earlier in the month I watched the first season of House of Cards and loved it. It's based on a British show of the same name but instead of being set in British Parliament, the story is focused in U.S. Congress. House of Cards shows the darker side of politics, and it's anti-hero Frank Underwood will stop at nothing to achieve his dreams.

Fact of the Day: Whig Fillmore

Millard Fillmore was the last president to be a member of the Whig Party while President. The Whig Party later became the modern Republican Party, but Fillmore didn't join the GOP. He became part of the Know Nothing Party after his presidential term was over. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

RoboCop (2014 Film) Review

 While the original film came out a year before I was born, I have seen it. While it wasn't one of my favorite movies of all time, I did think it was a pretty cool film. Movie remakes are often terrible, does RoboCop impress for a new generation?

Fact of the Day: Cola

The reason soda is sometimes known as cola is because one of the original ingredients was the fruit of a kola tree. They were also the reason why soda contains caffeine.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Funny Story: Golfing with Brandon

Several years ago, my brother Brandon took me golfing. I got my own set of clubs, and he taught me the basics of the sport. However he used to brag about how good he was at golf. Yet every-time I golfed with him or when he used to compete at local tournaments he'd always make excuses when he would fail. I know I was bad at golf, but I figure I'm the only person honest about it.

Fact of the Day: Southern General

During the American Civil War, James Longstreet was one of Robert E. Lee's favorite generals to the point where he called him his "old war horse". Despite his service to the Confederacy, after the war he joined the Republican Party and worked with his old friend President Ulysses S. Grant in his administration. He embraced equal rights and supported Reconstruction which made his former comrades and many in the Old South hate him. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Once Upon a Time (TV Series) Season 2 Review

Very recently I watched the first season of Once Upon a Time and really liked it. It deals with fairy-tale heroes (and other fictional characters) who were taken from their world and transported to a small town in Maine with amnesia. I have to say the second season is even better than the first.

Fact of the Day: China Zone

While most large countries have multiple time zones, China just has one. Before communists took over and established the People's Republic of China in 1949, China had five time zones. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Things I Hate: Faux Einstein in College Story

 While I'm sure many reading this have heard some variation of this "story", it's merely an urban myth spread by evangelicals. Most of the variations has an atheist college professor going up to a debate (usually either about the existence of God or on evolution) with a Christian student who humiliates him with some philosophical sounding "logic". At the very end of the tall-tale they claim that the student was Albert Einstein.

Fact of the Day: Lunar Asteroid

While most people know that a lot of planets have moons, in 1993 a moon was discovered orbiting around something that was not a planet. The moon named Dactyl was orbiting an asteroid named 243 Ida which lies between Mars and Jupiter. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bow-Tie or Neck-Tie?

While not everyone wears ties, everyone can have an opinion about which looks better. While neck-ties do have some ugly patterns sometimes, I always preferred them to bow-ties. It is very rare for a bow-tie to not look dorky, and for that reason I've never worn one. 

Fact of the Day: Olympia

The state capitial of Washington, Olympia was named after its close location to the Olympic Mountains in the Northwest part of the United States.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Funny Story: Pizza Gratitude

The high schools in my area all partnered with a trade school to let students learn special skills. I took Criminal Justice in 11th grade there, and our class won a competition where the school promised pizza. The pizza came from the kids who took the culinary class, and we all walked in and grabbed our slice of pizza and returned to class. When we got back to class our teacher berated us that not a single person thanked anyone for making the pizza. I can't speak for anyone else, but I felt pretty bad about it.

Until I tasted the pizza, I'm pretty sure I didn't even finish it. Worst pizza I've ever had in my life. They say you can't make bad pizza, they're wrong. 

Fact of the Day: Brother John

While former President George W. Bush's brother (and former Governor of Florida) is known as Jeb, it's not exactly his real name. His name is really John Ellis Bush, the nickname Jeb is really the initials of his full name.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dogs or Cats?

While I have liked some cats in my life (my fiancee Daisy's old cat Furball for example), dogs are too easy of a choice for me. Cats can be unpredictable, and no matter how friendly one can be; they can never compare to how sweet a dog can be. 

Fact of the Day: Fifteen Stripes

In 1795 after Vermont and Kentucky joined the Union, the United States flag had both fifteen stars and fifteen stripes as well. Afterwards Congress set that the flag would always have just thirteen stripes in honor of the original colonies. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Lego Movie (2014 Film) Review

I honestly never heard of The Lego Movie until after it came out in theaters. The idea itself sounded stupid, but it did remarkably well critically. It did so well that praise was almost universal. Is The Lego Movie worthy of its acclaim?

Fact of the Day: Pineapple Island

While Hawaii is well known for its pineapples, they actually never reached the island until 1813. In comparison pineapples reached England as late as 1675. Pineapple itself originated around present-day Uruguay and Brazil. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Should D.C. Be the 51st State?

While the D.C. statehood movement has been around for quite some time, President Obama recently became the first sitting president to give his approval. Congress would still need to approve statehood, but I would be for it. Residents of D.C. have no real representation in Congress, and while I think they should have just one representative and one senator, getting statehood would be easier than amending the U.S. Constitution for the D.C. area. While statehood wouldn't be the most ideal move, I'd rather it be its own state than for it to become part of Virginia or Maryland as there would be some laws from both areas that would contradict each other. 

What do you think? Should D.C. be a state or remain the same?

Fact of the Day: Basketball Honor

When basketball became an official Olympic sport in 1936, James Naismith tossed out the first basketball as he was the creator of the sport. He also handed out the medals with USA getting the gold medal, Canada getting the silver medal, and Mexico getting the bronze medal. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

House of Cards (TV Series) Season 1 Review

I have to admit, when I heard about House of Cards I wasn't very interested. It was one of the first Netflix Original series, and because of that I didn't give it much respect. Then I heard of how well it did with critics and a few people I know also enjoyed the show. It's actually based on a British show of the same name in the 80s and 90s, except set in the present day in U.S. Congress.

Fact of the Day: Blue House

In South Korea, the presidential mansion is known as the Blue House. The name comes from the blue tiles on the roof. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Blue and Brandon Reunited

My brother Brandon is in the military, so this year is one of the times where he can't be home. Though recently he got to be home for a few days and his Great Dane dog Blue was too excited to see her "father". 

Fact of the Day: Earl Sandwich

The food sandwich get its name from John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. He claimed to have invented the sandwich though this has been disputed, but he certainly made it popular in Europe. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011 Film) Review

 It's not everyday I watch a film I really didn't know much about. But CiCi had watched it and really liked it, and since I really admire the two main actors in it; I decided to see it. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen sounds like the most random subject for a film, but it is quite good.

Fact of the Day: Phoenix

The capital of Arizona, Phoenix was named after the mythical bird. The name was chosen as the city was born on the ruins of a former civilization. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Granddaughter Jealousy

My sister-in-law Terry took this photo of my mom with my two nieces. Even though you can't tell, but the oldest Little Iz apparently was quite jealous of Little K for getting to spend time with HER grandma. So Little Iz kinda hates her right now, ironically all Little K wants to do is give her cousin a hug. 

Fact of the Day: Faraday Discovery

British chemist Humphry Davy was one of the most respected scientists of his day. However his lab assistant  Michael Faraday, became even better known due to his work with electromagnetism and electrochemistry. Albert Einstein even kept a picture of Micheal Faraday on his study wall along with Isaac Newton. While Davy had discovered quite few elements on the periodic table, many say his greatest discovery was Michael Faraday. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

California To Become Six States?

Some guy on the West Coast got enough support to have voters decide if they want California to become six separate states instead of one giant one. Their names would be Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and South California if successful though they would still need approval from their State House and Congress if voters approve. As for me I don't approve, California is an iconic state and so important to American history. I can't help to think the supporters of this only want to do so for a political advantage, similar to how conservatives wanted to split Colorado in two.

So what do you'll think? Six states or just one California?

Byzantium (2012 Film) Review

 Up until recently I had no idea what Byzantium even was, but Daisy wanted to see it. I think her friend or cousin told her about it, so she of course wanted to see it. Daisy and I both like Saoirse Ronan as we've seen her in quite a few films since we watched The Host.

Fact of the Day: Democratic Comedy

One of Hollywood's most notable celebrities in the early 20th century was Will Rogers. He was quite notable for his jokes and political wit. One example of his humor being "Everything is changing. People are taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke." While he supported members of both parties at times, he was partisan which he admitted with some added humor "I belong to no organized party, I'm a Democrat." His son Will Rogers Jr. served as a Democratic Congressman for California in 1943-1944. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K the Dancer

 This is my nephew Mr. K dancing with my sister-in-law Tiffany's little sister at my brother's wedding. She was the flower girl, and Mr. K was the ring bearer. Mr. K actually really liked dancing, I don't think I would share the same opinion when I was his age.

Fact of the Day: Swimming President

Gerald Ford was the first president to have a pool at the White House. It was built in 1975, and he used it quite often. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Things I Hate: Saying Glasses Make People Smarter

Anyone (like me) who's ever worn eye-glasses before know the statement or assumption far too well. I guess glasses can make a person "look smarter" but obviously they don't affect your brain. I remember when I used to wear glasses people be like "uh are you like a genius", and I honestly wanted to respond "I keep a rather modest opinion about my intelligence, but I can tell you won't be invited to be a member of Mensa".

Fact of the Day: Aqua Sultan

Abdul Hamid II was one of the last Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, and quite known for his paranoia about losing his power. He got rid of water's chemical formula H2O in chemistry books because he feared that people would think it meant that Hamid the 2nd was nothing. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Mother-Son Dance

I took this photo of my mother dancing with my brother at his wedding. She was so happy she started crying. 

Captain Falcon and More Confirmed for Super Smash Bros. IV

 Captain Falcon was an obvious character to appear the next Super Smash Bros as he was one of the original fighters, and his Falcon Punch is so iconic to the series. But Nintendo also added more characters from Fire Emblem.

Fact of the Day: Poe Parrot

While The Raven may be one of Edgar Allen Poe's most famous works, he once considered a parrot as the bird in the poem. While parrots can "talk", he did think they didn't fit well with the tone of the poem. Quoth the Parrot "Nevermore."?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Once Upon a Time (TV Series) Season 1 Review

 I had heard about Once Upon a Time for awhile now, but didn't give it much thought until recently. My mother really enjoyed the show and I heard that the Frozen princesses Elsa and Anna would appear on the show in a new season which was the main reason I wanted to see it.  The premise of the show is that fairy tale characters (and other famous stories) were taken from their world and now live in a small town in Maine.

Fact of the Day: Siam

While Thailand has always been called Mueang Thai to its people, the country (to the English-speaking world) used to be known as Siam. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Bride and Groom Dance

I took this photo of my brother Zach dancing with his wife Tiffany at their wedding reception. This wasn't the first song they danced to, it was more of a "fun" song than a song suited for slow dancing. 

Fact of the Day: Francis City

The capital of New Mexico, Santa Fe means "holy faith" in Spanish. However Santa Fe's name was actually shortened as it was originally a town called "La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís" which honored an old saint named Saint Francis of Assisi. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Your Highness (2011 Film) Review

 I didn't give much attention to Your Highness back in 2011, but my brother was a big fan of the movie. I also really like Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel, so seeing it wasn't a priority but inevitable. As for Jame Franco and Danny McBride, they can be funny though they do have some terrible movies.

Fact of the Day: Kepler Orbit

Johannes Kepler was a German scientist who figured out the laws of planetary motion. His work would later serve as a foundation for Isaac Newton's theory of universal gravitation. 

Joke: Rosie O'Donnell Returning to The View

I'm not joking when I say that Rosie O'Donnell is returning to The View after leaving the show in 2007. Though she has promised The View producers that she will stop saying she's fluent in Mandarin.  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Funny Story: Mother's UFO

When I was in 5th grade, I became very interested in UFOs and aliens. I used to look at the sky to see if could find one but never did, so I asked my mom if she saw one. She said she saw a UFO one night in the 70's when she was at a party with her first husband. A few years ago I asked her to retell me the story and she mentioned how she was drinking that night...

Fact of the Day: Good Italia

While Italy was known as one of the major countries in the Axis powers, it actually switched sides before World War II was over. Mussolini was overthrown and his subordinates followed, leading Italy to kick the fascists out of power and join the Allied forces. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Mama and Niece at Wedding

I took this photo of my niece Little K and my mom at my brother's wedding. Little K takes a long time to really trust anyone. She really only feels comfortable with her dad, her mom, and my mom. Before the ceremony started, my mom needed to leave the room for a minute and asked me to watch Little K. It didn't take her more than five seconds to cry about her Grandma leaving the room. 

Fact of the Day: Tilted Planet

Unlike other planets in the universe, the planet Uranus rotates its axis on the side. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I Love You Man (2009 Film) Review

I don't even remember hearing about I Love You, Man in 2009 but I've seen a couple of movies with Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. They can be very funny, and they also have been in fairly smart comedies. I also learned that the movie actually did quite well critically.