Sunday, August 31, 2014

Funny Story: Rita's Ringtone

At a previous place I worked, there was a lady named Rita. She was middle-aged, and kind of grumpy. One day in the break-room, Rita got a call on her phone. Well the ringtone on her phone was the song Milkshake by Kelis Rogers, which is hilariously a song that doesn't fit her personality. Turns out that her room-mate put it on her phone, and Rita wasn't technologically smart to change it.  

Fact of the Day: Running Emu

Despite being birds, emus cannot fly. However they were pretty good runners. They can sprint as fast as 31mph/50kmh and can travel long distances. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Grandma and Simba

While my niece Little K got most of her presents at her party, on her birthday she got one more. Her grandma Donna got her Simba from the Lion King. 

Fact of the Day: Dust Bowl

During the 1930s, the Dust Bowl was caused after severe drought met years of poor farming methods. Before the Dust Bowl a lot of soil was not properly taken care of, which turned to dust which was later taken by the wind. The dust and drought proved disastrous for farmers in Okalahoma and Texas, and many left their farms for a new life in California and other states. Ironically as soon as they left, The Great Depression crippled most of the economies of the places they were fleeing to.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Funny Story: Mouse Hawk

About maybe eight years ago, my mom was driving her mini-van just down the road from the house. She decides to travel down a different path which starts in an almost forest-like road. Before we knew it a hawk (I think) was right in front of our van, and our vehicle must of scared it because it dropped something. It was a little mouse, who I hope had time to run away before the fearsome bird came back to look for it. 

Fact of the Day: President Einstein

Albert Einstein was once offered the presidency of Israel, but he refused. However even if he did take the role, the President of Israel actually holds little power, as the true power belongs to the Prime Minister. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Arby's Fun

As a kid, some of my favorite times where at the playground at the many fast-food restaurants. I remember this one was at a local Arby's, and I think my mom took this perfect photo of me and my older brother Brandon. Our brother Zach is right behind us. 

Fact of the Day: Hawking's Illness

Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous living-scientists, but few forget about his condition where he can not walk or speak without help. Hawking suffers from a motor neuron disease, and the symptoms started when he was about 21. Doctors gave him about two years to live, which drove him into depression. He later overcame both the physical and emotion challenges, and now is in his 70's. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Little K's First Birthday

My niece Little K just turned one yesterday though she had her birthday party last Sunday. Hard to believe how quickly a year has gone by. 

Link Joins Mario Kart 8

Even though I don't have a WiiU yet, I'm excited to see Link from The Legend of Zelda join the Mario Kart racers for the first time. Ever since Super Smash Bros., I've wanted to see some non-Mario characters in the series, especially Link. It's suppose to come out in November as DLC. 

Fact of the Day: Governor House

Currently there is no official mansion for the Governor of California. Ronald Reagan was the last Governor of California to live in the old one, which still exists but the building and the land around it is now a state park. Reagan lived there for a few months before moving to a more lavish place to serve as its replacement. When Jerry Brown succeeded Reagan as Governor, he refused to live there. A tradition that was carried by every Governor since then. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Things I Like: Champagne Grapes

While grapes are good, these little champagne grapes are amazing. They are so sweet, but sadly I can only find them for a short time during the year. 

Fact of the Day: Volcano Ocean

While volcanoes exist around the world, the most notable are the ones in the Ring Of Fire. The Ring of Fire makes up most coastlines that border the Pacific Ocean. The vast majority of the world's volcanoes are in The Ring of Fire. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014 Film) Review

 Spider-Man is one of the most well-known and one of my favorite super-heroes ever. Even though it's predecessor had a rather lame villain (The Lizard), I still thought it was a remarkably well-done. I had heard that another not-so-great Spider-Man villain (Electro) would be the new bad guy in this one. I initially hated the idea because he's really dorky in the original comics. Though this movie has the character based on a much different version from the comic series Ultimate Spider-Man.

Fact of the Day: Mega-Galaxy

From what we can predict, in about four billion years our Milky Way galaxy will collide with the nearby Andromeda Galaxy. Since most of the stars are so far spread out, most of them would never collide with each other as the two galaxies merge into one. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sad Story: Drama Before Class

I remember this moment in 9th grade as one of the most unbelievable yet true moments of my life. Right before social studies class started, one of our class-mates (who I didn't consider a close friend) was shaking with fear. He said one of the other guys in our class got mad at him at lunch (apparently over something childish) and was going to wait to unleash his rage. At the time I didn't quite take him seriously, I assumed it was just paranoia. Our teacher for one was only a few feet away in the hallway. Well that's until Daniel walked into the room.

Fact of the Day: Father Darwin

In his life Charles Darwin had ten children with his wife Emma, and he was quite the devoted father. A bit uncommon in the 19th century, as many fathers spent very little time raising their children. When his daughter Anne died from scarlet fever at the age of ten, he was absolutely devastated. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fact of the Day: Honolulu

The capital of Hawaii, Honolulu's name obviously comes from the Hawaiian language. Depending on the translation, Honolulu means "calm port" or "sheltered bay". 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008 Film) Review

 I've heard of the classic author Jules Verne, and many of his books including Journey to the Center of the Earth for many years now. I've never read the original book, and I'm surprised that 2008's Journey to the Center of the Earth is practically one of the only major motion pictures in modern times seriously based on the work of Jules Verne.  I heard critical opinion wasn't exactly impressive, but I figured it might be good.

Fact of the Day: Land Ship

Military tanks were originally called "land ships" but the name was changed by the British military to "water tanks" to keep their tanks a secret to the Germans. By the time their land-ships were well-known, the name "tank" was commonly used. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Random Photo: Solar Lights

My mom recently got all these solar lights set up in the front yard. Including a hummingbird one that glows multiple colors. It's very beautiful when you drive back home at nighttime. Though most of the energy goes away right before a new day begins in the early morning. Though at least the Sun gives it enough energy every single day. 

Fact of the Day: Toucan Flight

Due to some rather small wings, toucans can't fly very well. Because of this, they can only travel short distances at a time. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Things I Like: Tic-Tacs (Mints)

I really dislike most mints, as the flavor is too strong. It's been a few years, but I got some tic-tacs the other day and remembered how wonderful they taste. 

Fact of the Day: Presidential Popcorn

NFL player Harry Carson was among the first to make the practice of pouring a Gatorade cooler on a coach, a tradition after winning a football game. When his team The New York Giants went to celebrate their Super Bowl win at the White House in 1987, the cooler tradition was given to President Ronald Reagan. Except instead of Gatorade, Harry Carson poured popcorn instead.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Favorite Photos: Princess K

My brother recently took this photo of my niece Little K in her little princess chair. Now she's got a dress fitting for her "throne". I have to admit, she might be monarch of the house if she remains an only child. 

Fact of the Day: Slice of Pi

In 1897, a physician tried to convince the Indiana Legislature to change the value of Pi because he thought he discovered a way to "square a circle". The House of Representatives passed the bill, but the Senate rejected it. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Finding Neverland (2004 Film) Review

I don't think I remember hearing of Finding Neverland back in 2004. Though it wasn't hard to figure out that the movie was about the life of Jim Barrie, the author of Peter Pan. The story mainly focuses on his professional career, and how he got the inspiration for the now classic story.

Fact of the Day: Van Buren Marriage

Martin Van Buren was long-since widowed by the time he became President of the United States. While his wife Hannah Van Buren never became First Lady, she was also never mentioned once in his auto-biography. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Paul Ryan Apparently Doesn't Like House of Cards

I recently became a fan of the U.S. version of House of Cards show starring Kevin Spacey, but former 2012 Vice Presidential GOP candidate Paul Ryan was not impressed. It's done very well critically and politicians from both parties have liked it, but Mr. Ryan didn't get very far before he stopped watching. Mainly citing that he really didn't like it when the married Frank Underwood has an affair with Zoe Barnes. He also had a problem with the story being centered around the House of Representatives which he is a member. In the show Frank Underwood is ruthless, uncaring, power-hungry, and totally selfish. However in my opinion, that sounds a lot like many members of Congress. 

Random Photos: Strong Kudzu

 My mom got some plants that she wasn't taking good care of, and while she thinks they'll be okay next year I'm not as optimistic. Well it seems some kudzu really liked one of them. So much so that it basically climbed up the porch and entangled it.

Fact of the Day: Carson Town

The capital of Nevada, Carson City is named after a man named Kit Carson. John C. Fremont was among the first European-Americans to settle in the region and he named a river that runs in present-day Carson City after Kit Carson who was his scout of the region. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Popeye (1980 Film) Review

Like many others, I was deeply saddened by the tragic death of the actor Robin Williams. He was a legend, and a very prolific actor. I had no idea that the classic character Popeye not only got a movie, but Robin Williams had the leading role. It was one of his first films, as before he was better known for his work on television.

Fact of the Day: Graphite Pencil

While what makes a pencil write is called lead, this isn't the case. Lead used to be in pencils but it is very toxic. They stopped using it a long time ago, so nowadays the "lead" is really graphite. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Things I Like: The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones (1987 Film)

 As a kid I loved both The Flintstones and The Jetsons. So a cross-over movie was actually a really cool idea. While the concept should never be over-done, I think most fans love it when characters from other worlds collide.

Fact of the Day: Swim Fin

As a child, Ben Franklin invented a pair of swim fins made out of wood. The idea of fins to aid humans in swimming was also something Leonardo Da Vinci worked on. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014 Film) Review

 I've been meaning to watch X-Men: Days of Future Past ever since it premiered in May. On my birthday, my family went to see a movie and luckily the inexpensive theater was still showing it. Most of the X-Men movies have been pretty good, however two of them were very lackluster. I loved the prequel First Class, so I was glad to see the "old" cast interact a little with the future.

Fact of the Day: Origin of the Great War

While tensions were rough between nations, many cite the starting point of World War I when a young man named Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This led Austria-Hungary to invade Serbia which in turn caused the conflicts that evolved into World War I. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Funny Story: Jo the Liar

At a previous place I worked at, one day somebody says from the other direction "you know Jo-Jo?", and I had to wonder what on Earth this guy was talking about. Well Jo-Jo was a nickname for his grandson, and he worked with me. So later that day he just happened to be working and I go "Hey I met your grandpa", and he immediately denies that was his grandfather. I didn't think much of it, maybe a family friend who they call grandpa or something... no that's not the case.

Fact of the Day: Bright Astronomer

In a time where women had little roles in higher education, a woman named Henrietta Swan Leavitt worked for Harvard as an astronomer. She discovered a method that could accurately measure the distance of faraway galaxies from the Earth. She also suffered from deafness, and her work wasn't appreciated until after she had passed away.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Divergent (2014 Film) Review

 I had heard of Divergent earlier this year, and saw some people compare to The Hunger Games. Like The Hunger Games, Divergent is based on a popular book series. My fiancee Daisy loves The Hunger Games more than I do, so I figured it was eventual that she wanted to watch Divergent.

Fact of the Day: Perry Arrives in Japan

Until the mid-19th century, Japan was a country that wanted to be isolated from the rest of the world. Trade was limited to China and the Netherlands. Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy sailed to Japan in 1853 and demanded that Japan end its period of isolation. Perry showed the might of western military technology with his ships, and Japan quickly agreed to President Millard Fillmore's requests. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Robin Williams Passes Away at 63

Beloved actor Robin Williams died today, and apparently he took his own life after suffering from severe depression. Robin Williams was one of my favorite actors, and this comes as a total shock. My condolences to his family. 

My Favorite Photos: 26th Birthday

This is me holding my cake yesterday on my 26th birthday. While birthdays aren't as fun as when I was younger (obviously), I still appreciate them very much. 

Fact of the Day: Liberty Burger

In an effort to encourage American patriotism in World War I, hamburgers were briefly known as a Liberty Sandwiches. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Pride and Prejudice (2005 Film) Review

Though while I know a little about the beloved author Jane Austen, I sadly know even less of her works. I don't have much time to read anymore, so I'd rather watch a movie on the book. The 2005 version with Keira Knightley seemed like a good choice since I really like Knightley and this one did well critically while staying true to the novel from what I hear.

Fact of the Day: Evil Paint

For a long time including in the 20th century, lead-based paint was commonly used. However lead is very toxic, and because of its hazard to health; the federal government stopped the use of lead-paint in the United States in 1978. Today most of them are often either oil-based or latex-based paint. 

It's My 26th Birthday Today

We already got the cake ready for tomorrow. Hard to believe I'm now closer to thirty than twenty. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Things I Like: Everest (1998 Film)

 I remember seeing Everest in 1998 or 1999 at an IMAX theater in North Carolina. It's not a work of fiction, but a documentary about a trip to Everest in 1996. Though it is narrated by Liam Neeson.

Fact of the Day: First Lady Anne Robbins

Former First Lady Nancy Reagan's maiden name was Nancy Davis. However she was born Anne Robbins. She was nicknamed Nancy at an early age, and later took the surname of her stepfather Loyal Davis. Nancy and her stepfather got along remarkably well and she always referred to him as her father. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Funny Story: The Not-So Tall Girl

In middle school I remember a girl in class with a trait we never did notice. Near the end of the 8th grade year, she complains about feet pain and takes off her shoes. For some reason, she wore high-heels all year long. I figured as much because everyone was shocked to see that not only did she obviously lose height, but she was actually very short. While being tall isn't important to women as it is to men, perception is everything. Though at least she could wear high-heels, men can't really do anything to look taller.