Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Funny Story: Pet Door

My dog Zelda has always been an inside dog, even when we let her outside she rushes back in when she's bored. But obviously she would need to go outside every-now and then. Typically we'd always open up the door to the back porch to let her out. She was not a dog that liked to wait, so she noticed when the old door could be pushed open with some force. So she'd run up to it and push it as hard she could with her paws, and run inside. We were able to deter her from doing it by pulling a kitchen drawer to block the door. A week or two later, she stopped trying to open the door herself. 

Fact of the Day: Baseball Socks

The original name for the MLB baseball team the Chicago Cubs was the Chicago White Stockings. Another team in Chicago took the name and eventually became the Chicago White Sox.  

Monday, June 29, 2015

Alice in Wonderland (2010 Film) Review

 Alice in Wonderland is something I've been debating on watching for many years. I heard of people who loved the film, and then I heard people say they really hated it. Tim Burton is behind this version of Alice in Wonderland and I admit, his overuse of gothic tones (and constant work with Johnny Depp) for his characters can be rather annoying.

Fact of the Day: Alice in China

Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland books weren't allowed in a part of China because one of the leaders there thought that talking animals were an insult to humans. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Question: Are You a Morning Person or a Night Owl?

I'm more of a night owl because I can stay up late with no problem. Getting up in the morning is much tougher for me. Especially after a rough day, I can sleep for at least ten hours without a reason to get up. 

Fact of the Day: The King and the Monkey

King Alexander I of Greece died from a monkey bite. He received the wound trying to separate animals fighting in his estate. While he did receive some first-aid, he didn't think it was that serious. When his leg needed amputation, none of his doctors wanted the responsibility of it. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

My Favorite Photos: Connect Four Arcade

At the local pizza place Mr. Gatti's they have a little arcade, and they usually have some kind of deal of getting a card to use in the arcade that's not much more than the buffet alone. I had seen this one from far away when I would get carry out so I've been curious to give it a try. It's basically what'd you expect and it's been forever since I've played that board game. Who won? Me, to Daisy's disappointment. 

Fact of the Day: Taipang Rebellion

The Taipang Rebellion was a civil war in Southern China in the years 1850-1864. The war cost the world 20 million lives, the vast majority of whom were civilians not soldiers. At the time, the world lost about a tenth of its population in the Taipang Rebellion. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

My Favorite Photos: Daisy's Pizza

Awhile back my wife Daisy and I went to the local pizza place Mr. Gattis for dinner. Daisy usually just gets spaghetti and salad while she was there, but she saw some kind of new pizza creation (I forget its name) and she wanted to try it. Judging by her face, I think she thinks it tastes good. 

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Marriage Equality

The United States Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality is the law of the land for every single state in our great country. I believe the ruling was 5-4 with Anthony Kennedy being the swing vote from the conservative judges. While I'm happy with the outcome, the four dissenters despite their own personal views shouldn't have ignored the power of the 14th amendment. 

Fact of the Day: Henry Ford Politics

While Henry Ford was a legend for the automotive industry, his run for Senate was less succesful. President Woodrow Wilson asked Ford to run for Senate representing Michigan but lost to Republican Truman Newberry in a close election in 1918.

Canadians Told To Stop Flushing Goldfish

The flushing of unwanted fish is a not only a moral flaw, but for a part of Canada, a somewhat serious problem. Luckily for the fish, they survive going down the toilet and are now starting to flourish in Alberta. Officials are worried that so many goldfish (who are getting bigger in the new waters) could damage the delicate eco-system. They also advise against flushing dead fish as they might bring diseases and parasites to the area.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Myanmar Prevents Further Progress to Democracy

Myanmar (also known as Burma) has a sad history of military leaders ruling as dictators in the country. Their legislature rejected amendments that would have taken away some of the military's political power, and would have let Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi seek the presidency. She currently can't because her sons hold British passports. This is not the first case of injustice against Aung San Suu Kyi as her party won a super-majority in 1990 only for it to be ignored by the military junta. 

To the Arctic (2012 Film) Review

 To the Arctic is a movie I knew my wife Daisy wanted to see. She loves anything related to polar bears. I had it on my "to watch later" list, but Daisy insisted we watched it soon. It's a documentary movie about animals in the arctic with narration by Meryl Streep.

Lego Saying No To Plastic

The Lego Group announced recently that they are working on new more environmental-friendly replacements for plastic to make legos with. Considering how popular they are, this is good news in reducing the use of plastic. While I'm not sure exactly what they'll use eventually, but I'm glad they are taking the huge effort to go green. 

Fact of the Day: Cold Bear

Polar Bears are believed to have emerged to the world about 150,000 years ago. DNA evidence has confirmed it had evolved from a type of brown bear species which had wandered north. Polar bears have mated with brown bears in recent years, and they're related closely enough to produce healthy offspring. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The South Thankfully Rejects The Confederacy Legacy

Due to the hatred in Dylann Roof's heart, his actions has caused many Southern states carrying the symbols of the old Confederate States of America to come under criticism. I was surprised to see our Governor (in SC) call for the confederate battle flag to be removed. Alabama's governor's took down their flags, many are getting rid of their confederate license plates, and many states are considering revising their current state flags. The "heritage not hate" defenders are either flat out lying or in a state of hopeless denial. The Confederate flag first represented a culture of traitors who wanted to leave this great country, and later became the symbol for racists in the South who rejected progress every step of the way.

My Favorite Photos: Algae in Nature

 While most people think algae isn't cool, seeing so much of it during our visit to Hatcher Gardens was cool to me. In person, it looked almost like part of a golf course. Knowing better, it was obvious that it was a pond full of algae.

Fact of the Day: Bolivian Languages

The nation of Bolivia in South America has many official languages. It includes Spanish, and more than 35 native languages. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

What's Your Favorite Neapolitan Ice Cream Flavor?

Out of all three classic ice cream flavors, mine has always been strawberry. I think most people say chocolate, which has been my least favorite. Nothing wrong with vanilla ice cream to me though. 

What's your favorite classic ice cream flavor? 

Fact of the Day: Dog Food

Despite enormous success later in life, Walt Disney suffered from quite a few failures in his early career. There was one point in his life that he was so poor, that he survived by eating dog-food. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

My Favorite Photos: Little Chipmunk

We saw this little chipmunk (at least I think it's a chipmunk) during our visit to Hatcher Gardens. He seemed not terribly people friendly. As soon as I saw him, he just froze from where he was. 

Fact of the Day: Lenin Hypocrisy

Despite being the first leader of the Communist Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin drove cars much better than the average Russian. During his time in leadership, he had nine Rolls-Royces. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Question: Can You Sing?

Singing is one of the rare things anyone can do, but you have to be decent at it before anyone could say you know how to do it. I can't really sing, and Daisy's worse than I am. I used to take chorus for one class in middle school, and it didn't work out so well. I was never musically talented, so I wasn't too heartbroken to learn that I couldn't sing well.  

Do you consider yourself a good singer?

Fact of the Day: Table Tennis

The game table tennis/ping pong originated in England during the 19th Century as an after-dinner parlor game for those in the upper-class. One of the first names for it was whiff-whaff. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

My Favorite Photos: Hatcher Gardens

 In my local city, there's a set of gardens that's quite famous locally. We actually visited for the first time in May. It was a nice cool spring day, and we needed some fresh air. I'm not the greatest person to appreciate plants and flowers, but I figured Daisy would enjoy the nature too.

Fact of the Day: Flood War

During the Second Sino-Japanese War (which was part of World War II), China had been losing badly to Japanese forces. In 1938, leaders in China flooded the Yellow River in hopes of stopping the Japanese army. While it had minor success in slowing the Japanese military, the flood was disastrous for years to come to those living around it. It was estimated that 500,000 to 900,000 Chinese citizens died because of it.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Rio 2 (2014 Film) Review

The original Rio was one of the first movies I remember watching with my wife Daisy when we first started dating. We had heard of Rio 2 last year, but I heard critical opinion had dropped from the first movie. I thought the first one was pretty darn good, so I figured the sequel couldn't be that bad.

Governor Haley Suggests Capital Punishment For Charleston Murderer

Most of America has already heard about Dylann Roof, an extremely racist young man who entered a church in Charleston, SC and murdered nine African-Americans. This happened in my home state (though I live on the other side of SC) and our Governor Nikki Haley has suggested (though she's not a judge) the death penalty for Roof. I heard her say something about that one person doesn't define South Carolina but sparing his life would show that we are better than him. I've seen many hate-filled and angry people like Roof in South Carolina, and calling for the end of his life makes us no better than this sad excuse for a human being. 

Fact of the Day: Rio Portugal

In 1807 the Napoleonic Wars were not looking too great for Portugal. Queen Maria I and the royal family fled Lisbon days before French forces invaded. They traveled all the way to Brazil, where the capital of Portugal was no longer in Portugal. The royal family ruled in Rio de Janeiro rather than Lisbon until 1821.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Question: Do You Think The Iraq War Was a Smart Move?

The Iraq War started when I was 15, a good bit before I was interested in politics. Now about 12 years later, I see it as one of the biggest blunders in American history. In retrospect, I don't think Saddam Hussein was a threat to America, and our military involvement there has created greater evils to form than one mediocre dictator half-a-world away. A lot of the politicians who supported the war now regret it, and I hope they do. Over 4,800 American and other NATO soldiers lost their lives for little reason, and many more suffered wounds that will never heal. 

What did you think of the Iraq War and its after-math? 

Fact of the Day: Detroit Iraq

In 1980 the city of Detroit, Michigan gave Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein the key to the city. The reason was that he gave a considerable contribution to a local church. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Favorite Photos: Cousin Time

My mother took this photo earlier this spring of my niece Little K playing with my nephews Mr. K and Mr. C. They all seemed to be having fun. I remember going over my cousins' houses and having such fun there. 

Fact of the Day: Space Salt

While salt and pepper are common condiments for food, NASA astronauts have to use a liquid form of them while in space. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Nintendo Unveils Star Fox Zero For WiiU

Nine years after Star Fox Command on Nintendo DS comes the first Star Fox game in a long time. Nintendo hasn't released a ton of information, but judging from the title it might be a prequel to the whole series. The new thing about this game seems to the be a ship that constantly transforms. From the classic arwing, land-master, and some other varieties I haven't seen before. 

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K's Birthday Bash

My mother took this photo this April at my nephew Mr. K's birthday party. They had thier church's building to host the event, and they did a pretty good job. My sister-in-law Amber and her mother are serving food. I bet they felt like the coolest mom and grandmother in the world. 

Fact of the Day: Unicameral Nebraska

While most of the world has two chambers (bicameral) for their legislatures, Nebraska is the only state in America to have neither a House or a Senate. In addition to being unicameral, every elected member is officially non-partisan.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Game of Thrones (TV Series) Season 5 Review

Game of Thrones is something I didn't watch until last year, but I have not regretted starting the show. It's based on the novel series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin with this season being mostly based on the books A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons. I was a little curious to see how this season turned out as making one season out of two books doesn't sound easy and surely there would be changes from the novels.

Fact of the Day: Dragon

The English word dragon is derived from the Greek word drakon which means "serpent". 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Muppets Most Wanted (2014 Film) Review

I had really liked the first of the "new" Muppets movies starring Amy Adams and Jason Segel a few years ago. I had of last year's Muppets Most Wanted and I was a bit disappointed that Amy Adams would not be in it this time. Though the new muppet Walter is in the movie but with a smaller role. 

Fact of the Day: Frog Water

Frogs don't drink water like many other animals. They can absorb water directly through their skin. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sad Story: One-Man Basketball

I wouldn't say this story is that sad, but I don't consider it funny in retrospect. In middle school, the whole gym was a basketball court, so basketball was a common sport we played. They would rarely do something serious as a tournament, and I lost in the first round. It was 2 vs. 2 and I got paired with the worst player in our class. It was like relying on a little girl to school Michael Jordan in a basketball game. I was never the greatest athlete but I literally was sweating like crazy trying to perform a miracle with only half a team.

Fact of the Day: Latvia

The country of Latvia has had a tough history of independence. In 1918 they broke away from the Russian Empire. The Soviet Union occupied the country in 1940 until the Germans took over in 1941. In 1944 Soviet troops came back, and Latvia was part of the Soviet Union until 1991. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Merlin (TV Series) Season 3 Review

 My wife and I have been watching Merlin and we've gotten through the first three seasons rather quickly. Season 2 had a great ending, and the story gets a bit better this time around. This one has Morgana take her first real steps into becoming a witch of dark magic.

Fact of the Day: State of Deseret

From 1849-1850 there existed the proposed State of Deseret. It was founded by Mormons, and it spanned in the area of several modern day U.S. States in the Southwest. It was never recognized by the U.S. government, and it also combined theocracy (rule by religion) with democratic elements seen in the United States. The hypothetical state of Deseret ended when the United States took most of the land as the Utah Territory. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

My Favorite Photos: Mr. K Near Home

This is my nephew Mr. K during one of his baseball games. I can see he's becoming a confident baseball player. 

Fact of the Day: Hawaiian Princess Victoria

During the time of the Hawaiian monarchy, there was a crown princess named Victoria Kamamalu. The reason she had a English name like Victoria was because of the Hawaiian monarchy's close friendship to the British monarchy. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Art of Getting By (2011 Film) Review

I had never heard of The Art of Getting By until very recently. I don't even remember how I heard of it unless my wife Daisy suggested it and I had forgotten. Even my wife got a little confused because she told me Michelle Trachtenberg was in it, and it turned out she wasn't. I guess she thinking of Emma Roberts instead.

Fact of the Day: Finnish Homework

While most schools all around give homework to students, Finland's schools are known for their lack or zero amount of homework for a majority of their students. Along with other factors (like smaller class sizes) Finland has one of the highest high school graduation rates (and rates of students who make it to college) in the world. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

My Favorite Photos: Mr. C at the Bat

This is my youngest nephew Mr. C taking his turn hitting baseballs during one of his games. While he looks small on the baseball field, in his mind I'm sure he feels like Babe Ruth.