Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Fact of the Day: Founder of Fingerprints

The science of understanding the use of fingerprints was founded by Charles Darwin's half-cousin Francis Galton.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Things I Like: Henry Jones Sr. (Indiana Jones)

 One of the my favorite characters in the movie franchise, Henry Jones Sr. is Indiana Joness father, as we see him in the Last Crusade, the last of the original three films. Like his son, Henry had a habit for studying old artifacts from history. But he ends up in some tricky trouble with the Germans during World War II.

Outlaw King (2018 Film) Review

When I first heard of Outlaw King, I thought it was about some kind of Viking king. Though I suppose it was the Vikings TV show that got me thinking that. I don't know why, really. Instead it's about Robert the Bruce, a notable king from a medieval Scotland. In truth, it's about what happened after the events of Braveheart (with Mel Gibson), so if you ever wanted a sequel to that film, this is the best you're going to get.   

Photos: Hollywood Wax Museum Pigeon Forge Tennessee

After making our last day at Dollywood bitterly short, my mother offered to take Daisy and I to the Hollywood Wax Museum later that day out of her own pocket. I thought about going before she asked, but it's rather expensive for the 1-2 hours you'd spend there. Our hotel was down the street and it's pretty cool to see King Kong in the distance. 

Photo: Avengers Endgame Artwork

I think I forgot to post this back in May, but the local movie theater has an artist who will draw something of a popular movie that is currently showing. I really liked his work with Iron Man. Marvel recently brought Endgame back to theaters in order to topple Avatar as the highest-grossing film of all time. But both films are beat when inflation is adjusted by Gone with the Wind. 

Fact of the Day: Antonine Plague

The Antonine Plague was a plague that effected Europe from 165-180. It was brought in by Roman soldiers returning from campaigns in Western Asia. While this disease was mostly like not the same as the Black Plague, but the most educated guesses were either measles or smallpox.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Things I Like: Blaine (Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee)

 I suppose it was the anime I like Blaine a lot in. But he's a rather odd one for a near-to-last gym leader in a Pokemon game, but on to that later.

Photos: Longhorn Steakhouse Pigeon Forge Tennessee

 My wife Daisy loves our Spartanburg Longhorn Steakhouse, and sure enough, she was just thrilled that Pigeon Forge had one of its own. There wasn't one close enough during our other major vacations, so we never got to go until now.

Favorite Quotes: To Build and to Cherish

"It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult."

-Queen Elizabeth II

While the royal family of Great Britain haven't had any real effect on government policy in Great Britain (not that it matters to an American like me) for several lifetimes now, I do like this quote. The British Empire certainly has gotten better during her reign than before she took the crown.  

Fact of the Day: California President

Up to at least 2019, Richard Nixon remains the only president born in California. 

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Things I Like: Summit (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

Summit is a stage that originated in Brawl. While its an stage dedicated to the Ice Climbers, it wasn't really in their NES game. But if they had somehow gotten a new 3D game, you'd imagine a place like this would be there. 

Photos: The Island Pigeon Forge

 One of the neatest things I heard about was The Island in Pigeon Forge. I didn't expect a place where you had to park far away and be driven to the place by a trolley bus.

The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Film) Review

 While it's not a very common story nowadays, I do know what the Phantom of the Opera is. A few TV shows I watched would do parody versions of it. I didn't know much about the real story, except the Phantom was some stalker and the girl he was after was supposed to be very beautiful. Also something about opera. This one is based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical (which is based on the classic novel) and he produced the film as well. Joel Schumacher helped him with the screenplay along with him being the director.

Fact of the Day: Bridgetown Barbados

The capital of Barbados, Bridgetown is the only city outside the United States where George Washington had visited. Two of his ancestors were early planters on the island.  

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Things I Like: Killer Eye (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 The item isn't new, it came out in Smash 4. Though its game of origin was Kid Icarus: Uprising. I kept thinking Zelda: Skyward Sword. Shows you how well my memory of both of those games really is huh?

Photos: Titanic Museum Pigeon Forge Tennessee

A museum in Pigeon Forge dedicated to the Titanic seems a bit odd in Tennessee, as this area has nothing to do with the doomed ship. Daisy wanted to take the actual tour, but the tickets were too expensive for what I figured I experience. I will admit, it's pretty cool looking at it from the parking lot. Though it is smaller than the actual Titanic. 

My (Not So) Favorite Quotes: Trump Thought the Revolutionary Army Had Taken Over Airports

"Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airport, it did everything it had to do and at Ft. McHenry under the rocket's red glare, it had nothing but victory."

-Donald Trump

Trump apparently blamed this one on a bad teleprompter, but even if I was reading something, I would know if I'm talking about the American Revolution or the War of 1812, there were no airplanes let alone airports. I've seen his supporters say "leave him alone, he mispoke" but they're the same ones who brought up Obama saying 57 states one time. Obama gaffes: 1 Donald Trump gaffes: Too many to keep count of.  

Fact of the Day: First Vaccine

The first vaccine was created by the British scientist Edward Jenner in 1796. It was used to cure people of smallpox, a disease that killed about 10% of British people alone in Jenner's lifetime. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Things I Like: King Dedede (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 This titan boss/ally/friend of Kirby in the Kirby series has been in Super Smash Bros. games since Brawl. His incarnation here is pretty strong. The guy who created the Kirby series also created Super Smash Bros. so it's not a shocker that King Dedede isn't weak.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (TV Series) Season 1 Review

 I really liked the old TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch back in the 1990's. It was based on a long-running Archie comic series. This one is much different, and way darker in story. It's based on a updated comic spinoff of the Sabrina tales of the same name, and apparently was originally going to be on the CW alongside with Riverdale (which is from Archie comics too) but Netflix picked it up instead. Netflix actually released the season in two parts, one in October of 2018 with the rest being in April of this year.

Photos: Baskin Robbins Pigeon Forge/Sevierville

 Technically this Baskin Robbins is in Sevierville, Tennessee which is a tiny bit north of Pigeon Forge but in the same general area. My mother really wanted to go as we don't have anymore in the Spartanburg/Greenville SC area.

Fact of the Day: Chisos Mountains

Chisos Mountains are a small mountain range in Texas near the Mexico border. They are the only set of mountains to be fully within a National Park, which is Big Bend National Park. 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Things I Like: Elsa Schneider (Indiana Jones)

 Elsa Schneider is my favorite of the main women in the Indiana Jones series. In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, she appears to be an Austrian archaeologist interested in finding the Holy Grail.

Favorite Quotes: Martin Luther King Jr. True Peace

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice.”

-Martin Luther King Jr. 

I remember growing up in the 1990's and being taught the legacy of MLK. While American society has gotten much better since the 1960's in terms of tolerance and acceptance, we did have a period of "false peace" as I like to call it. Where we thought all these bigotries and prejudices have been vanquished, but nevertheless a sleeping dragon has emerged from the hate of modern-day right-wingers led by Donald Trump and his insane and hateful rhetoric. Justice will come in the dawn, but this night seems to be quite long.    

Photos: Chick-fil-A Pigeon Forge

 This was one of our lunch stops during our vacation. I wanted to go to Zaxby's, but our GPS took us the wrong way. 
But Daisy was happy either way. This one was one of the most crowded restaurants we had been to during our trip. 

Fact of the Day: Nemo Nobody

Captain Nemo's from the Jules Verne's novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (which was the inspiration for the name in Pixar's Finding Nemo) name comes from the Latin word for "no one."

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Things I Like: Willie Scott (Indiana Jones)

 Willie Scott wasn't my most liked character in the series, but I did like her. But out of all the Indiana Jones beauties, I liked her the least. She starts out in the story as a singer working at a Chinese nightclub in Shanghai.

Photos: Pigeon Forge Gem Mine

This was a neat place to look at during our trip at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It specializes in rocks and fossils. 

Fact of the Day: OJ Simpson NFL Record

Despite his infamous history, and his long since retirment from the NFL, nobody has beaten O.J. Simpson's record for the most yards-per-game average for a single season. Which currently stands at 143.1.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Things I Like: Marion Ravenwood (Indiana Jones)

Unlike most Indiana Jones fans, I didn't think Raiders of the Lost Ark was the best film in the series. But Marion Ravenwood was a good character for Indy's story. From what I remember she was the daughter of one of Indiana's mentors.

Photos: Three Bears General Pigeon Forge

 We had a little time to kill one day in our adventures to Pigeon Forge. Three Bears is a place that has a lot of things. Shirts, Christmas stuff, candies, and even ice cream.

Fact of the Day; Presidents of the Summer of 1946

Donald Trump, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton were all born in the summer of 1946. between June and August. Donald Trump is the oldest, while Bill Clinton is the youngest.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Things I Like: Sabrina (Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee)

 Sabrina is the leader of the Saffron City gym, which is one of the latter gyms in the game. I remember her well in the anime. They had a neat story-line where she had some pretty creepy psychic powers. She doesn't have much of a story here though, just like the original Red/Blue games for which this is a remake of.

Photo: WonderWorks Indoor Ropes Course

One of the last things we did at WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge was the ropes course. You get in a harness and you get attached to a giant web of metal railings. That way you can walk across these platforms and ropes safely. Even with the safety harness, this did scare me a bit. Heights and me don't get along. There's actually three levels of this, but I only had enough energy and courage for the lowest level. What's kind of neat is that this ropes course is actually hidden in plain sight, I never noticed it when we walked by it the first time. 

Favorite Quotes: War Will Exist Until that Distant Day

"War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today."

-John F. Kennedy

While a little ironic considering how much JFK elevated things in the Vietnam War (though Lyndon Baines Johnson messed things up royally later) but I like this quote. Every Veteran's Day, Americans thank the soldiers for their service, and I'm sure this is a common occurrence for every country in the world for their own military men. But the "unpopular" voices who protest war, they're never thanked. They don't have a holiday or a celebration. They don't get medals or awards. But many of them have saved more soldier and civilian lives than you might realize. 

Fact of the Day: Unknown X-Ray

Before its discovery in 1895, X-Rays were an unknown type of radiation first observed in 1869. 

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Things I Like: New Pork City (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 While I like the stage, it hasn't been one of my favorites ever since Brawl. It's based on the final city of Mother 3 on GBA, which is Earthbound's Japan-only sequel. From I can tell, they somewhat made it true to the game it's based on. But it's a huge stage.

Photo: Shaved Ice Pelican Snoballs West Spartanburg

 I took Daisy here on a hot day. We've been a good number of times already to its several locations in Spartanburg. I got the Wild Strawberry flavor. I always like strawberry.

Photo: The Art of Dr. Seuss at WonderWorks Pigeon Forge

 They had this small section of art at WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge. I loved Dr. Seuss and his books, but I wasn't too impressed by this showcase as it was too small.

Fact of the Day: Great Dane Germany

The Great Dane breed of dog comes from Germany. Germany nobliltiy imported dogs from Great Britain such as the English Mastiff and the Irish wolfhound. Eventually the Great Danes emerged from such a lineage. The Great Dane was originally known as the German boarhound in English-speaking countries. 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Things I Like: Beehive (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 While not new to the series, as it was new in Smash 4, I like the beehive item a lot. It comes from the Animal Crossing games. If you shake a tree, every now and then, a beehive will fall. Attacking the villager and messing up his/her face for some time.

Miss Hokusai (2015 Film) Review

 There are a lot of anime films produced by Japan every year. Some are serious, some are silly, but many are based on long-running cartoons that popular with the kids and teenagers. Miss Hokusai is certainly on the very serious side. I didn't know much about the film, but I knew I had to see it. It's based on the life of the Japanese artist Hokusai, but mostly about his daughter Oi Katsushika, whom was also an artist, much overshadowed by her iconic father and his masterpieces. 

Photo: WonderWorks Illusion Pigeon Forge

They had a few of these at WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge, this one I liked the most. Do you see a spinning cylinder or two talking faces? I see both, at the same time. 

Favorite Quotes: Abe Lincoln Friendship

"The better part of one's life consists of his friendships."

-Abraham Lincoln

We humans, even introverted ones like myself, are often like alpacas. We can be alone for short amounts of time, but without friendship, we could very well die of loneliness. 

Fact of the Day: Greek Comedy

The English word comedy comes from the Greek word komoidos meaning "comic" or "poet" in modern English. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

Things I Like: Sonic the Hedgehog (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate)

 I've loved the idea of Sonic even before Brawl. Electronic Gaming Monthly made an April Fool's Joke one year saying he was in Melee, if you completed a terribly tough task. I suppose it was inevitable that Sega's greatest warrior would show up. I've always liked him, he was good in both Brawl and Smash 4.

Photo: WonderWorks Big Fish Vision

They had this big fish I think they called Frankie. I thought the eye part (which you have to get behind the fish to see) would let you see what's in front of you like a fish's pupils would see (which I imagine is a little different. But like some kind of 3D animation of the underwater sea. I thought it was a little lame. 

Photo: Daisy and Her Food Court Chickfila

I took Daisy by the Westgate mall in Spartanburg not long ago to have lunch. I've noticed she hasn't gone to the Chinese place to get food for quite some time. She keeps hovering back towards Chick-fil-A. 

Fact of the Day: Piccolo Flute

A piccolo is a small flute. The musical instrument gets its name from the Italian word for small.