Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wow This is Creepy

    The New Orleans Pelicans, the most recent name given to this NBA team after several relocations, have a new and I think quite creepy mascot. And it is not a pelican.
Meet the Baby! (or Baby King Cake, or whatever it's called). It was unveiled last night in a game versus the Clippers-in which the Pelicans lost.
    This mascot takes the cake, pun intended, for the weirdest and creepiest mascot I've ever seen-bar none. See it for yourself and make up your own mind:
One thing is for sure. If the New Orleans Pelicans wanted to get our attention they succeeded.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Orleans_Pelicans

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Fantastic Fascination of Franchises

 
   Nowadays it seems the most lucrative endeavors are franchises. I'm not talking about sports or restaurants or for that matter any kinds of shops (Starbucks comes to mind--although they are very profitable in their own right). No, I'm talking about "media franchises". You know, the type of franchise where a story, usually a fictional story, is developed and made into something be it a book, comic book, movie, tv show, computer game, whatever, and then it becomes so popular with people that it spawns sequels, more books, etc.
   There are numerous examples of this. Star Trek, The Matrix, James Bond, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean & Star Wars being some of the biggest I can think of.
   Star Trek started out as a low budget tv show in the 60s. But its popularity has spawned multiple other tv shows, movies, and a plethora of merchandising. Today Star Trek is more popular than ever. And there seems to be no end to its longevity.
   Star Wars started out as a movie in 1977 & quickly became a blockbuster. Tons of merchandising was produced over the years creating huge profits for George Lucas and whoever else was involved. And the actors in those movies have become famous for their participation in these movies, just like those in the original tv shows of Star Trek.
   There are many other examples of this as well where a storyline began in one way or another and became so popular with the people that it germinated like a seed into multiple branches creating all sorts of other merchandise. Pretty much most all superheroes began as comic book characters, but from there we've seen them in movies and tv shows. And of course there are toys and games. Superman, Batman, Spider-man, The Hulk, Wolverine, Wonder Woman, etc. are prime examples of this.
   All of these things are franchises. Superman, Batman, Spawn, Alien, Star Trek, Star Wars; all are franchises. Any time something with their likeness or branding sells somewhere (except in the aftermarket, in which case it has already made its initial money for the franchise) whoever trademarked that franchise takes a cut.
   It's an incredible system to be a part of if you can make it. Create something that becomes so enamored with people that they must have it/ want to be a part of it, etc. Collectors search the world over for every piece that has been sold to complete their collections. And there are many many collectors out there. Though, even beyond the collectors, there are just the people who want to feel like they are a part of some franchise. That's why conventions are so popular. Comic-con for instance. It's places like these that the fans can go to to be closer to their beloved tv shows, comics, movies, and the actors who've starred in them. And the spectators who visit them can even dress up like their favorite fantasy characters, and parade around. And possibly even be judged in contests at the conventions.
   As an example of the popularity of these media franchises here's a video of a Star Wars convention recently held in Orlando, Fl. :
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Sunday, February 23, 2014

An Important Message For Men

   To change the world you have to change it from the root. Here is an important message for all men out there who view the porn industry as a "no big deal" issue & don't think that they can do anything about it. If so then watch this video & goto faithit.com for more inspiration.
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Let's Go To The Islands

   Our world is full of strange & unusual but also many times exotically beautiful formations made of stone and sediments. They can be formed by erosion of wind & water and can be quite striking to look at. One such location is on the Merietas Islands off the coast of Mexico. There visitors can find a "hidden beach" so secluded you need to swim thru an underwater channel to enter.
   The Marieta Islands, were originally formed many thousands of years ago by volcanic activity, and are completely uninhabited. The islands are about an hour long boat ride west-northwest from the coast of Puerto Vallarta and are visited daily by hundreds of tourists, yet no one can legally set foot on the islands. In the early 1900s the Mexican government began conducting military testing on the islands because no one lived there. Many bombings and large explosions took place on the islands causing amazing caves and rock formations to be created. After a massive international outcry, started by scientist Jacques Cousteau in the late 1960s, the government eventually decided to label the islands a national park and therefore protected against any fishing, hunting or human activity.
The GPS coordinates are: 20.699°N 105.585°W
Here is a photo of one of the most impressive of these "hidden beaches":
If you are vacationing in Mexico and around Puerto Vallarta in particular you may want to take a boat ride over to the Merietas Islands and see this in person. If so it might look a bit like this:
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Are These the Sports We Want in the Olympics?

  The Modern Olympic Games began under the auspices of the IOC and were hosted in the Panathenaic stadium in Athens in 1896. The Games brought together 14 nations and 241 athletes who competed in 43 events. From that time forward the events have become increasingly more and more judged than measured it seems. Why this has happened may be to make them more entertaining and appealing to all who watch, especially with the advent of television in the 30s (although worldwide broadcasting didn't happen until the 1950s, at the 1956 Australian summer games).
  Many of the most popular events are judged. Ice skating, boxing, gymnastics, are all judged events. Some say that it is inappropriate to regard these as actual sports since the winner is determined by judges instead of by some sort of measure (time, distance, weight, etc.). Because of this some wish that these arbitrary events be excluded from the Olympics and only the 'true' sports should be included. One cause of this is that there have always been disputes over the judges decisions, esp. when controversial.
And since it is impossible to prove or disprove a judged result we have no way to reverse it. (as opposed to a measured result that is filmed and recorded).
  I don't think it would be wise to remove the judged events from the Olympics for this one reason, and also because many of these events are very popular for spectators. However, I would recommend a system of judging that is clear and logical for the contestants (whatever that may be). Having vague and arbitrary criteria as judging elements only adds to the frustration of all concerned with the events being run in a fair and proper way. And, If there is no way to tell how one competitor performed better or worse verses another then it may be time to toss out the event.
  On the other hand, Would it be unimaginable to separate the judged and unjudged events from one another and have them not all encompassing included under the Olympic umbrella? I see no reason why we couldn't have separate Olympics for the two types & maybe showcase them a week or two apart from one another. It is I would suspect apparent to all who watch that they are of different worlds. Why pretend that they aren't? Either the event is judged subjectively or it is not. There is no in-between. I suspect (maybe because I'm a guy) that the guys are more into the measurable type sports whereas the girls are more into the judged sports. I may be wrong there & if so don't kill the messenger. Personally that's how I roll. I'd much rather watch a baseball game or a 100 meter dash than a gymnastics competition or a boxing match (I'm not knocking the later sports-they're great in their own right-but, they are just not my cup of tea, so to speak).. I want a clear winner, not one that is picked by some anonymous judge(s) by arbitrary criteria that they neither have to explain or prove to me as to why the winner was chosen.
  Here is one of the latest and loudest protests against subjective judging at the Olympic games:
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Monday, February 17, 2014

Nice Putt

   A couple days ago, during an Auburn basketball game, one spectator was selected to participate in a putting contest to win a $15,000 car. It was a full-court putt across the hard wood floor and yet he made it look easy as it went right in (thru a small hole cut into an advertisement banner). Everyone was stunned & surprised that he made it, including it seemed Patrick himself. Maybe he should consider becoming a pro golfer seeing as how well he handled the situation & didn't get stressed out at all by the pressure. Watch his great put below:
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Friday, February 7, 2014

The Beatles

   Today is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles "British Invasion" of the United States when they flew to New York and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, at the Washington Coliseum, and at Carnegie Hall and sang many of their very popular songs. They had formed the band in 1960 in Liverpool, England and were already at the top of the charts there when they came here and took America by storm. Two of their members, John Lennon & George Harrison, have passed, but Ringo Star and Paul McCartney still perform for their fans.
   They are one of the greatest and most influential bands in rock history. Check out their wiki page here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles

  And here's one of their song videos:
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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Space Aplenty

The Edge of Space
 
  Men and women have left this world and travelled thru space. We've landed on the moon and walked around multiple times with the Apollo Moon Missions. We know a lot about the dangers of space. There is also danger in coming home.
  Reentry into the atmosphere has always been perilous. The capsule or space shuttle the astronauts are in hit it at incredible speeds--at up to mach 25 I've read. At that speed your vessel must be protected by a heat shield or else it will melt and disintegrate (the Space Shuttle Columbia was lost this way Feb. 1, 2003 because its heat resistant tile system was compromised).
  NASA is currently out of business and not sending manned space ships up. However, some private companies (like Virgin Group Ltd. I believe, founded by Richard Branson) are getting into the space business and will in the future offer travel up to and into space. At some point in time there will probably be space station(s) to journey to & spend time at-like hotels in orbit. The ultimate get-away spot. The ships used to get up there will most likely be much like our current shuttles, or a cross between shuttles and large jet airplanes.
  Coming back from a vacation like this will be like taking a plane trip home I suspect & not so very unusual. The only difference being that the place you come home from is in orbit & travelling at thousands of miles an hour around Earth. I just wonder if there were some other way to return instead of in a space vessel. Maybe someone will invent an elevator system. Or maybe transporters like in Star Trek. If you did journey back in a ship & you could slow down enough before reentering the atmosphere it seems to me that you wouldn't be heating up so much. Slowing down obviously means that the gravity of Earth would pull you out of orbit faster. So maybe this isn't possible. I'm not a scientist/physicist/etc. so I can't say for sure. But it's something I've wondered about.
  There have been a few men who have tested the limits of how far humans can fall to Earth. The latest and currently the greatest is Felix Baumgartner. You can read about him here on WIKI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Baumgartner
  What he did show us I think is that there are alternatives to reentry into earth atmosphere besides riding it out inside a ship at supersonic speeds and needing a heat shield to stay alive. Of course his alternative was extremely radical and done I think simply to set a world record for skydiving.
  You can watch the video here:
 
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