Monday, November 16, 2015

Into The Gunlesslands


   We have a new show on the AMC tv station called Into The Badlands. If I had to describe it it would be if you combined Roots and Kung Fu Saturday Action Theater. Roots because of the 'slave plantaion' aspect of the show and the latter because of all the cool martial arts fighting and swordplay.
   I do like the show, not as much as The Walking Dead, but it is entertaining. However, one thing that makes little to no sense is the total lack of guns. Sure they have other technology like motorcycles and cars. But no one thought to invent any kind of gun? Seems strange since there are other ranged weapons (namely shurikens, although I think I've also seen knives & other bladed weapons thrown).
   The only reason I can fathom is that the creators just didn't want guns in the show - logic be damned. Their option I guess. Though I cannot agree. One thing this does do, however, is allow for great melee battles - which is fun to watch. If guns did exist everyone could just shoot one another & not result in much of a show. Some options would be to wear bullet proof armor or have the skills to dodge the bullets. But whatever. I'll be watching nevertheless.


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ghost Hunters

I've seen those shows on TV where they search for ghosts in peoples homes & have always thought how stupid that is. I'm like, "ghosts aren't real. They never find them!"
Well the latter is true - we never see any ghosts being found. But is that because we aren't in the "right mind" so to speak? Let me explain...
I heard on the radio today about a family who bought a home & shortly after moving in began to hear & even see things - strange & even ghostly things. Things that couldn't be rationally explained. At least until their home was checked out.
As it turned out there was a carbon monoxide leak in their home. This was slowly poisoning them & the cause of them seeing and hearing the strange noises & sights.
But were these all just hallucinations? Or did the poisoning of their brains enable them to sense things that normal minds could not detect?
It is a quandary & hard to prove.
I've never believed in ghosts, but I've also never been in a mentally damaged state that might enable me to see & hear them.
Maybe the people on the ghost hunter shows need to suck on a car tailpipe or something before trying to find these ghosts. Maybe that would help them too? Of course, even if they did see or hear them then they still couldn't record them on video or audio for TV.
Oh well...
I also had another idea relating to this & it is with the term spirits. Spirits is another name for alcohol & is derived from Middle Eastern alchemy. These alchemists were more concerned with medical elixirs than with transmuting lead into gold. The vapor given off and collected during an alchemical process (as with distillation of alcohol) was called a spirit of the original material. And so, you'd see a "spirit" as it changed into alcohol. Of course spirits is also another name for ghosts, which brings us back again to the subject of this posting.
My thought is that, as with poisoning of the mind by carbon monoxide, alcohol can likewise put the mind in an altered state. Possibly altered enough even to see what the imbiber believes to be ghosts. Usually those who were drunk forget what they saw and were doing, however, but perhaps this is just another way of enabling this ability. And perhaps the term spirit was not only derived from the distillation process but also due to drunks witnessing ghostly images.
Who knows?...



Monday, August 24, 2015

Chicago Trip

   I spent the last several days in Chicago with a friend of mine. Mainly it was to see some baseball (I'm a Braves fan as I live in B'ham, AL.) and we usually go somewhere each year to catch a few games for a "road trip" vacation. This year it turned out the schedual worked out so that we could do this trip. (We had wanted to go on a trip to Washington D.C./Pittsburgh but that fell through).
   It was a fun trip. The weather was good. We rode the trains from near our hotel in Evanston to get to Wrigley Field. We had to ride the purple train from Dempster station to Howard station then switch over to the red train & ride it down to Addison Station. Not bad at all once we figured it out. We don't have trains like this in B'ham so we weren't used to how they operate but it's not that confusing.
   Unfortunately the Braves lost all 4 games against the Cubs. Atlanta kinda sucks this year. Maybe the Cubbies will win the World Series in 2015 (like it was foretold in the Back to the Future movie).
They have some good players & are playing well so I'd not put it beyond the realm of possibility.
   Here's a couple photos from Wrigley I took while there:


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Banned For Life

   So Tom Brady has been punished & will miss 4 NFL games next season for cheating (deflating footballs). Is that enough of a punishment? Is winning all that matters nowadays?
   Other athletes who've cheated/used illegal drugs/etc. have been punished much more harshly in the past. There is a long list of very recognizable names:
Pete Rose, Tonya Harding, Lance Armstrong, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Ben Johnson among the most famous and well-known who were banned for life from their sports. So why shouldn't Tom Brady also be banned for life as well?
    For that matter why shouldn't Alex Rodriguez be banned for life when it was determined that he used illegal drugs? Who makes these decisions & why are some people spared the lifetime ban while others are stricken down? It seems rather arbitrary to me. What do you think?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Working On Book 3

    The last month or so I've been back at work on my trilogy Andy Brighton and the Dragons of Wyrme. You can find the first two books on Amazon.com over here:------------------------------->
    I wrote up the outline for the final book a good while back (probably shortly after finishing
book 2) but put off trying to actually write the 3rd book in earnest due to other activities and
distractions. What I usually do when writing my books is to come up with ideas for what would
make for an interesting story - then I come up with a basic outline - then when I'm pretty sure
that it looks workable I try to sit down and type out the book. So far this has worked out, though
it takes a long while to finish my books (a year or so I'd guess). Of course this lengthy amount
of time is considering that I have a full-time job to go to nearly everyday so I can only write in
my remaining spare time. Oh, for the freedom of not having to work & be able to write all day
long - I could get finished so much faster. But I don't wish to give excuses.
    At any rate I believe that I've settled on a title for the final installment after much dilemma:
The Great Reconfiguring I think it will be called (pertaining to a plot point in the story).
    So far I'm about halfway thru chapter 3 & making good progress. Today while at work at
my full-time job I had a sort of revelation about the instigators of the plot in the books and had
to write it down. It was something I had lightly touched on previously in books 1 & 2 but which
will become much more prominent. It's fundamentally the same idea as a self-fulfilling prophecy,
except in reverse (many times the fear of something happening might actually cause it to happen
due to the actions and/or reactions people might have to it - but in the case of my story the prophecy was a desirable outcome, therefore it coming true was not feared).



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

In Case You Ever Wondered...

   The Universe is full of things big and small. We as humans and the world we live on are kinda the "middle of the road" size-wise because there are things both much bigger and much smaller. In case you might have wondered what things are bigger or smaller than us & Earth take a look at the following interactive site. Use the slider bar below the image frame to see larger & larger or smaller & smaller objects. (one of the coolest websites I've ever seen)
http://htwins.net/scale2/

Monday, June 22, 2015

You Better Run...You Better Hide!

   Either his girlfriend's father came home early or the dead have come to life.
You'll find out which one it is when Fear The Walking Dead premiers on AMC in August.
Until then we can watch him run!


Friday, June 19, 2015

He'll Be Back

    Arnold pranks unsuspecting tourists in this video where he's promoting his latest Terminator movie. He catches them off guard as they think he's just a wax figure.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Go Cubs!

   I'm scheduled to vacation the week that the Braves are at Chicago in August. My friend and I are staying several days so we're looking for a place to stay. The choices are between Wrigleyville and Evanston. I saw this video of some big Cubs fans that centers on the former location & it looked kinda cool (though Evanston did too)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Don't Look Down

If you're afraid of heights you may not want to watch this video. A couple guys made this video while ascending the Shanghai Tower in China (the 2nd tallest) at about 650 meters. It was still under construction and had a crane on top so they climbed up that too to get even higher! My question is did they have on parachutes so they could just jump off at the end or in case they fell or something? Because there's no way in Hell I'd do something like this!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Back...To Star Trek

    Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame is the ultimate geek. Not in a bad way, however, but in the good way. By this I mean that he has all the coolest gadgets and gizmos from all the best movies ever made. Han solo's blaster, R2-D2, & C3P0 from Star Wars - he's got them. Deckard's M2019 PKD Detective Special from Blade Runner - he's got it, a replica whip from Indiana Jones - he's got it, etc. the list goes on for days. Star Trek is one of his loves and so, since he is great at recreating objects from movies & TV shows he created his own captain's chair that Kirk would sit in. As usual the level of exacting detail he demanded was high. And the result is exceptional. With friend Will Smith of Tested and Jeremy Williams to help wire it up they finish the chair and give it a test.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Surf the Golf Course

   Ideally with the younger golfers in mind I'd imagine comes a new idea for getting around on the golf courses. The Golf Board. It's almost like surfing the grass in between taking your shots. I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in trying this for the places who offer it.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Are You A Gangsta?

 It's been nearly 20 years, unbelievably, since Coolio released his Gangstas Paradise single. Time's slipped away so fast, I don't know where it went. I can remember the movie Dangerous Minds starring Michelle Pfeiffer & her being in the music video alongside Coolio. Well, at any rate, to reminisce, let's all watch it:

Monday, May 4, 2015

Happy Star Wars Day

  May the 4th is officially Star Wars day. The films are among some of my favorite science fiction ever, so it means a lot to me and many people across the globe. And I can't wait to see what Star Wars episode 7 has in store for us later on this year as well as the next two films after that.
May the 4th be with you!
Star Wars Day on Wiki

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Statcast From MLB

  Major league baseball is great to watch and as a game is inherently full of statistics. So it made logical sense to use technology to it's full potential and combine the two by giving watchers at home nearly real-time stats on plays made during the game. (such as how fast players run, how far a ball carries, etc.).
Statcast
   It has been used before on a limited basis but now it will be incorporated in a much broader number of regular season games on the MLB tv network.
Here is an example of what it looks like during a game:



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Derby The Dog

   He started life with a disadvantage, but with love and support and the help of prosthetic "legs" he's now running better than ever. A heart wrenching story to inspire all.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

What A Piece Of ...(Put Your Own Adjective Here)

   Uh oh, someone got caught on camera being a dumbass again. This time it was ESPN reporter Britt McHenry. Although she graduated magna cum laude from Stetson & journalism school she apparently never took any courses in manners, because she is sadly lacking in them in the following video. She of course apologized for her remarks (since being caught-not because she didn't mean them) and has been slapped on the wrist with a week's suspension (she should be fired).
   She should be fired also because of the simple fact that she is just a pretty face. ESPN can find another girl to talk sports in 2 seconds to replace her and they should as quickly as possible. They don't need the negative publicity or connection to a loser like Britt McHenry.
fire her dumb ass

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Play Pac Man on Google Maps

   It's probably for a limited time only (started on April Fools day I think) but Kim Komando says you can get your Pac Man play in at Google Maps. Check it out:

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Major League Baseball Opening Day

   It's my favorite team sport to watch - on TV or in person. I've played a few sports competitively myself; tennis, volleyball, cross-country running, but never baseball (except for one year my brother and I played little-league ball & we truly sucked at it). It's one sport I wish I could have grown up playing & maybe played in high school. Watching it now it seems so comfortable-just sit back and relax with a game of baseball. You just can't beat it.
   Opening day is here with two of my favorite teams tonight at Wrigley Field - the Cardinals @ the Cubs. I've been to both stadiums (the old Busch Stadium) & love both, especially Wrigley with its ivy covered walls. It's great that the MLB season is here again.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Jibbers Crabst

   Bahfest is a celebration of well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect scientific theory. The brave speakers there present their bad theories in front of a live audience and a panel of judges with real science credentials, who together determine who takes home the coveted BAHFest trophy. And eternal glory, of course. The following is one humorous example of this.
Be warned: the language used is often a bit saucy.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fools

    Yes, today is April Fools day, but I promise that the following information is no joke: pet rocks are once again in the news! With the death of their creator Gary Dahl just a few days ago interest in the peculiar pets has reemerged.
    They had been off store shelves for quite a while (from Feb 1976 - Aug, 2012) due to lower sales and unpopularity, but they are available again at petrock.com and on Ebay auctions and might even be available in certain stores (I dunno where however).
    So, in case you want to get one you certainly can!





Saturday, March 21, 2015

We Got It So Good

   If you think your life is hard, just consider how the people in most other countries live on a daily basis. Though if you were to ask them they'd probably say that life is not bad at all (because they're used to living that way) if we were forced to try it for a day we'd probably think it was torture. Anyways, here's a funny video by Weird Al Yankovic that pokes fun at this subject:


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March Madness Is Back!!!

  Do you wanna play some basketball????? College hoops are here again & with it are the crazy bracket contests. Wanna win a million bucks? You can possibly do it by entering one of these challengers. Make your best picks, fill out your brackets & cross your fingers. I've entered these following contests personally, but there are undoubtedly many more out there to choose from. Most of these have $1,000,000 payouts for a perfect bracket pick. So good luck!
http://contest.collegehoops.al.com/collegebasketball/registration/login.asp
http://athlon.bracketbreakdown.com/dashboard
http://www.libertymadness.com/
http://www.foxsports.com/fantasy/collegebasketball/tourney/join/
http://charlotteobserver.collegebasketball.upickem.net/collegebasketball/registration/login.asp
http://sportsillustrated.collegehoops.upickem.net/collegebasketball/registration/login.asp
https://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com/


Monday, March 16, 2015

Is This The Most Uncomfortable Photo Ever?

Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald reunited for a photo and looked a bit awkward, at least to my eyes. Judge for yourself.
SXSW

Friday, March 13, 2015

It's Will Ferrell Playin Ball!

The funny man did himself one better playing for 10 different baseball teams in spring training games yesterday, getting helicopter lifted in order to accomplish the feat. All for a good cause.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Glamping

Yes glamping - not a typo there, it means glamorous camping.  An activity practiced by early 21st century Americans as a direct result of the booming economy lead by The Greatest President Ever. Regrettably, the only people who go glamping are metrosexuals, girls and other assorted homosexual sympathizers. (or so it states here: http://wikiality.wikia.com/Glamping)
Heres a video example:


Friday, March 6, 2015

Are The Gods Angry?

Harrison Ford had a close call the other day. Flying in his vintage fighter plane the engine malfunctioned and a crash landing ensued. At least it happened on the soft grass of a golf course where doctors were nearby playing golf who could come to his aid (he had some cuts and bruises-luckily that was all). See the story here: Ford Crash
He is scheduled to star in the sequel to the famous Blade Runner movie and of course the next Star Wars series of films. Does his accident portend anything ominous do you think? Or was this just an accident? There have been other celebrities who've not survived such mishaps (John Denver, John F. Kennedy Jr., to name just a couple for example).
Maybe Harrison Ford was luckier than the others and will not meet his fate in this way.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Either Godzilla is Waking Up Or...

Japan is growing - by way of a volcano. The erupting Nishinoshima volcano is adding land to Japan. Catch the story here: Japan Volcano
This is normal I presume & not some sign of the apocalypse or anything. Let's hope so.



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Takin' A Ride

For one fearless weasel riding the back of a woodpecker seemed like a good idea. At least in merry old England that's how they roll. I have no idea how this turned out (if the weasel rode the bird until it landed or if he fell off shortly afterwards) but kundos for the effort:

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

Tim Tebow detractors aside, he has been successful, not only in football, but in life itself. I'm not really an NFL fan, however, while looking for a good rendition of the poem "IF" by Rudyard Kipling I ran across this on Youtube & thought it quite poignant.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

World Of Tanks Epic Wins

   If you're into the game World of Tanks (my brother is a big fan) you'll appreciate this: getting into the game is pretty easy, but getting really good at it like anything takes practice, skill & dedication. Some people get really, really good. Here's a video compilation of a few players who have gotten so good they are nearly one-man killing machines. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Elder Scrolls Gets Better & Better

    Fans of the Elder Scrolls games (Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, most notably) will undoubtedly
be enjoying the latest game in their lineup:
The Elder Scrolls Online
Official Website   Wiki Link
    I've played several of these on PC and am a big fan of the virtual-worlds Bethesda creates
for the players to experience as well as the storylines developed.
    This newest installment has been delayed for consoles until this summer where it will
be renamed The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Here's a cinematic trailer of the
game with some pretty impressive graphics & fight sequence:



Monday, February 2, 2015

Seeing is Almost Believing

   I saw this in a Kim Kommando email; a virtual apartment video so real it nearly makes you believe it is. And you'd be hard pressed to fault it for authentic except for the flaws of the camera person casting no shadows & having no reflection. But otherwise this is very well done.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

It's Superbowl Time!

  Here it comes again, the biggest event of the year. So how about a glimpse of what's coming:


And if that's not enough:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Soon To Be Lost

   Nothing lasts forever. That is true of everything. And all across our country there are structures, such as the once great Pontiac Silverdome, that will soon fall to the ravages of time. 
  The Silverdome hosted the Detroit Lions until 2001 as well as several other sports teams and was the venue for such things as a mass for Pope John Paul II in 1987, and concerts for The Who and Led Zepplin. The dome was sold in 2009 for a reported $583,000.00, an amazing price considering it originally cost $55.7 million to build. Last year I think on May 19, 2014 an auction was held for the Silverdome assets such as seats I imagine to recoup some value out of the stadium before it is demolished. 
   In Birmingham, AL. there is a stadium called Legion Field built in 1927 which reminds me a good bit of the Silverdome. In its hay-day it saw the Iron Bowl games and a myriad of concerts (like the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd). Today Legion Field sees very little activity since the Iron Bowl has moved to alternating between UA and AU stadiums, the local UAB team has lost its football program, and the high schools no longer use it either. Of course concerts still show up there every so often & one bowl game I think is still played there each year (The Birmingham Bowl). But otherwise that's about it.     
    Yes our 'Old Grey Lady' is showing her age and may not have much longer to live. I suspect that if things stay the way they are her fate may go the way of the Silverdome. And we may have to put her to rest as well.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The HGTV Dream Home Contest

   If you'd like a million dollar home for free (or the closest thing to it since you would have to pay taxes on it) then I recommend entering this sweepstakes. There's only one winner I think but he/she wins either a fully furnished home in Martha's Vineyard + a GMC SUV (prize package worth over 2 million), or the cash option of about $1.7 million + the GMC vehicle (my preferred option considering I don't need such an expensive home).
You can enter twice a day starting here:
HGTV DREAM HOME
   I've entered these contests for several years. HGTV and it's related sites have all the best contests.
The Dream Home, Green Home, Blog Cabin, and Urban Oasis Contests are their best but just the tip of the iceberg cause they also have others too, so it's best to keep checking HGTV.com everyday for new contests.
Watch a 90 second video tour of this year's Dream Home:


Monday, January 12, 2015

Birdman Is A Must See

   I watched this film a couple days ago and have to say that it was one of the most entertaining and captivating films I've seen in a long time if not ever. There are a number of reasons why it impressed me more than the usual movies I see.
*** possible spoiler alerts below ***
1; The actors were very believable, esp. Michael Keaton, who should get an Oscar nod for his performance (in fact I'd be surprised if this film did  not get several Oscar nominations)
2; The way it was shot - it seems like it was done in one long take, though obviously it wasn't, but shooting it this way kept me riveted to the screen in a way that almost no other movie has recently if ever.
3; The subliminal & hinted at context as well as the more direct action going on left you wondering if what you were watching was really happening or just the hallucinations of Michael Keaton's character. Most of the time my guess is that he was imagining it all, but there are clues throughout the film that suggest he really was some sort of superhuman birdman.
   I don't write recommendations for many films, mainly because 99.9% of films aren't worth doing so, but I would recommend this one. It had everything you would want from a great movie. Action, comedy, romance, drama, suspension of disbelief, it even made me cry towards the end. See it!




Sunday, January 4, 2015

Never Say Never

   If you seem to have bad luck at getting something to happen you shouldn't give up on trying to make it happen because there's a mathematical probability formula that is proven to be right that shows the more times you try to do something the greater chance you have of it happening.
  Let's say you want to flip a coin and have it land on heads. Each coin flip there's a 50% chance it will either land on heads or tails. That is true, but your chance to get heads increases over multiple attempts.
  Why you may ask? Well, I think you'll agree that if we were to flip the coin 100 times it is extremely likely that we'll get heads at least once, right? That is intuative. And it is true of anything you do, not just flipping coins. But why is this?
   Well, here is the formula to calculate it:
                1-((1-X)^Y)=Z
   X = the % chance for a given try (50% in the case of a coin flip)
   Y = the number of trys (ex: number of coin flips)
   Z = the % probability of it happening
    So, if you were to flip a coin 100 times trying to get heads you have:
                1-((1-50)^100) = 100%
    If you flipped the coin only say 15 times you'd get:
                1-((1-50)^15) = 99.99%
    So just flipping the coin 15 times gives you a darn good chance already. In fact not until you drop the number of flips below 7 does the % chance drop below 99%. Of course, that doesn't mean that if you flip a coin 7 times one will come up heads because there's still a 1% chance  that it won't. And in actuality, even with 100 flips there's still a really small chance that heads won't come up. This is due to rounding of the numbers when calculating the percentages. But this chance is infinitesimally small.
So small that it is extremely unlikely to occur. However, not impossible.
So, never say never.
   And for fun here is a probability calculator for you to use to see what chance you have of doing something of your own. Have Fun!
(thanks to Brian Wood and this site for this information and the following code)




Drop chance (enter 1% as 1);


Number of runs;




Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Most Spectacular Ringing In The New Year

  Londoners went all out in celebrating the start of 2015 with one of the best fireworks shows ever. Catch their superb spectacle in this video: