Monday, July 31, 2006

Air Quality in Atlanta

Supposedly, we have a significant chance of getting into a “code purple” situation with air quality here in Atlanta. It’s like a Category 4 hurricane….one more level until it’s as bad as it can get. Currently, as of 12:00 P.M. EST the AQI (Air Quality Index) is at 130, that puts us into the middle of Category Orange, which is “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.”

Category Orange is rated 101 to 150. In this range the outdoor air is more likely to be unhealthy for more people. Children, people who are sensitive to ozone, and people with heart of lung disease should limit prolonged outdoor exertion during the afternoon or early evening when ozone levels are highest. In other words, the air blows.

The next level up is Category Red, is rated 151-200. In this range even more people will be affected by ozone. Most people should restrict their outdoor exertion to morning or late evening hours when the ozone is low, to avoid high ozone exposures.

The level after that is Category Purple, is rated 201-300. In this category increasingly more people will be affected by ozone. Most people should restrict their outdoor exertion to morning or late evening hours when the ozone is low, to avoid high ozone exposures.

The last level is Category Black, rated over 300. In this category everyone should avoid all outdoor exertion.

I’ll let you know how high we get. Our peak is usually around the 4 or 5 o’clock hour. So, there are a few more hours left.


Kevin Nash, wow...what happened man?

I was browsing PWInsider today and came across a little snippet on Kevin Nash. Some of you know him as Big Sexy, some of you know him as Deisel, I know him as a guy who can’t really wrestling and cuts so-so promos.

Well, it looks like he needs a little help to stay in shape now-a-days. Check this story out and see for yourself. “Fast rising Hollywood career,” yeah right.


Election Night Hang-Over

I don’t know if it was because I was up too late watching the election night results, or because I had too much wine, but I woke up with a terrible hangover today. Actually, I didn’t sleep well at all last night, tossing and turning, never really getting into a deep sleep. I must have woken up like ten times to pee. It sucked.

What also sucks is that my girl, Cathy Cox, lost to “The Big Guy” Mark Taylor in the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary last night. While I really didn’t care too much about the other primaries, with exception of Lt. Governor (give ‘em Hecht”), I had a personal stake in this election as I have been an early Cathy supporter and volunteered time to her campaign. I really liked Cathy’s platform and believed she would be, hands down, the best candidate to take on incumbent Sonny Perdue.

I volunteered a Saturday a few months back, and met up with many other Cathy supporters at the state capitol building here in Atlanta for a commercial shoot. I was asked to wear a nice suit because I was going to be playing a “young professional.” Instead, they made me into an “evil lobbyist.” I had a good time and was going to be used prominently in two or more ads. Unfortunately, I’ll never see those ads as they were shot to be used against Sonny in the main campaign leading up to the election in November, not during the primary race.

I’ve never been this attached to an election before. Sure, I felt like ass the day after Bush was reelected, but it wasn’t personal. The connection with this election was different. I was actually part of it, I had worked with others toward a goal, and I stuffed envelopes for crying out loud!

I don’t know why Cathy lost, as I thought her message resonated well with voters, and opinions of her were high. Maybe it was the plethora of negative ads that Mark Taylor ran. They weren’t “John McCain has an illegitimate black child” bad, but they weren’t good either. Cathy defended herself well, but evidently not well enough. Maybe I’ll get an e-mail later today, the final of the Cathy for Governor mailing list, giving a few theories (supposedly she wants to run again in four years, and she’ll likely get the chance as I don’t see anyone, even her, beating Sonny this year) but until then I’ll just sort of mope around work.

I’ve got a terrible head ache today and really do feel like crap. If this doesn’t improve I might go home half way through the day. Who knows?

On the flip side it looks like everyone’s favorite congressional crazy lady Cynthia McKinney will face a run off election against Hank Johnson. I can’t say I’m surprised, even with the cult like following Cynthia has. She’s been less than stellar as of late, and her strategy of laying low during the primary race seems to have worked. I don’t know much about her opponent Hank Johnson, other than that he is from her district originally, meaning he grew up there, and is a lawyer. We’ll see how many people turn out for the run-off, which I feel will favor Cynthia since her constituency is significantly more energetic and determined than Johnson’s.

In additional news, thank you Jesus, Ralph Reed was defeated in his primary race for Lt. Governor by State Senator Casey Cagle. Reed, founder of the Christian coalition, former roommate and groomsmen of Jack Abramoff, and all around political hack, just looked too snarky to get the Republican nod here. Cagle seems to be a stand up guy, with a good record, and while I don’t see eye to eye on his politics there could be far worse in the office of Lt. Governor. Reed, in typical arrogant “I’m better than you commoner!” fashion refused any comments or post race interviews, so who knows what he’s thinking. I’m sure he thinks Casey is going to hell.



Windows Vista Speech Recognition Demo Gone Awry

Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all.

This could be the next "All Your Base Are Belong To Us!"

The guy introducing the video does a good enough job setting this thing up. But if your curious, it's a tech demo for Vista's new voice recognition software, and it doesn't turn out too well.


Stranger Than Fiction

Just caught wind of this new Will Farrell movie called “Stranger Than Fiction.” It looks really cool. Cool enough that this might be his “Truman Show” so to speak.

Check out the website to see the trailer.


300+ pounds!

I was at the gym on Saturday doing an arm workout. Afterwards I was farting around talking with one of the people I see there a lot and we decided to see how much weight we can put up on the bench press.

I haven’t “maxed” in years, so I had no idea what I could do. We started at 250 (bar, 2X45, 2x25, 1x10, 2x2.5), we both put that up no problem. Then we went to 275 (bar, 4X45, 2x25), we put that up with a bit more strain. Then we moved to 300.

Now, I’ve never put up 300 pounds in my life, I just haven’t ever tried it, so I was a bit psyched. We put the weight on (bar, 4X45, 2x25, 2x10, 2x2.5) and I got ready. After a moment to concentrate I strained and put it up 300 pounds!

I was surprised that I felt like I still had some strength left too. The guy I was with put it up with a bit more ease. We decided to go up a bit higher. We put on the weight for 315 (bar, 6x45) and I barely got it up. I called it quits on that one, since I knew I couldn’t go any higher. The other guy got up to 360, which was pretty cool.

I’m pretty proud of myself. I’ve worked hard this past year and although I don’t worry about my strength as much as how I look, it was nice to know I’ve got it if I need it. Now, if I could just get that jar of jelly open.


Minimum wage increase linked to “Inheritance Tax”

The Democrats decided to take up the fight to raise the minimum wage a few months back. Now, I’m a card carrying member of the DNC (it’s true), but even I know an election year cause when I see one. Fortunately, I couldn’t have suggested a better cause than that. While I’d have loved to see them take this up much earlier, this isn’t something that the Republican’s can really fight against. It would positively affect hundreds of thousands of people, and mainly the ones who most need it. Of course, it was defeated by Senate Republican’s a few weeks back.

So, we go to The House. The Democrats decide to try again there. I mean, how can you argue against raising the wage? It’s been ten years since it was raised to 5.15 an hour. Hell, I was in high school. I remember making the 4.25 it was before that. The Senate Republican’s took a bit of heat for voting this item down, so the House Republican’s needed to figure out a way to defeat it while turning this on its head to make the Democrats look like the bag guys. Well, they succeeded.

The Republican’s have an affair with the “Inheritance Tax,” or what they call the “Death Tax.” The Inheritance Tax is a tax that is placed on an estate when the person who owns it passes away. This tax was created specifically for the wealthiest of the wealthy, regardless of how many small farmer sob stories that are invented to contradict that statement. They want this tax abolished because most of their big donors are wealthy and they want to keep all their money. So, they’ve renamed the inheritance tax (since the word inheritance is associated with wealth, and most people don’t care about the well being of the wealthy) the death tax (a negative word, and since inheritance is absent it makes it sound like something that can effect everyone). The House Republican’s attached the minimum wage increase to the permanent repeal of the “inheritance tax,” which is something the Democrats are against.

This leaves us with the Democrats threatening to kill the bill, since they don’t want to repeal the “inheritance tax,” and therefore this can be used by Republican’s to say “we wanted to raise your minimum wage, but the Democrats killed the bill.”

Mind blowing.

This is politics folk, pure and simple.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Movie Review: Battle Royale

The other day I was in the kitchen getting some Arizona Diet Green Tea (it’s god shit) when Bebe asked me, “Are you watching one of those Asian flicks again?”

I smiled a bit while opening the fridge and said, “Yes.” Netflix sent me Hard Boiled that day, a movie I’d wanted to see for close to ten years, and I was very excited to pop it in the DVD player and get started.

“Why do you watch so many Asian movies?” she asked.

“Well,” I said, “there’s a whole planet out there making movies.” I closed the fridge and walked over to the counter to grab a cup. “Why should I limit myself only to the movies that are made here?” I pour the iced tea into the cup as I waited for her response. “And besides, it’s not just Asian films; I watch movies from Europe, Africa, Australia, and South America too.”

“You know that you’re weird, right?” she asked me.

I laughed as I put the idea tea back in the fridge, “Call me what you want. You’re the one missing out.”

I’m glad that I’m “weird” because if I wasn’t I wouldn’t have been lucky enough to watch Battle Royale last night. This is a movie I’d heard about for the last few years, but thanks to severe limitations on what Hollywood Video and Blockbuster carry, I’d never had the chance to see it. Well, thanks to my new Netflix subscription I had to wait no longer.

Usually I pop these in my nice A/V set up in my loft. 48” HDTV, Dolby and/or DTS 5.1 surround, progressive scan DVD player, futon, fan, and some comfortable pillows. Just the sort of stuff to help you relax after a hard days work and an hour or two at the gym. However, I’ve been trying to spend more time with Bebe lately since she will only sit in the bed room, with the little TV on, and her laptop buzzing. Usually, I’m upstairs in the loft and she’s in the bedroom. Thanks to Cobb County Public School System, we’ve got a spare laptop in the house now, so I popped the DVD in that and decided to watch while sitting next to her. Of course, this is the one day she decides to do something upstairs, so it was all pointless. I still started and finished the movie on the laptop, since once it started I couldn’t put it down.

Battle Royale is something that couldn’t be made here in the states, or at least made correctly. Just yesterday there was a story about New Line trying to do an American Remake of the film. I don’t have a problem if they take the premises, change it, and call it something else, but don’t try to “remake” Battle Royale, because you’re not going to be able to do it. Even Quentin Tarantino himself would fall short with a remake.

Wow, I’ve written a bunch and haven’t even set up the premise yet have I? Okay, here goes…At the start of the millennium society in Japan is on the verge of collapse. Unemployment is around 15% and people are just in the pits. This, of course, leads to the youth of society rebelling and basically paying no heed to adults or authority as a whole. Students decide they just take days off because they can, or that they don’t have to do anything the teacher says. It’s utter chaos to put it lightly.

Then, Japan passes the Battle Royale Act, which states that a class will be chosen in a random lottery to fight it out, to the death, on some sort of controlled environment. This year it’s on a deserted island. All the students enter, but only one gets to leave, the lone survivor, proving to society that they have “what it takes” to be an adult. The 9th grade class chosen this year has no idea they’ve been selected, they think they’re going on a class trip…until they all awake in the middle of a broken down classroom as soldiers yell at them.

After a somewhat comical briefing on the rules and what it takes to win, each student is sent out onto the island with the bag they arrived with, and a bag with supplies and a “weapon.” However, this “weapon” could be an axe, gun, bullet proof vest, or GPS device, or something else altogether.

I’m not going to go into details on the characters, since there are 43 in all, but sure enough things get very lord of the flies. This movie is violent, and I mean ultra violent, but it all works perfectly. Some of the students decide to team up, others kill without remorse, you get small snippets of about 10 characters or so, and some events in their lives that explain why they’re doing what they’re doing. The rest are just fodder for these ten kids.

The movie centers around the budding relationship of Shuya (played by Tatsuya Fujiwara) and Noriko (played by Aki Maeda), and what they do to survive. However, I wouldn’t say that the whole film follows these two as there are several other plots and subplots going on. In the end, well…I won’t spoil it, but needless to say it’s very bloody.

I really enjoyed this flick and think it was one of the most original titles I’ve seen in a long time. I give it a solid 9 out of 10. Evidently, this was based on a book which goes much deeper into many of the characters, so I might check that out. Some people might recognize Chiaki Kuriyama from the movie “Kill Bill Volume 1,” where she played the character Gogo, the Japanese school girl with the big ball and chain that gives The Bride all sorts of trouble. Kuriyama plays Takako Chigusa in Battle Royale, a minor character but one that does get a decent amount of face time in one of the scenes.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Movie Review: Final Fantasy VII – Advent Children

I’ve been a fan of the Final Fantasy series since its day on the NES. Hell, you could say that I’ve grown up with it.

I was really excited a few years ago when Square announced the all CGI movie, “Final Fantasy – The Spirits Within.” I’d been a fan of the CGI work coming out of Square’s game studios for years, often bragging to people who were in awe of stuff like “Toy Story” that there was even more amazing stuff out there, they just hadn’t seen it since it was in video games. Finally, I thought, everyone would be able to see what Square has been hiding away.

Boy was I disappointed.

Sure, the movie looked nice, but it sucked otherwise. This wasn’t Final Fantasy; this was Crappy Sci-Fi CGI Movie. There were no wizard, no swords, to magic, no cyber punk motifs, there was just bland voice acting with an even blander story. Sure, Final Fantasy can get a little bizarre at times, but for the most part the stories are second to the action, which was also missing.

Fortunately, Advent Children didn’t follow the same mistakes that Spirits Within did. THIS was a Final Fantasy movie. THIS had swords. THIS had magic. THIS had cyber punk. THIS had action for crying out loud, oh the action!

Now, on the flip side, if you’re not a fan of Final Fantasy VII, you’re probably not going to dig this movie for more than the action sequences. There is no background on the characters, or explanation as to why they are doing what they are doing. It’s a continuation of the Final Fantasy VII story, and it expects the viewer to be familiar with it. IS this a mistake? No, not really, when you look at the intended audience for this film. It was created for Japan, and only for Japan, where it was displayed theatrically. Square knew that there was a US audience for it, but they would have to settle for a DVD, which is fine with me as long as I got to see it.

Basically, the storyline picks up two years after Final Fantasy. Cloud and Tifa are “living together,” although there doesn’t appear to be any type of relationship happening. Cloud is still hung up on Aerith, and apparently still hasn’t moved on. Although Sephiroth and the threat of Jenova is gone, there is an affliction hitting people called geostigma, which is related to some sort of infection caused by the Jenova cells infused into some of the citizens of Midgar. Then, these three guys show up with gray hair looking for their “mother,” which is the remnants of Jenova that the head of Shinra Corp. still has hidden away somewhere. Turns out these guys are part of the same cloning process that created Sephiroth, which is why they look so much like him, and want their own “reunion” with mother to bring Sephiroth back to this world.

Blah blah blah, there is a TON of action. I mean, this movie is jam packed with some great fights. Square really showed what can be done with photo realistic CGI. They combined traditional motion capture animation with frame by frame animation to put together some amazingly choreographed sequences. They also managed to work in a lot of Clouds signature moves as well, but in a clever way, so you really need to look for them to catch them all.

The sound was good. I watched the Japanese audio since the American dub voices sucked. The music was cool as well, especially how they worked in different versions of the regular battle, boss battle, and special boss battle music in when the action was going down. It was a nice touch that any fan should pick up on.

As I mentioned before, the story was fine for fans, but leaves a lot to be desired for non fans. Don’t expect any type of real set up or explanation if you’ve not played the game. Just enjoy it for great looks and great battles.

All of the characters are worked in, each with their own looks. Heck, even Bahamut shows up for a big battle, which was really neat.

All in all, I’d give the action and visuals a 10 but the over all rating a 7.5. There is just too much lacking in the story department for it to be higher than that.



Its come to my attention that many of the posts I’m sending from work are not making it to my blog. I typically sent between 2 and 5 submissions a day, needless to say not all of those are making it.

Thus, I am shifting how a post so that all of them make their way to the blog. This is probably safer for me anyway, since the last thing I want to do is get in trouble for misusing my corporate e-mail, which I probably am doing.

I figure, this way, I’m not breaking any more rules, and everyone in the end turns out happy.


Watermelon News

Evidently, room temperature watermelon (70 degress F) is better for you than chilled watermelon.

Who knew?


Monday, July 24, 2006

Movie News: Spiderman

Looks like there was footage of Venom at the San Diego Comic Convention and he looked like everyone wants him too, all crazy and stuff. Ryley went to the convention but I don’t know if he caught the Spiderman panel or not, I’ll follow up to find out. Otherwise, there is plenty of stuff on the net right now about it, Ain’t It Cool News has a good piece on it, you should check that out.


Movie News: The Voice of Optimus Prime

I’ve been nervous about this since I saw the picture I posted a few days ago of the truck version of Optimus. Aside from the, as Aaron calls it, “fag flames” I’m still on the fence about how I feel about him. While I wish he looked like the flat nose truck in the cartoon, I do understand what I’ve heard from the Bay camp about them having to go with a different style truck due to how it would have to transform. They said it will still look like Optimus when he’s a robot, but that with how they are approaching transformations, the flat nose truck didn’t give them enough real estate to work with so to speak.

Regardless of how he looks, Optimus can still be Optimus if he sounds right, and thank God almighty they didn’t screw this one up. The voice of Optimus Prime will be none other than….well….the voice of Optimus Prime. That’s right, Peter Cullen. The voice we’ve all come to expect to hear when the big blue and red truck rolls up. So when he says “Autobots, roll out” it will sound the way it is supposed to do. It’s to bad Chris Latta, the voice of Cobra Commander and Starscream, is dead. It would have been great to hear him reprise his roll as well. I haven’t heard who they are going to use for Megatron yet, or even if there is a Megatron, but I do know that he won’t be the hand cannon he was in the cartoon. They’ll never be able to make a toy out of that. I’m not certain, but I heard there is an M1-A1 tank that is the main villain, and I think there was a version of Megatron in one of the new Transformers series that was a tank, so maybe that’s it. I’m more forgiving on the voice for Megatron, but it would be cool to hear Frank Welker, his voice in the original series, reprise his role (which is indeed the current rumor). Outside of Megatron, Optimus, and Starscream, I don’t care who they use for the voices of the other characters.


Saturday at the Lake

My friend Brad’s birthday was this past weekend and he had a bunch of people up to his lake house north east of Macon, Georgia to hang out for the weekend. He had several people from out of town there that I hadn’t seen since the good old days back at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Some people were thinner, some people were thicker, but aside from appearances everyone was still the same as I remember them.

There was quite a bit to do at the lake house other than eating and drinking. For one, there were four jet skis. I’ve only ridden on a jet ski a few times, each time with someone else driving, and was very interested in getting behind the controls of one of Brad’s. So, after a hotdog and a beer, I put on my life jacket and took off.

I was a bit apprehensive at first, not really being familiar with how the jet ski controlled or the feel behind it, and took it pretty easy my first time out. The one I was on could only get up to around 50mph or so, which was plenty fast enough for a first time out. The water was smooth and I had a good time, but as soon as we got back I wanted to go ride again.

A hotdog, beer, and hamburger later, I was out on the water again. This ride didn’t last as long, due to rain, but I was much more confident this time around, taking turns more aggressively, and going over wake with less caution. It was a good time.

After the rain subsided, things cleared up, and the wind died down, I was back out on the water, this time on one of the faster ones. I could get this jet ski up to over 60mph, and it was awesome. There’s something so incredible about standing up on a jet ski going 60mph, with the wind whipping up behind you and the buzz of the motor providing the only soundtrack to your experience. It was a good time.

The only down side is that my leg and back muscles are a bit sore. I’m glad I lift weights or who knows how much more sore I might be if I wasn’t used to using those muscles on a regular basis. Most of the pain is in my butt and outside tight, and my lats hurt too, but it’s nothing too painful.

All in all, I had a great time out on the lake and enjoying hanging out with my friends again.


Friday, July 21, 2006

A brand new car for a brand new future!

Here is the introduction from an article on

“Martin Eberhard holds the brake down with his left foot and presses on the accelerator with his right. The motor revs, the car strains against the brake. I hear ... almost nothing. Just a quiet whine like the sound of a jet preparing for takeoff 5 miles away. We're belted into a shimmering black sports car on a quiet, tree-lined street in San Carlos, California, 23 miles south of San Francisco. It has taken Eberhard three years to get this prototype ready for mass production, but with the backing of PayPal cofounder Elon Musk, Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and ex-eBay chief Jeff Skoll, he has created Silicon Valley's first real auto company.

"You see any cops?" Eberhard asks, shooting me a mischievous look. The car is vibrating, ready to launch. I'm the first journalist to get a ride.

He releases the brake and my head snaps back. One-one-thousand: I get a floating feeling, like going over the falls in a roller coaster. Two-one-thousand: The world tunnels, the trees blur. Three-one-thousand: We hit 60 miles per hour. Eberhard brakes. We're at a standstill again -- elapsed time, nine seconds. When potential buyers get a look at the vehicle this summer, it will be among the quickest production cars in the world. And, compared to other supercars like the Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari Enzo, and Lamborghini Diablo, it's a bargain. More intriguing: It has no combustion engine.”

You read that right, there is no combustion engine, its an electric car. The sentence about elapsed time is misleading, that is from dead stop to 60 mph and then back to a dead stop. The actual zero to 60mph time is four seconds. Yes, you read that right, four seconds. That’s only .3 seconds slower than a Porsche 911 Turbo, .1 seconds faster than a Porsche Carerra (yes, the supercar is slowr to 60 than the 911, but in 0-100 times the story is quite different).

Anyway, Tesla Motors unveiled its brand spanking new Tesla Roadster yesterday at an event in California. The Roadster is an all electric roadster, capable of a 0-60 time in 4 seconds, and a top speed of 130 miles per hour. It could go faster but the transmission, in order to keep weight down, can’t get the car past that. The car comes in right about 90,000, which is a deal when you compare it to cars that provide similar specs, not to mention what it costs to power it.

The travel distance of one charge is about 250 miles. Not enough for a cross country trip, but more than enough to be a daily driver. The best thing is that there is no refueling at a gas station, you just plug it in when you get home. Tesla estimates it will cost you about 1 to 2 cents per mile for a charge. So, in other words, to fully charge the 250 mile battery it will cost you between $2.50 and $5 dollars! Talk about a deal!

Let’s look at it this way. Say you travel on average 12,000 miles a year, the distance most leases allow in a year. At the current price of gas for 87 octane here in Atlanta, that would be 2.99 a gallon of gas and we’ll assume you get 25 miles per gallon. So, with some simple that’s (12000/25*2.99) $1,435.20 in gas a year, give or take. With the Tesla Roadster we’ll assume that the 1 to 2 cents a mile figure is 1.5 cents so you’d pay (12,000*.015) 180.00 dollars a year extra on your power bill. THAT’S A SAVINGS OF $1,255.20! That’s real money! That’s a vacation! That’s a new fridge! I mean, that is a significant amount of extra money for someone to have.

Now, while I’m excited I have to be realistic, it’s a two seat roadster that costs 90 grand. Obviously, that’s not something myself or most people could use or afford. Tesla plans on a large sedan in the next year or two with a bigger battery and a 500 miles range or so. By then they should have the infrastructure down so that the costs is less. That means for most people this is not in the realm of reality yet, but it will be soon.

When I looked at the pictures of the Roadster at I couldn’t help but think Lotus Elise. I’ve figure out why, Barney Hatt of Lotus Design in England is the chief designer for this. From what I read Tesla had four or five designers come up with sketches of what they wanted the car to look like and everyone liked Hatt’s design the best. It makes sense too. Lotus is know for making really fast, lightweight, small roadsters. It seems like it was only natural for it to look similar to the Lotus designs. Honestly, I think it looks a bit too much like an Elise, but I’ll let that slide for the sake of what this could mean for the auto industry.

Screw Hydrogen, this is the future baby. Imagine the richy riches buying a 50,000 dollar Tesla Sedan instead of the BMW 5 series. Good looks, great handling, sporty acceleration, and a significant savings in gas! That’s how we get gas prices down, take gas out of the equation entirely. This type of technology won’t be cheap enough for the everyman for about 10 years or so. But in the mean time, every well to do person who buys a Telsa is one less person draining out of the finite gas supply the rest of us have to use. That can add up quickly and could have a drastic impact on gas prices in the future. Unfortunately, that’s going to take some time to ramp up, and unfortunately, I see gas hitting 4 dollars a gallon before any of what I speculated starts to become reality. Plus, if these guys get something going that’s hot, GM, Ford, Chrysler will be forces to pick up on it, that market will require them to do so.

There is a lot of potential here, and we’ll see how it goes. I hope Tesla has the best of luck with their endeavor, because it could be part of the answer we’re looking for.



Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Atlanta AQI

As of 8 o'clock EST the AQI was at 159, which is in the red. Pretty crappy, but not as bad as they thought it might get today.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

University of Central Florida 2006 Football Preview

I am a proud Alumni of the University of Central Florida (UCF). Last year was our best football year ever, and I’m looking forward to even more this year. I don’t usually post whole articles but I want to this time… below is the 2006 football preview for UCF from


The culture of football in Orlando is forever changed. George O'Leary's Golden Knights vanquished the ghosts of an 0-11 season and a 17-game losing streak by winning Conference USA's East Division and securing the school's first bowl berth.

A stunning 49-48 loss to Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl - a missed extra point prevented a second overtime - left UCF hungry for more. It heads into its second season in C-USA with the personnel to get more, although the Knights' defense must make bigger strides for them to collect.

"The biggest challenge is keeping the players from thinking they've accomplished anything," O'Leary says. "All we've done so far is take one step. We have a lot of steps left to take. We haven't even scratched the surface."

O'Leary earned a new 10-year, $10 million contract for transforming UCF into a disciplined, run-first program. Last year the Knights developed a small but effective stable of runners, headed by Kevin Smith and Jason Peters, and led by a developing offensive line.

Quarterback Steven Moffett, always an accurate passer, became more proficient at reading defenses and making decisions. Receiver Mike Walker returns for his senior season having recovered from offseason knee surgery. Until Moffett develops trust in another wideout, Walker's return looms as a key question for an offense that needs playmakers.

The third year of O'Leary's tenure in Orlando sees the heat getting turned up on defensive coordinator Lance Thompson. The Knights were 11th in C-USA in total defense and must be more stubborn against the run.



In Coach George O'Leary's second season in Orlando, UCF's transition from pass-first to run-first was complete. The resulting production carried the Golden Knights to their first-ever bowl appearance in 2005.

The impact of first-year running back Kevin Smith was immediate: UCF averaged 167.1 yards rushing, the program's best performance on the ground in a decade, and Smith gained 1,178 yards to become Conference USA's Freshman of the Year.

For 2006, UCF's stable of runners is even deeper with the addition of Shane Smith, which means quarterback Steve Moffett (22 touchdowns, nine interceptions in '05) can concern himself with finding the replacement for graduated receiver Brandon Marshall. The loss of Marshall could be complicated if big-play receiver Mike Walker struggles in his comeback from knee surgery. Sophomore Rocky Ross will be asked to make more plays.

The best news about this unit, though, is that UCF's offensive line returns intact. Center Cedric Gagne-Marcoux has played every snap the past two seasons, and coaches are delighted by sophomore left tackle Pat Brown.



This season hinges on the defense. Coordinator Lance Thompson is searching for pass rushers on the edge and playmakers at linebacker. Unsettled is who replaces end Paul Carrington (nine sacks in 2005) and whether a young linebacker corps can develop more quickly and stay healthy.

Senior end Chris Welsh will be asked to do more, as will outside linebacker Jordan Richards. Freshman Chance Henderson may be thrust in at middle linebacker, a position at which the Knights are woefully thin.

If UCF struggles to get a pass rush again, a talented young secondary again will be asked to play up. Cornerback Joe Burnett led the team in interceptions (five) as a freshman and is already the defense's top talent. Burnett, Travonti Johnson and Johnell Neal need safety help to shore up a unit that was 11th in the league in total defense.



UCF lost the Hawaii Bowl to Nevada 49-48 in overtime when it missed an extra point, so kickers are going to get a close look. Two transfers, Michael Torres from I-AA Massachusetts and Nick Beucher from Tulane, will compete to replace strong-legged Matt Prater. Senior Aaron Horne returns as one of C-USA's best overall punters. Also returning are two keys to UCF's special teams' success: Curtis Francis and Burnett. Francis recovered two key fumbles on punts in '05, while Burnett returned two punts for scores.



Although still young, UCF has one of the top teams in C-USA, but unlike last year they'll have to prove it for three months. No more sneaking up on teams. Just how well the Knights fare probably depends on how quickly the defense matures and whether Moffett stays healthy. At least the Knights get a chance to get out of the gate. This season brings two home games in September (Villanova and USF) for the first time since 2000. It also brings a trip to Marshall, a place where UCF has played well but never won.

The Knights were virtually injury-free in 2005, and they ranked 12th in the country in turnover margin. Both were key to last year's success, and both will be difficult to duplicate.

UCF should have a solid chance to make a second straight bowl trip, and making it back to the C-USA title game isn't far-fetched.





Priates Review Coming

I saw the new Pirates movie this weekend. I haven’t had a chance to write a proper review yet, but I assure you that it’s coming soon.


Monday, July 17, 2006

In His Own Words

Okay, here is the clip of Bush dropping the "shit". Now, as I said on record in my previous post, I agree with the guy on this, completely. Might I add, that is a rare thing.

At any rate, I know he and Tony are close but I mean, come on here man, you're the President of the United States of America. You don't need to go dropping the word shit in casual conversations or not, especially when the microphones are on, or even near you for that matter.

Is this news? No, not really. It's certainly not front page news like CNN made it out to be. With all the crap going on in Israel and Lebannon, the word "shit" did not need to be the cover story at one point today.

Enjoy that kiddies...and until next time...
Eat Cheese!


This comes from the AP:

U.S. President George W. Bush expressed his frustration over the situation in the Middle East by using an expletive in comments to British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the G8 summit in St. Petersburg Monday.

"See, the irony is what they really need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this (expletive)," Bush told Blair in a discussion before the Group of Eight leaders began their lunch.

You can read the whole AP story here, at

Wow, really classy stuff Bush, real classy. I wish I could tell Tony Blair that was sick of all of your (expletive), especially the fact that you may use your first veto on a bill that helps fund Stem cell research.

On the flip side, I do agree with Bush on his stance on Israel right now. They have the right to defend themselves. On the other hand, we have to be sure to treat lightly because escalation in that area can be quick, and unfortunately very deadly.

Condi is supposed to be headed to the area today or tomorrow, let’s see if she can manage to get anything accomplished.



Sunday, July 16, 2006

TNA PPV in Detroit

TNA just announced during tonights PPV that this October's Bound for Glory would take place in Detroit, Michigan on 10/22.

This will be TNA's first PPV outside of Orlando since their launch on Spike TV.

Aaron, if you want to see something good, and not the garbage on WWE TV now, I encourage you to check this show out.


Friday, July 14, 2006

AP Poll: Republicans in danger of losing Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans are in jeopardy of losing their grip on Congress in November.

With less than four months to the midterm elections, the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that Americans by an almost 3-to-1 margin hold the GOP-controlled Congress in low regard and profess a desire to see Democrats wrest control after a dozen years of Republican rule….

"They used to say there's nothing worse than a tax-and-spend liberal Democrat," said Gary Wilson, 51, a self-described liberal from Gaithersburg, Maryland. "There is something worse: It's a borrow-and-spend Republican. This is going to come back to haunt us."


Read the whole article here.


I’m not going to say my party, the Democrats, is the answer to all the problems facing the nation now, because we’re not. I’m not going to say that they’re the best party to figure out all of the problems facing the nation right now, because we’re not. However, things are way to lopsided to the right in Federal Government right now for things to continue on effectively. The opposition has little power to do anything, and thus the only true conflict is within the Republican Party itself (for an example, see the immigration debate). The Supreme Court is now booked to lean to the right a bit more, and I’m fine with that, that’s the Presidents right whether I agree or not. But something’s got to change in congress.

I do know one thing, these conversations on amendments for a ban on gay marriage and amendments on flag burning don’t help anyone out. These things don’t put food on the table of struggling single moms who only make minimum wage. You know what the biggest threat to marriage is? Its not gays. It’s divorce.

I think congress is most effective when it’s as close to 50-50 as possible, preferably with the party in power being the opposite of the President and having a slight advantage. I don’t need to see the Democrats take over everything, because there are some good Republicans out there who bring up valid view points that one has to consider (McCain, Graham, and Spector). Sure, I may not agree with them, but their objections are valid view points and need to be included in debates.

Anyway, this election should be interesting. I’m a big political election junkie, so I’ll probably take the day after the election off since I’ll be up all night watching the results.

On a side note, as long as Cathy Cox beats primary candidate Mark Taylor I should start popping up in commercials on TV soon. That’s a big if though, as the race has been tight and I fear regardless of who wins, both may be too damaged to be able to run a credible race against the strong incumbent Sonny Perdue (who I think is a douche, but hey, that’s me).


Israel vs. Hezbollah

I don’t know if you’ve kept up to date on what is going on, but I have a feeling a major escalation is about to take place with a likelihood that all out war might break out very soon. I’m no geo-political strategist, nor a Middle Eastern expert, but each attack seems to spawn a counter attack and vice versa. Lebanon has little power to stop Hezbollah, and Syria and Iran are backing them, and the US’s arms are tied right now. If Iran or Syria decides to get into the fray things will get very very messy.


CBS's new show Jerhico got me thinking...

So, I’ve seen the coming events for the new CBS show Jericho and I have to say it’s grabbed my interest. Whether or not it turns out to be any good is another story. For those of you who don’t know, the gist of Jericho is that it’s a small town outside of Denver that can see a “large explosion” in the mountains off in the distance, which is relative to where Denver would be located. Although no one knows for sure, it’s pretty evident this is from a nuclear blast. The town is cut off from all outside communication and the power is down, likely due to an EMP (although the previews don’t mention that). In addition, someone was on the phone or listening to a message from a family member in Atlanta when a blast hit there. The story is driven by a few key characters who’s stories and histories intertwine even if they don’t know it (ala Lost), but I don’t know too much about that.

I’ve always been a fan of “end of the world” series, and what the aftermath might be like. I remember watching “The Stand” when I was in high school and I loved it. I remember watching the made for TV movie “The Day After” as a kid and being scared shitless. I remember sitting there, watching the people look up as missiles took off heading away from them, toward the then U.S.S.R. and putting myself in their place, knowing that at any moment my life would end. I remember watching the movie “Testament”, and being so sad as all of the main characters family members died of radiation poisoning. “War Games” is one of my favorite movies of all time. “Mad Max” is an incredible film. I remember an episode of the twilight zone where a woman who could stop time had to do so as a bomb approached. I loved the movie “Red Dawn”. I can go on. At any rate, this type of thing I’ve always found interesting, maybe because it scares the living shit out of me.

Jericho especially got my ear when they mentioned Atlanta, where I live, and that it was “hit by a blast.” In this day and age I’ve often wondered about the likely hood of Atlanta being a target of an attack (by military, not terrorists) if war broke out. I used to think it wasn’t likely and then I found this. Fact number 17: “States with the largest number of nuclear weapons (in 1999): New Mexico (2,450), Georgia (2,000), Washington (1,685), Nevada (1,350), and North Dakota (1,140).” Georgia is the state with the second biggest standing arsenal of nuclear weapons in the US. YIKES! Upon checking the link provided I see that there is a large naval base here, which is where I assume most of them are kept, but it’s still scary. In addition, Atlanta has 4+ million people in and around the densely populated Metro area, perfect for a big bang. I live about 30 miles north of the city, safe distance from the initial blast, but boy, would it suck afterwards.

Anyway, all of this just brought me back to feeling scared again, like during the cold war in the 80s when I first realized how good a chance we end up killing ourselves. I’m not going to live my life in fear on a daily basis, but there is defiantly a larger sensitivity to the issue than there used to be. I mean, with all hell breaking loose in Israel and Lebanon right now, North Korea shooting missiles, and Iran building nukes, tensions are running high. Sure, Russia, the US, and China seem to all realize that blowing everyone up would make it really hard to make money anymore (which is really the world is all about now), that’s not to say the three of us wouldn’t get dragged into a large scale global war should the wrong cards fall the right way. It’s a very real possibility, and one that may or may not happen in my lifetime, which is the scary part.

This brings me back to Jericho, something which has me morbidly fascinated. I’m not a big TV guy anymore, and don’t watch much (other than wrestling, the occasional sporting event, and random things I record on my DVR), but I do like to try out new dramas from time to time. I love Lost, enjoy the CSIs, like Law and Order, SVU, and will be sure to check this out, or at least record it and watch it when I can.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Lets compare Transformers trailers

That picture of Prime got me thinking...and not in a good way. I remember getting excited for He-man/Masters of the Universe as a kid...and then I was pooped on by that lame ass movie. Then, I got excited for the Godzilla movie about 6 years ago, pooped on again. To say I'm concerned about Transformers is about right. Its not an understatement yet, I'm not freaking out left and right, but I am concerned.

So, lets try an experiment. First, view the new teaser trailer for the Transformers Movie:

Now, lets watch the trailer for the Transformers Animated Movie:

Okay, so that does have a gay 80s kid flick feel to it, also, I don't know about the "most incredible rock and roll adventure" line. Although, the Stan Bush song is pretty sweet.

Now, the two real trailers are is a fan trailer of what could have been:

I'll admit, parts of that do look like "hey, I figured out hot to use texture mapping" hour, but still, I think it captures the feel of what Transformers should be. The awe, the excitement, the feel, the energy...well, whatever. At any rate, I'm not putting on my haters hat just yet, but odds are 50/50 this is going to suck.


Transformers The Movie News: Optimus Prime/Truck Form

More in the Transformers The Movie front...a leaked image of Optimus Prime in truck form has gotten out. Without delay, here it is, hosted locally since it seems to be getting yanked all over the internet.

Personally, I think this is dumb, but I don't hate it. Sure, I'd prefer the old school Mack truck look, but I could live with this depending on how he looks when he's transformed. The paint scheme on the other hand is gay.

Lets hope they still give him the voice of the guy who originally did Prime's voice in the series, as the rumar has been. Supposedly, Bay is on the fence about giving him Prime, although he did say he would at least have some sort of cameo line if he's not cast as Prime.

Time will tell, more as I find it.


States Taking Lead in Minimum Wage Fight

I’ve been a proponent of raising the minimum wages since, hell since high school back in the mid nineties. I just can’t understand how Congress can vote down an increase since the wage has been 5.15 an hour since like ’97.

The Center for American Progress has an interesting breakdown on their website that goes in-depth on the issues and initiatives many of the states are taking.

You can read the article here.


Scary news for Internet Espionage

I caught wind of this story yesterday and the more I think about it the more concerned I am. Just imagining a warehouse full of zombie PCs in China ready to strike down any target in the US they want makes me worried. I don’t know what kind of counter measures we have in store, but I’m going to assume that the people who need to be calling the shots on that sort of stuff are not the ones in those positions right now.


“The State Department is investigating "anomalies" in its unclassified computer system, the agency said Tuesday, declining to comment on a report that the department's computers had been hacked.

The Associated Press said the State Department detected large-scale break-ins of its computers last month in its headquarters and offices that deal with China and North Korea.”


You can read the whole article here.



Real World Cast Memeber Arrested

A cast member on MTV's "The Real World" was arraigned on a misdemeanor assault charge after police said she bit her boyfriend during a domestic dispute.

Paula Ann Meronek, 25, allegedly bit her boyfriend several times when he refused to let her into their home early Sunday morning, police said.

Unfortunately, said police, they can’t just go and arrest everyone else who has appeared on the terrible television show even though, authorities attest, the cast probably deserves it for making people sit through their stupid whining and bickering.

Well, that third paragraph isn’t real, but it should be. I got all excited when I saw this headline, thinking “Thank God that someone has finally put an end to that God awful show by arresting those who appeared in it.” Much to my dismay, I realized it was just a dumb domestic dispute.

In case you haven’t figured it out, I’m not a big real world fan. I’ll admit to watching the first season when I was like 15 or whatever, on MTV. I didn’t “get” what it was about, but I did think it was cool to see some young twenty somethings living in a big city. However, much like the MTV channel itself, the whole thing waned on my and I didn’t find anything else about it worth my time.

This is sad, because I remember watching MTV when it was actually “Music” Television, and not the crap it is now. You could see videos, in their entirety, without having to see bling, people who can’t talk, and a non stop stream of screaming girls. Hell, even when I was hard into the grunge scene I didn’t watch much, I just stopped enjoying MTV such a long time ago.

On the flip side, I don’t watch much TV now to begin with. I do however record a bunch of stuff on my DVR that I’ll never watch, which is odd I guess. But hey, at least when I do go back to watch it I can fast forward through the commercials.

If you are actually interested in reading the story about Paula Crackhead or whatever, you can see it here.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hadoken Soccer!

Just caught wind of these gifs and thought they were great… I saw the game and was dumbfounded by this head butt. He drops the guy hard. Anyway, these gifs make the whole thing much better to watch.

[EDIT: I F'ed up posting the .gifs the first time]


Black Holes are Fun

From the “Science is Neat” category comes an article on, care of, that talks about black holes. I actually was just watching some on demand thing from NASA about black holes on Google Videos the other day. It made me feel like I was in Jr. High again, but without the pimples.

At any rate…it’s a fun read and if you like space, gravity, and other science type stuff, you should enjoy this read.

If you really want to see something that will blow your mind watch this special from PBS on String Theory.


The New Face of Toyota Racing?

Hot on the heels of Juan Palblo Montoya’s jump to NASCAR comes the news that hottie Indy Car racer Danica Patrick might make the jump at the end of the Indy Racing League season. has a Reuters article about it you can read here, although there isn’t much to it.

Wanting to know more about this story, I went to THE site with all the latest NASCAR news and gossip., but didn’t get much more. Here’s what Jayski, courtesy of an Orlando Sentinal article, had to say: “Danica Patrick could become the next star driver to defect from another major racing series to NASCAR.”I'm trying to get her here [into NASCAR]," said T.J. Patrick, father of the woman who dazzled the motor racing world last year by nearly winning the Indianapolis 500, but has struggled with a mediocre Indy Racing League car ever since. T.J. Patrick, who has managed his daughter's career since her childhood, was at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday, holding exploratory talks with some Nextel Cup teams and sponsors about the possibility of Danica leaving the IRL for NASCAR as early as next year. Her contract expires with the IRL's Rahal-Letterman Racing team, co-owned by TV comic David Letterman, at the end of this season. In addition to considering NASCAR, the Patricks are negotiating with other IRL teams -- and appear unlikely to renew with Rahal-Letterman next year. Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman racing, declined comment through a spokesperson. Danica, 24, wasn't at Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 NASCAR race. T.J. and Danica's mother, Bev, came to the Joliet track because "we've had some inquiries" from NASCAR teams, T.J. said. The Patricks were in the Nextel Cup garage area as guests of the powerful Roush Racing team, which fields five Ford teams.(Orlando Sentinel/Ed Hinton)(7-10-2006)”

Now, Danica in ROUSH is an interesting possibility because that’s one of the few teams that could give her equipment that really would negate much of the learning curve she’ll have to deal with. The only other team I can think of that might be able to offer that to her is Hendrick. I bet Mr. H is kicking himself for signing Mears to drive the 25 car right now. However, to be honest, I don’t see her going to ROUSH or Hendrick. Why? One word, Toyota.

That’s right kids, Totoya will make their much anticipated, or not anticipated at all depending on who you talk to, debut in NASCAR next year, which would supposedly coincide with Danica’s arrival. Toyota will be the first foreign car maker to run in a NASCAR cup and Busch series race. That’s a big shake up right there believe it or not. Imagine, if in addition to doing that, the face of Toyota racing isn’t Michael Waltrip (a funny, and popular, but second tier driver), but instead a woman, the aforementioned Danica Patrick. She’ll bring in the publicity, the attention, and I’d like to see her hawking Toyota’s in a nice black evening dress on TV.

I just don’t think she’ll fit as a Ford girl, or a Chevy girl, or, God forbid, a Dodge girl. A woman of her stature and popularity needs something new, something without 50 some odd years of all male dominance. She’s not going to get that with one of the other manufactures. The problem lies with the fact she’d be in a brand new car, on probably a new team, racing with second tier equipment. Eric Crocker lucked out getting in an Evernham ride, there isn’t a lot of long term development in women in NASCAR outside of Ray Ray’s little project with her right now. Danica might suffer big time if she’s stuck in shotty equipment that can’t finish a race, let alone run up front. It wouldn’t be fair to her, but then again life’s not fair.

All in all, watching her in a NASCAR will be a totally different experience. She’ll be hounded non stop, much more so than now, because NASCAR drivers are much more accessible to the fans than Indy Car drivers. And let’s face it, who watches Indy Car? I sure don’t. I don’t know anyone else who does. Hell, if it wasn’t for various sports shows covering them and catching the Indy 500 every year, I’d never see it at all. However, if Danica can get through that sort of grit and grime, then I’m positive she’s tough enough to take on a restrictor plate race or get down in the deep grooves of Bristol. NASCAR cars can take more of a beating than an Indy car because, well to put it simply, they have sides on their cars. Open wheel crashes go boom, NASCAR crashes go bang, big difference.

This would be a great chance for Toyota to really make a statement that they’re ready to do something different with NASCAR, right out of the gate. She could go to another, probably stronger team, and have good success. Not great, but probably good getting a top 20 finish for her first season. With a season or two under her belt on a decent team, the only thing stopping her would be her own talent, or lack thereof, and bad luck.



Monday, July 10, 2006

Badass Rhino Promo

For those of you sick of watching WWE Crap TV, there is an alternative out there called TNA. I've been watching it for a while now and it's some good stuff. Sure, the TV show can be hit and miss, but it's waaaay more hit than miss.
Anyway, Rhino cut a badass promo the other week and I wanted to post it here since it sums up a lot of prowrestling fans feelings right now about the crap WWE calls "sports entertainment."


Movie Review: Guns & Talks

I’ve been on a big Asian cinema kick this year and am convinced some of the best stuff in movies as of late is coming out of Japan and Korea. I’m not talking about Anime or weird J-Pop shows. I’m talking about meat and potatoes gritty crime thillers, horror movies, and psychological thrillers. This weekend I had the chance to watch another fun Korean flick “Killerdeului suda,” or in translation “Guns & Talks.”

The story is about four “assasins,” hitmen, contract killers, or whathave you, who…well…kill people. Nothing special, right? To a degree, this is indeed the case. Then what are you telling me about this for Steve, you might be thinking. I’m telling you about this movie because it’s not what these guy do, but how their story is told.

Most of the lose narrative is by the younger of two brothers, Ha-yeon (played by Bin Won). He does a lot of voice over work to sort of introduce the characters and let you know the gist of what is going on with these guys. The other brother, and leader of the pack is Sany-yeon (played excellently by Hyeon-jum Shin), and he’s your typical strong older brother type. Jung-woo (played by Ha-kyun Shin) and Jae-yeong (played by Jae-yeong Jeong) round out the other hit men as the “sharpshooter” and “lose cannon” respectively.

At any rate, so you’ve got these four guys who all work together as hit men, right? And they’re probably all tough guys and stuff, right? Wrong. That’s what I thought was clever about this. They all live in a pretty simple flat and look like ordinary guys. Being that it’s Korea they, of course, drive a Hyundai, so nothing fancy there. They’ve got some nice clothes, but nothing crazy fancy or anything. Hell, they’re even infatuated with the morning news anchor on one of the stations (which actually plays into the movie a bit, but I won’t say how). To anyone living around them they just look like four regular guys. But they’re good, really good at what they do. The younger brother Ha-yeon is going through his growing pains of young adulthood. He’s trying to figure out the place in his world, where he belongs, what his convictions are, yada yada yada, you know the routine. I was a bit concerned as this started to unravel about his character in typical whiney Asian youth fashion. Then, with a snap, you realize that he’s actually the comic relief. Take for instance one scene where he’s reflecting on a big even that’s just unfolded. It’s a voice over narrative, and the four guys are standing there looking out at something, contemplating what’s just went down. Here’s Ha, breaking it down for us when he screws up, so, he starts his narrative over. Screws up again. Then, he acknowledges that the worst part about a narrative is when you screw it up. By now the other three guys are turning to look at him. So, he tries one last time to say what he is supposed to, only to screw it up again. So, he throws his arms in the air and walks off. Mind you, this was all as a voice over to the people on screen didn’t actually say anything and I thought they way they shot this scene was just brilliant. Really poking fun at what I expected to see here.

Another funny scene is where, once again, Ha is breaking it down for us. This time, it’s a combination monologue to the three other roommates, and a narrative to the viewer. It’s tricky, especially while reading subtitles, but I followed it. Basically, he does this whole shadoo about what love is, why it should change their loves, why Jae can’t kill this woman, and he thinks the whole time the other guys are so caught up in his words that they’re crying. The camera shoots them in a way so you can’t see their faces. In the narrative he’s saying how the guys are so affected they can’t even speak. Then, the camera pans and you see the guys are actually laughing hysterically at the campy words of Ha. At any rate, it was a funny scene, and again not what I expected.

There’s some cop stuff tossed in and some subplots and whatnot, so I won’t ruin that stuff for you. All in all, this is like a 7.5 out of 10. They do get wordy at times, but I thought it was an interesting way to present contract killers and the like. It’s Korean, so if you don’t like sub titles, don’t bother. All and all, this was a fun flick that could have used about 10 less minutes, maybe more, but all in all wouldn’t be considered a waste of time.


For all you dog lovers out there

I was listening to NPR on my way into work today and hear about this article and thought I’d share. For all you dog lovers out there this is a must read. I got a kick out of it.

Do You Understand Me, My Pet?, July 8, 2006 · A dog's world is literally different than ours. They track every dizzying circle of a buzzing fly until they catch it in their mouths. They can hear ultrasound without going to the doctor's office.

Read the rest of the article here.


Friday, July 07, 2006


I remember going into work last year, pulling up iTunes, and starting the Virgin Radio stream. It was one of the few days I didn’t listen to NPR on the way to work. Needless to say, I was surprised to hear the somber, confused, and startled tone in the usually chipper British DJs that day as the London bombings unfolded around them. Instantly, memories of 9/11 flooded into my head and I was left wondering, was there more to come?

The DJs did a phenomenal job keeping calm and giving clear information, and not speculation, to the listeners. The UK police were excellent in their press conferences. Everyone seemed to move like a well oiled machine. London was very lucky that day. Things could have been worse, and without the leadership that was clearly evident, panic could have taken over the streets. Would this have been the case had 9/11 not happened? I don’t know. But something inside me tells me that they’ve been planning for something like this for a while, and on that day all of their training was put to the test and they performed quite well.

I was pretty bummed that day and I don’t know why. Sure, people I didn’t know in a country far far away were dead, but that wasn’t it. I had no connection to the dead, no real remorse. They could have all passed away from natural causes and I would have had no idea. No, I was sad because that day I knew the innocence many of those commuters once had was gone, and it would never return. The bombers didn’t just hit the ‘Tubes, they hit the busses too, and unlike here, those two forms of mass transit are the life lines of many commuters in the city of London.

The innocence was gone. No longer would someone be able to take the ‘tube and not look behind them. No longer could someone take a bus and not give a second glance to the “strange man” sitting by himself. No longer would an Arab be able to wake freely in the subway stations or bus stations without everyone’s eyes looking on them. That was all behind them now, that was all 7/6.

The worst part is that the people of London don’t want to act this way. They don’t do it on purpose. Its human nature, and very hard to fight against, I’m guilty of it myself. On the last plane flight I was on there were three Arab men sitting together, talking quietly in Arabic (or Farsi, they might have been Persian), and I sat there, wondering, could this be it? I looked around wanting to know who else would help me if something happened. What if I panicked and didn’t do anything? Could I count on someone else to be the hero? Then, I felt guilty, knowing this wasn’t fair to those guys, or to anyone else. Of course no one was going to hijack the plane, of course nothing was going to go wrong, but still…that was still there in my head, and it wasn’t ever there before 9/11.

The innocence is gone. Will it return? I don’t know. Fear is a dangerous thing. The challenge is to make sure people don’t take advantage of that fear.