Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Terra Nova Review

I watched the season premiere of the new series Terra Nova last night and overall I thought it was ok.  I like the futuristic and time travel elements.  The visuals and effects are pretty nice too.  It does play like a movie which is something you rarely see on tv these days. 

I like the actors that were chosen for the most part. The family is pretty good and the main Terra Nova guy is awesome.  Did anyone think that girl with the group of teens looked like a young Jan from the Office.  The resemblance was uncanny. 

One of the complaints I have is that it's a little unrealistic.  For example, I find it hard to believe that the main guy was able to escape prison and sneak into the portal with his family, not to mention they smuggled in the little sister in a back pack.  In this day in age, with this important of an event, it hard to believe something like that could happen. 

I would like to see some more advance weapons.  It seems like they should have more effective weapons to protect themselves from the dinosaurs. 

I like that they are starting up drama with the 2 different camps.  I also like that they have some mystery with the drawing on the stones and the son who has been missing.  I am not hooked on the show yet, but I will probably watch next week to see what happens.

UPDATE: So I watched the 2nd episode and it has kind of lost my interest.  I probably won't be sticking with this one.  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

TV Review: Big Bang Theory, Parks and Rec, The Office, Whitney

Here is a quick review of some of the new fall tv show premieres that happened this week.

I was a fan of The Big Bang Theory in the earlier seasons, but not so much last season.  This episode was ok, but seems to be similar to last season.  I laughed maybe once.  I think the show is losing steam.  I still say the best character combo is Sheldon and Penny.  Either do more with those 2 or get Sheldon a love interest.  Bring back Judy Greer and have them get together.

Out of all the comedy showings this week, Parks and Recreation was my favorite.  It was great last season and it seems to be right where it was when they left off.  Aubrey Plaza is looking good this season, but I hope she doesn't lose the awkwardness of her character.

The Office is back with James Spader as the new boss or CEO as they have promoted him.  I think he is a good addition to the show.  He rally mixes things up and puts everybody on edge.  It's refreshing.  It should be good this season.

I have been looking forward to Whitney since I have become a fan of her videos on Youtube.  After watching the show, I thought she was great.  The show overall was a little bland, but actually I watched it again on a repeat and it was better the 2nd time around.  I think the character need a few episodes to develop their characters.  Whitney herself is good enough to tune into the show.  I'll stick with this one.

I watched the new episode of Raising Hope, and while I enjoyed it last season, I didn't really like this last episode.  They made it out so that the main character used to be a singing prodigy, but lost his talent after being hit in the head.  They kidded that shows with baby's only last one year.  Well this got a 2nd, but maybe that was too much.  

Lastly, Kitchen Nightmares is back with a new season.  Not much needs to be review with this one since it is the same kind of thing as previous years.  I like it enough to watch each week.

Don't forget to tune in for Rules of Engagement which returns on October 8th!

Friday, September 23, 2011

IQ Tests, Intelligence, Learning, and Brain Development

I took an IQ test the other day for the fun of it.  It was online and it was free.  Previous to taking this test I had considered myself to have about average intelligence.  I was never a straight A student and I don't seem to excel in any particular academic area.

So I take this test online.  It is about 38 questions and they are kind of hard.  They are logical questions that you really have to think about.  Also your time affects your score so there is pressure.  After I finished, I get my score and it is a 133.  I look up what that means and to my surprise, it is a very good score!  It is considered gifted and it means I scored in the top 2-3% of all test takers.

I thought I did ok on the test, but I never thought I would score that high.  I then tried another site with different questions and scored a 114 which is at the top of the average range, but I had many distractions during that test so I would bump it up to the above average range.  Still pretty good.

I would like to take the first test again, but it looks like they still have the same questions so that won't work.  So why did I score higher than expected?  I think one reason is because I had a decent education.  Another reason is that my social skills are not that great, so when I am interacting with other people, I tend not to talk a lot and I get kind of overwhelmed and can't think in social situations.  I think I am intelligent, but it doesn't show in those types of situations. 

Overall it was a bit of an ego booster to see those high results.  I would recommend everyone try it out.  Just search IQ tests and try out a few.

On a related note, I have been doing a lot of puzzles and brain teasers lately.  I have had extra time so I have also been learning about different topics, for example refreshing myself on Spanish and world geography.  Even with this short time I have been practicing and learning, I can really feel the results.  My vocabulary has been enhanced and I am using words that normally I wouldn't think to use.

Knowledge is one of the most important things you can have.  You should always strive to be learning and developing.  Don't waste time.  With all the resources on the internet available, you can learn anything you want for free.  Take advantage of these opportunities and fulfill your potential as a human being.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TV Update: Ringer, Up All Night, H8R, Big Brother, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Scared Straight

Here is a recap and review of a bunch of the shows I have watched, am watching, or have decided not to watch.

First is Ringer starring Sarah Michelle Geller.  I didn't know much about this show, but I read a description that looked interesting so I checked it out.  I made it about 8 minutes into the first episode and decided I disliked pretty much everything about it. I won't be watching it. 

Next is Up All Night, a comedy with Will Arnett and Christina Applegate.  I like Will Arnett, but I have not liked Christina in anything after Married With Children.  She just looks so stressed out all the time like she is working too hard.  I watched some of the first episode and it didn't catch me so I won't be watching it. 

H8R is a show I found that oddly enough got zero promotion leading it.  It takes "haters" regular people who dislike a celebrity and then confronts them with the actual celebrity.  I watched the first episode and it was not bad.  It has not gotten good reviews, but I kinda liked it.  It's not required viewing, but if nothing else it on, I'll probably watch it. 

Big Brother wrapped up the season last week and Rachel won.  I was pulling for Adam, but Rachel deserved it.  She is a star, she worked hard and earned the title.  Overall good season.  I'm hooked on this show. 

Curb Your Enthusiasm finished their 10 episode season last week.  I have watched all of the seasons and this has been one of the weakest, if not the worst season yet.  I have said it before and I still think the show has run it's course.  I like Larry David, but I think it is time for him to try something new. 

Beyond Scared Straight is a show that concluded its season recently.  It is a reality/documentary show that takes youths who are on track to end up in jail and puts them through a tour or how prison life really is.  I really like this show because I like seeing kids who think they can do anything they want get a reality check and realize they can't and if they do, they will end up in prison.  The seasons are short, but this is one to check out. 

A couple more shows to recap.  Hell's Kitchen concluded with a new head chef, I can't even remember his name right now.  I was kinda pulling for Elise to win, but she didn't even get to the top 2.  I know she has a bad attitude, but I admire her drive to succeed.  Kitchen Nightmares is starting up this week so I will be watching that. 

America's Next Top Model is back with an al lstar season. I watched some of the first episode and it was ok.  This show is hit or miss.  It all depends on the contestants and the drama.  I'll check it out here and there if there is nothing on.

There are a lot of new shows coming out these next few weeks so there should be another recap coming soon.   

Monday, September 19, 2011

2011 Emmys Review

Being a fan of tv, of course I had to watch the Emmys.  I watched the red carpet show and then started watching the actual show.  About half way though I did flip over to 20/20 because they had a good episode, but I was flipping back and forth and I have read up on all the winners.  Here are my thoughts on the results.

I'm surprised that Modern Family gets so much support from the Emmys.  They won a lot of awards including best comedy series.  It's not a bad show.  It's watchable, but it not as good as people make it out to be.  I'll watch it if there is really nothing else on.  There are funnier shows on tv including The Office, Parks and Recreation, and one that no one seems to ever talk about or recognize, Rules of Engagement.  Rules should definitely get some recognition one of these days.  They have a lot of great characters and all the episodes are funny.

From what I saw, Jane Lynch did a pretty good job.  I like the opening number.  It reminded me how much I like tv!

One of my favorite parts was when they were announcing the best actress and all of the nominees walked up on stage when they called their names.  It was a little surprising to see Melissa McCarthy with, but I think she earned it.  I'm not a huge fan of Mike and Molly, but I think she is a great actress on that show.

One thing that bothers me is repeat winners on these award shows.  If you win one year, the next year, it should go to someone else.  The Emmys are a prized award and there are not enough opportunities to win one to keep giving it to the same person. For example the guy who hosts Survivor has won it the last 4 years.  WTF?  Why?  Your telling me he is so good that none of the other nominees deserve an Emmy?  I was hoping Kat Deeley would win it.  She is a great host and there is no reason why she couldn't have had the win. 

Same thing with the Amazing Race.  I know that show has won multiple times and it's not even good.  I have watched it on several occasions and for a reality competition show it is pretty boring.  There are so many better choice to win in this category.

Did anyone notice the little backgrond jokes that the announcer would say when the winners were walking to the stage?  Who's idea was this?  Everyone is clapping and no one is paying attention so it doesn't work.

I was happy that Kyle Chandler won for Friday Night Lights.  I have mentioned how I like this show in a previous blog.  He plays the role of the coach and he does and amazing job, so this award was well deserved.

Overall, I was a bit disappointed because many of the shows and actors I wanted to win did not.  It really is just opinionated when it comes to the selections and everyone has a different opinion, so who's to say who is right.  You don't need an award to validate your work as a person or as a show.  The fans support and viewership is what matters.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Right of Way - Pedestrians vs. Cars

We all know that when it comes to pedestrians and cars, pedestrians are suppose to have the right of way.  I disagree with this rule.  I think cars should have the right of way over pedestrians. The same goes for looking out for the other.  Yes, drivers need to look out for people walking, but walkers need to be extra careful to look for cars when they are crossing. 

Say you are in a parking lot.  I car is driving along the road in front of the store and a person is trying to cross it to get to the store.  The person should wait until it is safe to cross.  The car should not be expected to come to a stop, wait for the person to cross, and then go.  It's much easier for a person to stop and go than it is for an automobile. 

In an urban setting, I think this may be different and in that situation, when there are tons of people all the time, you have to give them more right of way, but in suburban or rural areas, I think the automobiles should have the right of way and the pedestrians should yield to them. 

Even when I am a pedestrian crossing a street, I feel the same way.  I wait for the cars.  Sometimes a car will stop and wave me through.  I accept and walk across, but I don't feel good about it.  I always feel like I am causing them an inconvenience and that it would be better if they just drove by and I walked after they passed. 

If an person and a car collide, the person is the one who is going to get hurt.  This is why they need to watch out for cars and not cross until it is safe.  Drivers are responsible as well, but they do not the stopping or starting ability that people do.  Overall, it might not sound right, but given these reasons, I think cars should have the right of way over pedestrians. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Internet Speak

I'm defining a new term called "Internet Speak".  It is a style of broken English that can be described as a combination of Youtube comments written by kids, foreign people writing on message boards who don't know the language well, and lolcat speak.  This style of writing can be used by people who fully understand the language, but want to write improperly on the internet for fun and amusement.

It is internet speak because it is based on the content from the internet and it only works in written form.  You can't really pull it off orally without sounding dumb.

I like to use this type of language sometime on Youtube comments or Reddit comments. I just find it fun to write and read this style of English.

I am also in the process of developing my own vocabulary terms. I have had original words and phrases in my head for a long time, but I never documented them or used them in real life.  I will now start keeping track of them for reference.  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9-11 : My Experience Looking Back

Tomorrow is the 10 year anniversary of the September 11th tragedy so I thought I would write a blog about what I remember from that day.

I was a freshman in college at Illinois State University and I was in my dorm room that morning with my roommate getting ready for classes.  We either had the tv on or someone told us to turn on the tv that morning because something big was happening live.  We watched as news reporters showed the towers giving out smoke.  No one really knew what was going on and it was like no one wanted to believe it.

I remember the towers crumbling thinking it just looked like a Hollywood movie.  Myself, and some of the other students on the floor watched in disbelief.  Even the custodian in the building stopped what he was doing and came into our room to watch. 

Once it was clear that it was a terrorist attack, we got a little scared.  Number 1, we lived in a large building and if those were the targets, we had something to be worried about.  Also, we thought that since this was a huge attack, they would have to start a draft and we would have to go into the military and fight. 

Looking back now and seeing all the new footage and stories on tv, I still get emotional about it.  I didn't even know anyone personally who was there, but I still feel great sadness from what happened to all those innocent people.

Even with all loss of that day, some good did come out of it.  It made our country more secure so the likelihood of something like this happening again is much less.  It also brought the country together as one.  That is what really stood out to me the most was how after that event, we were all on the same side.  Before that day, we had competitors and enemies here in our own country. After that happened, instantly, were were all close like brothers and sisters.

We will never forget that day, how we felt, and what we learned.  Even the new generation that was too young or not even born yet will learn about what happened from all the documentation and footage.  Hopefully nothing like that ever happens again.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Identity on the Internet - Meeting People and Relationships

I recently saw a special on tv about the movie Catfish which is a documentary about 2 people that met online, only one of them was completely lying about their identity.  While I have never done anything like this, I did once meet someone online and develop a close relationship with.  In this blog I will go over what happened.

In the early 2000's, I joined a website called Bolt which was basically a social networking site that was popular before Facebook and Myspace.  Bolt allowed people to make a profile and find other people with similar interests.  I started searching for people who were fans of my favorite band. 

Before long, I had found a girl my age who also had the same favorite band as me.  We started getting to know each other by sending messages back and forth.  This went on for a long time, I'm talking years.  We talked about everything, even things that we probably wouldn't talk about with anyone else. 

Although we were honest with each other, we had never even seen a picture of each other.  When you develop a relationship like this where you get to know someone so well without even knowing what they look like, you start to create a picture in your head about what they look like.  Naturally, the picture you come up with is ideal and probably not what the other person actually looks like. 

So one day years into our relationship we decide we were going to send each other a picture of what we looked like.  Curiosity got the best of us.  So we did this and I think we were both kind of surprised.  This person who we knew so well looked different that our imagined images in our heads.  This kind of made things a little weird, but we still continued to talk. 

After some years went by, we started communicating less and less until it became very rare and we stop talking altogether.  I think we both just kind of moved on to other things. 

It was a good experience to have that relationship.  I still have her contact information and maybe one day we will get back in touch. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Guilty Pleasures - Breezee One, Madison Bray, Class Actress

In this blog we have some new guilty pleasure songs, the kind you like, but don't want to admit.  First is one by a new artist by the name of Breezee One.  She just popped on the scene with her new song and video for "Bike Chase".  Breezee is a rapper/singer and her new song is fun and catchy.  It has the combo of electronic and hip hop, with a minimal beat mixed with power synths yielding a pleasing overall result. You will either love it or hate it.  Check it out.
Breezee One - Bike Chase


The next one is truly a guilty pleasure.  Madison Bray is a 10 year old who gained popularity through the same company as Rebecca Black.  She released a song and video called "Girl Swag" which follows a similar formula as you might expect with music and lyrics that are not quite appropriate for a 10 year old girl.  The song has all the makings of your modern pop song complete with auto tune.  After a few listens, it becomes very catchy.  Before you know it, you will be getting your own girl swag on.
Madison Bray - Girl Swag



The last one is not as much of a guilty pleasure as the other 2.  It is a song called "Keep You" by a singer by the name of Class Actress.  It has been making the rounds on music blogs and has gained significant coverage but has not gone mainstream yet.  Her vocals are beautiful and the song is very easy to get into.  Here is a video someone made for the song using video clips from another film.  It turned out well.  Enjoy!
Class Actress - Keep You