Sunday, February 27, 2011

Relationships Don't Have to be a Major Payne!

Major Payne Poster
In the movie, Major Payne (1995), Major Benson Winifred Payne is speaking to his cadets and says, "What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

In March 2013, celebrities Ryan Seacrest and Julianne Hough called it quits on their 2-year relationship because of their "hectic" work schedules. Is that a good enough reason to break up?

Those of you who are in relationships can understand that no matter what you say, if your spouse or significant other is not open to communicate with you, then no communication will take place.  It is almost as if the cord has been cut...


Don't let this happen to you!
If you are totally disconnected, then what?  How can you fix a total severance of the cord?  I don't know.  Sounds hard to fix.  It is a lot easier if you don't let this happen in the first place.  I know of couples that work all day and then come home and want to be left alone or just "take it easy," which can be understandable on occasion.  For it to be a regular occurence, it is a dangerous thing.  This can wear on a relationship.


Only hanging by a thread


So many relationships are left looking like this.  Only hanging there by a thread.  Waiting for one wrong move, or one harsh word to send you into a fit of rage, spiraling out of control.  It can be a back and forth thing, and if no one takes the initiative to get righted...






Eventually the boat will capsize.  Both parties will fall in and get wet.  And both parties will have to deal with this wreckage.  It is a shame if it has to come to this.






It is even worse if only one party remains, with their cord severed.   




It takes two to tango.
It takes two people to fight, and it is not just one person's fault over the other when communication fails.  It just means that love is not getting through.  It might not be sent properly, or maybe it's not being received as intended.  Sounds like they are not using the same language or the same channels.





So when will the love move completely from sender to receiver?




When they swim together in the same pond.  Communication is the highway on which love travels.



Watch a related video below [suggested by a commenter]:



Thursday, February 24, 2011

It All Started When...Kanye West Twittered About Abortion

Do we listen when celebrities make their opinion known?  Of course.  Why do you think it appeals to so many people when Entertainment Tonight comes on TV, or when the Insider comes on?  Or how about standing in line at the grocery store, and seeing the headlines on a celebrity gossip magazine? 

Why don't we just blame it on Kanye West? He isn't usually afraid to share his opinion on anything.  Because Beyonce's music video was obviously the greatest of all time.

Kanye West

Kanye's recent tweet was about gold diggin' women who get pregnant on purpose just to make money off of the neighborhood balla'.  He goes on to say how expensive an abortion costs and then says to "strap up" and that it hasn't personally happened to him - but he has a "friend" that it has happened to..........Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

(Source: Markovitz, Adam. Kanye West sparks controversy with tweet....EW.com)

Justin Bieber on cover of Rolling Stone

Justin Bieber was also recently quoted by Rolling Stone, saying: "I really don't believe in abortion.... I think [an embryo] is a human.  It's like killing a baby." His Rolling Stone interview can be seen here.

Would you listen to someone who is respected by many because of her ministry?  Mother Teresa of Calcutta had a ministry that lasted over 45 years taking care of the poor, orphaned, sick, and dying.

She once said:  "The greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion, which is war against the child. The mother doesn't learn to love, but kills to solve her own problems. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want."


A baby in the womb.

Killing a life is the simple way out of responsibility.  But in our society we live in the moment, and don't consider the possibility that a living, breathing child could actually come from having sex.  And that is where the trouble starts in the first place.  "Hook ups" are taking place by young adults and kids as early as in middle school, and the parties responsible still aren't mature enough to take care of themselves.  Ultimately, this lack of guidance falls on the parents, for not instilling a value system on life in the first place.  A lack of morals equal a lack of value on life.  If you don't believe there is a spiritual aspect to life, then why value a relationship as anything more than a "hook up?"  That thought process is playing out everyday as newborns are increasingly looked at as a mistake, instead of as a gift from God.


And finally, former President Ronald Reagan said in a [22 September] 1980 New York Times:  "I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born."

That's a good point, since the unborn can't defend themselves against those of us that are given a chance at life. 

January 22, 2011 marks the 39th anniversary of Rowe v. Wade, the pivotal court decision legalizing abortion.

As a Christian, I will pray that people begin to value life in this country, and not take killing a human life so lightly.

After all, as the bumper sticker reads: Aren't you glad someone didn't abort you?

I almost was, and I am thankful that God spared my life.

More on this subject! Read my blog post on the 2012 Anniversary of Rowe v. Wade, found here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tracking [You] in the Virtual World Just Makes Cents

Xbox 360 and PS3 side by side


Did you know that you are being watched when you play video games online?

Ok, maybe not literally as in "on video camera," but you are definitely being tracked as you move your avatar (or digital self) around in virtual worlds, and various websites place tracking cookies on your computer.  And they are watching who you interact with, and what you buy, and what you do.  That is a fact.

Do you mind if a company places a tracking cookie on your computer? I do.



A company called GameSpy Technology is paid to track your virtual behavior.  Does that name sound familiar?  It might if you have ever visited IGN.com to read about upcoming games, or to try to play one of your favorite video games online.  They have a partnership. Essentially, Gamespy.com is powered by IGN.


Red Dead Redemption Cover Art (for PS3)
Within the first two weeks of release, the game Red Dead Redemption tracked 13,250,237 virtual U.S. soldiers were killed in-game.  131,904,068 total counts of in-game murder took place, and not to mention the 55,813,649 virtual wolves were killed.


Mafia 2 poster

Such tracking takes place in other games as well.  Mafia 2, for example, tracks how long players spend in-game staring at Playboy centerfolds.

Even the popular World of Warcraft, which has over 12 million subscribers, hires experts for their business "intellience" unit for analyzing strategies to make more money off of its subscribers.


Yes, that even includes everyone's favorite time-wasting game, FarmVille.  How long until the harvest?  Oh, just 2 more hours until the pumpkin is ripe.  I guess we'll be seeing you in 2 more hours, then.

And this is just the beginning of what is called "natural experiments" on people in virtual worlds to modify behavior.  And we used to think that experiments on humans were inhumane!  Now, it is a way of life.  Not to mention we are paying the subscription fees for researchers to see how they can better sell to us.  Win-win for them.  Sounds like a paradox if you ask me.


Source:  Hsu, Jeremy.  Virtual Behavior Labs Discover What Gamers Want. Yahoo! News.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Immortality App: Not Found in the iStore


Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, holding an iPad.
 Looking for the immortality app?  You might have trouble finding it in the iStore...because it isn't sold there.

Apple CEO, Steve Jobs (above), temporarily overcame pancreatic cancer in recent years, but since passed away on October 5th, 2011. He will be missed as the visionary for Apple.
Have you ever searched for something that was unachievable, but thought that if attained, it would be that one "thing" that your life is currently lacking?  Thinking that the newest gadget of technology surely is the must-have item to make my life better.  If you have the money, why not buy it, right?  It's very easy to shrug off purchases of gizmos because they are justified for something or other.  I'm quite sure I'm guilty of it.  And I know I've looked back and regretted wasting my money after blowing an incredible amount of time with my new object, rather than spending it with loved ones and developing relationships.  Even history tells a story of a man who sought out riches and immortality, but instead only found Florida.
History of the Search for the Fountain of Youth
According to history, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon discovered (present-day) Florida, while searching for the Fountain of Youth.  Juan Ponce de Leon heard the story of this fabled legend from the natives of Puerto Rico. The natives called this land "Bemini", meaning land to the north, which was geographically in the location of the Bahamas islands.  Hearing of this legend only confirmed what he had read by past medieval writers, and Alexander the Great had also searched for the life extending waters in east Asia.  The natives of Polynesia also told the story of youth inducing waters, in the general area of present-day Hawai'i.  The story of Bemini - told by the natives of Puerto Rico - also included gold and riches that accompanied this gift of immortality.  In this search for riches, Juan Ponce de Leon set foot on the east coast which had flowers, so he called it La Florida
(Source: Stimpson, George. A Book About American History)

Juan Ponce de Leon did not find the Fountain of Youth that he sought after so diligently, but he was credited for discovering Florida.  Do you think he was satisfied with this discovery?  Compared to riches and eternal life?  Probably not!

So why do you think that man (humanity in general) seeks out the Fountain of Youth?  Patrick Morley thinks it is because, "A man's ultimate desire is for immortality."  He refers to Ecclesiates 3:11 in the Bible, which says: "He [God] has also set eternity in the hearts of men." (Source: Morley, Patrick. The Man in the Mirror)


Trump Tower, NYC

Some people attempt to become immortal by contributing large sums of money  to a local university, to have a building named after them.  The Trump Tower (seen above in NY), is an prime example of a man with wealth who has built himself an empire, and has several skyscrapers to prove it.


Patrick Swayze (2009)
Do you think you could find someone who has a lot of wealth, who would trade it all in for an extension on his/her life? I bet I can. Patrick Swayze (pictured above) passed on after a battle with pancreatic cancer in 2009. I bet he would've paid any amount of money to have an extension on his life.


A pawn broker ready to make a deal with you.
So would you pawn all of your most valuable possessions in for another month added onto your life?  For one more year with the one you love?  For one more minute to say "I love you" to your kids?


Jesus talking to the woman at the well
However, one woman who was not actively seeking out immortality, was told how she could find eternal life, by Jesus.  Story as follows:

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”  (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

(Source: NIV Bible - John 4:7-14)

 
The final question I have to ask you is this:  Have you sought out eternal life in the right place?  If you haven't, that might be why you haven't found it, because you won't be able to find it in the iStore.

Monday, February 14, 2011

To Catch a Neighborhood Predator: A True Story

A harmless mouse on the outside, a child predator on the inside.

Let me just say - before I tell you about the following events that took place - that the police were not aware of any registered offenders living within one mile of our house.  That is the scary part about all this, and I'll just leave it at that.

I had no idea that our very own household was not safe from a predator that lurked from within our own neighborhood.  Watching us from a couple houses down, he waited until the time was just right. 

Later, I realized that he managed to climb over our 8 ft. fence and then attempt to gain entry into our attic by non-conventional means. I only realized this when he began to creak around on the beams in our attic and I laid in bed, terrified.  Then I heard the most disturbing noise.  He then began to chip away on wood up there, don't ask me how I know, I just know. 

All this was being done with a razor-sharp blade or something that sounded like a chisel.  Was he going to bore a hole through our ceiling and attack us through the sheet rock?  A crazy person of this caliber is capable of doing anything to innocent people.  I wasn't going to let this happen.  

My mind starting going through battle scenarios of how I would engage such a terrorist within my own house.  And then, another blatantly obvious sound confirmed to me that we (my wife and I) were not the only ones in our house.  There was clearly another living, breathing organism creeping around in our attic. 


And that is when I realized, we either had a mouse or a woodchuck in our attic chewing around.
Two woodchucks chucking wood

So I made up my mind right then and there to find a way to get rid of it on Saturday.  I have pretty good hearing, and this is the first time I picked up on a mouse, but it was also moving around directly above our bedroom.

When I was younger, I saw the movie, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and thought about how cute a mouse on a motorcycle is.  And later on, when a mouse got into my grandfather's house, I thought it was hillarious to watch my grandpa chase it around the living room.  It is pretty funny when you are younger, but not when you are trying to go to sleep.
Ralph on his red motorcycle

We went to the Dollar Tree, and I looked around for a long time on the electronic/automotive/pet food/superglue/light bulb aisle.  If there were mouse traps in Dollar Tree, I knew that was the aisle to find them on.  I was about to give up all hope, when I saw the mousetraps dangling from a cord on the end corner.  Why spend more when you can get 4 traps for $1?
 
I went home and immediately got out the peanut butter to bait the traps.  But I actually had trouble figuring out how to make the long rod catch and hold the bar back.  After going online and watching Youtube videos on it, I realized that the Dollar Tree traps were slightly different from the video traps, but I finally figured it out.  It was like one of those brain puzzles in Cracker Barrel: once you figure out the trick, then it is a piece 'o cake to set.  Thanks Youtube!

Tom  strategically laying a trap to catch Jerry.

One trap was strategically placed in what I call "a high-rodent traffic area" in the attic, while the other two were set out in the open as a decoy to give a false sense of security. 

And for the rest of the day, whenever I heard a pop or loud noise, I looked up at the ceiling, because that must've been the trap going off.  I heard a lot of loud noises on Saturday, but it was only my mind playing tricks on me.

So Sunday morning I went up to the attic in my house-shoes at first, and made out a dark shadow on the trap, but I couldn't see it that well with the attic light off.  I came back with a flashlight and better shoes.  I took a picture and brought the wild game down to show my wife.  I don't know if she took me seriously until I showed it to her.  Then she believed me. 

This mouse died after tasting our creamy peanut butter.

 We are ready for any more mice that want to come over.  There are 2 other traps locked and loaded for maximum mouse satisfaction. 


Arnold: All organic life forms in the Love attic must be terminated.





Friday, February 11, 2011

Indiana Jones 4 & The Stolen Crystal Skull from Stargate:SG1

Summary: Indiana Jones 4 stole the Crystal Skull plot from Stargate: SG1. It is a sad day in Hollywood when original stories cannot be made into film. Instead, old ideas from other franchises are re-hashed into movies for the sake of seeing old actors come back one more time.

Shia LaBeouf said this about Indiana Jones 4: "I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished...You get to monkey-swinging and things like that and you can blame it on the writer and you can blame it on Steven [Spielberg]. But the actor's job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn't do it. So that's my fault. Simple."

Indiana Jones 4
Have you ever gone to a movie theater to see something you were excited to see, only to be let down with a ridiculous story, or unbelievable action scenes throughout the movie?  I have.  And without naming any names (see picture above), it seems to happen more often than not.

Indiana Jones 4 left a bad taste in my mouth. Worse than throw up. Maybe because the storyline was stolen, and doesn't work for the Indiana Jones franchise.

Please note that I was already a fan of the first three Indiana Jones movies.  But when you put  all four movies side-by-side, and compare them, one of them is not like the others. Indiana Jones 4 was horrible!

But before dissing Indiana Jones 4 any further, let me point out something that most people are not aware of.  The whole Crystal Skull story was already used.

And this is how I know.  My wife and I are watching Stargate: SG1 at home, and we are in Season 3, episode 21.  Guess what the title of this episode is?  Crystal Skull.  And as we are watching, I scratch my head, because something about this episode is eerily familiar. Basically the whole premise of searching for a Crystal Skull that was placed there by an alien race.

Haven't seen the epsiode?  Buy the complete season on DVD.


Stargate SG1: Season 3 Complete Set


Stargate SG1: Season 3, Episode 21 "Crystal Skull"
In episode 21, Daniel Jackson comes across a Crystal Skull that does something magical (but explained by the physics and science in the show), which transports him to another plane of existence where the other team members cannot see him.  Fast forward to the end, and they are standing in front of the Crystal Skull, which is connected to an alien race that has placed it there so they can be contacted.  Sound familiar?

Daniel Jackson finds the Crystal Skull
So the episode ends and my mind brings me back to that awful movie that we all know to be Indiana Jones 4.  And this seriously bothered me.

So today, I emailed the writer of SG1, episode 21, and asked him if he received any credit from Indiana Jones 4 (2008) after coming up with the original idea in the year 2000.  He graciously confirmed that he did not because, "that's Hollywood!"  Personally, I wouldn't want to be connected to that movie either, if I was in his shoes.  But it just goes to show that it doesn't pay to steal ideas (plagiarize) and try to label them as fresh and original.



Instead of Harrison Ford reveling in a quadrilogous victory, he will forever be running from the Crystal alien Skull. Somebody should tell him that it was stolen from an Stargate:SG1 storyline.



Monday, February 07, 2011

Justin Bieber's Fame Might Hurt His Game


Justin Bieber says, "You need 6G"
   
If you were watching the Superbowl on Sunday, then you may have seen the Best Buy commercial with Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne (seen here), that left many people wondering what the commercial itself had to do with Best Buy.  The commercial started out with Ozzy talking about a new smartphone with 4G...then 5G, then Ozzy is replaced with a younger actor (Justin Bieber) to promote 6G.  And most people do not think of Best Buy when you are talking about the speed of a cell phone network.  According to NBC's morning show, The Today Show, most people watching the commercial - didn't get it.  But it got bonus points just for having Justin Bieber in it.
 
Top: Ozzy, Justin Bieber, and Sharon Osbourne; Bottom: Ozzy looking confused, Old Justin Bieber and a confused Sharon Osbourne.

Justin Bieber is a hot commodity nowadays.  It's that simple.  He is so desirable as a celebrity that he is paired up with almost anyone - like Ozzy Osbourne - in the Best Buy commercial, and dressed in a Tron suit, because that's just cool.

Justin Bieber's movie, titled: Never Say Never, will be out in theaters on Feb. 11, 2011.  Tickets are selling (and pre-selling) like concert tickets, and the movie will undoubtedly break some sort of record for having the "Most ticket sales bought by teenage girls" on opening weekend record for a concert movie.

Some radio stations have even compared Justin Bieber to Michael Jackson, playing Michael Jackson's singing part in the song, "ABC" to Justin Bieber's solos to show how alike they sound.

Justin Bieber is so popular that at any given time, chances are that when you log into Twitter, there is at least one word or phrase trending that has something to do with him.  Some popular examples of trending Bieber phrases on Twitter are:  #BieberFacts, #RIPBieber (when he died on C.S.I.), #BieberFever, #BieberCENT (a hybrid of Justin Bieber & 50 Cent), and in reference to his upcoming movie, #BieberPremiere.  And the list could go on forever.

Concluding thoughts:  We can only hope that J.B.'s fate is unlike many celebrities and musicians that have more money, and end up with mo' problems (contributed to drugs).  If you look at the King of Rock 'n Roll, Elvis, or the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, their lives ended tragically - and before their time - because of drug addictions, and they were considered music legends even as they were still breathing. 

Money can't buy you happiness, and I say it can actually take you places where you don't want to go if you don't take control of it and your life.  You never know, he might turn out alright.   

For more on Justin Bieber's rise to fame, check out my Associated Content article, Never Say Never: Justin Bieber's Rise to Fame.


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