Saturday, October 27, 2012

James Bond: 'Skyfall' Takes Aim at Moviegoers

007 James Bond Skyfall

James Bond is one of the most influential men in America in 2012, and he's not even real. That was according to an poll.

The latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, is set to be released in U.S. theaters on November 9, 2012. It premiered in UK theaters October 26, 2012.

Daniel Craig is not your typical Bond. For one thing, he's blonde. The change of hair color may have been one of the most controversial changes among fans, especially among Brits that are not fond of changing something of a national icon. James Bond does not need to be changed.

He is such an icon that they even made his own signature cologne.

Prepare for more changes in the latest movie, Skyfall. The iconic martini, requested "shaken, not stirred" will also be missing from the newest movie. Instead, Bond will order a Heineken beer. As one of my friends put it, "Somebody's got to pay for the movie."

Bond Bisexual?
Another controversy in the new Skyfall is that bond insinuates that he has had relations with another man before. The bad guy gets pretty intimate with Bond in one scene, to which Bond retorts: "What makes you think I haven't done it before?" According to some sources (Hollywoodsnark), Daniel Craig has been insisting on having a gay scene in a Bond movie with another man. Should it surprise you that yet another celebrity lacks moral integrity?

In interviews, Daniel Craig has tried to downplay it, insisting that this is what the agent would say at in that moment, but honestly, I personally don't think this bisexual moment should be in the movie. James Bond is not bisexual, but Daniel Craig seems to think he should be.

Spoilers beyond this point.

The movie is named Skyfall, because that is the name of the ranch where James Bond grew up. That is where he lived when he learned that his parents had died. Skyfall ranch is also where James Bond's parent are buried. There are tombstones for them in the movie.

Worldwide Sales
Casino Royale (2006) grossed $594 million worldwide.
Quantum of Solace (2008) grossed $576 million worldwide.

I estimate that Skyfall (2012) will gross between $575-595 million worldwide.

UPDATE 11/12/12:
Skyfall had an opening weekend of $87.8 million, making this the highest grossing Bond movie ever. Data from The Wrap.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Golfers and Sinkholes Go Together Like Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia

Is Guatemala a magnet for sinkholes?

Answer: Yes.

Sinkholes in Guatemala

In February of 2007, a sinkhole killed 3 people and many homes in Guatemala City, Guatemala. It was thought to be caused by a ruptured sewer line.

In May of 2010, a three-story textile factory was sucked down a sinkhole in Guatemala City (a mile away from the 2007 sinkhole) measuring 30 meters deep and 20 meters across. One man was reported killed after this natural disaster. Picture below.

2010 Sinkhole in Guatemala City, Guatemala

It didn't help when Tropical Storm Agatha brought in a torrential rain in 2010, killing at least 113 people in its wake. This Tropical Storm in May 2010 is thought to have caused the 2010 sinkhole, this time 60 meters deep, killing one man and taking out a 3-story building.

What is the cause of these sinkholes?

Some blame the city's drainage system, as it interferes with limestone in the ground. Leaks in the drainage system have accelerated the pores in the ground, which causes the sinkholes when there are heavy rains.

National Geographic says, "...sinkholes form when water enlarges a natural fracture in a limestone bedrock layer. As the crack gets bigger, the topsoil gently slumps, eventually leaving behind a sinkhole."

According to Wikipedia, sinkholes have been used for centuries as a place for waste disposal. Just drop your trash down into the Earth, and let the molten core take care of your garbage.

On a much lighter note...

Sinkholes are Problem for Golfers

Sinkholes do cause a problem with golfers. While they are able to make a hole in one, it is almost impossible to retrieve their ball.

It is kind of like the feeling when you play the 18th hole at the Putt Putt course. You just aren't getting that ball back. Time to turn in that putter.

If Tiger Woods wants to make a comeback, he better start at the Guatemalan Open, as long as he brings some extra golf balls, because hole number one is quite a sinkhole.

Tiger Woods Beef with Sergio Garcia

Tiger Woods clearly does have beef with Sergio Garcia. At the AT&T National News Conference (May 2013), a press reporter asks Tiger Woods this question: "...the thing with Sergio a couple of weeks ago, a lot of people on the outside looking appeared so petty...has there ever been any thought of contacting him and just saying 'Hey, let's chill, we don't need to be going back and forth like this anymore?'"

Tiger Responds with a "No." and the press all laugh as Tiger smiles. Tiger Woods is clearly not interested in forgiving Sergio Garcia. He is not a forgiving man. After all, you see what happened when he was caught having an affair with countless women.

You can watch him say no here.

Tiger Woods said at the Players Championship in early May 2013 that Sergio Garcia is: "...not the nicest guy on tour."

Sergio Garcia complained at the Players Championship that he was distracted during the second round when  the crowd got noisy out of excitement from Tiger Woods pulling a golf club out of his bag before Garcia was about to swing.

Garcia Sympathizers Lost After Racist Comment

On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, Sergio Garcia made a racist comment at an awards dinner for the European Tour. He said that he would have invited the the "World's Number One" around for dinner at the U.S. Open because "we will serve friend chicken."

After making the comment, Sergio immediate realized how his comment could be taken as racist, and immediately attempted to apologize, but by this time, the damage was already done.

Garcia said: "As soon as I left the dinner, I started getting a sick feeling in my body. I didn't really sleep at all. I felt like my heart was going to come out of my body. I've had this sick feeling all day. Difficult to hit a shot all day." 

Tiger Woods shush
Tiger "shushing" the crowd.

Golfer Falls in a Sinkhole

In Waterloo, Illinois, a golfer fell into a sinkhole at the 14th hole. He fell 18 feet down, suffering minor injuries, including bruises and a dislocated shoulder. Sinkholes are not good to have on a golf course.

That story can be read here.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Star Wars Offers 'A New Hope' For Angry Birds Fans

Angry Birds Star Wars Edition release on Nov. 8
"Incoming! Bird in a slingshot!"

If you are an Angry Birds fan, then you are in for a treat. On Nov. 8, 2012, Angry Birds Star Wars will be released and the billion fans will have a new installment of the game combining two successful franchises.

Yes, there were over a billion downloads of the original Angry Birds, and the Star Wars version of Angry Birds will only bring more fans into the mix. And this new game is sure to not disappoint fans of either genre.

In fact, Angry Birds Star Wars has cool fan gear for fan boys.

Angry Birds Star Wars allows players to be Luke, Leia, Han Solo, Yoda, and Chewbacca in a fight against the Dark side as depicted in Star Wars: A New Hope. Rumor is that players can also be Darth Vader and play as the dark side against the rebellion.

This is Rovio Entertainment's first Angry Birds title that incorporates other content. This game will open many other forms of merchandise with Angry Birds Star Wars themes. Toys R Us will sell Halloween costumes, plush dolls, posters and other toys related to this game.

Colum Slevin, the Vice President of Studio Operations at Lucasfilm Ltd., said: "Both Star Wars and Angry Birds share the instant and irresistible appeal of hands-on fun...People seem to instinctively know what to do when handed a light saber or a bird in a slingshot, so this is a natural combination."

Peter Vesterbacka, the CMO of Rovio Entertainment shared, "The is the best Angry Birds game we've ever done. It's the best parts of Angry Birds with all new cutting-edge gameplay set in a galaxy far, far away...As a big Star Wars fan myself, I'm really excited about this new universe. The Force is definitely strong with this one."

I anticipate this new Angry Birds game will be a blast!

Angry Birds Star Wars Logo

The game will be released on PC, Mac, Android, and iOS.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Secret Princes on TLC is Very Entertaining to Watch

Secret Princes on TLC

The show Secret Princes on the cable network TLC is very entertaining to watch.

These princes are truly fighting to find their true love - someone that will fall for them without first knowing their title and status. The only problem is that they may have to lie about who they are, and why there are camera-men following them around everywhere.

There are four princes, but two of them claim to be "more royal" (as a direct heir to the crown), than the two from the U.K. They have come over to the U.S. to find true love. They live in a run down house in Atlanta, and are undercover with a fake name and story as they search for love interests.

Two of the princes from the U.K. work as servers/laborers for a local business, and the Spanish prince and the Indian Prince work for a dog business. They have to pick up dog poop as one of their duties. Prince Salauddin Babi of India finds picking up dog poop utterly repulsive and beneath him.

I find the show very hillarious and entertaining because these princes do not know how to do most of the tasks given to them. The Indian prince, called "Salad" for short, has to carry his own luggage from the taxi to the house, and he finds it much harder than it looks. He shares that he has never had to ever do that before with servants at home.

All four secret princes admit that they have no clue how to do their own laundry.

Two episodes into this season has revealed that Lord Robert Walters of the U.K. has no trouble at all talking to women, and is continually stealing them away from the other lords, particularly Prince Salauddin Babi of India, and Ludovic Watson of the U.K., as they have the least experience in talking to women. Prince Francisco of Spain has a good American accent, and does not have trouble talking to women. Lord Robert Walters, (known as "Tate Morgan" on the show), considers Prince Francisco (known as "Cisco") as his biggest threat in the household when it comes to meeting women. Prince Salauddin Babi of India shares with the other princes that if he doesn't find his true love in America, then he will most likely go back home to India and have an arranged marriage as the Indian tradition follows.

  The Secret Prince By Love, D. Anne (Google Affiliate Ad)

It was also very humorous when Prince Salauddin Babi came into the house and made a big deal over having his own bathroom. Since Lord Robert Walters got there first, he had the first pick of bedroom, which had an adjacent bathroom. None of the other bedrooms had their own bathroom, which Prince Salauddin Babi finds out, and he claims a bathroom on another floor of the house, next to Prince Francisco's room. Cisco points this out in the first episode that there may be some conflict over this 'claimed' bathroom which happens to be right next to his bedroom.

At the end of the second episode, titled: "The Princely Paupers," Prince Salauddin Babi finally meets a woman at a barbecue they throw at their house, and she is also intrigued by Prince Francisco. This causes some conflict as they are both interested in dating her. In episode 3 titled: "The Glass Slipper," these two princes both attempt to woo her interest over the other prince.

If you live in the U.S., new episodes of Secret Princes comes on Friday night at 8 p.m. Central (9 p.m. Eastern) time on TLC.

If you are unable to watch it live, go ahead and DVR this show, because it is very entertaining.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Resident Evil 6 Receives Poor Reviews

Resident Evil 6 Character Poster
Poor reviews are coming in for Resident Evil 6 and they are not surprising.

Capcom's Resident Evil 6 is yet another chapter for the Resident Evil franchise, but this third-person shooter does not live up to expectations set forth from its predecessors.

In Resident Evil 6, both Leon and Chris (and other new characters) come together to face the threat of mutated monsters and blood-thirsty zombies.

All too many quick-time events require you to be ready to toggle the thumb stick to free yourself from various zombies and monsters, or tap buttons to perform actions faster. And the quick-time complaint is just one of many listed below.

Many complaints with Resident Evil 6 include:

  • Awkward camera angles during gameplay
  • Bad Plot
  • Confusing menus
  • Difficult melee fighting
  • Excessive cut scenes
  • Too many long quick-time events
  • Poor dialogue and scripted events
  • Unavoidable deaths
  • Wait times during co-op gameplay

Critic Review scores:
Game Informer gives RE6 (88/100); Tim Turi says "Incredible Co-op with a few kinks."
GameSpot gives RE6 4.5 out of 10; reviewer Kevin VanOrd says "...not a smart game."
Polygon gives RE6 4 out of 10 and calls the game "biohazard waste"
G4 gives RE6 2.5 out of 5; calling RE6 the "biggest misstep" of the franchise
IGN gives RE6 7.9 out of 10; Richard George says it is "bigger than ever, but not better."
1up reviewer Jose Otero says RE6  is proof of "too many compromises" and if RE6 had a motto, it would be, "Just keep moving forward to the next goal and don't stop shooting."

My take is this: If Capcom is simply making another video game so they can continue to make movies, "Stop immediately!" The Resident Evil train wreck is out of control.

The old saying is: "It is better to do one thing well, than many things just mediocre."

It is time for Capcom to go back to the roots, and re-focus on making a good gaming experience. If they can't do that, they need to stop making installments of their flagship brand.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Saline Bagel Head Beauty Treatment Popular in Japan

'Bagel head' or 'Spoon head'?

If you want to see something out of Star Trek, you no longer have to leave planet Earth.

The newest craze in beauty trends is the 'Bagel Head.'

Bizarre is one word for it.

It involves injecting saline into the forehead to achieve a doughnut on the forehead. It is considered a beauty treatment in Japan, although there is very little beauty about this new fad. Good thing that it disappears after 16 hours.

As seen in the picture above, the Cardassian woman (on right) has a spoon-like protrusion in their forehead. Often on the show, Cardassians were called 'Spoon-heads' as a derogatory name.

But now, the Bagel-head craze is becomes quite the body modification fad in Japan.

Would you really go to the length of having 400 cc's of saline injected into your forehead? 

The procedure only takes 2 hours.

I'm sorry, but this fad is just creepy.

This technique was created by Japanese artist named Keroppy. His real name is Ryoichi Maeda.

Dermatologist Omar Ibrahimi at the Connecticut Skin Institute had three comments about the risks regarding the Bagel Head beauty treatment:

  • "Saline solution that is too concentrated can overload the body's capacity to process salt."
  • "There is risk of bacterial or fungal infections."
  • "I'd be worried that if people did this repeatedly you might actually, indeed, stretch the skin beyond its normal elasticity, and this could cause permanent laxity."
The Bagel Head trend received much publicity in the National Geographic show, Taboo, which aired on Sept. 23, 2012.

If I want a doughnut, I'm just gonna go down to Krispy Kreme. The Saline Bagel Head body mod. is not for me.

Wolchover, Natalie. Is becoming a 'bagel head' dangerous?

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