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Monday, November 30, 2009

In this computer-generated art concept, fireworks fill the sky above the Los Angeles football stadium as a Super Bowl game is about to begin.
LosAngelesfootballstadium.com

TWO NFL teams playing in the City of Industry (here in Los Angeles County) by 2013? Hmmm... Just repeating what I heard from Liz Habib on FOX TV yesterday (right after the Minnesota Vikings-Chicago Bears game ended. The Vikings won by the way... 36-10). According to Ms. Habib, if one or two National Football League teams decide to move to Southern California as early as next Spring, they can begin playing temporarily at the Los Angeles Coliseum and/or Pasadena’s Rose Bowl as soon as Fall of 2010...while construction on the Los Angeles football stadium in Industry starts immediately. According to Habib, the NFL wants the new arena to support two clubs simultaneously...in the same way that the New York Jets and the New York Giants play football at the same stadium in um, New Jersey, and STAPLES Center supports both the Lakers and the Clippers in LA during the NBA season. I’m all for that...

FOX LA reporter Liz Habib.
MyFoxLA.com

Preferably, I wouldn’t mind the Jacksonville Jaguars and/or the Vikings (with Brett Favre still on the team...assuming he'll consistently play the way he did against the Bears yesterday, haha) relocate to Los Angeles. The LA Jaguars and/or the LA Vikings sound helluva lot better (assuming their names won't be changed after the relocation) than the LA Bills...as in the Buffalo Bills, who are also one of the teams rumored to move cross-country to the City of Angels. Let’s leave that club and its choking ways to the cold wasteland that is upstate New York, shall we?


In this computer-generated art concept, spotlights shine high above the Los Angeles football stadium during an NFL game.
LosAngelesfootballstadium.com

Sunday, November 29, 2009

NINJA ASSASSIN movie poster.

NINJA ASSASSIN... I saw the film yesterday, and on a positive note, it lived up to its title. For those of you thinking that Ninja Assassin is a superfluous name (haha), the movie is actually about an assassin who kills ninjas. And that assassin, named Raizo (who's played by Korean pop star Rain), kicks ass! I actually saw the film, or at least the last 20 minutes of it, at work when it was test-screened earlier this year. Needless to say, I was so impressed by the climactic action sequence that I had to see the rest of the movie when it officially came out in theaters. Ninja Assassin is what those live-action Mortal Kombat films during the 90's should've been! (Other flicks that I paid to watch despite already seeing their endings during marketing screenings were 300, Superbad and Zombieland. We also screened Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen too...but the only shot I saw, since I had to remain outside the auditorium for much of the movie, was that end credit scene where The Office’s Rainn Wilson calls Shia LaBeouf ‘Professor Einstein’ in that astronomy class.) After Ninja Assassin ended, I overheard a fellow moviegoer who attended the same screening as me compare this film to 300. It’s an appropriate comparison...seeing as how Ninja Assassin, like the 2007 Zack Snyder flick, also had lots of cool action scenes, neat CGI effects and gallons of fake blood...



There are two plotholes that I noticed in the movie though: Who was the lady who called Raizo on the phone prior to him rescuing Mika (Naomie Harris) from an assassination attempt at her apartment? And who rescued Raizo from that river after he was injured following his betrayal of master Ozunu (Sho Kosugi) and the rest of his clan atop that rooftop? Anyways... Ninja Assassin is directed by James McTeigue, who also helmed 2005’s V for Vendetta, and was also the assistant director for Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and The Matrix trilogy. That is all.

Raizo (played by Rain) takes on his former master Ozunu (Sho Kosugi) in NINJA ASSASSIN.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Day, everyone!!! Here’s a link to an article about President Obama 'pardoning' a turkey during a ceremony at the White House yesterday. Instead of getting its noggin chopped off (with Sarah Palin possibly watching in delight), spending a couple of hours feeling warm and toasty inside an oven and then being served along with mash potatoes and stuffing to a family of slightly obese Americans, the turkey, named "Courage", will instead spend the rest of its life listening to crappy music during the Electrical Parade at Disneyland. Or enjoy the daily fireworks show there.

Though here’s a question: What happens if someone ate a turkey that was pardoned by the President? Are we looking at a hefty fine or prison time for that person here? Hm.


President Obama pardons Courage, a 45-pound turkey, at the White House on November 25, 2009.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Brian Griffin tries to earn Quagmire's respect on FAMILY GUY.

FAMILY GUY... If you guys watched last Sunday’s episode, you’ll recall that major subplot about how Brian Griffin was trying to earn Quagmire’s respect after finding out that the womanizing airline pilot hated Brian’s guts. Towards the end of that episode, we get that nice little moment at the end of the show where Quagmire, who’s having dinner at a restaurant courtesy of Brian, goes off and lists every single fault that the dog has, and why Quagmire despises Peter Griffin’s "best friend" so much. Anyways, the gist of this journal entry is NOT about this scene...but what led to it during the episode.

Earlier in Sunday’s episode, Quagmire thinks that he’s going on a date with Cheryl Tiegs, a girl who he knew from a long time ago. Quagmire got a letter that was supposedly from Cheryl...not knowing that it was in fact sent by Brian to trick Quagmire into having dinner with him. Quagmire enters a limo that arrives outside his house, and is surprised to see Brian waiting in the car instead of Tiegs. Quagmire then goes off on a rant to Brian about how this girl "was the one who got away", and the reason why Quagmire had flings with so many women was to make up for Cheryl’s absence, and how he felt "lost" once she disappeared from his life. What I’m about to talk about next is an OLD-ASS topic involving a girl I knew from 9 years ago, and how this Family Guy episode started making me think of her...again...

For those of you who have been visiting my Blog since its inception in October of 2000 (Anyone? Anyone?), you’ll remember how I kept talking about a girl I nicknamed Denise (her real name is Duyen) in my entries. She was in my Geology lab class during the Fall 2000 semester at Long Beach State, and the last time I saw Duyen in person was in 2002...on campus during the Spring semester. If you want a recap of the things I said about Duyen, go to this journal entry...which provides a link to every single post (I think) that I made about her (though I’ve just ended up providing links to those entries in this particular Blog, anyway). 2001, as you would tell, was the peak period of my um, ramblings about her.


The reason why that scene on Family Guy struck a nerve with me was that I too felt like I was losing something as I watched Duyen walk away after we headed to our cars following the completion of our Geology final exam. From that point on, every single day I was on campus I would look around to see if "Yenny" was strolling nearby. Even though she graduated from Long Beach State in 2003, that didn’t stop me from continuing to look around for Yenny through my final semester at LBSU...which was Spring semester in 2004. I had a chance to see Duyen in person one last time at my graduation, but needless to say, that opportunity was lost. (Duyen was on campus, but I was unable to look for her since well...click on that last link to know why.)

Before I met Duyen in Fall of 2000, I was pretty much carefree about a lot of things. Nonchalant about life if you well, hahaha. After our final day as classmates though, it felt like I was missing something...as Duyen and I got along pretty well during the semester, and I felt like something great could’ve happened if I made the right moves or said the right things to her (or least ask Yenny if she already had a boyfriend before I started growing strong feelings for her. TOO LATE!). Nope, I was obviously wrong.

To this day, I still go to Duyen’s MySpace page to see what she’s up to (hmm, I probably shouldn’t have said that here). But she hasn’t updated her profile since April of this year, and that’s probably because she only goes on Facebook...which she updates often. I probably shouldn’t have mentioned that (too)...since Duyen didn’t add me as a friend on Facebook (Yes, I did send her an 'Add' request). That could possibly be due to the fact I talked smack about her boyfriend in an entry after I found out his name...and Duyen DOES know about this journal page (since I did tell her about my website long ago), and read some of the things I typed about her back in 2000-‘01. Of course, she probably read my little diatribe about her BF on MySpace too (at least she added me as a friend on that site)...since I also posted that last entry on my profile there as well, haha.

Anyways, this Blog is TOO LONG. The gist of this entry: Last Sunday’s Family Guy episode revealed that Quagmire is a womanizer because he feels lost over a girl he cared about a long time ago, and slept with other chicks to take his mind off of her. For me, the reason why I went to so many import shows over the years was to meet beautiful car show models that would take my mind off of Duyen, albeit briefly. No wait— I never mentioned that import thing in this entry. Oh well. I doubt most of you even reached this point on my Blog to realize how incoherent it’s becoming. Later.


Long Beach State.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

IT'S NOT even Thanksgiving Day yet and radio station KOST 103.5 FM (here in Southern California) is already playing Christmas music. Obviously, this is to get people into the holiday—a.k.a. shopping—mood. Capitalist pigs.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The cast of THE BIG BANG THEORY.

THE BIG BANG THEORY... I like this show...not only because it’s pretty hilarious (Jim Parsons, who plays child prodigy/theoretical physicist Sheldon Cooper, is a crack-up), but also because it occasionally makes references to actual NASA projects. In one Season 2 episode, Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) was the one responsible for getting a Mars rover trapped in sand (which is what really happened to NASA’s Spirit rover last April. As of this entry, it’s still stuck in soft soil on the Red Planet). And in another Season 2 episode, he was responsible for a poorly-designed toilet installed onboard the International Space Station (ISS). That episode even used somewhat up-to-date footage of the ISS (from the shuttle flyaround in last March's STS-119 mission) at the end of the show. This is the only scripted program I know that somewhat puts our space program in the prime time limelight on U.S. television. It doesn't hurt that the lead actress (Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny) is pretty hot as well.


The Big Bang Theory airs on CBS at 9:30 PM, on Monday nights.

Kaley Cuoco.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

John Cusack tries to flee from the supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park in '2012'.

2012... So I saw the film after work yesterday, and it was entertaining—in the typical Roland-Emmerich-blows-up-national-landmarks-and-other-things kinda way. If you’re expecting a sci-fi film that is as thought-provoking as say, District 9, then you’re watching the wrong film. If you’re expecting a standard Hollywood blockbuster with lots of great visual effects and (extremely) ridiculous action sequences, then this is the movie for you.

Amanda Peet and the rest of John Cusack's onscreen family in '2012'.

I can’t recall any memorable scenes from The Day After Tomorrow, but I will point out that 2012 had a lot more emotional moments in it than Independence Day did (don’t get me started on Godzilla). But unlike 2012, Independence Day (or ID4) had a lot more scenes that made the crowd gasp and cheer...at least at the screening I went to back in July of ‘96. Of course, back then the shots of the White House and other (American) landmarks getting destroyed by giant alien ships in ID4 were fairly new...and the scenes showing F/A-18 Hornet jets engaging in aerial battle with small alien fighters (a la Star Wars, DUH) were awesome. What 2012 has going for it are repetitive shots of airplanes trying to lift off of runways that were breaking apart below them...and a kick-ass scene of Yellowstone National Park going BOOM as the supervolcano beneath it (yes, this volcano is REAL) erupts.

Los Angeles goes bye-bye in '2012'.

I’d say more about the movie, but I don’t feel like it. I’ll point out one more thing though: I find it interesting and fortunate (ahem, sarcasm) that the computers onboard Air Force One could show real-time images of what’s going on beneath the Earth’s crust, as well as what was happening to the planet's magnetic field as s**t was hittin' the fan across the globe. I guess these comps were modified by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey at the White House's request between 2009 and 2012...the time period during which the movie takes place.


That is all.

Las Vegas goes bye-bye in '2012'.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

CONTRARY to what the TV commercials tell you, Twilight is NOT a saga...but a multi-film Abercrombie & Fitch (or Gap for that matter, haha) ad. You wanna watch a REAL saga? Check out those science fantasy films about that Galaxy far, far away that George Lucas made between 1977 and 2005. Yes, I also included the prequels.


TWILIGHT for dudes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

INTERESTING... According to this pic, the Batwing actually exists. Though it's not officially the Batwing...so don't call it that. Just being facetious. I found this image on a message board.

U.S. Air Force Aircraft Identification Chart.

Monday, November 16, 2009

ASSASSIN'S CREED.

ASSASSIN’S CREED... I’ve never played the Playstation 3 video game before, but the three webisodes below are pretty cool. Known as Assassin's Creed: Lineage, they serve as prequels to Assassin’s Creed II...which comes out in electronic stores tomorrow. It’s a nice touch that the game’s maker Ubisoft made the videos (whose stories take place in Italy during the Renaissance) authentic by casting Italian actors in ‘em. You probably think that this was such an obvious comment, but if Hollywood made these webisodes, Giovanni Auditore (the Assassin) would most likely be played by Channing Tatum. Or Robert Pattinson for that matter. Hollywood blows.





Sunday, November 15, 2009

An artist concept of Dawn in the Asteroid Belt.

DAWN Update...

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Dawn Enters Asteroid Belt -- For Good (Press Release - From November 13)

ASTEROID BELT -- NASA's Dawn spacecraft re-entered our solar system's asteroid belt today, Nov. 13, and this time it will stay there.

Dawn first entered the belt [whose lower boundary may be defined as the greatest distance Mars gets from the sun (249,230,000 kilometers, or 154,864,000 miles)] in June 2008. It remained within the belt for 40 days before its carefully planned orbital path brought it below the asteroid belt's lower boundary.

This time around, Dawn's flight path will remain above this hypothetical lower boundary for the rest of the mission and for the foreseeable future - Dawn will become the first human-made object to take up permanent residence in the asteroid belt.

The mission of the 1,098-kilogram (2,421-pound) Dawn spacecraft is to reconnoiter Vesta and Ceres, the asteroid belt's two most massive inhabitants -- the asteroid Vesta and dwarf planet Ceres. The goal of this eight-year, 4.9-billion-kilometer (3-billion-mile) mission is to answer basic questions about the formation of planets in our solar system. NASA's unmanned Dawn spacecraft will be the first ever to orbit two planetary bodies on a single voyage. Dawn is 619 days away from arrival at its first celestial objective, asteroid Vesta.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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The dwarf planet Ceres...which the Dawn spacecraft will visit in 2015.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

YOU KNOW that water on the Moon is pretty big news when Google updates the logo on its webpage to commemorate it. Of course, the "Google doodle" tends to be changed a lot depending on special occasions and the honoring of random historical people...according to this article. Since the Moon doodle will eventually be changed, here’s a screenshot of it:

A screenshot of the lunar 'Google doodle'.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) in the movie DUMB & DUMBER.

BORROWING A LINE from Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) in the hilarious film, Dumb & Dumber: "That’s greeaaat— We found water on the Moon!!"

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NASA'S LCROSS IMPACTS CONFIRM WATER IN LUNAR CRATER (Press Release)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. -- Preliminary data from NASA's Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, or LCROSS, indicates the mission successfully uncovered water in a permanently shadowed lunar crater. The discovery opens a new chapter in our understanding of the moon.

The LCROSS spacecraft and a companion rocket stage made twin impacts in the Cabeus crater Oct. 9 that created a plume of material from the bottom of a crater that has not seen sunlight in billions of years. The plume traveled at a high angle beyond the rim of Cabeus and into sunlight, while an additional curtain of debris was ejected more laterally.

"We're unlocking the mysteries of our nearest neighbor and, by extension, the solar system," said Michael Wargo, chief lunar scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "The moon harbors many secrets, and LCROSS has added a new layer to our understanding."

Scientists long have speculated about the source of significant quantities of hydrogen that have been observed at the lunar poles. The LCROSS findings are shedding new light on the question with the discovery of water, which could be more widespread and in greater quantity than previously suspected. If the water that was formed or deposited is billions of years old, these polar cold traps could hold
a key to the history and evolution of the solar system, much as an ice core sample taken on Earth reveals ancient data. In addition, water and other compounds represent potential resources that could sustain future lunar exploration.

Since the impacts, the LCROSS science team has been analyzing the huge amount of data the spacecraft collected. The team concentrated on data from the satellite's spectrometers, which provide the most definitive information about the presence of water. A spectrometer helps identify the composition of materials by examining light they emit or absorb.

"We are ecstatic," said Anthony Colaprete, LCROSS project scientist and principal investigator at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. "Multiple lines of evidence show water was present in both the high angle vapor plume and the ejecta curtain created by the LCROSS Centaur impact. The concentration and distribution of water and other substances requires further analysis, but it is safe to say Cabeus holds water."

The team took the known near-infrared spectral signatures of water and other materials and compared them to the impact spectra the LCROSS near infrared spectrometer collected.

"We were able to match the spectra from LCROSS data only when we inserted the spectra for water," Colaprete said. "No other reasonable combination of other compounds that we tried matched the observations. The possibility of contamination from the Centaur also was ruled out."

Additional confirmation came from an emission in the ultraviolet spectrum that was attributed to hydroxyl, one product from the break-up of water by sunlight. When atoms and molecules are excited, they release energy at specific wavelengths that can be detected by the spectrometers. A similar process is used in neon signs. When electrified, a specific gas will produce a distinct color. Just after impact, the LCROSS ultraviolet visible spectrometer detected hydroxyl signatures that are consistent with a water vapor cloud in sunlight.

Data from the other LCROSS instruments are being analyzed for additional clues about the state and distribution of the material at the impact site. The LCROSS science team and colleagues are poring over the data to understand the entire impact event, from flash to crater. The goal is to understand the distribution of all materials within the soil at the impact site.

"The full understanding of the LCROSS data may take some time. The data is that rich," Colaprete said. "Along with the water in Cabeus, there are hints of other intriguing substances. The permanently shadowed regions of the moon are truly cold traps, collecting and preserving material over billions of years."

LCROSS was launched June 18 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida as a companion mission to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO. Moving at a speed of more than 1.5 miles per second, the spent upper stage of its launch vehicle hit the lunar surface shortly after 4:31 a.m. PDT Oct. 9, creating an impact that instruments aboard LCROSS observed for approximately four minutes. LCROSS then impacted the surface at approximately 4:36 a.m.

LRO observed the impact and continues to pass over the site to give the LCROSS team additional insight into the mechanics of the impact and its resulting craters. The LCROSS science team is working closely with scientists from LRO and other observatories that viewed the impact to analyze and understand the full scope of the LCROSS data.

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LEFT PIC: Artist's concept of LCROSS at the Moon.  RIGHT PIC: LCROSS undergoing tests inside a thermal vacuum chamber.

An image taken by the LCROSS spacecraft...showing its Centaur rocket stage impacting the Moon on October 9, 2009.

There's water on the Moon!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

An artist's concept of the Gliese 581 star system.

HELLO FROM EARTH Update... As of 7 PM California time tonight (12 PM Sydney time on Friday, November 13), it has been eleven weeks since a radio signal containing 25,878 goodwill text messages—including one by me—was transmitted to the exoplanet Gliese 581d from a giant NASA antenna in Australia. The signal is now 1.2 trillion miles (1.9 trillion kilometers) from Earth. 1 trillion miles... Wow. The Sent Forever signal that was transmitted from the United Kingdom at 8:07 PM (California time) on October 5 is now 610 billion miles (982 billion kilometers) from Earth as of this typing. I’ll probably submit another message early next year.


A satellite dish at the Goonhilly Earth Station in the United Kingdom.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

THE SIMPSONS Theme... Courtesy of this dude (or dudette? Sorry) playing two guitars at the same time:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

PHOTO OF THE DAY... I found this picture on Google. Now that this image showed it isn’t so farfetched that a meerkat and a warthog be seen as walking buddies in real life, does this mean there’s also a sinister but sexually ambiguous lion with a scar on its face out there in the Serengeti? Hmm... Hakuna matata.

Timon and Pumbaa are real.

(I’m referring to Disney's The Lion King, in case you still don’t know what I’m talking about in this entry.)

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Gundam Epyon.

THE GUNDAM EPYON... Posted below is a cool video showing scenes of the Epyon from the Japanese cartoon, Gundam Wing. In case you forgot, or never knew (most likely the latter), Gundam Wing was aired on the Cartoon Network here in the U.S. back in 2000...along with other popular anime like DragonballZ and Ronin Warriors (okay, I actually don't think Ronin Warriors was that popular). The Epyon was the strongest mobile suit featured on Gundam Wing, and its only fighting equal was Wing Zero. You can read more about these two Gundams as well as others on my website.

Wing Zero versus the Epyon.

This video plays to the tune of "Come With Me" by Puff Daddy & Jimmy Page. Cool song. It’s probably the only good thing to come from that travesty that was the 1998 American film version of Godzilla...thank you very much, Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin.



UPDATE (December 2011): The video has been taken down. Oh well. Just enjoy the awesome pics posted above.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

DECEPTICLES... Check out this funny music video paying homage to Devastator’s, um, huevos in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. The song is by AC/DC. I could’ve sworn I already posted a Blog about this... Oh well.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

According to the Discovery Channel, the world is Just Awesome. I agree...if you ignore the 6 billion parasites (myself excluded, of course) that leech off it everyday.


Catchy song, though.

Friday, November 06, 2009

ETHIOPIA’S CRACK... An article was posted online last Tuesday about how a 35-mile rift in the desert of Ethiopia will someday break apart and cause a new ocean to form along the northeastern part of the country. Of course, this will take millions of years to occur. All I know is... Somali pirates will have to wait a looooong time to begin wreaking havoc on this new sea. Click here to read more.

A giant crack in the Ethiopian desert.
University of Rochester

Monday, November 02, 2009

The USS NEW YORK passes by the Statue of Liberty after arriving at its namesake state on November 2, 2009.
AP Photo / Mark Lennihan

PHOTOS OF THE DAY... Today's entry goes to the USS New York (LPD-21), the U.S. Navy's newly-built "amphibious transport dock" that recently arrived at its namesake state to be commissioned into service, as well as to honor the victims of 9/11. The New York's bow contains 7.5 tons of steel salvaged from the twin World Trade Center towers. The ship will remain in the Empire State till after Veterans Day on November 11. It will then travel to Norfolk, Virginia to begin a year of military training exercises. Two sister ships will be built by the Navy to honor the 9/11 victims at the Pentagon and Pennsylvania attack sites: The Arlington (LPD-24) and Somerset (LPD-25).

The USS NEW YORK being tested at sea.
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems

The USS NEW YORK approaches the Statue of Liberty after arriving at its namesake state on November 2, 2009.
AP Photo

The USS NEW YORK approaches Manhattan after arriving at its namesake state on November 2, 2009.
The New York Times / Josh Haner

Check out this video of LPD-21 being tested at sea, courtesy of Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (which built the New York):

Sunday, November 01, 2009

LA's New Championship Banner... I shot this brief clip moments after the 2008-'09 championship banner for the Lakers was unveiled at STAPLES Center last Tuesday. As a reminder, the Lakers ended up winning this game, 99-92, against the Clippers. Not a surprise. GO LAKERS! (And go, Kool & The Gang! Haha)