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Saturday, June 30, 2012

So how many torpedoes does the Philippines' sub carry?

Yet Another Meme I Stumbled Upon On Facebook... I can post this 'cause I'm Filipino.


Just thought I'd give my fellow Pinoys/Pinays another reason to fume after Manny Pacquiao got robbed in his June 9 fight against Tim Bradley in Las Vegas. Of course, I myself didn't watch that match. I didn't order pay-per-view...and I was still bummed over the L.A. Kings losing to the New Jersey Devils in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals that night. Hah.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

King Leonidas from 300 and HALO's Master Chief battle in a rap-off.

It's 300 vs. Halo: Rapping-Style... Check out this music video showing King Leonidas from the hit 2007 film doing a rap-off against Master Chief from the popular Xbox video game. Personally speaking, I'd say that the rap battle ended in a tie. While Leonidas has the hot chick (Jenna, the actress who plays Queen Gorgo in this video, is a natural blonde; she looks good as a brunette as well... The dude who plays Leonidas here is her boyfriend in real life), Master Chief has the kick-ass armor. And having MC as his initials doesn't hurt either.

300's Queen Gorgo has a thing for plasma cannons.

Watch the Youtube clip below to decide who's the better rapper.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Batman apparently isn't very fond of iPhone apps.

Images of the Day... Just commemorating the fact that The Dark Knight Rises gets released in theaters nationwide in less than a month (on July 20)... Woohoo.

Batman (Christian Bale) watches as Gotham police officers and Bane's mercenaries clash with each other in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

Bane (Tom Hardy) shows that he has the upper hand on the Caped Crusader in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

Catwoman's (Anne Hathaway) allegiances are unknown in THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

An updated rendering of the 1 World Trade Center (1 WTC), released on May 10, 2012.
The Durst Organization

Freedom Tower update... As of June 7, the 1 World Trade Center's (1 WTC) steel framework has risen to 103 stories, with only one more floor remaining to be constructed before the skyscraper tops out sometime this summer. Even though it is now the tallest building by roof height in New York City, the 1 WTC may not become the highest skyscraper in the United States after all...due to the fact the 408-foot (124 meters) high antenna that will be installed atop the 1 WTC had to be redesigned because of concerns about future maintenance issues. The antenna was supposed to be encased inside a spire in the building's original concept; however, due to the Trade Center's immense height at 1,776 feet (541.32 meters) once completed, engineers might have difficulty making repairs to the spire if it suffered any type of damage. So the antenna will not be enclosed in anything once it is attached to the rooftop of 1 WTC. Architectural experts include spires, but not antennas, when they're judging how tall a skyscraper is. So the Freedom Tower may either be 1,776-feet tall or 1,368-feet (417 meters) tall—at its rooftop level—once experts see the antenna actually placed on the skyscraper. If it's the latter height, then the Willis Tower in Chicago will keep its title as the tallest office building [at 1,450 feet (442.1 meters)...minus its twin antennas] in the U.S.

By the way, for those of you who are wondering what the fuss is all about in regards to 1 WTC (since it is, after all, just an office building), it's a symbol of post-9/11 recovery in New York City even though the skyscraper is still being assembled. Otherwise, a U.S. president wouldn't have dropped by at the construction site to leave his mark on a steel beam that will be one of the final components to be installed as the Freedom Tower nears completion. That is all.

The 1 WTC towers above the New York skyline, on June 1, 2012.
WTCProgress - Twitter.com

The 1 WTC is lit up in red, white and blue lights to mark President Obama's visit to the site on June 15, 2012.
WTCProgress - Twitter.com

President Obama and the First Lady sign a steel beam that will be one of the final components to complete the 1 WTC, on June 15, 2012.
WTCProgress - Twitter.com

Thursday, June 21, 2012

LeBron James holds the Larry O'Brien trophy after the Miami Super Friends—err, Heat—defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder to win the NBA championship...on June 21, 2012.
Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

Props to LeBron James for proving that there IS a shortcut to achieving success...


Sarcasm aside, the King (whose first championship didn't come nearly close enough to impressing me as much as that won by the Kings here in L.A. last week) still doesn't deserve to be compared to MJ or Kobe. Or even Dirk Nowitzki. All it took for LeBron to "earn" this title was having the pressure and expectations taken off him [pressure and expectations that His Airness, the Black Mamba and Dirk (to a somewhat lesser degree) thrived under] by playing with an established NBA champion like Dwyane Wade. But y'all already knew this. Props to Wade for luring the "Greatest Player in the NBA" to play in his city and not vice versa.

(Note to Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert: You didn't keep your promise about your team winning a title before LeBron did. You were probably preoccupied with helping NBA Commissioner David Stern ruin the pre-season trade that would've brought Chris Paul to the Lakers. For this, I'm actually glad that LeBron didn't win a ring in Ohio. Screw Cleveland... Moreso, that is.)

So enjoy your time with the NBA crown, King James... I'm sure that when Kevin Durant finally wins a title, it will be for Oklahoma City and not another town that he "can take his talents" to. (FYI, I despise the Thunder as well.) I know, I'm a hater. But at least I devoted a Blog entry to the Miami Heat's newly-bought championship. The Super Friends were pretty impressive against the Thunder in this year's Finals, but yea—this title was bought. But y'all already knew this.

The answer is NO.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-2) on a runway at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California...after returning home from space on June 16, 2012.
U.S. Air Force

The X-37B Returns Home... After spending 468 days in space following its launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on March 5, 2011, the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) safely returned to Earth last Saturday...concluding a presumably successful but clandestine mission for the U.S. Air Force. This is the second OTV (OTV-2) to fly into Earth orbit; the first so-called mini-shuttle, OTV-1, lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in April of 2010 and successfully landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California that following December.

OTV-1 has been refurbished and will head back to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to embark on a second flight into space. It is scheduled to launch aboard another Atlas V rocket this October.

Five technicians wearing hazmat suits conduct a post-landing checkout on OTV-2 after its return home from space on June 16, 2012.
U.S. Air Force

OTV-2 is towed into a hangar at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, after returning home from space on June 16, 2012.
U.S. Air Force

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A glimpse of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory from up the road, on June 10, 2012.

2012 JPL Open House... I went to the annual event at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Pasadena, California, last Sunday, and while the traffic driving there is becoming worse because more and more people are showing up at JPL each year (which is, of course, a good thing), the Open House was awesome. It's always cool to visit the Space Flight Operations Facility (which I just found out was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1985... Cool), and see all the active deep space missions that JPL is keeping track of at the same time. As the last photo at the bottom of this entry shows, the SFOF is preparing for the Curiosity Mars rover's arrival at the Red Planet less than two months from now. Curiosity is scheduled to land on Mars at 10:31 PM, Pacific Daylight Time on August 5. (FYI, the rover's original name was the Mars Science Laboratory, or MSL.)

JPL's Spacecraft Assembly Facility...which was the site of the Curiosity Mars rover's construction from 2008 to 2011.

Originally, I wasn't going to go to the Open House this year because there isn't anything currently being built inside JPL's Spacecraft Assembly Facility (above)...a top attraction at the event. From 2008 to 2011, visitors to the SAF got the treat of watching Curiosity being constructed inside the giant clean room. As of last June (when the rover was delivered to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to begin launch preparations), this has no longer the case. Who knows what will be the next space probe to be assembled at JPL...and what the probe's ultimate celestial destination will be. I'll resist the urge to get into a rant about the Obama Administration wanting to reduce funding for NASA's planetary science program (which is responsible for JPL's projects) in next year's federal budget. That is all.

LINK: Photos I took at the 2012 JPL Open House

A giant lunar rover prototype is on display at the JPL Open House, on June 10, 2012.

A glimpse of the Space Flight Operations Facility, JPL's 'Mission Control', on June 10, 2012.

A sign posted inside the Space Flight Operations Facility reminds Open House visitors of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars this August 5.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown hoists up the Stanley Cup trophy during the Kings' championship parade in downtown L.A., on June 14, 2012.

Snapshots from the 'Black Parade'... That's the nickname given to yesterday's championship celebration held for the Los Angeles Kings in downtown L.A. It's a reference to My Chemical Romance's "Welcome to the Black Parade" (which is an awesome song), a tune that was played during the intro to all Kings home games in this now-concluded NHL season. Anyways, Black Parade was a very appropriate term for yesterday...as nearly every fan who showed up near STAPLES Center and along Figueroa Street wore some kind of black attire (except me... I wore a blue-and-white checkered shirt and jeans). I probably would've followed suit and wore the team's color if I was able to attend the post-parade victory rally within the cool confines of STAPLES Center afterwards. But thank the Kings' season ticket-holders for not making that the case. Oh well.

Of course, as shown with the pics posted in this entry, I still managed to get pretty close to the action and photograph the players as their motorcade of buses, LAPD escorts and whatnot passed by on Figueroa. It also helped that it was cloudy for much of the parade. (Thank you, June gloom.) Summer doesn't start till next Wednesday; I prefer not to swelter outside in 95-plus degree heat till then. That is all.

LINK: Photos I took at the Los Angeles Kings' 2012 championship parade

Bailey, the Los Angeles Kings' mascot, greets the crowd during the Kings' championship parade on June 14, 2012.

The Stanley Cup trophy is hoisted into the air for the crowd to see during the Kings' championship parade in downtown L.A., on June 14, 2012.

Silver confetti and poop (from the horse at far right) mark the end of the Los Angeles Kings' championship parade in downtown L.A., on June 14, 2012.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My SoCal Sports Wall of Fame.

Photos of the Day... My SoCal Sports Wall of Fame has been updated—though it's still on the verge of becoming the Lakers Wall of Fame if Kobe and company manage to win another NBA title within the next two years. Anyways... To the L.A. Kings season ticket-holders who snatched up all the tickets to the Stanley Cup championship rally inside STAPLES Center tomorrow, thus preventing the general public (like me) from hearing the players' speeches after the parade concludes, I say screw you. I'm still going to the parade, though. But yea— Screw you.

The Los Angeles Times front and sports pages commemorating the Anaheim Ducks and L.A. Kings' Stanley Cup victories.

The Los Angeles Times sports page commemorating the L.A. Kings' Game 6 win over the New Jersey Devils on June 11, 2012.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown hoists up the Stanley Cup trophy after L.A. wins its very first championship on June 11, 2012.
Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

The Kings Finally Earn Their Crown... Props to the Los Angeles Kings for winning the 2012 Stanley Cup championship tonight! They are the third sports tenant at STAPLES Center (behind the Lakers and the Sparks) to win a title. Time for the Clippers to get their act together...what with non-STAPLES-residing L.A. teams such as the Galaxy and the Dodgers, plus Orange County teams like the Anaheim Angels and Ducks, having also won championships in the past decade. Well— Except for the Dodgers. Let's hope that Magic Johnson and his new management team changes that.

It's a good thing that the Kings won the championship today instead of last Saturday, 'cause I couldn't go to the parade if it was tomorrow (I have a doctor's appointment in the afternoon). The Kings' victory parade in downtown L.A. (obviously) will be this Thursday.

As the game clock hits zero, Los Angeles Kings players celebrate as the team wins its very first Stanley Cup championship on June 11, 2012.
Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Thousands of fans celebrate inside STAPLES Center as the Los Angeles Kings clinch their very first Stanley Cup title on June 11, 2012.
Patrick Fallon / Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Kings players pose for a group photo after they clinch the team's very first Stanley Cup title on June 11, 2012.
Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Escorted by tugboats, the USS Iowa makes her way to Berth 87 at San Pedro's waterfront on June 9, 2012.
Brittany Murray / The Daily Breeze

Welcome home, USS Iowa! Earlier today, the famous battleship was finally towed to her final resting spot at Berth 87 near the Port of Los Angeles. The new addition to San Pedro's waterfront will be commissioned on July 4...while the Iowa will officially open to the public as an interactive naval museum a few days later on July 7. While I mentioned above that Berth 87 is the Iowa's final resting spot, The Daily Breeze website states that the contract between the U.S. Navy and the Pacific Battleship Center (which was responsible for getting the Iowa to Southern California) stipulates that the World War II-era vessel needs to essentially stay in battle-shape (the Iowa is still bristling with relatively modern Tomahawk and Harpoon missile launchers, plus Phalanx anti-aircraft Gatling guns) till 2020—in the event of a national emergency. While the re-commissioning of Iowa to sail to hotspots such as Syria or North Korea (again) remains unlikely, it's nice to see that the Pentagon is keeping all of its options to deal with global conflicts open.

Check out these awesome photos that were posted in The Daily Breeze Media Center. Click on that link to view more pics.

Escorted by tugboats, the USS Iowa makes her way to Berth 87 at San Pedro's waterfront on June 9, 2012.
Brittany Murray / The Daily Breeze

Spectators on a tall-masted ship watch as the USS Iowa makes her way to Berth 87 at San Pedro's waterfront, on June 9, 2012.
Brittany Murray / The Daily Breeze

Passing underneath the Vincent Thomas Bridge, the USS Iowa makes her way to Berth 87 at San Pedro's waterfront...on June 9, 2012.
Brittany Murray / The Daily Breeze

Passing underneath the Vincent Thomas Bridge, the USS Iowa makes her way to Berth 87 at San Pedro's waterfront...on June 9, 2012.
Brittany Murray / The Daily Breeze

Hundreds of people gather on USS Iowa's decks as she makes her way to Berth 87 at San Pedro's waterfront, on June 9, 2012.
Brittany Murray / The Daily Breeze

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

With the 1 World Trade Center in the background, the barge carrying Enterprise cruises along the Hudson River to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City, on June 6, 2012.
NASA / Bill Ingalls

Enterprise arrives at the Intrepid... Despite suffering minor damage to her starboard wing after passing too close to the bottom of a Hudson River bridge a few days ago, the prototype space shuttle orbiter Enterprise finally completed her barge trip to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City earlier today. Enterprise is now on the deck of the decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Intrepid...and will undergo final preparation to become a permanent exhibit on the floating museum. Enterprise will officially go on public display this July 19.

With the Statue of Liberty in the background, the barge carrying Enterprise cruises along the Hudson River to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City, on June 6, 2012.
NASA / Bill Ingalls

With the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in the background, the barge carrying Enterprise cruises along the Hudson River to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City, on June 6, 2012.
NASA / Bill Ingalls

Arriving at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City, Enterprise is raised onto the deck of the USS Intrepid on June 6, 2012.
New York District public affairs / Dan Desmet

Arriving at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City, Enterprise is raised onto the deck of the USS Intrepid on June 6, 2012.
NASA / Bill Ingalls

Arriving at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City, Enterprise is raised onto the deck of the USS Intrepid on June 6, 2012.
NASA / Bill Ingalls

Sunday, June 03, 2012

A kitten decides to lounge on the engine of my dad's Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. It was safely removed and brought back to its mom.

Attack of the Cats Kittens... I'm more of a dog lover, but yesterday I couldn't help but get a warm cuddly feeling when a group of young felines decided to take refuge under and inside my dad's Toyota Tacoma pickup truck. One of my brothers had to use a water hose to spray the cat and her litter of five to make them disperse...causing some of the kittens to stray from their mom and run the wrong way on the street (which is a cul-de-sac, fortunately). I had to pick these kittens up (yes, I got some scratches on my hands as I did so) and bring them back to where their mom was. One particular kitten didn't flinch from the deluge of water and decided to go back to its resting spot inside the engine of my dad's truck (the kitten entered from underneath the vehicle). Yes, you heard right. My brother had to open the Tacoma's hood while I retrieved the youngling (using this word makes me think of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones... Darn it) and return it to its mom. The mom and her offspring ended up hiding inside a group of bushes outside our front yard afterwards. On a good note, though, my brother told me that they ended up finding a home with another family later in the day. Awesome.

A cat and one of her kittens decide to chill near my dad's Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.

A kitten is resting atop the right front tire of my dad's Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.

Another kitten is chillin' near the right front tire of my dad's Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.

Another kitten is chillin' atop the left front tire of my brother's Toyota Yaris.

The cat and two of her offsprings loiter in my front yard.