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Thursday, February 28, 2013

An artist's concept depicting Titanic II sailing across the ocean.
Blue Star Line

Titanic II... That's the name of the new ocean liner that Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is planning to launch in 2016. Built in China instead of Belfast, Ireland (which is where the original Titanic was built), Titanic II would mimic the appearance of her doomed predecessor (plus her trans-Atlantic route) as much as possible...with the exception being that the new vessel will have modernized lifeboats and life rafts capable of carrying a total of 3,500 people (Titanic II will have 2,435 passengers plus 900 crew members aboard), plus a modern hospital, a helicopter landing pad, full air-conditioning and access to high-speed Internet. This is in contrast to the original cruise ship...which carried 2,224 passengers and crew on it, but had just 16 wooden lifeboats capable of accommodating 1,178 people (a third of Titanic's total capacity; you know what happened to the rest). But just like the first Titanic, her successor will have passengers split into three different sections—with third-class passengers residing below the deck just like poor immigrants did on the first vessel back in 1912. On the plus side though, third class will probably be the place to go a-rockin'...if the 1997 Best Picture-winning film is anything to go by.

An artist's concept depicting Titanic II sailing across the ocean.
Blue Star Line

Speaking of that flick, it looks like James Cameron might get to do a sequel to Titanic if T2 (pun intended) doesn't avoid the so-called 'sink jinx.' God forbid that that happens. But I assume a potential story for this would-be film would have a descendant of Rose, Kate Winslet's character, as an unwitting passenger aboard the new ocean liner when crap hits the fan? Nevermind. I'm delving into Seth MacFarlane-type territory with these anecdotes. Do you think Celine Dion will compose a song for the new mov— Darn it, stop!

An artist's concept depicting Titanic II arriving in New York City.
Blue Star Line

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The main cast of THE FOLLOWING.

The Following... Such an awesome TV show. It looks like FOX finally found a worthy replacement for 24 (which ended in 2010) with this new drama—which focuses on a formerly-retired FBI agent (Ryan Hardy, played by Kevin Bacon) who goes after a group of cult members that an imprisoned serial killer (Joe Carroll, played by James Purefoy) unleashes on the public as a way of getting revenge on the agent, who arrested the killer and once slept with his wife. Just like Kiefer Sutherland as 24's Jack Bauer, Bacon is a bad-ass as Hardy. Case-in-point: For those of you who saw yesterday's episode ("The Fall"), Hardy would've totally pwned (to borrow Internet message board parlance) those three cult members had the girl (Emma Hill, played by Valorie Curry) not been equipped with that stun gun...courtesy of Joe Carroll. Of course, Hardy does pwn—okay, own—two of the lackeys once he frees his hands of that rope. Like the terrorists in 24, the bad guys in The Following are so intensely sinister that one can't help but wait for Hardy to show up on scene and end their murderous rampage with a bullet to the chest. However, Carroll is so resourceful that Hardy is not just going up against average Joes and plain Janes who are carrying out the author-turned-killer's bidding...but police officers, former soldiers and SWAT team members who'll be ready to strike once they get the word from Carroll (through coded televised messages via Carroll's hapless lawyer).

Valorie Curry and Nico Tortorella play two cult followers in THE FOLLOWING.

If there's one gripe I have about The Following, it's the numerous flashback scenes in each episode. I understand that they're needed to show the relationship between Hardy and Carroll before they became mortal enemies, and to explain the events that led people like Emma to want to fall under Carroll's stewardship. But the main highlight of each episode is when Hardy appears on scene—ready to hand out justice to these homicidal followers. Considering the high-concept premise of this show, one wonders if The Following will get at least a second season and at most a fourth (just like Prison Break) on FOX. Of course, how many people thought that Jack Bauer would endure 8 separate days (as in 8 seasons) saving the world within each of those 24 hours? Just like Bauer, don't underestimate Agent Hardy. And definitely don't underestimate Joe Carroll. Looking forward to next Monday's episode.

(PS: And no, I wasn't paid to blog about this show. Would've been cool if I was, though. Hah.)

Wearing an Edgar Allan Poe mask, a cult follower puts on a show before wreaking murderous havoc in THE FOLLOWING.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A new self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, taken with a camera on her robotic arm on February 3, 2013.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / MSSS

Curiosity Update...

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Lab Instruments Inside Curiosity Eat Mars Rock Powder (Press Release)

PASADENA, Calif. - Two compact laboratories inside NASA's Mars rover Curiosity have ingested portions of the first sample of rock powder ever collected from the interior of a rock on Mars.

Curiosity science team members will use the laboratories to analyze the rock powder in the coming days and weeks.

The rover's Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments received portions of the sample on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23, respectively, and began inspecting the powder.

"Data from the instruments have confirmed the deliveries," said Curiosity Mission Manager Jennifer Trosper of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

The powder comes from Curiosity drilling into rock target "John Klein" on Feb. 8. One or more additional portions from the same initial sample may be delivered to the instruments as analysis proceeds.

During a two-year prime mission, researchers are using Curiosity's 10 science instruments to assess whether the study area in Gale Crater on Mars ever has offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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An image of the Curiosity Mars rover's sample-processing and delivery tool...taken with the Mastcam on February 23, 2013.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / MSSS

Friday, February 22, 2013

17 Years From Now... Yesterday, NASA selected a few pieces of hardware that it will contribute to a robotic mission that the European Space Agency (ESA) is planning to launch to Jupiter less than a decade from now. Known as the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer, or JUICE, this spacecraft would launch in 2022 and arrive at the Jovian planet in 2030...studying Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Callisto, Europa and Ganymede, in sharp detail. NASA will be providing a science instrument (an Ultraviolet Spectrometer) plus a transmitter and receiver for a radar sounder that will be able to penetrate 5 miles into the crust of each of the aforementioned satellites. JUICE will be solar-powered, just like NASA's Juno orbiter that launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in 2011 and is now headed to Jupiter, where the probe will arrive in 2016.

While I'm excited for JUICE and every other Outer Planets project that is being proposed by space agencies around the world, the timeline for ESA's upcoming mission is a bit of a downer because of how long space aficionados like Yours Truly need to wait to see this flight get off the ground. (Yes, I know; this applies to every single craft that's sent out of the Earth's atmosphere.) By the time JUICE arrives at Jupiter, I'll be 51 years-old...with the assumption that I'll still care about space exploration that year. Which is likely (hopefully)— I remember worrying (upon first hearing about this mission in early 1992...when I was in 6th grade) that my interest in NASA would be gone by the time the Cassini spacecraft departed for Saturn in October of 1997. Well, not only was I still a space geek that year (I was a senior in high school at the time of launch), but I was on my computer keeping tabs of Cassini's progress, via NASA TV, as it entered orbit around Saturn 7 years later—in the summer of 2004. (I just graduated from college.) So it definitely won't be a surprise to see how fast time flies when I finally read about JUICE being brought out to the launch pad for its Jupiter-bound departure; though I'll probably be dealing with a mid-life crisis by then. Hah... Yay for mortality! That is all.

An artist's concept of ESA's JUICE spacecraft flying by Jupiter and one of its Galilean moons.
ESA / AOESImage

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

An artist's concept of the exoplanet Kepler-37b.
NASA / Ames / JPL - Caltech

Kepler Update... Yet another awesome discovery by NASA's prolific planet-hunting space telescope. It's too bad that one more failure by Kepler's four steering mechanisms, a.k.a. reaction wheels (only three are currently functional—two wheels would not be enough to allow the spacecraft to precisely observe 150,000 target stars to find additional planetary candidates), will spell the premature end to this intriguing mission...

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NASA's Kepler Mission Discovers Tiny Planet System (Press Release)

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Kepler mission scientists have discovered a new planetary system that is home to the smallest planet yet found around a star similar to our sun.

The planets are located in a system called Kepler-37, about 210 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. The smallest planet, Kepler-37b, is slightly larger than our moon, measuring about one-third the size of Earth. It is smaller than Mercury, which made its detection a challenge.

The moon-size planet and its two companion planets were found by scientists with NASA's Kepler mission, which is designed to find Earth-sized planets in or near the "habitable zone," the region in a planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of an orbiting planet. However, while the star in Kepler-37 may be similar to our sun, the system appears quite unlike the solar system in which we live.

Astronomers think Kepler-37b does not have an atmosphere and cannot support life as we know it. The tiny planet almost certainly is rocky in composition. Kepler-37c, the closer neighboring planet, is slightly smaller than Venus, measuring almost three-quarters the size of Earth. Kepler-37d, the farther planet, is twice the size of Earth.

The first exoplanets found to orbit a normal star were giants. As technologies have advanced, smaller and smaller planets have been found, and Kepler has shown that even Earth-size exoplanets are common.

"Even Kepler can only detect such a tiny world around the brightest stars it observes," said Jack Lissauer, a planetary scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. "The fact we've discovered tiny Kepler-37b suggests such little planets are common, and more planetary wonders await as we continue to gather and analyze additional data."

Kepler-37's host star belongs to the same class as our sun, although it is slightly cooler and smaller. All three planets orbit the star at less than the distance Mercury is to the sun, suggesting they are very hot, inhospitable worlds. Kepler-37b orbits every 13 days at less than one-third Mercury's distance from the sun. The estimated surface temperature of this smoldering planet, at more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit (700 degrees Kelvin), would be hot enough to melt the zinc in a penny. Kepler-37c and Kepler-37d, orbit every 21 days and 40 days, respectively.

"We uncovered a planet smaller than any in our solar system orbiting one of the few stars that is both bright and quiet, where signal detection was possible," said Thomas Barclay, Kepler scientist at the Bay Area Environmental Research Institute in Sonoma, Calif., and lead author of the new study published in the journal Nature. "This discovery shows close-in planets can be smaller, as well as much larger, than planets orbiting our sun."

The research team used data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, which simultaneously and continuously measures the brightness of more than 150,000 stars every 30 minutes. When a planet candidate transits, or passes, in front of the star from the spacecraft's vantage point, a percentage of light from the star is blocked. This causes a dip in the brightness of the starlight that reveals the transiting planet's size relative to its star.

The size of the star must be known in order to measure the planet's size accurately. To learn more about the properties of the star Kepler-37, scientists examined sound waves generated by the boiling motion beneath the surface of the star. They probed the interior structure of Kepler-37's star just as geologists use seismic waves generated by earthquakes to probe the interior structure of Earth. The science is called asteroseismology.

The sound waves travel into the star and bring information back up to the surface. The waves cause oscillations that Kepler observes as a rapid flickering of the star's brightness. Like bells in a steeple, small stars ring at high tones while larger stars boom in lower tones. The barely discernible, high-frequency oscillations in the brightness of small stars are the most difficult to measure. This is why most objects previously subjected to asteroseismic analysis are larger than the sun.

With the very high precision of the Kepler instrument, astronomers have reached a new milestone. The star Kepler-37, with a radius just three-quarters of the sun, now is the smallest bell in the asteroseismology steeple. The radius of the star is known to three percent accuracy, which translates to exceptional accuracy in the planet's size.

Ames is responsible for Kepler's ground system development, mission operations, and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., managed Kepler mission development.

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., developed the Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and distributes Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA's tenth Discovery Mission and was funded by NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters in Washington.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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An artist's concept comparing the sizes of Kepler-37's three exoplanets to those of Earth, the Moon and two other worlds in our inner solar system.
NASA / Ames / JPL - Caltech

Monday, February 18, 2013

Jerry Buss (1933 – 2013)... Thank you, Dr. Buss, for making the Los Angeles Lakers one of the greatest franchises in sports history. May You Rest In Peace.

Jerry Buss enjoyed 10 NBA championships during his time as owner of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Chicago Bulls' Michael Jordan makes the game-winning shot against the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals...on June 14, 1998.

Happy Birthday, Michael Jordan! The greatest player in the history of the NBA turns 50 today. Wow. It still feels like MJ just won his 6th NBA title only a few years ago, after doing that push-off against Bryon Russell to make the winning shot in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals. Speaking of the '98 Finals—the series took place during the week I graduated from high school. Back in the days... It's too bad Facebook is slowly eradicating whatever nostalgia I have left of those four blissful (hah!) years. Too lazy to elaborate on this. That is all.

My high school alma mater...which didn't look like this back in '98.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A meteor—believed to be a small asteroid by NASA—enters the atmosphere and explodes above Chelyabinsk, Russia, on February 15, 2013.

Let's Party Like It's 1908! How ironic... Russia can't seem to send spacecraft out into deep space (Fobos-Grunt, Mars '96 and every other Red Planet-bound probe built by the former superpower), and yet huge objects from deep space keep finding their way into the atmosphere above our ex-Cold War nemesis. First Tunguska (which bore the wrath of what may have been a comet in 1908) and now this. You keep being the target of asteroids/comets/whatever while we plan on sending astronauts to one, fellow Muscovites (even though the meteor didn't strike anywhere near Moscow). Yay for American arrogance! Carry on.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Artwork of the Day... With recent news that everyone's favorite bounty hunter (no, not Jamie Foxx's Django...or Attack of the Clones' Jango) might be getting his own Star Wars spin-off film, here's a cool illustration that I just stumbled upon showing Boba Fett rocketing out of the Sarlacc Pitt following the events of Return of the Jedi (ROTJ). Of course— Boba escaping from Tatooine's desert vagina (yea, I said that out loud) and Darth Maul coming back from the dead in The Clone Wars animated series after being sliced-and-diced by Obi-Wan in The Phantom Menace reeks of Expanded Universe lameness...but if the Boba movie does show a quick shot of the Mandalorian flying away from the Great Pit of Carkoon (RE: Sarlacc), I won't mind. Presumably, this scene would take place at either the beginning or end of the film, but it would remain to be seen if Lawrence Kasdan's screenplay recaps events of ROTJ (even though this solo flick is supposedly set to take place between The Empire Strikes Back and ROTJ; Shadows of the Empire be damned) that led to Boba almost being slowly digested for a thousand years within the desert vagina. Or...this scene will play out without any explanation and make an assumption that everyone in the audience saw ROTJ beforehand. Much to ponder about, we have. (FYI, I'm indifferent to Yoda having his own movie.)

An illustration depicting Boba Fett escaping from the Sarlacc Pitt following the events of RETURN OF THE JEDI.
Image courtesy of the Star Wars Fanbase - Facebook.com

Monday, February 11, 2013

A new self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, taken with a camera on her robotic arm on February 3, 2013.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / MSSS

Curiosity Update...

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NASA Curiosity Rover Collects First Martian Bedrock Sample (Press Release - February 9)

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Curiosity rover has, for the first time, used a drill carried at the end of its robotic arm to bore into a flat, veiny rock on Mars and collect a sample from its interior. This is the first time any robot has drilled into a rock to collect a sample on Mars.

The fresh hole, about 0.63 inch (1.6 centimeters) wide and 2.5 inches (6.4 centimeters) deep in a patch of fine-grained sedimentary bedrock, can be seen in images and other data Curiosity beamed to Earth Saturday. The rock is believed to hold evidence about long-gone wet environments. In pursuit of that evidence, the rover will use its laboratory instruments to analyze rock powder collected by the drill.

"The most advanced planetary robot ever designed now is a fully operating analytical laboratory on Mars," said John Grunsfeld, NASA associate administrator for the agency's Science Mission Directorate. "This is the biggest milestone accomplishment for the Curiosity team since the sky-crane landing last August, another proud day for America."

For the next several days, ground controllers will command the rover's arm to carry out a series of steps to process the sample, ultimately delivering portions to the instruments inside.

"We commanded the first full-depth drilling, and we believe we have collected sufficient material from the rock to meet our objectives of hardware cleaning and sample drop-off," said Avi Okon, drill cognizant engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena.

Rock powder generated during drilling travels up flutes on the bit. The bit assembly has chambers to hold the powder until it can be transferred to the sample-handling mechanisms of the rover's Collection and Handling for In-Situ Martian Rock Analysis (CHIMRA) device.

Before the rock powder is analyzed, some will be used to scour traces of material that may have been deposited onto the hardware while the rover still was on Earth, despite thorough cleaning before launch.

"We'll take the powder we acquired and swish it around to scrub the internal surfaces of the drill bit assembly," said JPL's Scott McCloskey, drill systems engineer. "Then we'll use the arm to transfer the powder out of the drill into the scoop, which will be our first chance to see the acquired sample."

"Building a tool to interact forcefully with unpredictable rocks on Mars required an ambitious development and testing program," said JPL's Louise Jandura, chief engineer for Curiosity's sample system."To get to the point of making this hole in a rock on Mars, we made eight drills and bored more than 1,200 holes in 20 types of rock on Earth."

Inside the sample-handling device, the powder will be vibrated once or twice over a sieve that screens out any particles larger than six-thousandths of an inch (150 microns) across. Small portions of the sieved sample will fall through ports on the rover deck into the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument and the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. These instruments then will begin the much-anticipated detailed analysis.

The rock Curiosity drilled is called "John Klein" in memory of a Mars Science Laboratory deputy project manager who died in 2011. Drilling for a sample is the last new activity for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project, which is using the car-size Curiosity rover to investigate whether an area within Mars' Gale Crater has ever offered an environment favorable for life.

JPL manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

Source: NASA.Gov

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An image of the two holes made by the drill at the end of the Curiosity Mars rover's robotic arm, taken on February 8, 2013.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / MSSS

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Whitney Miller conducts a cooking demo in Costa Mesa, California, on February 9, 2013.

Photos of the Day... A few hours ago, I drove down to Costa Mesa in Orange County to attend a cooking demo by Whitney Miller...who won Season 1 of the FOX TV show MasterChef back in 2010. The last time I saw Ms. Miller in person was almost three years ago, when she did a previous cooking demo at the Anaheim Convention Center...also in Orange County (right across the street from Disneyland). Unlike that presentation however, I actually got to taste samples of the desserts that Miller taught the audience today. She showed us how to prepare two delicious pastries: the crispy coconut bites with chocolate sauce as well as molten lava cakes—the latter shown at the very bottom of this Blog entry. FYI, this is probably the first time I took a picture of my own food. I'm like a typical Asian. The only difference is, I didn't post this image on Instagram. Of course, it's because I don't have an iPhone.

Posing with Whitney Miller after she finishes her cooking demo in Costa Mesa, California, on February 9, 2013.

Molten lava cake... It looked a lot better in person. :)

Thursday, February 07, 2013

An artist's concept of a planetary system orbiting a red dwarf star.
D. Aguilar / Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Kepler Update... In a topic that could be discussed in a future episode of The Big Bang Theory (just thought I'd bring that show up since I mentioned it in my previous post... Consistency, consistency, consistency), here's an interesting news release about how habitable planets may be more abundant in our galaxy (and closer to Earth) than we thought. Excelsior! (Got that line from the recent Oscar-nominated flick, Silver Linings Playbook.)

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Kepler Data Suggest Earth-size Planets May Be Next Door (Press Release - February 6)

Using publicly available data from NASA's Kepler space telescope, astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) estimate that six percent of red dwarf stars in the galaxy have Earth-size planets in the "habitable zone," the range of distances from a star where the surface temperature of an orbiting planet might be suitable for liquid water.

The majority of the sun's closest stellar neighbors are red dwarfs. Researchers now believe that an Earth-size planet with a moderate temperature may be just 13 light-years away.

"We don't know if life could exist on a planet orbiting a red dwarf, but the findings pique my curiosity and leave me wondering if the cosmic cradles of life are more diverse than we humans have imagined," said Natalie Batalha, Kepler mission scientist, NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

The research team analyzed 95 planet candidates in the Kepler catalog orbiting 64 red dwarf stars. Most of these candidates aren't the right size or temperature to be considered Earth-like, as defined by the size relative to Earth and the distance from the host star. However, three candidates are both temperate and smaller than twice the size of Earth.

Red dwarf stars are smaller, cooler, and fainter than the sun. An average red dwarf is only one-third as large and one-thousandth as bright as the sun. Consequently, the not too hot or not too cold habitable zone would be much closer to a cooler star than it is to the sun.

"This close-in habitable zone around cooler stars makes planets more vulnerable to the effects of stellar flares and gravitational interactions, complicating our understanding of their likely habitability," said Victoria Meadows, professor at the University of Washington and principal investigator with the NASA Astrobiology Institute. "But, if the planets predicted by this study are indeed found very nearby, then it will make it easier for us to make the challenging observations needed to learn more about them, including whether or not they can or do support life."

The three planetary candidates highlighted in this study are Kepler Object of Interest (KOI) 1422.02, which is 90 percent the size of Earth in a 20-day orbit; KOI-2626.01, 1.4 times the size of Earth in a 38-day orbit; and KOI-854.01, 1.7 times the size of Earth in a 56-day orbit.

Located between 300 to 600 light-years away, the three candidates orbit stars with temperatures ranging from 3,400 to 3,500 degrees Kelvin. By comparison, the temperature of the sun is nearly 5,800 degrees Kelvin.

Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone. Kepler is detecting planets and possible candidates with a wide range of sizes and orbital distances to help scientists better understand our place in the galaxy.

Ames manages Kepler's ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., managed Kepler mission development. Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. in Boulder, Colo., developed the Kepler flight system and supports mission operations with JPL at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

The Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore archives, hosts and distributes the Kepler science data. Kepler is NASA's 10th Discovery Mission and is funded by NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's headquarters.

Source: NASA.Gov

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The Keck telescopes atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii have been used to confirm planetary discoveries made by the Kepler spacecraft.
NASA / JPL - Caltech

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Penny (Kaley Cuoco) accidentally blurts out the three words that Leonard (Johnny Galecki) has long wanted to hear from her in 'The 43 Peculiarity' episode of THE BIG BANG THEORY.

The Big Bang Theory... I'm almost three months late, but I finally got around to watching "The 43 Peculiarity" episode of The Big Bang Theory...which is where Penny (Kaley Cuoco) finally mentions the "L" word to Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki). (I was at work when the episode originally aired on November 15, FYI.) Call me a hopeless romantic—okay, don't—but I think that Leonard and Penny, if they haven't achieved this already, will become the new Jim and Pam Halpert once NBC's The Office finally shuts it doors this spring (even though The Big Bang is only two seasons younger than The Office...which premiered in 2005 while Leonard and Penny had that first awkward encounter outside of her apartment in '07). Check out the clip at the bottom of this entry where Penny finally tells her Hobbit-like boyfriend that she loves him. Oh, and posting this entry also gave me an excuse to feature a screencap of Sheldon Cooper's gorgeous assistant, Alex (Margo Harshman), as she tried putting the moves on Leonard (who eventually notices her flirtations a few episodes later) as well. Carry on.

Alex (Margo Harshman) puts the moves on a clueless Leonard in 'The 43 Peculiarity' episode of THE BIG BANG THEORY.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Leonardo DiCaprio must've shook his head in shame after seeing this ad.

Super Bowl 47... First and foremost, how much was Bar Refaeli paid to give up her dignity on Go Daddy's TV spot like that? I heard it took her 65 takes (or was it 45? Either way: WOW) to make that (French) kiss with the nerd look believable. (Though I bet the lucky actor will be thinking about this ad for...the entire year or two.) At least this ad actually got people talking about it. Score one for raunchiness. Anyways, the Seth Rogen-Paul Rudd Samsung commercial cracked me up... That Paul Harvey-narrated Dodge Ram spot made me mutter "What the f**k was that??" after it aired... I'm annoyed that the Iron Man 3 ad was meant to draw attention to the movie's fan page on friggin' Facebook... The Star Trek Into Darkness teaser makes me even more stoked that J.J. Abrams will be directing Star Wars: Episode VII... And I'm surprised that CBS aired that Carl's Jr. topless-beach-bathe commercial, after the flack the network caught following Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction almost 10 years ago. I also can't believe that Red Bull's latest kickass ad (shown at the bottom of this entry) wasn't featured during the Super Bowl broadcast! But at least a Toyota Tundra spot featuring space shuttle Endeavour's move across L.A.'s 405 freeway last year was aired during the trophy presentation.

Posting this in case people forgot that Danica Patrick is also in that Go Daddy ad.

An ad featuring a Toyota Tundra pulling space shuttle Endeavour across Los Angeles' 405 freeway last year was aired during tonight's Vince Lombardi Trophy presentation.
collectSPACE.com / Robert Z. Pearlman

The Ravens' Ray Lewis celebrates with the Lombardi Trophy after his team won 34-31 against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, on February 3, 2013.
Harry How / Getty Images

Oh, and the San Francisco 49ers almost made a comeback against the Baltimore Ravens after that 30-plus minute power outage at the Superdome tonight. But who here actually watches the Super Bowl for the football game? I kid.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Quote of the Day... Are you reading this, Asian parents (specifically those who are Chinese, Indian or Filipino)?

Are you reading this, Asian parents (specifically those who are Chinese, Indian or Filipino)?