Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In this computer-generated art concept, thousands of spectators show up at the Los Angeles football stadium to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday.

An NFL team in the City of Industry? SWEEET! If it happens, of course. Word’s been out since April 17 about a new proposal to bring professional football back to Los Angeles by 2011, and it wasn’t till two days after that that I heard details of the plan. A couple of friends told me that a billionaire, Edward P. Roski Jr., is offering to build a 75,000-seat stadium in the City of Industry, which is only a few miles from where I live! To be exact, it would only be a 7-mile drive, taking side streets from my house, heading to the proposed location for the new arena (as opposed to a 30-35 mile trip west to either STAPLES Center or Dodger Stadium; or 20-plus miles going south to Honda Center or Angel Stadium...the last two of which I haven’t been to yet. Despite the fact Orange County is a lot closer to me than L.A.). The exact site for the would-be arena is where the 57 and 60 freeways merge in the San Gabriel Valley...right between the cities of Walnut and Diamond Bar. The stadium would be built in the middle of hills that we locals affectionately call "The Boonies".

In this photograph that I took on 4/24/08, rush hour traffic begins to form on the 57 and 60 freeways.  Beyond them are the hills, nicknamed 'The Boonies', where the Los Angeles football stadium would be located if it was built.

My family attends Mass at a Catholic Church in Diamond Bar (even though we live in the city of... Wouldn’t YOU like to know?). Do you realize how bad traffic would be driving to Diamond Bar on a Sunday if a Super Bowl was held at the stadium, a very likely prospect if it is indeed built (the entrance to the complex would be accessible from Grand Avenue...the main road we take to church)? Oh well. Of course, that’s the least of our worries right now. First and foremost, which current National Football League team would want to relocate to the San Gabriel Valley? The New Orleans Saints? The San Diego Chargers? Or the Minnesota Vikings? Take your pick. And would the team change its name? Here’re a couple of suggestions if they do: The Los Angeles Hustlers. The Los Angeles Rush (as in rush hour. Haha). The Los Angeles Gangbangers (YEA RIGHT). Or...the Los Angeles Prima Donnas. If any of you out-of-state folks ever visit Los Angeles or Hollywood, you’ll know what I’m talking about with that last one. That is all.

In this computer-generated art concept, fireworks fill the sky above the Los Angeles football stadium as a Super Bowl game comes to an end.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

THE BUTT-OUT TOOL... I was browsing through today’s mail when I saw that one of my siblings received a catalogue for Cabela’s...a company that sells hunting and camping supplies. Looking through the brochure, and seeing all the nifty gizmos that people use to rob wild animals of their lives with (don’t worry, I’m not as offended as I sound with that PC comment), I stumbled upon one item of note: the Butt-Out Tool. This plastic object (which, duh, could obviously be utilized as a sex toy as well), is used to remove the anal alimentary canal from deer or any other wildlife of the same size. I guess the reason for this is because, like with humans, a deer’s bowels loosen up after death...and you don’t want all that crap spilling out while the carcass is still on the flatbed of some slaughterer—err, hunter’s pickup truck. So you use the Butt-Out Tool to remove the canal from the deer’s ass, twist the canal out and tie it before you cut the membrane off. And voila: No spilled s**t as a butcher—err, hunter—brings his trophy back home for final cleaning. Or I maybe wrong. Whatever. By the way, I’m still not offended by wildlife hunters. I just like teasing these happy bunch of pseudo serial killers. Just kidding again.

It definitely sucks to be a deer. Not only does some biped schmuck take you out with a bullet or a steel arrowhead, but he (or she) adds insult to injury (more like fatality) by butt-raping you when you’re dead. I pity wildlife.

The CABELA'S ad for the Butt-Out Tool.

Expect in the future to stumble upon an adult film where you see two porn stars dressed as hunters getting’ it on in the wild. And the Butt-Out Tool is one of many objects handily used for pleasure in the video. Later.

Monday, April 28, 2008

NEXT UP: UTAH... C'mon now. Do you really think T-Mac and the Houston Rockets will finally step up after being down 3 games to 1 against the Jazz in this series? Unless of course, we see a reincarnation of the 2006 Phoenix Suns (when they defeated the Lakers after being down 3-1 in the first round of the playoffs that year)... Anyways, here are some videos that you may have already seen over the past few weeks:

Kobe Bryant jumps over an Aston Martin

Kenny Smith shows that he doesn't have the same hops as KB24

The TOP 10 plays of KB24 during the 2007/08 regular season

Go Lakers.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

THE NEW DARK KNIGHT POSTER... Did Batman start that fire so he could display his symbol on that building? What was he thinking?? Haha. The next theatrical trailer for The Dark Knight should be out soon...

The newest theatrical poster for THE DARK KNIGHT.

UPDATE (April 28): This international poster was also released recently. Apparently, the Caped Crusader is escaping on his Batpod after he set that building on fire. Pretty cool, though.

The newest international poster for THE DARK KNIGHT.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

WHAT I’VE DONE... This video was posted last August, but Transformers rocks, and so does the Linkin Park song made for the I’ll post the video here anyway.

Friday, April 25, 2008

EXACTLY ONE MONTH FROM NOW, the Phoenix Mars Lander will hopefully touch down safely on the Red Planet’s surface. Stay tuned...

Computer-generated art concept showing the aeroshell holding the Phoenix Mars Lander inside cruising through deep space.

PHOENIX Blog Entries Archive:

May 8, 2007
July 28, 2007
August 3, 2007
August 4, 2007
August 8, 2007
October 25, 2007
April 11, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

OPTIMUS PRIME VS. BUMBLEBEE... In last year’s blockbuster film, we saw that Transformers can go on bowel movements (or at least Bumblebee could). In this cool little stop-motion animated clip, we see that they’re also vulnerable to hits on the crotch. Or at least Autobots are. "With karate, I’ll kick your ass!"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The F-11A Nighthawk in flight.

FAREWELL, NIGHTHAWK... Today, the U.S. Air Force has quietly begun retiring the F-117A Stealth Fighter. If the Nighthawk were a person (preferably a hot Asian chick with long black hair and about my height), I’d say this to her: "Thanks for all your hard work and dedication over the past 20 years. Your service in Panama in the late 1980’s, the ’91 Gulf War, Bosnia in ‘99 and that illegal war George Dubya started in ’03 will be greatly appreciated. Did you also fight in the war against the Taliban in 2001? I forgot. I think you did. Anyways... Stay sleek, mysterious and sexy. You'll always be in my dreams. Love- McParno."

Yea, I know. That was totally friggin' weird.

The fleet of Stealth Fighters...stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ni Chang, the White-Haired Witch.

THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM... I saw the film with a few friends yesterday, and it was entertaining. Actually, it was really entertaining! The movie had some cheesy/campy moments in it, but all in all, it was pretty cool to see Jackie Chan and Jet Li finally team up in this action adventure flick. Not only did he conduct his usual kick-ass stunts, but Jackie Chan as Lu Yan was friggin’ hilarious! He had some funny lines in The Forbidden Kingdom, and there was one REALLY funny scene where he was trying to use his immortal powers to summon rain in a desert. Needless to say, Chan summoned something...but it sure as hell wasn’t water! You’d have to watch the movie to know what I’m talking about.

Lu Yan and The Silent Monk duke it out in THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM.

Jet Li was his usual silent but cool self...hence is why he is called The Silent Monk in Kingdom. Only when (SPOILER Ahead) he was dressed as the Monkey King (End SPOILER) did Li act all goofy and mischievous. But that’s how the Monkey King is in Chinese folklore. I think. Michael Angarano, who plays the main character Jason Tripitikas, is a poor man’s Shia LaBeouf in this flick. I’m pretty sure this movie would make a ton more money if LaBeouf was cast in this film instead. But then again, how quickly could Sam Witwicky learn the art of stick-fighting? Haha. Seriously though, Angarano did a decent job in Kingdom.

The Silent Monk watches The Golden Sparrow do her thang.

Now... Onto the FEMALES in this film. Crystal Liu Yifei as the Golden Sparrow was really cool. She has a cute face, but the main hottie in this movie is Li Bing Bing, who plays Ni Chang, a.k.a. the White-Haired Witch. Holy cow, did she look so good with white hair! Calm yourself down, McParno... The only other thing I’m gonna say about Ms. Bing Bing is that I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of hot young Asian girls in real life start to dye their hair white to look like Ni Chang. What an interesting fad that would be. Not to name names or anything (yea right), but I suggested to Sue a while back that she dress like Chang for this Halloween. I could picture her in long white hair. Wow. One can only dream... I would totally be screwed if Sue read this journal entry, hahaha.

Jason Tripitikas tries to hold his own against the White-Haired Witch in battle.

One more thing: Another highlight of this film—other than the awesome cinematography since much of the movie was actually shot in China—was when Lu Yan and The Silent Monk were both unwittingly beating the crap out of Jason Tripitikas as they attempted to teach him martial arts. I was laughing hysterically during that scene! No BSing.

Lu Yan and The Silent Monk have NO idea that their attempt to teach Jason Tripitikas about martial arts is leaving the kid from Boston with many bruises...

All images courtesy of Lionsgate Films

Saturday, April 19, 2008

VOLTRON GOT SERVED... "Hey- Who's laughing now, biatch? Huh? Huh?"

Friday, April 18, 2008

MARIO IN VICE CITY... One of my friends told me about this Youtube clip showing Mario and Luigi taking a wrong turn into a city from the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Pretty hilarious. Yoshi also shows up at the end. Won't tell you what happens to him, though. Beware of Raccoon City, haha.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

At STAPLES Center, Kobe Bryant's wife and one of their two daughters hold up 'Daddy For MVP' signs during the Lakers' game against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

"CHRIS PAUL FOR MVP..." Imagine Kobe Bryant's response if those signs said that instead, haha. Anyways, if the Lakers beat the Sacramento Kings at STAPLES Center tonight, Kobe's two little girls just might get their wish (what with L.A. officially clinching the No. 1 playoff spot in the Western Conference if they defeat the Kings). Of course, there are also the countless number of MVP votes that need to be submitted to the NBA league office in New York by Thursday afternoon. Vanessa Bryant sure is hot...dark eyeliner and all.

UPDATE (10:13 PM PST): Take out the Laker flags...for those of you who live in the City of Angels. L.A. defeated the Kings, 124-101 tonight, finishing the season 57-25 and officially securing homecourt advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs . Kobe better get presented with the Podoloff Cup come the Western Conference Finals, in late May.

Kobe Bryant goes up for a layup during the Lakers game against the Sacramento Kings at Staples Center on April 15, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Sunday, April 13, 2008

STREET KINGS... I saw the film yesterday, and it was about as good as I expected (which isn’t a criticism). Keanu Reeves didn’t stop bullets in midair by raising a hand, but his character did kick ass as much as Neo did in The Matrix flicks (oh, and Constantine). Forrest Whitaker gave an animated performance as the head of an LAPD special detectives unit, and it was amusing to hear Hugh Laurie (who plays the title character in the hit FOX TV show House) cuss in this movie. Performance-wise, he wasn’t as sarcastic in Street Kings as he is on House, but Laurie still made the kind of snide remarks that his small-screen character is known for. The twist at the end was unexpected, though I already knew that (SPOILERS ahead) Reeves was gonna shoot Whitaker’s character (End SPOILERS)...since one of my co-workers told me the ending last week. We conducted test screenings for Street Kings several times at my work. Its original title was The Night Watchman. Yea, Street Kings sounds better.

Keanu Reeves in STREET KINGS.
FOX Searchlight

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Soundwave's minion, Ravage.

TF2 Fan Art... Thanks to the Transformers Live Action Movie Blog for posting these awesome drawings made by fans of characters they want to see in the sequel, which has been confirmed to be one of many films that will be shot in Philadelphia this summer. Hmm- Looks like Transformers 2 will be incomplete if it doesn't show Sam and Mikaela sharing a cheesesteak together.

Shockwave, Laserbeak and Wheeljack.
Long Haul and Jetfire.

Friday, April 11, 2008

This image marks the path traveled by the Phoenix spacecraft as of 12:00 PM, Pacific Daylight Time, on April 11, 2008.  It has flown a distance of 374 million miles since a speed of 46,016 miles per hour.
ABOVE: This image marks the path traveled by the Phoenix spacecraft as of 12:00 PM, Pacific Daylight Time, on April 11, 2008. It has flown a distance of 374 million miles since a speed of 46,016 miles per hour. Click here to view the official webpage showing where Phoenix is in space.

PHOENIX Update...


(Official Press Release)

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA engineers have adjusted the flight path of the Phoenix Mars Lander, setting the spacecraft on course for its May 25 landing on the Red Planet.

"This is our first trajectory maneuver targeting a specific location in the northern polar region of Mars," said Brian Portock, chief of the Phoenix navigation team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The mission's two prior trajectory maneuvers, made last August and October, adjusted the flight path of Phoenix to intersect with Mars.

NASA has conditionally approved a landing site in a broad, flat valley informally called "Green Valley." A final decision will be made after NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter takes additional images of the area this month.

The orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera has taken more than three dozen images of the area. Analysis of those images prompted the Phoenix team to shift the center of the landing target 13 kilometers (8 miles) southeastward, away from slightly rockier patches to the northwest. Navigators used that new center for planning today's maneuver.

The landing area is an ellipse about 62 miles by about 12 miles (100 kilometers by 20 kilometers). Researchers have mapped more than five million rocks in and around that ellipse, each big enough to end the mission if hit by the spacecraft during landing. Knowing where to avoid the rockier areas, the team has selected a scientifically exciting target that also offers the best chances for the spacecraft to set itself down safely onto the Martian surface.

"Our landing area has the largest concentration of ice on Mars outside of the polar caps. If you want to search for a habitable zone in the arctic permafrost, then this is the place to go," said Peter Smith, principal investigator for the mission, at the University of Arizona, Tucson.

Phoenix will dig to an ice-rich layer expected to lie within arm's reach of the surface. It will analyze the water and soil for evidence about climate cycles and investigate whether the environment there has been favorable for microbial life.

"We have never before had so much information about a Mars site prior to landing," said Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis. Arvidson is chairman of the Phoenix landing-site working group and has worked on Mars landings since the first successful Viking landers in 1976.

"The environmental risks at landing -- rocks and slopes -- represent the most significant threat to a successful mission. There's always a chance that we'll roll snake eyes, but we have identified an area that is very flat and relatively free of large boulders," said JPL's David Spencer, Phoenix deputy project manager and co-chair of the landing site working group.

Today's trajectory adjustment began by pivoting Phoenix 145 degrees to orient and then fire spacecraft thrusters for about 35 seconds, then pivoting Phoenix back to point its main antenna toward Earth. The mission has three more planned opportunities for maneuvers before May 25 to further refine the trajectory for a safe landing at the desired location.

In the final seven minutes of its flight on May 25, Phoenix must perform a challenging series of actions to safely decelerate from nearly 21,000 kilometers per hour (13,000 mph). The spacecraft will release a parachute and then use pulse thrusters at approximately 914 meters (3,000 feet) from the surface to slow to about 8 kilometers per hour (5 mph) and land on three legs.

"Landing on Mars is extremely challenging. In fact, not since the 1970s have we had a successful powered landing on this unforgiving planet. There's no guarantee of success, but we are doing everything we can to mitigate the risks," said Doug McCuistion, director of NASA's Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

The Phoenix mission is led by Peter Smith of the University of Arizona, Tucson, with project management at JPL and development partnership at Lockheed Martin, Denver. International contributions are provided by the Canadian Space Agency; the University of Neuchatel, Switzerland; the universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark; the Max Planck Institute, Germany; and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.

PHOENIX Blog Entries Archive:

May 8, 2007
July 28, 2007
August 3, 2007
August 4, 2007
August 8, 2007
October 25, 2007

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just thought I’d share these awesome pics of a Lamborghini Reventon going up against a British Tornado fighter jet. That is all.

A Lamborghini Reventon goes up against a British Tornado fighter jet.

Friday, April 04, 2008

IF JUNE 2 CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH... Much as how Barricade (or the prop cars that portray him) was reportedly seen in Culver City recently, more photos have turned up on the Net showing additional Transformers vehicles being moved around Southern California. This time it’s Optimus Prime on the 405 Freeway (which would take you towards Culver City), and Ratchet and Ironhide on Lankershim Boulevard (located in North Hollywood, which you can also get to via the 405).

Optimus Prime, Ratchet and Ironhide seen on trailer trucks around the Southland.

There are reports that Transformers 2 will film in Sedona, Arizona (along with Philadelphia, and um, Egypt?), and IESB.Net has posted a possible cast breakdown for the sequel. Oh, and the CONSTRUCTICONS are rumored to make an appearance in the movie!! Woohoo! Of course, keep in mind Michael Bay said that he’s gonna leak fake info on TF2 to throw the fanbase off during production (of course, he's still in pre-production). Oh well. Start of filming for next year's blockbuster is still on track for June 2.

Fan art depicting Devastator.
Fan art courtesy of Rise Studio

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Todd and Heather Tilton.

THE ‘TEST TUBE TWINS’ TURN 25. Just thought I’d write a quick Blog about this (click here for a news article)...since the sister, Heather Tilton, looks like the Caucasian twin—no pun intended—of Sue (you would have to see more pics of her to notice the resemblance). Wow. Am I thinking about her that much? Hi Sue. In case you’re weirded out if you ever read this, sorry ‘bout that.

Todd and Heather Tilton, with their mother Nan.
New York Daily News

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Europe's JULES VERNE Automated Transfer Vehicle comes within 36 feet of the International Space Station on March 31, 2008.

THAT'S NO X-WING... The European Space Agency’s newest spacecraft, Jules Verne, successfully came within 36 feet of the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday...paving the way for its inaugural docking with the orbiting complex on Thursday. Jules Verne (officially called the Automated Transfer Vehicle, or ATV) joins the space shuttle and Russia’s Soyuz and Progress capsules as the newest member of the fleet that is the lifeline for the ISS. Europe plans to launch at least 4 more ATV’s over the coming years, with Japan next in line to send its own supply ship, the H-II Transfer Vehicle, to the station by 2009.

An art concept showing Japan's H-II Transfer Vehicle about to be attached to the International Space Station, via Canadarm 2.

By the way, I was trying to come up with a good quote from the original Star Wars movie to use as the yellow tagline above. "We’re caught in its tractor beam" was considered, and so was "Ship approaching, ATV-class." Though technically, that second line was adapted from The Empire Strikes Back. Haha.

Europe's JULES VERNE Automated Transfer Vehicle comes within 36 feet of the International Space Station on March 31, 2008.
The JULES VERNE ATV prepares to back away from the International Space Station after coming within 36 feet of the orbiting complex on March 31, 2008.
JULES VERNE orbits more than a thousand feet away from the International Space Station after coming within 36 feet of the orbiting complex on March 31, 2008.