Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Photo of the Day

Judging from this pic, it's no wonder why China enjoys picking on the Philippines in regards to current territorial issues happening between the two Asian nations (Google 'West Philippine Sea dispute' to know what I'm talking about). So proud to be a Pinoy...

Manny Pacquiao and fellow boxer Brandon Rios pose with former NBA basketball player Yao Ming.
Chris Farina / Top Rank

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Quote of the Day...

"I have to admit, an unrequited love is so much better than a real one. I mean, it's perfect... As long as something is never even started, you never have to worry about it ending. It has endless potential."

-― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

Friday, July 26, 2013

Royal Crap and The Daily Show

I was actually thinking about sharing this photo on Facebook, but I can think of at least six folks on my buddy list who'd probably un-friend me if I posted this potentially offensive (but completely true) meme on my news feed. Oh well.

John Oliver speaks the truth on Comedy Central's THE DAILY SHOW.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Earth: As Seen From Saturn And Mercury...

Earth as seen from NASA's Cassini spacecraft at Saturn (900 million miles away), on July 19, 2013.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / Space Science Institute

NASA Releases Images of Earth Taken by Distant Spacecraft (Press Release - July 22)

PASADENA, Calif. -- Color and black-and-white images of Earth taken by two NASA interplanetary spacecraft on July 19 show our planet and its moon as bright beacons from millions of miles away in space.

NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured the color images of Earth and the moon from its perch in the Saturn system nearly 900 million miles (1.5 billion kilometers) away. MESSENGER, the first probe to orbit Mercury, took a black-and-white image from a distance of 61 million miles (98 million kilometers) as part of a campaign to search for natural satellites of the planet.

In the Cassini images Earth and the moon appear as mere dots -- Earth a pale blue and the moon a stark white, visible between Saturn's rings. It was the first time Cassini's highest-resolution camera captured Earth and its moon as two distinct objects.

It also marked the first time people on Earth had advance notice their planet's portrait was being taken from interplanetary distances. NASA invited the public to celebrate by finding Saturn in their part of the sky, waving at the ringed planet and sharing pictures over the Internet. More than 20,000 people around the world participated.

"We can't see individual continents or people in this portrait of Earth, but this pale blue dot is a succinct summary of who we were on July 19," said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "Cassini's picture reminds us how tiny our home planet is in the vastness of space, and also testifies to the ingenuity of the citizens of this tiny planet to send a robotic spacecraft so far away from home to study Saturn and take a look-back photo of Earth."

Pictures of Earth from the outer solar system are rare because from that distance, Earth appears very close to our sun. A camera's sensitive detectors can be damaged by looking directly at the sun, just as a human being can damage his or her retina by doing the same. Cassini was able to take this image because the sun had temporarily moved behind Saturn from the spacecraft's point of view and most of the light was blocked.

A wide-angle image of Earth will become part of a multi-image picture, or mosaic, of Saturn's rings, which scientists are assembling. This image is not expected to be available for several weeks because of the time-consuming challenges involved in blending images taken in changing geometry and at vastly different light levels, with faint and extraordinarily bright targets side by side.

"It thrills me to no end that people all over the world took a break from their normal activities to go outside and celebrate the interplanetary salute between robot and maker that these images represent," said Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team lead at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. "The whole event underscores for me our 'coming of age' as planetary explorers." In the MESSENGER image, Earth and the moon are less than a pixel, but appear very large because they are overexposed. Long exposures are required to capture as much light as possible from potentially dim objects. Consequently, bright objects in the field of view become saturated and appear artificially large.

"That images of our planet have been acquired on a single day from two distant solar system outposts reminds us of this nation's stunning technical accomplishments in planetary exploration," said MESSENGER Principal Investigator Sean Solomon of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y. "And because Mercury and Saturn are such different outcomes of planetary formation and evolution, these two images also highlight what is special about Earth. There's no place like home."

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. JPL designed, developed and assembled the Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., designed and built MESSENGER, a spacecraft developed under NASA's Discovery Program. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the program for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. JPL and APL manage their respective missions for NASA. The California Institute of Technology in Pasadena manages JPL for NASA.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory


Earth as seen from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft at Mercury (61 million miles away), on July 19, 2013.
NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Carnegie Institution of Washington

Sunday, July 21, 2013

MAVEN Spreads Its Wings...

Check out these cool pics and video showing NASA's next Martian orbiter deploying its solar arrays during testing at Lockheed Martin's Space System facility in Colorado. MAVEN is on track to undergo shipping to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida on August 2. The spacecraft will then launch to Mars from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station near KSC between late November and early December, and arrive at the Red Planet around September of next year.

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft deploys its twin solar arrays during testing at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Colorado.
Lockheed Martin

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft deploys its twin solar arrays during testing at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Colorado.
Lockheed Martin

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft deploys its twin solar arrays during testing at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Colorado.
Lockheed Martin

NASA's MAVEN spacecraft deploys its twin solar arrays during testing at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Colorado.
Lockheed Martin

Friday, July 19, 2013

Ray Park Would Be Proud...

Check out this awesome fan-made Star Wars video that was the winning entry in the 10th annual Lightsaber Choreography Competition last year. All I can say is, I need to buy Adobe After Effects. That, and get a hold of Ben Burtt's awesome lightsaber sound effects and obviously actors who are as skilled at stick fighting as the folks seen in this YouTube clip. I wouldn't be surprised if J.J. Abrams or his fight coordinator for Star Wars: Episode VII stumbled upon this video and cast these dudes as Jedi Knights (or Sith Lords) in the 2015 flick... They would deserve it.

And is that Marilyn Manson playing in the background? Even more bad-ass.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wishful Thinking for Lakers Fans...

Earlier today, I stumbled upon this Facebook photo showing what L.A. Lakers fans hope to see in late 2014 if LeBron James decides to leave the Miami Super Friends with only two championship rings earned, and Carmelo Anthony chooses to depart the Big Apple (Melo is a member of the Knicks) for the City of Angels. While this image is nicely Photoshopped, it actually proves one of my friends' point last month (when Miami won its second straight title) that LeBron—while still being ridiculed for his decision to ditch the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers three years ago—would be a SoCal god with homemade shrines constructed in his name if King James ever decided to play on the western side of the U.S. We'll see... Wouldn't get my hopes up, though.

Welcome back to the Lakers, Jordan Farmar!

Chances are, you'll only see Kobe, Melo and King James playing together in photos and videos from the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pacific Rim

Check out this awesome poster for Guillermo del Toro's new film that was illustrated by Metal Gear Solid (remember that video game?) art director Yoji Shinkawa. Pretty kick-ass. Oh, and then read my review for Pacific Rim here. Cool movie... F**k Grown Ups 2.

A PACIFIC RIM movie poster that's illustrated by METAL GEAR SOLID art director Yoji Shinkawa.
Yoji Shinkawa

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mars 2020...

An artist's sketch of NASA's Mars 2020 rover.
NASA / JPL - Caltech

This just won't be Curiosity Redux...


Science Team Outlines Goals for NASA's 2020 Mars Rover (Press Release - July 9)

WASHINGTON -- The rover NASA will send to Mars in 2020 should look for signs of past life, collect samples for possible future return to Earth, and demonstrate technology for future human exploration of the Red Planet, according to a report provided to the agency.

The 154-page document was prepared by the Mars 2020 Science Definition Team, which NASA appointed in January to outline scientific objectives for the mission. The team, composed of 19 scientists and engineers from universities and research organizations, proposed a mission concept that could accomplish several high-priority planetary science goals and be a major step in meeting President Obama's challenge to send humans to Mars in the 2030s.

"Crafting the science and exploration goals is a crucial milestone in preparing for our next major Mars mission," said John Grunsfeld, NASA's associate administrator for science in Washington. "The objectives determined by NASA with the input from this team will become the basis later this year for soliciting proposals to provide instruments to be part of the science payload on this exciting step in Mars exploration."

NASA will conduct an open competition for the payload and science instruments. They will be placed on a rover similar to Curiosity, which landed on Mars almost a year ago. Using Curiosity's design will help minimize mission costs and risks and deliver a rover that can accomplish the mission objectives.

The 2020 mission proposed by the Science Definition Team would build upon the accomplishments of Curiosity and other Mars missions. The Spirit and Opportunity rovers, along with several orbiters, found evidence Mars has a watery history. Curiosity recently confirmed that past environmental conditions on Mars could have supported living microbes. According to the Science Definition Team, looking for signs of past life is the next logical step.

The team's report details how the rover would use its instruments for visual, mineralogical and chemical analysis down to microscopic scale to understand the environment around its landing site and identify biosignatures, or features in the rocks and soil that could have been formed biologically.

"The Mars 2020 mission concept does not presume that life ever existed on Mars," said Jack Mustard, chairman of the Science Definition Team and a professor at the Geological Sciences at Brown University in Providence, R.I. "However, given the recent Curiosity findings, past Martian life seems possible, and we should begin the difficult endeavor of seeking the signs of life. No matter what we learn, we would make significant progress in understanding the circumstances of early life existing on Earth and the possibilities of extraterrestrial life."

The measurements needed to explore a site on Mars to interpret ancient habitability and the potential for preserved biosignatures are identical to those needed to select and cache samples for future return to Earth. The Science Definition Team is proposing the rover collect and package as many as 31 samples of rock cores and soil for a later mission to bring back for more definitive analysis in laboratories on Earth. The science conducted by the rover's instruments would expand our knowledge of Mars and provide the context needed to make wise decisions about whether to return the samples to Earth.

"The Mars 2020 mission will provide a unique capability to address the major questions of habitability and life in the solar system," said Jim Green, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division in Washington. "This mission represents a major step towards creating high-value sampling and interrogation methods, as part of a broader strategy for sample returns by planetary missions."

Samples collected and analyzed by the rover will help inform future human exploration missions to Mars. The rover could make measurements and technology demonstrations to help designers of a human expedition understand any hazards posed by Martian dust and demonstrate how to collect carbon dioxide, which could be a resource for making oxygen and rocket fuel. Improved precision landing technology that enhances the scientific value of robotic missions also will be critical for eventual human exploration on the surface.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages NASA's Mars Exploration Program for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Source: Jet Propulsion Laboratory


A self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, taken with a camera on her robotic arm on October 31, 2012. Mount Sharp lays in the background.
NASA / JPL - Caltech / MSSS

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

SEAL Team 6...Sort of

A character in the next G.I. JOE movie. I kid... Maybe.

Overlooking the fact that it's a bunch of lifelike action figures that are featured in the image below, wouldn't it have been interesting if SEAL Team 6 indeed wore these skull masks during the bin Laden raid more than two years ago? It would've made the final 30 minutes of the Oscar-nominated film Zero Dark Thirty much more awesome, that's for sure. Unless, of course, you were one of them folks living inside the Abbottabad compound or an al-Qaeda sympathizer. 'Cause then you'd have to watch out for an incoming Predator drone and/or DEVGRU operators showing up at your doorstep...night vision goggles down and MP7s with attached silencers at the ready. Carry on.

I want these action figures for Christmas. Just kidding... Maybe.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Texting & Mind Games, Etc...

A random cute girl checking her cell phone.

As mentioned in this previous journal entry, I got Nancy's phone number after we worked a gig together in Los Angeles about two weeks ago. I texted her a few days later, she replied back (even though it took her four days to do so), we texted a couple of times afterwards...and now I'm wondering where the heck to go from there. Of course, I do know where to go from here: 99.9995% of dating websites I've visited state that I should make a move on Nancy and ask her out; the problem is: she's engaged to someone else. (I'll ignore the fact that all of you are now muttering towards your computer monitor "You idiot! Move the f**k on!") Countless of other online pages (specifically on Yahoo! Answers) feature questions by other dudes who wonder why chicks who are either married or have boyfriends would give their digits out to those who they aren't even close buddies with... There was really only one page that I found where a woman who was engaged handed her number to a hapless schmuck. Talk about being in an unprecedented situation!

So now I'm wondering, what should I do next? Do I just leave Nancy alone (seeing as how I was the last one to text and the ball is now in Nancy's court)? Actually try to be a homewrecker and ask her out [to casual lunch at least; Nancy's a fan of Chick-fil-A and Chick-fil-A is handing out free meals to any patron who shows up at the fast food joint wearing a friggin' cow costume this Friday, July 12 (in honor of Cow Appreciation Day)... Yea, I'm pretty sure she won't be down with that]? Or accept the fact that Nancy is definitely off-limits and just put myself in the dreaded 'friend zone' by having normal text conversations with her (seeing as how I don't want to lose her as a work buddy over this)? All of you pick-up artists (PUA) reading this must be shaking your heads in disgust right now.

Am I to believe that since I flirt with her up the wazoo whenever I see her in person, Nancy gave me her number to test my flirting skills outside of work? (To potential employers, you didn't just read that.) To see what I'm all about in a normal social setting? Girls tend to give out their numbers to get rid of certain dudes... Did Nancy provide me hers to see if I had the gall to make a move on her even though she now has a rock on her finger? And would think that I'd finally leave her alone since I'm not immoral enough (keyword: enough) to ask Nancy out even though she most likely spent the first half of that day with her fiancé? Or is Nancy just an attention seeker and could use another fella who has no chance of getting with her whatsoever to start a text conversation with when she's bored at work? Quit looking at me that way, PUA!

My guess is that Nancy loves the extra attention. There is not one picture of her fiancé on her Facebook page (yet?)...but there are dozens of totally gorgeous self-portraits that Nancy took with her iPhone (she now has a Samsung Galaxy S4) that dudes such as Yours Truly futilely click 'like' on once we see them on our news feeds. In fact, it was me taking a step further and actually commenting on a recent pic that Nancy posted that probably got her to text me after four days of waiting. I pointed out that she was "muy bonita" (Spanish for 'very pretty/beautiful') in her new image; not only did Nancy click 'like' on my comment...but she texted me later that night to say hi. Of course, she hid that picture from her Facebook timeline the following day; either because she didn't want other people to see my post and question her if something was going on between us (Yea, I wish), or she was mad that I stopped texting her earlier that day. (That's what you get for sending me a one-word reply, Nancy... "Lol" Really?)

So basically folks, things have gotten more confusing with Nancy. I needed to type this entry as a way to express thoughts and feelings that I would otherwise have been foolish enough to mention to Nancy herself in a text message. And as the rule goes: The minute that you tell a girl that you like or love her (and she's not your wife), it's game over. You show, not tell, her that you like or love her...through simple things such as staring into her eyes when she talks to you and/or flirtatiously touching her knees with your own for a few minutes (assuming you two are sitting right next to each other, hah), hug her enthusiastically at the end of the work day, or tell her how lovely she is in a foreign tongue on Facebook (unless you're already Latino). You definitely don't tell a girl that you love her through a text message...which is why Nancy giving me her phone number could be the worse thing she could do to me since she's already spoken for. Unless, of course, I become a homewrecker. Have a good day, everyone!

Is this dude annoyed that his girl is too preoccupied with her cell phone? I would be.

Friday, July 05, 2013

The L.A. Lakers...

Earlier today, Dwight Howard revealed that he will be leaving the Los Angeles Lakers to join the Houston Rockets for the upcoming NBA season. Farewell, D12— Have fun underachieving in Texas starting this fall...

Oh, and Kobe recently posted this on his Instagram page as well. Lakers-for-life.

The 2009 and 2010 NBA champions are true members of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Image of the Day... What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than to post a photo of a symbolic American structure that is now 1,776 feet-tall? Go Freedom Tower!

The 1 World Trade Center stands tall above the rest of the New York City of July 2, 2013.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Why Facebook's News Feed Is More Repulsive Than Ever...

Ten Pet Peeves with Mark Zuckerberg's Pet Project:

1.) Liberal idiots coming out of the woodwork ('closet' is too predictable) to incessantly celebrate the defeat of Prop 8...

2.) Conservative morons countering the liberals by continuously posting Pope Francis memes and random Bible passages...

3.) Fellow Asian Americans (mostly Filipinos) celebrating their gluttony by posting Instagram pics of their food (WE GET THE POINT: We're not living in Africa, or any other Third World region like the Philippines for that matter)...

4.) Girls who are apparently secure at their current job that they don't mind fitting the Facebook stereotype of dumb wild chicks by posting default pics of themselves boozin' it up, or wearing slutty attire at a nightclub they visited on Sunset Boulevard the previous night...

5.) People who are Cast Members at Disneyland who think that we give a rat's ass that they'll be working a morning shift in Disney's California Adventure or Downtown Disney the next day...

6.) People who constantly talk about going to the gym or partaking in marathons...and you would never guess from their photos (or knowing them in person) that they do any type of exercise...

7.) Girls who constantly post "inspirational" quotes to hide the fact that they're miserable or mediocre in person...

8.) People who think that we give a rat's ass about what song they're listening to on Spotify (what the hell is this site, anyway?)...

9.) People who become sheep and start playing Candy Crush as well...

and last, and definitely just as least:

10.) People who exploit their marriage and kids by incessantly posting photos of said kin to generate tons of comments and likes on Facebook.

Props to Zuckerberg for effortlessly creating a 1-billion-member-strong popularity contest for the 21st Century...