Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jon Batiste on The Colbert Report

Here's Stephen Colbert's funny interview with New Orleans jazz musician Jon Batiste. Afterwards is a performance by Batiste and Stay Human. They do "Express Yourself." I love the way he gets the audience to dance with some nice moves by Colbert.

Stephen Colbert on the Sarah Palin Channel

Oy Vey. Sarah Palin is launching her own web based channel. Thank God for Stephen Colbert. Here's his funny take on the venture. In it, he announces he has bought the URL "" Good luck Stephen in lampooning my crazy right-wing muse.

Stephan Colbert takes on Kim Kardashian

Holy Donkey Kong. Reality Star Kim Kardashian has video game App. Here's what Stephen Colbert has to say about it in a very funny piece.

Stephen Colbert on the Poor Door

There's an apartment complex that has a "poor door" for the low income residents. Sounds like great comic fodder for satirist Stephen Colbert. Here's his take in a "The Word" piece.

Wolfenstein" The New Order Uber difficulty tips

Wolfenstein: The New Order is a very difficult game, even on the normal difficulty setting of "Bring it on." On the hardest setting, called "Uber" it can be a whole new level of pain. The enemies are stronger, more accurate and dish out more damage. But some of you like me are completests when it comes to some games. And yeah, some of you guys in the Internet world found the game easy. Okay, you are a great player but for the rest of us, this Wolfenstein is hard. So here are tips for beating the game on "Uber." There are spoilers so you've been warned.

1. Start your Uber run after beating the game on an easier difficulty setting while getting all the Perks weapons, health and armor upgrades.

I started my Uber run after beating the game on the normal difficulty setting using both the Wyatt and Fergus timelines. While I was completing both, I got all the weapons , Perks, weapons, health and armor upgrades. First, you start your Uber run by starting with Chapter One. Starting a new game eliminates your previous progress. You don't have to do that for completing the game on Uber. Second, all the upgrades will definitely help you beat the game on Uber as they will be immediately available. From 360GameTV, here's a video with all the weapons upgrades.

Second, if you've run through the game a couple of times, you know where all the difficult areas are. Remember, you can complete Perks by reloading a prior checkpoint. And let's face it. You will get to see the small differences in timelines while getting both the health and armor upgrades. You can't do both with one timeline.

2. Patience.

Remember the expression, "Fools run in." Well, you can't burst into a room full of enemies like Rambo and expect to survive. Have an idea what causes enemies to spawn. Sometimes it's traveling to a certain area. Other times it's the defeat of some other enemies. So if, guns blazing is bad then what's the best strategy? Read on to Tip Number Three.

3. Stealth is the best for your health.

Always use the Stealth strategy if you can. Killing Nazis without them firing at you makes sense, doesn't it. You don't take damage and you save ammo. Takedowns, and knife throws are fine. But it's the pistol with a silencer that is your best stealth weapon. Of course, you can't take down a Supersoldaten Super Soldier with pistol but almost all soldiers and all commanders will go down with one to three shots. The pistol has range so unlike a thrown knife you can hit a target from across a room.

4. Free fire at times.

Aiming a weapon may not be as accurate as free firing. Why? When free firing a weapon use the target reticle. It turns red when moved over an enemy. Great stuff when firing a silenced pistol from across the room.

5. The LaserKraftWerk is the key to victory.

The LaserKraftWerk (LKW) is the most important weapon in the game. Once you get the Portable Reactor from the Da'at Yichud secret weapons cache, you'll have a weapon which does not need to ammo pickups. However, recharge stations are much, much faster.

The LKW is one of the most powerful weapons in the game. It will obliterate human soldiers when using scope. And when fully charged watch out. It will take down Supersoldaten with one shot, though such a shot will deplete the battery. However, with the portable reactor, the weapon will fill up with energy without a recharge station.

Let me demonstrate how stealth and LKW can make your life easier. In Chapter 15, "Under Attack", you crawl through some vents before you reach a large sewer room. If you're smart, you don't hop down to the ground but stay in the vent. To your left is a Supersoldaten and across the way is another one. Well, aiming the LKW, you charge up the weapon. Look at the six red circles at the bottom of the scope. When they turn red, the LKW is charged. Fire. One shot. One dead Supersoldaten. His partner will march to your position. Retreat further back. Wait for the LKW to recharge. When it does sneak around the corner and let him have it with a fully charged LKW. Okay, don't go down yet. You should be able to snipe two soldiers through the bottom of the fence or guardrail. Okay, now head down and onto the platform. Watch out for soldiers coming from the right, one of them is a shotgun soldier. Arm your assault rifle and waste him with the secondary fire of the RPG. Mop up. Area cleared.

6. When do you get the Uber Hero Achievement?

After you defeat Mecha Deathshead, there will be a final cutscene. Then the credits roll. At the end of the credits, you will get the Uber Hero Achievement. If you have not completed the game on the hard difficulty setting "I Am Death Incarnate!", you will get credit for that achievement called "Super Hero" in a Two for One notice. The total XBOX gamer points for both will be 100, fifty for each.

Monday, July 28, 2014

John Oliver on America's nuclear weapons arsenal

It's hard to see how one can find comedy in America's nuclear weapons and our maintenance of them. Make that the faulty maintenance of them. But John Oliver of HBO gives it a try. And he's hilarious. From HBO's Last Week Tonight, here's John Oliver's funny piece.

Lucy review

Evolution. Human existence. Time. Space. Topics for a summer popcorn movie? Maybe not. But director and screenwriter Luc Besson boldly goes where no summer blockbuster movie has gone before with his film Lucy. The movie may have taken its name from the main character but with scenes of prehistoric earth featuring the hominid Lucy, man's evolutionary ancestor, it becomes clear that Besson wants to tackle human evolution.

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson)is an American student in Tapei, Taiwan. She likes to party and meets a man named Richard who wants her to bring a briefcase to gangster Jang. (Choi Min-sik) Lucy refuses but Richard handcuffs the case to her wrist thus forcing her to deliver it. Inside the case are four packets of a drug called CPH4. The drug is produced is present in human fetuses to get the body to build bones and organs. Jang intends to introduce it not for medical reasons but for drug abuse. He inserts one packet surgically into Lucy so she can act as a mule. The other three are also embedded to other mules. While in captivity, one of Jang's men beats her so bad that the drug leaks into Lucy's body. Meanwhile, Professor Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman) is lecturing that man only uses 10 percent of his brain. If man were to use more, he could become more like the dolphin with the ability to organically manipulate the environment. By the way, the small use of the human brain was covered in the funny comedy, Defending Your Life. (1991) But I digress, the effect is that the drug allows her to use more of her brain giving her paranormal abilities. She needs the other three packages so she goes to Jang to find out where they are at.

Scarlett Johansson is very good as Lucy. She goes from terrified college student to a woman who's aware of everything in her environment to a human computer. As far as villains go, Choi Min-sik's gangster Jang is ruthless leaving multiple bodies in his wake. Morgan Freeman is well cast as Professor Norman. His lecture on the use of the brain by humans in the movie is fascinating and well written. It's more compelling than some of the action scenes in the film. He's basically playing himself if you've seen him host the Science Channel's Through the Wormhole. In both roles, Freeman demonstrates his love for science and philosophy.

Luc Besson has his detractors. I wasn't a fan of Besson's science fiction movie, The Fifth Element (1997) which was rather juvenile. But you've got to applaud Besson for making a film that tackles human evolution and existence. He deftly mixes action scenes that demonstrate Lucy's superpowers, car chases and images of the universe. Yes, I'm talking about the universe. Besson knows how to use beautiful, strange images to show Lucy's ability to perceive the world. Human evolution in science fiction has been tackled before. Most notably 2001: A Space Odyssey. (1968) Besson is unafraid of asking the audience to think. What can the brain do when a human can access one hundred per cent of it? And I'm talking about from an evolutionary stand point. Mind control over others. Telekinesis? Unlocking the secrets of the universe? There are very few missteps in this film. The movie needs more time to breathe by having even more discussion about Lucy's evolution. And the last scene made very little sense in context with the voice over narration. I'm sure that's something that Besson should think about changing for any future edition of this film.

Lucy is an entertaining movie that explores human existence. I left the movie thinking about what makes us human. The grade is A.