Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stephen Colbert Discusses Scalia's Judicial Philosophy

Last night's Colbert Report was great. He comments on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's judicial philosophy concerning the Constitution. Scalia believes the Constitution should be interpreted pursuant the views when it was adopted. Here's Stephen Colbert's hilarious take.

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Stephen almost loses it when discussing koala bears getting chlamydia.

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Raytheon Develops a Real "Iron Man" Suit

Raytheon has announced it has developed an "Iron Man" suit which will allow the user to have extraordinary strength. If you look at it and its applications, it also reminds me of the exosuit cargo loader used by Ripley in her battle with the queen alien in "Aliens." (1986) Hold on. This announcement coincides with the release of "Iron Man 2" DVD. I smell military-entertainment-industrial complex. Life imitates art. Check out the video below.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NL Central Division Champs

It will go down as one of the greatest home runs in the history of the Cincinnati Reds. Jay Bruce blasts one over the center field fence to win the game, defeating the Houston Astros, 3-2. With the victory the Reds are now NL Central Division Champions and in the playoffs for the first time since 1995. Here's the story. The MLB story has video of Bruce's home run. Sorry, I had to delete the embedded video of it because MLB made a copyright claim. Lawyers?! : ) Below is a fan video of Bruce's Blast and the aftermath.

It was touching to see veteran outfielder Jim Edmonds pinch Jay's face. I hope he can make the playoff roster and help the young players. I can't say enough about veteran Scott Rolen's leadership. Finally, I almost cried when I saw manager Dusty Baker get doused with champagne. It was a joy to watch his happiness.

Now, let's win as many games as possible for the highest seed we can get. And come playoff time, watch out you other major league teams. By the way, didn't I predict the Reds would get to the playoffs? Go Reds.

From Lance McAlister's Sports Blog (1530 Homer) and his listener Ryan.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Hunt for Reds October, Part 5

Last night the St. Louis Cardinals aka "The Little Bitches" beat the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cincinnati Reds were off. The magic number for the Reds to clinch the NL Central Division is still one. Any combination of a Reds victory or Cardinals loss will eliminate the "Little Bitches" from contention for the Central title. The Reds play the Houston Astros tonight.

Bengals Bungle to Victory

Last Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals bungled their way to a victory over the Carolina Panthers, 20-7. Quarterback Carson Palmer threw two interceptions and could have easily thrown two more. He was not on the same page as his receivers. And there was one moment of Bengals stupidity that occurred with eighteen seconds left in the second quarter. The Bengals had the ball deep in the Panthers territory. I think it was between the twenty and the thirty yard line. Anyway, Carson threw a pass to a receive at the five. Now you have to run up to the five, set up and spike the ball to give you perhaps one more shot at the endzone before you kick it. Right tackle Dennis Roland was very slow getting to the line for Carson to spike the ball. And time ran out. The minimum three points were lost. Absolutely inexcusable.

Anything go right for our Bengals? Yeah. Bengals Kicker Mike Nugent kicked a fifty yard field goal. And he consistently puts the ball in the endzone on kickoffs. Bengals Punter Kevin Huber put three punts down within the five yard line. The other three were within the twenty.

The Bengals defense was good again. The pass rush was solid. But it was the secondary again that did the job. After a Panthers interception, DB Leon Hall on defense cut in front of a Panthers receiver to pick off the ball. He got it back for the Bengals. The Bengals have a lot of depth in the secondary. They have two shut down corners in Hall and Jonathan Joseph. And the corners backing them could start on any team. Those guys are Morgan Trent and Adam Jones who did not play in this game.

Bengals hold on to win. Here are the video highlights.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Hunt for Reds October, Part 4

Yesterday, the Cincinnati Reds defeated the San Diego Padres, 12-2. The magic number is now one to clinch the NL Central title. The Reds are off tonight but second place St. Louis Cardinals host the Pittsburgh Pirates. If the Cardinals aka "The Little Bitches" lose, it's over. The Reds win the NL Central and are in the playoffs. The victory over the Padres featured seven strong innings by Reds starting pitcher, Homer Bailey. He's making a statement that he should be on the playoff roster. Here the story of yesterday's game with video.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sharktopus Review

Admit it. When you saw the trailer for Sharktopus on the net, you wanted to see this movie. The idea of a half shark, half octopus monster eating bikini clad women was so ludicrous that it made you want to watch it. And you'd have to go back in time to the fifties to find a movie as silly as Sharktopus. Perhaps that's why this Roger Corman and SyFy production had Destination: Truth's Josh Gates host the premiere, complete with snide jokes about the movie. They knew this movie was in Plan 9 from Outer Space (1958) territory. And that's also the problem with the movie. If you know you're movie is this silly then why not make it a comedy?

The picture starts out with a scantily clad woman swimming in the ocean. As she's about to get killed by a great white shark, when the Sharktopus, a creature with a shark's front and an octopus end with tentacles, attacks the shark and kills it. Ha. Cute dig at "Jaws." Anyway, we find out that scientist Gates (Eric Roberts) who runs the secret black ops Blue Water Corp. has just created the navy's newest super weapon, the Sharktopus. He controls the beast with biomechanical implants with the help of his daughter Nicole. (Sara Malukul Lane)

The navy demands a test run of the creature by chasing a boat. Unfortunately for its hapless victims and you, the viewer, the creature's remote control device is ripped away. The Sharktopus escapes and runs amok eating mostly bikini clad women near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. For Sharktopus that's a heavy vegetarian diet, if you know what I mean. Gates decides to hire a former employee Andy Flynn (Kerem Bursin) and his team to capture the Sharktopus.

A good or bad movie starts with the writing. Forget about the good with this turkey. There's a lot of aspiring screenwriters in Hollywood. How did this screenplay by Mike MacLean, if that's his real name, get greenlit? It sounds like it was written by a junior high kid. You want exposition? Forget it. The movie is written for those with ADHD. It's relentless stupid action. The screenplay doesn't tell us why this thing was designed the way it was. I mean what is the advantage with this type of creature design? You want plot holes? Yes, you miss "Lost" don't you? Well Losties there's enough plot holes in this one to make any Lostie happy. How does Sharktopus breathe on land? Why is it heading onto land? Why is the news reporter Stacy Everheart (Liv Boughn) dressed like a cheap street hooker? And then there's some totally inappropriate emotions written which I'll discuss later.

What about the direction and special effects? First, I commend director Declan O' Brien for not changing his name to a pseudonym for directing this cinematic twinkie. But I'm going to lay most of the blame for the acting and special effects at his feet. The acting was not directed. The actors were not emoting anything. That's the fault of the director. He should be astute enough to direct the actors into believable performances. It's harder to lay blame for the special effects on the director. That being said, did O'Brien actually see any of the special effects? The Sharktopus was done in CGI and was as cheesy as one could get. It lacked detail and realism. Many times when the Sharktopus was in the water and eating people, O'Brien does nothing to set up the shot to actually show this. What you get is a body struggling with the CGI tentacles, and then CGI blood dying the water. Cheap. And when he does show graphic violence, it's unrealistic and cartoony.

What about the actors? Were there actors in this movie? It is amazing with the thousands of starving actors, that Corman couldn't get any competent ones. The cast delivers their lines with the same emotion one gets from the announcer who tells you if your flight is on time. Let's start with Eric Roberts. He's hard to take seriously in any movie because he's goofy in any role. There's always some smirk on his face. Here's some advice to Sara Lane. It's called make-up. It does wonders for close-ups by covering up oil and defects. Oh, and try to do something with your hair. Kerem Bursin is all macho bluster and chest muscles. His next career move will probably be posing for Playgirl. I have no idea where Corman dug up Liv Boughn. Was she Corman's girlfriend?

Okay, when you've got a movie this silly, one must decide if it is so bad that it's funny. Sharktopus does have its ridiculous moments. Let's go over them.

1. After the Sharktopus kills a great white shark, Eric Roberts mutters, "Very National Geographic, isn't it?"
2. Sharktopus uses his tentacles to remove his control harness. Later in the movie, he uses a tentacle to remove a harpoon stuck in his head. LOL.
3. My favorite Sharktopus kills. When Sharktopus comes over the top of person and takes a bite of the upper torso with a chomping noise. It reminds me of the Saturday Night Live skit about the Land Shark. CHOMP!
4. Classic scene. (You get it in the trailer below.) Woman goes bungee jumping and Sharktopus jumps out of the water and swallows her whole.
5. Sharktopus is impervious to bullets. How? Don't know, but it's as dumb as when the castaways in Lost survived the nuclear bomb.
6. Movie inconsistencies. Flynn (Bursin) is underwater in just his bathing suit. He comes out of the water with a sombrero on his head. Really silly.
7. Inappropriate emotions. Roberts demands strong drinks before he must talk to his navy handler. Huh? How is getting drunk going to help you stand up to your boss? I'm guessing the scotch was real and was part of Roberts payment.
8. Reporter Stacy Everheart (Boughn) gets beach bum to help her by shoving her breasts in his face. That might work for Fox News but generally it's unrealistic and unprofessional.
9. Sharktopus attacks a group of dancers. After one is gruesomely killed probably for his performance, a kid says, "That's awesome."
10. Sharktopus on land. In some of the most ridiculous action ever filmed, Sharktopus walks on land! It uses its tentacles to walk. That shark head out of water attacking people is one of the goofiest things I've ever seen. It might be a homage to the SNL Land Shark skit, but the shark's voice of Chevy Chase is sadly missing.

So, what's the grade? Well, before I give it, I'm going to congratulate myself for predicting that Sharktopus would not eat Eric Roberts because it likes to eat bikini clad women over ham. And after seeing this bomb, I bet the Academy is thinking about getting back the honorary Oscar they gave to Roger Corman. Anyway, here's the grade. D Minus. If you're drunk while watching Sharktopus, the grade rises to B.

Fastest Pitch Ever Thrown

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman threw the fastest pitch ever recorded in the history of Major League Baseball. It happened last night and the speed was 105 m.p.h. Here's the story with video.

More Republican Insanity from Christine O' Donnell

Republican senate candidate for Delaware and Tea Party darling, Christine O'Donnell, said in 2007 that scientists are creating mice with fully functioning human brains. She did that on Fox's The O'Reilly Factor. What? Are conservative Republicans actually this crazy? What does Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks have to say about this? Check out his funny MSNBC piece below.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Video of the Game of the Triumph Over the Evil Empire Found

The New York Times is reporting that video of Game Seven of the 1960 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Pittsburgh Pirates has been found. It was found with singer Bing Cosby's property. Bing at the time was a co-owner of the Pirates. Bing passed away in 1977. Major League Baseball plans to release it as a DVD.

Why is this game significant? Well first, it was a series won by the Pirates who got clobbered for three games in the series. Of course, for the Pirates to win they had to win four games which they did. By the way Reds fans, think about this since many predict the Reds early demise in the playoffs. You play the game on the field. Win four out of seven, become world champs. Second, it features the only walk off home run to win a World Series. That's right folks. It's like something out of a Hollywood movie. And the Pirates beat the New York Yankees aka "The Evil Empire."

Pirate Bill Mazeroski hit the home run which I consider the greatest home run ever hit. (Wikipedia posted photos of the jack, above.) Again, think about it. Walk off home run. The home run wins the World Series. Does it against the Evil Empire. That's greatness.

Tea Party Darling Christine O'Donnell Wants to Stop Sex

Ah, those crazy conservative Tea Party people. Senate candidate for Delaware and Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell wants to stop people from having sex. Okay, she said this years ago on "Scarborough Country" (2003) in response to a safe sex advocate.

NIES (Safe sex advocate): You're going to stop the whole country from having sex?

O'DONNELL: Yeah. Yeah!

Stephen Colbert Testifies Before Congress

Stephen Colbert, in his faux conservative character, testifies before Congress on immigration. He had spent a day in August working as a farmer with illegal immigrants. And I don't care what anyone says, he's a riot. Check out the video below.

When he answered questions, he did slip into his real self.

Scott Rolen Leads the Reds

I questioned the Cincinnati Reds trade for Scott Rolen last year. Now, it's turned out to be brilliant. Rolen has brought veteran leadership to a young team. He shows the kids how to play the right way. That has clearly helped the Reds win. And seeing recently acquired fellow veteran Jim Edmonds talk to the outfielders, Reds GM Walt Jocketty looks to have made another great decision. Jocketty's Folly is turning out to be a masterstroke. One that national baseball writers like Jon Morosi is praising.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why Is Bristol Palin a Star?

This season Dancing with the Stars has Bristol Palin as one of its contestants. She's the daughter of former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Sarah is the face of the right-wing Tea Party movement. Bristol is best known as Sarah's teenage daughter who was pregnant during the campaign.

Why is Bristol Palin a "star?" What has she done? Won a piano concerto contest as a teen? No. Actress? No. Wrote a book? Nope. Got knocked up as a teenager? We have a winner. Teenage pregnancy star. Is that a talent? Something we should look up to? And conservatives complain that liberals control the entertainment industry. What next? Will those Hollywood liberals cast Ann Coulter as Hot Lips Houlihan in a conservative remake of M*A*S*H and call it, "Bizarro M*A*S*H: Hot Lips Houlihan's Revenge?" I can see it now. In one scene, Hot Lips (Ann Coulter) takes a machine gun and kills a group of wounded North Korean prisoners. Coulter then says, "We don't treat you yellow commie bastards. That's what I call Obamacare."

The Hunt for Reds October, Part 3

Last night the Cincinnati Reds lost to the Milwaukee Brewers, 13-1. Starter Johnny Cueto has got to learn to stay away from the middle of the plate. But the St. Louis Cardinals aka "The Little Bitches" lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates. So where does that leave the Reds' Magic Number? It is now three. Adios Little Bitches.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

GOP's Sharron Angle Calls John Birch Society "Mainstream America'

Republican candidate for Senate from Nevada and Tea Party darling, Sharron Angle, recently attended an Utah John Birch Society function. She called The John Birch Society, "This is mainstream America." The John Birch Society are the nuts that called Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, a communist and agent for the Soviet Union. Okay, you tell me that the Republican Party hasn't gone so far right that they are completely out of the mainstream. Here's the story from Rachel Maddow.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Hunt for Reds October, Part 2

The Cincinnati Reds defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-3. The St. Louis Cardinals aka "The Little Bitches" lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Reds go up on the Little Bitches by eight games. But more importantly, the Reds's magic number to clinch the National League Central Divsion championship is four.

Okay, the highlight of the game? Well, it should be highlights of the game. Because starting pitcher Edinson Volquez was dealing. His fast ball, slurve and change up were all working. Folks, we have our fourth starting pitcher. Here's the story with video highlights.

Steve Wiebe Sets New Donkey Kong Record

Remember the documentary, "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters"? It was the story of down on his luck teacher Steve Wiebe as he fought the powers of classic video game competition. Wiebe's goal? Score the most points on the arcade video game Donkey Kong and beat Billy Mitchell's record. Mitchell comes off as a villain in the film. And if you haven't seen it, rent or buy the DVD. It's a wonderful film that is much more than being about Donkey Kong. Amazingly, it is existential as well. At the end of the film, Steve sets the record after much adversity. But the arrogant Mitchell would later capture the record after the movie was released. Well, Steve has just set the record again with a score of 1,064, 500. Here's the story from /Film. Check out the trailer for the 2007 documentary below.

The Hunt for Reds October

The Cincinnati Reds won last night by beating the Milwaukee Brewers, 5-2. Three home runs by Drew Stubbs, Scott Rolen and of course, Joey Votto powered the Reds scoring. All three went the opposite field. Starting pitcher Homer Bailey went six innings, giving up just two runs to keep the Reds in the game.

The St. Louis Cardinals lost. The Reds are seven games up. More important is that the magic number is now six. Any combination of Cardinals aka "The Little Bitches" losses or Reds victories for a total of six games and the Cardinals are eliminated.

The question now becomes who makes the post season roster. If you want to keep Chris Heisey and Jim Edmonds in the outfield, you're going to lose a pitcher. Here's my pitching staff. Relievers: Francisco Cordero, Nick Masset, Aroldis Chapman, Arthur Rhodes, Bill Bray, Logan Ondrusek. Starters: Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, Travis Wood, Edinson Volquez. Okay, there's room for one more. Based on experience, I'd choose Aaron Harang. That's not a sentimental choice. Harang has pitched in big time games and has pitched out of the bullpen.

Anyway, here's the game story for last night with video.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bring Out the Reds Cliches

Okay, the Cincinnati Reds are slowly finishing off the St. Louis Cardinals aka "The Little Bitches." We need to win the division in a faster manner. Okay, let's dust off the baseball cliches for the Reds and their playoff run.

1. The Hunt for Reds October. I have not heard this cliche from the sports pundits. And I don't know why? It's great.

2. You Play the Game on the Field. Okay, this is for when the Reds make the playoffs. They will be big underdogs. But you want to know something? You don't play the game on paper match-ups. You play the game on the field. Remember that the 1990 Cincinnati Reds were huge underdogs to the Oakland A's. We swept them to win the World Championship.

Bengals Gut Out Victory

Didn't I predict the the Cincinnati Bengals would rebound? Today, the Bengals slugged the Baltimore Ravens and beat them 15-10. By the way, the Ravens were picked by many to take the AFC North. It was your typical AFC North smash mouth football game. Both defenses played well but the difference was the Bengals picked off Joe Flaccid, er, Flacco four times.

The bad. Penalties. The Bengals committed penalties all over the place. The ones on offense killed drives. QB Carson Palmer and T.O. and Chad Occhocinco were not on the same page. But Carson didn't turn the ball over so the Bengals gutted out the victory.

The good. As I said before, the Bengals defense played tough. The pressure by the front four was solid. It could be better but was good enough. The corners were spectacular. Okay, there was a bomb for a TD to Derrick Mason. But overall, they covered the Ravens' receivers like a blanket. And then there were four picks. Bengals' kicker Mike Nugent has quite a leg. Now I see why the New York Jets picked him in the second round in 2005. He easily kicked five field goals and consistently put the ball in the endzone on kickoffs. Bengals win and stay within one game of the Pittsburgh Steelers aka "The Bums." Here's are the highlights.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tea Party Gets Taiwanese CGI Animation Treatment

NMA News of Taiwan does it again. This time they do a CGI animated video of the success of the Tea Party with depictions of Christine O'Donnell, Sarah Palin and President Barack Obama. This one is so ridiculous, I can't describe it. I mean is that Sarah Palin dressed in only a bra and skirt firing a machine gun in the air? Ha, ha, ha. Check it out below.

Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker Review

There's new downloadable content (DLC) for Mass Effect 2. (ME2) It's a new mission called "Lair of the Shadow Broker." (LOTSB) It'll cost you 800 points on XBOX Live, which is roughly ten bucks. So, is it worth it? Read on, my fellow Mass Effect fans.

If you've played Mass Effect 2 and completed Liara T'Soni's side missions, you know she is hunting down the Shadow Broker, a notorious information dealer. In ME 2, Liara has told you that a mission she was on has gone bad and a friend was hurt. She blames the Shadow Broker. Well, in LOTSB, Cerberus has emailed you, Shephard, with information about the whereabouts of the Shadow Broker and Liara's friend. It's not known whether Liara will trust Cerberus so they ask you to visit Liara with the information. If you've haven't read the graphic novel, ME: Redemption, here's a quick plot point. The Illusive Man who heads Cerberus informed Liara that the Shadow Broker was trying to recover your (Shephard) dead body for the Collectors. That's a reason why the Illusive Man would want Liara to have this information, perhaps to help her eliminate the Shadow Broker.

You travel to Illium to meet with Liara. When you talk to her, you give her the Illusive Man's information. The information tells her of a contact and she also finds out her friend, now called Feron, is still alive. She invites you to her apartment, no not for sex, and you find an Asari Spectre named Vasir. At the apartment you find that Liara is gone but she has left a message about where she is meeting her contact which is at the Dracon Center. You, your squad and Vasir travel there to find Liara.

The rest of the game is you and Liara's journey to find the Shadow Broker and to rescue Feron. There's combat with mercenaries in the Dracon Center. There's a flying car chase. You fight on the Shadow Broker's ship. There are also boss battles.

There's nothing new in terms of combat in the game. However, two of the three combat scenarios, you will fighting with Liara again. That's assuming you fought with her from the original Mass Effect game. Liara brings back the singularity power which is helpful since you can suspend a group of enemies. She also can use the stasis power which is beneficial when dealing with one of the bosses. While not novel, combat is still enjoyable. There is a flying car chase which is reminiscent of the car chase in Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones. You fly your cab in pursuit while dodging other flying cars on Illium. It's fun once you get the hang of the car's control mechanics. Plus, there's some humorous dialogue between you and Liara during the chase.

The story itself finishes the plot thread in Mass Effect 2, regarding Liara's search for the Shadow Broker. If you recall Liara in the first Mass Effect, she could fight but still there was always a civilized and educated person under her blue skin. In the ME2, we were introduced to a more wild and angry Liara. It's a jolt. But in LOTSB, you get a better idea of why she's so obsessed. She's distraught over Feron. However, Feron is not fleshed out. He wasn't fleshed out in Mass Effect: Redemption either. I had no sympathy for him. So unlike the Overlord DLC which had an emotional story, it was hard for me to get worked up over this. I do admit the final moments spent with Liara were bittersweet. And there is a surprise at the end which ushers in major changes for a character.

So, should you purchase it? The answer is yes. It's not revolutionary but it's still enjoyable. The mission on the first go around, took me about six hours. After I played it a couple times, I got it down to four hours. Hey, I like looking around. But you learn some important events in the life of one of the major characters of Mass Effect, Liara. Look, you spend ten bucks at the movies. Think of this as an interactive movie, only one that will take you more than two hours to complete. The grade is B+.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on the GOP's Crazy Tea Party Candidates

Jon Stewart of the Daily Show discusses two victories by Tea Party candidates in Republican Party primaries. GOP Carl Paladino is running for governor of New York yet he is known for spreading emails featuring racism and bestiality. Christine O' Donnell was victorious in the GOP primary in her run for the U.S. Senate from Delaware. She thinks masturbation is adultery. Check out her wacky comments on it. Later he leads s discussion on how the Democrats will screw this up.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jon Stewart on the Bed Bug Infestation in New York

Check out this video of Jon Stewart's Daily Show story on the bed bug infestation in New York. He finishes it with this hilarious avant-garde film by actress Isabella Rossellini.

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Bill Maher Previews Real Time On The Huffington Post

Bill Maher released this preview monologue on the Huffington Post for the new season of Real Time on HBO. It debuts this Friday. He takes on the events of this summer and boy did he miss a lot. Warning: Language.

Mass Effect: Redemption Graphic Novel Review

Mass Effect: Redemption is a graphic novel published by Dark Horse Books with the story written by Mac Walters. Walters is one of the main writers for the videogame Mass Effect 2. Redemption is a prequel to that game. Redemption is the story of Dr. Liara T'soni's search for her friend, Commander Shephard. (Liara is pictured above.) In the game, you play Shepard who can be male or female. Anyway, Shepard is lost when his ship, Normandy is attacked by a mysterious group of aliens called the Collectors.

Liara's journey takes her to the lawless Terminus star systems. There she meets the a contact named Feron. Feron informs her that Shepard is close to death, perhaps in stasis. Later Liara and Feron are attacked by mercenaries. They escape with the help of the Cerberus group, a pro-human possibly terrorist organization. The group is run by the shadowy Illusive Man and his second in command, Miranda. He offers Liara assistance in looking for Shepard. He informs her that the Shadow Broker, a mysterious information agent, is trying to get Shepard for the Collectors. She agrees to his aid and with Feron in tow, they search the underbelly of the galaxy, meeting crooks, and smugglers along the way.

If you haven't played Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, you're probably going to be lost reading this graphic novel. John Jackson Miller's script is short on exposition. He makes up for that with exciting action set pieces. But if you've played the games, especially the first Mass Effect, you know Liara. And in this book, she's a wild woman which is out of character for her. Miranda who plays a big part in Mass Effect 2 is given very little to do here except to look gorgeous. Feron is not fleshed out and it's hard to like or dislike him.

Omar Francia's artwork is realistic and beautiful. The color palette of Michael Atiyeh are vibrant with plenty of Asari blue. You see the Asari are blue skinned aliens. And Michael Heisler's lettering is clear. Bonus features are gorgeous paintings by Daryl Mandryk.

If you loved the Mass Effect games, you'll like this prequel. If you haven't played at least Mass Effect 2, you probably won't get anything out of it. One cool thing about the book. It sets up the side missions that you do for Liara in Mass Effect 2. The book also serves as exposition to the downloadable content mission to Mass Effect 2, "The Lair of the Shadow Broker." The grade for this enjoyable book is B +.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reds Break Losing Streak

The Cincinnati Reds broke a nine year losing streak by winning last night 7-2. They have not had a winning season since 2000. The Reds are now a guaranteed winning season because they beat the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Reds blasted five home runs by Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, Orlando Cabrera, and Joey Votto. Bruce hit two. Votto went opposite field again. With the victory the Reds now lead the St. Louis Cardinals by seven games. Here's the story with video.

Monday, September 13, 2010

GOP's Newt Gingrich Accuse Obama of Having "Kenyan" Worldview

Okay, this is why I won't become a Republican. Republican Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker and probably Presidential candidate accused President Obama of having a "Kenyan" worldview. Here's the story. Yes, Obama's father was from Kenya. But he was born in Hawaii. Please try to find a peroid other than visiting relatives that Obama spent any significant time in Kenya. He spent a lot of time in Indonesia, Hawaii, California, New York, Boston and Chicago. HELLO REPUBLICAN RACISTS. You had the Southern Strategy. Now, you're again accusing him of being foreign. And because he's black, you're appealing to angry white right-wingers. Look, please disagree with his policies. And yes, not all Republicans are racist. But accusing him of being some type of foreigner with foreign ideas, that's demagoguery.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Look Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto should be MVP of the National League. Period. He is putting up numbers that might win him the Triple Crown. Last night he hit a walk off home run. The pitch he hit was a good pitch. It was high and away. Votto hit the ball into the left field stands, an opposite field blast. Folks, that's not easy to do even for a power hitter. Here's the story with video of last night's game. 1530 Homer's Lance McAlister also had video of the game winning jack. Listen to the chants of MVP. Oh, that's Lance's son, Casey, when the camera moves to the right.

Patriots Pummel Bengals

I stopped watching the Cincinnati Bengals game at half time. It was that bad. To make matters worse, Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens left the game within the last minute of the first half. No, they weren't hurt. That's a heck of an example. Yes, they were needed for Hail Mary pass. Oy vey.

Look this game was lost at the lines of scrimmage for both the offense and defense. The New England Patriots destroyed the Bengals because their defensive line completely outplayed the offensive line. The defensive line put no pressure on QB Tom Brady. Brady had time to have his hair permed and then make the pass. The Bengals at the point of attack looked like pussycats not tigers. The Patriots pummel the Bengals, 38-24. Like the Cincinnati Reds, the Bengals will rebound.

Bengals Season Preview

Here's the Cincinnati Bengals 2010 season preview. Yes, I know what the score of today's game but I shouldn't make evaluations based on the first game or should I?

1. The Defense

a. Defensive Line- Solid. No stars at the defensive tackle position but Domata Peko and Tank Johnson are solid. Defensive ends could be playmakers. If Antwan Odom recovers from his Achilles injury and Robert Geathers shows the talent that got him that big contract, the Bengals should be able to pressure the quarterback.

b. Linebackers- MLB Dhani Jones is beginning to show his age. But Rey Maualuga is going to be a star. Look for a great year from an experienced Keith Rivers. Michael Johnson is a physical freak who can play both linebacker and end.

c. Secondary- The starting corners Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall are excellent. And backing them up are Adam "Pacman" Jones and Morgan Trent. Safeties Chris Crocker and Roy Williams are solid.

d. Defense conclusion- This unit finished fourth in defense last year. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is a great coach who gets the most out of his men. I'm not that worried about this unit though the Bengals must get more pressure from the front four.

2. The Special Teams- Local product Kevin Huber is a good punter. Last season the punt unit was first in net yards. Mike Nugent was the New York Jets second round pick in the 2005 draft. He has a strong leg and hopefully he wont' choke in the clutch. See Shayne Graham.

The return crew is probably the strongest that the Bengals have ever had. Adam "Pacman" Jones is still the threat to bust one wide open. Quan Cosby, Jordan Shipley and Bernard Scott can each return kicks.

Special Teams Conclusion- Look for run backs for touchdowns from this squad.

3. The Offense

a. The Offensive Line - This line will continue to gel after a solid year. The Bengals are solid with left tackle Andrew Whitworth, right guard Bobbie Williams and center Kyle Cook. But one worries about left guard, Nate Livings and right guard Dennis Roland persist. And drafting Andre Smith looks to be a disaster since he's so out of shape, he can't get on the field. The Bengals are good at run blocking but pass blocking is a concern.

b. Quarterback- Carson Palmer should be back to his 2005 form after an operation repairing ligaments in his left hand. Little brother Jordan Palmer is the Bengals number two. Rookie Dan LeFevour is number three. Okay, let's face it. I don't know if Jordan is up to the task if he needs to take over the team. That means Carson must not get injured for the Bengals to succeed.

c. Running Back- Cedric Benson is nice blend of power and speed. He sees the field well and bursts through the hole. Bernard Scott can make cuts that are the envy of many other backs in the NFL.

d. Wide Receivers/Tight Ends- Terrell Owens is physical freak at thirty six. With Owens in the fold, teams will be forced to cover him and free up Chad Ochocinco. Jordan Shipley and Andre Caldwell will be good possession guys.

The Bengals drafted well in the first round by getting Jermaine Gresham He's a big target for tight end who will exploit the seams. Plus he can catch the ball and block. Reggie Kelly is solid veteran. Dan Coats needs to hold onto the ball to be effective.

e. Offense Conclusion- QB Carson Palmer has all the weapons. This sill be a team that should be able to score at will.

4. Conclusion- I'm going to cop out and give two answers as to how many games the Bengals will win. It really comes down to one unit and one group of players. It's the offensive line. If they can run and pass block, the Bengals will win. If they don't, the Bengals finish 7-9. If the offensive line blocks, the Bengals will go 11-5 and win the Super Bowl.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

4192 Hits Twenty Five Years Ago

Twenty five years ago, Cincinnati Reds' Pete Rose hit his 4,192nd hit of his career. He would end his career with 4,256 hits. The closest player to Rose? Ty Cobb, 4,191 hits. The closest player still in a uniform? Derek Jeter, 2899 hits. Jeter is 36 years old. If he plays four more years at two hundred hits a year, he won't come close. That's how great Pete Rose is.

Below is a news story on the great event.

In Memoriam

It's time to think and pray about the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Nine years ago, terrorists attacked our country, killing thousands. On this day we should pray for the dead, the soldiers who are in Afghanistan fighting the terrorists and for peace on earth.

Resilient Reds

The Cincinnati Reds snapped a five game losing streak by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates in twelve innings, 4-3. Homer Bailey was masterful, pitching seven innings, giving up only one run and striking out nine. The win moved the Reds up over the St. Louis Cardinals aka "The Little Bitches" by six games. The magic number is now seventeen. See you later "Little Bitches." Here's the game story.

Lost Sucks, Part 5

Season Six and the series finale of Lost have killed my desire to watch serial television with deep mythological storylines. Why? That's because of my great disappointment in Lost. I spent time running home to watch the first five seasons. Then came season six. And once the episode "Across the Sea" came out, I knew the show was in trouble. Then came the contrived series finale, "The End" and I've realized I wasted six years of my life watching this show.

Yes, I've watched X-Files and still like the first five seasons. And yes, the series finale to that show sucked. The whole alien conspiracy was to build super soldiers?! But you see unlike Lost, there were many shows that stood alone without the stinking series finale spoiling the whole series. Since all of Lost depended on season six, the whole series is now rotten.

Look, I will never say never. But Fringe is beginning to worry me. Will I spend all that time watching a show that will end badly? At least Fringe, is not all about the mythology. We'll see how the ratings for Fringe and other serial shows turn out. I wonder what the sales of Lost DVDs are, especially season six. I believe that Lost may have killed serial television not only for me but for the larger television watching audience.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Machete Review

The surprise of Machete is not that Dan Trejo is the lead for this movie but that Twentieth Century Fox distributed it. Fox is a sister company of the right-wing Fox News. Conservative Rupert Murdoch owns both. Machete with its pro-illegal immigrant, leftist message would make Fox News' head Roger Ailes have a heart attack. This is the second movie within a year, the other being Avatar, with that old fashion Hollywood liberal sermon to be released by Fox. I guess that Hollywood liberal stuff sells. Sorry Rush Limbaugh.

In an atypical casting move Dan Trejo plays Machete, a Mexican Federale. Trejo does not have the handsome looks of your usual leading man. With his long black hair, tattoos and scarred face, he looks like he belongs to a biker gang. At the beginning of the movie, Federale Machete is trying to rescue a young woman held captive by drug lord Torrez, played by a bloated Steven Seagal. The rescue mission turns out to be a trap. And Torrez kills Machete's wife in front of him.

The movie then cuts to America where Machete is an illegal immigrant looking for work. Okay, how we get from Mexico to the U.S. is not explained. In fact we don't even know why he's in the U.S. Oh well, it's probably just an excuse by writers Robert Rodriquez and Alvaro Rodriquez to shove a pro-illegal immigrant plot down the audience's throat. A businessman Michael Booth (Jeff Fahey) hires Machete to kill right-wing, anti-illegal immigration state senator John McLaughlin (Robert De Niro?!) One thing about this character of McLaughlin, the film points out that he's an independent. Really? When you see his campaign ad, which party do you think is the right-wing anti-immigration party? The Republicans. But I guess that's too political. Anyway, the plan is not to kill McLaughlin but to merely wound him and frame Machete thereby making McLaughlin a martyr. The senator's ultimate plan? He wants to build an electrified fence to control illegal immigration.

The rest of the movie is about Machete's search for vengeance and uncovering the truth behind Booth's plan. Along the way, he meets and romances a pretty ICE agent (Jessica Alba) and a freedom fighter for the the illegal immigrants. (Michelle Rodriquez) Cheech Marin plays a gun toting priest who has a past with Machete. Don Johnson plays your stereotypical racist gringo vigilante who hunts down illegals and kills them. Makeup legend Tom Savini is a hoot as a hitman. And why don't we throw in Lindsay Lohan, having some fun with her real life image, as Booth's hard partying, drug addicted daughter.

Machete is an extrapolation of the Grindhouse (2007) faux trailer of the same name. It's done in the same B movie exploitation style. Everything rings true from vintage seventies cars, cheap looking effects, and the waa-waa guitar pedals heard during sex scenes. As for directors Robert Rodriquez and Ethan Maniquis filmmaking, you can forget any semblance of them trying to get great performances out of the actors. They know this movie is a B movie and if the actors performances come off wooden and unrealistic, so be it. Machete is not designed to win awards, it's merely a homage to the seventies B movies.

Of course, there's got to be plenty of gratuitous nudity and violence. Machete doesn't disappoint. And unlike Piranha 3D, the violence in Machete isn't as ugly. That's because the all the death scenes which include beheading, disembowelment and dismemberment are quick. Believe it or not, there's less suffering on screen. Of course, the action is so over the top, you don't take any of it seriously. I mean what can I tell you when you've got a scene where Lindsay Lohan in a nun's habit wields a submachine gun. And check out the announced sequels at the end credits. MACHETE KILLS. MACHETE KILLS AGAIN. That's a hoot.

Machete is one last blast of the summer. It's a nod to the guilty pleasures of the past. Oh and remember, "Machete don't text." What do you expect in the grade? Of course, the grade is B.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Did the Bengals Bungle Again?

The Cincinnati Bengals cut WR Dez Briscoe who set a bunch of records at big school Kansas to keep WR Jerome Simpson. Now, Simpson played at much smaller Coastal Carolina and for the last two years could not get on the field. This despite being a second round pick. The reasons were apparent when they picked him. Pro Football Weekly's Draft Guide for 2008 said about him, "Faced marginal competition. Runs lazy routes and rounds off too many breaks. Is not a burner." Pg. 49. Briscoe is a big target who gets physical after the catch. Now the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have put him on their practice squad. Better hope that Simpson has learned enough to contribute.

The Bengals cut QB J.T. O' Sullivan thus elevating Jordan Palmer to be the number two backup for big brother Carson Palmer. Now folks, if Carson gets hurt that's the season because it's unknown if Jordan can lead the team.

With a need to get another QB, who did the Bengals get? They got Dan LeVevour from Central Michigan University. He was drafted by the Bears in the sixth round and cut. Hold on. The Arizona Cardinals just cut Matt Leinart. This is a guy who started games in the NFL, took snaps from the center and won some little trophy called the Heisman. LeFevour admits he will have to adapt to taking snaps from center. He played in the spread offense at CMU, not a pro offense. Huh? Who's idea was this? Check out this video where ESPN's Kiper and McShay debate his talent.
Oh, here's a video on him and he's working with Zeke Bratkowski. Okay, now I see where the Bungles, I mean Bengals might have gotten the idea to take him over Leinart. Zeke is the father of Bengals Offensive Coordinator, Bob Bratkowski.

Someone also did a highlight video with music by Eminem. Warning: Language. Hey, Pro Football Weekly's Draft Guide for 2010 says he has an "it" factor. Pg. 33.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Reds Rebound Again

It's an important series for the St. Louis Cardinals aka "The Little Bitches." Going into the series, the Cincinnati Reds led the Little Bitches by eight games. Friday night, the Little Bitches won 3-2. The Little Bitches need to sweep the Reds to have any hope of catching them.

Well, yesterday the Reds beat the Little Bitches, 6-1. Reds pitcher Travis Wood pitched a magnificent seven innings. Here's the game story. See you later Little Bitches.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chapman Wins First Game

The Cincinnati Reds Aroldis Chapman won his first game last night in relief. He merely hit the radar gun with his fast ball clocked at 103 mph. He is now getting national attention. (New York Times story.) If you haven't seen him, let me explain why he's so special. First, he throws over a hundred miles an hour. Second, that's not really his out pitch. It's a nasty slider. Third, his mechanics are beautiful. Smooth. Plenty of use of his legs to propel his body to the plate.

What about the game? Well, the Reds were losing 1-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers in the seventh. Chapman comes in and electrifies the place. Then the Reds put a hurting on them. The Reds scored six runs and put the game away. And since the St. Louis Cardinals aka "The Little Bitches" lost, the Reds are now eight games ahead.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cincinnati Reds' Cuban Missile Launches

Last night marked the debut of the Cincinnati Reds hot prospect Aroldis Chapman. He's the Cuban defector who can throw the ball more than a hundred miles an hour. He did not disappoint. He struck out the first Milwaukee Brewers' batter with a nasty slider that would require a door to hit. Against Craig Counsel, he threw a ball clocked at 102 mph. Counsel and the next batter grounded meekly out. Wow. I don't ever remember seeing a Cincinnati Reds pitcher throw over a hundred a miles an hour.

What about the game? The Reds won, 8-4. The St. Louis Cardinals aka "The Little Bitches" lost. The Reds now lead the Little Bitches by seven games. Here's the game story with video.

Funny Lost Parody About Hurley's Death

Check out this funny parody about Lost's Hurley. It makes fun of the "interpret it anyway you want" storytelling of Lost by giving you the option of picking how Hurley, who is now the caretaker will eventually die. Wait a minute. If Hurley is the new Jacob, how can he die? I know we saw him in Sideways World or Purgatory. Oh, forget it. My favorite death is by the X-Men's Magneto.