Monday, February 28, 2011

The Best and Worst of the 83rd Academy Awards

Okay, I was keeping score on last night's Academy Awards. That's because I had entered MUBI's contest to name all the winners. Anyway, I did as well as I usually do when predicting the Final Four at the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Which means I stunk. And trust me, I had help with Entertainment Weekly's picks which are usually correct. So this being an awards show, it's time to hand out my awards for the program.

1. Biggest Tease- Anne Hathaway. Hey, get your mind out of there, it's not what you think. During the middle of the program she sings a song making fun of Hugh Jackman for not doing a musical number with her like they did two years ago. Now you think Hugh will change his mind and they'll break out into song and dance. But noooo... By the way, has any producer thought about putting the two in a musical? Both are attractive and clearly can sing and dance.

2. Biggest Mistake Repeated Over and Over- Future programs must stop the performances of the best song nominees. They usually kill the momentum of the show. And if you eliminated them, the show would end on time. I mean they don't play three minutes of movie scores. This is a movie awards program. But that leads us to...

3. Biggest Surprise- Nope it's not "The Lost Thing" winning best Animated Short Film. It was the fact that Zachary Levi ("Chuck" from Chuck) can sing. And I mean he can sing well. Okay, it may not be a secret to you but I don't follow his career.

4. Worst Hair- What was up with Scarlett Johannson's hair? It looked like she just got out of bed. Frizzled and sticking out.

5. Best Fashion Comeback- Helena Bonham Carter. It wasn't a complete success. A little too Goth for me but it was much better than that disaster she wore at the Golden Globes.

6. Best "Up Yours" Moment- Tie. Randy Newman describes that at the awards luncheon, winners are told they should not have lists in their speech. Then proceeds to list his gratitude. He also blasts the Academy for having only four nominees in the song category.

Melissa Leo. After winning the award for "The Fighter" she was genuinely relived. Probably because of the cleavage bearing campaign she put on. During her speech, she dropped the "F" bomb. Cool. And hey, it's use in "The King" was important.

7. Going in the Wrong Direction Award- Tie. Last year the Academy opened up the Best Picture award to ten films to make the show more popular. This dilution is a big mistake.

Hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco. In another effort to be increase the ratings, the show's hosts were two young people designed to appeal to the younger demographic. So we had a bored James Franco and the lovely but vanilla Anne Hathaway. Even the open was lame. In the skit, they go into the dream world of Alec Baldwin ala "Inception" to find the secrets of hosting. Alec Baldwin?! How about Billy Crystal? Did anyone ever think of Robin Williams? Having these two host the show is just cheap pandering. And it didn't work.

The big ending. In an effort to show that the magic of film crosses all demographics except old people, the show had public school kids perform "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Then all the winners came out on stage. It was a big ending. Sigh. But the show has gone on for over three hours. Just have Anne and James say goodnight. Cue the "Hooray for Hollywood" song. That's how it should end. We're all tired and want to get drunk.

8. Best Presenters- Tie. Oprah Winfrey was just great. Her speech about the need for documentaries was inspiring. And it brought a seriousness to the film industry. It's not just commerce. It's art. It's a message.

Sandra Bullock. Her jokes about the best actors worked. Oh and by the way, having one actor summarize the performances is much better than last year's pal actor introductions.

Steven Speilberg. In one short introduction, he tells you one movie will win but notes that all the films are great. He says the winner will join the ranks of films like "The Godfather" while the others will join the ranks of films like "Citizen Kane."

9. Best Acceptance Speech- Tie. David Seidler won for Best Original Screenplay. If you look at his IMDB page and Wikipedia page, you realize it's been a long road for this writer. And it was poignant to see and hear him reach the pinnacle.

Christian Bale won Best Supporting Actor for playing Dicky Eklund in "The Fighter." There's always an element of danger for Bale, so you sat on pins and needles as he started to speak. First, you find out that he's not that bad of a guy. He directed attention to the real Eklund sitting in the audience. Second, you find out he's got a sense of humor. He talked about his co-star's Melissa Leo's "F" bomb and noted he's been know to use that word. It's a reference to his meltdown on the set of "Terminator: Salvation." (2009)

And the final award...

10. Best Moment- Kirk Douglas' presentation of the Best Supporting Actress Award. Douglas who is ninety four and has suffered a stroke still has it. The old coot hammed it up. He had fun. And who knew he had such great comic timing. Yeah, he kept the nominees waiting. So what? The man's a legend and was a riot. Great to see him.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quality Films Can Do Well At the Box Office

Remember how last year's Oscar for Best Picture went to the little seen, "The Hurt Locker?" And how some bitched and moaned about how a movie that nobody saw beat out the mighty "Avatar." It's a different year. According to the USA Today, five of the nominees for Best Picture did well at the box office.

It's a good thing that five quality films did well at the box office. Making movies is after all, a business. It's an interesting business because it marries art with commerce. But one hopes that Hollywood executives see that art films can do well commercially. Perhaps more will get made. And who knows, maybe Michael Bay might someday direct a family drama.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Getting unstuck on Tsavo Highway while playing Halo 3, Legendary

Okay, you're playing Halo 3 on the Legendary difficulty. Maybe you've been told this but Mission 3, Tsavo Highway is the hardest on this setting. I mean it starts out pretty straight forward, then you cross the broken bridge and hit Rally Point Alpha. And you got stuck in the buildings by a Wraith and Brutes. Well let me help you with how to get out of it.

First, let's assume you've played the game on the normal difficulty. So before you start Mission 3 Tsavo Highway, you should look up different ways on how to complete it on Legendary. Here's some from Halo Wiki. I've also posted a video below where a player just drove through the whole level on Legendary!

Second, if you're going to use a Chopper in the Rally Point Alpha area, don't have your Marines armed with a Fuel Rod gun at the area before Alpha where the force field is. Why? Your Marines may destroy all the Choppers and you won't be able to drive one over. And yes, you can drive a Chopper over the broken bridge using the steel beams that allow you to cross on foot.

1. Getting Stuck at Rally Point Alpha.

If you've played this game on the normal difficulty and cross the broken bridge, you usually advance by foot to the buildings on your left. First, that's the high ground and it provides excellent cover for the oncoming onslaught. On Legendary difficulty, this creates a problem. Because once you've wiped out the first set of Brutes, a minimum of two Phantoms will deploy more Brutes with gold Brute Chieftains. You will see at least three Chieftains and two of them will have a Fuel Rod gun. The third will be armed with a Brute Shot. And to make matters worse, they'll have a Wraith. Remember, that on Legendary, enemies are more accurate, have more health and fire at a ludicrous rate.

2. Getting Unstuck at Rally Point Alpha.

If you're like me, you want to kill all enemies in an area. So I got stuck in the two buildings on the hill which usually contains a machine gun turret on normal. Ha. On Legendary, the sadists at Bungie have removed it. The first thing you should do is be patient. The Wraith will kill you in seconds if it has an open shot. Luckily for you, you have cover.

a. Find cover. The Wraith cannot kill you if you're behind the buildings. Look at he broken wall in front of the buildings. Now look to the right corner where the wall meets the hill. This far corner can protect you. But remember to be patient. If the Wraith knows you're around there, it will bombard the area for about four shots. Stay down while there. When it stops run to behind the buildings. Now if the Wraith sees you in the buildings, you'll will be killed so keep your cover behind the buildings.

b. Use the Battle Rifle. You will run out of sniper ammo quickly because its bullets don't have as much power as they do on lower settings. The battle rifle has a scope and this is important. There's a ton of ammo in the fallen locker in the left building. Remember take head shots.

c. Find good sniping points. The first one is by the left building, facing the Wraith. There's a point at the back of the building that will let you snipe Brutes on the path leading up to the buildings. Here you can snipe but when the Wraith locates you, move to the back for cover. Since the Wraith fires a rainbow type shot, you can hear it fire, allowing you to run. Of course, if you see it targeting you, then move to cover.

The second sniping point is the right hand corner where the broken wall meets the hill. The wall has openings that allow you to peek out and shoot Brutes. Now watch out since Brutes may come up the path and flank you.

The third sniping point is if the Brutes advance to the buildings, especially the Chieftain carrying the Fuel Rod gun. Okay, retreat to the back and behind the right building. The back corner on the right side is idea. Here, you can snipe a Chieftain through the buildings opening and use the corner for cover.

d. Keep moving. Don't let Brutes flank you. And don't let the Wraith have a clear shot. The operative word is run.

e. Goad the Brutes. You may have to goad the Brutes to expose themselves. I do it this way. I run towards the Wraith and throw a plasma grenade at a Chieftain. Now you might damage one but it causes the Brutes to move. I run to the back of the buildings and then move to the broken wall to the right corner. If successful, the Brutes will move up the path where I can shoot them.

f. Use the large pipes behind the Wraith. Okay, after you've wiped out all or most of the Brutes, you can leave the two buildings. Hopefully you've picked up a Fuel Rod gun left behind by the Chieftains. By the way, don't move until you've at least killed the Chieftains and most of their escorts. Now run to the building below and to the right. Keep in cover. Run to the crashed trucks to the right. Okay, you should be taking fire but if you keep moving and under cover, you'll be all right.

Now move to the large pipes behind the Wraith. Go into them. You're under cover. Now be patient. Kill any Brute survivors by popping in and out of cover. Now be careful because any flanking Brutes will kill you. If you're patient, the Wraith may expose its back to you. Run to the back; board it and destroy the Wraith.

With all the Brutes and the Wraith dead, you get the welcome sound of a Pelican. It drops a Warthog and troops for you to use in the next area. Of course, arm your Marine passenger with Fuel Rod guns so you'll be really packing for the fight ahead.

Tsavo Highway Legendary Speed Run. This guy completed it in less than five minutes!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stephen Colbert Takes On Tea Party Racist Mark Williams

Remember Tea Party Express' Mark Williams? Last summer he posted on his blog, a fake letter to Abraham Lincoln implying that African Americans are lazy and wanted to be slaves to a welfare state. (Here's one story from Rachel Maddow and another from Keith Olbermann posted on this blog.) Well, he has concocted a plan to infiltrate the government unions and then embarrass them. It kind of reminds me of what the Nazis did by burning down the Reichstag and blaming the Communists. Well, my man Stephen Colbert does a funny video piece about Williams tactics, complete with a puppy.

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Bust in Show
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3D Films Are Dark

I've often complained about modern 3D films being badly lit. Here's an article from by Christine Champ as to why 3D films are so dark. The article states that two separate pictures are projected, viewers lose half the light. Adding to the darkness, is the fact you have to wear dark polarized glasses and the movie projector also is using a filter. Now you can guess why Warner abandoned converting "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One." (2010) A lot of the movie takes place at night.

Now according to the article, here's why it's important to shoot in 3D or if converted to set up scenes for 3D. The director and the director of photography can compensate for the loss of light. Let's hope when Paramount makes Bad Robot release the new Star Trek film in 3-D, that they expand the budget to allow it to be shot in 3D. Native 3D looks much better and the effects have more pop to them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why the Cincinnati Bengals should stay away from Cam Newton.

With the Cincinnati Bengals having the fourth pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, the Bengals are likely to look at the quarterback position. That's because Carson Palmer has threatened to retire. Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton certainly should be on any team that needs a quarterback's radar. But hold on. Newton said to Sports Illustrated Peter King, "I see myself not only as a football player, but an entertainer and icon." That should send red flags to the Bengals. Of course, that won't stop owner Mike Brown from making another bonehead decision. But if he's listening, here's two reasons why he should not pick Newton in the first round and let him fall to the third.

1) Akili Smith- This disaster by Mike Brown bore more tragedy than most of his decisions. Smith had only one successful year at Oregon. Sound familiar? Newton basically had one year of success at the major college level and that was at Auburn. To make matters worse in the Smith draft pick, the New Orleans Saints offered all their draft picks to get the Bengals number one pick. While Smith was athletic and probably looked great in underwear football, he was a bust of epic proportions. He would only start seventeen games for the Bengals. And was released in 2002. His NFL career then went into a tailspin and crashed. (Wikipedia article.) Cam Newton smells like Akili Smith.

2) Chad Ochocinco or Chad Johnson or whatever his name- Chad Ochocinco had plenty of talent as a wide receiver. But he was more concerned about his post football life as an entertainer. Let' see there were three reality shows and more are probably coming. "Dancing with the Stars." Some dating show. "The TOchocino Show." He loves the Internet and tweets frequently. All that focus on himself and not working to get on the same page as Carson Palmer has hurt the team. After hearing the words of Newton, I'm convinced of one thing. Cam Newton Equals Chad Ochocinco.

Owner Mike Brown must not fall in love with just athleticism. Football is a team sport. It's won in the trenches, in the battle between offensive and defensive linemen. Mike, rebuild the offensive and defensive lines.

Stephen Colbert Takes on Wisconsin's Effort to Destroy Unions

Last night Stephen Colbert took on Republican Governor Scott Walker's move to destroy government worker unions. And then there are the conservative talking heads comparing unions with 9/11! With his usual sarcasm and wit, Colbert was brilliant in discussing the issue. Check out his piece.

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Colbert then interviews Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Unknown Film Review

The movie, Unknown, is like the show "The Iron Chef." It's the Food Network show where cooks compete by making dishes with a mystery ingredient. Now sometimes the mystery ingredient can be a fairly easy one like steak but other times the show throws in something like beans. Well director Jaume Collet-Serra, screenwriters Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell are the cooks in this cinematic concoction. They took one part Bourne Identity, one part Salt and one part Hitchcock and mixed it in with the mystery ingredient of a blonde. The question is what kind of dish did they create.

Unknown starts with Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) and his wife Elizabeth (January Jones) checking in at Berlin hotel for a business conference when he notes that he left his briefcase with his passport at the airport. He gets a cab driven by Gina, played by the lovely Diane Kruger. Really? Cab drivers in Germany are that great looking? But I digress. They get into an accident and Martin is seriously injured. He wakes up in the hospital after four days in a coma. He remembers his name and his wife but little else. He goes to the hotel to find his wife only to find out that she doesn't recognize him and she is married to another person named Martin Harris. (Aiden Quinn) After he's ejected from the hotel, he goes back to the hospital only to discover there are assassins out to kill him.

Collet-Serra's direction is good. At times, he gets fancy when he moves the camera to weird angles, perhaps as a homage to Hitchcock. But the big problem is the script. Based on a novel by Didier Van Cauwelaert "Out of My Head", the screenwriters make some mistakes. They explain things after events happen. Without giving things away, Elizabeth's actions in one scene don't make sense until Liam Neeson's character explains it. By then, you the audience say, "Oh, that's what she was doing." Another problem is the lack of focus on Elizabeth. That's because the writers put the Gina character in a pronounced position in the film. Unlike a Hitchcock film, say like Vertigo, the blond is an obsession with the lead character. Here, Elizabeth is a blank page.

Which brings us to the mystery ingredient. The blonde. This blonde is the beautiful and sexy January Jones. Maybe it was intentional but she was bland as a mannequin. You really don't root for Martin and Elizabeth to get back together. And the screenplay leaves one big plot hole regarding her last action at the end of the film. You will say, "Huh, why did she do that?"

Okay, all that sounds like I hate this movie. No. The dish that was put out is not bad. It tastes good if you're hungry. Some ingredients don't mix. But it's well made. The action is good. There's still my pet peeve about shooting car chases with close-ups and quick cuts. I like to see cars running over streets. But that's minor. I was always thinking about how this movie would end. What really happened to Neeson's character. And for that, it was entertaining. Unknown is an interesting time waster. The grade is B.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The No Win Scenario

The Cincinnati Bengals and quarterback Carson Palmer have reached the no win scenario. Carson wants a trade or he threatens retirement. Owner Mike Brown has said he will not trade Palmer. Remember Brown beat the IRS, refused to trade Chad Ochocinco and blackmailed the city of Cincinnati to build him a new stadium. Carson has his Indian Hill, Ohio home for sale. Neither side has shown any inclination of moving. Now his left tackle, Andrew Whitworth, says Carson is serious about retiring.

The logical thing is to trade him. Of course, that would set the team back. And you can forget about playoffs for the 2011 season. A rookie quarterback is not going to lead the Bengals to the promise land. You could sign a caretaker quarterback and then draft one to develop. That would be best thing. But remember Mike Brown is known to make bone headed decisions. So expect Brown to stand his ground. And in a certain sense, you can't blame him. Brown had plans for Palmer to lead the team into the future. That's why he signed him to a long term deal. Setting a precedent to let a guy demand a trade when things don't go right would open the floodgates.

Expect Carson Palmer to retire. Palmer has made enough money and doesn't need to be crippled by playing football for the worst professional franchise in the history of man. It would help if Carson would retire quickly so the Bengals can address the quarterback position in the draft.

For the fans, it's a no win scenario. The Bengals would start all over with possibly a rookie quarterback. There would be not chance for the Bengals to go to the playoffs. Yes, the New York Jets did it in 2009 with a rookie quarterback. But they had a great offensive line too. The interesting thing if Palmer retires is that it would be one of the momentous days in Cincinnati sports. The franchise player of the Cincinnati Bengals would rather give up fifty million dollars than play for the ineptitude of Bengals owner Mike Brown.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tips for Halo 3 Legendary

When I decided to try to get the campaign scoring achievements in Halo 3, I found out that I had to turn on skulls to increase the point values. This made the game harder as some enemies were stronger. Then I decided if I can take on tougher enemies why not go for the Legendary achievement, i.e. complete Halo 3 on Legendary. This post is my life on Legendary and some quick tips on how to complete the game at its hardest level.

The first thing, you'll notice playing on Legendary is the rate of fire by enemies. It's ridiculous. The second thing you'll notice is that enemies are harder to kill either due to more health or upgraded shielding. The third thing is that enemies are very accurate. Their weapons are upgraded also. Jackals in sniper alley at Sierra 117 are now equipped with beam rifles. And one shot will kill you. Finally, at different missions, you'll face more bosses, such as Chieftains than you did at playing the game on the normal level.

But can an average player beat Halo 3 on Legendary? Yes. But I do not recommend you play the game first on this insane level. Why? Playing it on normal will get you used to the lay of the land so you can bring certain weapons or vehicles to a checkpoint. I am an average player, and I beat Halo 3 on Legendary. Here are some tips.

1. Fools Rush In- The majority of the time you should not rush into battle. The rate of fire will kill you within seconds. Take cover. Try to lure the bad guys to you. Yes, there will be times you have to move out of cover or even charge an enemy but it's rare.

2. Patience- First, after clearing an area, move slowly so you are given a checkpoint save. Why? You will die a lot. Once you know that, you'll be able to "enjoy" playing the game. Just remember, you will get through it.

3. Right weapon for the right job- Head shots are important. And since you're going to try to kill you're enemies at a distance, the battle rifle or Covenant carbine are the standard weapon. Beam rifles are good against Brutes and the sniper rifle has a higher rate of fire. So reach out and snipe somebody.

Against the Flood, the Covenant Brute shot is invaluable. Why? The shot packs more punch than the carbine. If a Flood rushes you and they will, the blade end is a good melee weapon. Energy swords are important also. You will be able to kill most Flood with one swipe.

4. Head shots- You'll do more damage with head shots.

5. Take out Grunts first- You heard that right. Grunts lay down a vicious barrage of covering fire. Take these guys out first. Then concentrate on the Brute commander. Yes, this is the basically the opposite of playing the game on normal, but the small arms fire will kill you in a second.

Conclusion. Did I get any satisfaction from playing on Legendary? A little. I mean it's cool to see the Legendary and Heroic (you get it, if you haven't completed Heroic for getting through Legendary) achievements on record. But I must have gained five pounds sitting and playing the game for several hours. If you're obsessed with getting the achievement, you may enjoy Halo 3 at this insane level. One last thing. You won't get notice of the achievement until the credits run and the last scene after the credits runs. Spoiler. Speaking of the epilogue, you get an extended scene of Master Chief's wreckage heading into orbit around a planet. And at the beginning when the Arbiter talks about the Brutes picking up the squad's scent, Sergeant Johnson might make a joke about a cologne and then say he is making dough for the commercial placement. Anyway, video of the Legendary ending is below.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Heart of Star Trek

In an interview with, Rick Berman, former producer of the Star Trek TV shows, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise and films Generations, First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis talked about the Star Trek movie from 2009 directed by J.J. Abrams. Here are a couple of comments about the Abrams film.

"I thought it was a wonderful movie. .... it was a very, very exciting movie. In terms of it having the heart of Star Trek, I think it could have perhaps had a little bit more of that. But I liked it very much."

Now if you read some of the comments by Trekkers, you'd think that he insulted the movie and hated it. Yet, he called it "wonderful."

So who's right? Rick Berman or the movie zealots? Was Star Trek (2009) concerned about the heart of Star Trek? The answer is no. Let's go to the director of Star Trek and see what his attitude towards Star Trek was. J. J. Abrams, director of the 2009 films, says, " We weren't making a movie for fans of Star Trek. We were making a movie for fans of movies." Entertainment Weekly, 10-24-08, pg. 31. Chris Pine who plays Kirks, says, "Exploring grand social issues can wait till the next movie. The goal this time was to make a Star Trek that wasn't alienating to nonfans. We mainly wanted it to be accessible." Entertainment Weekly, 5-8-09, pg. 32.

What is the heart of Star Trek? It's creator Gene Roddenberry's vision. If you watched PBS' Pioneers of Television you saw what Gene fought for. His original series Star Trek covered war, the Viet Nam War, American foreign policy, race, and science. When the network wanted more monsters so the show could be more accessible, Gene resisted. The PBS show said Star Trek was the show with "something important to say." (Clip below.) His vision did not exclude being accessible. But he wanted substance; that was his vision. (See newly discovered letter by Roddenberry detailing his desire for the show to have substance.)

I go on and post comments. Under the name Basement Blogger, I've distilled Star Trek into three elements for posts. Heart. Adventure. And INTELLIGENCE. That's great Star Trek. You can slap the name Star Trek to any space opera you want. But it's not Star Trek unless it adheres to Gene Roddenberry's vision.

Pioneers of TV Clip: William Shatner on origin of Star Trek from TrekMovie on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Playing the Halo Games Over Again

Bungie last fall released Halo: Reach its last Halo game. I rated the games in a previous post. I then decided to play all of the Bungie Halo games in chronological order.

So what did I learn? The story holds up pretty well. And Halo: ODST (2009) is a better game than the first time I played it. First, I like the music. It's an unusual jazz score, evoking loneliness as you attempt to find your squad. Yes, it's difficult at times when you're stumbling around in the dark. But the action on the missions of your squad mates, (you play your squad mates) is exciting. And I appreciated the romance between Nathan Fillion's character and Tricia Helfer's intelligence officer. Plus you get a stand alone arcade game. I won't change the ranking of where I put it but I will change the grade from B to A.

Halo 3's story has some problems. It's confusing. The big problem is the script. There's not enough dialogue to explain what's going on. Two examples, the Prophet of Truth escapes through a portal. It's not discussed what the portal is. Is like a wormhole? In the game it's just a big energy sphere. Spoiler. At the end of the game, Master Chief escapes in a frigate from the Halo ring that is firing. There's no scene of it going thought the portal. Instead, we cut to a memorial ceremony where Lord Hood is honoring the dead. We see the Arbiter who escaped with the Chief but where's the Chief. Okay, we see a scene where part of the frigate is falling to earth but there's no dialogue since Lord Hood is doing a memorial voice over. Huh? Unless you know the frigate well, you really don't have an idea what happened. Even the epilogue, doesn't necessarily tell you what happened. Cortana just tells you that some of us made it through. You do see part of a ship that looks like it could be cut in half. The game should have shown it get cut in half as it goes through the portal. All this reminds me of when Sergeant Johnson says in Halo 2, it's classified as to how he escaped the first Halo since there wasn't supposed to be survivors.

Still Halo 3 retain its grade for one reason. The technology. I just marvel at how the Flood Stalker transforms to a Ranged creature then to the huge Tank. It does this many time during a battle. The graphics are beautiful and there are some scenes that look like watercolor paintings. The game ends like the first one, with a driving sequence. This time, no ludicrous obstructions. The Warthog handles better also. And the game is still fun.

Star Trek Girl

Meekakitty has put a out a fun music video on being a Star Trek fan. Folks, it's gone viral. It has 950,000 hits and counting. Hey, I don't want to hear anymore stuff about Star Trek fans being a small number of geeks. We're a gigantic world of geeks! By the way, that picture of her is obviously when she was much younger. Check out the video.

On Freedom for Egypt

After the people of Egypt have forced out President Hosni Mubarak, what does it mean for the country? Are they heading for a Jeffersonian democracy? It's a Muslim country where they have never know freedom. Or will it become a theocracy like Iran?

This is where the United States can lead. And it must come from President Barack Obama. After all, he is a constitutional law professor. He must tell the people who are dmanding freedom what it means. Freedom is more than just majority rule. It is the freedom of the indivdual. Freedom of speech. And yes, that would include freedom of religion. It means a fair judiciary. Civilian control of the military.

I am hopeful that Egypt will not turn into Iran. This revoulution was fueld by the Internet. And that's freedom of speech. It's something that I believe the Egyptian people will not want to give up.

Monday, February 7, 2011


The Pittsburgh Steelers lost the Super Bowl, 31-25. Needless to say I hate the Steelers. And there are many in the city of Cincinnati that do also. I went to a Cincy pub and the patrons all cheered loudly when those jerks from Pittsburgh lost.

You may ask why do I hate the Steelers. It's not just because they are in the same division as the Cincinnati Bengals. They're a bunch of bums. Take their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He got a college girl drunk, took advantage of her with the help of his cop security. Of course, there was that cheap hit by Kimo Von Oelhoffen in a 2006 playoff game who used his shoulder to destroy Carson Palmer's knee. Wide receiver Hines Wards broke Bengals linebacker Keith River's jaw with a vicious block. It was unnecessary. He is considered by some as the NFL's dirtiest player.

So it was justice that the Steelers lost. There are times the bad guys win. This time they lost.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Bengals Hire Gruden

The Cincinnati Bengals in a shocking move, hired former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Super Bowl winning coach Jon Gruden to be their general manager... oops, they hired Jay Gruden to be offensive coordinator. What? Who the hell is Jay Gruden? Oh, he's Jon's younger brother and former head coach of the United Football League's Virginia Destroyers.

Sorry, Bengals Nation, you have to be skeptical. This has Mike Brown all over it. The Bengals like their coaches to have NFL DNA regardless of their talent. Don Shula, son of Dave. Bob Bratkowski, son of Zeke Bratkowski. And how did those two coaches work out?

And it gets worse Bengals Nation. Jay Gruden comes from the UFL where by rule there are no 3-4 defenses. And in that league you can only blitz six guys. You got it. Jay Gruden whose latest experience has no dealings with 3-4 defenses will be facing Pittsurth Steelers Dick LeBeau's 3-4 defense. Oy Vey. Welcome to Bengals football.