Friday, July 13, 2007

Movie "Review": Transformers

Ok, this isn't going to be as much of a review as it is a bunch of compliments about the Transformers movie strung together.

*Warning*, I probably will post about some of the coolest parts so if you haven't seen it you might want to click away.

Now that that's out of the way, HO-LEE CRAP!

Seriously, this movie is A-FREAKIN'-MAZING!

It took a ton of work, 38 hours for one frame of movement for the Transformers, and it shows. The way the Transformers blend with the humans is awesome. From the start you really feel like there were giant robots working alongside the actors on the set. That's also a testament to all of the actors as well. They did a phenomenal job.

I grew up watching Transformers, and when I heard that they were making a full-length feature film I was excited, but not overjoyed. I thought that it would probably be pretty good, but nothing could have prepared me for what I experienced last Tuesday night.

I was grinning like a little kid, probably like I used to when I watched the Transformers cartoon, from the time the lights dimmed to the time I walked out of the theater. Seeing that new Camaro on the big screen also added to the experience. I grew up loving Camaros, I currently drive a '94 Z28, and seeing the 5th generation Camaro get so much exposure, and whoop that Mustang's ass, made the movie that much better. Seriously, when it showed up for the first time in the tunnel I was clapping and whistling. The other moviegoers probably thought I was crazy, but I couldn't help it. It's been two years since the Bumblebee photos were leaked, and five years since the last Camaros were produced. I've got a lot of enthusiasm about this new model bottled up, and the Transformers movie helped relieved a little bit of it.

The acting was on point, Megan Fox is hot. The Transformers were perfect, sorry you had to die Jazz. And this movie spoke to me.

I really don't know how to describe it, but as I walked out of the theater I had this overwhelming sense that I have to be involved in the movie industry some how. Making others have the same feeling that I had after seeing this movie would be awesome. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this newfound enthusiasm, but I know that I can't waste it. I have a few projects that I'm putting together, mind you that I have no experience in film, acting, etc. Hopefully someone out there enjoys them.

In conclusion, GO SEE THIS MOVIE RIGHT NOW! Stop reading this blog, close down your browser and head to the nearest theater. Yes, it really is THAT good. Go! Now!

Monday, July 9, 2007

I Guess The NHC Reads My Blog

Well, not really, but they did make a decision today regarding the whole Director Proenza fiasco. He was reassigned within the NOAA organization, and Deputy Director Ed Rappaport has taken over Proenza's duties on an interim basis.

NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen released this statement:

“The staff is very focused on the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season and everybody’s ready to move forward."

While I'm not sure that this is the permanent solution, at least things seem to be a bit more settled as we get closer to the peak of the hurricane season.

A Hurricane Of Controversy At The NHC

An ongoing saga involving the National Hurricane Center has been unfolding in South Florida at the worst possible time. New director, Bill Proenza, is embroiled in a controversy regarding his outspokenness in reference to an aging weather satellite. Unfortunately, as calls for his resignation come from staff members the hurricane season, which began on June 1, moves closer and closer to its peak.

Director Bill Proenza took over as head of the NHC in January after Max Mayfield, a man who was seemingly liked by everyone, decided to retire. From the start there seemed to be some tension, as Proenza spoke out about NOAA's spending plan, his belief that the National Weather Service wasn't being fought for hard enough and that an aging weather satellite could hamper hurricane predictions. Proenza was ultimately reprimanded by Mary Glackin of the NWS, but his comments about the Quikscat satellite have continued to cause controversy.

Proenza stated in May that:

"He(Proenza) is worried about the satellite that provides data on surface wind direction and speed that steers hurricanes. He said he thinks it will stop working at any moment".

This immediately raised questions about whether or not the NHC would be able to effectively predict hurricane tracks and intensity this season. Add to it that Proenza stated "that tracking forecasts could be up to 16 percent less accurate without it(Quikscat)", and you can understand why people in coastal communities, especially Floridians, were worried about the information the NHC would be able to provide this season.

Ultimately, 23 NHC staff members, mostly senior and front-line forecasters, penned a letter to the Department of Commerce asking for Proenza's resignation. Senior hurricane specialist James Franklin even addressed Proenza's statements that the NHC would be less effective if the Quikscat satellite were to fail during the season by saying:
"He has been very loudly saying if it failed our forecasts for landfalling storms would be degraded, that warning areas would need to be expanded," Franklin said. "None of that is the case, and he knows that we feel that way. The science is not there to back up the claims that he's making."

Right now it appears that both sides are deadlocked, as Proenza has stated that he won't resign unless asked to by his superiors, and his boss, NOAA head Conrad Lautenbacher, has called the damage "repairable".

One thing that is certain is that the peak of hurricane season is fast approaching, and residents of a number of states are relying on the NHC to provide them with important and accurate data. Right now Proenza needs to take a backseat to the forecasters that have to be focused on the various satellites and models they use to forecast hurricane formation, track and intensity. This is a battle that can, and should, wait until November 30 and the end of the hurricane season.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Seriously, This Is How Far Our Obsession With Celebrities Has Gone?

So I open up Yahoo! this morning to check out the headlines, and I notice something in the upper right-hand corner. Now I'm sure that there have been similar links posted up there before but this is the first time that I've noticed this particular one.

It said "Keep up with Jessica Biel's news with Yahoo! onesearch on the phone", and when you clicked on the link it took you to this page. Yes, that's a page where you can enter your info, and instantly have your phone updated with Jessica Biel news. Greeeat.

That's how far it's come? Instead of feeding the obsession by just watching shows like "Entertainment Tonight" or "The Daily 10", or reading tabloids like "The National Enquirer" people are getting the latest celebrity news and gossip 24/7 via their cellphones.

And we wonder why that back in 2005 a NY Times poll found that 1 in 5 American adults believed that the Sun revolves around the Earth. However, I bet if you ask them whether or not Paris Hilton just served some time in jail all five would get it correct.

It's sad, very sad.

Friday, July 6, 2007

It's Stories Like This That Make Me Question Humanity

I just read about this, and it made me sick to my stomach. Of course it happened here, in Florida. Grrrreat. That kid will never, ever be the same.

WTF Are People Thinking?!?

Police: Woman forced into sex with son

Associated Press Writer

"WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Two teenagers were accused of gang raping a woman and forcing her to have sex with her 12-year-old son, who police say was then beaten and had cleaning solution poured into his eyes.

Authorities allege Avion Lawson, 14, and Nathan Walker, 16,

were among a group of about 10 masked suspects who forced their way into the woman's apartment in a crime-ridden housing project the night of June 18.

The two were being held without bail Friday on suspicion of armed sexual battery by multiple perpetrators, sexual performance by a child, armed home invasion and aggravated battery. Both were arrested this week, but formal charges had not been filed.

"Any rape case is horrible but this takes it to another level, something you can't think of even in your worst dreams," police spokesman Ted White said.

According to the police report, a man knocked on the woman's door at about 9 p.m. and told her he had a flat tire. The mother and son, whom police have not identified, went outside and were ambushed by a group of gun-wielding suspects.

The victims told police they were forced back into their home and beaten and sexually assaulted. According to authorities, the men raped, sodomized and beat the woman, then forced her 12-year-old son to participate in the assault at gunpoint, making him have sex with his mother in front of them.

The boy was then beaten and had numerous household cleaning liquids poured into his eyes, according to the police report.

The suspects also stole a few hundred dollars worth of cash and jewelry, White said.

White said more arrests were pending, but he would not say if authorities had identified additional suspects. The teens in custody were not cooperating and both have denied involvement, police said.

But DNA evidence in a condom found in the victims' home linked Lawson to the crime, police said. Investigators also say they found a palm print belonging to Walker at the scene.

The victims did not suffer life-threatening injuries and have been released from the hospital, White said.

"They're going through the county victim services for counseling," he said.

Lawson lived in Dunbar Village, the hardscrabble project where the attack occurred. Walker was apparently visiting a friend there, White said.

Authorities believe the suspects all knew each other from the neighborhood, but they don't think they knew the victims directly.

A call to Lawson's public defender was not immediately returned. It was not known if Walker has an attorney.

(This version CORRECTS a version that said the teens had been charged; they have been arrested but not formally charged.)"

Combine that with the dramatic increase in crime in Orlando, FL(the nearest "big city"), and it makes me consider moving out of this state in the near future.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

First Post At My Second "Home"

So I've spent a little over a year building, tweaking and updating The Sports Oasis. I love writing about sports, but there are other topics that I would like to cover as well. Instead of diluting the sports coverage at The Sports Oasis, I decided to just put together a new blog devoted to a variety of topics. Going along with the whole oasis theme it's titled "The Oasis", and I envision it as a way for the readers to escape from the everyday grind.

The Sports Oasis will continue to be updated on a regular basis(the recent lack of updates have been due to a nasty cold), as will this blog. Hopefully the two will compliment each other nicely and be the beginnings of a little "Oasis Network"(that's my vision right now at least).

Happy reading, and don't forget to check out The Sports Oasis for all of your sports related needs.