Friday, May 30, 2008

The Steel Wave

The sequel? You mean, it's out already?




*passes out [but not before adding to reading list]*

Dr. Paleo

Typhoon

Whoooooo!!!!!

Typhoon! It's out! It's finally out! Woohoo!

I've waited to see this one for years (literally) after seeing a trailer on local Korean TV. Unfortunately, it never came out here in America, but against all hope I checked often (and that's how I found it today).

Ah! A North-South Korean action thriller! And on top of that it's got Tae Gul Gi's Jang Dong-Gun! What could be better?

Still, I haven't seen it yet. It's on the top of our Netflix list, and I'll see if it's any good or not.

Spencer

Monday, May 26, 2008

WARSKYL: Guns 'n' Knives

Another fantastic post from gravelbelly. Right on, my friend!

Dr. Paleo Ph.D.

Christianity Today and C.S. Lewis: Aslan Dancing With Bacchus

From Doug's Blog:

Christianity Today has this review of the latest C.S. Lewis movie:

“For Lewis, the modern world was a lot like the world that Caspian had grown up in-a world that had cast aside myth and magic and reduced the world to little more than a collection of parts. (In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Eustace declares that stars in our world are nothing more than flaming balls of gas, and he is told that, no, even in our world, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of.) Lewis wanted to give his readers-including Christians who had unthinkingly bought into modernity-a taste of the spiritual realm that animates our physical world. And since he believed that the pagan, pre-Christian man had a greater aptitude for the spiritual realm, and was thus easier to convert, than the secular, post-Christian man, Lewis wrote the Narnia books to introduce his readers to a “baptized” form of paganism. Nowhere is this more explicit than in the original book version of Prince Caspian, in which the Christ-figure Aslan literally dances with the Greco-Roman god Bacchus.”

Memorial Day

Cross post.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Probe lands on Mars, NASA says

Phoenix has landed!

Will they find...alien life forms?

Well, sorry to be the party-pooper, but I promise you they won't (on my own personal honor).

Still, this is interesting,.no?

Dr. Paleo Ph.D.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Indiana Bones

Wait wait wait! Is it true?

Don't tell me; the crystal skulls (a real archaeological phenomenon, by the way) arethe bones of extraterrestrials?

Oh...I feel ill.... That's just it; I officially remove myself from all things Hollywood.

Spencer

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Robert Bakker on Creation and Evolution

Wow.

I am amazed right now. I've long been attracted to many of Dr. Bakker's theories and ideas, but this is something else.

Yes, I'm a young-earth, six-day, ex nihilo Creationist. Dr. Bakker, however, is not.

But look at this. Read this. He is fair. Dr. Robert Bakker, my friends, is being fair. Towards Creationism! In today's world, especially coming from a paleontologist, is quite something. (Part of me thinks I must have misunderstood all of this) And he's pretty much the #1 in fame to boot.

Dr. Bakker, I hold more respect than ever for you.


via Laelaps

Dr. Paleo Ph.D. / Spencer

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Korean Films

Hello all,

After having watched the Korean movie The Warrior for the second time the other night and talking about them to a friend, I decided to write up some quick reviews about some of the ones I've scene. Just a warning, there are some slight spoilers, although nothing major (I'll embolden my spoilers, okay?).


Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004)

One of the best films I have ever seen, this movie deals with the Korean War from the point of view of two young South Korean brothers.

The movie does not shy away from showing intense battle scenes with equally intense violence. In one scene, a man gets shot in the stomach, then accidentally steps on a mine. Several close shots of his stomach with the spilling innards are shown as he lies on the operating table, writing and screaming. In other scenes, men have their eyes clawed out, one has his skull bashed in with a brick (the camera lingers), and all sorts of nasty ways to die. One man shoots himself in the chin with a rifle, blowing the top of his skull off (a brief shot of a pool of blood and his scattered brains is shown). Men are shot, stabbed, blown apart, punched, and everything in between in the usual war film style. (If you're looking for an violence indicator here, think Saving Private Ryan.)

I found this to make the film more realistic so would count it as a positive thing overall, although this may turn some away. Some scenes are disturbing due to content; no sex or nudity at all, but some war crimes are shown for effect. The main characters are extremeley flawed, and more or less make great sins, however the film does not place their actions in a favorable light.

One of the saddest movies I've ever seen, if you cry in movies, you'll cry in this one. I would recommend this one all the way, but it's not exactly "fun" to watch; a combination of violence, sad events and more or less disturbing sequences make this something that's not quite popcorn entertainment; they make it something better.

With superb acting (especially South Korean heartthrob Jang Dong-Gun as older brother Lee Jin-tae), a beautiful score, unsurpassed action sequences, and great out-of-the-box directing by Kang Je-Gyu, this one's a keeper.


Shiri (1999)

Another film by Kang Je-Gyu, this one centers around the story of a South Korean secret agent and his partner struggling to crack a puzzling case dealing with a female North Korean assassin. Another very very good but very very sad movie, this one also was very well made and has a few good action scenes in it. Basically a spy drama with North/South tensions. (Don't be turned away by the cover, showing a rather scantily clad lady; the film has no sex or nudity. A scene of kissing is shown as a couple lay side by side, and at one point [SPOILER!] we learn that the same couple apparently had relations before they were married as the woman is pregnant without the knowledge of her fiance, but this is never even shown.)


The Warrior (2001)

A fun but long movie about Korean envoys to Ming China who are unlucky to find that the Ming consider them as untrustworthy at best, and eventually they find themselves alone in the vast desert. Without revealing too much of the plot, I'll say that basically the rest of the movie deals with the Koreans having to constantly battle some very determined Mongol warriors as they try to make it to safety. [SPOILER!] (It's a Ming princess they have to rescue so that they can get in good with the Ming again after being in the doghouse, okay?) Yeo-so, one of the main characters, is worth the entire movie (you should see his weapon; it's amazing). One of my favorite parts of the film is when [SPOILER!] General Choi, realizing that he is going to die, says, "I've dreamed of an honorable death. I couldn't ask for anything else." He then goes and fights until he meets his death. ...beautiful.

Some really good battle scenes round this movie out (it also had some really good music, but also some of the music I really really disliked). Not the greatest movie ever (several characters make some poor decisions, it's a little long and mostly all the same from beginning to end, etc.), but surely a good one.


2009: Lost Memories (2002)

A movie with great potential that started out good but ended much worse. Not overly terrible perse, but I was still very dissappointed. We get a great beginning (the movie is alternative history, where Japan won the Second World War and still controls Korea) with Japanese police fighting these guys who basically amount to Korean terrorists. [SPOILER!] At first disliking the main characters being on the Japanese side I could tolerate it as the Korean group they were fighting were not to my taste. (Sort of like the IRA and England; you might not agree with England's actions and you might wholeheartedly side with Ireland as I do, but the IRA is the enemy, plain an simple.) Then, eventually our hero defects to the Korean side and we get a bunch of stuff about time travel, all made possible by some ancient stone artifact (a spiritual element to the film, though not precisely explained, that I did not appreciate). Oh well, with Tae Guk Gi's Jang Dong-gun we at least get some superb acting again.


Joint Security Area (2002)

I didn't really like this one. A movie with the story primarily made up of flashbacks, it's about some North and South Korean guards at the DMZ becoming friends as a group and visiting each other often. Soon their bodies are discovered, and investigators must discover exactly what happened. Not very interesting.


Well, I've got three movies I would recommend in here. (The only other Korea movie I've seen, Yuryeong, I stopped watching in the beginning due to a nude scene.) Check them out!

Spencer

World's Biggest 'Baby' Dinosaur Tracks Found in Korea

Korea will one day join America to rule the paleontological world! Muhahahaaaa!

Constitution Party Presidential Candidate: Chuck Baldwin

Chuck Baldwin, of the Constitution Party. Beat Alan Keyes to the nomination.

Hmm...unconvinced as of yet. I don't know, I'll keep an eye out...a major downfall of this party, nigh irreproachable in every other aspect, is their views of the Iraq war, which seriously deviate from mine.

Let's wait and see, shall we?

Friday, May 16, 2008

BEHOLD!

OG returns to congratulate my sister (and you'd better too)!

Dr. Paleo Ph.D.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Religion is Child Abuse?

They just don't get it, do they?

Don't they realize that there are people (such as myself) that will literally go to war over something like this?

Spencer

Sunday, May 11, 2008

SCOTVS CAPITIS

I would like to highlight a blog I've recently discovered and added to my blogroll. Like WARSKYLL, it's another blog right up my alley by a fellow Christian.

Spencer

P.S. Today I unveiled my first ancient coin, and oh is she beautiful! Encased in dirt for centuries, now she can see the world again...the harsh world. What would she think, if she could talk? If she is indeed Roman, does our nation remind her of the early days of her own?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Time Magazine: Global Warming is Iwo Jima?

I saw this today in the grocery store.

This is just disgusting. I won't even bother ranting. I am officially and thoroughly revolted.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Rising Tide, by Jeff Shaara

The Rising Tide: A Novel of World War II, by Jeff Shaara



Today I finally finished this book. In a word, it was awesome. Most of my readers will have little or no interest in this book; basically, it's over 500 pages of military strategy. If anyone is familiar with Shaara, they will know that he writes from the point of view of real historical figures (such as Eisenhower, Patton, Rommel, and Montgomery, etc., in this one). His book Gods and Generals spawned the film of the same name, one of my favorite movies of all time, though I actually didn't like the book very much.

This novel was a major improvement from Gods and Generals (a Civil War story). It had its battles (the highlight being the emotion, chaos and realism so seamlessly conveyed in the airborne drop and subsequent combat on Sicily). Much less of a brooding character tale and more of a military story. The vast majority of the book deals with the generals, and thus, military strategy, etc. I would recommend the book, though, as a way to learn about the war if you are not much on the real scholarly or textbook stuff.

One thing that could be considered a major "downfall" of the novel is the use of a large amount of foul language. Just about every page a character curses, using various words from the more mild ones all the way up to the Lord's name in vain. Now if you know me you know that I do not approve of cursing in any way shape or form (particularly using the name of my God), but can tolerate it, especially in this format. (Shaara treated the language issue in the foreword, explaining himself fully and, in my opinion, satisfactorily.) I mean, come on, what's the book about? War. Who are the characters? Soldiers. 'Nuff said.

What I considered to be "worse" than the cursing issue was one particular scene, on pages 41-42, where Montgomery accidentally runs into an apparent prostitute. He's disgusted of course, but admits to himself that the men (WARNING: slightly explicit) "do seem to need their horizontal refreshment." This crude description didn't please me, but actually I was grateful more was not contained in the novel. The narrator also uses phrases such as "fleshpot" and "venereal disease" here, but that is as far as it goes, unless you count the scene on page 497 when Ike is incredibly frustrated with the rivalry between Patton and Monty, lamenting that they were (WARNING: somewhat crude) "concerned with who had the biggest bulge in his pants." This didn't bother me much; crude, yes, but true? Absolutely! Anyhow, all this wasn't enough to spoil my enjoyment of the novel itself.

Now I'm seriously making the book sound a lot worse than it really was. It was great, and a good history tale. If you're interested in the subject, check it out. If you aren't in the first place, you probably shouldn't bother. I would recommend it, though just to some.

One of my favorite tidbits in the book:

Alexander stopped, and Patton saw him staring out across the dirt road, saw an Arab man hoisting a water jug up onto the shoulder of a small woman. Alexander made a grunting sound, and Patton said, "Arab chivalry."
"Perhaps you and I should go over there and jolly well kick his a**."
(Page 332)

Now there's a soldier!

Dr. Paleo Ph.D.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Madam Speaker? That's not in the Bible

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has recently come under fire for quoting a fictional Bible passage.

According to a CNSNews.com article, in her Earth Day news release, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) attributed this quote to the Old Testament: "To minister to the needs of God's creation is an act of worship. To ignore those needs is to dishonor the God who made us." However, many biblical scholars cite a problem with that quotation: it doesn't exist in the Bible.

Does it come in black?

"I'll get the car."

"I brought mine."

"Yours?"

...

"I gotta get me one of those!"




"What's that?"

"The Tumbler? Oh, you wouldn't be interested in that!"

...

"So what do you think?"

"Does it come in black?"

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Obama's Pastor - Rev. Jeremiah Wright

I'm sure any reader of my blog can extrapolate with enough correctness as to already know my position on this subject.

However, just today on the radio quite a bit of his sermons; several extended clips, 2 to 5 minutes long. And what a...load of...poison. I'm all for free speech and all, but this was outright treason, not to mention spiritual heresy and even racism. He was as extremely anti-American as you can get, anti-war, and literally said that "we" are no different than Al-Qaida. (Most of the time he somewhat justified the actions of the murderous terrorists of 9/11 or Iraq--indeed, two of ther "sermons" I heard were from those time periods--while ferociously condemning everything American, including the Constitution). Oh, and did I mention that he spoke favorably of the U.N.?

But, get this. I've been meaning to post this but hadn't yet gotten around to it. I don't know if this was even Wright's church or not, but I saw him on TV. (I tried in vain to find a photo of this on the internet.) On the pulpit, literally right on the front of this pulpit, was a symbol. Not the cross, not even a dove or something of that sort. An ankh. An ankh!

And do we know where the ankh comes from, people?



And this is "Christianity"?

Dr. Paleo Ph.D.

Friday, May 02, 2008

An Empire Dies

The mighty Empire of Korea has now come to an end. At least, for me.

Tonight was tough, but having the black belt ceremony as my last time there was the perfect ending. I don't think I've had that many hugs in one day in my entire life though; heck, I even hugged two guys! And I don't think that's ever happened in my whole life either, not even with family.... (And trust me, I never hug guys.)

Seriously, though, I'm too emotional. Well, my iron-ness is at least good enough. I'm getting sickeningly used to the idea of perpetual goodbyes and endings. But, with endings, come new beginnings, don't they? I had to leave. I didn't want to, but I have a personal odyssey to follow. And that, my friends, is where I'm off to now.

Spencer

Never Stop Questioning

The "expelled" ICR graduate school program in Texas is not the subject of a new campaign of their's. I simply won't not promote it here.

Miley Cyrus caught between two worlds

What the...?

I have to admit, I was shocked when I saw the picture. I mean, I'm more than used to seeing photos that are a good deal worse than this one was, but...Hannah Montana? I guess I was more thinking of the innocent young girl image. Scrap that.

So this is where the country's going.... And apparently she's only fifteen years old....

Spencer

Hunt for more dungeons at 'House of Horror'

UP TO 15 years?

How about something more...final?

Spencer

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Tae Kwon Do

Tonight was my very last class. Tommorrow, I go for my last visit. I want to see several classmates get their blackbelts, and say one final goodbye.

Okay.

Spencer

Sticks and Stones! ;-P

So something actually kind of funny happened last night. It would appear the, ahem, fine managers at Mervyn's are not yet done with me. You see, I am no longer welcome in the store! Haha, bear with me!

I wasn't planning on it, but I needed something and knew that Mervyn's carried it and since I couldn't find it anywhere else, I dropped by last night after TKD class to pick it up.

As I am literally being rung up, one of the managers gets in Instant Bossy Mode and says to me, "Spencer, are you shopping?" (to question the legitimacy of me being in the store). This same manager is the one who bossed me around last time. This time, I simply wasn't going to take it. I'm a human being and am no longer her grunt; I will be treated with respect, not disdain. (Long story short, our work relationship was pockmarked with little problems here and there, and I have fairly good reason to believe she stabbed me in the back multiple times. I'm not sure who the lies came from, but three different events may have been directly invented by her. But this isn't my point.)

So I replied, "What do you think she's doing? She's ringing me up." The manager literally saw this, and in fact was standing literally right next to the person who was ringing me up.

Next, she says, "Don't be smart with me."

I don't work there anymore; she has no power over me anymore. I dealt with loads of crap when I was there; I won't take any more insulting behavior from her. So, I flat-out told her, "I'm not an employee anymore." She was very displeased with this response (as I could tell) but she proceeded to ignore me.

So, I finish up, and leave. I head right for the door, and come to find out she calls to me (I'm no longer your workhorse, remember?). Wondering what she what she might think of to pull next, I stopped. And get this, this is what she says next:

"I know you don't work here anymore, but that doesn't give you the right to disrespect me. If you come and do it again, I will ask you to leave."

(She was trying to be the only one to get any words in at this point it seemed; she wouldn't allow me to break in and speak, and after finishing herself hurried past me. She was also visibly very angry.)

I was entirely finished with this place, and especially these people, a long time ago now. I won't take the crap they so loved to dump on me, and others. I calmly answered, "Go ahead."

Haha; she still thinks I'm her little toy. :-)

My visits are always received positively with the employees, but negatively with management. You see, in my later days there, I became a little bit of a problem for them, I think. I was so tired of all the crap that I began to stick up for myself, and I was somewhat the "rebel" (if you understand what I mean, don't take that out of context, I always did what I was told), and began doing what I knew to be right, which obviously flew in the face of the whole establishment there. And on top of all this I quit, making me a bit of in issue if I talk to any of their employees. :-) My visits have just about every single time have been strictly business; I always buy something. Hey, if they don't want my money, then they won't get it!

I'm so done with them, and for all they care they could try to kick me out, but on the one hand only she said this (although I clearly am unwelcome in the eyes of others in management), but I really don't need to go back, and really don't want any problems for the friends I have that are still there.

What really, really makes me mad, is that they've been picking on a friend of mine that I always see when I go there, and picking on her because of me. We were very close, and still are, and she kept me sane in all those months from last fall onwards that were so full of their shenanigans, acting as my true confidant and very very often, the only highlight of my day-to-day job; we were often tied together on the opposite side of management, and our friendship, and perhaps thus mutual loyalty, was well known. I'm going to find out if they picked on her again last night. If they did, if I had the power to do it, I might just literally (now brace yourselves, this is harsh) fire them. If anyone knows a thing about me, the last thing on this earth that you do is pick on one of my own.

Hehe, I just got an idea. If I ever got in good with Donald Trump I could have him buy out the company, and then I'd bring him waltzing in, have him point his finger at the said people and say, "YOU'RE FIRED!" ;-P Make some room, give some promotions and raises to people who can actually do a little leading for once in their lives.

The best thing I can do is steal their employees away and take them to my new job. And I've been working on that one. :-P

Ahhhh. So there's my rant for the day. ;-D

Spencer

P.S. Hey...I just got another idea! She said "ask" me to leave. Hehe, they can do that all they want, but what are they really gonna do, beat me up and throw me out the door? Teehee!!!! I'd love to see the whole herd of them try that one. :-P