The Truth? Not Exactly.

I'm sick and tired of all of these "The Truth" ads that you see on T.V. They feature a bunch of whiny, pretentious teenagers with nothing better to do than protest something that has no real bearing or importance on the world.

Go check out their site. It's www.thetruth.com. Although what is advertised is far from what you get.

In particular, there is one part of the site that bugs me to no end. The Facts.

This section is chock full of small tidbits of info. However, the site developers seem to have left out one major part of facts: sources. There is no citation of these "facts" anywhere on their site. They never mention any of the tobacco companies by name. Is this because they are afraid of being sued for libel because they take things out of context? Who knows?

Besides, most of these "facts" are just statistics. Anyone who has been through a basic statistical analysis course will know not to trust stats that are displayed to back up an argument because more than likely the stats are worded or arranged to say what the quoter wants them to say.

It's an old saying in stats that whenever someone asks you what the statistics say, you respond "What do you want me to make them say?"

But citation and statistics aside, do you know what the major flaw with the whole premise of their crusade is? The fact that smokers choose to smoke. No one holds agun up to their head and makes them smoke cigarettes. It always has been and always will be a personal choice.

The other problem that I have with them is that they criticize the tobacco companies when they try to help out:

On its website, one tobacco company lists “cancer services” as one of the community programs they support. Yet they continue to make a product that leads to 339 deaths from lung cancer each day.
If a tobacco company wants to provide cancer services, then let them. Next you will probably hear them complaining that tobacco companies provide smoking cessation support.

With all that is going on in the world that needs time and devotion to aleviate, such as world hunger or homelessness, I refuse to listen to a bunch of people whining about other peoples choices. These are the same people who, if they had their way, would make it illegal to smoke outdoors or in your own home. These people are almost worse than the environmentalist wackos at Greenpeace or EarthFirst! or the ELF.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:23 PM 0 comments  

Walk the Line

Earlier this week I went to go see Walk the Line with some of my friends. For those of you who don't know, this movie is about the life of Johnny Cash. He sang songs like "Ring of Fire," "I Walk the Line," "Boy Named Sue," and others. Johnny Cash was played by Joaquin Phoenix and June Carter was played by Reese Witherspoon.

I have to say that this is the best movie that I've seen this year. This movie definitely deserves a lot of awards. Joaquin and Reese are to be commended as well for singing the songs themselves.

The movie chronicles the hardships that Cash went through, from his drunk and abusive father, his brothers death, through Johnny's battles with drugs and alcohol. The acting is simply amazing.

I give this movie 5 stars. Go see it.
[* * * * *]





Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 2:22 PM 1 comments  

I hate PETA...

I know that I have already covered this subject before, but I feel passionately about it.

To anyone who has seen the site Meat.org, let me say "I'm sorry." I'm sorry that you had to witness that tripe from a group of terrorist harbingers. I know that sounds like a harsh indictment, but its true.

PETA members are involved in direct action campaigns (read: terrorist activities) every year. The people that throw paint on fur coats and hand out comic books that say "Your Mommy kills animals" are terrorists.

Terrorism isn't necessarily about violence for the sake of violence. It is very direct and very controlled violence. It is violence with a purpose. Although the violence may be direct at one group of people, that group may not be the intended recipient of the terrorism. The violence is designed to instill fear in the rest of us.

The activities that I described earlier have one desired effect: to make people afraid of reprisals if they wear fur or animal products.

What's more is that these people want you to be vegetarians for moral reasons.

Here is a screenshot of PETA's goveg.com website. (Emphasis added).

Point 1:At the top of the page, Paul McCartney is quoted as saying

"If anyone wants to save the planet, all they have to do is just stop eating meat. That's the single most important thing you can do."

No, Paul, not eating meat will not save the planet. Nothing will save the planet. It is physically impossible to save the planet. The planet is very old and has gone through several climate changes already. Nothing the human race can do will "Save the planet." Why? Because the planet will adapt no matter what. That and time is on the side of the planet. As it was said on Fight Club "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." You are not saving the planet, you are saving the humans.

Point 2:PETA is trying to claim that a vegetarian diet is the most humane diet there is. This rips that idea to shreds.

Point 3:While people like Paul McCartney, Alec Baldwin, and Alicia Silverstone sit around and preach that we shoudl save the animals, thousands of people in America go hungry. Thousands of people don't have enough food to feed their families. All of the money and effort designed to get people to switch to "alternative diets" could be better spent on feeding the poor. I have no sympathy for a group who wastes money on trivial issues like whether people eat meat or not.

If you really want to help animals, join a respectable group like the A.S.P.C.A. (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Don't let PETA's shock tactics fool you.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 8:13 PM 2 comments  

The P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act of Video Games.

I know that I have already posted on this, but I'll be damned if I'm going to sit by and let the government intrude on what kinds of video games that I can play. I, personally, like and prefer violent video games. They are cathartic, especially after dealing with rush hour traffic. According to an article over at Gamespot.com, junior Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Joseph Lieberman, both Democrats, have authored a bill that could possibly have some devastating effects on the video game industry.

In what amounts to the equivalent of the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act for video games, this legislation would give the government unprecedented powers of regulation over the industry. What is interesting is that the ratings that the government wants to make law are those same self-imposed ratings that the industry came up with on its own.

If we already have a rating system in place that people are already abiding by, then why do we need to make it a law?

Senator Clinton has made some interesting remarks about why they authored this bill:

"video game content is getting more and more violent and sexually explicit."
In my opinion, it isn't the violence that is bothering them, rather it is the sexual content. Violence has been a part of video games ever since you could shoot down airplanes on your Atari system. What I'm having a problem understanding is how two Democrats could have a problem with the freedom of expression inherent in these video games. Wasn't it the democrats who were supportive of the artist who displayed a picture of the Virgin Mary made out of elephant feces and dead farm animals in 1999 at the Brooklyn Museum of Arts? I know that I am painting with broad strokes here, but in this case the generalization supports the point that typically it is the Democrats who are more liberal and allow more "controversial" stuff into the public arena because it broadens our minds.

Why is it that the left preaches that we should be tolerant of all beliefs, except for those that the right hold?

Another interesting quote from Senator Clinton is:
"A majority of parents are feeling increasingly victimized by a culture of violence that makes it difficult to protect their children against influences they find to be inappropriate,"
Isn't this the same thing that Christians everywhere are trying to do? "Protect their children against influences they find to be inappropriate?" We can't teach Creationism or even Intelligent Design as alternatives to Evolution? What about the influences that are already out there that parents don't want their children exposed to? Ex: Will & Grace, The L word, etc.

As is to be expected, the pissing match has already begun.

As the shirt says:


Shirt available for purchase here.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:58 PM 2 comments  

I got dumped.

I wrote another post on this, but it was too wordy and mainly for my own benefit. So, here is the boiled down version:

I got dumped on Sunday November 26th by a woman that I cared a lot for.

It hurts...a lot.

Listening to the version of "Wicked Game" by HIM helps a little bit.

I don't really know why she dumped me.

It hurts...a lot.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 7:00 PM 1 comments  

1 year of eXTReMe Tracking!!

I have had this blog tracked by the good people over at eXTReMe Tracking for 1 whole year now. Here are the stats:









Unique Visitors:2,044
Highest Day of Traffic:20 May, Fri, 2005
Number of Visitors on that day:47
Visitor Countries:listed below
United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, France, Australia, Bulgaria, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland, India, Brazil, Mexico, Poland, Hungary, Spain, Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Denmark, Malaysia, Norway, New Zealand, Portugal, Thailand, Peru, Indonesia, Argentina, Ireland, Islamic Republic of Iran, South Africa, Turkey, Romania, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Colombia, Pakistan, Austria, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Uruguay, Chile, Egypt, Lebanon, Czech Republic, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Luxembourg, Iceland, Lithuania, Kuwait, Venezuela, Latvia, Yugoslavia, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Jordan, Croatia, Russian Federation, Cyprus, Costa Rica, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, and Greece
This list is in the order that it appears on my tracking site. To view the number of unique visitors from each country go here.

I would like to take the time now to thank everyone that has visited my site. If you are visiting from another country, feel free to post a comment and give a shout out.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 1:27 AM 0 comments  

The new Bond, James Bond.

I don't know if this is verified. I haven't been able to find anything about it anywhere else. On KVET 98.1's RateTheMusic Site there was a mini-article about how R&B star Usher wants to be the first black man to play James Bond.

I'm able to accept a blond James Bond ala Daniel Craig. He did exceptionally well in L4YER CAKE. I can accept him as James Bond namely because he is British. Usher, however, was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

That's all we need is a guy like Usher playing James Bond. If I were to have to recommend a black actor to take the part of 007, it would have to be someone like Morgan Freeman. Freeman is a distinguished actor who could bring something to the role that Usher or those of his ilk never could: class. Remember James Bond isn't just cool, he's classy, he's suave and debonair. He does not role up to Monte Carlo casinos in a Cadillac with spinners on the wheels!!

I sincerely hope that the Broccoli family treats the franchise right. Sean Connery started something great. Roger Moore carried the torch for too long. Timothy Dalton took the life out of it. But Pierce Brosnan brought it back from the dead and did so with style. Don't screw it up!

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 1:06 AM 0 comments  

Gamers are people too.

I want to apologize to anyone who saw tonight's (Nov. 21, 2005) episode of CSI: Miami. While normally, this is a great show and generally very real and accurate, tonight they created a picture of videogamers that I think will only reinforce the already negative image associated with gamers. To spoil the plot, what happened was that several college students were using a video game as the basis of their criminal activity. It turns out that the writer/developer of the game was providing weapons to help them out in order to boost sales of the game: "Urban Hell Raisers".

Unfortunately, thanks to people like Jack Thompson, this has become a widespread fear for many people. Reports that criminals had copies of certain games leads to a media frenzy about whether the video game was the cause of violence and speculations that criminals may be using video games as "trainers" abound. Let me se something straight here. Video Games Do NOT cause violence. Violence is something inherent within each and every person. It has to be. Humans did not evolve to become the top of the food chain by being pacifists. Humans had to fight in order to be where we are. Individuals however may not necessarily be inclined towards violence, and human society in general is not violent, but we all have violence within ourselves. Some people more than others have a very thin layer of civility separating them from being violent while others may take a lot to get to that core. What's more is that some either cannot or chose not to distinguish fantasy from reality. However, these are preexisting conditions. Yes, video games may be the catalyst for some people to behave violently, but for others they are the a means of escaping where they can act out aggresive fantasies in non-harmful ways.

Video games are not the problem. People are the problem. Individuals who cannot or will not distinguish reality from make beleive.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 11:13 PM 0 comments  

Justice upheld!


Check this out. Sheehan, et al were ordered to pay $75 for protesting without a permit outside the White House. Next time file your paperwork ahead of time instead of crying and backpedaling later.
Sheehan says that they "weren't demonstrating" but trying to deliver petitions to the President. Sheehan maintains that she is still entitled to a meeting with the President. The only thing that I have to say to that is that if teh President stopped and met with every crackpot who wanted to talk to him a). He would never get anything done, and b). It would be a security nightmare.

The picture used above is from http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051117/ap_on_re_us/peace_mom.

To all of those who think that civil disobedience is hip, cool, trendy, etc. I would like to refer you to Maddox.XMission.com and his stance:

Neither of these picture were used with permission.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 5:33 PM 0 comments  

What Makes A Good Video Game

I've been a gamer for nearly all of my life. I remember having my Atari system and loving it. Then I remember being wowed as I guided an Italian plumber across the screen when I got my first nintendo. But what really got me into gaming was computer games. Ever since I first got on the Internet when I was in the 3rd grade (about 1989), I've been into computer games. So, now, despite all of the controversy surrounding video games, I thought that I would write about what I think makes a good video game.

1. Mods. Your game must have the capability to be easily modded and to have those mods easy to play. For reference, check out the Half-Life Series. These games have spawned some of the best mods in the industry. Cuonter-Strike is an all time favorite. What's more is that you can easily play any of the mods for this series with minimal frustration.

2. Decent Graphics I understand that at every time a game is released there is only so much that computers can do. That being said, the developers need to make sure that the game looks decent and makes full use of the possibilty of what is possible. Too many time have I been disappointed by games whose screen shots look nice but the gameplay fails to live up to the hype.

This isn't a comprehensive list, but something that I will update soon.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 9:40 PM 0 comments  

Video Games Don't Cause Violence...

I'm glad to see that there are some people who will stand up against the tide of groups targeting the wrong people in the whole video games/violence issue. The problem is that not matter what label you put on the box, there will still be a way for kids to get to the material. The issue here is not whether or not the video game makers are producing violent or sexually explicit video games, but what parents are doing to prevent their kids from getting to them.

I, personally, like violent video games. I have liked "shooters" from the first time that I played Duck Hunt. It was my choice to play those video games and my parents choice to let me. If a parent doesn't want their child to play violent video games, then there is a two-pronged approach that they need to take. First, obviously, they should not buy or rent violent video games for their children, nor allow their children to do so. Second, they need to tell the parents of their child's friends that their child is not allowed to play those types of games when they are visiting that child's house. This is a simple, yet effective solution to the dilemma of video games & violence. Why hasn't this worked though? It hasn't worked because it requires parents to actually be parents and take interest in what their children are doing, rather than just blame the video game industry.

The video game industry makes billions of dollars a year from the sale of video games, video game systems, and related products. They don't make all of this money from Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen's "Sweet 16" video game sales. They make it from the 16 - 25 year old male demographic that buys typically violent video games.

To all of the people out there that want to outlaw violent video games I have this question: "What do you plan to do for all of the people that lose their jobs when you outlaw violent video games?" also "How are you going to stop the gaming community from making their own 'mods' and 'total conversions'?"

Step up and be a parent, don't blame gamers because you don't take care of your kids.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:25 AM 2 comments  

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

If you get the chance, then go see The Exorcism of Emily Rose. This movie kicks the shit out The Exorcist. The movie centers around the trial of Father Moore and presents the prosecution's Medical arguments of what was happening to Emily as well as the defense's Spiritual arguments. This movie was the first in a long time that genuinely scared me.

For a listing of The Roman Ritual of Exorcism go here.

I give this movie 4 ½ stars.
[* * * * ½]

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 8:51 PM 0 comments  

I don't normally post stuff like this...

This was posted on my myspace.com bulletin board. I thought that I would go ahead and post it here too. I added the title about what he tries to do to you.


He really tries to fuck you over...
PAY ATTENTION TO THE P.S. at the end!!

A LETTER TO YOU FROM SATAN

I saw you yesterday as you began your daily chores. You awoke without kneeling to pray. As a matter of fact, you didn't even bless your meals, or pray before going to bed last night. You are so unthankful, I like that about you. I cannot tell you how glad I am that you have not changed your way of living, Fool, you are mine. Remember,you and I have been going steady for years and I still don't love you yet. As a matter of fact, I hate you, because I hate God. I am only using you to get even with God. He kicked me out of heaven, and I'm going to use you as long as possible to pay him back.

You see, Fool, GOD LOVES YOU and HE has great plans in store for you. But you have yielded your life to me, and I'm going to make your life a living hell. That way, we'll be together twice. This will really hurt God. Thanks to you, I'm really showing Him who's boss in your life with all of the good times we've had. We have been watching dirty movies, cursing people out, stealing, lying, being hypocritical, fornicating, overeating, telling dirty jokes, gossiping, being judgmental, back stabbing people, disrespecting adults, and those in leadership positions, no respect for the Church, bad attitudes.

SURELY you don't want to give all this up.

Come on, Fool, let's burn together forever. I've got some hot plans for us. This is just a letter of appreciation from me to you.
I'd like to say "THANKS" for letting me use you for most of your
foolish life. You are so gullible, I laugh at you. When you are tempted to sin, you give in HA HA HA, you make me sick.

Sin is beginning to take it's toll on your life. You look 20 years older, and now, I need new blood. So go ahead and teach some children how to sin. All you have to do is smoke, get drunk or drink while under-aged, cheat, gamble, gossip, fornicate and live being as selfish as possible. Do all of this in the presence of children and they will do it too. Kids are like that. Well, Fool, I have to let you go for now. I'll be back in a couple of
seconds to tempt you again. If you were smart, you would run
somewhere, confess you sins, and live for God with what little bit of life that you have left. It's not my nature to warn anyone, but to be your age and still sinning, it's becoming a bit ridiculous.

Don't get me wrong, I still hate you.

IT'S JUST THAT YOU'D MAKE A BETTER FOOL FOR CHRIST.

P.S. If you love me, you won't share this

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 8:48 PM 0 comments  

Funny pic from another site.


For some reason I think that this is funny. Possibly because one of my career goals is to join a S.W.A.T. team. Thanks to the guys at Big-Boys.com for posting stuff like this.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 1:59 PM 0 comments  

Women love me, Flames fear me.


I finally got all of my gear for South Hays Fire Department. I can now go on all of the fire and 10-50 (car wreck) calls that we get, instead of just the medical calls. I now spend Tuesday and Thursday nights as well as at least one night of the weekend at Station 1.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 1:43 PM 0 comments  

Bewitched beSucked

I urge everyone to please ignore those pangs of nostalgia and to not go see the Bewitched movie. 41 years after the original series debuted on TV, movie producers at Sony Pictures are trying to capitalize on that nostalgia by bringing you a movie that reeks from Will Ferrell's overacting. I think that the reason why he was so popular on Saturday Night Live was because you only got him in small doses. Sitting through an hour and forty minutes of Will Ferrell's immature and puerile acting is too much. This was a great opportunity for Ferrel to show that he can do comedy without resorting to loud, obnoxious physical humor, but once again we are left with the same old schtick. Sitting through this movie felt like sitting through a skit on SNL that wasn't going anywhere and wouldn't end.

On the other hand, Nicole Kidman performed wonderfully. She lent credibility to her character and was believable. I think that this shows that you just can't put a great actor with a mediocre one and expect great things. Other actors can only lift you so far.

I give this movie 2 ½ stars.
[* * ½]

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 7:23 PM 1 comments  

Government interjections into marriage.

There is a prevailing opinion among several members of our society who feel that they are being disenfranchised by our government wanting to define what constitutes a marriage. This opinion is that the government should not regulate marriage at all and that there should be no interference within marriages by the government.

I think that this is a very interesting stance to take. Especially, since that was the rationale used to justify the spousal privilege of not being compelled to testify against your wife/husband. It was believed that testifying against one's spouse undermined the integrity and value of families. A certain group of people benefited greatly from this privilege: the mafia.

One of the other consequences of having a society where the government does not interfere with marriages is that no one could be prosecuted for spousal abuse anymore. If a woman or a man reported to a peace officer that their spouse physically assaulted them, that peace officer (under the mentality that the government should not interfere) would not pursue any action against the offending spouse.

This is not a hypothetical situation that is being described here. This is not the paranoid fantasies of someone who is seeing the worst possible outcome of future decisions. This actually happened. Peace officers refused to bring action against spousal abusers because of the belief that the government should not interfere with or regulate marriages.

Unfortunately, we are often too short-sighted to see the ramifications of obtaining what we want. The best course of action is moderation and negotiation with concessions on both sides.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:20 AM 0 comments  

Rated "I" for Idiots

I'm not going to say that downloading movies is right or that it should be tolerated. I'm just going to say that some people do it. Others of us have moved beyond that and appreciate our DVD collections. I'm pretty sure that all of you have seen one of the many commercials that the Motion Picture Asssociation of America has put out, ranging from "look who you are hurting" to "we know where you sleep at night." I'm fine with this. That's their right to produce these things, I'll even put up with seeing them before the previews to the movie I'm about to watch at the theater. But I'll be damned if I'm going to have to put up with this crap in my own home! I recently purchased a copy of Spaceballs on DVD. Read that line again. I purchased a copy of the DVD. When I got home, I popped the DVD into the player and sat down, prepared to laugh myself silly. What I got before I could get to the menu screen, was some insipid commercial from the M.P.A.A. trying to use Fisher Price psychology to explain that "downloading movies = stealing movies." I think that this is entirely the wrong place to have these commercials. I bought the DVD. I shouldn't have to even put up with this.

I decided to do a little looking around on the MPAA website when I started writing this article. As it turns out, the MPAA is not the great guardian of cinema everywhere that they purport themselves to be. They aren't looking out for the little guy. It says right in the about section of their website that they describe themselves as:

"...leader and advocate for major producers and distributors of entertainment programming for television, cable, home video and future delivery systems not yet imagined."
Who is on their board of directors?
the Chairmen and Presidents of the seven major producers and distributors of motion picture and television programs in the United States. These members include:

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution;(The Walt Disney Company)
Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.;
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.;
Paramount Pictures Corporation;
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation;
Universal City Studios LLLP; and
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
These aren't your avaerge independent filmmakers. Even the initial goal of the organization was to "...stem the waves of criticism of American movies..." The MPA is the international arm of the MPAA. According to the same section of the website, their goal is to basically protect American movie interests abroad.
The MPA was formed in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II to reestablish Americanfilms in the world market, and to respond to the rising tide of protectionism resulting in barriers aimed at restricting the importation of American films.
This doesn't really sound like an organization that is interested helping to foster film making in general. Whatever their motivations are, I want them to stop putting the commercials in my DVD's. I bought the movie, now leave me alone!

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:51 PM 0 comments  

Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith

*Spoilers Warning*


Tonight I saw a sneak preview for Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. I'm going to give away the biggest spoiler right here at the beginning and get it out of the way. *Anakin Skywaler turns into Darth Vader* Now that that is out of the way, let's move on.

The movie was ok. It had everything that you could want in a Star Wars movie: lightsaber duels, space battles, love, hate, and little kids getting mowed down by a badass with a lightsaber. I guess this is nitpicking, but some of the things didn't seem as realistic as they did in the other movies, and some things seemed like they went to the Star Wars section of MovieBloopers.com and tried to fix any continuity errors that they could find. Overall, the movie felt like George Lucas was tying a big ol' bow on the entire franchise so that he could hand it over to the fans and tell them to freaking leave him alone.

There are not a few fans of the franchise who frowned upon the whole love-story angle of Episode 2. Well, guess what? It's back and bigger than ever. And you know what else? It should be there. Some people whined and complained about Padme and Anakin being in love. What other motivation would he have for hating the rest of the galaxy unless he killed the woman that he loved? Oops, there's another spoiler for you.

My best recommendation to you is to go out and read the book. Matthew Stover wrote the novelization of Episode 3 and did an excellent job of it. Plus, it gives the reader a lot more insight into the motivations of the characters and why they did particular things.

I give this movie 3 1/2 *'s out of 5.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:52 PM 0 comments  

Self Defense Class for Men

I decided to write up a quick little self defense guide for the guys. I hope that this helps you in future conflicts. Enjoy.

In the event that you are in a fight...
Step 1: Apply your knuckes to opponents face vigorously.
Step 2: If needed, repeat Step 1.

Congratulations, you are now ready to defend yourself.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 3:53 PM 0 comments  

Do you know where your towel is?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie definitely follows the spirit of the book, even if it doesn't follow the letter of the book. The scenes depicting entries from the Guide, were particularly hilarious. They were animated and had this 50's feel to them. The only part of the movie that truly left something to be desired was the opening. There was a big musical number entitled "So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish" that, while it did reference the 4th book in the series, left something to be desired.

If you have not read the book first, then don't go see this movie. That is probably said about every book-to-movie production, but this one actually requires the viewer to have some knowledge of the subject. Otherwise, they are completely lost.

To read more of my thoughts on the subject, check out this earlier post.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:30 AM 0 comments  

More interesting internet stuff.

I figure that sufficient time has passed that I can share this with you readers. Also, since I still haven't been zapped by a bolt of lightning from God, I think that it's a good sign. On September 14th of 2004, I became an ordained minister. Yep, weird ol' me is a minister with the Universal Life Church out of Modesto, California. I did this through their website: www.ulc.net. Why did I do it? Who knows. It's one of those intersting things that you find on the internet. I even recieved a confirmation email. I could have had them send me a certificate, but that would have actually cost money. What am I going to do with this? I don't know, but as my friend says, I can now "marry 'em and bury 'em."

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 2:33 AM 0 comments  

Red ink isn't making the grade anymore.

According to an article at CNN.com, parents at several schools are upset that teachers are grading student papers in red ink. One of these "feeling police" parents said that the red ink was "stressful." Let me advise the reader here that we aren't talking about high school or college students here. We're talking about elementary school kids. What kind of person thinks that their 7 year old kid has anything to be stressed about. Stress, I'll remind you is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary defines stress as:

A mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences and capable of affecting physical health, usually characterized by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.
Traffic jams cause stress. Your significant other causes stress. Your job causes stress. Red marks on a paper in an elementary school do not cause stress.

I have a question for all of these "touchy-feely, crusading" parents. How do you expect for your child to learn from their mistakes if they are not pointed out to them? What is the easiest way for anyone to exchange false ideas for the truth? To have those false ideas expressed and then confronted by the truth. John Stuart Mill said this years ago in his essay "On Liberty."
But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
We are not helping these kids by sheilding them from their mistakes, we are only hurting them. The only reason that I was able to turn in any type of paper worth reading throughout my school career is because my mother would edit my papers for me. Those things came back with so much red ink on them that I thought some one had cut themselves and then used my paper for target
practice with the arterial spray. The parents of these kids should take less interest in what color is being used to edit and grade these papers and more interest in actually helping their kids to develop their writing skills. My question is what is going to happen to these kids 20 years down the line when they are expected to produce results and they have a manager who doesn't care how they feel as long as they are profitable to the company?

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:00 AM 0 comments  

Sabrage

Anyone who has read Maxim magazine is aware of the section called "How to do anything." This section of the magazine contains usually step by step advice on how to do anything from build a pole for girls to dance on in your living room to how to break up a fight. They are accompanied by either humorous photographs or drawings to help visualize what you are doing. While not exhaustive or detailed by any means, they do give the reader enough of an idea of how something is done to let them decide whether or not they would like to get more infomation to pursue such a goal.

In one of the recent issues, they had an article on a technique called "Sabrage." Apparently, this is a technique that Napoleon's soliders used to open bottles of chapagne while on horseback. It involves using a sabre to knock off the glass ring, or "annulus," at the top of the bottle where the cork is located. I was so intrigued by this, that I wanted to learn more about it. That's when I found this website. Apparently, there are entire clubs devoted to this. Luckily, they also include a tutorial on how to do this.

So, I went to the store and bought a bottle of cheap champagne to try this out. And, much to my surprise, it was successful. I'll inlcude a picture of the annulus that I knocked off of the bottle. I used a U.S. Marine Corps NCO saber when I tried it.

I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to impress people at a party.

This post was originally concieved of on Dec. 15th, 2004.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:50 AM 2 comments  

Euphemisms

At the risk of sounding like comedian George Carlin, I'm going to go off today on one particular euphemism that I think isn't really doing anybody any good.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines Euphemism as:

The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive: “Euphemisms such as ‘slumber room’... abound in the funeral business” (Jessica Mitford).
Harsh, blunt, or offensive. In otherwords, we have to play nicely and not tell people what they need to know, the truth. To some people, euphmisms are a way of "softening the blow" that the truth brings. To me, it's a way of hiding behing vague and distorting language.

The particular euphemism that I have a problem with is one that you see on personal ads all of the time. Full-Figured. What the hell is going on here? There used to be a time where people were "fat." Then they went to being "plus sizes." Now they are "full-figured." When did this start? Unless you are missing a part of your body that you were born with, such as an arm or leg or eye, then you are full figured. You have all of your parts. You're not missing anything. Your figure isn't half or three-quarters, it's full. However, if when you stand in the shower, your body reaches from the shower curtain to the wall, you are fat. Get over it. Go out and run. Put the twinky down. And for sake of preserving what little strength the English language has, stop weakening it with these euphemisms just to guard your ego.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:20 AM 0 comments  

Colorado professor should keep comments to himself.

I know it's been a while, but I was reading about this and I couldn't refrain from commenting on this. As I'm sure that most of you are already aware, there is a professor from Colorado University that is in hot water right now for some comments that he made about the World Trade Center attacks. To be more specific he referred to the people inside thos ebuildings as "Little Eichmanns" and that the punishment was "befitting their participation" in "braying, incessantly and self-importantly, into their cell phones, arranging power lunches and stock transactions, each of which translated, conveniently out of sight, mind and smelling distance, into the starved and rotting flesh of infants."

I didn't make this up. If you want to read the entire text of the article it can be found at DarkNightPress.com.

The article, which first appeared in Pockets of Resistance #11, Sept. 2001, seems to focus around the WTC attacks as being the results of U.S. actions in Iraq. He says that these are all the results of various "surgical bombings" and other U.S. military actions that led to the sufferings and deaths of "500,000 kids."

What's more is that he blames the U.S. public for this saying that we did nothing to stop this because:

"There were, after all, far more pressing things than the unrelenting misery/death of a few hundred thousand Iraqi tikes to be concerned with. Getting "Jeremy" and "Ellington" to their weekly soccer game, for instance, or seeing to it that little "Tiffany" an[sic] "Ashley" had just the right roll-neck sweaters to go with their new cords. And, to be sure, there was the yuppie holy war against ashtrays – for "our kids," no less – as an all-absorbing point of political focus."

Well, sorry Mr. Churchill. In 1993, it just so happens that I wasn't old enough to vote. And you know what else? I'm sure that some of the people inside those towers also weren't old enough to vote at that time. In fact, there were day cares in the towers for the parents who were working there. If it hadn't been for the effort of several innocent and truly courageous people, then at least 28 children, probably more would have been killed in those attacks. And isn't this what your article is all about? The children?

And as to your allegations, Mr. Churchill, that the American public is too caught up in itself to worry about what happens in the rest of the world, I would like to ask youwhat you are doing to make the world a better place? You're a professor at a college in the midwest. I'd like to see how many of those ½ million children that you did anything to help. Or is the indignance that you feel, the result of your guilt over having done nothing for your life to help anyone but yourself out? I'd like to remind the reader that Mr. Churchill is a tenured professor at a major college and therefore likely has his Ph.D. Therefore, it can be inferred that while he may not be rich, he isn't living ina carboard box on the street either.

I have to apologize. This shouldn't degrade into attacks against Mr. Churchill. I just don't see the same connections that you do. Even Mr. Churchill himself said that his work that was published wasn't exactly thought out.
"The preceding was a "first take" reading, more a stream-of-consciousness interpretive reaction to the September 11 counterattack than a finished piece on the topic. Hence, I'll readily admit that I've been far less than thorough, and quite likely wrong about a number of things."
He then goes on to criticize the U.S. for almost every war that it has been in.

I know that this is heard very often in this country from polemics on either side but I think that this is a case where it truely fits.
Mr. Churchill, if you don't like the United States that much, then why don't you just leave?

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:00 PM 1 comments  

Interesting Things Over at Drudge.com

I was reading an article over at Drudge.com. The article by Thom Hartmann is entitled: Young People: The Key To Republican Single-Party Rule. It was about younger people and how the Republicans are trying to get them to vote for Republican candidates. Or, at least, that's what I thought it was about. It's actually a piece of rhetoric about the Social Security issue and how "big, bad Republicans" are trying to spin things so that they benefit them and so that the younger crowd of voters will vote Republican because they are being fooled.

Wake up! Spin works both ways. I seem to remember that during the months leading up to the 2004 election, there was a lot of advertising on MTV and other youth oriented programs by Rock the Vote. An almost blatantly partisan group to urge younger people to vote. All that you had to do was look at their website to know who they were rooting for. Besides, which party do younger voters typically vote for? Democrats.

So why are people in a huff that the Republican party is trying to rally more younger voters to their cause? Your guess is as good as mine. I, for one, think that it's great that the Republican party is showing younger people that politics does affect them. We need to be more aware of what is going on around us. As for spin, that's for everyone to sift through for themselves. If you need a big, loud yelling radio host or a big, loud movie editor to give you your views, then it's your own fault.

Just remember what Aristotle said:

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 9:30 PM 0 comments  

Romeo And Juliet - with commentary

Simply because, as my friend Kailash says, I'm "weird," have I decided to share this joke with you. I came up with this during whichever English class in high school I had to read Romeo and Juliet in. I know that this is not an exact replication of what was said in the "window" scene, but it's close enough and damnit it's funny! This is what Romeo thinks in response to Juliet's famous monologue.


[Juliet] O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?

[Romeo] Down here in the bushes.

[Juliet] Deny thy father and refuse thy name...

[Romeo] I can't. He'd cut off my allowance.

[Juliet] 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy...What's in a name?

[Romeo] Uhh... letters?

[Juliet] that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;

[Romeo] Probably, but it wouldn't sell as well at Valentines Day.

[Juliet] Romeo would, by any other name, still not be Romeo.

[Romeo] No. He'd be Bill or Bob or Jack.

Well, that's enough silliness for now. Shakespeare is probably rolling over in his grave right now because of what I've done to his work.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 2:19 PM 0 comments  

Non-Risk Aversive Personality

The title of this post has been used to describe me more than once. I can see why. On Thursday I piloted an aircraft for the first time. It was one of these:


Cessna 152. Picture courtesy of AeroTraderOnline.Com.

This is a Cessna 152 single propeller airplane. The cockpit on it is smaller than the front seat of a Honda. I was able to taxi the airplane, take off, and do several turns, climbs, and dives. I have to say that it was ana amazing experience for me. I think that I'm hooked. If I could, I would fly every day.

That's only part of something larger. I love doing things if there is a certain amount of risk involved. And every time that I do, I am reminded, by my mother, of the time when she caught me walking out into the back yard with a sheet in my hands because I was going to parachute off of the roof. There is a saying that I try to live my life by:
"The goal of life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy shit...what a ride!"
This is my motto and I try to live up to it as well as I can. Don't be afraid of what life has to offer. Take it and run. Try new things, expand your horizons, but most importantly live life. Don't just coast along, get in the driver's seat and head somewhere that you have never been.

And so, with that being said, I would like to leave you with the words of a famous poem:

High Flight


Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:54 AM 0 comments  

B.C. & A.D. vs. B.C.E. & C.E.

Today, I'm going to take some time to rip into the academes of the world. Specifically, the ones that thought that it was a great idea to shift from using the initials B.C. & A.D. to using the perfunctory B.C.E. & C.E. For those of you who do not know, B.C. stands for Before Christ and A.D. is Anno Domini, which means "Year of our Lord." Whoever these liberal softies are that didn't want anyone offended by that, chose to change it to Before the Common Era (B.C.E.) and subsequently Common Era (C.E.).

A little background on the whole BC/AD numbering system. According to Wikipedia.org.

"in 525, the Anno Domini system was invented, which counted the years of the Julian calendar from the year of Jesus' birth. The transition by the Western Christian church to the Gregorian calendar, which was promulgated in 1582, corrected seasonal errors due to an incorrect leap year system, though this correction left the numbering of the years intact."
So, we see that Christianity has had a major part in affecting how we keep our records. But I have a question to put to all of those academics and non-Christians who want to change how things have been done for nearly 1500 years. "What secular event happened and was so important 2,005 years ago that it should mark the beginning of the Common Era?" Jesus' birth was estimated to be between 7 and 4 years BC. IF you ask me, then I think that we should mark the beginning of the Common Era as when the Dark Ages ended sometime in the 14th century. Or we could possibly use the period of The Enlightenment in the 18th century. That would be a more common era than starting out the C.E. at year 1.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:28 AM 0 comments  

San Francisco messes up again. (Potentially)

If you haven't heard about this, then you should. Some influential political people in San Francisco want to ban the ownership of a handgun within the city limits of the city on the bay. The proposed legislation would require handgun owners to turn over their weapons within 90 days or face penalties.

Am I hearing this correctly? San Francisco, the city that illegally issued marriage licenses to gay couples last year because they tthought that their Constitutional rights were being violated, now wants to delete the second ammendment from their city? Talk about a double standard. Let's take a quick look at that hallowed document:

Article [II.]
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Link to ammendments.

I don't know about you but I think that the ammendment clearly states that the government shall not mess with the right of the people to have guns. And since the first section of the 14th ammendment also clearly states:
Article [XIV.]
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
That means that the city of San Francisco, in the state of California cannot take away the people's right to have guns.

Now, I know that a lot of you think that the 2nd ammendment should only apply to rifles and shotguns. Hell, even Bill Barnes of the Committee to Ban Handgun Violence has been quoted as saying "We're not saying you shouldn't have a rifle or a shotgun if you want to go hunting." However I would like to remind all of you that when the Constitution and it's ammendments were ratified, the ownership of a handgun was a very common practice. I don't see anywhere in the 2nd ammendment that says "except for handguns." What I do see is "the right to keep and bear arms." That includes sidearms as well as firearms.

Any attempt to curtail this baic freedom is an attempt to curtail all freedoms and should be met with disdain and contempt.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:59 AM 0 comments  

Death of a Playwright.

At the age of 89 years, playwright Arthur Miller died today. As you well know, Miller brought the world such works as "Death of A Salesman" and "The Crucible." Both of these works have been influential on American theatre and life. Besides the two major works mentioned before, Miller wrote many plays and even some fiction and non-fiction work.

Miller was also married to actress Norma Jean Mortensen, commonly known as Marilyn Monroe.

All of us have been touched by Mr. Miller's work. Maybe you had to read it for a high school or college class. Maybe, like me, you performed in a production of one of his plays. But all of us are familiar with this man and his work and we are all poorer for having lost him. God be with you Mr. Miller.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:20 AM 0 comments  

Kryptonians Rethought.

As many of you who know me are aware, I am a huge fan of Superman and all that makes up this legend/mythos/whatever. That's not to say that I myself am huge, but that my enthusiasm for almost all things Superman is great. But I digress. So, when I read this I was amazed:

In most of the presentations and re-imaginations of Superman's origin, it is made clear that the Kryptonians are well aware of what effects Earth's yellow sun will have on baby Kal-El. Indeed, that's usually the excuse for why he goes there. They know he'll be "safe" because nothing can hurt him there.

And that's all well and good, but there's a problem. Kryptonians are the assholes of space. Here's some proof...

A list of Kryptonians who are assholes:

Brainiacs 1 - 13, Doomsday, Cyborg, The Eradicator, General Zod, Quex-ul, Zaora, and Preus.

A list of Kryptonians who are nice:

Sometimes Jor-El, Superman.

And Superman's only a decent guy 'cause he was raised on Earth and knew nothing of Krypton or its people for almost half his life. When Jor-El's shown to be a nice guy, then he's acting as the exception that proves the rule.

Knowing, as we do, that Kryptonians are assholes, and highly advanced in the technologies of science, and capable of making FTL spacecraft, and live in a universe with varied and diverse intelligent life in the cosmos, we have to assume they ran into other space faring beings. Doomsday's origin tends to back this up.

If anyone on Krypton had the slightest idea that the electromagnetic radiation from an G-class star would react with their physiologies to make them effectively immortal and god-like, there wouldn't be a non-yellow star in the sky. They'd have obliterated all life from the cosmos and in the process of altering every star to fuel their unholy powers, they'd probably bring about the premature heat-death of the universe.

Seems awfully convienent that one of their scientists just happened to have an interstellar craft at the ready.

A prototype for intergalactic seeding, perhaps?

If Kryptonians were smart enough to figure out this yellow sun business, then it's safe to assume their neighbors were too. And I wonder what they'd have done with this information.

Seems awfully convienent that the symptoms of Krypton's destruction came about so suddenly. Almost like it'd been triggered artificially by outside agents?

Think about it. You're an advanced civilization. You meet these xenophobic guys in goofy robes who treat you like dirt because their stardrive goes 1% faster than light than your best stuff. During some research or information exchange, you come across an odd anomaly in their DNA that has the potential to turn each of them into incarnate gods under certain, fairly common, conditions. You know that yellow stars aren't that far from their world and it's only a matter of time before they figure this out assuming they haven't already.

The sabotage of one planet for the sake of the whole universe ain't a tough decision to make.
This was written by Brian Clevinger, the man who brings us the webcomic: Nuklear Power. I think that this is a very astute observation from a very original thinker. Either that or it's a guy who has too much free time on his hands. One way or another, he has touched upon something very interesting. I don't know why, but I find something intriguing about the possibility that the Kryptonians may be the biggest bunch of bastards in the universe. Then again, maybe I have too much free time on my hands.

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 11:17 PM 2 comments  

Tank tops?

I've been thinking about this for a while. Why are they called "Tank Tops"? As you can see here...

a tank has one big turret coming out of it's top, while most women wearing a tank top, as modeled by Ms. Danielle Cagle have two things protruding from their top...

Therefore, I think that we should rename the tank top to the "Anti-Aircraft Top"...

Doesn't it have that ring to it?

Posted byJ. R. Guinness at 10:48 AM 0 comments