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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Atheistic view of science and religion

First of all, I should disclose that I am not atheist nor agnostic. I believe in a greater being, but I also believe in our need to apply science to find answers.

The video below is by Philhellenes, an atheist who presents an argument for science titled "Science saved my soul...from religion." 

You can view more of his videos on his YOUTUBE webpage at http://www.youtube.com/user/philhellenes.



Visit my website at http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

SPOIL ALERT: Ending to 50 Christmas Movies

Ben and Rafi Fine (The Fine Bros) spoil 50 famous Christmas films within three minutes.  



To view more of their videos, visit their YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/TheFineBros.


http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Pope and a Condom

Canadian film-maker Patrick Boivin's tackles a controversial argument of safe-sex and the church. More of his creative films can be viewed here.



Visit: http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dude Dictionary

I thought I would share what girls are reading about us guys.  The August issue of Cosmopolitan highlights 101 things about guys

One of the things that caught my attention was a section dedication on defining guy's lingo.  Below are some examples:

Gorilla salad (n.)
When a man or woman has way too much hair below the belt

Rodgen'd (v.)
When an unattractive man steals a guy's woman, inspired by Seth Rogen in Knocked Up

Man tiara (n.)
When a guy wears his sunglasses on his head as a douchey fashion statement

Buddy-call (v.)
When a girl who a guy is obviously into calls in the middle of the night but only to ask for advice about another guy she likes

Facebook hot (adj.)
A girl who is significantly, and deceptively, sexier online than in real life

More definitions and use of the word can be viewed here.

Source: Cosmopolitan August 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Texas native wins America's Next Top Model

America's Next Top Model Cycle 15: Week 3- AnnSix foot-two model Ann Ward from the Dallas area was awarded America's Next Top Model. 


The Huffington Post has photos and videos of the 18 year-old winner.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/02/ann-ward-americas-next-top-model-winner_n_791090.html?ref=tw#s197039

Sources: The Huffington Post, poptower.com, Wikipedia

Saturday, November 27, 2010

You're such as FAILURE!!!

I thought I would write a title that would attract your attention.  Perhaps it worked.  Maybe you've moved on to look at something else.

I was thumbing through the September 2010 issue of Harvard Business Review and came across an article by entrepreneur and blogger Seth Godin

In the article, Godin describes how our culture has defined failure as being the mere opposite of success.  He stresses, however, that we are missing other aspects of failure that should be considered. 

He lists seven types of failures that should be added to its definition:  Design failure; Failure of opportunity; Failure of trust; Failure of will; Failure of priorities; Failure to quite; and Failure of respect.  All seem to be self-explanatory, but you can read the article here

Source: Godin, Seth, "Redefining Failure." Harvard Business Review, September 2010. Pg 34.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Where's the Pressure

I managed to screw up my neighbor's water pressure.

A few days ago, we got home to a flooded downstairs powder room.  I quickly turned the shutoff valve; however, the water was still leaking.  After consulting with The Home Depot's Home Improvement 1-2-3 book, I realized that the issue was with the shutoff valve itself. 

In order to change the valve, I would need to disconnect the main water source.  Living in Texas, where we rarely see temperatures drop below 32° F, the main water switch is located outside.

I went outside in search for my cut off switch on Sunday.  I uncovered a pipe cover to find a valve that looked to be the cut off switch. I turned the valve one way, but the water at my home was still on.  I then realized that this was probably my neighbor, so I turned it the other way.

I walked around the house to look for my line.  Then gave up.

I was about to turn my computer off and head for bed when my wife asked me to look outside the window.  I noticed the city's truck with its lights on.  "Oh crap!" 

I walked outside, approached the city worker and asked what was going on.  He told me that the neighbor was experiencing low water pressure.

I quickly confessed and said that I was messing around looking for my cutoff switch and turned his by mistake.

"No, your switch is somewhere here," he said pointing to grass-covered ground.  With his shovel, he gently unearthed my cutoff valve.

"Your pressure valve should be located around the the same area," he added.

Although my neighbor's water was on, the pressure was not. 

I contacted a friend's husband to help me out with the situation.  After explaining the situation, he hypothesized that the issue was that the threaded valve was worn and probably broke when I turned it.

He proved his hypothesis as he removed the broken threaded valve.  The inside was completely closed.  The plumber replaced the broken valve with a new ball valve.  The replacement did take a while as the plumber struggled to fit the pipes with the new ball valve.

After he corrected my neighbor's pipes, he fixed the original problem--the toilet leak in the powder room.  He replaced the supply line valve with a quarter turn ball valve and the supply line to the tank.  The toilet is working again. 

Tonight I learned a ton about plumbing, but the biggest thing I did learn was to LEAVE IT TO THE PROFESSIONALS.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Running on a treadmill drunk...

...may not be a good idea.

During a 2008 episode, the Mythbusters tested several methods of
sobering up. Plausible solutions that were mentioned include getting
slapped in the face and exercising vigorously. Here is Adam Savage
testing the exercising vigorously technique:



From personal experience, a method I have used to avoid getting
inebriated and a terrible hangover is hydrating myself with plenty of
water. A rule of thumb that has worked for me is one 12 oz of water
per one alcoholic drink. More water in your system will help dilute
the consumed alcohol--of course, you'll be visiting the restroom more
often.

And as a PSA, don't drink and drive. Call a cab.
--

http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Life after Death and the Movies

Yesterday I decided to watch a movie at the theaters. Since I've been wanting to watching HEREAFTER, I though I would check that out. Yeah, I didn't feel like a comedy or action type movies. Besides, when I searched for showtimes on Google, it indicated that it was a "suspense/thriller." Far from it, except for a couple of scenes. Perhaps "drama/suspense" would be the best category for this film.

Regardless, this post is not a critique about the movie; although the film was enjoyable, had good acting, and well filmed. This post is about the audience.

I went to the afternoon showing--I called in sick (*cough cough*). I got to the theater, bought my ticket, and found myself a center seat halfway to the top--prime location. Then again, who watches a movie on a Friday afternoon? Senior Citizens, that's who.

Before I rant, I have to say  that I have nothing against old people senior citizens.  They are our parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, people who raised us, the people who taught us, the people who made our society, and our leaders.  Okay, enough of the I-feel-guilty-I-should-say-something-nice-before-I-feel-more-guilty.

I noticed that I was a bit too early for the movie.  So I decided to check my facebook page to see what my friends had posted since I last checked--a god aweful 15 minutes. I noticed an older couple walk into the theater.  They sat behind me.  I was a bit iritated since they could have chosen a seat a few rows up or down or diagonal from me.    Instead, I had to hear about so-and-so who called and said whatever. 

Then, another couple decided to sit on the row in front of me; however, they had the social courtesy to sit a few seats diagonal from me.  Thank you kind sir. 

A few other older couples came into the theater along with single older gentlemen.  They all sat scatteredly in the theater. 

As the movie previews began, a much older couple came into the theater and sat in my row a few seats away from me.  I had no problem with that at all, until what sounded like Camptown Races ringtone started playing.  It started low (one would think Matt Damon's character had a cell phone) then it got louder.  Clearly it came from the person sitting a few seats away from me.

The poor lady couldn't hear it.  Her husband had to point out the noise coming from her purse.  She searched through her bag and fumbled to open the phone.  At this point, you'd think she would turn the phone off.  Nope.  She answered and began a conversation.  The person sitting in front of them moved a couple of rows down irritated.  Others in the theater were annoyed.  Many of us were distracted from what seemed to be a good part of the movie. 

The lady closed her phone and began to speak with her husband about the call.  After a few minutes, she got up and walked out of the theater.  Because she walked slowly down the stairs, many of us turned to look at her--it was obvious she was having a difficult time with the stairs. 

She returned, sat for a while, spoke to her husband, then they both left the movie.  I think many of us were relieved.  Or maybe I was the only one relieved.  But hey, I got to enjoy the movie more after they left the theater.    

The movie is about life after death.  There are three main characters: a pyschic who is able to communicate with the dead; a woman who experienced death; and a boy who lost his twin brother.  All are trying to deal with death. 

As I was watching this movie, I began to think about the after life.  I looked around and wondered if the others in the audience were wondering the same thing.  Then it dawned on me--I am sitting with people older than me.  No one was my age or younger.  Then I really started thinking about my demise.

Of course, I won't end this blog posting sour.  I did come away feeling proud of my son.  I came away with wanting to appreciate life with my son and wife more.  We have so little time on this earth and it should be enjoyed as much as possible with loved one.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Broadcast Journalism 101

The video clip below should be shown to broadcast journalism students of what NOT to do in news reporting.

It may come to a surprise to many of you that my undergraduate degree is in Journalism--to be more precise, broadcast journalism; although, in no way does that make me an expert in that profession.  I did, however, spend many hours in class and years watching news programs.

Before we even went out around the university and report news, we spent several hours practicing in mock sessions.  We would practice by switching between the two anchors, the weather reporter, the news reporter, one of the three camera guys, the news director, the video switcher, and the audio/lights technician. 

What this video shows is something you would expect to see at a mock session, not during a live broadcast.  Never should a viewer be subjected to such error. 

This broadcast was September 12, 2007.  The news station is KGTV in San Diego. 

UPDATE: Since KGTV is removing this video from YOUTUBE, I'll attempt to provide the play-by-play in case they remove this one. 

The opening montoge fades from black on talent (stage reporter).  Camera realizes error and pans to anchors.  Male anchor, Steve Fiorina, introduces himself.  Female anchor, Lisa Lake, stumbles.  Lake reads off teleprompter.  Fiorina thumbs through script.  He is caught by surprise when Lake turns towards him.  When she realizes he is confused, she reads his script and sends it to the field reporter.  She incorrectly names the field reporter "Jackie Witt."  The field reporter, Adrienne Moore, notices the confusion in the studio, but is able to recover and report the news.

Below the video is a list of mishaps I noticed.



Error #1.  News director failed to organize the set.
Error #2.  Video switcher fades from black incorrect camera.
Error #3.  Incorrect camera tries to recover by panning to anchors.
Error #4.  News reporter shows fear when she realizes camera is on her.
Error #5.  Female news anchor is obviously distracted by the chaos.
Error #6.  Her distraction causes the male news anchor to fumble.
Error #7.  His mishap causes the female anchor to fumble again and says the incorrect name of the news reporter at location.
Error #8.  The news reporter, Adrienne Moore, recovers the news from utter chaos.

Perhaps the teleprompter had the incorrect script and the wrong directions that caused the crew and anchors to mess up. 

It would be nice if KGTV would allow this broadcast segment to be used for journalism school.  The video offers countless examples of what-not-to-do and what-to-avoid in broadcast journalism.

The video can be viewed on my blog at http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Amazing Science Project

This family launched a balloon with a portable recorder, iPhone and a parachute to space.  The recording is amazing, to say the least.  A must watch.



Visit my blog to view the video http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/

Election Day

I don't like talking politics on this blog. In fact, I have made it a personal policy to steer away from the topic. However, encouraging people to vote should not be avoided but promoted, right? Take a few minutes from your day on Tuesday to cast your vote this Election Day.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Combat allergies

For the past year, I have been suffering with allergies.  In January, after experiencing a aweful allergic reaction, I visited an allergist.  The allergist did a allergy test and found that I was primarily allergic to dust mites.  Other things I was sensitive to included cedar elm, trees from the walnut family, ragweed, and molds.
Since then, I have been popping pills and spraying allergy medicine into my schnozzle to fight a neverending battle.  Now, I haven't been doing it too often since what I am taking does contain steroids. 
According to an article provided by a friend of mine, there are different alternatives to prescribed and over-the-counter medication.   
Such alternatives, as listed in this article, include:
Honey - 1/4 to 1 full teaspoon daily;
Bee Pollen Granules - under the guidance of a trained herbalist;
Vitamin C - 3 to 10 grams daily;
Quercetin - 1 to 3 grams daily in divided doses;
Stinging Nettles - herbal remedy;
Omega-3 fish oils - 1 to 2 grams daily; and
Homeopathic remedies
Another thing that the article mentions is that the food that we eat may have an affect on our immune health.  Some of the suggestions presented in the article include the following:
Limit consumption of process food;
Eat more fresh, quality proteins, fruits, and vegetables;
Limit consumption of wheat, corn, rye, and milk if there is a sensitivity towards grass pollen;
Limit beef if there is a sensitivity towards cedar and juniper allergies;
Limit eggs if there is a sensitivity towards ragweed; and
Limit shellfish if there is a sensitivity towards dust allergies.
I'll be attempting these alternatives and suggestions offered by this article and will blog about the results in later posts.
Sources: Natural Solution for Easing Your Pollen Allergies, Jack Challem, The Natural Reporter, Natural Grocer, April 2010, p. 6-7.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Star Wars Fans Must Watch.

Patrick Boivin, the Canadian film-maker, presents "AT AT Day Afternoon."  More of his creative videos can be viewed here.



Visit: http://photographywritingandmore.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Before Watching Outsourced on NBC...

... I would recommend watching John Jeffcoat's Outsourced. It's about a guy named Todd who is sent to India to train his company's call center. Todd, who is referred to as Mr. Toad by the locals, experiences challenges in management in a different culture. 





The new TV sitcom is an adaptation of the film. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Iron Baby

Canadian filmmaker Patrick Boivin presents "IRON BABY."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stomach Bug


My six-year-old boy has been attacked by a stomach bug. 

At 4:00AM, he came to my room to complain about stomach pains.  He crawled into bed and threw up.  He kept throwing up until he reached the bathroom.

After cleaning himself, he crawled back to his bed and went back to sleep.  When he woke up two hours later, he threw up again.

He stayed home from school.  We went to the local grocery store to purchase bread for toast, electrolytes drink, bananas, and apples.  Throughout the grocery store trip, he was cold and nauseous.

When we returned home, he slept for about three hours.  It seemed after his nap that his conditions had improved; however, his fever started to increase.  This evening his temperature was 102 degrees fahrenheit. 

If conditions do not improve by tomorrow morning, I'll be taking him to his doctor for an evaluation.

Hopefully it's just a stomach bug and nothing serious.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Old Photos

I came across several photos of me when I was little.  I had scanned these photos when my now six-year old son was born in hopes to show them to him.  When my last computer crashed, I had forgotten my photos were saved on a CD disk and feared that I had lost them.

I'm kind of excited to show him these photos and more tomorrow to my son.  Hopefully he will enjoy viewing pictures of his dad when he was little.

4 years old


cookie monster and me

Gund Sesame Street Cookie Monster 12" Plush

Saturday, August 21, 2010

O-Ren Ishii



From Kill Bill Vol. 1

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A New Definition of Mooning

The Gasometer Oberhausen in Germany offers visitors with an "Out of this World" exhibit where visitors can see the giant orbs of our solar system. 

One spectacular orb is the moon that is 82 feet in diameter, where visitors can experience the various phases of the moon.

Source: Sherman's Travel, Spring 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Greatest American Hero


It's been years since I watched an episode of The Greatest American Hero.  I was probably 10 or something when I last saw one. 

What I recalled about the series was that the plot was about a guy who was given a suit with super powers by an alien.  The shows revolved around how an ordinary guy adopts to the suit with super powers. 

My wife and I decided to watch an episode with our six year old--perhaps a way of introducing the pop culture we grew up with.  Needlesstosay, our son enjoyed its comical action.

While my wife and I watched the episode, we had fun thinking of who could or should be casted to act in the remake; if there was ever one.  We thought of many actors and ended up with the following: Justin Timberlake as Ralph Hanley; George Clooney as FBI Agent Bill Maxwell; and Julia Stiles as Pam Davidson.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is a fictitious word that was coined by a Puzzler as the longest word in the English dictionary. What does it mean? Well, supposedly its a medical term for lung disease caused by volcanic dust.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The SeaOrbiter


French architect and ocean enthusiast Jacques Rougerie has designed the world's first vertical ocean ship called the SeaOrbiter

The 167 foot tall vessel, which is solely powered by the winds and currents, will allow 18 crewmembers to spend up to six months in the ocean without returning to port.  This would allow oceanographers to study the ocean in a different way.  Further, Rougerie envisions astronauts using the SeaOrbiter for training.

The $43 million construction project is expected to begin in September and should set sail by 2012.

Source: PM Network April 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Heinz Doofenshmirtz: Impress my Professor



A few weeks ago, I was honored to sit on a review panel at Texas State's Public Administration Department. As I was preparing myself for the meeting by doing additional research on the topic, this song was playing on the TV. My son was watching Disney's Phineas and Ferb. So, on the drive to San Marcos, this song was stuck in my head.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Flying Motocycle

Samson Motorworks is building a prototype flying motorcycle called the Switchblade MultiMode Vehicle. The vehicle, sold as a do-it-yourself kit, promises ground and air travel. The company is hoping to have this vehicle available in 2011. The cost will set you back about $85,000.

Source: Scientific American March 2010

Imagine Vacationing in Space

Galactic Suite Ltd. of Barcelona are taking reservations for their first hotel in space.

The $3 billion project, conceived by a former aerospace engineer, is hoping to welcome their first guests in 2012. A three day stay is said to cost approximately $4 million per customer.

The guest pod will said to orbit 280 miles above the earth and travel approximately 18,651 miles per hour.

Reference: PM Network, January 2010.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cold or Allergies


Apr_14_2010_Allergies
Originally uploaded by GCAUSTIN
Either I am coming down with something or it's just allergies. I'm hoping it's only allergies.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fung Shui for Spring Cleaning


Luo Pan
Originally uploaded by GCAUSTIN
I've noticed that pictures I downloaded many years ago are being looked at. Both pictures, the lou pan and bagua, are commonly used when fung shui'ing a room.

I do have to admit, that these techniques are a bit challenging. I have yet to feel my house is fung shui'ed enough.