Category: television


Most of you may have noticed that I the bands I have featured here aren’t real heavy hard rock, until now.  I love rock, especially hard rock and metal and this weeks band is one of that fits that category perfectly.  Blue Gillespie.  The first time I heard about Blue Gillespie was at the 2011 Chicago Wizard World.  We were at a panel for Torchwood, the Doctor Who spin off. The two members of the cast that were on the panel were, Garetth David Lloyd, who until he was unjustly killed off in season 3, played Ianto, and Kai Owen, who plays Rhys.  Both guys were great and had a ton a fun, they even gave money to two audience members for beer.  During the conversation, Garetth mentioned his band, Blue Gillespie, and their upcoming plans.  So after the panel we went downstairs and they were signing stuff and he was also selling the cd’s so the wife bought it and he signed it.

So when we got home, we opened it up and threw it in, I was impressed, I liked it.  So I decided to find out a little more about the band so I looked them up.  This UK foursome was formed in 1997 with Gareth Lloyd on Vocals, Anthony Clark on Guitar, Rhys Bryant on Bass and Nick Harrison on Drums.  The name Blue Gillespie represents a “character” comprised of all 4 members inner struggles and anger.  The band is used as a way for them to clear their alter egos of darkness and anger and for them to become more positive.  Prior to the first full length album, Synesthesia, The band had released 2 EP’s.  Cave County 1 and Cave County 2, with the latter being more of an acoustic record.  They received mostly positive reviews and got great reactions at their live shows, which they live for.  As of this writing, their second album has been released, Seven Rages of Man, which was inspired by the Shakespeare speech from As You Like it.  We’ll start with the first full length album…..

Synesthesia 2010

This is the first full release and was met with plenty of critical acclaim from all over the world.  It is full of loud guitars, great bass and pounding drums.  The vocals help complete the package matching the band perfectly.  It all comes together for a nice tight Hard Rock/Metal package just right for anyone that likes the genre.  To be honest, after seeing Lloyd on Torchwood, it was hard for me to believe that those vocals were coming from him, but they do and it’s awesome.  The lyrics are great, somewhat dark, but that’s what you would expect from a band like them so it’s just right.  In fact its almost like a Blues band went metal….and kept their lyrics.  Its dark, brooding and moody and it’s great. The album is full of great tracks, not even kidding, would I recommend a one hit wonder to you guys?  Of course not.  The opening track, Beat Oven, is a great beginning and the album just goes like a freight train headed downhill with no brakes after that.  My favorite tracks? Well, I thought you’d never ask…..Beat Oven of course, Sugarglass, Skinned, Growsome, Making Sound, Black Waltz, and Paradox & Time Knot.

Seven Rages of Men 2012

Seven Rages is the Sophomore album by Blue Gillespie, but unlike a lot of Sophomore attempts this one is as good if not better than the original.  The album was mixed, mastered and co produced by Skindred guitarist Jeff Rose.  Like I mentioned above, its structure is inspired by Shakespeare’s Seven Ages Speech from As You Like It.  The album explores the depth of rage incorporating Shakespeare, Greek tragedy, modern philosophy and even mythology as influences.  Making a Metal opera almost, I say almost because Metal is awesome, Opera, well, sometimes I suppose.  The album contains different locations, characters and differing levels of anger and rage.  The album follows them from birth to death, complete with a prologue and an epilogue.  The tracks are all excellent and the same quality from the last album is there, in fact it’s probably a bit better.  The tracks sound great stand alone, but listened to in order give the listener a great experience….if you like Metal.  The best tracks? Well, if I have to choose it would be…..The Mewling, Interlude 1, Effervescent Youth, Sullen, Grim Determination, Interlude 2, The Misanthropist and  Epilogue.  Yup, that is almost the whole album, and with good reason, it rocks.

Conclusion

Blue Gillespie was influenced by great bands such as Tool, Portishead and Down and the influences show in their work.  They are a great Hard Rock act and from what I’ve seen on the internet and heard put on a hell of a live show.  They truly enjoy what they’re doing and it shows on both their albums and live.  So if you like Metal, give them a shot, their official website is http://www.bluegillespie.co.uk/ and you can even listen to their albums on there.  Thanks for reading, now start listening!

-John

All biographical info was gained from http://www.bluegillespie.co.uk/

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The Fold from left to right, Matt Pittman, Dan Castady, Mark Rhoades and George Castady

In a world where fabricated autotuned pop has become the norm, this week’s Band You Should Know defies that.  This week we finds us in my hometown, Chicago, to talk about a local band, The Fold.  This Power Pop Rock foursome and on very rare occasions fivesome was founded by brothers Dan and George Castady  back in 2005.  It was shortly after Dan’s stint in another local Chicago act, Showoff, where he was the drummer.

Dan left Showoff and pulled a Dave Grohl, becoming a guitar player and vocalist, and did a damn fine job at it.  The current line up of the band consists of Dan Castady on lead vocals and guitar, George Castady also on guitar, Drummer Mark Rhoades, Matt Pittman on bass and at times during some rare live shows, Joe Martin on guitar, although usually he’s working the merch table.  Together they form one of the best Power Pop Rock (I say Pop Punk but what do I know) bands that most people haven’t heard of.  They also happen to be one of the best group of guys you’ll ever meet (yes I have actually met them)
They released their two earlier albums, This Too Shall Pass and Secrets Keep You Sick,  on the Indie label Tooth & Nail, but decided to go their own way for their third full length studio album, Dear Future Come Get Me.  We’ll start with the first release, This Too Shall Pass….

This Too Shall Pass 2006

This Too was released in 2006, a mere year after their formation.  Even in this, their first label release, the lyrics are excellent, the vocals sound great and the guitar riffs and drumming is top notch, and this is only the first release.  The style is similar to maybe Jimmy Eat World or Fall Out Boy, well without the pretentiousness of Fall Out Boy.  Their lyrics are easy for the average person to connect with and show that they are just like us, the everyday person.  They like hanging out with friends, have loved and lost and have been through life events like the rest of us.  Its just a great, solid, enjoyable first effort that you can listen to straight through.  Since I always pick some favorite tracks, here they are….Gravity, New City, Going For My Lungs, Evermore, Stay, We’ve Been at This, Surrounded and I Believe You.

Secrets Keep You Sick 2007

Coming hot on the heels of their last well received album, Secrets, shows them grow and mature both lyrically and musically. Just like their last album, The sing what they know, and those things are what most of us can relate too.  The lyrics are more complex as is the music itself, but it still has the sound that I love from the first album.  Its a good all around second effort and won’t disappoint.  It’s upbeat and listening to it always makes me feel that no matter what happens, others have been through it and everything will work out.  As with the first album it’s very easy to listen to the whole album all the way through…..multiple times.  My favorite tracks are….. Medicine,  Your Secrets Keep You Sick,  New Skeptic, Closer, Down In Doubt and Living, Hey Rebekah, Castrophe!, and Revisited.

Dear Future, Come Get Me 2011

Well, it was 4 long years (give or take an ep or Christmas song) before The Fold released their 3rd Album, Dear Future, Come Get Me.  It was well worth the wait, because quite frankly it might be the best album they have put out to date.  It not only showed more growth lyrically and musically, but also showed how much they had matured as not only artists but as people as well.  I guess you could say The Fold grew up, then again I’ve seen and heard of some of their antics so I won’t go that far.  If you get the album from their website, you get 2 bonus tracks.  They’re parody tracks, one is Every Band in the USA, a Miley Cyrus parody which is really well done and fires shots at the autotuned bands that are so popular these days (Yeah, I’m that old that I’ll use a phrase like these days) and manufactured pop music.  And you know what? It’s great because finally someone stands up and calls them out.  The other is Can’t Stop Twitterin’, a Weezer parody and a great track about the Twitter craze and the people that twit about every little thing.  Oh and there are also a bunch of other great tracks, such as….File Under Ground (Take Me In),  Hold on,  Red Wine, Dear Future, Seventy Five Outgoing Calls, Sink or Swim, I Know Where I’m Going and Neverender.
Dear Future wasn’t just an album title, but a statement by the band.  For this release they left their label and are making the music they want on their terms and doing a damn fine job of it.  The album is also a look towards the future and the future looks bright so far.

Conclusion

The future indeed looks bright, in the last year they’ve done the theme for the 2012 Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers along with the tv show LEGO Ninjago.  Oh and probably most importantly, they also wrote the theme song for the Chicago Cubs that is used at the opening of every WGN radio broadcast, it’s the most important because they’re huge Cubs fans.  They also have a new EP on the way this summer.  Did I mention they also have some great videos on their youtube channel www.youtube.com/user/TheFoldMusic also make sure to check them out at www.thefoldrock.com.  So if you like non synthesized real, genuine fun punk pop rock please check them out and enjoy!

-John

 

So some of may have noticed there was no What did we learn this week last week.  For Week 7.  Why you may ask? Well, for one I was short on time and exhausted from real life.  Two, after the complete and utter disaster of my Einstein post (thanks to the 4 of you that read it and are interested in science) I started to wonder if I should even bother.  Then I got some positive feedback and some view from my election blog, so I figured I would keep on going.  Plus what the hell us I’m I going to do in my free time?  So without further ado, here is What did we learn this week……week 8 (I couldn’t name it 7 since that would’ve been last weeks!)

Rich people really don’t pay attention when they drive……

So Sunday we went with my parents to look for baby furniture.  We also had to go to dinner the same night at a pretty good German place afterwards so we looked at furniture stores in that area.  Now the area we were in has a decent amount of well to do and actually rich people in it.  I hate driving around there because I maintain that the more money people have the less they care about their car (they’ll just get another) and the less they pay attention while driving.  Thus was the statement I made when someone swerved into my lane with no blinker.  As I pulled past I could see him texting away with 2 kids in the back seat.  What and ass.  So to further prove my point, after we got to the restaurant and we’re having a couple of drinks for my cousins birthday, the waiter came over and asked if we had a Mercury Milan.  I responded yes and asked why, then he told me it had just been hit….in the parking lot.

So we went out and sure enough a woman in her late 40’s to early 50’s had backed into our door not paying attention.  What was she driving? A BMW.  To further my point, she has enough money to not go through insurance, and just pay to fix our car, $1649 to be exact.  Don’t get me wrong, She is actually a very nice lady, and I feel bad for her, but she was from a more affluent part of the area and wasn’t paying attention.  Point, set, match me.

In other news….Is twitter more addictive then alcohol and cigarettes?

Well, I’m not sure, but Professor Josh has a very in depth chart on his blog that shows it just might be, why not head over and check it out at http://professorjosh.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/is-twitter-more-addictive-than-alcohol-and-cigarettes-infographic/

“no…really, follow me!”

What did the iceberg say to Titanic? Glub….Glub…Glub….

At 2:20 am on April 15th 2012 it will be the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the titanic.  To this day explorers and scientists along with Titanic enthusiasts are debating and still trying to figure out how it sunk (other than the iceberg) and why it went down so fast.  The Titanic sits more than 2 miles down and to this day there are more and more pictures and video (higher quality than anything before) coming back from the murky depths and giving us a better picture of what happened.  For some great pics and the full story check out bisarbeats blog at http://bisarbeat.blogspot.com/2012/03/unseen-titanic.html#.T2xeMOa9qTE.wordpress

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Running low on energy? Want a little snack? Then put down that banana and pick up a cookie!  Wait?! What?!

Well, yeah, kinda.  A study by the university of  Sydney did a study to see which foods would satisfy your hunger and provide you with energy at the same time, and yes it seems that cookies and bananas are about the same.  Check out http://blog.massivehealth.com/infographics/bananas_vs_cookies for the whole story.

“Bring it Cookies!”

Good news everybody, Adobe has a brand new Photoshop coming out….

Now the bad news, its still like $700!  Yup for the first time in over a decade Photoshop is getting a completely new look, to me it was a bit similar to lightroom.  It’s also getting 65 new features.  Sadly the pricing is the same.  I tried it out and liked it myself, to try it out for free for yourself, check out Adobe Labs’ website at http://labs.adobe.com/  oh and by the way it’s a really large download so grab a sandwich or something while you wait for it.

NFL Blitz comes to real life….

You would think a team named the Saints would keep their noses clean, but nope.  Apparently as incentive to the players, the coach and management instituted a bounty system.  Yup, they would get paid for hitting certain players.  Let’s just be clear though, not just hitting.  The defensive players were paid $1500 for a knock out and $1000 for a “cart-off”.  The numbers would then be doubled or even tripled for play-off games.  Some of the players that were targeted were Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Brett Favre and Kurt Warner.  Some of the biggest names in the sport and some of the biggest crowd draws.  Also, to make it even worse, the Captain of the Saints defense Jonathon Vilma offered $10000 to any one that knocked Brett Favre out of the 2010 NFC Championship Game.  For more on the story check out http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7718136/sean-payton-new-orleans-saints-banned-one-year-bounties

“Wheres Bourbon Street?”

It’s a bird! An Angry bird! In Space!?

Yup Angry Birds space is now live!  For all you casual gamers or people that just want a diversion the latest in the Angry Birds series is live.  This time in space!  Do I really need to say anything more?  Go get it!

“If you think we were angry before!”

For all you TMNT fans out there…..

It looks like Michael bay is planning on resurrecting the movie series about mutant turtles, that happen to be ninjas.  My good friends over at Anomic Office Drone are under the opinion that they will ruin it, but come on guys, its about a group of mutant turtles that are ninjas, how bad can it really get?  Anyway head over to them and read all about it here  http://anomicofficedrone.com/2012/03/21/michael-bay-plans-to-ruin-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles/

“Ruin TMNT? Really? Look at the pic and tell me that again!”

We’ve been slimed!

In food news more and more supermarkets are hopping on the “No Pink Slime” Bandwagon.  Which I am a fan of.   Granted the FDA says its safe and as far as I know in the time its been added to food no one has died from it, it’s just fucking gross.  I mean come on, you’re adding Ammonium Hydroxide to the stuff to kill germs? For a list of who does and doesn’t sell it check out Allergic’s blog at http://atomiclotusbox.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/more-supermarkets-refuse-to-sell-pink-slime-in-their-meat/

“So, they said no more pink slime, I guess this might be another option for filler!”

Did you check out the new Linux based operating system created by a group of hackers?

Yeah, I would trust them not to put any backdoors into it.  The Anonymous OS was released this week based on the Linux distro Ubuntu.  The main problem is that the hacking group of the same name isn’t the group that put it together, in fact they say its riddled with holes and security issues! So who did put it out? Apparently no ones.  For more details check out Danny Carbons blog at http://dannycarbon.com/2012/03/19/anonymous-operating-system-prompts-security-warnings/

“Seriously, this time it wasn’t us!”

So that’s it, the week in review, I’m sure I missed some things, but that’s it for me.  Enjoy your weekend and as always thanks for reading!

John

So, its the Primary Elections today in America.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to get on a soap box and endorse a candidate, but it did give me and a couple of my friends an idea.  Why not make politics more appealing to people under the age of 90?  I mean come on, its drab it’s boring and all anyone does is make fun of each other and mud sling, then recess is over and they go back to class….oh wait….that’s kindergarten…well same thing. Most (not all) people don’t like watching debates for the above reasons.  There’s no pizzazz, no showmanship.  So we decided to come up with two completely new and viable ways to elect people, and a third one that would just be fun to watch.  So, I am proud to now present you with John and Nicks new and improved voting systems.

The first one was mainly my friends idea, hence why I gave him credit above.  You take ALL the candidates, and put them in one house to live together.  Yup, Big Brother style!  Every week the least popular gets voted off.  Think about it, it would be great!  I mean could you imagine Gingrich, Paul, Romney and Santorum having to live in the same house with Obama?  I mean I know he’s the current President, but I’m sure he can take 5 weeks out of his schedule for “Big Brothers, Presidential Election Special”  I mean wouldn’t it be great to see them all start off as “friends” then get all catty?  Then in the second week, BAM! a surprise candidate, someone like Palin or Nadar,  just to keep things interesting.  Then by week three we would find out who’s the alcoholic, who’s the racist and most importantly for ratings, who’s the Snooki of the group!  Yeah, now we’re talking!  Now, we wouldn’t just let them live together, oh no, each week there would be a set of challenges.  They would have to compete against each other, perhaps even having to….uh oh….work together to complete a task.  Maybe escape from a zombie horde like in The Walking Dead, ok that’s a bit far fetched but it would be fun!  Then the public each week would vote out the least liked!  We would allow 5 votes per phone line and email, as an added plus, we would charge a dollar a call and put the money towards the deficit.  Not bad right? It would sure spice it up!

Now onto idea two, which was primarily mine.  I think we should do it American Idol style.  All the candidates get 5 minutes to give a speech each week.  There would be 3 judges that would give there opinion on them, they would have to judge on style, the speech itself and the candidates presence.  The American people would judge on the content themselves.  Also, they would each have a speech coach and a style coach.  There would be a stage, some tense music and lighting and Seacrest could host!  The voting system would be the same as above.

So that’s our propositions for a new voting system, sure there might be some kinks to work out, but think of the voter turn out!  For the first time in a century you would have a high turnout!  Anyway, think about it, it would be fun.  Anyway, have a good day and thanks for reading!  Oh and wait till we layout our plan for the House and Senate!

John

Well here we are another week of 2012 in the books, so what did we learn?

Apparently you can sue yourself…..kinda.

In an ongoing saga for the great Stan Lee, he is now being sued by himself….kinda.  He is actually being sued by a company he started…..then left…..which actually bears his name.  I wonder in the courtroom if there will be Stan Lee then an evil Stan Lee? That would be wicked….the full confusing story can be found here http://www.movieline.com/2012/03/07/stan-lee-vs-stan-lee-the-epic-legal-follies-of-a-comics-mastermind/ for those of you interested.

 

What the?! I thought I had the new iPad?!

Well, not me, I never would be able to afford one, but for millions of Apple users and fans the iPad 3 was released this week to….well…I’m not really sure.  There are some improvements over the iPad 2, but not to the extent most had hoped.  Most of my Apple friends say they’ll wait for the 4th one.  I mean it’s nice and the new display is awesome, although calling it a retina display is a bit confusing, I thought it had to do with retinal scanning for security.  I’m sure it’s going to sell, I mean for 10 years Apple could’ve sold a ketchup popsicle to a woman wearing white gloves in the desert, but the latest iPad just doesn’t seem to be a huge jump.  While the new feature set is nice, better rear camera, better and faster graphics, better display etc, I think the biggest feature is that it caused a price drop for the iPad 2’s.  Which means more people will probably be giving them a look.  For the full specs take a look here http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/the-new-ipad-3-everything-you-should-know/

 

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Bat!

Batman Year One Deluxe edition is being released on March 14th.  For those that don’t know, year one is critically acclaimed and is one of the most important in the Batman saga.  It’s obviously about the crime fighters first year, one thing that makes this issue special is that it’s written by Frank Miller, with artwork by David Mazzucchelli.  So if you’re a Batman fan, this is a must have.  For more info check out http://firewireblog.com/2012/03/08/batman-year-one-deluxe-edition-new-printing-due-on-march-14th/

 

They do exist! Well maybe.

So, in Peru a mummy was found, nothing new there, except that it has an elongated skull.  Yup, this things skull is almost the size of its small body and as usual everyone is baffled.  Did I mention the larger than normal eyes also?

An anthropologist believes it to be a child of under 2 with an enormous head which possibly a human sacrifice.  Let’s be real for a minute, chances are it’s just a deformed human, but I’m sure that crazy greek dude, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos from Ancients Aliens (I love that show) will be talking about it soon enough!

Check out the full article at http://reinep.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/mummy-with-giant-head-discovered-in-peru/

 

I just bought the game! What do you mean there’s already DLC that I have to pay for!?

So the hotly anticipated ending to the Mass Effect trilogy, Mass Effect 3, was released this week…..along with the first DLC (downloadable content)  Some people see this as just another way to get more money from the already popular game by offering the DLC at launch.  We as gamers are always surprised to see a patch needs to be installed for a game that just came out, but to have DLC on launch day just makes it seem like we bought an incomplete game, jeese, give us a month to think that our 60 bucks bought a full game before you release the DLC! Anyway that’s just my thought on it.  As long as it’s not important to the finale I guess no one’s twisting your arm to buy it.

“What do you mean there’s already DLC?”

 

Glad you’re back from the injury, now if you would look at this pink piece of paper…….

It was announced this week that after 14 years the Indianapolis Colts decided to release Peyton Manning.  I guess the main concern was the amount of surgeries he had, but in 2011 they signed him to a 5 year deal, worth 90 million dollars.  I guess the prospect of another injury was too great for a team that went 2-14 last year.  With Peyton gone and their Superbowl winning coach, I guess it’s time for rebuilding.  I’m sure Manning isn’t retiring anytime soon and plenty of mediocre clubs would pay millions more for him.  For more about it check out http://anomicofficedrone.com/2012/03/07/peyton-and-the-colts-part-ways/ and http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82777827/article/peyton-manning-colts-part-ways-in-most-appropriate-fashion

“Seriously, I always thought you’d get cut before me!”

 

From the “What the hell?!” department…..

Conservative Christian Pat Robertson wants Marijuana legalized.  Yeah I know of all people right?  His arguments actually make sense on this one though.  He talks about the cost of the war on drugs and even thinks the US has gone too far when it comes to drugs.  Pointing out how many juveniles are being locked up for years over a joint, unless you’re rich of course (he points that out)  He also says that he believes it should be treated like Alcohol.  He even points out that since 2006 47,515 lives have been claimed in Central and South America (granted not all are related to Marijuana)  Any way, if you’d like to read more, and I’m sure some of you would like too, here’s the full story http://20poorandfabulous.com/2012/03/08/pat-robertson-wants-marijuana-legalized/

“Is it 4:20 yet?”

 

What’s it take to be an internet star?

Well apparently not doing an informative beer show on Youtube, blogging about beer or this blog either.  Apparently you need to be a rebel leader for 20 years in Africa kidnapping and terrorizing villages oh and keeping them as slaves, normal and for sex.  In an effort to catch him a video about Joesph Kony was released on Youtube.  The 30 minute video shows his atrocities and had 32 million views by Thursday.  For more on Kony check out http://www.freep.com/article/20120309/NEWS07/203090359/Hunt-for-jungle-militia-leader-Kony-goes-viral-aiming-to-get-him-arrested?odyssey=nav%7Chead   or Wikipedia him.  If you want to check out the video of this scumbag for yourself, take a look here http://youtu.be/Y4MnpzG5Sqc

“Joseph Kony, putting the infant back in infantry since 1986”

 

Take him down Red 1!

12 years ago a little game called Counter-Strike was released, well, to be fair it was a Half-Life mod.  It quickly became one of the most played PC online tactical shooters ever, in fact many still play the original today.  Then a few years later Counter-strike Source was released, bringing a new level to the genre of tactical shooters.  Not only were the graphics better, but using the Source engine made the physics way better as well.  Even though the Call of Duty and Battlefield series have kind of taken the lime light, both Counter-Strikes are still played today.  Now, 12 years after the original, Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment are releasing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.  One of the coolest features? Cross platform play across all supported systems! Yup, whether you have a Mac, Windows machine, Xbox 360 or PS3, you’ll be able to blast your friends full of holes.  I for one can’t wait.  For more info and a trailer check out http://store.steampowered.com/app/1800/

“Here Kony, Kony, Kony.”

 

It really is bigger on the inside.

So apparently the babies room, formely my computer room/office/catch all is a T.A.R.D.I.S (Time and Relative Dimension In Space for you non Doctor Who fans) because it seemed to bigger on the inside.  For the last for weeks I have been sorting through 15 to 20 year old crap and throwing out countless garbage can loads.  I then moved the rest into a much bigger space in the basement….which apparently couldn’t hold everything, so I went through again and finally the basement is about 90 percent done.  How an 11×11 room wouldn’t fit in a 40×20 space is beyond me.  How I accumulated that much junk is also beyond me, I guess old John is less tolerant of crap and throw more away then young John did.

“Yup, there is 25 years of crap in here, including a Sony sports cassette walkman and a socket 3 486 motherboard! Old Skool bitches!”

So yeah, that’s it for this week, it’s actually kind of a lot isn’t it?  So I hope you learned something and enjoyed it.  Thanks for reading!

John

So about an hour ago I saw a tweet about Davy Jones being dead, I have to say I was pretty surprised by it.  For those of you who don’t know who Davy Jones was, I’ll give a short explanation.  Jones was a member of a pop rock band that was put together for a TV show named the Monkees, I believe they were the first completely fabricated band, many have appeared since then.  The thing with the Monkees was that originally only one could play an instrument or write, Davy wasn’t that one, hey usually played the tambourine or sang.  By the end of the show, they were all playing their own instruments.  Funny, in today’s world of pop music, no one seems to play their own music, but back then it was kind of a big deal.  So, in tribute to him (I always liked some of his music) I thought I would do a little tribute.

Jones was born in Manchester England in 1945.  His first acting gig was on Coronation Street, a very popular and long running soap opera, when he was 11.  Sadly, when he was 14, his mother passed away.  He soon left acting and due to his short stature, 5’3″, he started training as a jockey.

Eventually he returned to acting and played The Artful Dodger in Oliver!  After the London run of Oliver! he also starred in the Broadway version in the states, this led to him being on Ed Sullivan.  Lucky for him, it was the same show The Beatles were on, and as a young lad standing on the side of the stage watching The Beatles and seeing the girls go crazy, he decided that he wanted that.  Because of the Sullivan appearance he was noticed by Columbia Pictures who then signed him to a contract, also, at the same time he recorded an album for Colpix Records, while Davy couldn’t play instruments (well at least not well) he could sing.

Shortly after the record and signing with Columbia, in 1965, he joined the cast of the Monkees.  his popularity sky rocketed and girls everywhere loved him, giving him his wish from that day on the Ed Sullivan show.  The TV show that Monkees ran for 3 years and went off the air in 1968, but by this time the group including Davy could all play there own instruments and continued to record.  They even had there own movie, Head.  The movie was no where near successful, I’ve never scene it and I really don’t have plans to but apparently it has become a cult hit.

Davy continued to tour and record throughout most of his life, putting on a great show and playing a mix of classics from the Monkees catalog as well as from his own records.  I believe he even had a stint in Vegas.  There were multiple Monkees reunions also, some with others without the full line up.  There was even a new album in 1996.  The band reunited, all of the members, for the first time in along time, in 2011 for a North American tour and UK tour that was successful.  Sadly some dates were to be rescheduled for 2012, but with the death of Davy Jones, from a heart attack today, those shows may never occur.

So there it is, the short version.  Davy Jones accomplished quite a lot in his time, and both he and the Monkees influenced many current and past bands.  If you don’t know who The Monkees or Davy Jones are, why not give them a listen.  The most notable tracks would probably be, Last Train to Clarksville (one of my favs), I’m a believer (which was remade for one of the shrek movies by Smashomouth), (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone (another of my favs) and A Little bit Me, A Little bit You.

Well, I hope you’ve read enough to be a little interested in The Monkees and Davy Jones.  RIP Davy and I’d like to thank everyone for reading.

John

So a whole lot happened this week and its been really hard for me to narrow it down, plus I got a bit distracted working on my new blog The Beer Show companion blog http://thebeershow.wordpress.com/ the companion to my youtube show, cleaning out my soon to be babies room, blogging about what it feels like to be an expectant father and to be honest, I just forgot, so here goes….so…..What did we learn this week?

If you paint it, they’ll be afraid…….

So in Southside Shopping Centre in Wandsworth, London a painter by the name of Andrew Walker, did such a good job of painting a 3D image inside an elevator that people were afraid to walk in.  He painted a 3d image that made it look like the floor was missing.  Yup, a pretty kick ass image indeed, check it out over at the fire wire blog http://firewireblog.com/2012/02/20/elevator-illusion-shocks-unsuspecting-london-shoppers/

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ike and Tina…..er……Chris and Rhianna?

So this week we heard that Chris Brown and Rhianna would be working together again.  Really? I mean I’m all for forgiveness but this just has bad idea written all over it.  The good folks at 20 poor and fabulous have put together a pretty good article, asking if they are indeed the new Ike and Tina, so head over there and check it out.  http://20poorandfabulous.com/2012/02/20/are-rihanna-and-chris-brown-the-new-ike-and-tina-turner/

Major Tom are you there?

So this week, 50 years ago, John Glenn made a historic space flight.  John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.  he discusses it in a video that the 1000 year old man posted here http://toodamnez.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/50-years-later-astronaut-john-glenn-recounts-his-historic-mission-in-space/  enjoy!

Good news everybody!!!

For all you gaming Doctor Who fans, BBC has announced that The Eternity Clock, will using the Unreal 3 engine, which should be pretty awesome!  from what I’ve heard the game sounds pretty good, so we’ll have to see.  You can check out the full story at http://theunpaidgamers.com/2012/02/21/bbc-worldwide-and-supermassive-games-bring-doctor-who-the-eternity-clock-to-life-with-unreal-engine-3/

Waterworld? hopefully no Kevin Costner!

So Scientists have found a new planet.  A steamy waterworld that’s supposed to be larger than Earth.  The original designation for the planet was GJ 1214b and was first found in December 2009, It wasn’t until new Hubble Telescope images that they found that the water world was surrounded by a steamy atmosphere, for the complete story check out Bisarbeats blog http://bisarbeat.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/bisarbeat-new-type-of-alien-planet-is-a-steamy-waterworld/

Ever watch Star Trek The Next Generation and want Geordi’s visor?

well if you did then good news! Google is working on a pair of internet enabled glasses!  They’ll be Android powered, allow you to check your email, check in to your places and update your Facebook.  They’ll link to your smart phone and provide a heads up display.  It would be interesting to see how they would work with the monocle feature for the yelp app. for more info check it out Danny Carbons blog http://dannycarbon.com/2012/02/22/google-to-offer-terminator-style-smartphone-glasses-later-this-year/

Permafrost my A…….

So a group of Russian scientists found an Ice Age squirrels burrow, that contained fruit and seeds that had been buried in the Siberian permafrost for more than 30000 years.  From the tissue samples, they were able to resurrect a plant.  The plant, The Silene Stenophylla is the oldest plant that has ever been brought back and the scientists say its in full working order.  Personally, I would’ve been more impressed if they had resurrected the squirrel.  Anyway for the full story check out Contr237’s blog here http://videogamenews4you.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/russians-resurrect-30000-year-old-frozen-flower/

Don’t cross flooded rivers with no pants on….

So a man in Zimbabwe is in the hospital after a crocodile bit off his testicles and some of his penis as tried to cross a flooded river.  Did I mention he was carrying a box tomatoes on his head…..and had no pants on?  He had taken off his pants and put them in the tomato box to keep them dry, makes perfect sense.  For more of the story check out Anacristina79’s blog at http://anacristina79.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/crocodile-bites-mans-testicles-during-zimbabwe-river-crossing/

When IT says not to disable the firewall they mean it!

So there is a possibility that on March 8th the internet will be shutdown, by the FBI, apparently hundreds of computers in more than a hundred countries have been corrupted by the DNSChanger Trojan.  Whats its do?  Basically it sends unsuspecting users to fake sites of that look just like the real ones to steal info.  For the full story follow the link here http://atomiclotusbox.wordpress.com/2012/02/24/will-the-fbi-shut-down-the-internet-on-march-8-because-of-computer-virus-concerns/

So I think thats about it, I’m heading to Las Vegas for a little bit this weekend, hopefully I’ll get some blogs in for you but if not I’ll see you all when I get back, so thanks for reading!

John

Yup today believe it or not is the 26th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda….the original….The game that defined adventure gaming for years.  The basic plot revolves around a boy named Link who is tasked with saving Princess Zelda (really Shigeru? another princess? poor Mario…..) from Ganon.  To this Link (you) must reassemble the Triforce, a powerful ancient artifact.  The odd thing is that you need to collect 8 pieces….of the TRIforce…..yeah….see what I’m getting at? Hope so cause I ain’t explaining it.  Anyways the game was released in Japan, today February 21, 1986.  It was the launch title for the Famicom Disk System, which allowed you to save your game.  Some of you may release that this was about a year and a half before it was released in the US, mainly because the Disk System never made it here.  So Nintendo put it on a cartridge that included a battery so you could save.

Myamoto was the brain child of Super Mario Brothers that was released a year before in 1985, what most people didn’t know was that he and his team were working on The Legend of Zelda at the same time.  One of the huge differences in the two games (other than one being a side scrolling platform game) was that Zelda was not linear.  You could play most of the game in any order that you wanted.  It was also one of the first games that pushed the boundries when it came to a game world.  The land of Zelda was an actual world, map and all.  The game consisted of an outside world and dungeons.  when the game was officially released on cartridge in the us, it was a gold cartridge, the original boxes also had an opening to let people see the gold cartridge.  Within a year of the original release a sequel, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link was released.

The game was Nintendo’s second game to sell over a million copies, the first being Super Mario Brothers.  The game was so successful, that it even had its own tv show for a bit, and was one of the first Nintendo games to be merchandises with watches, guidebooks and even a breakfast cereal.  It has remained influential to this day, lots of new RPG games have elements similar to Zelda.  It also is still widely popular, finishing among the tops in many top game lists to this day.  17 years after its release it was ported to the Gameboy advanced and still sold like ice cream in the desert, and even got ratings almost as high as the original.

The game has a rich back story given in the instruction booklet (the what?) and through the in game prologue.  It’s based in a land called Hyrule.  The Prince of Darkness, Ganon, invaded the kingdom to steal the Triforce of Power, an artifact that is capable of giving great strength to who ever holds it.  Princess Zelda, doesn’t like the idea of the Prince of Darkness holding on to it so she gets hold of it, breaks it into 8 parts, then hides them in various dungeons to keep Ganon from getting them.  Now’s when you come in, Impa, Zelda’s nurse maid is sent by Zelda to find a man that can destroy Ganon.  Of course Ganon doesn’t appreciate this, so he sends troops after Impa and then, in typical Nintendo fashion, locks up Zelda.

So, for some reason (probably space limitations on the cartridge and disk) Impa’s story is in the manual, so if you decide to play the game, read the manual! Anyway according to the story, she was surrounded by the bad guys, as they moved in on her she was saved by a young man who drives the monsters off.  She of course tells him what happens and he in true heroic fashion vows to rescue Zelda and save the land.  I think you can see where this is going….Link gathers all the eight Triforce pieces and yada yada yada.

So there you have it, a quick overview to an amazing game (yes even with 8 bit graphics and sound) that still stands the test of time.  This game appealed to all kinds of people, I know people that never played any video games other then Zelda.  Its a great game and if you can get your grubby little paws on it I highly recommend it  I would also like to thank http://www.thinkgeek.com ‘s twitter account for reminding me of what today was, well other than Fat Tuesday.  So check them out also.  Well thanks for reading and I hope you learned something!

John

Well, its Friday, so it’s another edition of what did we learn this week? Well first off…..

Incest might not be best…..but it might be the only choice in Iceland!  Apparently its hard to find someone to date….in Iceland.  The population is so small, roughly the size of Pittsburgh, that people will sometimes start dating someone only to find that they are a long lost relative!  So to help this problem some very nice people have started a searchable database…for the link to the full story please visit my good friend, anacristina79’a blog at http://anacristina79.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/icelanders-avoid-inbreeding-through-online-incest-database/

I now pronounce you sausage and green peppers.  If you and your significant other are really into pizza and have 10k you now can have Pizza Hut take care of that pesky ring for you with their engagement package.   Yup you heard right.  Want to know more? Once again anacristina79 can be thanked for this one!  http://anacristina79.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/pizza-huts-10000-engagement-party-package-includes-a-ring-fireworks-and-pizza/

From the “you can never have enough bacon” department.  Well I love bacon, but I even think this goes a bit far.  Apparently Jack in the Box now is offering an extremely limited time bacon shake….yup you read that right.  They didn’t say how limited, so if you’re a bacon fan and want one you might want to visit the Jack in the Box website to find out where to get your fix!

Whitney Houston died? What should we do? Well if your the same company I bitched at last week for not offering a UMD game exchange program in the US (yeah I’m talking about you Sony!) you raise the prices on her CD’s, well at least until you get caught!  Sony put the prices back then apologized but seriously Sony wise up will ya?  The link can be found here at my friend anomic office drones blog, if you want the full story http://anomicofficedrone.com/2012/02/13/you-stay-classy-sony/

For all of you Grateful Dead fans with….cough….cough…. Glaucoma…The US is close to legalizing medical marijuana everywhere as long as it abides by the Washington DC rules….I would tell you more about it, but to be honest typing this is making me hungry so head over to http://anacristina79.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/congress-oks-medical-marijuana-everywhere-with-dc-rules-attorney/ for the link to the full story!

D’oh! Guess who got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?  That’s right Chelsea Handler…..er no….wait….I mean Matt Groening!  Yup the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama has finally been awarded his very own star on the walk of fame.  I may not be a huge fan of the last few seasons, but I love the older ones and think this star was a long time coming and well deserved, kudos Matt!   For more check out http://anomicofficedrone.com/2012/02/14/matt-groening-just-got-a-star-on-the-hollywood-walk-of-fame/

The Godfather part 4, What do you do if you’re a Sicillian drug dealer on the run from the Sicilian mafia…..er…..government?  Well if you’re an idiot like Michele Grasso, you run to London then post pictures of your escapades showing famous places….oh did I mention he even labeled a photo album Christmas in London?  Yup pure genius and now you can guess who’s being extradited back to Sicily.  The full article is over here at my other good friend Danny Carbons blog http://dannycarbon.com/2012/02/15/sicilian-fugitive-deported-after-london-whereabouts-revealed-on-facebook/

They do exist! Well according to Timothy Good anyway.  The best part? He says that Eisenhower had 3 secret meetings with them! Yup, he appeared on a BBC2 program discussing it.  The article also has some other info, how true it is I don’t know but its a good read! So check it out over at Ray Alex’s http://reinep.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/former-us-president-eisenhower-had-three-secret-meetings-with-extra-terrestrials/ and enjoy!

Put them in the Iron Maiden! Yup you Bill and Ted fans know that statement, and also you know I ain’t talking about the torture device either!  Iron Maiden announced their Maiden England World Tour! Yup so look to see if they’re coming to a city near you!

Be honest, you didn’t really buy the electric car to save the world….did you?  Because if you did guess what?  You may be making it worse!  Yup, a study that focused 34 Chinese showed that the amount of fine particle emissions produced to make the electricity for the electric cars was worse then from regular cars.  If you want the full story the link can be found here http://anacristina79.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/study-shows-impact-of-electric-cars-is-worse-than-petrol-powered-vehicles/

Thanks to the good folks over at http://larryfire.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/did-you-know-that-it-costs-2-4-cents-to-make-one-penny/ I now know that it takes 2.4 cents to make a penny!!! what the F#$%? why are we still making them!? they can be found on any street in the union! pay the homeless and unemployed to pick them up and return them! I mean we actually lose money making the things, no wonder we’re broke, any way head over to the above link for the full story!

So I find its funny that everyone seems to focus on movie and music piracy hurting the respective industries, but why is no one talking about technology knock offs?  Well my friends at the Ramblings of a Techie blog discuss this very topic, http://theatretechgeek.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/chinese-rips-off-damaging-the-industry/  enjoy!

And on the lighter side….er darker side?  Forbes magazine put together a list of where exactly the Galactic Empire and Emperor Palpatine went wrong! So enjoy!

Oh, and the last thing I learned this week is that when UPS says 2 days guaranteed means “we’ll get it there when we damn well please”  I find it funny that a company that loves logistics they don’t know what the f they are doing.  See, my package shipped on the 15th, 2nd day air.  I live near Chicago so imagine my surprise when I saw it landed in Des Moines Iowa, instead of at Ohare airport, then hopped on a truck to go from Des Moines, back to….Des Moines! yup it departed then a half hour later arrived there again! then departed like 10 hours later to come to Chicago by truck! WTF happened to the air part of the 2nd day air?!  So once again, UPS is late getting me a package, and before you jump on me, the original date that THEY said it would be delivered was the 17th.  So UPS gets the middle finger award for the week!

Enjoy your weekend!

John

17 years ago a movie was released that many of you probably didn’t watch.  The movie was Hackers.  At the time the internet was still in its infancy and Windows 95 had just come out, most people didn’t even own a computer let alone go online for anything yet.  It had some young stars that have since taken off and some pretty big names at the time, Johnny Lee Miller (Trainspotting, Eli Stone, Dexter), Angelina Jolie (Do I really need to list anything here?), Matthew Lillard (Scream, Scooby Doo, , Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit, Early Edition, Lost), Alberta Watson (Le Femme Nikita tv series, 24, Nikita), Lorraine Brocco (Goodfellas, The Sopranos, Rizzoli and Isles), Marc Anthony (mainly a singer but has done some acting work) and Penn Jillette (Penn & Teller: Bull$hit, Penn & Teller tell a lie).  It also had a great elecetronic (I’m just using a generic term here) music soundtrack featuring some of the biggest names at the time, Prodigy, Orbital, Underworld and Leftfield just to name a few, the score by Simon Boswell wasn’t bad either.  In fact it spawned a total of 3 soundtracks because not all the music would fit on one disc.  The 2nd and 3rd also had music “inspired” by the movie.

Granted a lot of people didn’t care for the film, I enjoyed it.  I’ve been into computers and technology since I got my first computer, a Commodore VIC-20 back in like 1982 or 83, when I was like 4 or 5.  I knew that not all of the terms they were using were correct, I also knew that a lot of the phone phreaking things they showed and did did’t work anymore, but I didn’t care.  I also knew that mainframes weren’t made of visual columns showing every workstation at a company or that a computer worm doesnt actually look like a CGI worm.  I knew that was all done to make it more appealing, just like the stylized way the rag tag group of hackers dressed.  What I don’t think anybody knew, is that even with all the outdated equipment and lingo, how much more relevant that movie is today and how it foreshadowed today’s world.

The plot is basically about a group of late teens who enjoy breaking into mainframes, whether its a company, a bank, or even a tv station for fun and bragging rights.  Basically just to say they could do it, anything they download would be used just to show that they did it, not for profit or anything like that.  In one part, one of the Secret Service agents is reading the Hackers Manifesto, which gives a bit of incite into why they do what they do.  One night, the newest (n00b) of the group hacks into an oil companies mainframe, he starts to copy a garbage file.  As he is doing this the IT security people notice it and start a trace (not ultra realistic but whatever).  As they are tracing him his mother walks in, tells him to go to bed and turns off his computer, causing him to only have a partial copy of the file.  This file we later find out is a worm program that the head of security buried in the system to steal 20 million dollars, after he detects the hacker he then installs a virus that is going to cause oil tankers to capsize, and blames it on the hacker and his friends.  Long story short the young hackers defeat the bad guy with the help of a few thousand hackers from around the world.  There’s a lot that I left out about the movie, but thats the basics, now you’re probably wondering how this is relevant today or how it foreshadowed anything.

Well here’s how.  Lets take the group Anonymous for example.  They hack into computer systems and mainframes of large organizations,  download files then over load the server much like they did in the end of the movie hackers, only it probably doesn’t look nearly as visual.  Unlike in the movie though, they release the data for all to see, not just other groups.  Of course they say they are just doing it for fun, maybe they are maybe they aren’t, so far I haven’t heard about them taking any large sums of money or holding a companies hostage with a computer virus.  I am not agreeing or disagreeing with what Anonymous is doing.  I’m just pointing out that with the rising number of cyber attacks across the boards, maybe someone 17 years ago should’ve watched the movie Hackers, and instead of making fun of it or saying Angelina Jolie was hot, realized that this was a very real future.  Parts of the movie are probably more true today then ever, people still use simple passwords (especially non computer people), they still leave machines logged in when away from they’re desks, ships are mostly computer controlled and linked to GPS, companies both big and small get cyber attacks every day and employ IT groups that know security.  In fact the whole world today is one big network.

So I guess my point is that a small time movie that took a chance on some young stars really was ahead of its time, hell you can have Spielberg and Lucas CGI out the cordless phones, pagers and outdated machines and replace them with new equipment and the plot would still work, in fact more people would probably understand it.  Rarely do movies from the past seem relevant almost 20 years later, but to me this one does, and like I said above, it foreshadowed the world we live in today.  Thanks for reading and as always if you have the time, drop by and checkout my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/nervousdogprod or some of my work at http://www.2dayhangover.com

john

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