Saturday, December 31, 2011

Jalopnik Posted My Tip


So the popular automotive blog Jalopnik posted an article based on a link I sent them (which I saw at WashingtonPost.com).  Pretty cool.

Check it out.



Friday, December 23, 2011

UPDATED: Strange coincidence, or is North Korea a lot like ancient Israel?

So as I’m sure you’re aware, North Korea’s short dictator and Hollywood wanna-be Kim Jong il died like last week (good riddance), to the overwhelming chagrin of its brainwashed emaciated population.  The country is officially in a morbid state of mourning, and as new reports and videos (see below) have started to come out, I cannot help but see a connection between this sort of communal mourning and that of ancient Israeli culture as described in the Bible.

Firstly I must admit that for all my life when I’ve read, mostly described in the Old Testament (though the high priests Caiaphas’ robe-tearing escapade upon Jesus claiming to be God is right up there), about these uber serious, extended, mourning sessions by the Hebrew peoples, both individual and communal, I could honestly never really relate, nor conceptualize what that type of mourning entailed.  I mean I’ve seen people cry, even uncontrollably sob, at the death of a close family member or something else extremely tragic.  But mourn?  "Old Testament, day and night, multi-day" mourning?  Never seen it and never really knew what it looked like. 

Until now…thanks to those poor saps that got the short end of the stick by being born in North Korea :/


Genuine, or fo show?
            Now the outward action of mourning is one thing, but what’s really going on inside those peoples’ hearts?  Are they truly deprecated at the passing of their “Dear Leader”, or are they just trying to “cover their bases” in sight of the ever watching eye of the North Korean, Gestapo/Sauron-like authorities who will throw you in the Peninsula’s worst dungeons for saying “Lady Gaga” out in the open?  I think it’s probably 50/50.  No doubt the cult of personality, forcibly enforced, of the Dear Leader was as palpable as land mines along the 38th Parallel, and knowing so I’m sure at least half of these people truly are absolutely devastated that the only god-king they’ve ever known (apart from his father and now his son) is actually dead.  That said, I think the North Korean people are smarter than their actions may say.  I think a ton of them could give a rat’s @$$ about the Dear Leader and his miserable example of a “leader”, and merely give the status quo “worship” only to avoid the severe punishment they and their family would receive if they did actually relent a bit (though where are all the revolutionaries and visionaries in DPRK?!). 
            Regardless, because this type of mourning only reminds me of the “mourning” often found in the Bible, I wondered if the split is similar.  I mean growing up in an evangelical culture, often strong Jewish sympathizers; I was implicitly taught that this type of mourning was an extreme, yet pious act of devotion and reverence to G_d.  But what is half the folks in Numbers 20 were just giving lip service…
“Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar. And Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain, and when the whole community learned that Aaron had died, all the Israelites mourned for him thirty days.” Numbers 20:28-29
Are we to assume each and every Israelite was that broken up that Aaron had died?  Sure he was a good guy, as opposed to Kim Jung.  But thirty days of mourning?  Come on.  Not a chance that whole people were genuinely mourning that long.  Heck, most of them were prolly over it by the end of the week; getting on with their lives.

There are other extreme Biblical accounts of mourning that I actually believe were legit however by those that partook.  Take Daniel 10 for example.
“In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia, a revelation was given to Daniel (who was called Belteshazzar). Its message was true and it concerned a great war.  The understanding of the message came to him in a vision.
   At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.”  -Daniel 10:1-3
Now it’s a bit self righteous sounding at the end there, but if you were acutely aware of Danial’s overall life, you’d know this guy was legit.  He was authentic and I take his word for it. 

Then again, there are times where the Bible makes it clear the people are giving lip service, either out of fear of punishment or for personal gain or public accolade, like in Zechariah,
“Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: “Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?  And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? “  -Zechariah 7:5-6
So it’s nice that God himself calls out the false fa├žades of mourning that these people were giving.  That said, I still feel like the church culture treats almost all accounts of old skool “mourning” as a holy thing….when in fact, save a small few of truly authentic individuals and small groups, I’d say most of the Old Testament Israelite mourning was to follow the group and give lip service to a God or patriarch that they’d prolly turn their backs on or forget about in a few days.

Sure blessed are those that mourn (genuine mourning that is), for they will be comforted…but I think Jesus said it best in Luke 23 on his way up to Calvary,
“As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.  A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.  Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.”  -Luke 23:26-28
So people of North Korea…don’t mourn for Kim Jung il.  His fate has already been determined (he lost by the way).  If you’re going to mourn, mourn for any unforgiven sin you or your children have…for that is the only thing worth truly mourning over anything else.



For better context on the monumental pressures of social conformity that North Koreans face, check out this recent National Geographic documentary.



UPDATE:
Clearly the "mourning" going on during il's funeral the other day is staged.  I mean I would too if the state TV was all up in my grill and it meant getting a pat on the back or sent to jail, or worse. That said, what the world wouldn't give to see one North Korean in front of everyone giving the jerk the bird as his casket drove by.  

That said, there are two things I'm actually envious of North Korea in these clips:  snow and G-wagens :)




UPDATE 2:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

MTT is chippn’ the glasses and crackin’ the plates…cause that’s what Bilbo Baggins hates!

 Only one trailer today folks…but this is because to post other trailers would only dilute the untouchable quality and greatness of said trailer.  I would not want to tarnish it by adding other trivial, paint-by-numbers, standard Hollywood depthless fair.

So here you have it.  Enjoy!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Note, The Hobbit is being split into two separate movies. This is the first part.

Bonus #1:
The Hobbit
Just in case you missed the one above...or if you want to watch it 37 times like me :)

Bonus #2:
The Hobbit (1977)
Some of you may remember the old 1977 Hobbit cartoon movie. I grew up with it, and though it's not always critically acclaimed, I am actually very fond of it (though perhaps if I first saw it as a cynical adult I would've not been so fond). Anyways, If you need a Hobbit refresher and don't have time to read the ibook (though it's actually really short relatively speaking) I think it does a good job following the story. If you like this first part the rest of the movie is on Youtube.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tebow of the Day

As you know, all the stuff surrounding Tim Tebow has blown up. There’s some great stuff out there written about him, and some not-so-great (which boggles, but not totally, the mind that people would be against a guy, not perfect, but always trying to do the right thing and be a good role model, though not perfect) 

Anyways, I’ve conglomerated a bunch of articles on the guy…too many for one post…so as I feel it I’ll just be posting articles (both good and bad) on the guy that you may find interesting.


By Jeff Darlington | NFL.com

Thursday, December 15, 2011

MTT is going big or going home today

Trying to make up for last week's no-show...

The Grey
Qui Gon Gin going all survival mode

Lockout
A cross between Escape from New York and The Fifth Element starring Guy Pearce? Awesome!

G.I. Joe: Retaliation
First one didn't do too much for me

Cabin In The Woods
Typical teenage horror flick? Perhaps not...

Battleship
More expansive/explosive trailer.

The Expendables 2
All your favorite 80's action heroes are back

The Narrative of Victor Karloch
Pretty amazing puppeteering.

Fullmetal Alchemist : The Sacred Star of Milos
Never really been a Fullmetal fan, but I always love pluggin' Japanese Anime

Men In Black 3
Liked the first, not so much the second. We'll see.

MS One: Maximum Security
Apparently they decided to change the name of the movie since the last trailer I posted lol

Rock of Ages
Continuing the "80's" and "metal" theme lol

Five Year Engagement
Obligatory pretty-lame romantic comedy trailer

The Dictator
Sasha Baron Cohen is up to his lampooning shenanigans again. Love the 5 topaz Lambos though.

The Three Stooges
Not sure if my beloved comedic trio is in good hands :/

Bonus #1:
The Dark Knight Rises
Unfortunately looks like the leaked trailer 2 has been removed most places. Sorry.

Bonus #2:
Mission Impossible 3: Ghost Protocol
3 minute crazy action clip

Bonus #3:
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
9 clips from new Sherlock Holmes movie









Thursday, December 1, 2011

MTT is all sci-fi up in the house

John Carter
New trailer...much more revealed. Is that Mars or is that Tatooine?

Prometheus
Leaked cam trailer (I may have to remove it at some point), but super sweet look at what's sure to be an awesome sci-fi epic!

Wrong
Weirdest trailer ever

Mirror Mirror
Wait, isn't there another "snow white" movie coming out? Ugg, I hate milieu saturation.

Bonus #1:
Empire Strikes Back
Ha! Great stuff

Rare Empire Strikes Back interviews reveal very different plans for the Star Wars prequels

Bonus #2:
The Great Gastby
So they're making a new Great Gastby starring Leo DC...but at first glance I can't help but see my brother in this picture lol.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tebow

            I’ve been wanting to comment on Tebowmania the last few weeks, but have never really coalesced anything substantial together (btw, I love Tebow).   This whole time I’ve been so frustrated at the hate Tebow has been getting and I feel this recent article below sums up why there is so much hate (sort of how I wrote about the torrid unforgiveness shown Michael Vick last year). 


But there’s always been something nagging on me about Tebow’s disposition.  Not that he’s necessarily doing anything wrong or disingenuous at all…but that he’s sort of “missing” something related on how to use his platform most effectively.  I think Kurt Warner, no one more qualified to constructively and lovingly criticize Tebow if anyone, articulated it best when he said Tebow may want to be more “strategic” in his sharing his love for Christ.  The part I most agree with is the part about living the Gospel, using words when necessary yes, but let others glorify Christ through your testimony…sometime you just don’t have to do it yourself.  And you want to be careful not to throw your "pearls among swine," which I think Warner is trying to get at as well.



I feel like Warner was more encouraging Tim to remember Matthew 5:16,

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  -Matthew 5:16

Monday, November 28, 2011

UPDATED: Top 10 Ways to Not Be Poor

Update:
I've realized my intent wasn't exactly conveyed properly with the word "don't".  I've modified it to reflect a more positive suggestion.

You notice all those news reports about “poor” people in America (I put poor in quotes because it’s all relative.  Those we consider “poor” here in America would be at the very least upper class in some much more underprivileged societies), that typically it’s a young-ish couple…often with small children?  Of course this is an anecdotally-based generalization, but it always seems like it’s a young-ish (20-30’s) married couple with one or two or three small children.  Rarely do you see much older couples, or couples without children, or singles.  Interesting.
            Wealth is by no means a barometer for success or individual or familial health, but an individual, or couple, or family that doesn’t have to really worry where the next paycheck is coming from or how the next food bill will be paid tend to operate more peacefully.  The following suggestions/guidelines may not be liked by everyone, but they’re simple and don’t require a college degree (of course considering no extenuating circumstances like a life tragedy, physical disability, etc.).  They may not make you rich, but they should keep you from being poor.

1.         Don’t Wait to Get Married
            -Most of these young-ish couples in financial turmoil are finding out what they knew all along but never wanted to admit it while they were dating; that love doesn’t pay the bills.  Why get married if you are in the midst of financial troubles?  What’s the rush?  Why don't you spend a few months or even years getting on your feet?  There are no good answers.  Though when did those in love ever respond to reason anyways...

2.         Don’t Wait to Get in Debt
            -No you actually don’t need to buy that thing just because you want it real badly.  No, you don’t need that new car that will put you with a payment you can’t handle.  No, you don’t need that house that will put you in a mortgage you can’t do.  No you don’t need to go to that prestigious private school just because they have higher law school placement rates. 

3.         Don’t (I mean it here) Be a Slave to Interest
            -Pay off your credit card bill in total every month.  Do not let the principle of interest own you.  If you can’t pay off your full credit card bill every month, see #2.

4.         Get a Job, Any Job
            -For reasons I can’t explain I’ve had peers languish in unemployment because they’re looking for the “right” job.  Huh?  If you don’t have a job, and considering the good chance you’re not independently wealthy, go get a job, get back on your feet, and who cares what it is.  Starbucks, Walmart, or the many other establishments and local services would probably be happy to hire you as long as you’re not an ex-con.  I am befuddled when beggars become choosers in this arena.  Befuddled.

5.         Don’t Wait to Have Children
            - As much as they are bundles of joy, the fact remains that children cost money and you don't need to have one.  Why have a kid before you can afford to provide for that child?  Aren’t you starting off on the wrong foot when before the kid is even in the world you’re already being a bad parent fiscally?  There is no mandate you have to have a kid.  Just don’t until you can reasonably provide for its basic needs.

6.         Don’t Wait to Have Sex
            -There are plenty other reasons not to have sex (see The Virgin Manifesto for a few), but going along with the aforementioned reason, considering how much a financial burden children can be – and that sex sometimes ends up with a kid, why take the chance (despite the fact there are like a billion ways to enact birth control contingencies) for something so temporal?  This goes for married folk as well - at least you have “other” outlets than ones that lead to procreation.

7.         $80/month Cell Phone Bill?
            -Have you ever seen those really ironic and seemingly dichotomous photos of like a very poor, third-world nation family living in a mud hut but the parent is talking on their cell phone?  What a conflicting image.  Sure in America a cell phone is almost a necessity for everyone (almost).  But do you really need the latest iPhone with the full data package?  No of course you don’t.  If you’re struggling financially and have a cell phone bill over like $40/month, well come on dude.  Smart phones and data packages are not human living sunk costs.

8.         Sell Stuff
            -It’s amazing how much “stuff” we acquire as humans.  I have a lot of stuff myself.  But you can believe that a lot of that stuff will be the first to go if I need some cash.  Sell all that stuff you have that you don’t need or use or both.  Services, often free, like Craigslist and Ebay make selling stuff so easy nowadays there is absolutely no excuse to retain all the stuff you don’t need that is actually worth money.

9.         Get Your Hands Dirty
            -The amount of money people pay to have simple things done on their cars and around the house is amazing.  This may be more for the guys, but if you can’t change your own oil, fix a leaking faucet, or trim your own bushes and tree limbs...well you need to man-up a bit.  Save money by doing lots things on your own.  Don’t pay someone else to do it.  With the Internet there is no excuse to learn pretty much anything.  I don’t to subscribe to it, but the DIY Channel  is like the coolest cable channel out there.

10.       Ramen
            -This is more a principle of culinary frugality than specifically referring to Ramen, but you can’t argue with the price of Ramen noodle.  Believe me, the more you eat it the more you will like it.  It’s like a delicacy to me now.  And with resources like this, you can keep things new every night!


Friday, November 25, 2011

The Misconception of Faith and Happiness

            For some reason I sometimes feel bad when I’m in a spiritually “Eeyore” type of mood.  I.e. just down on the brokenness of the world, sin in general and sin in my own life, the general ignorance of the spiritual realm people operate in, etc.  Yes the Lord gives me joy…but more in the eternal sense, knowing all the crap of “today” will one day be eliminated.  I feel bad because for whatever reason I feel like I’m either 1) being a negative influence on fellow Believers and/or 2) turning non-Believers off to Christianity because who would want to join faith of a bunch of sulking adherents?  But why should I feel bad about not always having a fake smile on my face though?  Am I not emulating Christ’s very own proportional human disposition when the burden of living in this mortal coil manifests itself in my mood?  Shouldn’t our heart’s break for the fallenness of the world just as much as his always did?  

Listen, I am not a Christian because if makes me feel better about myself, or primarily really for any emotional benefit it gives me (though that is one positive side effect).  In fact, the contrary is true.  But isn’t that the point of the Gospel of Christianity?  It’s not here to dispose of niceties and high fives…it’s here to dish out the truth…which is basically how screwed up the world is because of how screwed up we are as individuals.  The Gospel’s message isn’t initially meant to be joy-inducing.  When you’re drowning in the ocean and someone in a boat yells, “You’re drowning!”, you don’t exactly respond with happiness.  The joy comes from the result of accepting the hand that pulls you up from your sinking under the water to the dark depths, accepting the reality of the fallenness of man and ourselves...and realizing the debt owed has been paid, yet paid by a most assuredly not-so-happy set of circumstances.  It reminds me of the story Philip Yancey recounts in his book The Jesus I Never Knew of when Marco Polo first encountered asians in his expeditions west.  They did not want to see the murals of a crucified Jesus of his foreign religion, but were more drawn to the idyllic pieces of baby Jesus and his holy mother.  This aversion of the “difficult” aspects of Christianity exists even today, even with Believers.  I’ve even met some "Christians" that haven’t seen and won’t watch The Passion of the Christ because of how violent it is.  WTH?! You’re not a Christian if you can’t handle what your Savoir had to go through to save you (we know enough of the punishment Christ went through that Gibson’s rendition is across the board considered an accurate portrayal).  But this aversion of the hard stuff is just a symptom of a deeper missing piece in these folk in that they don’t want to face the real sin disease of the world and of their very own hearts.

Christ himself said being a Christian "will basically suck in this world".  I’m paraphrasing John 16:33 of course but that’s essentially what he’s saying.  For someone to say “hey you’re not smiling or happy all the time, why would I want to join your faith?” is so logically inconsistent and anti-truth it’s not even funny.  If I was to join a faith solely based on it making me feel better and happy and smiling all the time I’d join the Raelian Movement, definitely not Christianity and all the cross-bearing it demands.

Of course the counter-point to all this is that even though the world is very difficult often Christians should still have a positive outlook and a peace always despite the crap of the world.  I agree with this and I think I do generally have a positive, peaceful outlook (people often comment how I, on the outside, seem to see usually the good in people and situations, except my own life, but that’s not for here).  I’ve also met and read about other Christians live in, or have lived in, really crappy situations, but remain super positive and joyful throughout and after them.  That would seem to contradict my assertions above?  Well not exactly.  Because even though joy is present, or should be, in all circumstance, that joy is based in eternal truths related to who God is, not in temporal happiness, or lack thereof, of the current circumstance.  Also, sometimes life just is heavy and you need to express that heaviness.  I mean Jesus expressed that more than once.  Yes, he had a burden way beyond anything we could experience, but it’s all relative right? 

Anyways, I’m getting too analytical at this point.  I just wanted to make the point that being a spiritual Eeyore is not necessarily a bad or truth-void disposition.  And I surely don’t apologize for it to people that find it oft-putting or unattractive.  I think it indicates a properly perspective on a fallen world.  That said, without the Gospel, that perspective will remain in hopelessness.  The Gospel gives us the truth yes, but it follows up with hope.  And hope converts into joy once it’s fully realized.  That’s why even in my “this world sucks” moods I can be 100% accurate, 100% joyfully hopeful, and 100% Christian.

To further paraphrase Jesus’ words in John…things won’t suck forever.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MTT is reminiscing

At least I'm able to fit MTT in...

Rampart
Bad cop drama

21 Jump Street
Used to watch the original tv show with my older siblings all the time

Pirates! Band of Misfits
New trailer

Beauty and the Beast 3D
It's even more magical in 3D?! Wow!

Bonus #1:
Raiding the Lost Ark: A Filmumentary - Part 1
Flippn' awesome!

Raiding the Lost Ark is an in-depth insight into the making of the 1981 collaboration between Spielberg and Lucas. This fan made Filmumentary contains behind the scenes video, rare interviews with cast and crew, reconstructed deleted scenes and subtitled facts.
This is a preliminary version of part 1. It's pre-QC and pre-audio mix.

Bonus #2:
Rampage
So there's talk of making the classic arcade game into a movie. Haha, could actually be pretty good/funny

According to Hollywood Reporter, producer John Rickard will be producing a film based on the classic video game and is looking for writers to help get the project started. New Line Studios will be releasing the film.

Bonus #3:
Prometheus
Pictures surfacing from Ridley Scott's pseudo-Alien prequel!!!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ultimate Bachelor Pad Indeed

            And I thought my place was pretty cool…geez this apartment is so appealing to me for some reason…and I’m not really a “city” guy.


If only I had $88k/month to burn on a mortgage…

Thursday, November 17, 2011

MTT had some of these trailers last week, but waited to show them

Snow White and the Huntsman
Does anyone else think the original Disney Snow White is kind of not-very-attractive? I always thought that mirror on the wall was a little off on that one.

Haywire
Trailer 2

The Hunger Games
Is this a teen book series or something? Never heard of it before this.

Brave
Looks good and funny, like most stuff Pixar churns out.

Star Wars: Episode 1 3D
For your consideration

Titanic 3D
For your consideration

Bonus #1:
Fiat 500 Abarth
Um...yeah. Ok you win Fiat. I will buy your product. You win. This commercial is just not fair.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Trying...

Trying to find the time and will to finish and post my plethora of thoughts and articles on life, love, and, why.  Apologies...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

MTT is looking forward to December 2012

Goon
Though I know it'll be very crude, a comedic story about a minor-league hockey goon sounds mildly entertaining. You can check out the "red band" trailer here...but warning it's crude

Journey 2 The Mysterious Island
I liked the teen-intended first one

Red Tails
Trailer 3. I'm all about this movie. Effects look amazing too.

Bonus #1:
The Hobbit
Production Diary #4. Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait...

Bonus #2:
Need For Speed: The Run
Yep...that sure is a BMW e30 M3 Sport Evolution featured throughout this crazy awesome trailer!

Sanctity of Life Double Standard

            A terrible tragedy has occurred at State College, PA, and I’m not talking about the dismissal of legendary coach Joe Paterno (though a sad sub-story to it all of course).  But I’m more referring to group of children that were abused physically over the however many years the assistant coach there was abusing them.  Poor, poor kids; may God’s grace and love comfort them.

That said, in the media outrage of the cover-up (though I completely agree with this outrage and am just as horrified and disgusted by the apathy PSU officials and coaches, Paterno included, allegedly exhibited) I can’t but help see one of the most glaringly sad double standards emerge from this whole ordeal. 

The news show below, common discussion among the media the last few days, exhibits this double standard that I’m talking about*





Rape is one of the most horrific acts one human can commit against another human being.  It’s even more reprobate when a child is involved, as was the case with the Penn State coach.  I’m not marginalizing at all how reprehensible this was.  That said is that act worse than murder?  How about cold-blooded murder of a defenseless child?  Is it even equal to?  I know how terrible rape is, but I can’t help but think murder is even worse…right?

Then what is with all the condemnation of this situation…but when it comes to the murder of a defenseless child in a mother’s womb…it’s a violation of a woman’s rights if we say that’s wrong, above all?!  The newscaster here said he would’ve beat the crap out of this coach if he was there at the time of the transgression.  Great!  Me too!  But what about the when a women (and in many cases their male partner is just as culpable) knowingly lets a doctor stick instruments in her private areas to violently kill the life out of a human baby?  Ok maybe you don’t physically assault that doctor…but at least he should get the death penalty right - for such an evil act, right?  If we’re consistent in our conviction of the sanctity of life like in this Penn State situation shouldn’t we also be all up in arms over the abuse and murder of children down the street from us?  Wouldn’t that be the logical extension of that same chagrin we all have for these poor, abused children up at State College?  Please tell me if I’m being logically inconsistent here.  And choice be damned…the Penn State coach clearly made a choice that he thought was best for him, his body, and that would give him the most happiness.  Eff that choice…it was the wrong choice and we all know it…because innocent human beings were cruelly abused as a result of that choice.  We must have laws to protect those children…

Screw any religious or political injection here…I’m just trying to remain logically consistent.  The media and other individuals for the most part aren’t.  They’re only disgusted by wrongdoing when it’s convenient – and therein lies one of the most glaringly sad double standards in society and individuals today.  Wake up people.


*Yes, I know they don’t talk at all about abortion etc. in this discussion, and yes I do not know the each individual opinion on the topic.  Though I do know a few of their opinions, which fall into the double standard category I am referring to.  The point of this piece is more to reveal the broader double standard in those that oppose the abuse of defenseless children in all cases, except when they’re women's bellies…as if somehow, and terribly illogically and insensibly, they’re not human because they’re behind some skin.