Monthly Archives: January 2014

On Facebook, clicking ‘like’ can help scammers

Who isn’t annoyed by all those photos being shared on facebook that threaten you with bad luck if you don’t click share? Or if you don’t share this, you must hate God or your Mother? For all those who need some facts to support why you shouldn’t share those pages read the CNN article below.

Excerpt from article:

“Like farming” on Facebook takes advantage of users’ good intentions to make posts go viral
Making a page more popular with likes and shares makes it show up for more users
Owners can then use the popular page to advertise, or sell it to someone else
Often, images and videos are used without permission of their owners

“Those waves of saccharin-sweet posts that sometimes fill your news feed may seem harmless. But all too often, they’re being used for nefarious purposes. At best, a complete stranger may be using the photos to stroke their own ego. At worst, experts say, scammers and spammers are using Facebook, often against the site’s rules, to make some easy cash.”

Lone Survivor, seen in theaters

I’ve heard nothing but good reviews for this movie. But in general people, especially Americans, are prone to praising “war movies”. Sitting in the theater I couldn’t help but think I was watching the next generation of “war movies”. The theater was mostly full of older veterans, and there was no shortage of older gentlemen giving out a comment or two during the movie.
The debate will be never ending as to how much is actually “true”. Yes, it was based on a true event, but we all know that term can be used very loosely. And considering only one guy survived, we are all at the mercy of his interpretation of the events.
My only complaint was the graphicness of all the horror. I almost felt this movie should be labeled more as a slasher horror than a war movie. But the reason behind it tied into the plot, so although it left me squirming for a good portion of the movie, they made it work. It wasn’t pointless beatings and gore just for the point of more gore.
I had anticipated being more emotionally moved by the movie. This was what everyone told me I would encounter. Perhaps it was the gore that forced me to start shutting down emotionally. But I found myself quite detached by the end… I was told I’d start crying when the photos started rolling with the credits. Instead I was mapping out an escape plan to exit the theater before all the retirees blocked me.
So would I suggest going to see it? Yes, it was a good movie. But go with an empty stomach and expect to see a lot of blood. This movie leaves nothing to the imagination.

The meaning behind my first tattoo

Ever since I acquired my first tattoo it has been a conversation starter. No matter if I’m at an airport, working out at the gym or just shopping at the store, people feel no shame in asking, “what does your ankle say?” Some have asked if it says MEN, and from some angles it may look like that. But those who are fellow fans, recognize it right way, the trademark backward E says it all.
So this then leads to the next question of, “why do you have EMINEM written on your ankle, in big block letters?” I never give people a straight answer to the query. But I’m sure most do earnestly want to know the motivation behind permanently inking one’s body.
So you want to know why? Well here’s my story.
Summer of 2002, I was on a road trip from Lincoln Nebraska to Denver Colorado, my sister drove most of the way. At the time, she was really into Eminem. That’s right, a six hour drive… most of which was spent listening to Eminem. So there you go, right? I was brainwashed into liking him on that road trip. Not quite. That was my introduction to him. It was the return drive that spurred the catalyst which led to the tattoo.
I was going… eh 75mph or so, on I-80, I’m sure many of you have been on it. Anyone who has been through Nebraska knows of I-80. And… POP, back tire blew on my little SUV. It was just me at this point in the road trip. Being a young 19-year-old driver, I felt it best to slam on the brakes once I noticed the steering was unresponsive. It was my fatal error, the car rolled four times, once in the air, my bystanders informed me. I landed upright and facing the opposite direction, still seated, thanks to my seat belt. I suffered only a few broken bones.
I healed of course, after some time. But driving was never the same for me after that. I couldn’t go over 25mph without feeling the sensation of rolling. Turns were nightmares. And driving on I-80, forget about it. I would grip that steering wheel until my hands ached, my palms sweating, I was a mess. I had to concentrate or my speed would slowly decrease… it just wasn’t going to work out. It was starting to appear as if I would never drive outside of a city again.
And then I remembered Eminem. I don’t recall all the details, but I bought some of his CDs and I quickly learned that his songs affected me differently than other music. Normally I use music as background noise. I don’t really listen to every word of it. But with Eminem, he was telling stories and you had to concentrate to catch every word. Listening to a song that required this high degree of focus… was distracting. And a distraction was just what I needed.
Putting on one of his albums allowed me just enough of a distraction that I was able to finally reach speeds which didn’t send the cars behind me into a flurry of honking. Shortly after, I got the tattoo. It was my way of saying thanks. Getting over my phobia of driving would have taken much longer if I hadn’t had his music to listen too.
To this day, if I need to clear my head. I’ll put on one of his albums. It’s not background music and never will be. Which is why, if I’m with you and one of his songs comes on the radio. I might ask you change the channel. Cause it’s really hard for me to listen to what you are saying, or what anyone is saying, when his songs are on. Or you can just hush up until the song is over.

Saving Mr. Banks, seen in theaters

Saving Mr Banks, seen in theaters 20 Dec
As I sometimes do, I read the book this movie was based on shortly after I saw it. This movie was based on the making of a movie which was based on another book! So I watched Saving Mr. Banks, then I read the biography, Mary Poppins She Wrote. Next I read Mary Poppins, and watched the movie, Mary Poppins.
So, this is a review of all four items. First, Saving Mr. Banks. VERY GOOD movie. The actors and actresses did a great job. Yes, because this movie was based on real events, some people like to nitpick on the historical inaccuracies, if you want to know about those, just look on IMDb, people have already listed all the little movie errors. But I felt they did a good job and I felt transported back in time. The movie was very heart wrenching, so if you go, expect to shed some tears. The progress of the movie did feel a little slow in the beginning, I was slightly bored, but it picked up as the drama increased in the flashbacks.
Yes, this movie was based on real events, but it was highly dramatized. The flashbacks are almost complete fantasy. When I read the biography of Travers, I was shocked that the flashbacks were completed in the first thirty pages of the book. It’s a 416 page long novel. So yeah, most of the book is not in the movie, which is fine. The book is really like reading a historical record of all the people Travers ever met in her life, and a thorough explanation of her family tree. Maybe twenty pages of the book cover some of the Disney interaction. I think the movie got most of the material from the audio recordings that are mentioned. And the book is not at all focused on those.
The Mary Poppins book; I get why children enjoy it. I myself, found it hard to follow. It jumped around from different people’s points of view and made me dizzy. I mean, I’m reading in the point of view of a dog one sentence, then a raven, then a baby, then Mary Poppins. Stick with one person for crying out loud. But as a kid, I would never have noticed such things and would have been highly entertained.
The movie, Mary Poppins was the final part of my research. The biography told me which stories from Mary Poppins would be in the movie. There are several Mary Poppins books and each chapter is a short story. The movie took chapters from the first two books, if I remember correctly.
Now I did all this, because the trailer made it seem like Mary Poppins was based on a real person. Well, after all my research, it all boils down to a rather anti climatic answer. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, based Mary Poppins on various women and herself. At least that’s what the author of her biography deduced.  (And isn’t that how all fictional characters are created?) Now the movie hints that Mary Poppins is based on Travers’ Aunt Ellie, and they don’t even make it clear the woman is Aunt Ellie, but I was able to figure out that much after I read the biography. But the book does not agree with the movie on this conclusion. Again, like I said, the movie is highly dramatized.
Basically Mary Poppins is family to Travers, like Mickey is family to Walt Disney. That is the meaning behind Walt Disney’s quote of, “She’s family, isn’t she?”
I would say, go see Saving Mr. Banks. It’s a good movie. And I’m glad they dramatized it, because otherwise it would have been ungodly boring.
One interesting note, in the movie Travers says she has no family that would miss her. I discovered in the biography she adopted a son. But the son basically disowned her when he found out he was adopted. He encountered his twin in a pub. I would have found this an interesting element to add to the movie and I’m surprised they didn’t.
Something both the book and movie avoided explaining was why Travers denied being originally from Australia. Well the author of her biography was Australian, so I’d guess she likely didn’t want to bring it to light herself and chose to exclude it from her book. But around the time Travers father was alive, it was popular for Europe to send their overflow criminals to Australia. Their prisons were too crowded. The biography author was unable to figure out the origins of Travers’ father, so I’m going to go out on a limb and conclude either he or his father were part of this forced migration. It would explain why Travers was so ashamed of it.