Random Topics – 2013 Daytona 500, Olympus Has Fallen, Yahoo! & More!

Today we’re discussing a few topics that have recently been in the news.

2013 Daytona 500

First is this past Sunday’s running of the annual Daytona 500 race in the NASCAR Cup series.

As a whole, the race was fairly boring until the last 20-30 laps when the drivers began making their moves to go for the win.  This is commonplace with today’s restrictor plate racetracks (Daytona and Talladega) as most of the drivers will simply sit back and “save” their car for the end of the race.  Those tracks also tend to pack the cars together, and when accidents occur, they can damage many cars.  As a result, some drivers will intentionally stay in the very front or rear of the pack and try to keep out of harm’s way for when “the big one” occurs.

Jimmie Johnson won the 2013 running of the Daytona 500, but as far as the media and commentators were concerned, it was rookie Danica Patrick (she did run a partial schedule at the Cup level last year, so she does have some experience at a few of the tracks, including Daytona) who led the headlines and commentary THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE RACE.

Danica won the pole position for the race.  Whoop-de-do.  A) It’s a restrictor place track where ANYTHING could happen.  Look at the 2011 race where a nobody won the race.  Again, ANYTHING could happen at Daytona and Talladega.  Winning the pole just means that at that point in time you had the fastest race car on the course.  It’s normally a different story during the actual race.  B) She has a weight advantage compared to other drivers.  Since her car was lighter her car was able to drive a little bit faster.  On a course like Daytona where top speed is more important than braking and cornering, then she has a clear advantage.  This next race at Phoenix will be a different story.  The same will be true for pretty much every other track on the NASCAR circuit.

It was sickening the amount of coverage that the commentators gave the Queen during the Daytona 500.  Apparently we needed non-stop updates on her position along with where all other drivers were in comparison to her car.  After five laps I hit the mute button and played my own music as background noise.  It stayed that way until the last five laps of the race.

Despite dropping from third to eighth on the last lap (that was impressive watching Dale Junior come out of nowhere and almost win the race), apparently Danica was important enough to have the FIRST INTERVIEW with the reporters after the race.  During most races it’s customary to only interview the top five finishers, but since Danica is a woman (a recently divorced one, too), she gets special privileges and extra attention.  Again, let me know IF she ever wins a race.

Olympus Has Fallen Read more…


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - February 26, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Categories: movies, racing, Uncategorized   Tags:

Defining A Halloween Movie

Halloween is right around the corner.

The fall weather has finally arrived, leaves are changing colors and falling from the trees, and there’s a crisp chill in that classic, “harvest” air.  Add in the general spookiness involved with Halloween and there you go.

I love Halloween.  It’s probably my favorite holiday during the year.  From the fall weather to the creepy (and usually funny) Halloween decorations to the numerous haunted houses and ghost tours, Halloween is a lot of fun.

An ultra scary pumpkin.When it comes to Halloween as a whole, it seems like the holiday is fairly well defined.  There’s a general consensus with the way that most people decorate their homes and go out in costume, whether it’s for trick-or-treating or attending a Halloween party.

What’s interesting is trying to define a “Halloween” movie.

Here’s the setting:  You and your significant other (or a group of friends) are home alone one night in late October.  The mood is right for watching a movie.  What do you select to watch as a “Halloween” movie?

The problem is that Halloween movies can be classified in a variety of ways, from a slasher or suspense film to a paranormal or zombie film.  A Halloween movie doesn’t necessarily have to include the actual holiday as part of its plot or setting.

Here are a few examples of genres and movies that could all classify as “Halloween” movies. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - October 22, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Categories: movies   Tags:

Happy Halloween!

Once again October 31st has arrived.

The air is chilly and crisp.

The leaves on the trees are finally changing color and falling to the ground.

Scary pumpkins are outside most homes around the neighborhood.

And this evening around sunset, children throughout the area will dress in costumes and head out in search of candy.

Keeping evil spirits at bay on All Hallows' Eve.

<ding dong>


Halloween was always a favorite holiday when growing up, as it was also with my parents and their parents.  The joy of wearing costumes and roaming the neighborhoods at night in search of candy was always a blast.  Sometimes you would hit the jackpot and find a house giving away full-size candy bars, but more often people would give away smaller pieces of candy or maybe some coins.  Nonetheless, by the end of the trick-or-treating session we’d normally have enough candy to last us a month.

Instead of boring you with childhood memories, or trying to analyze past and current Halloween customs and traditions, I’m going to take pity on you and skip all of that.  Instead, here are some of my favorite cartoons and movies relating to Halloween.

Up first we have the classic Donald Duck cartoon, Trick or Treat.  This was first released back in 1952 and stars Donald Duck, his three nephews (Huey, Dewey and Louie), and Witch Hazel.  The nephews are on the receiving end of Donald’s tricks when out trick-or-treating, and Witch Hazel helps the boys get their revenge.  And some treats.

————————————- Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - October 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Categories: movies, Uncategorized   Tags: ,

Atlantis – STS-135 – The FINAL Space Shuttle Flight

It’s hard to imagine that this day has finally arrived.

Space Shuttle

From Columbia‘s first flight in STS-1 on April 12, 1981, to Atlantis‘s final mission in STS-135 on July 8, 2011, the space shuttle launches and landings have both thrilled viewers and inspired future astronauts for over thirty years.

Thirty years!

Since the early days of childhood I’ve been fascinated by flight and the space program.  I remember being in elementary school and receiving word over the P.A. system about the Challenger disaster.  I remember looking at newspapers lying on a table talking about the Columbia disaster while helping my brother move between college residences in February of 2003.

And now, sadly, I’m sure I’ll remember where I was as Atlantis took to the skies on the final space shuttle mission.

Launching of STS-135 Space Shuttle Atlantis on July 8, 2011.

Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - July 9, 2011 at 12:54 am

Categories: aviation, movies   Tags: ,

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides teaser

Just the other day, the sneak teaser for the new Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides movie was released.

I love it how Captain Jack Sparrow himself tells us about the movie, all while sitting at a table and making his usual drinking references and tales of adventure.

It’s interesting how he claims that the “whisperings and rumors” about undertaking “a voyage to the Fountain of Youth” are not true.  Recent rumors claim otherwise.  Of course, Jack Sparrow is a pirate, so part of what he says cannot be trusted as he would easily mislead others in his own quest for treasure.  He references it again “even if it weren’t not true” and kind of assumes that we probably wouldn’t be interested in such a trip anyway.

No, of course not ;).

Jack Sparrow’s mentioning of zombies, cutthroats and Penelope Cruz just adds to the craze for the next Pirates movie.

The previous Pirates of the Caribbean movies were excellent (with the first one still being the best), and the Magic Kingdom boat rides are still outstanding examples of nearly perfect theme park rides.

It’s going to be a long wait until May 20, 2011.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - July 29, 2010 at 11:07 am

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Top 10 Summer Movies

We may still be a few days from the first official day of summer, but here in Atlanta we’re being cooked by a heat wave and already seeing highs in the mid 90s.

The neighborhood swimming pools are busy, the local ice cream stand (yeah, just one.  Atlanta sucks.) is packed with customers, and the air is humid and stuffy.  Welcome to summer.

Here’s a listing of what I consider to be the ten best movies that symbolize events of the traditional summer break.

10)  Ernest Goes to Camp

Ernest Goes to CampWhat do you get when you combine wanna-be camp counselor Ernest and a bunch of juvenile delinquents attending a summer camp? Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - June 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm

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Welcome to Jurassic Park

As most of you theme park fans should know, Universal Studios Singapore opened a few days ago.

From what I’ve seen of the concept artwork and a few videos, this latest Universal park looks nothing but spectacular!

Having a Jurassic Park water ride in a Universal theme park is a necessity, like having a Space Mountain ride in a Disney park.  It’s a signature ride and the fans would be deeply disappointed if it’s not included in the latest and greatest version of the park.

Jurassic Park River Adventure

Universal Studios Singapore does have a Jurassic Park boat ride, but unlike the river adventures at Universal Studios Hollywood, Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando, and Universal Studios Japan, this new version of the ride is a river rapids ride! Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - March 22, 2010 at 11:21 pm

Categories: movies, travel   Tags: , ,