Recently I saw a television commercial for Samsung’s new Smart TV.
The TV commercial showed off a variety of features from voice commands to gesture control technology. Visiting the company’s website allows us to see that the features go way beyond that. Apparently the built-in camera can go as far as recognizing users and logging them into Internet-based applications such as Facebook and Skype.
The TV also comes with an abundance of features and applications, and additional ones can be downloaded from Samsung’s website. Without a doubt, this is the next generation of high-definition, Internet accessible televisions, something that will set the standards for future televisions.
As a whole the Samsung Smart TV sounds pretty slick.
But when you look a little bit deeper, these features can easily be used against you as a person and as society as a whole.
Samsung Smart TV – TV commercial
Does this advancement in television seem like innocent entertainment, or do you see other issues that seem downright sinister?
Deadliest Warrior — Season 03, Episode 10 — Vampires versus Zombies
For the season three series finale, Deadliest Warrior looks to Hollywood and legendary horror monsters to simulate a battle between vampires and zombies, using science and combat tactics to determine which one is the deadliest creature.
Originating from somewhere in eastern Europe, the vampire folklore skyrocketed in popularity after the publication of Bram Stoker’s 1897 thriller, Dracula. Vampires are creatures of the night. Able to transform themselves into bats and thought to be intelligent and with six to ten times the strength of an ordinary human, vampires are creatures feared throughout the night. And it’s during the night when they feed on human blood. Using large fangs and razor sharp claws, vampires are considered to be apex predators. But it’s only during the night when they’re dangerous. Sunlight can kill a vampire just as easily as a wooden stake pounded through its heart or chopping off its head.
In the world of Hollywood, zombies are the walking dead. This is not to be confused with the West African and Haitian Vodun (a.k.a. voodoo) religion where a bokor (a.k.a. sorcerer) injects something similar to a psychoactive drug into a living person and essentially takes control of his or her body, whether that person is still alive or recently deceased. The Hollywood zombies are recently deceased, often slow moving creatures. Appearing stupid and unintelligent, these creatures will use each muscle and every ounce of power to reach its target — living people. A bite from a zombie or transfer of bodily fluids will transfer the zombie virus, slowly killing that person and making him or her into a fellow zombie. Day or night, rain or shine, zombies will roam towns and the countryside in hordes until they stumble upon their next meal and pass along the zombie virus. A zombie can lose its arms and legs and still keep wiggling itself towards its meal. A zombie will not stop until its brain is destroyed. It cannot be frightened. It cannot be intimidated. It cannot feel any pain.
One-on-one, a vampire would destroy a zombie. Vampires are fast, agile, incredibly strong, and can think on their feet. But when faced with a zombie horde or even an apocalypse, can vampires survive against an army of the undead?
Deadliest Warrior — Season 03, Episode 09 — Gurkha versus French Foreign Legion
In this episode of Deadliest Warrior we have a match-up of two World War 2-era armies — neither of which are filled with troops born from the country that they serve.
Originally fighting against the British East India Company in the early 1800s, the fierce Gurkha soldiers from Nepal were later hired as mercenaries and fought for the British Crown and in the British Indian Army, seeing action everywhere from south Asia to the World War One battlefields in France, Turkey, and even Baghdad. Although small in size, the Gurkhas’ Himalayan Mountain training gave them the physical conditioning to become tremendous warriors.
The French Foreign Legion, on the other hand, is an army filled with not only thugs and criminals, but many people wishing to re-start their life by serving in an army composed of the toughest of the tough. The French Foreign Legion was created because after the 1830 July revolution, foreigners were forbidden from serving in the French Army. The Foreign Legion’s purpose was to remove the disruptive elements from society (criminals, thugs, troublemakers, disbanded foreign regiments, etc.) and have them fight the enemies of France. After serving in the Foreign Legion for three years, soldiers can apply for French citizenship providing they meet the requirements.
While the Gurkhas and French Foreign Legion have both been around since the early 1800s and are still in service today, this episode of Deadliest Warrior looks at both armies during their roles in World War 2 (1939-1945).
Deadliest Warrior — Season 03, Episode 08 — Thasunke Witko (a.k.a. “Crazy Horse”) versus Jose Doroteo Arango Arambula (a.k.a. Pancho Villa)
In this episode of Deadliest Warrior, the leader of the Oglala Lakota Indians at the Battle of Little Bighorn takes on a Mexican revolutionary general who slaughtered dictators and later declared war on the United States.
Crazy Horse’s claim to fame is being one of the greatest Indian leaders in the Great Plains and fighter against U.S. troops. He led war parties during the Great Sioux War of 1876-77, and one of his biggest victories was the defeat of General Custer along with 268 U.S. troops at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Specializing in ambushing and hit-and-run tactics, Crazy Horse was one of the bravest and fiercest Indians in American history.
A poor peasant turned vigilante then bandit and ultimately the leader of the rebellion army during the Mexican Revolution, Pancho Villa used guerrilla-style tactics to fight against the rich and corrupt in Mexico and gave the treasures to the peasants. Fundraising techniques for his army involved everything from robbing trains and hacienda owners to holding people hostage and ransoming them for money.
Deadliest Warrior — Season 03, Episode 07 — Ivan the Terrible versus Hernan Cortes (a.k.a Hernando Cortez)
Ivan the Terrible ruled Russia with an iron fist from 1533 to 1584. Mentally abused as a child, a passionate follower of his religion, and a victim to episodic outbreaks of mental health problems, all of those were factors as Ivan conquered lands and transformed Russia from a simple nation state into an emerging regional powerhouse. As brilliantly as he built the Russia empire and was crowned Tsar of All Russia, Ivan was infamously known for his brutal mental disorders and killing sprees of both friend and foe.
Going against Ivan the Terrible is the cunning and brutal conqueror of Mexico and the Aztec Empire, Hernan Cortes. An adventurer and soldier of fortune, Cortes waged a personal vendetta to conquer Mexico and destroy the Aztec Empire. Cortes was also known for his brutality against the Indians and torturous methods of acquiring information and seeking gold.
Deadliest Warrior — Season 03, Episode 06 — Theodore Roosevelt versus T. E. Lawrence (a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia)
In this episode of Deadliest Warrior we have a great match-up between two of the best military leaders in the early 1900s: Theodore Roosevelt and T.E. Lawrence.
When it comes to modern American history, it’s harder to think of a tougher man and leader than Theodore Roosevelt. From a cowboy in North Dakota, to a Colonel in the U.S. Army and commander of the incredibly brave and tough Rough Riders, to President of the United States, to safaris in both Africa and South America, it’s safe to say that Theodore Roosevelt was not just an adventurer but a modern day warrior. His battles alone against Spanish forces in Cuba during the Spanish-American War would catapult him into stardom and help him seal his attempt at the U.S. presidency.
Going against the brawn of Theodore Roosevelt is the brainpower of T. E. Lawrence, the British Lieutenant Colonel who used Arab irregular troops in guerrilla-style, hit-and-run attacks against the Ottoman Empire during World War 1. Part of Lawrence’s success was from his extensive knowledge of the Arabia region, from field work in Middle Eastern archaeology to extensive travel throughout the Ottoman Empire and vast knowledge about the German trains in the Middle East.
Can the leader of the Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War defeat the man who led irregular Arab troops and defeated the Ottoman Empire during World War 1?
Deadliest Warrior — Season 03, Episode 05 — Saddam Hussein versus Saloth “Pol Pot” Sar
This episode of Deadliest Warrior turns to two of the most evil dictators of the twentieth century: Saddam Hussein and Pol Pot.
Here we’re not talking about military leaders who crushed opposing forces. We’re not talking about glory on the battlefields. In this episode we’re talking about two dictators who had so little regard for human life that they brutally tortured and killed innocent citizens of their own countries.
During his reign of power, one of Saddam “The Butcher of Baghdad” Hussein’s most infamous acts was the al-Anfal Campaign, also known as Anfal. This was a genocidal campaign primarily against the Kurdish people of northern Iraq. Commanded by “Chemical Ali” and carried out by the Iraqi Army, attacks and methods used to fight the Kurdish guerrillas and civilian population included ground assaults, aerial bombardments, and of course, chemical warfare. Those people captured in Kurdish towns were processed and executed in concentration camps. An estimated 200,000 to one million Kurdish civilians were massacred in Saddam’s genocide of Kurdistan.
Pol Pot’s most infamous act during his reign of power in Cambodia was during the Khmer Rouge period of 1975-79, also known as the Cambodian Genocide / Holocaust. After taking control of Phnom Penh, Pol Pot began his vision of Year Zero and the new creation of Cambodia’s history sculpted to his liking. The Year Zero concept involved essentially emptying the city of Phnom Penh as well as other major towns and cities, and basically killing anybody who was an intellectual, teacher, artist, historian, musician, etc. Rebuilding his communist utopia would only require a few million people, and as far as the rest of the population, the chilling saying was, “To keep you is no benefit, to destroy you is no loss.“ The mass graves and killing fields throughout Cambodia estimate the death toll from the Khmer Rouge period and Year Zero concept to be between 1.4 million and 2.2 million people.
Deadliest Warrior — Season 01, Episode 07 — Shaolin Monk versus Maori Warrior
This episode of Deadliest Warrior takes us to two remote and lesser-known parts of the world: Denfeng, China and east Polynesia/New Zealand.
Up first we have China’s Shaolin monk.
Don’t let the small size or seemingly peaceful and remote lifestyle of the Shaolin monk throw you off guard. Extremely skilled in martial arts and very deadly with their weapons, the Shaolin monks will prevail when defending themselves and their monastery. The monks wanted to live a peaceful lifestyle, but because of attacks from bandits and other troublemakers, the monks learned kung fu and practiced the art to deadly levels. But rest assured, the monk’s Buddhist code prevented them from being the attackers. Their deadly skills were only used in defense.
Going against the Shaolin monk is the Maori warrior.
Hailing from eastern Polynesia and New Zealand, the Maori culture was one that focused on warfare. Battles between tribes were common. The dedicated and fearsome warriors would continue attacking, even after being seriously wounded. After battles, sometimes the victors would eat parts of their enemy’s body, gaining even more mana and spiritual power for future battles. Strength and aggression were key factors to the Maori warrior’s success in battle.
When looking at the Shaolin monk and Maori warrior, it’s hard to find two cultures with a greater difference. From size to weapons to fighting style to personal beliefs, these are two OPPOSITE cultures. Can the smaller Shaolin monk find a way to defeat a larger and more intimidating Maori warrior?
Deadliest Warrior — Season 01, Episode 06 — Green Beret versus Spetsnaz
This episode of Deadliest Warrior jumps into modern warfare and puts the U.S. Army Special Forces against the Russian Spetsnaz. Considered to be the elite of the elite in both organizations, and at one time trained to conduct special forces operations behind the lines of the other’s country, both the Green Berets and Spetsnaz commandos are mobile killing machines.
Formed in the early 1950s, the U.S. Army Special Forces specialize in unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, hostage rescue, and counter-terrorism operations. The U.S. Army Special Forces have been involved in nearly every U.S. military conflict from Vietnam to Bosnia to Afghanistan to Iraq. They are capable of operating deep behind enemy lines and training a foreign country’s army, going as far as leading them in guerrilla warfare. President John F. Kennedy authorized the U.S. Army Special Forces to wear its famous green beret as part of their uniform back in 1962.
Tracing its roots to World War 2 and not officially forming until 1949, the Russian Spetsnaz commandos specialize in reconnaissance, direct action, assassination, sabotage, and capturing political leaders. The Spetsnaz go through a brutally tough training program. If all else fails while in combat, the Spetsnaz carried one last grenade to ensure that they would not be captured alive. The very name Spetsnaz can strike fear into the heart of the enemy.
Head-to-head, it’s tough to call which unit would win in simulated combat. The weapons are going to be fairly equal in comparison, and the difference maker could come down to the individual soldiers themselves. Either military would win when conducting an ambush on its counterpart, but head-to-head in a neutral situation, that’s a tough one.
I’d give a slight edge to the Russian Spetsnaz just because of their brutal training program. The American forces are extremely tough and have the latest high-tech weapons, but I would still give a slight edge to the Spetsnaz for their tough warrior mentality. Maybe that’s just from growing up in the 1980s and hearing the propaganda about the Soviet Union (a.k.a Russian Bear) and its military program.
Deadliest Warrior — Season 03, Episode 04 — Genghis Khan versus Hannibal
In this next episode of Deadliest Warrior we have a great match-up of two of ancient history’s most legendary military leaders: Genghis Khan and Hannibal.
Here we have a warrior from Carthage who made one of history’s boldest moves by taking his army through the Alps to launch a surprise attack on the Romans, to a warrior who used united tribes and used ruthless and brutal attacks to conquer most of Asia. Separated by about 1,400 years and both fighting on horseback with steel weapons, a match-up of Hannibal and Genghis Khan should be epic and lasting down to the last man.
Let’s see how well these two legendary warriors and battlefield masterminds can compete in this episode of Deadliest Warrior.