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Movie Review: The Reaping

I was definitely intrigued by this movie when it came out in the theaters. I mean, who doesn’t like horror type movies about the Old Testament? In fact, one of the most contraversial when it comes to interpretation is Revelation. And The Reaping is definitely one of those where it gives you some pretty darned interesting perspectives.
Yes, there is a pretty awesome twist at the end and I won’t spill it but it definitely had be in my seat. I thought this movie would be really terrible actually from reading some of the critic reviews. While not as knowing of certain parts of the Biblical symbols such as the upside down sickle being the sign of Satan (which is actually an inverted astrological sign for Ceres), and so on, it was definitely a very interesting look at things.
One distinct note though. I’ve found that most faith or strange stories about faith usually surround small towns in the South. Why is that? This film’s storyline was based in the small town of Haven, outside of Baton Rouge, Lousiana. Strange, isn’t it?
For those that are open minded enough to watch and know that this movie is not a criticism of faith, and rather an interesting way to view one of the last books of the Old Testament, I would have to say that this was definitely on the top of my list. For those that are afraid of some Satanic references? Probably stay away from this movie. One thing for sure. Those that have rented the movie from Netflix definitely agree with me.

Wii Fit already out for Japan systems

Go figure. It’s a little pricier than I expected and only for the Japanese and Asian Wiis, but it’s definitely something on my shopping list.
With the phenomenon of the Wii creating for active gaming, Nintendo has released Wii Fit with the Wii Balance Board. This allows you to do some basic workout type activities based on slower movements and balance initiated postures. What’s interesting about this is that this is going along with the new Nintendo mantra of going against the couch potato style of gaming.
It’s running close to two hundred USD so I’m hoping that it costs a bit less when it comes States side, but if you’re anxious and you have an Asian/Japan Wii, then it’s your chance to cash in on something that no one here has …. yet.

Microsoft Office 2007 Compatibility

msoffice.gif Microsoft has just released a compatibility pack for Office 2000, Office XP, and Office 2003 so that you too can create, open, and edit the new Office 2007 documents.
I remember when back in the day, you couldn’t do that and was forced into using Microsoft Office 95. Or maybe it was 97 or something. In any case, that was the biggest annoyance. I suppose they released this one because they couldn’t get enough people to adopt the new standards. Which is actually great since I personally don’t use the new Office anyways. Awesome.

Uncharted – Drake’s Fortune promotion

uncharted-drakesfortune.jpg The Eldorado Megamix by DJ Shadow is being provided by Sony for free for the upcoming Playstation 3 game: Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.
Have no clue about the game truthfully, but the fact that they have a mix by DJ Shadow? That could be really good. DJ Shadow is pretty well known with the dance genre and has done many big hit mixes.
In any case, it doesn’t hurt to go take a look and grab the free MP3.

PrinterAnywhere

printer.jpg PrinterAnywhere is a small application that allows you to print from anywhere as long as the shared computers are both running the application. Think of how a PDF printer works, and there you have it, that’s how this little application works. It easily detects other PrinterAnywhere computers anywhere in the world and doesn’t require you to know how to share your network or anything.
The free version allows you to print, but there will be banners shown, while the $19.95/month version doesn’t have the banners.
Pretty useful if you’re looking for something to use and don’t want to mess around with printer setup and such.

Black Friday fails me yet another year

The problem with Black Friday? The gimmicks are getting old.
All these stores have a few number of items to try and attract a record number of customers, and then complain when their wasn’t enough sales to beat out the year before. You know what? Using the couple of super-low priced items just doesn’t do it. Seriously.
Think about it. Even if the stores covered say, the sales tax completely for one single day, that would not only be a minimal bump in their bottom line but it would increase their sales significantly. It would bring REGULAR customers in all day long instead of bargain hunters ready to pounce at daybreak and to leave your store in a lurch and in the red still.
If there was any store that was slightly on top of this concept, it was Gamestop. They usually have a buy 2 get 1 free for used games sale every so often for a weekend. They just happened to put it on Black Friday’s weekend. Brilliant move. From a business perspective, there was no gimmick, but a regular sale item that most customers wouldn’t have anticipated.
The main thought here? Gimmicks don’t work unless it’s an added value. Gimmicks work in bringing more customers but your biggest ratio of sales to people comes from the full day event. Thus, there just has to be an “event” instead of just sitting around trying to figure out why no one bothered to go shopping.
It’ really isn’t about consumer confidence and how people are strapping down because of recession. Really. If you believe that, you believe in a lot more hokey than I do. Because I had no issues opening my wallet for the Christmas season…. if there were actually decent sales of things I needed to buy. Alas, the brick & mortar stores failed me yet another year. Thank goodness for the Internet.

Photoscape

photoscape.jpg If you’re looking for a photo editor where it’s made strictly for photographs, Photoscape could be for you. Think of a graphics editor that was strictly directed at photographs. You can do your usual red eye removal, but you can also brighten pictures, and create animations as well as all sorts of other types of useful things.
One of the more interesting features is the one where it takes multiple photographs and merge them together at the page frame. You can also create page frames so that it doesn’t just look like a simple photograph but one that’s in a frame.
Freeware for Windows.

Intec Wii AV & S Cable

I bought the Intec Wii AV & S cable a while back since I needed a higher durability type cable for when I go traveling with my Wii. The beautiful thing about this cable is that it’s it is very well made, and the pins are gold plated.
It has your usual svideo, the left/right audio, and the video outputs. Input is via the Wii regular connector. Don’t pay any attention to the description where it says an optical input is included since there isn’t one. It’s exactly how the picture looks (and you don’t see an optical connector or input there do ya?).
The one problem I have with this cable is that when I connected it to my AV switch box, it didn’t like it since the pins seems just a tad longer or something so the signal was bad. I checked it on another connector and there were no issues so I assume that my initial thoughts on it are actually correct. Either way, it’s never failed and so far I’m happy using it as a portable console cable along with the Wii wireless sensor bar.

i.Mage

i_mage.png i.Mage is a small footprint graphics editor for Windows. It’s open source and is there for only simple editing of graphics. The support of graphic formats is minimal but is enough for the couple of more useful formats. It can do grayscale, inversions, alpha blending and most of your more general purpose editing functions.
A great little open source project that loads fast and edits fast, and compiles fast.

Why do we listen to reporters?

I know this sounds crazy but sometimes to sensationalize news, reporters go out of their way.
Almost ridiculously outside of common sense. For example. They were talking about the gas and oil pricing fluctuations on CNBC a while back. The anchor asked why the pump prices didn’t reflect the dip in the crude and the reporter claimed that it was because it would take a couple weeks like a delayed pricing.
WHAT?!?!
Yeah, that defies all logic. When crude goes up, the price at the pump goes up almost in sync. To claim this is almost on the side of absurd. Yet, the public just takes it in because someone “said so”. Another was the recent interview at a Detroit Chrysler plant with MSNBC. The guy in charge of restructuring gave some PR answers on how agile they were instead of hard facts when the MSNBC anchor asked about competition with the likes of the Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota.
I’ll tell you exactly why Toyota can beat Chrysler in manufacturing. If I’m not mistaken, in the span of a day or so, a Toyota plant can be converted to produce pretty much any line they currently make. You can’t do the same with a Chrysler plant. That flexibility is what is costing the Big 3. But the anchor just stood by and ate it up.
People need to think for themselves a little bit. The news is there, and the facts are reported, but make a serious effort to link cause and effect instead of standing idly by and just taking it in. I know it’s difficult to actually want to do logical reasoning when you’re stuck in a zombified state in front of the brain eating tube, but you must.
Must… make… decisions…for…self.