Monday, July 30, 2012

Random Thoughts 7/30/12

  • Here's a fascinating little article (with pictures!) of how American Airlines and IBM created the first computerized system to make airline reservations… in the 1950's!
  • The latest rumors have the next iPhone being revealed on September 12 and released a week or two later, a month earlier than most rumors.  Shannon and I skipped the 4S model and are overdue to update.  So we're eagerly awaiting the next offering out of Cupertino.
  • My four boys (ages almost-12, 10, 8, and 6) are getting into Minecraft (I've played off and on for over a year already and recently gave them a tour of my worlds).  Real nerds know what I'm talking about.  CREEPER!!!
  • Three Hobbit movies.  Yes.
  • NFL football has begun.  Training camp is here and it's time to get up to speed on all of the changes to the teams.  This is a great time of year!
  • It's so blazing hot outside that we haven't spent near as much time walking in our neighborhood or playing basketball outside as I thought we would.  But we also haven't mowed the yard but about three times all summer; so there's that.
  • Olympic opening ceremonies:  I loved Mr. Bean in the orchestra; that was perfect.  Dancing nurses and sick children to celebrate socialized medicine… uh… that was bizarre.  It's funny that the Brits made a stronger case for socialism than the Chinese did four years ago.  "Hey, Jude," the song, is older than almost every athlete in the stadium, although that 70-year old Japanese equestrian (the oldest Olympian this time around) probably remembers the 60's perfectly well.

The Hobbit 3 is Happening

Peter Jackson has confirmed that the two-film plan for The Hobbit has now officially been extended to a three-film deal.  Having read all of the extra books, I completely believe that there is enough material for three films and then some.  And there is no one I'd trust more to adapt this material to film than Peter Jackson.  Here is what the director said on his Facebook page:

It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie – and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.’

We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance. The richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.

So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of The Hobbit films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.

It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, “a tale that grew in the telling.”


Peter J

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Random Thoughts 7/25/12

  • Chris and I went the Wyandotte County Fair last night and handed out invitations to church.  It went alright but not very many people were braving the 105º temps.
  • Here's a rundown on 10 civilizations that disappeared.  Some of these ancient civilizations might have disappeared because of climate change.  Thousands of years ago.  Hmm.  Without SUVs burning fossil fuels they still had dramatic change.  Hmm.  How is that possible?
  • Chad Ochocinco just changed his name back to Chad Johnson.  It turns out his new wife isn't so impressed with the gimmick and would rather be Mrs. Johnson than Mrs. Ochocinco.
  • OS X Mountain Lion is out today.  Yes, please.
  • That third Hobbit film rumor is becoming more real day by day.  Peter Jackson has been having meetings this week about locking down contracts for the actors and securing rights to the source material (the Tolkien estate has not been very supportive of the movies, though they've surely profited handsomely from it).  They're looking at adding another two months of filming to flesh out a third film.  Considering the amount of additional material in the Tolkien books and appendices there's certainly enough stories to draw from.
  • Here are 25 iPhone apps for college students.
  • KU will play every other Big Monday game on ESPN this winter (four games) versus Baylor, at West Virginia, versus K-State, and at Iowa State.  All four games are at 8pm.  KU has played four such nationally televised games each of the last eight seasons and is again the only Big 12 school to be on the schedule more than three times.
  • The Olympics are about to start and, once again, I'm having the worst time feeling any enthusiasm about it.  I'll check the medal count and I'd like my kids to watch some of it, but I'm not that excited yet.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Random Thoughts 7/21/12

  • No words can express the evil that played out in Colorado Thursday night.  This is not merely a sick society or individual lunacy, it's a display of mankind's capacity for evil.  Just sickening.
  • The state of Kansas is ranked #15 in the nation for being business friendly, rating things like infrastructure, cost of living, cost of doing business, economy, quality of life, etc.  Missouri came in #27, well below most of its neighbors.
  • Hey, Tim.  Thanks for commenting.  Go, Navy!
  • Coach Self announced the other day that Milton Doyle, a 6-4 incoming freshman guard, has qualified academically to play ball for KU.  There had been some concern with whether all of his prep classes would actually count but he's been cleared by the NCAA.
  • I've really enjoyed KU basketball on the radio over the years.  Max Falkenstien, who did the broadcasts for 60 years, retired several years ago and was replaced with Chris Piper.  Now Piper is moving on and will be replaced by Greg Gurley.  Gurley will work alongside play-by-play guy Bob Davis.
  • Fantasy football is back up and running.  So far it looks like we have most of our people back but I haven't heard from everybody…
  • There are so many wonderful ways to use a binder clip
  • And this is the most creative drone concept/prototype I've seen.  When technology mimics nature, awesome things happen.

Following the Clues

I wonder how the dog got out?  Hmm…

I'll bet it has something to do with this little pixie.  As you can see, she knows she's in trouble.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Random Thoughts 7/17/12

  • Even in the midst of one of the hottest summers in years, I'll maintain that man-made global warming is still a ridiculous hoax.  Frankly, I'm skeptical that the earth is actually getting hotter at all, because even though this summer is blazing and has set all kinds of records (in the U.S.), it comes on the heals of about 15 years of no global warming at all.  It's still colder than usual in other locations and we had a crazy bad winter in the U.S. just two years ago.  But even if we were getting warmer, we're talking about a degree Celsius, a fraction of what it has fluctuated in the ancient past, long before the industrial revolution.  So why assume that man is causing it?  And why assume that a communism-esque, anti-capitalism agenda is the solution?
  • Nerds, Peter Jackson loves you.  The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit director said he'd like to return next year and shoot more footage, perhaps for an extended edition of the two Hobbit films or maybe even a third movie.  He says there's just so much good material in the appendices (of the books) that they didn't have time to shoot.  Peter. Jackson. Is. Awesome.
  • Rumors are out that Pixar is going to make Finding Nemo 2, due out in four years with a writer and director already attached.  Ugh.  That movie was just about perfect and really, really does NOT need a sequel.  Cars 2 was really not necessary and proved to be the first Pixar movie to not be nominated for any major awards and to get a "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Here's a great list of 50 free iPad apps.
  • I keep chipping away at getting our fantasy football league back up and running but I keep getting interrupted, you know, by real life.  The invite email goes out tonight for sure though.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Random Thoughts 7/14/12

  • Whew… I'm back from a week at church camp and I don't think I can get enough sleep to recover.
  • Poor "American Idol."  We gave up on the show a few years ago but now they're losing judges left and right.  With the exit of Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez, the show has lost six judges in four seasons.  Only Randy Jackson remains.
  • Last week a new photo, or rather a composite of several scenes, from The Hobbit was released.  You can see the banner and all ten of its scenes here.
  • It's official.  Kung Fu Panda 3 is happening.  I guess that's okay.  I liked the second one better than the first.
  • Here's a Kickstarter that I actually would've supported but comes with some bad news about Lost and Found.  The awesome part is that they needed $20,000 and got more than three times that amount.  Praise God!  These men are fellow believers with an awesome sense of humor.
  • Lost and Found also has a youtube channel.  These guys have been around for twenty years or more but if you don't know them at all, this is a good way to get a taste of their humor and quirkiness.  Do this before you drag your friends to their concert, trust me, it's better to know what you're getting into. ;-)
  • And this…

Monday, July 09, 2012

Random Thoughts 7/9/12

  • I'm at camp (catching a little break right now to check my email and finish this post) this week and we're having a great time.  Nathan Smith is our speaker and missionary this week and he always does a great job.  Mike K., our dean, is letting Brennan tag along with the junior high and high school students even though he's a year too young.  Thanks, Mike, he's loving it!
  • RedBox bought Blockbuster Express last week.  A few of those kiosks, which weren't really connected to the old retail brick-and-mortar other than that they bought the name in bankruptcy court, were located in QT stores here in KC and may or may not be replaced by RedBox kiosks.
  • Anrio Adams has officially joined the basketball team as of last week, as expected.  That's ten freshmen counting the two redshirts from last year and two walk-ons.
  • "Falling Skies," which unfortunately is becoming the campiest sci-fi show on television, is also the worst acted and most poorly written and the ratings are reflecting that in the second season.  It's too bad, the concept could have really worked.
  • Bill Self hit a home run in the legends and celebrity softball game during the All-Star Game celebrations here in KC.
  • Peter Jackson announced that he's wrapped principle photography for the Hobbit films.  The first of the two films hits theaters in December.
  • Here are the 76 most American things ever.   It's funny, that a lot of these things actually come from other cultures but Americans have always so readily adopted these things.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Random Thoughts 7/3/12

  • Happy birthday, Alanna!
  • I don't play guitar.  My radio hasn't left the AM talk-radio dial in 25 years.  But I'm still incredibly amazed by this guy playing 100 guitar riffs in one take, spanning from Chuck Berry to Green Day.  It's crazy impressive, even if you don't know all the songs.
  • Nick Offerman's sheer manliness makes me laugh.  Here he gives deadpan readings of tweets from young female celebrities.  With Offerman you also get the Swanson pyramid of greatness and 25 Ron Swanson quotes to live by.
  • Thanks, Chris, for making VBS go so well that we'd do it again next week if you'd ask.
  • I'm off to church camp next week where I'll be teaching some classes, leading men's devotions, and generally helping out.
  • All the grandkids are going to spend the night Friday with Grandma and Grandpa.  Date night!
  • I'm kind of surprised it's legal anywhere to use fireworks this year since it's so incredibly dry and hot out.  But, for right now, KCK doesn't have a ban so we'll be lighting fire crackers with the garden hose nearby.
  • I love that my kids are getting old enough to really appreciate fireworks without sending a jolt of sheer panic through me.  My older boys are getting more and more trustworthy and with a bit of supervision (and the aforementioned garden hose) I feel great about their gunpowder-fueled frenzy.