Thursday, April 23, 2009

New posting thing

I have decided to try a new regular post thing, a review. It might be of a movie, a book, or even some form of game. Please feel free to comment your opinion on my views, the item I am reviewing, or anything else you wish to say. So here goes:

Ratchet Gladiator [Format: PS2, Rating: PG, Created by Sony Corporation & Insomniac Games]Ratchet Gladiator

The fourth in the Ratchet & Clank saga, this is an enjoyable game with changeable difficulty levels [Couch Potato – Contestant – Hero – Gladiator – Exterminator], hilarious but occasionally annoying commentary throughout, and a “hands-on” and “all buttons useable” feel. The “blurb”-ish thing on the back cover says “Coming to you live from the Shadow Sector – the new season is about to begin! The Lombax known as Ratchet is the contestant that Dreadzone’s six trillion fans are all talking about. But never fear, folks – five-time Grand Champion Ace Hardlight and the rest of the Exterminator crew will surely cut him down to size!”.

The basic plot is that you are a “Lombax” named Ratchet who is kidnapped from his ship, along with his side-kick “Clank” and a technician from previous games “Al”, and put on deadly game-show “Dreadzone”, in the “shadow sector”, where the name of the game is survival. It is set in a universe without humans, and you have to have played the previous games in the saga to fully understand the plot, but it is a fun game either way.

Modes: You can play in single player, in which two bots will fly around your head. They can be used to control certain control points in the game called “nodes” and “hacker/security orbs”. They can also provide covering fire, and once every so often, go mental and destroy your opponents. You could also play in Co-op mode, this requires two controllers, but you can both play next to each other and cover each other’s backs* (*requires two people). There is also a completely different mode called “Multiplayer”, which is split into two sections. Local play is against people who are plugged into your console (2-4 players). Online play is against pretty much anyone (2-10 players).

Weapons: There is quite a few weapons in this game, and my post is quite long-winded, so I’ve decided to drop this section (Unfortunately. I was looking forward to this bit). This section would’ve been quite long because a lot of the game revolves around your arsenal (Not the football team).

My final score for this game would have to be 10/10 (an awesome score for an awesome game).

Ratchet Gladiator 2

Quote of the day: It was on my fifth birthday that Papa put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'Remember, my son, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.' - Sam Levenson

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hamilton Zoo

Hamilton Zoo is a fairly average zoo. I am not going to try and glamorize it. My family and I went there today and it was cooler than normal because our trip coincided with about three types of the animal’s feeding times. We saw the Brown Capuchin Monkeys being fed, which was quite amazing how resourceful they were when they unscrewed the caps off bottles of nuts (that sounds a bit weird) and peeling/smashing corn on branches three metres up: IMG_0216                                     And the chimps that fought over cobs of corn and apples:IMG_0223                                         It was strange when one monkey wasn’t allowed outside yet it was sitting and staring forlornly out one of the windows:IMG_0222                                   We also saw the pack of African Hunting Dogs (also known as the African Painted Dogs) being fed chickens:IMG_0228                                       There are numerous other animals at the zoo such as rhinoceroses, giraffes, lizards, emus, tigers, and lots more. Here’s some of them: IMG_0240 IMG_0236 IMG_0238

I had a pretty good time at the zoo, and maybe I’ll see some more interesting stuff next time I go. That’s all from me for now...

Quote of the day: Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content.  - Louis L'Amour

Mobile Blogging

I have been meaning to try mobile blogging for a while, and I just managed to get round to setting it up. It is a feature where you send a photo to Blogger and they post it straight on to your blog, unfortunately, I believe this also reveals what you sent it from (Email, Cellphone, etc ...). I did not want this to reveal my details when I did so, so I configured it to save it as a draft so I can edit it before it posts. Mobile blogging seems like a great tool, and you can set up “Mobile Blogging Agents” who can post from “the field” (Winged Hussars blog, Blog Field Resistance comes to mind), by sending a picture to the address [classified].

If you set it up through your dashboard, in the top right hand corner there is a small music player thing that plays a cool jingle: *snap a photo and type some text, send it to Blogger and we’ll do the rest*.

I hope to be mobile blogging soon and I hope at least one of the readers of my blog will be looking forward to it!!

Quote of the day: The road to hell is paved with adverbs. - Stephen King

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

PUMA, vehicle of the future

PUMA PUMA2 General Motors and Segway have joined to create the revolutionary vehicle of the future, the PUMA. PUMA stands for Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility, and has a top speed of 35 miles per hour. On the same topic, it has been said that on a single charge it will go for 35 miles. So that means that unless you have another lithium-ion battery or somewhere to charge it, you can only go about 50 kilometres, which will take you about an hour.

The PUMA has about four wheels (I think), though it only drives on two, like the regular Segway. This new vehicle is an electrically powered, two-seat pod that has the potential to let people move around cities or “concrete jungles” in a quicker, safer, quieter and cleaner fashion than we do now. Unfortunately it's still in the prototype stage, and GM hasn’t released a production date for them yet, but with the traffic in most urban areas, it hopefully won’t be too long. I just found that GM aims to be making them by 2012. Here is a video of the new PUMA, and what GM and Segway hope to achieve with them:

I wonder how old you would have to be to drive one of these things, and if your regular driver’s licence would cover it. And would they go on the road, the cycle track, or would they have to build a new track for them in every city?

Quote of the day: I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.  - Will Rogers

Waikato Classic Car Monthly Meet

I went to the meet of the Waikato Classic Car club the other day, and there was about 15 or 16 classic cars, Mustangs, a Dodge Viper, a Buick or two, and lots more. Here are some of the pictures I took, and edited on Paint to the out the number plates (I took about 40, but there’s only a few here).

100_0784 100_0769 100_0773 100_0781

And at the meet, there was also a Segway that everyone got a go on (I liked it so much that I went on lots and lots of times). There was a photo of me on the Segway, but to stay cybersafe, I edited it:

100_0807 - Copy

On the way back, we saw a cool carving out of a Japanese Cedar so I took some pics:

100_0809100_0813

Can you see the little kiwi in the base of the fern carving underneath the eagle. Unfortunately I can’t remember the location of the carving, but it was easy to spot from the road. It was great fun, and I hope to go again when they meet up next time.

Quote of the day: If there were no God, there would be no Atheists. - G. K. Chesterton

The Taitua Arboretum

On Monday, my family and I went for a walk round the Taitua Arboretum and being out in the country, it was so quiet and peaceful (except for my brother, that is). There were lots of chickens, pukekos, bird life and the like. There are two loop walks there, and they are set out in kind of a figure eight design. The sign says that you should allow about 90 minutes for both walks, although you can do it in less. It is situated part way outside of Hamilton. Here is a map or two to help you find your way there:

Map picture
   Taitua

There is wonderful scenery and wildlife and I couldn’t resist taking some photos of the park:

100_0819 100_0816 100_0818 100_0815

And I also found a photo gallery online with pictures of the flora and fauna at the Taitua Arboretum, and to visit it follow this link: The Taitua Arboretum Gallery. Some people may say there isn’t much to do in Hamilton, but there sure is a number of fun walks.

Quote of the day: If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.  - Abraham Maslow

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Traits of a Successful Learner

In class and at home we made a presentation about successful learners, their traits, and all the other things that make up great/intelligent people. Ours was a PowerPoint, and we made one about all the different types of learners (Leader, Quiet, Risk-taker, Team Player, ME). Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to upload that to Blogger, though I am working on another way to get it on the web...
There are numerous ways to recognize great people, from all throughout the ages. Renzulli’s triad of multiple intelligences, the 16 Habits of Mind, the NZ Curriculum Key Competencies, Blooms Taxonomy (classification, not stuffing animals).
This post may seem a bit weird, but it was set as homework by my teacher, Mr Woody. There are numerous examples of brilliant people nowadays, but now people only excel in one area, back in the time of Leonardo Da Vinci, or other such people, there were geniuses who dabbled in a little bit of just about everything.
Renzulli’s triad ties in with this quite a bit so…
The 16 Habits of Mind are super important for this so here they are:


Persistence, sticking to it and remaining focused and being willing to follow it through to the end. Managing Impulsivity, not calling out or being disruptive and thinking before acting. Listening, being understanding of who you are listening to and empathise to make an effort to perceive another's thoughts. Thinking Flexibly, look at a problem or challenge differently and be able to change your view or way of thinking. Now I’m sure that I could go on like this and bore you to death, so I’ll skip to the next paragraph. To view the rest of the Habits of Mind, CLICK HERE!!!
One of my modern greats would have to be Barack Obama, who won the US election late last year, and was sworn in as the first black president of the US in January this year.

Quote of the day: History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. - Napoleon Bonaparte

Wordle

There is this really cool website called Wordle, where you enter your blog address/URL (if you have one) and it gets all the most used words off your website, or if you don't have a blog, then you enter a bunch of keywords, and it jumbles them up to make a really cool picture which you can edit, like change the font, colour, way the words face, and a bunch of other stuff, before you save it to the "public gallery"
Here are two I made with just keywords:
Wordle: My Blog and Wordle: My Blog 2
And here are two I made with the other feature, where you enter your URL, and it does the words for you:
Wordle: Me Blog and Wordle: Me Blog: Again
As you can probably see, the bottom ones are far busier, because I couldn't be bothered typing in that many words :). To make your own click here: Wordle, or click on any of the Wordle links in this post. Wordle Wordle Wordle Wordle Wordle. You should try it, whether you have a blog or not!!!
Quote of the day: Anything too stupid to be said is sung. - Voltaire

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Library at the Waikato University

There is going to be a new library at the University of Waikato, and it's gonna be awesome!!! It will be one of the greenest buildings in NZ!!!! I know the architects were Warren and Mahoney Architects Ltd. It's just coming out of the ground, as you will be able to see from the photos I am going to add at the end. It will be more of a computer wing, because I think all the books will be on the computers, and I know that they use wireless broadband to find the information in the library. Here is some text and an image of what it will look like when it's done from Warren and Mahoney about the building: "The Student Centre will provide a social heart to the campus where people can meet; enjoy cafe, bookshop, and relaxation spaces; access a range of student services including re-enrolment; visit the Library; and much more. The design allows for many learning and social spaces, and brings many services conveniently together in one place. It will be a focal point for the campus, which will draw people together in a modern, light, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable building."
Here are the images that I got from a friend of the new wing being built:
On a related topic, Warren and Mahoney also recently designed the "Hub", which I don't know much about, but think is a foodcourt type thing by the bus stop in the University. I hope you enjoyed this post, and I will continue to keep you posted as the library continues to rise from the ground, or, to follow the progress on the Uni's website click here.
Quote of the day: A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece. - Ludwig Erhard

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sunday pacing and Trolley racing

On Sunday morning, after going to the rugby the night before (with a close win going to the Chiefs), my family went for a 2 hour stroll along the river paths. It was a nice day, and the paths were perfect except where one bit was closed. We took a few photos of the scenery:

When we went past the museum area of the river there was an event on that we hadn't heard about. It was the Trolley derby, where you built a cart for the different categories (10-12, 12-14, Father & Son races etc.) and then raced it down the hill as fast as you could go. I think the older groups started on ramps... It was super fun to watch, and we got there just in time to watch the highschool-ish aged boys race. Here are some of the photos we took:
We started our walk by Memorial Park, walked all the way up to Fairfield Bridge, over the river, and back down to Victoria Bridge, and back to the park. we think it was about 5 kilometres, but we are not entirely sure. If you live in the Hamilton region and you haven't already been to Memorial Park/Parana Park you should definitely go there, it's a bunch of fun, and there are cool tributes to those who fought in the war, plus a cool playground, with a big paddling pool in the warmer months!!!! Here is a picture of one of the things that was there:
It was an awesome walk and I hope you have the opportunity to do great things as well.
Quote of the day: Democracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame. - Laurence J. Peter

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Weird news for today

COWS CHASES BEAR AWAY
Residents of a rural Colorado town say a cow named Apple chased off a bear that had climbed into her favorite apple tree. Jack McDonald of Hygiene, about 30 miles northwest of Denver, said the bear had climbed out of the tree when the cow approached it Sunday afternoon. McDonald says the animals touched noses and hung out together for a bit before Apple chased the bear off. “It was hilarious,” McDonald says. There’s no sign that either animal was hurt. Apple belongs to McDonald’s landlady, Nancy Dayton, who has a house and three rental units on 14 acres. Dayton says Apple weighs about 1,200 pounds and is more pet than livestock. She got her name because she loves to eat apples from the tree the bear had invaded.
Story sourced from Funnymos.com, check them out for the funniest news and weirdest humor!!!
Quote of the day: I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it. - Rita Mae Brown

Results of my poll

I set up a poll about a month ago, with the question: What do you think about the drinking/driving age? Some people have said I should have made this two separate polls, and others said you shouldn't be able to drink and drive at all, and I suddenly realised that I worded it wrong. It's not supposed to be the drinking and driving age, but the drinking age and the driving age. Silly, silly me!!! I hope this did not affect your vote too much, so without further ado, here's the results:
It depends on the person: 52% (18 people)
It should be lowered 17% (6 people)
It should be higher 23% (8 people)
It should stay the same 0% (0 people)
I don't care 5% (2 people)
As you should be able to see, "It depends on the person" was the clear winner, getting over twice as many people as the runner up ("It should be higher"). The total number of votes was 34. Here is a table with the results in order on:
1) It depends on the person (about 1/2 of the votes)
2)It should be higher (about 1/4 of the votes)
3)It should be lowered (just less than 1/5)
4)I don't care (about 1/20)
5)It should stay the same (0%)
I am currently pondering these results and wondering what to do with them, and how I can act upon them. Suggestions would be appreciated :) :) :) :) :).
Quote of the day: Advice is what we ask for when we know the answer but wish we didn't. - Erica Jong

Dallas ISR Opening Speech

Here is a video of a young boy from Dallas, he is a school-age boy who is giving powerful opening speech to Dallas school employees at the ISR meeting. Sorry, but this is the edited version, because the actual version is about eight or eight and a half minutes long, and it would take too long to load. So here it is:
video
You can watch the original here: Dallas ISR Opening Speech
Quote of the day: The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting. - Charles Bukowski

Friday, April 3, 2009

That weird eye thing

Have you ever noticed that weird eye thing that animals do and they go all cute and stuff? Here are some pictures of what I mean:

z4 z1 z2 z3

Doesn’t it just make you go AWWWW? They are so cute. I got my pics from Google images, and there’s a bunch more out there that are also SUPER cute and you should try viewing some time!!!

Quote of the day: Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels. - Bob Thaves

Funny news for today!!!

hotel

Versace, the renowned fashion house, is to create the world’s first refrigerated beach so that hotel guests can walk comfortably across the sand on scorching days.The beach will be next to the the new Palazzo Versace hotel which is being built in Dubai where summer temperatures average 40C and can reach 50C.The beach will have a network of pipes beneath the sand containing a coolant that will absorb heat from the surface.The swimming pool will be refrigerated and there are also proposals to install giant blowers to waft a gentle breeze over the beach.

LOL!! That’s so silly, I know it’s boiling over there but……

Sourced from Funnymos.com

Quote of the day: "Discipline is the bridge between the goals and accomplishments." (Unknown)

Cool Optical Illusions

There was a cool email going round, and I thought it would be a cool thing to put it on my blog, I don’t know who made them, but I thank them, so here it is:

1

In black you can read the word GOOD, in white the word EVIL (inside each black letter is a white letter). It's all very physiological too, because it visualize the concept that good can't exist without evil (or the absence of good is evil ).

Now, what do you see?

2

You may not see it at first, but the white spaces read the word optical, the blue landscape reads the word illusion. Look again! Can you see why this painting is called an optical illusion?

What do you see here?

3

This one is quite tricky!

The word TEACH reflects as LEARN.

Last one.

What do you see?

4

You probably read the word ME in brown, but.......

when you look through ME you will see YOU!

Do you need to look again?

Test Your Brain

This is really cool. The second one is amazing so please read all the way though.

Alzheimer' EYE TEST

Count every " F" in the following text:

FINISHED FILES ARE THE RE

SULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTI

FIC STUDY COMBINED WITH

THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS...

(SEE BELOW)

HOW MANY ?

WRONG, THERE ARE 6 -- no joke.

READ IT AGAIN !

Really, go Back and Try to find the 6 F's before you scroll down.

The reasoning behind is further down.

The brain cannot process "OF".

Incredible or what? Go back and look again!!

Anyone who counts all 6 "F's" on the first go is a genius.

Three is normal, four is quite rare.

Quote of the day: The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves as the sole cause of all our adversities. - Sophocles