unusual video of Wario Land

You should watch this video of Wario Land: Shake It, a new game for the Nintendo Wii.  This looks like it would be a fun and interesting game, but even if you don’t like games, you’ll be surprised by this video.  The whole YouTube site can’t even handle its awesomeness.  (Watch it and you’ll understand what I mean by that.)

Wario Land: Shake It

If you aren’t familiar with Wario, he’s not your typical video game hero.  Actually, he’s more of a bad guy, and the only good he does is so he can get more riches (coins).  As seen toward the end of the video, he gets out of breath from running, and as you can see in other videos / games of him, he sometimes gets some explosive gas.

What would life on Mars be like?

Could there be life on Mars?  Scientists have long speculated (and continue to do so), although there’s more hope than ever.  They also wonder if humans might ever have a colony there.  But now the question is more like, “Would we want to?”

One of the reasons it’s improbable to find life on Mars is that the atmosphere doesn’t contain oxygen.  And it was thought that all organic life requires oxygen.  But a few years ago an organism was found that can live without sunlight and oxygen.  It’s a methanogen.  They eat hydrogen, breathe carbon dioxide, and belch methane.  A group of these were found in Idaho, living 660 feet underground.  They also exist in the digestive tracts of humans, causing gas.  If these bacteria are what life might be like on Mars, it might be a stinky place.

But there’s more.  Mars stinks naturally.  The surface of the red planet contains a very high concentration of sulfur.  Combined with other acids and minerals on Mars, it forms hydrogen sulphide (H2S), which is that rotten egg smell you may have experienced before.  And not only does it stink immensely, but it can cause headaches, and it is also explosive and poisonous.  So if you were living on Mars, you might be tempted to light a candle to reduce the stench (as some people are accustomed to doing), and KA-BOOM!

I’m thinking I’ll just stay here on Earth.  While there’s a few bad smells to deal with here, it’s not nearly so bad as it would be on Mars.

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Optimus Prime doing roundhouse kicks

I was just talking with someone about the upcoming Transformers movie, and we were thinking there should be a Transformer with ninja skills.  He could be all-black, with special stealth skills, and have fast fighting moves.  He could throw explosive ninja stars.  G.I. Joe had ninjas — Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow — and that was cool, so I think it would work for the Transformers.

Also, it would be neat if they enabled Optimus Prime to be able to do roundhouse kicks (a la Chuck Norris).  To fit that into the story, the Autobots and Decepticons are both searching for a Chuck Norris upgrade package, which gives you crazy-cool fighting skills, then Optimus Prime ends up with it.  I know this deviates from the canon of Transformers lore (the comics), but I think most fans would buy into it.  (Besides, Michael Bay is already changing up the story so much, so they might as well make them even better.)  Somebody should make this happen.

Somebody has thought of combining them before, as evidenced by this quote (sorry I don’t know who said it) :

The original theme song to The Transformers was actually “Chuck Norris — more than meets the eye, Chuck Norris — robot in disguise”, and starred Chuck Norris as a Texas Ranger who defended the earth from drug-dealing Decepticons and could turn into a pick-up.  This was far too much awesome for a single show, however, so it was divided.

For a show it might be too much, yeah, but what about for a movie?  Think about it…

4th of July traditions

Today is July 4th, when we celebrate our nation’s independence and our freedom.  But I already wrote about that at my other blog.  Here, I’m going to focus on the other parts of the holiday : food and fireworks.

A standard item at 4th of July parties is grilled burgers.  So scrumptuous!  I wonder why restaurants are typically unable to recreate that grilled-at-home flavor of the meat.  I grilled today, and it was good.  Also had cheese dip, baked beans, potato salad, sweet tea, and homemade ice cream.  All good stuff (although I could do without the potato salad, but some folks like it).  Another part of 4th of July is overeating, which goes with food, obviously.  Actually, I think this is part of every holiday.  We Americans like to eat (and it shows).

Now onto fireworks… on this holiday we are allowed to buy these small explosive devices and detonate them.  That is just about guaranteed to be a good time.  Who doesn’t like to blow stuff up?  (I realize there’s some people who don’t like to have fun… but they probably aren’t reading this blog.)  Anyway, back to blowing up stuff…  Even if you just shoot the fireworks in the air like you’re supposed to, it’s a good time.  This year I saw something like a semi-automatic Roman candle launcher — it put out several dozen in just a few seconds.  Way cool!  And there were some big-dollar fireworks I saw that launched a lot of smaller fireworks into the air for a neat effect.  It’s amazing what they can do with fireworks these days.

I have some stuff that’s scheduled to be destroyed with fireworks, but it didn’t happen today.  I’ve gotta wait until I have access to a video camera for this.  When it happens, it’ll be broadcast here first.  We will have the exclusive video.  So stay tuned.

I was thinking tonight about how cool it would be to make your own fireworks.  It would take quite a bit of practice, I’m sure, but that wouldn’t be a problem!  I wonder how hard it would be to make some of the bigger ones that shoot out many streams and have a two-stage explosion…  I may have to point our local R&D department in that direction…

If you have any thoughts on that or special memories along these lines about this wonderful holiday, feel free to leave them in the comments section.