Thursday, December 06, 2007

Go Speed Racer Go!

I’m a fan of Anime, Japanese Animation for those not familiar, and one of the oldies from the days of yore is making a comeback to the big-screen. That’s right, Speed Racer in a movie theater near you!

Recently some of the first still pictures were released for general consumption and it looks like it’s going to be a bit CGI heavy, at least for the racing sequences, but I’ll have to wait and see how the picture comes out to really pass judgment. From my viewpoint the movie looks like a video game, or is it a video game that looks like a movie?

Anyways, in the near future I expect to see an onslaught of Speed Racer movie trailers, video games, and toy bits featuring Speed, Trixie, and Chim-Chim.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Stig is still the Champ…Kind of…

The big billing on last night’s Top Gear was Lewis Hamilton vs. The Stig. While it was packed full of hype it still left you with some questions. The Stig runs the Top Gear track in 1.44.4 minutes which is really quick in their “reasonably priced car” but that’s in perfect weather conditions and The Stig knows the track better than anyone else on the Planet. Lewis Hamilton went out and lapped the track in a quick 1.44.7 minutes however it was on a wet track with some oil, so who’s really the winner?

I suppose if you figure in the slick track you could mathematically calculate the seconds or milliseconds lost. That just doesn’t feel right though, since we’re talking about a skilled driver who could possibly compensate for a slick track easily since the speeds aren’t terribly fast (it’s a reasonably prices car after all). Until I see the rematch on equal grounds I can’t pass judgment.

Even though it was a let-down there was one bit that was quite good, Richard Hammond drives the ’05 Renault F1 championship car. The ’05 F1 cars were the last of the V10 monsters as the FIA declared them to be too powerful. The newer models can now only sport 8 cylinders.

Richard Hammond in a Formula One car

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Stig vs. Lewis Hamilton

I know what you’re thinking, 2 blog posts in one day? You must have gone mad. I suppose the good news is that I haven’t gone mad; the bad news is you probably have since you’re reading this blog.

I found out some pretty monumental information from one of my favorite auto industry blogs, AutoBlog (original name eh?). My favorite auto show Top Gear, will be pitting F1 rookie sensation Lewis Hamilton against Top Gear’s tame racing driver “The Stig”. Before saying what in the blue hell is this all about let me explain a bit.
Top Gear is probably the best automotive information show in the world; it airs on BBC in the UK and features some pretty colorful chaps. They make the show lively, funny, and always have some interesting car to flog on their track or odd challenge that they have to overcome. Those challenges range from finding a Porsche under £2,000 and finding out which one performs the best, racing a Buggati Veyron against a RAF Fighter plane, and one of my favorites making a car into a boat and crossing the English channel.

The baseline tester for all performance tests on the Top Gear track is The Stig and he’s been known to be one quick bloke. He’s always shown in a white racing suit, a white helmet, and he never says a word which makes him all the more mysterious.
Lewis Hamilton on the other hand is a rookie to the F1 circuit coming from a championship year in GP2. GP2 is sort of the minor leagues. Think of it as the Busch series compared to the Nextel Cup for those NASCAR fans. He had a fantastic first year with the McLaren-Mercedes F1 team, almost capturing the driver’s championship which is pretty phenomenal.

So why is this big? Top Gear is a UK show, Lewis Hamilton (a hometown hero in Britain) is probably one of the top 3 drivers in F1 and Top Gear is the auto show to watch. The Stig owns the Top Gear track so it’ll be fun to watch someone try to dethrone him. That’s good racing, period.

Top Gear - Bugatti Veyron vs. RAF Fighter

Long Time No Bloggy

I’ve meant to blog a whole lot more than I have but for some reason I get preoccupied with this thing called the internet. A wicked bugger that internet thing is. On an average day I find the time to check most major news outlets, my favorite blogs, and squeeze in some game playing when I get the chance. So when it comes down to writing my own blog, well, let’s just say I’m lucky I have time to sleep.

Recently I took some time to think about when the best time to blog would be since I get random writer’s block and I’ve come up with two possible solutions.

  • One, you get a couple of drinks down or at least to get the thinking juices flowing, and just spout off everything going on.
  • Two, get to the brink of exhaustion (as I probably am right now but don’t quite realize it yet)

and just ramble about things that are on your mind.
Anyways, there’s some interesting things going on in the world as we’re closing in on 2k8 and I wonder what next year has in store. I figure the upcoming year will be filled with a bunch of political topics since we’ll be in an election year. Probable hot topics this year, health care reform (isn’t that every election), gas prices, and immigration. You could probably toss in the ramblings of a possible recession due to the whole housing debacle with sub-prime lending and variable interest rates. It should be pretty interesting to see what these candidates have to say and how they figure to solve these problems.

On a similar note, I curious to see which direction car manufacturer’s take to help alleviate our insatiable thirst for petroleum products, black gold, or gas for the rest of us. There is some hope out there with the Tesla Roadster being a proof of concept that an all electric car can be fast and carry enough charge to get you from work to home without having to stop halfway (unless your commute is from Los Angeles to San Francisco).

The unfortunate fact is that electric cars still rely on well, electricity. Ultimately it’s still relying on petroleum products when it comes down to it since many a power plants and such still use said products.

What would be a bit more interesting is a jump in portable solar technology, panels on the roof of your Prius that runs E100 (100% ethanol, not a blend with gasoline). There’s also hydrogen cars in the works namely the FCX Clarity from Honda which outputs something truly pollutant to the world, water (ok…sarcasm…hello!) You have to throw Bio-diesel into the ring as well as a contender. What this all boils down to is an interesting year in car technology that will hopefully free us from the grasp of the greedy oil industry. If not, it’s time to sue.

Another interest of mine, which also happens to be my line of work, is Video Gaming. So, in the world of gaming, namely console gaming, I believe two years ago was the year of the XBOX 360, last year was the Wii’s, and this year will likely be the PS3’s time to shine. It’s often overlooked because of its price, but with the games that will be coming out (hopefully, cross-fingers) it should make for a good argument to plunk down the extra scratch for one. Possible tiles of interest include:

  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • Gran Turismo 5
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
  • Street Fighter IV
  • Little Big Planet

Ok, before you say anything, I do realize that many of those games are pretty far out production/release date wise but for the purposes of this blog and since they all are slated for an ’08 release let’s say those count for my “it” titles.

And with that I’ll stop the rambling, but I’ll leave you with an entertaining video from those guys at Cal

For those that didn't know what was being played, in order it is...Pong, Tetris, Mortal Kombat (MK), Pokemon, Zelda, and Super Mario Bros. Enjoy it and I'll try to blog more often!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Damn…It’s getting hot

Well, what can I say it’s getting pretty damn hot around these parts now, I suppose that was my signal that Summer has already encroached upon my neck of the hemisphere. I seemed to have missed the memo I think, but then again in the midst of cubicles, constant temperatures (of a brisk 70-something) in our AC laden office, it’s easy to miss.

Never the less, heres to shorts, tank tops, and halters, here’s to you Summer. And since the most exciting season is upon us, get out there have some fun, just don’t forget the sun screen!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Gizmos and gadgets galore

Hello, my name is Joel and I’m a gizmo-a-holic. Naturally growing up around technology you have a certain affinity to all those ultra-fast gaming computers, gizmo's that do things that you thought were only possible in the movies, and gadgets that play days worth of songs yet fit in the palm of your hand.

I don’t know what it is about them but I always seem to gravitate to these tech sites to find out what’s new and cutting edge, ok you could go one further and say bleeding edge. As a society we’ve come a ridiculous ways in the better part of 10 years, remember talking to your buddies like you were “The Man” or “The Woman” for those gals out there, when you said you had a Pentium MMX 233Mhz (yes that was 10 years ago). That would make for a rather nice Linux box router but it has pretty much lost its usefulness seeing as my cell phone has more processing power than that.

Yeah, that’s pretty scary to think that you can carry in your pocket what 10 years ago would barely fit on the better half of a nice oak desk. Who’d a thunk it.

Speaking of cell phones doing some crazy things, that iPhone looks pretty neat. I’m definitively not going to be waiting in line to plunk down the better part of a car payment ($599 ?!) for one but it does look pretty neat. I worry that while all the technophiles will pick them up, the price is just not where it should be especially considering the 2 year commitment that AT&T (formerly Cingular) is requiring. Pick up a nice little iPod Nano for $199 and a free Moto Razr and you’re looking at 1/3 the cost of an iPhone. To each their own I suppose.

Cameras are also being sprinkled with technology and have quickly made 35mm cameras pretty close to irrelevant for everyday people. There are still those photographers who will use the old trusty film for keepsake photos, but all too often I see people whip out a slim little digital camera and snap a couple of shots for quick memories. Phones have em’ (digital cameras), but in reality trying to fit 35mm film on a phone – not going to happen. With some cameras you can get nice sepia and black and white photos as well so it’s about time to toss out that film too and trade it in for a ultra small gigabyte laden memory card.

Funny thing is, technology even seems to be invading the great outdoors. Camping used to be considered “roughing it” and I sure as heck am a purist when it comes to camping. Ok, I’ll go for the campgrounds that have a shower and running water, but I’m content with leaving some of the fancy gadgets at home, PSP, DS, consoles, et al. Think I’m joking when I say technology is invading the great outdoors? One quick browse through your local mega stores and you’ll see tents with 9v plugs in them….What’s up with that -- next thing you’ll know there will be winches that you hook to yourself to “climb” Half Dome…

My mini-rant aside, I’m looking forward to what’ll come in the next 10 years with nano-technology and other sorts of processor fabrications it’ll be interesting to see, that’s for sure.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Where does all the time go?

You know in all honesty I wonder where the time goes sometimes. I mean not to make anyone sound old or anything but I’ve seen many of my friends and classmates from High School move on to the next stage of their lives, the one where everyone is supposed to be responsible and hold down a job. Thinking of these things makes me reflect a bit on those days long passed – I look back at it more with fondness than sadness, thankfully.

I suppose what brought this about was the fact that one of my good friends was going through with the big “M”, you know, marriage. Now, I must say that we go back, way back, back before Super Nintendo, almost pre-dating the US launch of the Nintendo, so we have a good amount of history and growing up together. With that said, I’ll be in his wedding, like a coach once again in his corner, cheering him on (even with smelling salt…), and I’ll be thankful and happy that he’s found someone to settle down with.

So where does all the time go? To be honest I have no clue although I think that’s best left to ponder that more individually. As for me, I’ll focus on making every moment count, enjoying the simple day to day things, and looking forward to the next chapters of my life, just like a good book.