Male body image in society

With a desire to be more muscular, men have taken drastic measures for the sake of having a body that is unrealistic and most likely unachievable. Television and magazine advertisement messages have raised the bar of what the ideal man should look like, making men feel self-conscious and heading to a point where they damage their own bodies.

The Adonis Complex is an obsession with muscle size and body building. One article says that it is a

Shut up about homosexuality, already

I must say, for the past couple of years, I feel that America has become more obnoxious about its problem with homosexuality. Every year it seems like someone out there has to speak out against gay marriage or homosexual acts or some other thing relating to a same sex scenarios. After a while, I have to say it just gets old, and on top of that, slightly disturbing.

When it comes to me with homosexual issues, I have absolutely no problem with homosexuality at all. I support gay marriage and funding for AIDS research. AIDS is not a gay disease but does affect the gay community in America. I even support the right for gay couples to adopt and/or have kids through in-vitro fertilization. I obviously consider myself very politically liberal on the subject. So then why should I tell the American people to shut up about it?

Because I am tired of hearing about it, that

The end of the paper books?

The book lovers within all of us cry out as yet another electron reader is announced, signaling the beginning of the end. Imagine the concept of having thousands of books at your fingertips a simple tap away. That has become reality with the planned release of Barnes & Nobles “Nook” E-reader.

Electronic readers have been billed as the end of paper books, the end may be one step closer. Barnes & Noble recently announced that they are prepared to release an e-reader later this year. While at the hefty price of $259 it may not exactly be a book killer, but it is comparable similar devices on the marketcurrently. E-readers have been on the market for quite some time, providing electronic forms of paper back books. The fact that this is being pushed by Barnes & Noble puts a fair amount of weight behind the companies’ choice to provide this product.

The e-reader will be called the Nook. It will sport the most recent version of electronic paper. E-paper is a recent novelty and this version of it will be provided by E-inc. The Nook will also sport a wireless connection allowing it to connect to other Nooks along with a retailer’s Web site, enabling people to purchase books electronically. Purchases can be lent to friend’s Nooks for up to 14 days at a time. The Nook will also have a small touch screen for control and typing, making it among the most impressive e-readers to be released in the past few years.

The Nook will run on google’s micro-operating system known as Android. This OS is designed specificallyfor small mobile devices. The Nook will offer subscriptions to over 50 different news papers. With two gigabytes of internal memory, the Nook will be able to hold up to an impressive 1,500 books, and with the addition of a additional flash memory slot, it can hold a great deal more. It is hoped that eventually customers will be able to read e-books for free while inside of a Barnes & Noble store. Along with this option users will also be treated to special offers while inside the store that will pop up on the screen of the Nook.

While the Nook may not be a book-killer quite yet, but it is obviously a move in the right direction. As more and more of these e-reader devices flood the market, the prices will be certain to drop. It will not be long before people weigh the portability and ease of having a mass number of books at their fingertips with the price. It is entirely possible that paper books will eventually become a figment of the past.

Ad for the Nook.

Video from an outside source.

Images from:

http://www.treehugger.com

http://www.wired.com

Barnes & Noble

The battle of Fox News vs the White House

A free press is paramount to a thriving democracy; this much is true. Censorship in the media cannot and will not stand as long as people look beyond political posturing. However, just because a government does not outright outlaw contrary opinions, they can still move forward with comments that create a chilling effect. This seems to be the case in the onslaught of verbal warfare between the president

Paranormal Activity, does it live up to the hype?

I am a monstrously huge fan of horror movies, but I have not seen one in years that scared me to the point of screaming in horror. “Paranormal Activity looked like the answer to my petrifying prayers. This was a movie I have been looking forward since I first saw the TV spot a couple months ago. I even went online to demand it be released nationwide. Well, 1 million demands later, there was a nationwide release planned. Paranormal Activity” has been said to be one of the the scariest films of the year, perhaps even the decade. Could be true? Could this finally be the movie that can make audiences squeal in terrifying, horrific delight?

Not quite.

Plot Summary

Everyday, average couple Micah and Katie buy a video camera to record the not-so-average paranormal phenomenon that seems to be following Katie. At first, it is only noises and slamming doors waking the couple at night, but It quickly progresses into more violent and creepy happenings like footprints made in flour on the floor. Finally, Katie calls a physic who informs the couple that the entity in their home is very aggressive and he can do nothing for them. Micah then takes matters into his ownhands by going around the house cussing out the demon spirit (bad call) and then proceeds to borrow a Ouija board in an attempt to make contact. Unfortunately, his plan not only upsets Katie (who wants to take the smart approach to the situation and leave the evil spirit alone), but also causes even more disturbances, including possession. Katie is filmed doing things she can not remember in the morning, such as standing beside the bed for 3 hours like a creeper, staring at Micah while he sleeps. Katie begins having more blackouts and strange behavior, and Micah is lost on what to do. He suggests they leave the house (one of the view good ideas this guy has) and Katie agrees at first, but then changes her mind, saying “everything will be okay now.” That should have been a big red flag, and the audience can sense that something is about to go down, and we all know who it’s going to be. The end is sad, slightly reminiscent of The Exorcism of Emily Rose and The Exorcist , and too sudden. Paranormal Activity beats comparable films, like The Blair Witch Project, all to crap, but there could still have been more done with it if they had actually had a decent budget.

Is it worth your time?

The “home-video” feel to the movie makes the story seem more realistic, as Katie and Micah could be your next door neighbors. It actually puts me in the mind of Ghosthunters on the Scifi channel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sure, that kind of approach can make the audience feel a little let down in the special effects department, but that’s part of the fun of this movie.

As with any film, “Paranormal Activity” comes with its share of problems and goofs. There are times you can hear the main characters call each other by the wrong names, but the viewers would be to engrossed in the situation to even notice the first time around.

What this movie does bring to the table is something different, a change of pace from the usual serial killer/monster movie we are starting to see a trend of. If you’re a fan of the psychological horror, this film can mess with your head if you let it. But, if you walk in not looking for the thrill of becoming scared, you probably won’t find this movie very threatening in the nightmare department.

See it or Skip it?

See it. I admit, I was caught up in all the hype surrounding this movie and expected to have to sleep with the lights on for a night or two, but I was a little let down. Maybe I expected too much and my standards are too high. I know this film would have scared a lot of my friends, so this is why I’m saying, give it a chance. This might be a film for you. As a viewer, you need to let yourself get into the story, and that’s when you can really enjoy its subtle terror. On the other hand, you might find this film funny (I did), and even that is worth some entertainment points, but it still does not live up to the hype.

Final Result: See it or wait to rent it (with a big group of people at night. That might make it more fun.)

Check out the trailer:

Photo courtesy of Blumhouse Productions

Video courtesy of YouTube.com

Reasons why you should never quit

Here’s a message to all students here at Radford, and not just Radford, but anywhere, who believe that you have too much going on in life to be able to deal anymore. Some of you may be going through relationship problems. Some of you may be dealing with a family crisis. Some of you may have lost your job which was the only means to support yourself. And some of you may just be having trouble in classes or might feel like you don’t have any friends or anyone who really cares about you. Now, there are college students who respond to problems such as these by just sitting around skipping class or drinking or smoking marajuana all day. You don’t care about what happens to you anymore, because you feel so incredibly worthless that it just doesn’t matter anymore. Bullshit!

Have you ever read the story in the Bible about Job? If you have, you’d know that the story is about a man who is extremely wealthy. He has a family, owns tons of animals and has a lot of servants. Job basically has a perfect life and other people have every reason to be jealous. One day, Satan wants to see if Job will curse God if he loses everything, and God agrees to Satan’s challenge. Job loses everything: his land, family, servants, animals and money. He’s literally left with nothing at all. He doesn’t give up though, he holds onto his faith in God and as a result, Satan loses the bet and Job gets everything back and more.

Some of the world’s greatest figures were failures early in life. President Abraham Lincoln, the Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II, Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein are just a few. They were all failures early in their lives. Just think; what if they had given up and decided to quit on life altogether? How would that have affected our lives today? They became some of the most famous people in history and did some pretty amazing things because they never sat down and decided to quit.

Now not everyone’s going to become a famous historical figure of course, but you shouldn’t just assume that because things aren’t going well, you should just give up. You can get involved in extracurricular activities, go out more, meet more people, talk to your friends or whatever it might take for you to stay positive. At Radford, there are plenty of things around for you to do. There are therapists if you feel you really need help, but if you get involved in something, hopefully it’ll lift your spirits. Who knows? You might very well become famous one day. You could run a business, be elected president or maybe be a television star. If you quit on life now, you’ll never know. Life is full surprises, and you should always be ready to embrace them, because you never know when they’ll present themselves to you.

Pictures from:

http://www.mybelvedere.com/Images/pictures/white_flag_XSmall.jpg
http://i.ehow.com/images/GlobalPhoto/Articles/4617324/sad1-main_Full.jpg
http://newsx.com/files/images/suicides.jpg

Video from: allthegospel on Youtube

South Park: Let’s Go Tower Defense Play!

Earlier this month, the producers of South Park, with the help of Microsoft and its game studios, produced the game South Park: Let’s Go Tower Defense Play!. The game is more or less a bigger version of a standard flash game. The story revolves around the town of South Park being attacked by various enemies. The player must protect the town from these invading forces of evil. The early part of the game is spent focusing a decent amount of time unlocking Kyle, Stan and Kenny. Though you start the game unlocking the original four characters, as the game continues there are opportunities to unlock more of the characters from South Park, each one playable.

Game Play

The game is more or less your standard tower defense game. The players runs around as their favorite character setting up towers to defend the pathways that lead into town. During this endevor you willface the evil forces of gingers, hippies, cows and more. The only real twist to the normal tower defense gameplay type is when it comes to the usage of the main characters from South Park. They work likemobile towers and are able to move from one side of the map to another, under control of the person playing, allowing one to shore up areas where defense looks as though it is going to fail. Another interesting addition to the over all game play is special powers that are specific to each character. For instance, Cartman’s power, once built up brings down fire, while Stan’s restores the town’s wealth which more or less acts as the towns health. A knocked down character stays down until another character comes to revive them, this has become an extremely common aspect in just about every game so it is no surprise to see it here.

The Good

This game is great for people who are fans of South Park. The dialog for the game is extremely amusing as Cartman or one of the other boys chimes in with some random comment about the enemies. The transition screens are funny, as well. The voicing for them fits in very nicely with the game’s concept. The scenes when your characters use their special powers are well done and well planned. The games multiplayer function is actually useful and encourages you to play with three other people in the harder parts of the game having some back up can be a good thing. The storyline is uniquely South Park in nature; your enemies are those who you have seen throughout the series which is a nice touch for South Park fans everywhere.

The Bad

There really isn’t all that much that is wrong with this game. There are times when the game play seems a bit glitchy where you try to attack one of enemy and attack and entirely different one. This can be truly annoying when you are attempting to prevent one enemy from slipping through and end up hitting and entirely different one, costing you the game. The music for the game can become annoying at times, but it’s well suited for the fast paced game play that comes with the tower defense genre.

Whim Rating: 4/5

Video from an outside source

Images from:

http://www.sfx-360.com

http://bulk2.destructoid.com

http://img.jeuxvideo.fr

Two wild card races key for Johnson’s fourth straight

Jimmie Johnson is set to do something that is unprecedented in NASCAR and a rarity in other sports: four consecutive Sprint Cup championships. He now holds a commanding 90 point lead over second place Mark Martin, and only five drivers remain within one race of his lead. So should they go ahead and engrave the championship with his name on it? Not quite yet. The next two races will probably decide that.

NASCAR Sprint Cup racing can hold many surprises for the competitors as they race hard to bring home the title. Not everything can be in the drivers

A Taste for Diversity; it makes sense

On Monday, Sept. 28, I attended “A Taste for Diversity” at Dalton Hall for the third time. Just as I expected, it was yet again a fantastic program. This year, the event was coordinated junior, King Ohene Amponsem, and graduate Nana Takyi Kum, an alumni. Both are very active in supporting international programs. Their purpose with organizing a program like this is to educate Radford University about diversity and to promote further diversity on RU’s campus.

The program was filled with extraordinary dishes from all over the globe. I tried some Jewish/Israeli dishes served at Menutainment, which consisted of toasted bagels with lox, cream cheese, cr

The rise of the Social Web site

In recent years there has been a surge in social Web sites. These Web sites are not limited to social networking, they expand to cover a variety of Web sites, each dedicated to sharing parts of peoples’ lives. These things can span from humor to art. The Internet has just become another device to express oneself. This usage of the Internet as a form of expression is the natural progression as social Web sites become more common. Whether humorous or not these sites are a good way to waste time or brighten a bad day.

FML

This is an example of one of the more humorous social Web sites. On this site people post everyday stories where things have gone wrong. The stories can range from being humorous and funny to being down right disgusting. The only real issue with this site is that as it has grown more and more popular as the stories have become rather outlandish and at times, clearly made up. This Web site is now actively documenting the best of its stories and puttingm them in a book that will be published later this year.

Texts from Last Night (TFLN)

TFLN is a Web site that documents those texts that probably would have been better off not sent; these generally involve drunk texts, stupid texts. The vast majority of the texts found on the Web site are either extremely funny or just nasty at times. The Web site has a somewhat unique way to rate submissions. You can either rate the post as being a good night or a bad night. The vast majority of posts on TFLN come off as being genuine, even the odder ones. This is definitely a great site to waste time between classes.

My Life is Average (MLIA)

This is the third in several very similar websites that give a brief glimpse into peoples’ lives. My Life is Average is a Web site very similar to FML. The main difference between MLIA and FML is that FML focuses on how things have gone horribly wrong, whereas MLIA focuses on everyday things. The things which the story cover can be negative, positive or just down-right strange at times.

Other sites

The sites above are purely social. While not encouraging networking they do allow people to reveal glimpses of their everyday lives. In this way, they are social Web sites creating a line of communication that would not normally be there. There are sites designed purely for socializing, though the majority of those Web sites are well known. Examples of such sites are Facebook, Myspace and Twitter. Twitter may not be not as widely used as the other two, because the concept of a micro blog is still rather new, but it is quickly gaining ground on the others. Myspace and Facebook, both of which are extremely well known social networking sites, also fall into this category of social Web sites.

On the note about Twitter you can follow me @whimtech on Twitter.

The greatest legend that ever played guitar!

Probably one of the best guitar players of Rock and Roll was a man by the name of Randall William Rhoads. He was an amazing guitar player and there were really no others quite like him. Ever since he was a kid all he wanted to do was play guitar. He began playing at a very young age. It didn’t take long at all for his talents to show when he had his first lesson. A very short time later, his guitar instructor told his mother, (“I’ve taught the kid everything I know and he’s mastered it flawlessly. If he keeps seeing me he’ll have to start teaching me soon.”) Randy’s mother was quite amazed by this.

When Randy was in his early twenties, the famous Ozzy Osbourne, who had been kicked out of the band Black Sabbath and was looking to start a new band, was holding tryouts to look for a guitar player. Randy had no interest in trying out, but his mother told him that he should because Osbourne was someone who really knew the buisness. After his tryout, his mother said that it was the only time she had ever seen him angry. It wasn’t even for the reason that you would expect. When he came home, he said (“Ozzy didn’t even let me finish warming up and he said I could be in his band. Now he doesn’t even really know what I can do!”)

Osbourne was later interviewed about this, and the reason he accepted Rhoads so quickly was actually pretty funny. (“I didn’t really care how good the kid was,”) Osbourne said. (“Everyone else who came to the tryouts was showing off and playing random shit as fast as they could, they thought that was the best way to impress me and it didn’t even sound all that good. I could tell that none of them were actually all that good and I was wondering if I’d ever be able to really get a good guitar player. When the kid came and began to audition, I didn’t care how good he was simply because he bothered to warm up.”)

Osbourne had no idea that the kid he accepted into his band was quite possibly one of the best guitar players in the world at that time. He was in for quite a surprise. He and Rhoads did some pretty amazing things together as they went on tours and gave performances. Osbourne’s band made a substantial amount of money and earned many fans. Rhoads was really incredible, and he made Ozzy’s band so well known.

Unfortunately, Rhoads only lived to be 26 years old. Shortly before his death, Rhoads told Osbourne that he planned on quiting the band to become a guitar teacher because he didn’t want the fame. He never had the chance to quit, however, because he died in a plane crash. The reason for the crash was none other than the fact that the pilot was being an idiot. Osbourne was asleep on his bus when Rhoads got on the plane. The pilot of the plane thought it would be funny to fly the plane around the bus just to make Osbourne mad. He flew the plane near the bus again and again, and one of the times that he came near the bus, one of the plane’s wings hit the bus, was cut off, and the plane flew into a mansion.

Osbourne’s band suffered a terrible loss when that happened, as did the world of music. Rhoads was truly one of the greatest guitar players who ever lived. He was so naturally gifted that even when he was a little kid it was as if god created him specifically for the purpose of playing guitar. There will really never be another guitar player as amazing as he was. To this day, modern rock is missing him, but the things he did in his lifetime made his name truely immortal.

Photo courtesy of www.rudysarzo.com, www.geocities.com

Video courtesy of YouTube

Halo 3: ODST dropping into stores near you

In this installment of the well-known Halo franchise, players play as an orbital drop shock trooper. You are put into the shoes of the teams rookie, who, like in most games, is simply referred to as “rookie.” He is the strong silent type\. You and your squad are orbiting earth as you get orders and prepare to take the leap. Before the rookie makes the jump he is introduced to two new faces: Buck the squad leader and Dare, a woman full of mysteries.

The rookie quickly learns why others call those in the

ODST “Hell Jumpers” as he plummets down toward the waiting battlefield of New Mombasa. The jump goes wrong as the Covenant ship makes an emergency escape, sending your squad scattered about the city. The rookie wakes up six hours later to find much of the city in ruins.

Game Play

The game in and of itself plays very much like the previous editions of the game. The gameplay is smooth and rather simple, what one would expect coming from Bungie. While the game plays like its predecessors, there are still enough changes to make it fun. Gone is the self healing and gravity defying spartan amour, replaced with light combat armor. While your character can still jump higher than most normal people, it is hardly the super-jump of previous Halo games. The loss of regeneration means you have to be much more careful in the urban battle environment as you face the troops of the covenant who are searching the city for survivors. The heads up display (HUD) for the game is built into the visor for our ODST rookie. The HUD in ODST is a rather unique and fun addition. Not only does it work as a form of night vision, it highlights enemies and points of interest. Another addition to ODST is a new game mode known as firefight. It is very similar to horde in Gears of War 2, where you face countless waves of enemies, hoping to survive until the end.

The Good

The graphics for the game were stunning, especially the drop scene as you cut through the clouds and come flying towards the city as it is under attack. The detail put into the city is great, including the cities AI, the Superintendent who helps guide you to hidden audio tracks and provides health and ammunition packs at various stations. The game has an in-depth and intense story as you try to piece together all that has gone wrong in the six hours while your rookie has been unconscious. The story is what makes this game, with its in-depth acting and rich content. Without the story it would just be another Halo game; nothing special.

The Bad

There isn’t all that much that is overwhelmingly bad about this game. There are a few things, like the maps being confusing at times, or that the HUD can be very disorientating at first as it makes everything shiny. My main point of contention with the game is the firefight mode, the mode in and of itself is solid and fun, but the restriction to friends-only can make it a pain to get people together to play it at times. Often times you can find yourself just lurking on the 360 dash board, waiting for someone to get on so you have someone to play with.

My Rating: 5/5

Official Game Trailer.

The live action trailer.

Videos embedded from an outside source.

Images From:

http://www.bungie.net/