Archive Page 2

29
Mar
09

Understanding Earth Hour

60ehEarth Hour is the yearly campaign to switch off their lights around the world in 60 minutes. The purpose of this campaign is to encourage people to cut the energy use and to decrease energy emission from fossil fuel. Former US Vice President Al Gore presented a documentary film called “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006. It was all about the effect of global warming to the world, which it became a wake-up call to all nations. Because nowadays, we are facing that climate problem. Too much emissions and carbon dioxides coming out from factories or industries in any part of the world. The ozone layer continues to deplete. Global warming causes heatwave, more floods, more droughts, rising sea levels and extinction of animals and plants.

The U.N. Climate Panel said that rich nations will have to cut their emissions to a level between 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 to avoid the worst effects of warming. Developing nations will also have to slow the rise of their emissions by 2020, it says.

Australia started the Earth Hour campaign in 2007 by switching off all lights.The following year, it became global and growing. This year, the participants for that campaign was even growing more! The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) urged that campaign to the UN (United Nations) and all of the leaders of their nations to fight global warming. March 28 at 8:30-9:30pm of our local times around the world to turn-off our lights. It’s the celebration for us to give a gift to our Mother Earth.

26
Mar
09

The Power of Youtube

youtube-logoYoutube is very popular video website in the world. Those are uploaded videos or clips. Youtube users contribute talents, evidences, moments, slideshows, recorded videos from TV or movie (sometimes they deleted those videos from unauthorized distribution)… anything as you want to share for all. For videos containing offensive content, it’s available for ages 18 and above. Video pornography, defamation and gore are prohibited by Terms of Service. Videos from Youtube can embed in their blogs to share. You can share your comment or reaction about a video that you saw. You’re going to judge independently by giving them a positive or negative remark. It is a tool for fame or shame.

Youtube started in early 2005 by 3 former PayPal employees.  On November 2005, it was officialy launched to the public and 65,000 new videos were uploaded everyday. There’s a big impact to the society about Youtube. Simply upload their videos and they can watch them in few minutes. From any video format file, you can upload and convert into Adobe Flash Format at the maximum capacity of 10 minutes and/or 100MB of video content.

There are some critcisms facing on Youtube such as copyright infringement, privacy and inappropriate contents that irated by media owners. Sometimes, media owners sued against Youtube. That Internet video tool was on conflict because of sensitive issues throwing by individuals, ethnics or media owners. Youtube made an action against users who uploaded sensitive or recorded videos from TV or movie.

Until now, people are enjoying to watch Youtube video contents until now.

25
Mar
09

Brief History of Televison (from CRT to LCD)

Television is one of the most important communication tool by just watching information and entertainment stuff in front of your screen. Also, it transmits moving images and sounds. The evolution and development of television continues for more than 80 years and counting to improve the technological innovation for the future.

The experiment began in 1925 when John Logie Baird, a Scottish inventor, demonstrated the transmission of moving silhouette images. The scan rate was at 5 frames per second. Baird continued to improve that experiment until it reached 12.5 frames per second and over the air transmission between London and Glasgow in January 1926. Other scientists like Herbert Ives of USA and Leon Theremin of Soviet Russia made their different pre-television concept. In 1928, General Electric of USA initially released a “television” model called “Octagon”. Octagon was a mechanical set instead of electrical and the size of screen was just 4 inches. In the same year, Baird Model C released that same concept by Baird.

Before the World War II, the first electronic TV was developed. Commercial televisions of their companies were initially sold to US, UK, Germany and Russia. Other countries followed during and after the war. In late 40s, the cathode ray tube applied and the size of the screen increased to 7″.  Around 1950s, the “fishbowl” CRT tube came out in the market. That design was existing until now. From black and white screen, it turned out to a colorful viewing and the additional application using remote control. In mid-90s, projection television came out in the market. The screen size of that television is wider and the bulk size was slimmer. In 1997, plasma television technology introduced into the market and it became popular. In 2005, CRT was almost dead in terms of production and the advent of LCD (liquid crystal display) emerged. The width of the television was even slimmer to just only 2-3″. Sony introduced the first full HD screen, where HDTV was born. Afterwards, Samsung introduced 100Hz frame doubling technology. The purpose is to smooth out the motion blur and shakeness.

Thinner width of television, lower power consumption and greater resolution of the screen. These are objectives to improve more the quality of television nowadays.

24
Mar
09

Why Harry Potter is popular?

harry-potter-septet-copyThe reason why Harry Potter is popular because of magic and wizard stories that stirs the imagination of young readers. Maybe it’s a modern fairy tale to tell the audience or new fictional story that became hype. Not just Harry Potter books that patronized worldwide. They patronized Harry Potter movie series [led by Daniel Radcliff (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), which transformed into a big screen]; figures; computer games; and memorabilia from the Harry Potter movie. It was a phenomena. They praised J.K. Rowling’s writings.

It started at all when Joanne Kathleen Rowling started to wrote about Harry while she was travelling from Manchester to London. The first novel, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was completed in 1995 and published by Bloomsbury in 1997. That book became popular to young and adult readers worldwide. Despite the negative criticism throwed by clergies about teaching witchcraft to children, Harry Potter book series received positive reviews and praised by critics. Other Harry Potter books; such as “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows”; became fastest selling books worldwide. Harry Potter books sold more than 400 millions copies around the world and translated into 67 languages. J.K. Rowling became popular because of excellent fictional novel writings.

Last December 2005, Rowling announced that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows” was the last sequel to write. That book released on July 21, 2007 with 11 million copies sold within 24 hours in UK and USA. For the movie, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, it was scheduled to release on July 17, 2009.

23
Mar
09

Transformers

transformersgroup1984When I was a kid (around 1984), I watched Transformers after our school. It’s a great battle between the Autobots and Decepticons. I was thinking about Optimus Prime, which he was a great hero. For Megatron, I felt bad for him. Sometimes, if I miss any episodes of Transformers, I asked to one of my neighbor to borrow the betamax tape of recorded Transformers episodes and a 2-hour movie included. When my parents bought those Transformer toys for me, I was so excited. Instead of my collection, I used to imitate for what happend between the battle of 2 groups in Cybertron and in Earth. I still remeber the command from Optimus Prime to the Autobots group and said, “Autobots, transform!”

For succeeding Transformers series on TV, they mixed up between American and Japanese animation (called “anime”).  The intensity of action heated up and more characters added. However, I gave up watching Transformers because of my poor studies.

20 years later, the new Transformers movie came to life when Michael Bay, director of Pearl Harbor and Armageddon, made another excellent movie. I watched that movie. It was not a 2D animation or 3D animated stuff. It was a CGI animation. It looked like realistic movement of a robot but still, it was computer generated. I was still amazed!

Right now, I’ll wait for the latest Transformer movie called “Revenge of the Fallen” until June this year.

22
Mar
09

The 10 Controversial Computer Games in History

We love to play computer games regardless of age and gender. We used to stimulate our senses by solving the problem or just to have fun. However, there are some games that are not suitable for minors, not funny at all, and not entertaining. Also, there are some games that affects to other people and affects the morality of an individual. Here are the list of 10 controversial computer games in history.

1. Death Race (1976) – This game was inspired by 1975 movie Death Cult 2000 by Paul Bartel and Exidy made that coin-op video game. The controversial broke out for the first time in United States because that game was sick and morbid. Death Race is composed of one or two players with steering wheel and acceleration pedestal. The objective is to run down the “gremlins” who were fleeing in the vehicle. As a player hit them, they would scream or squeal and to replace on-screen by tombstones. This increased the challenge of the game as the screen cluttered up and the player had to avoid the tombstones.

2. Mortal Kombat (1992) – Mortal Kombat is one of the best-selling fighting game. Despite the popularity, critics raised an attention regarding the flawless victory is awful. Too much blood, gory finishes and morbid attacks. Those horrible end-game that make you shock for young gamers. This violent game was raised to the congress and led to creation of the body for gaming evaluation and suitable ages called ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).

3. Doom (1993, PC) – Doom is the first-person computer game in PC. Because of that shooting game became realistic, religious groups criticized as murderous gaming act. It showed violent, gore and satanic imagery gaming. They said that gamers may imitate the realistic of killing people. It happend at Columbine High School in 1999 when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold sparked a massacre because they imitate “Doom” gaming that led to 12 students and a teacher were killed while 23 victims were wounded. Harris and Klebold committed suicide after the incident. Doom voted as “#1 game of all time” by 100 game developers and journalists conducted by GameSpy in July 2001. Also, Doom became the most influential game of all time in April 2004.

4. Postal (1997, PC) – That name of a game as a slang for homicides was angered by US Postal Service employees. They sued Ripcord Games (publisher of Postal) and Running with Scissors (developer of Postal) for trademark infringement.

5. Grand Auto Theft: San Andreas (2004, Playstation 2) – “Hot Coffee mod” broke out because of sexually explicit contents. The video game legislation entered into that issue for the recall of re-rating of GAT: San Andreas, which given to AO (adult only) instead of M (mature) in July 2005.

6. Resistance: Fall of Man (2006, Playstation 3) – This first-person shooter game is one of the main highlight for PS3. However, the Manchester Cathedral used in the setting of RFoM was a huge controversy. Cathedral officials accused Sony as desecration of Manchester Cathedral, which may imitate violence and gun problem for the gamers. Sony Entertainment Europe was pressured by protesters and clergies of Manchester Cathedral for apology. Even former British Prime Minister Tony Blair commented that though companies should have more responsibility and sensitivity to the feelings of others, the issue would be immensely difficult. While the controversy heated up, the sales reached 2 million copies.

7. Manhunt 2 (2007; Playstation 2, PSP, Wii) – Violence and brutality act would interact for Wii players. Computer game critics were concerned about the game content. Manhunt 2 received the ESRB rating of AO but in some countries like UK and Ireland, it was officially banned. Also, Manhunt 2 received low scores and low sales.

8. Mass Efect (2007, Xbox 360) – Fox News segment “The Live Desk with Martha McCallum” and psychologist Cooper Lawrence discussed about Mass Effect, including sex scenes. McCallum and Lawrence admitted that they don’t play that game. When EA heard about them, they offended. EA requested for correction on “serious errors” from Fox News in open letter. Cooper Lawrence retracted her statement in interview. Game community offended for Lawrence.

9. LittleBigPlanet (2008, Playstation 3) – Last October 17, 2008, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe announced for the worldwide recall of LittleBigPlanet. The reason is one of a song in a game included a sacred passage from Quran which angered by Muslims. Few days before the release, Sony made an immediate recall. The sales performance was dramatically improved during holiday season and the game critics made a very positive remarks.

10. Resident Evil 5 (2009; Xbox 360, Playstation 3) – The story of Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar (as players) are about to battle against undead monsters set in an African country. This latest horror action game series accussed of racism. A white protagonist shoots against black zombies. Jun Takeuchi, chief producer of Resident Evil 5, was surprised about this controversy but he denied it. But according to Sue Clark, Head of Communications at British Board of Film Classification said, “We do take racism very seriously, but in this case there is no issue around racism.” Despite this controversy, Resident Evil 5 was shipped to 4 million copies worldwide.

19
Mar
09

Goodbye, Natasha Richardson!

small_natashaI was shocked about the death of British actress, Natasha Richardson, earlier when the news came out in my television and Internet. Also, she’s the wife of actor Liam Neeson. She was injured from skiing accident that lead to her death. Earlier at 7:00pm EDT, Liam Neeson’s publicist Alan Nierob made a statement to the press and said, “Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha. They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

Natasha Richardson was born in London, England on May 11, 1963. Her parents are late Tony Richardson (director/producer) and Vanessa Redgrave (also an actress). She started to appear in a movie entiled “The Charge of the Light Brigade” since 1968. After 18 years of absence in movie industry, she came back to appear in a movie “Gothic”. One of her significant movie called “Nell”  where Richardson starred alongside with Liam Neeson (as his future husband in real life) and Jodie Foster. Aside her acting career in movie and theatre, she’s active in advocacy for fighting against AIDS after the death of her father, Tony Richardson suffered from AIDS in 1991. From 1983 to 2005, she also participates in theatre. Natasha’s significant achievement was Best Actress in a Musical at Tony Awards for the production of “Cabaret” in 1998.

For me, it’s a big loss for her in entertainment industry. I pray for Natasha’s soul for what happend earlier. Condolence to Liam Neeson and his two sons.