Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Learning Irish Gaelic

--Don't be discouraged from the long length of this post, it goes by quick. If you get bored easy, check out some cool stuff at the bottom :) --

So you want to learn Irish Gaelic huh? I'm not going to lie to you. It's tough. And I took Latin and thought that was easy. I'm not here to discourage you from it. In fact, I want you to learn Irish Gaelic, probably more than even you want to learn it yourself. I simply want to you to know what's in store, so that when you do get around to learning it, you won't get discouraged on your own.

First rule to learning Irish Gaelic, DON'T GET DISCOURAGED, of course. We'll get into that later. The problem is that it will take some work. Any language will. It's just Irish has some more unique challenges to it that others don't. For one, it's tough to find other people who speak it. On top of that, finding good lessons or good content, while much easier, is tough to do on your own. I'm going to help you with this part. Just keep in mind, the road will not rise to meet you. Be prepared to meet it halfway.

Rosetta Stone
Let's get started. How do I learn the basics? Here's what I did. I pestered Rosetta Stone about offering Irish Gaelic. My wish came true April 2008. They came out with THREE levels. The significance of that is they usually only have level one for most languages. The downside to this? All three levels (when purchased together) will run you up about $500. When purchased separately, obviously more than that. It's up to you if you want to buy all three at the same time. I did. But just to give you some perspective, I've used my spare time to use Rosetta Stone, and since I'm about a few days away from the 1 year mark, I'm still not done with level 1. In fact, I'm only 3/4 of the way through. I'd say on average I'd maybe spend a half hour a week. It's hard to estimate since I'd go a full week spending maybe 5 hours at most for the week, then spend two weeks not even touching it. I almost feel like at this pace buying them separately might be the better deal. I'm not a math genius, but I'm sure it's still better to buy all three at the same time... if you're that committed to learning like I am.

Transparent Language vs Rosetta Stone
Is it too expensive? Is just level one still too expensive? Then consider Transparent Language. Visit them at http://www.transparent.com/languagepages/irish/irish.htm. While far cheaper, I'm not sure the difference in the amount of words you learn between Transparent Language and Rosetta Stone.

Just looking at pure features though, Transparent Language beats Rosetta Stone HANDS DOWN. Check out the website. In the BYKI Irish Gaelic, you get tons of extras, like mp3's to use on your music player of choice to listen in the car (which the new version of Rosetta Stone Irish Gaelic has, however the old version like I have, does not have it. You can pay $50 per level for the mp3's if you have the old version, or you can be shit out of luck. I chose shit out of luck), cool ways to track your learning, like a running total of the words you've learned, not to mention all of the cool free stuff. For FREE, you can sign up to get the Irish Gaelic Word of the Day (http://www.transparent.com/wotd/today/irish.htm?date=03-31-2009) which is a widget that you can embed in your blog or web site or social networking page (see bottom). They've even got games and puzzles.

Also of difference is the styles. TL teaches you the ol' fashioned flashcard way. Which I'm not knocking, I think it works. It helps that they have sound clips for each word. Sometimes each word has a picture, and I think there's even an option to add your own choice of picture to a flash card. You can even make lists of your own words. Maybe some words just aren't sticking, so you can assemble them in their own list (which I think is fantastic, I used the old flashcard method when learning Latin in high school, and it helped to just cycle through the words I had trouble with).

Rosetta Stone teaches you using pictures. So it would show you a picture of a dog and say "madra". So now, you associate dog with "madra". There's no base language to work off of. So in this example, the English word "dog" is nowhere to be found. I can see the plus side in this. However, I think there's a downside to this. There is the very real chance that you learn the wrong meaning, since the meaning of the word is what YOU give it. And this has happened to me. While using RS, I had formed the (incorrect) relation of "tUasal" to being a person's first name... specifically I thought it was a masculine first name. Then a few lessons later, a woman was refered to as "tUasal". I then realized that I made the wrong connection and that "tUasal" really means Mr. or Ms. And for all I know I could still be wrong.

I think RS benefits more from this method than you or I will. Since there's no base language, they can sell this version to anyone in the world. Someone in Ethiopia could learn Irish Gaelic using the same RS disc that I have. The only thing they'd have to change would be the program's menu language. This would be like you start the application and it asks you to log in and pick a language level to work with. That's in English. But the key is they don't have to switch out all the English for Ethiopian. They just take the app and slap on the Ethiopian system menu. It's quite brilliant from a budget standpoint. It probably keeps their costs REAL low. However, if you noticed, the application itself is expensive to buy. I think it's safe to say that basically when you buy a RS language, you're really paying for all the advertising you see. Those Superbowl commercials aren't cheap you know.

I should point out that for those of you cult members... I mean iPhone owners, Transparent Language has an iPhone app. Rosetta Stone does not. And I should also point out that TL gave out the Irish Gaelic iPhone app for FREE on St Patricks day 2009. I think the app is normally $7 or $8. Hint: sign up for news and updates from TL, that's how I found out they were giving it away. Not to mention they do offer great deals through their emails. I picked up Brazilian Portuguese and Sweedish for $10 cheaper EACH. I'll be learning those less frequently though.

But, Transparent Language doesn't stop at that. They even have an Irish Gaelic blogger going. Read Róislín's helpful blog at http://www.transparent.com/irish/.

But that brings me to my next option...

Online learning
Rosetta Stone and Transparent Language have the benefit of sound. Irish Gaelic is 10 times easier to learn if you can hear it. I originally started my quest to learn using FREE online resources such as Erin's Web. It was helpful, but I didn't get very far. I'd get frustrated and put it down, then have to relearn. And I'm talking about I didn't make it past lesson 3. It's not the fault of the site, its just really tough to learn without hearing it. But don't get discouraged like I did. In fact, different counties in Ireland pronounce some words differently. So, you just have to learn and practice, you don't have to get it PERFECT. That was why I got discouraged, I tried to make it perfect.

I'm still going to use Erin's Web (when I have the time), because I think it offers something we haven't discussed yet, and that's grammar. Rosetta Stone doesn't tell you which words are feminine and which are masculine. Somehow, you're supposed to do that. I know one of them adds in the letter 'h' to words, I'm just not sure which one it is that does it, nor do I know which words belong to that gender. I think Transparent Language is the same. I don't have TL Irish Gaelic so I cannot say for sure.

I'm sure there are plenty of other resources out there as well. The trouble is finding good ones. Also of issue, is sometimes Scottish Gaelic comes up in Gaelic search results. So beware. Irish and Scottish Gaelic are two different animals, hence why I've been saying "Irish Gaelic" the whole time. Most of the time saying "Irish" or "Gaelic" will suffice. The Irish will say they speak "Gaelic". Either or is correct. I just like to be clear, unfortunately I shouldn't have to make the distinction.

Anyways, enjoy the following Veritas-approved Irish Gaelic cool stuff:

Firefox in Irish Gaelic: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-1.html?c=europe
Google in Irish Gaelic: http://www.google.com/intl/ga/

Irish Gaelic Radio from Ireland:
-Go to http://www.rnag.ie/radio/index.html
-Click on "RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta" on the right side to open a new window and hear the live stream

Irish Gaelic TV (including awesome cartoons!):
-Go to http://www.tg4.tv/
-Cúla 4 on the left is kid shows. Click on a show to view it (NOTE: SHOWS ONLY AVAILABLE IN INTERNET EXPLORER :( )
-Feel free to click on the other categories. There's sports, news, drama, etc.

And as promised...

TV Talk with your host Linda Richmond

Ok, we've all been waiting for it. Even though they said March 2009, they really meant April 7th. As in Tuesday April 7th, a week from today. At 10 pm on said date, the NEW season of "Rescue Me" FINALLY starts. I don't know what the fuck happened, but I'm over it because it's so close right now.

Haven't been watching? Feel free to jump in. "Rescue Me" isn't a "Lost" type of show. You can pick it up now if you want. If you're really OCD about it, Hulu.com has seasons 1-3 available online. Check it out at http://www.hulu.com/rescue-me. Note that Hulu does require age validation (HA!) since "Rescue Me" is rated M or whatever. Of course you can pick up the DVDs at your local store or rent them from Netflix (unfortunately they're not available for the instant queue :( ).

Note to current fans of "Rescue Me", if you saw last season, season 4, check out season 1 episode 3. You'll know it when you see it. Bravo to the writers if this was intentional. Oddly enough, from what I remember, after the incident in season 4, the next episode's "Previously on Rescue Me" didn't reference this.

If you're still interested in the second half (ONCE AGAIN STOP SPLITTING THE FUCKING SEASONS) of Prison Break season 4, it airs April 17th at 8pm. That's a Friday. Keep in mind, Friday's are where Fox shows go to die. Sad to say it but it's true. And this season, I'm sorry to say, was lacking. But then again how many times can Michael break out of prison? But really, battling the company? I think a name change is in order. Prison Break:The Company.

If you're looking for other stuff to watch, Lost, 30 Rock, The Office, and 24 are still showing new episodes, and most of these are online. Lost has all seasons online. Visit them at www.abc.com/lost. The other three are available on Hulu. If you like 24, check out Jack's blog for 24 episode recaps. See them at http://backinjack.blogspot.com/.

Want new stuff? Check out "Solitary" on Hulu at http://www.hulu.com/solitary. Yes, I know what you're thinking. Reality TV? Really, Joe? Fake or not, it was fun to watch. I've been through all three seasons. They went quick. I was watching them while working VERY late over the past two months... which maybe is why it appealed to me. The contestants are forced to spend their entire time on the show in solitary (surprise) confinement... in a very small octogon of a room. They are deprived of sleep and food (probably why I liked it during those late work nights, I could relate) and their physical, mental and emotional limits are tested. It's almost like Gitmo detainees got their own show... except they probably have an easier time there than on Solitary. It looks easy, but I'm sure it's not. I may be used to lonliness, lack of sleep, physical, emotional and mental challenges, but I'd probably loose it trying to eat some of the nasty stuff they try to feed the contestants. I suppose you could eat worse stuff on Fear Factor though.

CBS.com looks to be showing SOME episodes of Gary Unmarried, Jay Mohr's funny new comedy. Check it out on it's airing night Wednesdays at 8:30pm.

Of course, there's plenty of your old favorites to watch online. Hulu has tons, like Weird Science, Jackie Chan Adventures, ALF, and Arrested Development (now watching the 2nd time on Hulu). Check around though. www.TNT.tv shows some full episodes of Charmed. Abc.com has some of their own shows, like LOST.

And no, I don't get a paycheck from Hulu but I probably should.

Monday, December 15, 2008

TV updates

24- 2 night 4 hours... Sunday January 11th 8pm AND Monday January 12th 8pm; Note- Could not find anything but assume that regular weekly episodes continue on Mondays.

Lost- Wednesday January 21st 8pm; Season 5

Rescue Me- still no release date yet, but set for March 2009

Monday, December 8, 2008

Netflix + XBOX = The Future

First off, let me just say I love watching Neftlix movies from my instant queue on my XBOX 360. Now that you know my bias, we can continue on...

Second... whoever thought of bringing the Neftlix instant queue to the XBOX 360... give that man a Nobel Prize. For years now I've been waiting for the time when I could watch a movie instantly without any physical copy of the movie itself. It was clearly inevitable... I just didn't realize how quickly it'd come or even how easy it'd be.

However, nothing's perfect. Rewind and Fast Forward are clunky (as you might expect). The selection is unfortunately very limited. On top of that, sometimes movies are available for a limited time. I currently have 9 movies in my instant queue available until January 1st. A few more expire before that. The high def quality is a little low, and you can't browse for movies; you can only watch those already in your queue.

On the plus side, a lot of that is fixable. Everything except the available movies is hardware and software fixes or inevitable technology upgrades. The only real issue are the movies themselves. Movie and TV studios need to wake up and provide more programming on outlets such as Netflix and Hulu.com. Because of them, I was able to catch up on The Office, 30 Rock and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. I missed these three shows from the beginning, so I never wanted to jump into the middle of them. However, since I now am caught up, I watch these shows... that means I'm a new viewer. Your ratings are up because I was able to see older episodes. It saddens me that old episodes for these shows get taken down. On Hulu, you can see only a few episodes of Sunny from season 3. That means someone out there may not be able to jump in as easily. I think season 2 of 30 Rock is the only one available on Hulu. It's tough to recommend these shows to people when they won't be able to see them all the way through.

I'd also like to pause for a second to praise ABC for putting up all seasons of Lost. It will certainly make it easier for someone to join in.

I will admit though that having movies and tv shows readily available like this makes it less likely for me to buy the movie or tv box set. Tv has a lot more to gain out of this arrangement though, as I pointed out, it's a good way to get new viewers. Viewers means ratings, ratings mean sponsors, sponsors mean money. Forget sales of box sets. I believe that time was short lived. It will continue on for a few years, helped by holiday sales (my mom is tough to buy for, so a year or two back my father got her a box set of one of her favorite shows). But if I were a tv exec, I'd plan for box set sales to drop.

What about the movie companies? Yeah, they really don't have much to gain. Most of their revenue will come from Dvd sales and theater tickets, both of which will drop due to Netflix and sites like Hulu. Dvd sales will be the first to go. But that isn't all Netflix's fault. Listen up Hollywood, I'm going to tell you what's wrong. This is stuff you can fix. Improving is a different story.
  • STOP with the exclusive editions. You only confuse the customer as to exactly what they're buying, and when that happens... they'll go for the cheaper one. Take tomorrow's release of The Dark Knight. At Walmart, you can get a commemorative coin and comic book. At Circuit City, the cover has the Joker instead of Batman. With a few exceptions, most people will go for whichever is cheaper.
  • STOP with the special editions. Likewise, you'll confuse the consumer and they'll buy the cheaper. Same Dark Knight example... you can buy the Blu-ray version with a miniature Bat-pod... for $50. Of the few people that own a Blu-ray player... some of them might be rich enough to want that. For the people who are buying a Blu-ray player with the Dark Knight as the first (and maybe only so far) movie for it, they'll want to save money to buy the player by not getting the special edition. So expect to see a lot of Special Edition Bat-pods to be sitting around after the holidays, which may get sold when the price drops on them. Then you're left paying off the marketing agency that thought to do that anyways.
  • STOP with the anniversary editions. It's frustrating to see a movie you just bought be re-released with more content. If you're going to do that, at least find some way to make that content available to people who already bought the previous version.
  • Widescreen vs Fullscreen. Put them on the same disc. It's frustrating when someone gets a fullscreen movie for Christmas and then has to go buy the widescreen version. While this may be good for you because you sell two copies instead of one, you're only driving people away from buying movies in the long run.
Don't get me wrong. Sometimes special editions and anniversary editions are cool. But don't oversaturate the market. You'll confuse the consumer. Exclusive editions do that better than special editions. Don't frustrate your consumers either.

Do inclue more digital copies. Keep in mind... Blu-ray, although it has a higher HD capacity and more content than Dvds or Netflix or Hulu, it is a short lived format. Downloads and digital is the obvious future. It's so clear when you pick up your XBOX controller and watch a movie from your queue. I haven't done it, but I think I can watch digital copies on my XBOX since it's connected to my computer.

If you want to be bold Hollywood... work out a deal with Netflix to make movies that are currently in theaters watchable instantly for $5 a viewing. I would absolutely pay that to watch a movie currently out at home. Think about it, it's what people want. That's why they download bootlegged versions. I HATE going to the theater. When I saw Live Free or Die Hard, some stupid kid sat next to me and talked during the first five minutes until I told him to shut up. I missed an important plot device. During the Dark Knight, some kid next to me was texting on his cell phone the entire time. In a dark theater... the light from a cell phone screen is pretty distracting. People with big hair in front of you, people kicking the back of your seat, sticky popcorn covered floors, overpriced food, overpriced tickets, the lines, the parking, talkers, annoying laughers, cell phones, children, uncomfortable chairs, some fat person who spills over onto your armrest, people who can't stay seated for two hours... for the love of god try going to the bathroom before the movie and restrain yourself from buying the extra large soda. I could have easily watched The Dark Knight many times for $5 while not having to leave my house. Not to mention all the movies I do miss, in which case I have to wait until they're on dvd so I can rent them from Netflix. Take this advice, this is a way to profit. You'll cut down on costs while boosting profits. Open your eyes, I love my Netflix Xbox. The home theater is the future of theater. Embrace it now.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Veritas - TV Review - Prison Break (FOX)

As per my recent post regarding season start information, I felt like I was forgetting something, and sure enough, I did. And likewise, what I said in that post about shows 'falling through the cracks', this one did. So my apologies to Prison Break.

Prison Break 2 hour premiere MONDAY SEPTEMBER 1, 2008: 8PM Fox

On that note... shame on you Fox. I was watching FX and saw ONE... 1... I repeat ONE, commercial for the Prison Break Premiere... tomorrow. However, every fucking commercial break had an ad for your stupid "Sons of Anarchy" show. FX... you hit paydirt with The Shield and Rescue Me and to a lesser extent Nip/Tuck... stop trying to play off these new shitty shows like they're the heirs... they're not. Don't get me wrong, I'm more than happy that you're trying. But still... it's obvious they suck.

Prison Break, on the other hand, in it's 4th season now, I believe, is a great show. It's a little predictable at some times, but still has some of the best writing and acting out there in all of the networks. If you haven't seen it before, go ahead and rent the first three seasons, they are definitely worth a watch. Each season is kind of it's own show. What I mean by that is think of other shows like 24... although a great show, every season is about how Jack Bauer saves the country. Each Prison Break season has it's own goal, which makes it fresh and exciting. The seasons aren't that dependent on each other, so you could start with 4 now if you wanted. If you're worried about season 4 spoiling the others, then don't. But I think it's kind of obvious that if they're in season 4, then chances are some things are already spoiled for you. But even if you are worried about it, there is more than enough plot turns in each season to keep you intrigued.

Whatever your choice, the new season starts TOMORROW
September 1 2008
2 hours

Happy watching!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Veritas - TV PREview

It hit me today that in EXACTLY ONE week begins the series finale of "The Shield" on FX. It is a happy, yet sad time. In my personal opinion, it is and was one of the best shows on television. What's been weird about maybe the past eight months or so, is that I haven't watched much television. Mostly because there was nothing good on, but also because the shows that are good were put on hiatus during the writer's strike (they were in the right so I don't blame them). Unfortunately, it not only messed up my nightly schedule, but I think it messed with my internal 'season' clock. You know what I'm talking about. "It's been a few months since I've seen Lost, so it must be starting a new season soon." THAT internal clock. It's been so long since I've seen an episode of The Shield that I almost feel like its already over... but alas it's not. But case in point, it's almost like I forgot about the show when the new season didn't come up when my internal clock thought it was supposed to. So here I am to remind you out there in TV Land of your favorite shows, and when you should expect their triumphant return...

Show; Season Premiere; Season; Genre; Network

PRISON BREAK; Mon September 1, 2008; 8pm; Drama; FOX

The Shield; Tues September 2, 2008 10pm EST; 7; Drama; FX

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia; Thurs September 18, 2008 10pm EST; 4; Comedy; FX

The Office; Thurs September 25, 2008 9pm (Hour long); 5; Comedy; NBC

30 Rock; Thurs October 30, 2008 9:30pm EST; 3; Comedy; NBC

24 Season 7 Prologue- 24: Exile; November 23 2008; 6.5; Drama; FOX

Lost; Early 2009; 5; Drama; ABC

Rescue Me; March 2009; 5; Drama; FX

On a side note, Rescue Me is currently doing mini webisodes. They are airing on FX, but you can also catch them online. I've only watched one so far, and plan to watch a bunch of them all at once over on http://www.hulu.com/rescue-me. I'll review Hulu some other time. I don't know when these mini webisodes end, but I think they'll be up for a while.

I'll write reviews and stuff for these shows when their airdates get closer. I'll also post more specific information when I find it. For some reason it's really tough to find the season start dates. I spent a good 5 minutes looking on "The Office" website before finally finding it. It's as if they try to get you to not watch. They really should try putting it in A BIG FUCKING FONT SIZE so that people can find it easily... or maybe I'm just tired. I must have seen the link for the episode recap 15 times while scanning the page. Does anybody even read those? And don't get me started on FX's webpages. The Shield's page isn't too bad, but Sunny's is awful... it takes FOREVER to load, and I'm on a cable modem. NO site needs THAT much Flash. Dragging around the characters' heads is fun for about 3 seconds. Who thought that up?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Veritas - The Olympics

Well, the Olympics ended today. It seems I get more interested in it every two years. Previous to 2006 I didn't really care. Although 1996 Atlanta I cared a bit... the torch ran through my town, which was pretty cool. And in 2006, of all things, I got addicted to curling. Yeah. Curling. Maybe the screaming reminded me of home. Or maybe it was the Sweedish Women's team. I don't know. But it turned out to be interesting.

This year, Michael Phelps' drive for 8 was the initial interest. Then there was the lovely Nastia Liukin (my future wife) winning gold in Women's Gymnastics All Around. Alicia Sacramone. Shawn Johnson winning the gold in Balance Beam (fuck you Collinsworth for pointing out she was short, she's probably self conscious about it and you point it out to the entire nation... way to go douchebag). The US volleyball teams were fantastic, Misty May (sorry I do have to point out it sounds like a porn star name) and Kerri Walsh , and those two guys... and the men's team won too right? And of course Usain Bolt's crazy world record breaking feats. And there was plenty more that was great to see.

And on top of all that, we Americans should be very proud of our athelets. Not only in the medals they won, but in the way they conducted themselves. They gave their all, in most cases it paid off, and furthermore, simply showed amazing sportsmanship (Dara Torres). It's a shame we didn't get the 2012 Olympics.

Speaking of which, does anyone else see the irony of London hosting the Olympics after Beijing? From one country that tramples human rights to one that has a worse record of such. And don't throw any of that "Magna Carta" bullshit in there either. England has suffocated human rights for a thousand years. Need I point out further irony that England ruled Hong Kong for centuries, only returning control to the Chinese fairly recently?

Well, on to the closing ceremony. I could give a shit about the opening ceremony, or even the closing, but I figured I'd watch. It wasn't that bad. I got the whole "the torch may be out but it burns on in us" thing. There wasn't the need for the "Memory Tower" to be that long a segment. One highlight... Jackie Chan... "Jackie! AIY-YEAAAHH! One more thing!"

But the British segment... wow... god awful. The London mayor? Did they vote on who looks the most British? Jesus. Now, I'm no gay fashion guru like Jay (I know all redundant), but the goofy actors waiting for the bus had an abundance of gray in their outfits. Were they all chimney sweeps? Jesus. How do you go from the colorful Beijing Olympics to say, "Hey look, we're going to be grayer than a morning Beijing smog!"...

... and back to the trampling of human rights... Leona Lewis' wailing to "Whole lotta love". Was anyone else praying she'd fall off that 20ft pedestal? How do you put "She was god awful" in harsher terms? She sounded like a retarted Mariah Carey.

Let's switch gears for a minute. Being the dork that I am, I was interested to see how medal totals matched up with country populations. In theory, the bigger the population, the more medals that country should win. In other words, it's the simple bell curve. A few countries with a large population, and more countries with smaller populations, and those few countries winning lots of medals, whereas the smaller countries winning less. And for the most part... that's true. Of course it's not going to be a perfect bell curve, since there are other factors. For example, Russia won a shitload of medals ranking third, but ranking ninth in population. The size of the upper and middle classes of a country is one factor. It's that population that really produces the atheletes that compete, reason being time and money. They have the money to spend to train, and the time it takes to train. Basically... expect China to run away with even more medals in future Olympics. With not only a massive population to produce capable and talented athelets (a la Bell Curve), but the ever growing upper and middle classes and federal health and fitness programs, they will be a force to be reckoned with. Below I compiled a list of countries ordered by population, with the rank they finished in the Olympics... yeah I'm a dork. But I'm not dorky enough to plot it on a graph... or maybe I am but I'm too tired to do it at the moment. And I probably should have noted the Total Number of Medals instead of Rank, but whatever.

China 2
India 51
United States 1
Indonesia 38
Brazil 17
Nigeria 44
Russia 3
Japan 11
Mexico 51
Vietnam 69
Germany 6
Ethiopia 27
Egypt 69
Turkey 25
Iran 57
France 7
Thailand 44
England 4
Italy 9
South Korea 8
South Africa 69
Spain 14
Ukraine 10
Colombia 57
Argentina 30

(keep in mind some numbers look bad, but if they're low (like >20), then that mean's they're TIED at that rank with other countries... Hence why total num of medals would have been a better choice)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Veritas - TV Review - Wipeout (ABC)

Sadly, I've watched a lot of tv in my time. I'll admit to that. But it at least makes me feel like I'm qualified enough to review shows and episodes. This first one goes out to ABC's Wipeout, only because it happens to be the first show on my list with a new episode coming up... Tuesday August 12th.

Let's do Pro's and Con's... Con's first...

  • The Commentary/ Commentators- This first because it is by far the WORST part of the show. The two hosts, John and... John... yes... you read that right... believe me, it was more painful to type than to read. The two hosts of the show are named John and John. Casting really failed on this one because had they picked at least one better host, then that host's name would have fallen in the set of all better hosts... which would include other "John's", but would have also included EVERYONE. Basically what I'm saying is that there is NO NEED to have the hosts named the same, especially when they both completely lack charisma, personality, and any skill for commentary. There have been times when I would be laughing at the show (like the contestants)... really laughing, hard... and I would be derailed by something one of these unworthy of tv-time idiots said. In the week 6 episode, I had to MUTE what they were saying just so that I wouldn't try to jam a single pen through one ear and out the other.
  • Sometimes the obstacles are LAME... there I said it. The qualifying obstacles are kind of cool, the "Sweeper", cool, the "Dreadmill"... sigh... is pretty bad. Even "The Wipeout Zone"... which is supposed to be the point to the show, is probably the worst... the "Spinner" - a giant platform that spins with padded columns on it - is the saving grace for the "Zone". It easily packs quite a hurt on the contestants. Basically anything that looks fun for the contestant is lame, but anything that hurts them is good :)
  • Jill Wagner - One word. Gorgeous. For those of you who don't know (I had to google it because she really looked familiar), she's the lovely girl from the Mercury car commercials... yeah :) By far, the best part of the show. Unfortunately, she's only doing the 'field reporting', i.e. talking to the contestants. She should be doing the commentary too, just fire John and John. What's also good is you get to see her openly laugh at the contestants as they fall and hurt themselves. I've always been of the mindset that you can judge a girl by what she finds funny. That being said, the lovely Ms. Wagner is perfect.
  • Watching the contestants get hurt. It never gets old.
  • Watching the fat people struggle with the course. It's just too funny.
In short, it's a good enough watch if you can stand annoying hosts, love watching people getting hurt and beautiful women. It's like Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (MXC) + Beautiful girl - Guy LeDouche - Two funny hosts + Two awful hosts.

I feel it's worth a watch, and I will continue to watch it. If you are interested check it out on ABC Tuesdays at 8pm. It's an hour long show FYI. It is also available on ABC.com the day after with limited commercials in their online player, which isn't half bad, but that's another review for another time. I tend to watch online, but that's my personal preference.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Veritas - Web Review 1 - GoDaddy.com Blog

All the talk recently in the office got me thinking about resurrecting my desire to stand on my own soap box... hence what you're currently reading. However, this was not the first stop...

I tried the free blogging tool offered by godaddy.com, and needless to say, it did not meet my expectations. However, that does just make the old adage "You get what you pay for" that much more true. Long story short... it posted a blog entry automatically for me, then would not post the one I wanted. After refreshing a bunch of times, the page could no longer be found. It spent a day like that. Finally, out of frustration I surrendered my free blog credit and then tried applying it again, but it seems that only caused MORE problems, such as a "1" being added to my username, but only in some places and not in others [damn programmers :)]. Once I realized my dream of blogging would not be fulfilled with the free service, I surrendered my free credit for the second and last time.

GoDaddy.com free blog tool: FAIL

Side Note: This is no reflection on the other features of GoDaddy.com. More reviews later.