Tuesday, July 23, 2013

CRTC Do Not Call List

I have just added my cellphone (new number) to the CRTC Do Not Call List. (To register go to https://www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca/index-eng.)

There will be a 31 day delay before telemarketers are not allowed to call me.

Once in place however I will be blocked from telemarketer lists until August 23rd 2018. Basically it will protect me for 5 years.

Now you might ask, why did I suddenly do that today?

Well I got a call from a poor English speaking man claiming that I had filled out a ballot a year ago at a Wal-Mart, K-Mart or similar location.

Which is funny because I NEVER shop at Wal-Mart or K-Mart, and even funnier because I have only had this new phone number for a month or so, so it is impossible for me to have filled out a ballot a year ago and given them a phone number which did not even exist yet.

All of this I explained to the man who could barely speak English and whom I had to ask him repeat himself several times because I couldn't understand him.

Normally I prefer to just hang up on telemarketers - but sometimes I like to find out what they are selling first. In this case he was offering "free coupons" for the above mentioned stores. Stores I would never shop at any way.

Unfortunately this adding of my phone to the National Do Not Call List Registry will not stop all calls.

I can still be contacted by the following...

#1. Newspapers selling subscriptions.
#2. Companies I have a contract with (eg. Rogers, Virgin Mobile).
#3. Political organizations.
#4. Charities.
#5. Telemarketers operating overseas in the USA, India, etc.

However I do believe we should eventually have the option to block such calls as well. It is what I call the "friends allowed list" wherein phones would become more like Facebook accounts and only people who are listed as "friends" will be able to call you.

Companies that you have service contracts with could also call you, but if they want to keep your business they had better not make an annoying habit of it.

Thus it is numbers 1, 3, 4 and 5 that people should be able to effectively block in the future because they won't be able to call you.

I also like the alternative idea... making your phone number a 1-900 number.

By having a 1-900 number it means people are charged a premium rate whenever they call you. In other words they are PAYING EXTRA just to phone you.

You can charge anything from 50 cents per call, or you can charge so much per minute. It is typically used by phone psychics, horoscope companies, weather info, gambling tips, dating lines, voting and contests TV shows, etc.

But think about it. If you get a 1-900 number then people will have to PAY to speak to you. No more harassing calls from ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends. No more telemarketers or other annoying calls. Even your family members will call you less (added bonus if you don't like certain family members and the feeling is mutual).

However you do have to pay a fee to have a 1-900 number - but if you are besieged by telemarketers it might be totally worth it.

Blowing Bubbles in my Iced Mocha Latte

What is the point of getting a really expensive drink with whipped cream and chocolate on it if you don't play with your drink?

Blowing bubbles in it.

Stirring it up in your own weird way.

Enjoy at your leisure.

Heck if you spill some on yourself it just proves you still know how to have fun.

Caveman, 1981 slapstick comedy

 CAVEMAN is a 1981 slapstick comedy starring Ringo Starr, Dennis Quaid, Shelley Long and Barbara Bach. Oh and John Matuszak as Tonda, the big dumb villain of the story.

The plot centers around 2 groups of cavemen and their discoveries of fire, how to cook food, how to make weapons, fighting over women, avoiding big scary monsters, and even language issues.

Various movies in the past have tried to conquer the topic of cavemen on a regular basis. The few successful films include One Million Years BC (starring Raquel Welch) and 10,000 BC (starring Steven Strait and Camilla Belle).

Other films in a similar vein like to bring the caveman forward in time and typically "unfreeze" him from a block of ice. Films such as "Iceman" and "Encino Man" fall into this category.

In total there is about 50 or so English movies with a caveman theme, but many of them are low budget and not really worth watching.

Caveman however is. As a comedy about cavemen, definitely worth watching. Right down to the funny stop-motion dinosaurs, which apparently the writers felt was sillier than keeping true to historical fact. I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

Watch below on YouTube for free.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Outrageous Fortune, 1987 action comedy

Outrageous Fortune is an action comedy from 1987 starring Bette Midler and Shelley Long.

If you are a fan of Bette Midler this particular film is definitely one worth watching.

The Plot? Two struggling actresses sign up for acting lessons from a famed Russian actor, who later turns out to be KGB. Together they must outwit the KGB, the CIA, a double agent and everyone else who is trying to kill them.

4 stars out of 5.

Prophecy, 1979 monster film

Prophecy is a 1979 monster film about a beast that lives deep in the woods. The Natives have stories and prophecies about the strange beast... The film stars Talia Shire (best known for her role in both Rocky and the Godfather film series), Robert Foxworth, Victoria Racimo and Armand Assante.

The plot involves a doctor and his wife being sent to help solve a land dispute between the Natives and the logging companies... But when the monster starts killing people it becomes clear that all is not what it seems...

The word "prophecy" isn't really a good title for this film. It really should be called "Prophecy of the Monster" or "Legend of the Monster". Something to do with the actual monster. Possibly even "The Attack of Man-Bear-Pig" because that is what the giant monster puppet looks like.

Cheesy 1979 puppetry aside, I give this film 3.5 stars out of 5. Not fabulous, but not bad either.

I could even see someone making a remake of this film - with dramatically better graphics, special effects, and the actors hired to play Natives would be actual Native actors instead of an Irish/Italian actor like Armand Assante. Not that he did a bad job, but I always have a general dislike for any film that portrays Native American people and hires someone else (typically Italians for some silly reason) to play the role. Same goes with actress Victoria Racimo (there isn't a lot of information on her, but Racimo is a Spanish name).

Anyway the point I am getting at here is that there are plenty of good Native American actors out there who could play the role just as well or not better. I guess what I am saying is that I support First Nation actors.

Also, while I am at it, I would like to lodge a complaint about the ending of this film. I am not going to spoil it for you, but please count the number of Natives who survive to see the end of the film. *unhappy face*

Flood, 2007 disaster film


Flood is a 2007 British disaster thriller film in which London England is flooded due to the combination of storm surge and high tide.

As low budget disaster films go it is better than average in terms of the quality of the acting. Otherwise it is a tad anti-climactic.

GOLD - Review of the 1974 film starring Roger Moore

GOLD is a 1974 thriller film starring Roger Moore (mostly known for being James Bond and The Saint).

The Plot

A cartel of unscrupulous business men devise a plan to substantially raise the value of gold on the world markets by arranging an accident which will shut down one of South Africa's biggest gold mines. Mine owner Hurry Hirschfeld (Ray Milland) is unaware that his son-in-law Manfred Steyner (Bradford Dillman) is at the root of the diabolical plot. Rod Slater (Roger Moore) is the newly promoted General Manager of the gold mine is persuaded to undertake drilling through to a new gold seam based on a geological report he suspects may not be accurate. If there is water there and not gold, the result would be a devastating flood...

Oh and in typical Roger Moore fashion, he is sleeping with Steyner's wife.

I give the film 4 stars - partially because I am a Roger Moore fan, but also because I like the theme of the film - emphasis on the fact that gold isn't really worth as much as people think it is, because it is not worth human life. I also like the theme song. The theme song by itself is quite good. (The film was nominated for an Academy Award for best original song.)

The first video below is the theme song. The 2nd video is the movie itself, available for free on YouTube.




Nubalance Lavender, Vanilla and Aloe Handsoap

I use a handsoap in my bathroom called "Nubalance" - which is scented / made with lavender, vanilla and aloe. It is in a liquid dispenser bottle.

And it is awesome. Unfortunately I cannot find it in stores any more (or online) so I am looking for a replacement soap which contains the combination of lavender, vanilla and aloe.

I am a fan of lavender soaps in general, but sometimes it is tricky to find specific things in terms of combinations. Below is a photo of homemade lavender and vanilla soap - but I don't think there is aloe in it.




Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Boondock Saints + The Sequel, All Saints Day

The Boondock Saints is a film about two Irish brothers living in Boston who become crime fighting vigilantes who hunt down and kill criminals - with religious vengeance. It is about as violent as you get in terms of action films. So if you love super violent action movies then you will definitely enjoy The Boondock Saints.

The sequel, All Saints Day, is also excellent.

Both are totally worth watching. An easy 4.5 stars out of 5.

Both films can be watched on YouTube for free.





Evacuation Earth

Evacuation Earth - National Geographic Documentary about what we need to do in the event we had 75 years to evacuate earth and send a small portion of humanity to a distant planetary system light-years away.

As documentaries go it tends to repeat itself (for commercial breaks) and reuses graphics a lot. Heavily reliant on theories and follows the premise that countries will somehow cooperate.

I disagree, I think it would be an arms race to see which country to send colony ships into space first.

DOGMA - Movie Review

DOGMA - The classic comedy by Kevin Smith about two fallen angels seeking to get back into heaven - and accidentally destroy all of existence by proving god wrong.

Even if you're not religious, this film breaks down the differences between church laws and heavenly laws within "Christian mythology" and exposes it all to hilarity.

And it has Jay and Silent Bob, so everything is automatically awesome.

In retrospect Alan Rickman as Metatron is rather amusing considering his role in Harry Potter as Severus Snape.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Meteor - Movie Review

Meteor is a 1979 film starring Sean Connery - a disaster thriller in which meteors strike Hong Kong, Russia, and the World Trade Centre in New York City. The plot involves blowing up a giant meteor using American and Russian nuclear missiles.

Sean Connery feels quite static and unemotional during the film, but the rest of the film is pretty good.

You may notice I am on a disaster film kick during the month of July.

Whoops. Oh well. I just like movies where things blow up.

Plus it is nice to sometimes watch a film where there is no real villain. Like Jaws for example - monster shark instead of a stereotypical villain.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Supervolcano

SUPERVOLCANO - If you love volcano disaster movies - because they're just so exciting and you learn scientific stuff along the way - then you can't go wrong with the pseudo-documentary / feature film "Supervolcano".

Very informative.

Much of the film is presented as a post-volcano documentary - combining documentary style story-telling with narrative fiction.

Available to watch for free on YouTube.

Pneumonia Vaccine

I am currently getting over a bout of pneumonia and did some research on it.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) pneumonia kills 1.2 million children per year. Over a 20 year period that is 24 million people.

Adults and the elderly also regularly die from pneumonia, but mostly it strikes children.

Pneumonia is (for all age groups) one of the leading causes of death. 7% of all deaths is caused by pneumonia.

Even industrialized countries are not immune. In the USA pneumonia is the 8th leading cause of death.

The silly thing is that pneumonia is easily treatable with antibiotics or vaccination.

The vaccine, which creates an immunity to the most common virus and bacterial forms of pneumonia, is quite cheap. Costs less than $10 to have the vaccine.

In contrast if you get sick the cost of getting the antibiotics from a pharmacy sets you back $31 and change (like it did me yesterday). My conclusion? Vaccination is cheaper and pneumonia knocked me off my feet for 5 days, causing a loss in income for those days.

The silly thing is that because pneumonia feels like the common cold most people don't think of it as being deadly - because they don't take it seriously.

But when you realize that 7% of all deaths is caused by pneumonia then you start to realize this is a largely preventable death.

In 2012 pneumonia killed approx. 175,000 Americans.

(2.5 million Americans died in 2012 from a variety of causes, many of which are preventable through exercise and diet.)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review - At the Edge of the World

Below is a free copy of the documentary film "At the Edge of the World" which available on YouTube.


The film chronicles the controversial Sea Shepherd Antarctic Campaign against a Japanese whaling fleet. The volunteer crew spends most of their time twiddling their thumbs, swimming, falling over board and basically not doing anything to stop the hunting of whales.

WHY? Because their radar only reaches 15 miles - which is horrible. When what they should be using is a surveillance satellite to track the movements of whaling ships.

When they do manage to find whaling ships they use a variety of tactics to stop the whalers mostly by being annoying - but their ships are too slow so that Japanese ships can easily outrun them.

Activists Paul Watson and Alex Cornelissen are ultimately only mosquitoes trying to annoy the proverbial bear that is the Japanese whaling fleet. If they were absolutely serious about stopping whalers they wouldn't be using two slow and cumbersome ships - they would be using an aircraft carrier and fighter jets (something like the 800 NAS Sea Harrier FRS1) to just plain attack and sink whaling ships.

Sea Shepherd and their ilk seem to be more about getting media attention than actually doing anything concrete to stop whaling permanently. Yes, okay, they're attacking whaling ships by ramming them, etc. But if they had a submarine with torpedoes they could be outright sinking the whaling ships instead of merely damaging them.

Now you might think "Hey, isn't that going overboard?"

No, I don't think it is. Whaling has been going on for almost 2 centuries now and despite international bans whalers continue to ignore the laws - and they wouldn't have to sink "all" of the whaling ships to cause them to give up on whaling. Just sink two or three and they should find it difficult to get people to sign up to be crew on a whaling ship. A steady stream of sunken whaling ships should send a clear message to other whalers that its time to start obeying the law.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Next James Bond film = Devil May Care

Daniel Craig is set to star in ‘Devil May Care’, the next James Bond film, based off the book of the same name.

Warning, this post will contain spoilers.

The title is, I admit, a tad religious for a 007 movie, but hey, maybe James Bond will be taking on a group of terrorists / cult of devil worshippers? A bit off key from the normal evil henchmen who blindly follow their maniacal leader out of fear than any real belief system. Or not. Who knows.

What is also confirmed is that director Sam Mendes (Skyfall) will be returning for the new film.

"Devil May Care" was a book written by Sebastian Faulks to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Ian Fleming's birth. The plot is about Dr Julius Gorner - an evil chemist with a vendetta against the United Kingdom… and as always, he has a score to settle.

However much of Faulks book will likely be scrapped, keeping only the basics, and creating a more realistic and gritty plot. I haven't read Faulks' book, but if its written like Ian Fleming's work then it probably contains the classic Bond film stereotypes: Evil baddie, the maniacal plan, the pimped out evil hideout, some new high tech weaponry, and the small army of goons ready to die for Mr Baddie.

Lets read the synopsis, shall we?

The story is set in the 1960s. Bond is instructed by his superior, M, to investigate a man named Dr Julius Gorner, and his bodyguard, Chagrin. Bond is warned that his performance will be monitored and that a new 00 agent is waiting in the wings if his actions go awry.

Bond flies to Imperial Iran (Persia) to investigate. Gorner owns factories and produces legitimate pharmaceuticals, however MI6 suspects he has other motives. During Bond's investigation he identifies Gorner due to a deformity of his hand, and establishes Gorner's complicity in a scheme to not only flood Europe with cheap drugs but also to launch a two-pronged terrorist attack on the Soviet Union, whose retaliation will subsequently devastate the UK. The attack is to be made using a stolen British airliner, earlier hijacked over Iraqi airspace, and an ekranoplan. Bond is assisted in his investigation by Scarlett Papava (whose twin sister Poppy is under Gorner's emotional spell), Darius Alizadeh (the local head of station), JD Silver (an in-situ agent), and Felix Leiter.

Bond is eventually captured by Gorner in the heroin plant, who explains that Bond is to be used as bait during a drugs delivery across the Afghan desert, and should he survive an expected ambush, is to fly the captured airliner into the Russian heartland. Bond would be identified as British upon its destruction, increasing the evidence against the British Government. (WHY DO BADDIES ALWAYS REVEAL THEIR MANIACAL PLAN TO BOND?) Bond survives the predicted Afghan attack and plots an escape attempt, which sees Scarlett get away due to Bond surrendering himself as a diversion. In the morning he is taken aboard the aeroplane. Before the airliner can bomb the Soviets, with the aid of the airliner's pilot and Scarlett (who had been hiding on board), Bond regains control of the aeroplane and aims it into a mountainside before parachuting to safety.

Meanwhile, Felix Leiter and Darius inform agent Silver of the second method of attack. Silver shows himself to be a double agent by failing to call in an airstrike against the Ekranoplan and by attempting to kill Leiter and Darius. In the shoot-out Darius successfully calls in the airstrike at the cost of his own life and Leiter survives only thanks to the timely arrival of Hamid, his taxi driver. (SERIOUSLY? SAVED BY THE TAXI DRIVER???) The Ekranoplan is destroyed by RAF Vulcan bombers before it reaches its target. Bond and Scarlett escape through Russia but are pursued by Chagrin, who Bond finally kills on a train. Later Gorner meets him on a boat and tries to shoot him, but Bond pushes him off, where he is torn to pieces by a propeller. With the subsequent elimination of both Chagrin and Gorner, Bond considers his mission a success, and on condition that the agent M has waiting in the wings will not take his place Bond is sent to assess the new agent, designated 004. She turns out to be Scarlett Papava. Scarlett discloses that the story of her twin sister was a ploy to convince Bond to enable her to join the mission. Papava feared that if Bond knew she was a potential 00 agent, he would not have worked with her. With Bond returning to active duty, Scarlett moves off to her own operations as a full 00 agent.


Ahem.

So no evil hideout. But an ekranoplan is still pretty awesome. A giant hovercraft would be kewl too. Definitely something a villain should have and than Bond should blow up by the end of the movie.

However whether such things would go into the new film is really up to the team of producers and writers. As long as they don't muck it up and do it properly then we will be happy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

100,000 Visitors

July 10th 2013. Approx. 10:30 PM EST.

Product Reviews Canada has just passed 100,000 views.

So far we only have two reviewers: Charles and Fiona. But we could use more!

To become a reviewer contact charlesmoffat {atsymbol} charlesmoffat dot com.

There is no charge for joining Product Reviews Canada and you can post reviews as often as you like.

Also, remember it doesn't have to be a product made in Canada - but it should at least be available in Canada. (Or a post about "Why isn't this available in Canada?!")

After all, a website called productreviewscanada.com shouldn't just be about Canadian products, but should be about products available in Canada - or products that SHOULD be available in Canada.

A little history and statistics about Product Reviews Canada...

Our very first post was on October 7th 2010. The site is only 2 years, 9 months old and 3 days old.

Most of our traffic comes from Canada and the USA. 79% of users use Windows, 8% use Macs, 5% use Linux, and another 8% use some kind of mobile device such as Android, iPhone, Blackberry, etc.

Most people coming to our site are looking for food/beverage reviews. Electronics and entertainment are 2nd and 3rd. Most of them get here through Google.ca or Google.com.

Now I must admit we are still growing. But assuming we manage to grow at what I consider to be a modest yet decent rate we should reach 200,000 by June of 2014 - 300,000 by February of 2015 - 400,000 by July of 2015 - and 500,000 by November 2015. I don't expect productreviewscanada.com to go viral or anything - although it would be nice - I simply expect modest gains as the website grows in both size and popularity.



If you want us to review your product just let us know and send us a free sample. Sorry, we have no interest in paying for the shipping (not falling for any scams here). Just send us the product and we will give you our honest review.

Deep Space Nine Review

I am currently in the final stages of watching ALL of the Deep Space Nine (Star Trek) episodes.

Now to be fair, I used to hate Deep Space Nine. The show to me was a bit of a dud. I thought it was too much like a soap opera, I didn't really like the characters (especially Quark who I found super annoying), and I didn't really give the show a fair chance.

But now, after watching 6 and a half seasons of it, and I will likely finish season 7 in the next 4 days, I must admit I really was treating the show unfairly. Again, I blame Quark.

However now that I have seen (almost) all of it Quark and many of the other characters have grown on me. The show I used to hate and make fun of (mostly due to my own refusal to watch it unless I had to) has now proven itself worthy.

Basically it all comes down to the fact that I realized about a month ago that I had never given the show a fair chance and decided to watch season 1 to see if I liked it. Turns out I did. Six and a half seasons later I am very happy I gave the show a chance.

It is a bit like trying a new food that looks a bit disgusting - like the Klingon dish "gagh" (pronunced "gack"), which is basically live squirming worms. Yes, you don't like it because it visually looks unappealing, slimy and disgusting - but for all I know it could be very tasty and amazing. No idea. It is after all a fictional food.

But now, after trying it, I must admit Deep Space Nine was far better than I was expecting - and well worthy of the Star Trek name.

I also thoroughly enjoy all of the original series of Star Trek, most of the Next Generation episodes, most of Voyager episodes and most of the Enterprise episodes.

Despite what some people think I also think Enterprise was a fine show and that it wasn't due to any lack of quality that the show's ratings suffered. The problem was that audiences had become a little too fed up on "too much Star Trek". The tv shows, the movies, Star Trek conventions, science fiction TV shows that are basically a rip off from Star Trek... shows like Babylon 5, Battlestar Gallactica, Farscape, Andromeda, Firefly, etc...

Now I realize that some fans out there will get upset that their favourite show is being accused of being a "rip off" of Star Trek, so let me explain. Star Trek was basically the first space trekking TV show about a spaceship. Everything that comes after that - regardless of plot, ship design, etc - is essentially a rip off, even if they are deliberately trying to avoid that connection.

Star Trek is essentially the alpha and omega when it comes to science fiction TV shows about spaceships. There are other sources of science fiction (mostly books) that came before that, but Star Trek is the "big man on campus".

And for those people out there who want to pipe up and mention Star Wars, I must remind you that Star Wars is not science fiction - it is a fantasy adventure story (and episodes I, II and III all rather suck). Star Wars has magic (the force), light sabres (swords) and floating castles in space (death stars) and swashbuckling rogues with names like Han Solo. Take away the space travel and replace it with sailing ships and it is more like Pirates of the Caribbean than anything else.

Yada yada yada, I think I have made my point. Deep Space Nine is good.

Various other science fiction TV shows are also good. Sometimes.

Episodes I, II and III of Star Wars all suck.

Oh! And Star Trek V - The Final Frontier, worst Star Trek movie ever. Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home are awesome! :)

Men's Shorts from Foot Locker

Bought the shorts in the photo below at Foot Locker last week.

I was only planning to buy one pair of shorts, but they were having a "Buy 1, Get a 2nd Pair Free" sale on shorts so I figured what the heck.

They had other styles and colours, but I chose these ones because I wanted something with pockets. So far I have zero complaints.


Jockey Classic A-Shirt / Wifebeater

The "A-Shirt" is a style of shirt commonly referred to by the slang term "wifebeater".

It is an unkind designation, based on the stereotype that men who wear this kind of shirt beat up their wives.

It is also completely undeserved. It is simply a shirt that shows off a lot of arm and shoulder muscles.

An example of this is the Jockey Classic A-Shirt, shown on the right here, in black (which is the colour I chose when I purchased 3 such shirts in a 3-pack about 2 weeks ago).

And leaves you exposed to high doses of cosmic UV radiation if you are out in the sun too long - as I was last weekend - so you may get some hefty sunburns on your shoulders and neck while wearing this shirt - like I did.

The Jockey Classic, as a brand, is fairly good however and its not the shirt's fault I didn't think to wear sunscreen. (In my defense it was partly cloudy and I didn't think I needed sunscreen!)

I also have some other shirts by a different brand (Calvin Klein), same style, but white. See photo below.

Now when I first got the Calvin Klein shirts it was pretty nice to wear - but in the first 3 - 4 washes it stretched like crazy and had almost no elasticity. The reason? It is 95 per cent cotton and 5 per cent elastane. And I think the elastane is only used for the collar, cuffs, etc. The rest of the shirt stretches like crazy. I can't even wear that shirt in public because it stretches too much.

And the white also stains easily. Which is why when I was buying new shirts in the same style I opted for black instead. I figure if it is going to get dirty and possibly stained I should get black shirts instead.

No amount of washing with bleach / etc seems to get the Calvin Klein shirts back to their original white colour. Very annoying. Maybe I am not using the right cleaning liquid and stain removing spray - but I shall keep trying. That will make a worthy future review on stain removal products.

Another thing I like about the Jockey shirts is that they are made with a ribbed knit (whereas the Calvin Klein shirts are just thin cotton fabric). The ribbed knit is warmer to wear, which means I will be baking in the hot sun if I wear it outside on a hot day, but ribbed knit also retains it shape better, so that even if it stretches a little it should still keep its shape.

However!

The Jockey shirts are also more expensive. With tax from Sears they were $32.77 for the 3 pack. Roughly $10.92 per shirt.

If I recall correctly the Calvin Klein shirts were roughly $19.99 or $24.99 for a 3 pack from Sears. Add in tax and it would be roughly $22.59 to $28.24... so obviously about $5 to $10 cheaper.

But frankly, if they stain so easily, they're not ribbed, the elastane isn't doing its job, then it clearly becomes more obvious that the more expensive shirts from Jockey are the smarter buy.

Hand to Hand Fighting US Army Special Forces

I am really enjoying the following book:

Hand to Hand Fighting - Karate / Tae-Kwon-Do

The book is designed for use by US Army Special Forces and is meant as a training manual. It is not a fluffy martial arts book full of colour photos (all the photos in this book are greyscale) designed to boost the ego of the reader - it is a no nonsense military book on the subject of hand to hand combat.

It also includes a section on how to defend yourself from knife, gun and rifle attacks - in order to pinch their weapon and gain the upper hand.

Price - $12.99.

I got it from an army surplus store and it was totally worth it. I am going to reread it again when I am done. And practice much of the contents during my spare time, possibly adding them as a permanent feature to my fitness routine.


Fishing Gloves / Xmas List

I would like these fishing gloves for xmas. Reminder to show to family.


Courier Shipping Prices - Canada Vs USA

Would someone care to explain why some courier companies charge extra for shipping to Canada from the USA?

I mean, yes, it is a separate country, but lets say for example you are shipping from NYC to Montreal. It is less than a 6 hour drive.

Compare that to the price of shipping from NYC to Las Vegas - which is a 37 hour drive.

Logically you would think that shipping from NYC to Vegas should cost roughly 6 times as much to ship a package to - because it is 6 times further away.

But no, depending on the courier company, it costs more to ship to Montreal simply because it is inside Canada.

So the question then becomes WHY?

Is Canada charging a fee for packages entering the country? Nope.

Is the Canadian version of the courier company more expensive? Nope.

Do Canadian workers get paid more? Possibly, but that shouldn't reflect on the end cost.

The only real explanation that I can come up with is that some courier companies are gouging customers and charging more to ship to Canada simply because they can. Don't like it? Hire a different company.

If you know of a courier that is gouging customers for shipping to Canada please mention them in the comments below.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Irish Bread Pudding Mousse

I don't normally post food recipes on here, but this looked so tasty I just had to share.

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/3 cups milk
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped.

1. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and cornstarch whisking thoroughly. Add milk and whisk until dry ingredients are dissolved. Next, whisk in the egg yolk and cream.
 

 2. Place the pan over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a full boil and thickens.
 

3. As soon as the mixture thickens, remove the pan from the heat, turn off the stove and whisk in the Baileys Irish Cream and vanilla extract.
 

4. Add the chocolate and whisk until it is completed melted and smooth.
 

5. Pour pudding into individual serving dishes. Let the pudding cool slightly then cover the tops with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
 

6. If desired, garnish with fresh whipped cream and chocolate curls.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Bunker, 1981 film starring Anthony Hopkins

The Bunker is a 1981 film starring Anthony Hopkins as Adolf Hitler during the last days of WWII in Germany. Trapped in the bunker, his forces losing, his health ailing, blaming his generals for incompetence... this film is considered to be one of the most historically accurate accounts of what happened during the last weeks and days as British and Russian forces were closing in on both sides.

Anthony Hopkins won an Emmy for his performance in the film.

Many films have touched on the subject of the last days in Hitler's bunker. Many of them are considered to be less than historically accurate. They include the 2004 film "Downfall", which has been highly criticized for being too sympathetic to the characters. (The Downfall film was also the target of many YouTube parodies wherein people have changed the translation of Hitler's rant scene to something funnier.)

There is also "The Death of Adolf Hitler", which an even older film from 1973 made by the British and starring Frank Finlay as Adolf Hitler. It was made for television and due to budget constraints it is an "okay" film, has more historical inaccuracies, but nowhere near as good as the 1981 version.

Lastly, there is also "The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler", made in 1943 by Universal Pictures, before Hitler even died. The plot follows a man who plans to murder Adolf Hitler and steal his identity. It is a complete work of fiction. Very difficult to find a copy of that film however so I am unable to review it.

So in conclusion, if you are going to watch any film about the last days of Hitler's bunker, watch the old 1981 version with Anthony Hopkins. It is simply a much better film and hasn't been parodied a gazillion times.

And its free to watch on YouTube.




And below is a parody of the Downfall film wherein the translation has been changed to Hitler ranting about all the parodies of the Downfall film.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Alfred Hitchcock's THE BIRDS, with soundtrack by Elliot Jameson Mayo


I just finished watching Alfred Hitchcock's THE BIRDS, with soundtrack by Elliot Jameson Mayo. I must admit the new soundtrack adds something especially ominous to the film.



UPDATE

The complete movie used to be available on YouTube, but has since been deleted due to copyright violations.

Still I really liked that soundtrack. Does anyone know where I can find a copy? Post it on the comments.


The Hobbit - Desolation of Smaug Trailer

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