Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Halo 3 is Here!

I have been a huge fan of both Halo and Halo 2 and have derived countless hours of fun running around a virtual world shooting things with a variety of weapons, vehicles, and grenades. In this installment the Master Chief is back home to defend the Earth from a Covenant leader who is trying to find an artifact that will set off all the Halo rings and destroy the Universe. Yet another reason I don’t like religious fanatics.

I have read you can complete the entire game on single player mode in about ten hours. This is somewhat disappointing since this is to be the last installment of the Halo series, but my true love of Halo in is the multiplayer options- both competitive and cooperative. In this version up to four players can join in cooperative missions, and sixteen players can link up to reek havoc on each other.

Unlike Halo and Halo 2, Halo 3 can only be played on the Xbox 360 and the graphics are simply incredible. The environments are more detailed and sharper and even the characters look much better. Another nice addition is that the enemies seem to be much smarter than in the past, so the play is more strategic. The marines also have gained some common sense and do not step out right in front of where you are shooting quite as much. In previous Halo games I probably killed as many marines as the enemy because they were insistent in getting in my way.

Some of the weapons and vehicles are beefed up, and there are new options. There is now a grenade that will put a protective bubble shield around you, and a Mongoose ATV that is new. There is also a Spartan laser that takes a few seconds to charge, but can blow about anything up. I am also happy that the assault rifle back for when you just need to kill a lot of things, up close and quickly. There are also a new category of weapons such as flares and tripmines that you can use or have used against you. I discovered some of these the hard way.

I do have one compliant so far, which may make more sense when I finished the game. Cortana, who is a computer-AI character that helped the Master Chief through his other adventures, has been left behind in Halo 2. In Halo 3 the action will suddenly stop and her blurred face with appear with some cryptic comments that you can barley understand, and then she will disappear again. It reminds me of the ghost in the machine from the movie Johnny Mnemonic.

Halo 3 is very similar to the first two installments when it comes to the single player game, but that is probably not a bad thing since it predecessors were so popular. Where it really soars is in the multiplayer options. The Forge is an incredible map editor that lets you rearrange weapons, items, and equipment in existing maps and basically allows the player to create their own games. Of course you can play on Xbox live and have you Master Chiefs’ behind handed to you by a ten year old that lives a thousand miles away too.

Overall this is one of the best games that I have ever played and I look forward to countless more hours playing with friends and strangers online. I would recommend Halo 3 to anyone who likes first person shooters games, and I think fans of the Halo series will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Can’t Get Enough of Them Bones

The TV drama show Bones has been a very popular series for the Fox Network for the last two years, and for good reason. It combines interesting crime drama with enjoyable characters and personal situations. The series revolves around Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist, who is able to identify and determine cause of death by examining the bones of victims. The main character is straight from a series of novels by Kathy Reichs, who is also a forensic anthropologist.

Temperance is joined at the Institute that she works at with a posse of super intelligent and creative colleagues that help her unravel the various crimes they are asked to consult on. The romantic interest and tension comes from FBI agent, Seeley Booth who is often the law enforcement agent investigating the shows crimes. The first two seasons of Bones are currently out on DVD and the third season is scheduled to premier on September 25, 2007 at 8:00pm.

I originally started watching Bones when it first premiered because David Boreanaz was playing a major role in the series, and I desperately miss Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the plots and other actors made this show worth watching for its own merits. The character of Temperance Brennan is extremely smart, aggressive, and tough which is part of why I like Bones.

About a month ago I ran across of copy of Kathy Reichs’, Break No Bones, at a local bookstores and decided to read the book help past the time until the show’s third season started. Break No Bones is actually the ninth book in the popular series about Temperance Brennan and is set in Charleston, SC.

The book begins with Temperance supervising a Native American burial ground dig, when modern remains are found. Emma, who is Temperance’s good friend and the local corner, is ill so Temperance agrees to assist with the case. More bodies start turning up as well as estranged husbands and boyfriends. Pete, the estranged husband, is in town to investigate a religious organization and it’s clinic in which a woman who has disappeared last worked. Ryan, the Canadian detective and current boyfriend, also decides to visit and help Temperance with her investigation.

All of the bodies and missing person cases come together to a fairly obvious and gruesome conclusion, but the plot is fast paced and interesting. Reichs pens intriguing characters and Temperance is an interesting in the novels as she is in the TV shows. Personal conflict and professional problems are interwoven as the main characters tries to find justice for the dead.

I would certainly recommend the TV show Bones to anyone who likes crime dramas and I have equally positive feelings about Reichs’ Break No Bones.

Bones- Season 1- 8/10
Bones- Season 2- 8/10
Break No Bones- 8/10

Check out the following blogs to keep up-to-date on the show.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

How Do You Prioritize and Reach Your Goals When You Have 1000 Things to Do?

Some days I long for the time that the only things I had to do in a day included getting up and getting myself dressed, going to school, getting home in time to watch Scooby-Doo, and then deciding whether to ride my bike or play kickball with my friends. I believe the key to having a fulfilling life is to know what is vital to your heart and spirit and to be able to prioritize activities that will allow you to have the life you want.

I happen to be a very organized and efficient person but my problem (other than living in this hectic time in history) is that I have many interests and ambitions. This is not a bad thing but it does tend to fill up my time and schedule with a myriad of choices. However, I always seem to get the important things accomplished and although I do long for a day or two in which I do absolutely nothing, I really do enjoy my life.

I am a list maker and I have master lists, monthly lists, weekly lists, daily lists, strategic lists, lists for work items, lists for chores and errands, lists for home and yard projects, financial lists, and even lists of “fun” things I would like to do. In reality if I wanted to do everything I listed on my daily lists, I would have to add three hours to my day and not sleep at all. You do not have to be super organized or write down comprehensive lists to be able to prioritize, but you do need some system to be able to know the best way to use your time and resources.

A game I play with myself to determine what I really desire is to pretend that anything I wished for would definitely come true. I think of what I want for myself in terms of my home life, work, personal health, family and friends, finances and security, and recreational and leisure time. Then I write these results down and then write down steps to achieve each goal in the various areas of my life. Often a few daily or weekly activities will help you to actually make significant progress towards a goal.

For example one of my major goals was to have a comfortable home I enjoy being in. In order to achieve this I need to do some home improvement and decorating projects, so now I plan to complete one major project a month. Next month’s project is to build bookshelves in my basement to help house and organize my extensive literary collection. This month I have been gathering up my books, cleaning out the books I do not absolutely want to keep, taking the one I am keeping to the basement, and organizing them into categories. I often take just ten minutes a day to these activities, and now a large part of the project is almost complete. I will take one weekend to clear and clean out the area of the basement the bookshelves will be built in, the next weekend to make sure I have all the tools and materials I will need, the third weekend to actually build the bookshelves, and the last weekend to setup and organize my books on the new shelves.

This is only one project towards one of my major goals, but it will really help me enjoy my home more knowing my book collection is cleaned out and organized in one place. So know what you ultimate desires are, and determine both the major and minor steps that will help you to really obtain what you want. Then make sure you are doing something every day or week towards those goals, and try to cut out as many activities that do not help you advance to you desires as possible. You will my amazed at how much you can accomplish and how fulfilling your life will be

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dates to Save if You Live in Louisville, KY

Printed with Permission- Amanda Matthews Fields
Ptelea: Elm Hamadryad72" x 96"Lifesize Dryad of Ptelea.
Available also in a very limited edition bronze.

If you live in or near Louisville, KY check out the other blog I write for to learn about some upcoming events you just may be interested in. This Monday Women 4 Women will have there annual luncheon, Dare to Care has a call out to artists to donate for their Art of Caring event on November 9th, and artist Amanda Matthews Fields wants you to save the date for her solo show at Spalding University September 30th - November 4th.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Is AD-36 making you fat?

What if you can catch obesity? In laboratory experiments scientists have discovered that a common virus can cause adult stem cells to turn into fat cells. The human-adenovirus- 36 has been known to cause respiratory and eye infection in humans, but now scientists have isolated one of the viruses genes as being a possible contributing factor in gaining weight. In studies 30% of obese subjects were infected with the virus in comparison to 11% of lean subjects. Although this virus is only possible one of the factors that contribute to over 97 million adults in the United States being overweight or obese, it does suggest that a vaccination may be helpful in combating this epidemic health issue.

Check out the following links from the LA Times and the Science Blog for more details.,0,6864165.story?coll=la-home-center

Monday, September 3, 2007

Guide to Choosing the Best Water and Food Bowl for Your Dog

If you have every wondered what is the best choice for a water or food bowl for you dog, then check out this article I wrote.