Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Disney's Acquisition Of Lucasfilm The Scariest Thing That Happened This Halloween?

Disney and Lucasfilm, Image Credit: Todd Anderson/Disney via Getty Images

Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm is the hottest trend in geekdom this Halloween, not that it is scarier than any horror movie. The geek fans and the mainstream audience are torn in this excited turn of events. Will Luke Skywalker grow a pair of Mickey Mouse ears? That is the question that's been nagging me after this epic announcement made by a Disney Company representative on Tuesday of the purchase of Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in both stock and cash deal.

With this news came the revelation that a new Stars Wars trilogy will come our way with the first film due on 2015. The first movie, dubbed as Stars Wars Episode VII, is currently in early development stage, but no official subtitle has been given yet. And to appease the doubts of the skeptic fans, George Lucas will serve as the main creative consultant of the movie.

Watch the official announcement of the said deal:

To answer the question of this deal being the scariest thing that ever happened this Halloween, let this few pointer do the job for you.

In the past years Disney has acquired two of the most successful names in the entertainment industry. First up is the top ranking Pixar that created some of the best animated movies there are. Millions of avid viewers where seldom disappointed by the feature films that 's been released after the acquisition. Who would have forgotten The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and many others that broken a lot of records and technological feat.

I mean if that's an indicator to be worried about then I may have a mind that works differently. But no. That's exactly one of the reasons why we should be happy that Disney bought Lucasfilm. This puts the latter in good hands. It found a new home, which is to take passion, creativity and artistry to a new level. Disney, on its own, may have busted a few movies, like the John Carter movie, but their collaborative productions has never been this all time high.

Another studio acquired by Disney was Marvel. This move was met by a lot of skeptical reactions from said studio's geeky fans and other worried conservative folks. But taking into consideration the fruit of this merge simply put this worries to null.

Thor was one of the first Marvel movies to be produced under Disney and it was also one of the most well-received and high-grossing movie in the Marvel franchise. The result was far better than that of some superhero movies in existence. It was followed by an equally box-office hit movie, The Avengers. And the awesomeness does not stop there as new and upcoming movies are on their way.

With these things in mind, everyone should be happy. This actually feels so much like an early Christmas celebration on a Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

'The Forgotten' By Green Day Kickstarts The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Official Soundtrack

Green Day, The Twilight Saga: breaking Dawn Part 2

The publicity for the much-awaited official soundtrack of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 kickstarts with the release of its first single.  The single entitled The Forgotten, which was written and performed by Green Day, was accompanied by it's official music video that features a few scenes from the movie. It was the third track of the said album with an almost five-minute eargasmic playtime.

This is the band's first contribution -- and the last should the series opt not to make some spin-off sequels -- to The Twilight Saga, giving them a sure chance to gain millions more of fans and followers despite their already established fame.

The nostalgia-inducing The Forgotten by Green Day will surely make you smile and tear up at the same time. Lighten the Halloween mood with the song's music video:

The video, which was directed by Bill Berg Hellinger, premiered on MTV. It was shot during the recording of the song and includes a montage of the band's old performances and shows over-imposed on a few new scenes from the movie and some old ones which are already featured in the trailer.

Billy Joe Armstrong's fragile and unique voice brings back familiar glimpse when I first heard of some of his famous songs, Wake Me Up When September Ends and  Time of Your Life (Good Riddance) to name a few. The best part for this song, however, is the line that says, "sometimes you're better lost than to be seen," which I believe some would agree with.

Updated: The Forgotten is now featured in the latest Breaking Dawn Part 2 TV spot entitled Shine:

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Official Motion Picture Soundtrack is now up for pre-order at iTunes. This 14-track album will be released on November 13, 2012, three days ahead of the movie.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Christopher Paolini Releases Inheritance Deluxe Edition With New Exclusive Content

Christopher Paolini

Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle continues with the release of the deluxe edition of its ultimate book entitled Inheritance. The said edition, which was released last August 23, 2012 in the United States, is said to include exclusive content, such as new scenes and original artworks by Paolini himself.

Random House, the publisher of Christopher Paolini's acclaimed series, also announced the release of its paperback edition, along with the complete paperback boxed set. The deluxe edition is also available in regular eBook and enhanced eBook editions that include 17 exclusive videos detailing some behind-the-scene stories and secrets.

Indulge your self with this enticing cover of Inheritance Deluxe eBook Edition:


Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders. The Rider and his dragon have come farther than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king Galbatorix and restore justice to Alagaësia? And if so, at what cost?

The new contents included in the book includes:

  • Never-before-seen artwork by author Christopher Paolini
  • A full-color foldout poster by John Jude Palencar
  • A letter from Jeod, one of Eragon’s confidants, summarizing life after the finale of the series (written by Christopher Paolini)
  • A letter from Christopher to fans reflecting on the series
  • A new never-before-published scene included within the text

And here is a special preview with Christopher Paolini detailing some aspects of the said book:

Inheritance Deluxe Edition is currently available for Kindle download at Amazon and for Nook Book purchase at Barnes & Noble.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

16 Contestants Move On For The Live Shows Of The X Factor US Season 2

The X Factor US Season 2

After the emotional eliminations that happened at the Judge's houses, the 16 contestants that were not included in list of 8 to be sent home move on to the live shows of The X Factor. The addition of Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, after Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger left the show, brought new flavors to the show.

Demi Lovato is certainly a youth magnet, that is maybe why she was chosen to coach the young adults category. Britney Spears on the other hand snagged the teens. And to the annoyance of L.A. Reid, who once handled the boys, he will see to the progress of the talented contestants over 25. After bringing his girls to France during the previous season, Simon Cowell opt to stay put in the US in choosing the lucky 4 of his groups.

Who are your bets among these 16 that will move on for the live shows? Listen to their performances to help you decide:

Teens Under Britney Spears
Beatrice Miller
Arin Ray
Carly Rose Sonenclar
Diamond White
Young Adults Coached by Demi Lovato

CeCe Frey
Jennel Garcia
Willie Jones
Paige Thomas
Over 25s Screened by L.A. Reid

Vino Alan
Jason Brock
David Correy
Tate Stevens
Groups that satisfied Simon Cowell

LYLAS (to be changed)
Sister C
Updated: Check whether you can name the contestants in this varied official portraits taken by Jeff Lipsky:

There's nothing you can do, should you disagree with the choices of the judges, for they are already final. The only thing you can do now is to help the judges a.k.a coaches choose the next winner of The X Factor US or hop on to another show that would fit your taste. The live shows will start on November 1, 2012 and will be aired over Fox. The hosts for this season will be the first time duo Khloé Kardashian and Mario Lopez, replacing Steve Jones.

Kernel's Library: A Funny Trip Back to School And Other Laugh-Out-Loud Anecdotes

Icefire by Chris D'Lacey Book 00042: ABNKKBSNPLAko?! by Bob Ong

- ABNKKBSNPLAko?! (Aba nakakabasa na pala ako?!)
- Wow, i can really read now?! (rough translation in English)

First Publication:
- 1 January 2007 by Visual Print Enterprises

- The pseudonym Bob Ong came about when the author was working as a web developer and a teacher, and he put up the Bobong Pinoy website in his spare time. The name of the site roughly translates as "Dumb Filipino," used fondly as a the diminutive term.
- The Bobong Pinoy site -- where he got his inspiration to write his book -- received a People’s Choice Philippine Web Award for Weird/Humor in 1998.

One of my favorite local authors is Bob Ong, whose works have been popular since my college years. His works garnered a lot of audience because of his funny anecdotes and passages. The fun never stops from cover to cover, because you can surely relate to all the hilarity and guilty deeds he has done. His first book is by far his most popular work and I love to say that many of my friends share the same fanaticism with Bob Ong and his works as I am.

Here's the book's synopsis, with its rough and unworthy translation:

Bakit namamalo si Miss Uyehara?
(Why Miss Uyehara beats her pupils?)
May mga notebook bang lumilipad?
(Can notebooks really fly?)
Bakit masakit sa ulo ang Mafhemafics?
(Why is Mathematics such a pain in the as*?)
Ano ang lihim sa likod ng pagkakaibigan nila Pepe at Tagpi?
(What's the secret behind Pepe's and Tagpi's friendship?)
Bakit may mga taong nakapikit sa litrato?
(Why do some people close their eyes in some pictures?)
Masarap ba ang Africhado?
(Is Africhado delicious?)
Sino si Tigang?
(Who is Tigang?)
Bakit may mga classroom na kulang ang upuan?
(Why do some classrooms lack a few chairs?)
Masama bang mag-isip nang malalim habang naglalakad?
(Is it bad to contemplate on something while walking?)
Saan ang Ganges River sa Pilipinas?
(Where can you find Ganges River in the Philippines?)
Bakit may mga umaakyat ng overpass pero hindi tumatawid?
(Why are there loiterers at the overpass?)Sino ang webmaster ng bobongpinoy sa Internet?
(Who's the webmaster of the bobongpinoy website?)

ABNKKBSNPLAko?! is meant to be read phonetically as "Aba, nakakabasa na pala ako?!", with "Wow, I can really read now?!" as its rough translation. The novel details what are supposedly childhood memories of the author, from his earliest days as a student until his first few years at work.

Filipinos are known to be jolly folks and no wonder many have loved Bob Ong's works so dearly. If there's something that would make us happy or laugh we would most certainly cling to it. No matter how absurd Filipino cultures were presented in this book we can't help but laugh on our own follies.

Grade: A+

Take Pictures Like A Pro With These Simple Photography Tricks And Styles


Tired of pretending to like your Facebook friends' photos even when their not that good? It's exactly how they felt about yours, too.

Take stunning pictures without resorting to photo manipulation using Photoshop, LightRoom and other heavy-weight applications. These simple tricks and styles guarantee you to achieve desired extraordinary results without the skills and technical abilities every professional photographer has.

Forced Perspective

Using forced perspective technique in photography allows you to distort how the viewers see the whole picture. It creates an optical illusion where the object in question may look nearer, farther, bigger or smaller than it actually is. This technique usually employs angling and positioning the camera in relation to the subject of the picture in a different and scaled manner compared to the usual point and click photos.

Examples of forced perspective:

Moment and Exact Timing

Catching some rare moments and immortalizing them through pictures are a little hard to do. But when one is able to capture these sometimes never-to-be-repeated instances, it will always be rewarding. It requires sharp eyes, quick fingers and a lot of memorization of some patterns of events. This technique is usually evident in photos that use motion and speed as their main ingredients.

Examples of moment and exact timing:

Altered Placement and Distorted Reality

Placement of the subject in the photo sometimes creates illusions also, but it does not really require much angling, scaling and positioning of the camera. It is also under forced perspective. Sometimes it is just a little play on how you view the picture -- rotating it may seem to create some fantastic effects. Presenting photos in an upside down or right-side left manners sometimes creates intriguing result for your viewers.

Examples of altered placement and distorted reality:

Use of Natural Shadows and Lightings

The use of shadows and lightings can usually be seen in silhouette photography, along with pictures that have something to do with fireworks, darkness and daylight sparkles. Instead of capturing the image of the actual subject, why not frame its shadows in the picture? It would be more mysterious that could trigger curiosity among those who see it.

Examples of photos that uses natural shadows and lightings:

Use of Mirrors and Reflections

Reflections can create some bizarre images even if the subjects are just the common things around you. The best source of reflections are sometimes found in nature: bodies of water, lustrous metals and reflective glasses. Each of them creates different classes and varieties of reflections that when used and captured properly create some mind-bloggling photos your friends would surely love.

Examples of photos using the power of reflection:

Now that you know these tricks and styles in photography, it's better to keep them to your self and impress your friends with your outputs.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the pictures used in this post as they belong to their respective owners and copyright holders.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Christina Aguilera Reveals 'Lotus' Official Track List, Plus 'Your Body' Music Video

Christina Aguilera

Despite facing so much criticism from haters that lambasted her increasing waistline, hideous recent fashion choices, and heavily photoshopped album cover, no one's stopping Christina Aguilera from releasing her seventh studio album Lotus. Coming out on the second week of November, Lotus will have one of the least numbers of tracks to offer compared with her other albums that usually have around 20 tracks.

The 13 tracks of the album, which were revealed over Christina's official website, are here to prove that she still has what it takes to be one of the best power-belter there is. Despite recently giving birth to her first child, Xtina is not even scared to show us her now voluptuous body in the following official cover of the said upcoming album:

Christina Aguilera Lotus

Dig in these 13 official tracks from Christina Aguilera's upcoming album, Lotus:

01. Lotus Intro
02. Army Of Me
03. Red Hot Kinda Love
04. Make The World Move feat. CeeLo Green
05. Your Body
06. Let There Be Love
07. Sing For Me
08. Blank Page
09. Cease Fire
10. Around The World
11. Circles
12. Best Of Me
13. Just A Fool feat. Blake Shelton

And for the deluxe edition, here are the 4 additional tracks:

14. Light Up The Sky
15. Empty Words
16. Shut Up
17. Your Body Martin Garrix Remix

Preceding the release of her album is her newest lead single titled Your Body, which was digitally released a day ahead of my birthday. The music video of this musically acclaimed single tackles sexually implied lyrics and scenes, so if you're one of the faint-hearted kind do take a second thought before watching it below:

The upcoming album will feature Christina Aguilera's two fellow The Voice coaches. Cee Lo will help her leverage the song Make the World Move, and Just a Fool is to feature the country signer Blake Shelton.

Lotus will be available for preorder over iTunes on October 30, 2012. The deluxe edition is also available for pre-order on Amazon. You can buy a copy of the album during its official release on November 13, 2012.

Cars, Swag And Trouble Featured In 12 New 'Fast And Furious 6' Set Pictures Instagram-Style

Fast and Furious 6

Who would have thought that The Fast and The Furious may have lasted for more than a decade of fame. The speed and brawl series is in for one more installment with yet another star-studded take out. Fast and Furious 6, also known as Fast Six, is not yet up for release until May 24, 2013, but the loyal fans are all in for a buzz.

Just recently a bunch of production photos ad stills have been released online through Instagram, calming the already restless die-hards. Even the actors of the movie are active and participating in promoting the said movie by posting some exclusive photos taken from the set.

Don't get too excited with these Fast and Furious 6 set pictures:

Third time serial director Justin Lin is back for a fourth round. The plot will be based upon the writings of Chris Morgan, extending the original tome authored by Gary Scott Thompson. Universal Studios will once again take over the release and distribution of the movie.

Stay-in actors Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Micheclle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster are back to reprise their roles. Dwayne Johnson, who was a recent addition to the cast after playing Luke Hobbs in Fast Five, is also back to complete the ragtag team. Newcomer Luke Evans takes a role as a leader of a gang that will cross paths with Dominic's (Diesel) crew.

Fast and Furious 6 will be the first movie to go away from the underground car-racing theme that was showcased in the previous installments.

Kernel's Library: Of Powerful Little Ceramic Dragons

Icefire by Chris D'Lacey Book 00041: Icefire by Chris D'Lacey

- Icefire

First Publication:
- 1 October 2003 by Scholastic Press

- As a teenager, D'Lacey dreamed of being a rock star, but he focused on science during college and eventually got a job in that field, working with microscopy at Leicester University.
- It was not until age thirty-two that D'Lacey wrote his first children's story; seven years later, he entered a competition in writing for young people but he has not won the said competition.
- Chris D'lacey's first children's novel, Fly, Cherokee, Fly, was published in 1998 and subsequently shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. It was inspired by the time he found an injured pigeon in Victoria Park and nursed it back to health at home

- Shortlisted for 2006 Angus Book Award

Icefire is not the first book of the series where it belonged to, but it is not also the least among them. This is a children's book that offers lessons for both young and old. Let your lighter side be cuddled by lovely little glazed dragons that are born to life whenever a friend is in great need.

The story began when David, a college student and aspiring author, started to investigate the history of the mythical dragons for a paper. He needs to make this research to be the best in order to win the price of a once in a lifetime trip to the Arctic.

But his investigation has lead him to something more than any wonders the Arctic could offer. He has been drawn to the most magical and mysterious past anyone could not imagine possible... the ancient secret of icefire.

The dragons are alive, but are not having the form we used to imagine them. They are hidden among us as inanimate objects and are ready to reveal themselves to those who are worthy of their presence.

Can David handle the magnitude of this all, along with the excitement of having a new girlfriend and the fact that he's about to move in with her?

Whet your appetite with this excerpt:

Time. David shot his watch hand up. “Oh no!” he exclaimed. “I should have been at school ages ago. I’m supposed to be having a tutorial with…” Leaving the end of his sentence hanging, he shot down the hall in search of his coat.

Liz patted Lucy’s arm and told her to work on G’reth a little more. “Take him up to the den when you’re finished. We’ll kiln him when I get back.” Grabbing her car keys, she went after David. “Come on,” she said, overtaking him on the porch, “if it’s that important, I’ll give you a ride.”

On the drive into Scrubbley, Liz said quietly, “You seemed a little uptight in the kitchen. Not just about G’reth. Is there something on your mind?”

David ran the zipper of his bag back and forth. “I’m meeting Sophie for dinner tonight.” A smile spread slowly across his face at the mention of his girlfriend’s name. “She says she wants to tell me something important. I think she might want me to move in with her.”

“I see. Do you think you will?”

David bit his lip and looked the other way.

“We’ll miss you,” said Liz, taking his silence as a yes. “It’s going to be hard telling Lucy, though.”

“I’ll come and see you. Regularly. I promise.”

Liz smiled and touched his arm. “If you need to move on, that’s all there is to it. You can’t stay in our mad dragon house forever. Don’t worry, we’ll cope.”

Visit Scholastic for more excerpt.

Grade: B+

Friday, October 26, 2012

Did You Know: The Very Firsts Of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube And Instagram

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

Much like how a seed grows to become a tree, today's gargantuan online commodities began with humble beginnings. They're now part of the memorable moments in the lives of their users. From sharing birthday pictures online, expressing euphoria after popping the big question to posting portraits of the beloved pet Purrfect, the impact is almost universal.

Every legend has a beginning to tell, let's start with these four:

The Very First Video Uploaded On Youtube

Although Youtube was established on February 14, 2005, it was only two months later, on April 23 more specifically, that the very first video was uploaded.

The 18-second video features one of the founders, Jawed Karim, at the San Diego Zoo. It was titled "Me at the zoo" and was shot by Yakov Lapitsky.

This simple upload has encouraged millions of others to do the same. The site is not without a lot of changes, one of them is the acquisition by Google.

The Very First Facebook Profile

The Social Network movie have hinted that the very first Facebook profiles created was of founder Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates. The Facebook, as it was then called, has then spread all over Harvard University that started such a frenzy.

To determine the first few FB users, all you need is to enter on your browser the following:, where x could be a positive number starting from 1.

As such, numbers 1 to 3 are empty profiles, which are more or less used for testing during the site's conception. Mark Zuckerberg falls on number 4, followed by his room mates and co-founders, Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz, respectively.

I would have liked the lucky spot, but 7 was already taken by Arie Hasit, who is a friend of Chris Hughes.

The Very First Twitter Status

"Twttr" was actually the original name of the most popular micro-blogging site now known as Twitter. On March 21, 2006, Jack Dorsey tweeted the very first twit composed of these two words: "inviting coworkers".

There were a few other tweets before that, but they were machine generated. Status numbers 1 to 19 are not available as of the moment, but numbers 20 to 28 all express the same tweet: "just setting up my twttr". To make sure, type in on your browser (incrementally change the value of 1).

Number 29 was the very first tweet posted by a civilian.

The Very First Instagram Photo

It was also one of the founders of Instagram that published the very first photo to test the said application. It showcases a dog and a foot. The application was then called Codename before its launch for public use 3 months later (October 2010).

The photo was captured by Instagram's co-founder and CEO, Kevin Systrom. The foot in question belongs to his by then girlfriend. However, the dog, which the lovers stumbled upon a Mexican taco stand, remains unknown.

From then on a lot of feet and dogs have been published on the site -- together with cats, bridges and captive tigers.

It's amazing how these breakthroughs affect our daily lives without us knowing how they all begun.