Thursday, February 28, 2013

Kernel's Library: Artemis Fowl, The Boy Genius And Criminal Mastermind

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer Book 00069: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

- Artemis Fowl

First Publication:
- April 2001 by Viking Press

- At the bottom of each page of the book, a string of symbols appear. These symbols are supposedly Gnommish, but are really part of a substitution cipher which, when decoded, reveals a message.
- A film adaptation was romured to be in the writing stage in mid-2008, with Jim Sheridan directing, and with filming in 2009 possible, but it was alter cancelled.

- Garden State Teen Book Award (2004)
- BBC's Big Read (Best loved novel, 2003, No 59)
- South Carolina Junior Book Award Nominee (2003-2004)
- British Book Award (Children's Book of the Year, 2002)
- 2002 WH Smith Book Awards (best children's book of the year)
- Young Reader's Choice Award (Intermediate, 2004)
- Shortlisted for Whitbread Book of the Year Award
- Shortlisted for Lancashire County Library Children’s Book Award
- Shortlisted for Bisto Book of the Year
- New York Times Best-Selling Series
- Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Master List (2003)
- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon Award (2001)
- New York Times Best-seller
- Publishers Weekly Best-seller
- Texas Lone Star Reading List (2002-2003)
- Book Sense Best-seller
- USA Today Best-seller
- ALA Popular Paperback for Young Adults (2002)
- AudioFile Earphones Award

This fantastic serial opener is the best. That is if you like adventures, fairies, jokes, and much more. This is one of the top-ranked books on my list and it is such an enjoyable thought that many share the same enthusiasm over this series and this book in particular. I really liked the new feel of cyberpunk adventure that could be derived from this book. And, Oh!, the laughs are non-stop, coupled with the thrills and excitement that will make you shiver. Colfer is really a superb writer.


The Fowls were, indeed, legendary criminals. For generations they had skirmished on the wrong side of the law, hoarding enough funds to become legitimate. Of course, once they were legitimate they found it not to their liking and returned almost immediately to crime.

It was Artemis the First, our subject’s father, who had thrown the family fortune into jeopardy. With the break-up of communist Russia, Artemis Senior had decided to invest a huge chunk of the Fowl fortune in establishing new shipping lines to the vast continent. New consumers, he reasoned, would need new consumer goods. The Russian Mafia did not take too kindly to a Westerner muscling in on their market and so decided to send a little message. This message took the form of a stolen Stinger missile launched at the Fowl Star on her way past Murmansk. Artemis Senior was on board the ship, along with Butler’s uncle and 250,000 cans of cola. It was quite an explosion.

The Fowls were not left destitute, far from it. But billionaire status was no longer theirs. Artemis the Second vowed to remedy this. He would restore the family fortune. And he would do it in his own unique fashion.

There are already eight fantastic books in the series, so I suggest you read the first book now for you to catch up.

Grade: A+

New Wolverine Photos Offer Movie Set Glimpses Of The Origins Sequel

The Wolverine

There are only a few months left before the release of The Wolverine, the much anticipated sequel to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The movie has taken some leaps and bounds to disassociate itself from its predecessor. The team's effort and improvement are definitely evident in the following set pictures that have been circulating online.

Not only did Logan's fashion sense and physique improved a lot, but we can also see better production sets. Whatever director James Mangold and his team is doing, they are doing it good... real good.

I only hope that this is not another flop same as the first one: all marketing, but never a good movie!

Dig your claws into these new The Wolverine set photos and see what I have been quacking about:

And here are some official movie stills that you might have missed:

The Wolverine will be released on June 24, 2013 in the cinemas nearest you.

Lovely Bo Bruce To Release 'Before I Sleep' Debut Studio Album On April 29, 2013

Bo Bruce, The Voice UK

Bo Bruce, the lovely runner-up from the premiere season of The Voice UK and my all-time favorite on the show, revealed the details of her upcoming debut album entitled Before I Sleep. The album, which will be available in music stores on April 29, will be released under Mercury Records.

The very first time I heard her sing in The Voice, I immediately fell in love with her. Her ethereal voice always gives me a good feeling every time I listen to her songs, that is why I am so excited that she's gonna have her first album. We have already experienced how good her sound and song writing was when she released The Fall, which will be included also in the album, late last year.

Here's the equally ethereal cover and track listing of Before I Sleep by Bo Bruce:

Track listing:

1. Landslide
2. Save Me
3. Alive
4. Speed the Fire
5. Telescope
6. Ghost Town
7. On the Wire
8. Holding the Light
9. Lightkeeper
10. The Fall
11. The Hands I Hold
12. Echoes
13. Golden
14. How We're Made
Bo shared to us her thoughts on the process of making this album:

“The process of making this album has been extraordinary. It’s also been the hardest and most testing time of my life. But I’ve made an album I’m incredibly proud of and I can’t wait for people to hear it. For the moment, that’s enough.”

Listen to The Fall by Bo Bruce to get the feel of the whole album:

You can pre-order the album over at Universal Music in both standard and signed editions.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Iron Man 3 Posters Featuring An Army And The Main Characters

What do you think is much cooler than an exclusive Iron Man 3 poster form the Empire? The official and original poster of the movie officially released by Marvel, of course!

Not only are we going to see new villains and experience a new (or is it not, considering the story was loosely based on the Extremis arc) story, we will also see some all-out war. Iron Man seems not able to handle it all, so he will need an army or friends to help him in this grand battle that will shake the Iron Man movie universe.

The eminent war is definitely evident in this newly released poster for Iron Man 3:

The Iron Man universe is getting more and more epic, destructive, and a lot more thrilling. Tony Stark, who is played by Robert Downey, Jr., is surely in for a thrill ride and, should he survive, secures the future of a successful and cool franchise.

Along side this poster are the previously released portraits of the new and old characters you can expect from the sequel. Get to know your characters with these Iron Man 3 character posters:

And here are from the Empire I was referring about earlier:

Updated: Here's a new one featuring Iron Man / Tony Stark and Pepper Potts:

Watch this trill of a roller-coaster in cinemas on April 25, 2013 and see if Iron Man survives for more much-awaited sequels.

Revenge Of Leftovers In 'Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2' Teaser Trailer And Poster

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2

Personally, I used to believe that Sony Pictures Animation produces some crappy cartoons. Not until the studio released Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, which became one of my all-time favorites, did I learn to love the studio and their now fantastic feature animations. Oh boy, this studio did earn a special place in my heart.

I used to be apprehensive about the studio's movie releases, but when they announced a sequel to the said movie I was simply overjoyed. Cloudy was so enjoyable that I couldn't get enough of it. Thankfully, we can have an extended experience of this palatable movie with the upcoming sequel, featuring once again our beloved inventor, Flint Lockwood.

Take a bite of this tantalizing trailer of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 a.k.a Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers:

Plot Synopsis:

It's always been Flint's dream to be recognized as a great inventor, but everything changes when he discovers that his most infamous machine – which turns water into food – is still operating and is now creating mutant food beasts. With the fate of humanity in his hands, Flint and his friends must embark on a dangerously delicious mission, battling hungry tacodiles, shrimpanzees, apple pie-thons, double bacon cheespiders and other food creatures to save the world… again!

In case you haven't seen Cloudy 2's poster:

It's still far away ahead, but mark your calendars on September 27, 2013 for Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 movie release.

James Patterson Teases With First Fifteen Chapters Of Middle School: My Brother Is A Big, Fat Liar

James Patterson

Another new series for younger readers, the Middle School series, by James Patterson has been flying off from every bookshelves. No wonder it has already two sequels on its line. Fans will once again enjoy Patterson's and Lisa Papademetriou's witty writing, and Laura Park's insightful illustrations.

But instead of focusing on the unending babbling of Rafe Khatchadorian, the series' main character, the third installment dishes out Georgia Khatchadorian, Rafe's sister, thoughts as she tries to disprove her brother's fantastical stories in the previous two books and trying to save her face from shame.


From blockbuster author James Patterson comes the third installment in the #1 New York Times bestselling Middle School series!

Georgia Khatchadorian plans to excel at Hills Village Middle School in all the places her troublemaking brother failed. She's even bet him that she'll quickly become one of the most popular girls in school. But Rafe left a big mark at HVMS, and no one will give Georgia a chance! Even worse, Rafe has sneakily signed up her band to play at the school dance, and she's terrified to embarrass herself in front of the snooty "Princesses" who run the school and the boy who's caught her eye. Will she be able to overcome her fears and win her bet with Rafe? Find out THE TRUTH about Rafe Khatchadorian's sister in the first Middle School story from the point of view of the hilarious Georgia—a girl who's ready to speak her mind!

Read the first fifteen chapters of Middle School: My Brother Is A Big, Fat Liar:

Read the novel in its entirety on it's official publication release on March 18, 2013 and read the follow-up Middle School: How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill, the fourth book in the series scheduled for release on June 24, 2013.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Kernel's Library: Some Essential J. R. R. Tolkien Reads

Smith of Wootton Major & Farmer Giles of Ham by  J. R. R. Tolkien Book 00068: Smith of Wootton Major &
Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien

- Smith of Wootton Major
- Farmer Giles of Ham

First Publication:
- 1967 by Allen & Unwin / 1949

- Smith of Wootton Major began as an attempt to explain the meaning of Faery by means of a story about a cook and his cake. This was intended to be part of a preface by Tolkien to George MacDonald's famous fairy story "The Golden Key".
- Smith of Wootton Major was originally called "The Great Cake", but the title was changed in an attempt to suggest an early work by P.G. Wodehouse.
- Caudimordax is the Latin name of "Tailbiter", the sword of Farmer Giles. The sword cannot be sheathed when a dragon comes within five miles of its bearer's presence.

I can't say anything more about J. R. R. Tolkien's books as they are my all-time favorite (along with the Harry Potter series).

Plot Summary of Smith of Wootton Major

The village of Wootton Major was well-known around the countryside for its annual festivals, which were particularly famous for their culinary delights. The biggest festival of all was the Feast of Good Children. This festival was celebrated only once every twenty-four years: twenty-four children of the village were invited to a party, and the highlight of the party was the Great Cake, a career milestone by which Master Cooks were judged. In the year the story begins, the Master Cook was Nokes, who had landed the position more or less by default; he delegated much of the creative work to his apprentice Alf. Nokes crowned his Great Cake with a little doll jokingly representing the Queen of Faery. Various trinkets were hidden in the cake for the children to find; one of these was a star the Cook discovered in the old spice box.

The star was not found at the Feast, but was swallowed by a blacksmith’s son. The boy did not feel its magical properties at once, but on the morning of his tenth birthday the star fixed itself on his forehead, and became his passport to Faery. The boy grew up to be a blacksmith like his father, but in his free time he roamed the Land of Faery. The star on his forehead protected him from many of the dangers threatening mortals in that land, and the Folk of Faery called him "Starbrow". The book describes his many travels in Faery, until at last he meets the true Queen of Faery. The identity of the King is also revealed.

The time came for another Feast of Good Children. Smith had possessed his gift for most of his life, and the time had come to pass it on to some other child. So he regretfully surrendered the star to Alf, and with it his adventures into Faery. Alf, who had become Master Cook long before, baked it into the festive cake once again for another child to find. After the feast, Alf retired and left the village; and Smith returned to his forge to teach his craft to his now-grown son.

Plot Summary for Farmer Giles of Ham

Farmer Giles ("Ægidius Ahenobarbus Julius Agricola de Hammo") is not a hero. He is fat and red-bearded and enjoys a slow, comfortable life. But a rather deaf and short-sighted giant blunders on to his land, and Giles manages to ward him away with a blunderbuss shot in his general direction. The people of the village cheer: Farmer Giles has become a hero. His reputation spreads across the kingdom, and he is rewarded by the King with a sword named Caudimordax ("Tailbiter") — which turns out to be a powerful weapon against dragons.

The giant, on returning home, relates to his friends that there are no more knights in the Middle Kingdom, just stinging flies — actually the scrap metal shot from the blunderbuss — and this entices a dragon, Chrysophylax Dives, to investigate the area. The terrified neighbors all expect the accidental hero Farmer Giles to deal with him.

The story parodies the great dragon-slaying traditions. The knights sent by the King to pursue the dragon are useless fops, more intent on "precedence and etiquette" than on the huge dragon footprints littering the landscape. The only part of a 'dragon' they know is the annual celebratory dragon-tail cake. Giles by contrast clearly recognises the danger, and resents being sent along to face it. But hapless farmers can be forced to become heroes, and Giles shrewdly makes the best of the situation.

Grade: A

Peter Parker's Spidey Gets A Makeover On New 'The Amazing Spiderman 2' Costume

The new Spidey costume that will be featured in the sequel of The Amazing Spiderman has circulated online and its not something you would expect. His new looks may have been designed to attract his old followers or the younger generation that are much attracted to "quirky" designs.

I have a reason to believe that the team behind this sequel will be more loyal to the root of the superhero, back to the old and original branding that the old folks (Stan Lee's generation) nerdly loved.

Check his new outfit below:

Upon digging deeper into the webspace, here is Spidey's old-school comic book look, where instead of having a reflective eye gear he sports the white visor as shown blow.

This is unlike his previous costumes in the first movie in the reboot and the original trilogy itself, which attracts more mature viewers:

Original trilogy costumes:

Updated: And here's Spiderman in his full costume, caught on camera while web-swinging over the set of the movie:

Which of these costumes do you prefer Peter Parker to don? Do you think the direction of the the new series for the superhero's costume will attract more old-school and die hard fans that loved the original design of his costume based on the comics? Or will this throw off newcomers after seeing its quirky look? Will Andrew Garfield pull off this new look? Any thoughts?

New Game Of Thrones Season 3 Official Full Trailer And Poster

Game of Thrones Season 3

Ok, I am not going to make any more long tirades here because I know you are already too excited to watch the new trailer for Game of Thrones Season 3, and see what's in store for our beloved (or hated) characters this time around. But then again I can't help but quack and share to you my nerdy excitement upon first seeing the dragons in flight (in motion), which is also glimpsed in this season's poster that follows after the trailer.

And don't forget to ogle over this appetizing official poster of the the season:

Game of Thrones Season 3 Poster

This season will truly be epic and I can't wait to watch the series in grander scale, together with new locations and characters that make the story even more interesting. As usual, we are going to see a lot more of the famed fights and battles along side with the steamy scenes every Game of Thrones fans knows about.

Catch the very first episode of Game of thrones Season 3 on March 31, 2013 only at HBO.

Disney Pixar's Monsters University Unveils 8 New Character Posters

Monsters University

James and Sully are going back to college in Monsters University, the much awaited prequel to Monsters, Inc. and we're going to see all the naughty and fun things they have done. Hopefully we are going to see the story of how their "friendship" bloomed to how it was portrayed in the original movie.

And to tease us with the movies upcoming release on June 21, 2013, Disney Pixar has unveiled 8 new character posters for your consideration (a pun to the successfully concluded 85th Academy Awards).

See these scary little characters and choose your favorite before you go running and screaming to the cinemas:

Updated: And aren't the characters crowded in this new Monsters University poster, ala class picture?

Also, we got here a new character poster for Professor Knight:

And as a modified version of Morgana's famous speech in Little Mermaid 2: Oh, wishes do come true. See that, huh? Who's your favorite monster now... (Evil Laugh!)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Adele Wins An Oscar For Best Original Song, Watch Her Live Performance Of 'Skyfall'


I am very happy to announce that Adele has won her very first Oscars. She, together with Skyfall co-writer Paul Epworth, snagged the award for Best Original Song at the 85th Academy Awards.

Only a few artists had achieved this feat -- and by feat I meant winning all awards like Grammy's, Oscars and a lot more -- such as Bono and Barbara Streisand. It's been a while really since we last heard of it.

Earlier during the awarding ceremony, she performed the award-winning song live for the very first time. If you've missed the enthralling performance, don't fret because I am sharing it here to you:

This is really getting well for Adele. She's collecting all kinds of awards and what more could she add to this triumph than her lovely little baby born last year. On the other hand, all of this could be great, but I am getting a little more impatient for the release of her next album, which should have been due months ago...

Congratulations to Adele.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Kernel's Library: Under The Bosum of the Great Sea

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne Book 00067: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
by Jules Verne

- Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

First Publication:
- 1870 by Hetzel

- Captain Nemo's name is a subtle allusion to Homer's Odyssey, a Greek epic poem.
- The title refers to the distance traveled under the sea, not to the depth, as 20,000 leagues is over 12 times the radius of the earth.
- Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury, "Captain Maury" in Verne's book, a real-life oceanographer who explored the winds, seas, currents, and collected samples of the bottom of the seas and charted all of these things, is mentioned a few times in this work by Jules Verne.

After I read Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, I can't stop myself but crave for more... So I rushed to my favorite bookstore and did everything I can to find Verne's other novels. Rewardingly, I was able to get a copy of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. The same with Around the World, Under the Sea is a power-pack of a book. The scientific side whet my appetite for reading as I am a science buff also. The wondrous scenes given to us by Verne were incomparable, as who would think of creating such a tale not only filled by adventurous plot but also of scientific predictions...

Read an excerpt

Captain Anderson called an immediate halt, and one of his sailors dived down to assess the damage. Within moments they had located a hole two meters in width on the steamer's underside. Such a leak could not be patched, and with its paddle wheels half swamped, the Scotia had no choice but to continue its voyage. By then it lay 300 miles from Cape Clear, and after three days of delay that filled Liverpool with acute anxiety, it entered the company docks.

The engineers then proceeded to inspect the Scotia, which had been put in dry dock. They couldn't believe their eyes. Two and a half meters below its waterline, there gaped a symmetrical gash in the shape of an isosceles triangle. This breach in the sheet iron was so perfectly formed, no punch could have done a cleaner job of it. Consequently, it must have been produced by a perforating tool of uncommon toughness—plus, after being launched with prodigious power and then piercing four centimeters of sheet iron, this tool had needed to withdraw itself by a backward motion truly inexplicable.

This was the last straw, and it resulted in arousing public passions all over again. Indeed, from this moment on, any maritime casualty without an established cause was charged to the monster's account.

Grade: A+