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Reminiscent Falcon

I posted a picture of this bird of prey some time ago when I first started this blog. At the time I knew little to nothing about WordPress and simply though I’d give blogging a try. Here’s a much higher quality version…

This photograph is one of my more... interesting ones. Never figured I'd capture a bird in mid-flight as well.

 

 

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Possible Prompts

Below is a list of prompts I’ve come up with in response to today’s DailyPost topic. I’m certain many have been used before, ideas are hardly new nowadays, though these are what came off the top of my head.

Current Events Questions:
i. If you were given the chance, how would you have “solved” the dilemma of raising the debt ceiling? Would you have utilized existing legislation, or developed your own? If you developed your own, what would this legislation entail?
ii. What do you think of the Presidential Office? How has it fared over the years? Explain.
iii. Should Americans, or any member of a particular country for that matter, be required to know basic knowledge about their country and perhaps the world? For example, the basic workings of their gov’t, their type of government, how the country is organized (provincial, states, etc.). Explain.
iv. According to an industry report, 95% of online music downloads are illegal. What do you think of this figure? Should additional action be taken to protect intellectual property on the internet, or should the music industry provide music for free? Explain. Consider the artists that create the music.
[http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/jan/16/online-music-illegal-downloads] [http://hothardware.com/News/95-of-Music-Downloads-are-Illegal-IFPI/]

Other Questions:
I. What type of pages do you usually bookmark, “like,” tweet, or favorite?
II. What are the characteristics of love? Can true love really hurt?
III. What is your favorite poem? Explain.
IV. If you could be the leader of every country in the world, simultaneously, for one day, able to pass any and all legislation you desire without question, what would you do?
V. If you had the resources to make the next blockbuster film, what would it be about?
VI. If you could tame any animal and have it as a pet, what would you choose? Explain.
VII. What sort of games did you used to play as a kid? Write about the one that first comes to mind.
VIII. (Multiple Questions) How do you define an idea as original? Are any ideas really original, or simply derivatives from another’s inspiration? Why do we have intellectual property laws? Explain.

On the Road Again

Sometime in the next few days I’ll be off to another U.S. location for family and tourism purposes, then back even quicker than before, most likely with some decent photographs and inspiration for posts! Yet I will not give up PostADay2011! While I’m gone I’ll have posts automatically set to publish each day, and I may do the same for a few days before and after I’m gone if I have enough ideas.

Thanks for reading! Look for reviews, quotes, WWII Tidbits, and more in the next few days!

DP: How do you know where your boundaries are?

“How do you know where your boundaries are? We all have limits for what we are willing to try, or do, but how do you know that you haven’t gone far enough? Or when you go too far?” – Scott Berkun, The Daily Post

Boundaries… often times they are only superficial mental barriers that we set up for ourselves.

I cannot do this because I never have before… 

I cannot experience this, because I have never experienced anything like it…

It often takes a leap of courage to overcome these obstacles – moreover, with that leap comes a realization, which is this: there is a drastic difference between being unable and unwilling or inexperienced. For example, eating escargot is often a scary though for many Americans, yet for most, they are physically able to consume the dish. The only thing that stands in their way is the mental barrier they set up for themselves.

Mental boundaries may be overcome, although some physical boundaries may prove to be insurmountable. For myself, I know I cannot continue doing something when it will result in death, when I have reached my peak physical limit in some particular challenge. Yet when I am tired, or desiring to quit, here I may find the chance to persevere. To grow and develop in whatever it is that I am doing by pushing myself above the average 100% bar.

When considering boundaries, there is one remedy we often overlook: God.

In God there are no boundaries (except for that which compromises the law and character of God’s perfect nature), and by the power of the cross anything may be overcome.

Fourth of July Agenda

Today was a bit of relaxation day after my long trip – I watched Unknown, starring Liam Neeson (which I will review at a later date) and captured a plethora of Fourth of July moments.

Check out the Adventure Writer Blog later tonight or early tomorrow for corresponding photographs and reviews – a happy fourth of July to one and all! As well as a tremendous sense of gratitude to the men and women that risked their lives for freedom and liberty, establishing this nation for generations and paving the way for a brighter future for their posterity.

True Grit

True Grit

Image via Wikipedia

The 2010 film, True Grit, retains the feel of a classic Western, abounding in gun fights, cocky outlaws, and cowboy jargon, all executed with a truly exceptional cast. The movie follows the life of a strong-hearted girl named Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld), as she seeks out a bounty hunter (equipped with her father’s pistol) to avenge her father’s murder. In her efforts she finds a man named Reuben J. Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), known for having True Grit. What she discovers, however, is quite disconcerting. He proves to be an obstinate, lazy, egotistic man who takes kindly to alcohol and the like. Mattie, however, refuses to stand down, and soon recruits the man after much persistence. On their journey they accompany a Texas Ranger who goes by the name of LeBoeuf (Matt Damon). Mattie, who had already been acquainted with him back in town, doesn’t take too kindly to him and after a few snide remarks, the ranger whips out his belt in anger and promptly spanks her. After a torrent of protests from the girl, Cogburn draws his gun on LeBoeuf and after a slight quarrel between the two, they part company. As Mattie and Cogburn journey on, they find a hanging corpse, a wandering bear-skin-wearing doctor, and interrogate a suspicious duo. Following these events, they acquire enough information to set a trap for the murderer, though instead become involved in a chaotic shoot-out between their party and a group of outlaws. LeBouef, who somehow managed to be entangled in the firefight, gets mistakenly shot by Cogburn, and decides to rejoin them in their search for the outlaws. After many more days, the group loses their morale and Marshall Cogburn decides to retire from the quest, determining they’ve come upon a cold trail (LeBoeuf also leaves, but not before starting a sort of friendship with Mattie). The morning of their departure, however, new events determine otherwise. As Mattie retrieves water from the river, she spots her father’s murderer Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin), who, followed by the girl’s failed attempt at intimidation, kidnaps her and takes her back to the gang. In short, LeBouef rescues her, the marshall arrives in time to kill off the remaining outlaws, and the movie jumps forward some twenty years in Mattie’s life, where she retains a chosen widowhood. THE END.

In conclusion, the film as stated before, retains the qualities of a classic Western, though with a very melancholy conclusion. The cast is made up of well-seasoned actors, and a rising young actress. Matt Damon made for a very amusing LeBoeuf, adding a spark of personality and likeability… except for the scene where he spanks Mattie. Mr. Bridges conveyed a very convincing Marshall Cogburn, sustaining the character’s groggy air in movement and speech. Hailee Steinfeld, who has never before acted in a full-length film before True Grit, gave a tremendous effort in portraying Mattie Ross, receiving the honor of Best Actress in a Support Role [1]. The film is rated PG-13 for it’s violence and possibly crude language (as there is a deal of cursing). I wouldn’t recommend it for the family setting, taking these two factors into account. It’s rather more appropriate for, as Common Sense Media determines, ages 15+. For Christian families, however, there’s even more things to look out for, regarding which I refer to Pluggin.com‘s review. I must say it’s a dark movie in terms of how it plays with the emotions, and the tone it would seem to take – the concept of revenge is ever-present, and the one-armed, widowed Mattie provides for a very dreary ending.

The Story of General McNair (WWII Tidbits)

General McNaire was a senior officer of American forces in Europe and he had a lovely office in London. 25th of July was the Operation Cobra – the big breakout through Maroney, and he thought, I think I’m going to see the boys go into action. So he went upon to the front line and the plan for Cobra was that they would withdraw American forces from their front line, for safety, about a thousand yards. And then bomb the German frontline about a mile long, along the Parisian low road. So they did all that and took the American forces out of the front line and brought over a load of bombers, they liked bombing, and dropped the bombs straight onto the American forces, and killed four hundred American soldiers. Not the first and only time, there’s nothing new about that. But poor old McNair was one of them. So instead of sitting out the war in his office, he now joined [the soldiers at the Omaha Beach cemetery].

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Grave of General Lesley J. McNair - Omaha, Beach

Kung-Fu Panda 2

Kung Fu Panda film poster, with Po in the middle.

Image via Wikipedia

Everybody’s favorite Kung-Fu fighting panda returns in this latest film! And although the film is the second highest grossing in the United States, the inevitable question must be asked: did DreamWorks make the cut in meeting fan’s expectations with this sequel, or did they fall short?

The film starts with a history of its primary antagonist – Lord Shen, heir to throne in Gongmen City, and a dastardly peacock with plans for world domination (or at least all of China). He has taken the beloved recreational firework and turned it into a destructive weapon of war, yet he does not stop with this apparently inexcusable act.. After learning of a prophecy told by his parent’s soothsayer that he will one day be thwarted by a black and white warrior, he ascertains a team of wolves and makes a mass genocide of the panda species – gaining the attention of his parents who banish him after learning of his evil deeds. Enraged, he takes over the royal palace (which has now come under the control of Kung Fu masters Thundering Rhino, Storming Ox, and Croc) a short time later (once his parents have died of grief), using his firework cannon to defeat the legendary Kung-Fu masters – exterminating Rhino, and locking Ox and Croc in the dungeon.

After the brief introduction, we join Po, the Dragon Warrior, on a fairly usual day. After some training with Shifu (pay close attention, as the particular move he is taught will become a pivotal point in the film) Po joins the Furious Five on a mission to town where wolf bandits are stealing all the metal they can find in order to mass-produce cannons for Lord Shen. While fighting, Po sees a “vision of the past,” incurred from a symbol he spots on the head bandit’s sleeve – portraying his birth mother and father, and a great fire seeming to envelope them. While thus distracted, Po is knocked down and the bandits flee into the mountains with a fair amount of the metal. When the warriors arrive back home, Shifu briefly tells them of the attack on the Kung-Fu masters (shown at the beginning of the film), before sending them out on a mission to defeat Lord Shen. All the while, Po remains in great complexion over his past, at one time inquiring of his goose father, Mr. Ping, “where he came from.” When the warriors arrive at the city and encounter Lord Shen, they found themselves poorly equipped, and nearly defeated. The future seems dim for Gongmen City, but there is hope on the horizon if Po can master “inner peace,” and grow as the Dragon Warrior.

From a family perspective, the movie is quite enjoyable! Suitable for a variety of ages, with content fitting for each. The violence and images are about at par with the first movie, never displaying blood and gore, though with evident death. The movie is rated PG and should be reserved for kids beyond their toddler years, around 6-10+. From a Christian perspective, the movie is abounding with philosophy from Eastern religions, entailing inner peace and other such conceptions – Bhuddist philosophies which have been been pointed out by a recent Freshly Pressed post. The lessons within the movie must be taken with spiritual discernment – having confidence in oneself is a must, however, having foremost trust and confidence in God and His Son is vital. The world we live in now is not an illusion – we have been created and placed here for a purpose and given free will to choose. We have been made for love – to have passion for our God and passion for his work. We are not good in and of ourselves, we find righteousness in the process of sanctification – following God and defying self through the power of the Holy Spirit given us.

World War II Tidbits

Over the next few days I’ll post some World War II “tidbits” – photographs and the stories behind them.

Today, the Location is: Omaha, Beach, Subject: Jewish Soldiers.

“[Out of] the British and Canadians, a few were Jewish. / On your dog tag they always showed your religion, but they would change the name of a Jew, particularly Jews who had escaped to occupied Europe. They used to change their name to a very English name, and would give them another religion. [In case] they were captured. But the American forces didn’t do that. And I brought a couple of Israelis here not so long ago and asked them about this (indicates pebble upon Jewish grave marker). Putting a stone on their [marker]. And I thought it was to show that someone just visited the grave, but it’s just a sort of act of earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes. And it’s a tradition in Israel – the Jewish faith. You make some little marker.” –Tour Guide

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The grave marker of an American soldier with the Jewish faith, indicated upon and by the design of his marker.

AMERICA BLESS GOD!

Looking south from Top of the Rock, New York City

Image via Wikipedia: By Daniel Schwen

It’s part of the prayer remix.

I recently watched an amazing sermon by Pastor Louie Giglio about the prayer life of many “North Americans.” Filled with practical, convicting truths – conveyed brilliantly with good humor and relevant circumstance.

Considering Louie provides it for free on 268 generation.com, I’m not saying any of this as an advertising campaign – however, I would recommend purchasing the DVD series if you enjoyed it, to give your support.

http://www.268generation.com/videoplayer/player.php?videoid=prayremix1&quality=hi