Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Introducing Fight Critic

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

Fight Critic Header

I have been busy working on a couple of other web sites. One of those is ready for the world and had its “grand opening” yesterday.

Fight Critic is a blog where I’m going to continue posting my thoughts about mixed martial arts news and events. The couple of posts I made here on C-Objectively were fun to write and were popular enough that I decided it was something I wanted to keep doing.

I hope my readers here that are interested in MMA or combat sports will give Fight Critic a shot. And tell your friends!

Post UFC 68 Thoughts

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

UPDATE: Thanks for reading my post about UFC 68. I’ve started a new blog where I can post regularly about the UFC and MMA in general. Check out Fight Critic.

UFC 68 went down last Saturday evening in Ohio. I wasn’t very excited about this card and did not end up ordering the PPV for myself. I can’t put my finger on what it is exactly that makes me so much more excited about PRIDE events than UFC ones. Maybe it’s because there are so many more UFC events that there aren’t as many exciting fights? In general I think it has to do with the fighters’ efforts to finish the fight and stay aggressive. I think not being able to clinch and stand against the cage helps keep PRIDE fights more interesting. Anyway, I did end up catching most of the fights later thanks to a friend’s recording.

I’m not going to recap the events of the fights themselves, like I did for PRIDE 33, as there are plenty of good write-ups already posted that do that. Instead you’re going to get my commentary and opinion on some of the fights and their outcomes.

Randy Couture vs Tim Sylvia
UFC 68 has given me a reason to celebrate; for the simple reason that Tim Sylvia was exposed to the masses as what many MMA fans have known for some time: Tim Sylvia is an unoriginal, lumbering, zombie-like freak of nature that has won most of his fights due to a tremendous reach/height advantage or mistakes on the part of his opponents. I have mixed feelings about the outcome though, since I think Sylvia could have been dismantled in even more dramatic fashion by Mirko Cro Cop, aka The Terminator.

As it is, Sylvia was out-wrestled, out-grappled, and out-boxed by 43 year-old Light Heavyweight Randy Couture. Captain America dominated The Maine-iac in every facet of the fight. And his game plan to fight the 6’8″ behemoth was a thing of beauty to watch as it was put into action. Sylvia on the other hand seemed like a broken record; constantly lumbering forward awkwardly and throwing the same two slow-motion punches for five rounds. I think this fight showed more than anything, that Randy is one of the most intelligent fighters in the game; and it’s extremely dangerous to underestimate what he is capable of, even at this age.

However, Randy’s victory does have me worried about something. According to recent interviews with Dana White, President of the UFC, the winner of this fight is going to fight the winner of the Mirko Cro Cop / Gabriel Gonzaga match at UFC 70 in the UK. Barring some freak accident, the winner of that fight will be Cro Cop. I don’t know of another MMA fighter who deals as much striking damage per minute than Cro Cop. He employs an unrelenting and devastating move-forward offense and couples that with exceedingly good takedown defense. I would hate to see Randy be completely dismantled by Cro Cop right after winning the belt from Sylvia. In fact, despite Sylvia’s loss here, I’d still love to see him fight Cro Cop and put his money where his mouth is on his previous claims of being able to match up with the best in the world at Heavyweight.

Oh and Tim, copying Chuck Lidell’s hairstyle is not going to help make you anywhere near as liked by fans as he is.

Chris Lytle vs Matt Hughes
Chris was expected to lose this fight and he did. Hughes was in control but not as dominant as many of his fans would have liked. I’m not sure we saw anything from Hughes in this fight to indicate he’s somehow improved enough to get a different outcome at Hughes vs GSP 3 than Hughes vs GSP 2. I can’t say I’m disappointed though. Any fighter that says he lost a fight because it was God’s plan and not the other fighter’s superior skill is a jerk. I’m looking forward to George St. Pierre dismantling Hughes for a second time.

Jason Lambert vs Renato “Babalu” Sobral
With the exception of Babalu’s extremely stupid approach to beating Chuck Lidell in their most recent encounter (running after him throwing wild punches and leaving himself wide open for the counter-punch KO), he has fought, and often beaten, many of the top fighters in the 205-lbs division. That makes Jason Lambert’s knock-out win over Babalu all-the-more interesting. Jason’s win has also placed him at #10 in MMAWeekly’s latest Top 10 Fighter rankings. That doesn’t make much sense though since he recently lost to Rashad Evans, a fighter who has been on a tear recently in the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division. Rashad is nowhere to be found in the rankings. Jason’s a better fighter than the guy he lost to six months ago? Maybe the MMAWeekly editors could explain that one for us.

Jason MacDonald vs Rich Franklin
Franklin beat MacDonald by tap-out due to strikes. No surprises here. MacDonald is a good fighter but not on Rich’s level yet. Again, like the Hughes match, the caliber of Rich’s opponent does not allow for much analysis on any changes Rich may have made to get a different result out of the forthcoming Franklin/Silva rematch. That is a match I am definitely looking forward to. I doubt that Franklin will let Silva dominate him in the clinch again.

UFC 68 Wrap-Up
The results from this event dictate three upcoming title fight match-ups we will probably see very soon:

  1. Rich Franklin vs Anderson Silva 2
  2. Matt Hughes vs George St. Pierre 3
  3. Mirko Cro Cop vs Randy Couture (Most Likely)

Some other fights I think we should see based on the results of UFC 68 are:

  1. Quinton Jackson vs Jason Lambert – since the Ortiz/Jardine fight isn’t happening until the end of May, and neither of those guys would be ready to fight again for at least a couple of months, this is a fight I wouldn’t mind seeing in the mean time.
  2. Quinton Jackson vs Winner of Tito Ortiz / Keith Jardine fight
  3. Rashad Evans vs Loser of the Tito/Keith match
  4. Jon Fitch vs Karo Parisyan – I would love to see Karo back in action against another tough opponent. Why is the UFC putting him up against Josh Burkman, who lost to Fitch last year?

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Expedia’s New Ad Campaign – Go With Confidence

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

Update 2/28/07 – Link to a page where you can view the new Go With Confidence Expedia ad.

At long last our new ad campaign is revealed! Our ads have traditionally been sort of funny and always catchy. I’m not sure what it is about Expedia ads that stand out and maybe I am just crazy to think so. I think it may have something to do with being one of the first “dot com” companies to heavily advertise on television and to be one of the very few that still does so with the “.com” in their name. Or it could be the beloved (hated?) and memorable jingle.

That being said, I like the new ad campaign. I especially like the yellow suitcases that Expedia “customers” take with themselves on their trips. I even like our new spokesman. What I don’t like is that we’re no longer using the original Expedia.commmmm jingle. In fact, I’m devastated about this one insignificant thing. Or is it insignificant? Watch the new ad and tell me because I am curious what people think of the new rendition of the old jingle.

You can catch the new Expedia ads at your local purveyor of quality prime time television starting this week, including Deal or No Deal, Late Show with David Letterman, Heroes, Law & Order, Jimmy Kimmel Live, and other fine shows brought to you by the letters E and C, the number 1, and your local cable company.

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PRIDE 33: The Second Coming

Monday, February 26th, 2007

UPDATE: Thanks for reading my post about PRIDE 33. I’ve started a new blog where I can post regularly about PRIDE and MMA in general. Check out Fight Critic.

PRIDE 33: The Second Coming took place yesterday in Las Vegas. This was only PRIDE’s second show in the US; their other shows to date have been in Japan, their home country. I think PRIDE puts on some of the best MMA shows in the world and this one was no exception. Taken as a whole, PRIDE 33 was one of the most exciting MMA shows in recent memory. It was packed with brutal KO’s, slick submissions, and surprising upsets. While the production values on this show were down a bit from PRIDE’s usual effort, the quality of the fights more than made up for it.

Starting the Show
Nobuhiko Takada, hereafter known as Nobu and “President” of PRIDE, gave some opening remarks in extremely broken English, welcoming people to the 2nd US event for the promotion. Only problem I have with that is that I couldn’t understand half of what he said, and it took him five minutes to say it when I could have said it in dramatic fashion in no more than one. Then we’re shown a video highlight reel introducing some of the fighters fighting that night. The video ends with an incredibly confusing series of statements:

MMA is your world
The Cage is your world
This Ring is the Universe

I honestly don’t know what this means; it’s obviously a bad translation from Japanese. Since the world is only a small part of the universe, maybe they’re trying to say that PRIDE is bigger than cage-fighting (the UFC) and MMA itself? Who knows. What I do know is that if PRIDE is serious about finding mass market acceptance for their product here, they are going to need to get producers working on their shows who at the very least know English and at best, understand marketing and US popular culture very well. While I may find things like that quirky or even funny just because I know enough about Japanese culture to know how different it is from ours, most people will just be weirded out and turned off by it.

Jason Ireland vs Joachim Hansen
I’d never seen Jason Ireland fight but he put up a decent fight against “known finisher” Hansen; not sure that was expected. In the first round we saw Ireland land some good leg kicks on Hansen. Hansen was in complete control when they went to the ground though. Ireland gave up his back numerous times throughout the fight but Hansen was not able to really capitalize on it. The first round ended with Ireland reversing on the ground, getting on top, and showing some offense. Hansen probably wins this round.

Second round saw Hansen throwing some high kicks, a flying knee, and some hard knees from the clinch. They go to the ground and Hansen mounts Ireland eventually, then gets his back; at this point the action in the fight has slowed to a crawl. Hansen’s arm bar attempt goes the other way when Ireland doesn’t roll the way he’d like, but he still holds onto it until the round ends. Hansen clearly wins this round.

Third round gives us some more circling on the feet, they go to the ground with Ireland on top and Hansen goes for a triangle. Ireland held on while Hansen pummeled his head in the triangle, then Hansen transitioned to an arm bar. Ireland eventually taps out and that’s the fight. Jason Ireland showed some potential while fighting a top guy like Joachim Hansen, but Hansen was never in any real danger.

Frank Trigg vs Kazuo Misaki
I don’t know why PRIDE decided to change the way they produce the fighter intro videos but it seems they were feeding the arena audio into the TV feed. The volume of the fighters’ voices was too low and muddled to be understood. I hope they never make this mistake again; it’s looking like amateur hour which is not common with PRIDE production values.

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I like Mixed Martial Arts

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Later today I am going to post a review of a mixed martial arts fighting event that took place last night. I thought that may be a bit weird since I have never spoken about MMA on this blog before. The truth is that it has become my main sports interest, after Cal Football of course, in the past couple of years.

Mixed martial arts fighting is exactly that: a combat sport where the fighters are allowed to use the techniques from a wide variety of fighting styles and schools. Available techniques run the full gamut; punching, kicking, wrestling, submissions, grappling, etc. This is why MMA fights are so interesting to me versus, say, a boxing match. There is such a wide variety of techniques a fighter can use to inflict damage on their opponent or to end the fight that there is always a surprise waiting.

This also puts extremely high demands on the fighters; anyone fighting at the top level in their weight class needs to be extremely well-rounded in all areas of fighting. Otherwise, the star kick-boxer is bound to eventually end up on the ground with a ground whiz and get submitted in a choke hold or armbar.

Many of you have heard of or seen a UFC event; they have become extremely popular in the US after the debut of their Ultimate Fighter reality show on Spike TV. The UFC is one of what most people consider the two top mixed martial arts promotions in the world. The other one is PRIDE FC, based out of Japan. While these two don’t have a monopoly on the MMA talent in the world, between the two of them they have signed the lion’s share of top talent out there.

Anyway, PRIDE 33: The Second Coming happened in Las Vegas last night. It was only the second event put on in the USA by PRIDE. It was full of exciting fights and you’ll hear more about it very soon.

Stranger than Dry Weather

Monday, December 11th, 2006
forecast

It’s always so encouraging to look at the weather forecast and see a week of rain coming your way. That’s just a little taste of the typical Seattle winter week. There are still plenty of things to do to keep busy though. Last Friday I attended the Leopard Tech Talk by Apple on the latest developer tools and features of the upcoming Mac OS X 10.5 a.k.a. Leopard. I’m particularly looking forward to being able to use Dashcode to help with some Dashboard development I might be doing in the near future. Also, while sitting in one of the sessions, I had an idea for a widget that is such a no-brainer that I have no idea how I didn’t think of it until now. I’ll tell you all about it if I actually get around to finishing it.

This weekend I saw the movie Stranger than Fiction which I thought had looked interesting since the first time I saw the trailer. Although I wouldn’t call the film revolutionary, it is at the very least a little different than most of the drivel in theaters today. It is a fun little story about a non-descript IRS agent Harold Crick, played by Will Ferrel, who is a character in a book being written by a famous author. One day he starts hearing the author’s voice in his head as she narrates the story of his life “accurately, and with a better vocabulary”. Turns out that Harold is not just a character in the unfinished book, but a real person. I won’t spoil the rest of the plot for you but suffice to say that while it was enjoyable, I think the original book ending would have suited the movie better as well.

Oh and speaking of Hollywood drivel, a blog called Drivl has a post about ten things that software code does in movies that it never does in real life. I love this list because it points out how the computer interaction in most movies is so very silly. My favorite of course is #9: “People who write code use mice”. For years, running on decades now, computer users in films and television have been banging away frantically at keyboards while performing all manner of tasks that would be impossible or extremely difficult to accomplish without the aid of a mouse or other pointing device. CSI agents touching up photos using their keyboard? Not likely. I guess clicking a mouse is not as dramatic as banging away on a keyboard.

Atrocities Overlooked

Thursday, February 10th, 2005

The callous and heartless nature of some people, particularly those who are in politics and/or in power is just mind boggling to me. Let’s begin with this example…

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY February 19, 2004. Armenian citizen Gurgen Margaryan, 26 years old, was hacked to death while asleep by Ramil Safarov, a Lieutenant of the Azerbaijani Army. Both were participants of an English language training course within the framework of the NATO-sponsored

Secondhand Lions & Keeping Touch

Monday, May 31st, 2004

I wrote the following post on May 25th but was so busy in the few days I had in Burbank that I didn’t get a chance to even post it to this page…

So I just saw the movie Secondhand Lions and it was a pretty good one. If you haven’t seen it I really recommend it. There are very few movies that I can honestly say that I like and this is one of them. It didn’t hurt that the movie gave me something to do while I formatted my mom’s computer and reinstalled everything on there. Then again its my fault I had to even do that since I left her computer wide open without any firewall protection from the 7 gajillion worms and viruses for Windows that have been out in the past few months.

Its so hard to keep in touch with people. There are a lot of people I’d like to keep in touch with. To begin with, I have a whole gamut of relatives who I barely see anymore because I’m barely ever in town. These people have grown old and some of them had children and they’ve grown old. It makes me sad that I can’t see all the people more often.

There are also of course some friends that I don’t stay in touch with or talk to as often as I’d like. But we all know how it is, everybody is busy with school and work. People’s schedules don’t really match the other’s for downtime. In all the stress and hubub of the day-to-day stuff we sometimes forget a lot of people. I do it and I’m sure a lot of you do too. I don’t know how to avoid it but it makes me sad. I only hope that the others understand and that the few chances that we do have to spend time with one another or talk to each other, that we make it count. We should not be bitter over why this person has not contacted me for so long but instead be interested in what has kept them so busy. That’s all of course if you know the person to be a true person. For those fake people who will say hi and ask questions they’re not interested in hearing the answers to, just let them be along their fake uninterested ways.

To anybody who reads this, if you don’t already, stay in touch. And if I’ve done a bad job of it, let me know what a loser I’ve been and I’ll do the same. Friends and family, people you care about and who care about you, are the most important things in our lives. Well, in my life anyway.

The Green Mile

Saturday, April 27th, 2002

I can’t believe I forgot to say something about it last night but I saw The Green Mile last night for the first time and I was very moved. That is one of the greatest movies I’ve seen. I recommend it to anybody…go see it…NOW.