Saturday, June 25, 2011

Music Non Stop: new Into Eternity - Sandstorm

Well this is a totally unexpected surprise. Out of nowhere, Into Eternity is releasing a new song, Sandstorm. To make it better their former "death" vocalist is back on the track. Who knows what this means because Into Eternity changes members almost as much as Megadeth. But like I said, a nice little surprise. Who knows if an album is far behind.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Music Non Stop: New Anthrax - Fight Em Til You Can't

We have heard this song for awhile now, but it is nice to hear a studio version.

This song sounds like it was made for John Bush, but whatever, that ship has sailed. It's not bad, but it's almost a rehash of the problem with Persistence of Time, the vocals don't match the music.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Music Non Stop: Limp Bizkit - Gold Cobra preview

title says it all. If you have 22 minutes to spare, check out samples from Limp Bizkit's new album Gold Cobra
Gold-Cobra-Preview by thearmpit
sounds pretty good. I don't think it is as good as The Unquestionable Truth Part 1, but that was only 7 songs, this has 13. So while TUT Part 1 had no filler, this will probably have some.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Last Laugh: Global Warming...what's that?

From Forbes, by way of Darren;
Global greenhouse gas emissions have risen even faster during the past decade than predicted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other international agencies. According to alarmist groups, this proves global warming is much worse than previously feared. The increase in emissions “should shock even the most jaded negotiators” at international climate talks currently taking place in Bonn, Germany, the UK Guardian reports. But there’s only one problem with this storyline; global temperatures have not increased at all during the past decade. 
The evidence is powerful, straightforward, and damning. NASA satellite instruments precisely measuring global temperatures show absolutely no warming during the past the past 10 years. This is the case for the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes, including the United States. This is the case for the Arctic, where the signs of human-caused global warming are supposed to be first and most powerfully felt. This is the case for global sea surface temperatures, which alarmists claim should be sucking up much of the predicted human-induced warming. This is the case for the planet as a whole.
hahahaha I have been saying for years that global warming doesn't exist and it's just some hippie way of thinking. In fact, a senior who just graduated, remembered my speech on global warming was the first "political" thing he remembers in high school. Good times.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Music Non Stop: new Machine Head

Don't know how long this will be up, but Machine Head has released a new song, Locust, for their upcoming album. Machine Head's last album, The Blackening, was awesome...album of the year for me. I doubt they can recreate what happened there.

This new song is pretty solid. Some are blasting it already, but I really can't complain. It isn't good as most of the material off of The Blackening, but it's not bad by any means. There is some really nice guitar work going on in the song, better than most this year.  I'm looking forward to it, but with this year being packed full of great albums, who knows where this will end up.

Thoughts Without Words: Block Scheduling

Block scheduling. You either get one of two reactions; "it's great" or "what am I supposed to do with these kids for 100 minutes?". Glendora High School is putting in block scheduling for next year, but that really isn't the reason for this post. It is the comment made by this school board member;
"Because you're only going to classes three times a day, it gives you so much more opportunity to go through material and go through all aspects of that material," said school board member Denice Delgado. "It would be akin to saying I'm going to college." First of all, if you take a college course 3 times a week the classes are about an hour to maybe an hour and 15 minutes long, not an hour 40 minutes. Secondly, some of those students need to see the material daily. Let's say someone has a class on Monday and then again on Wednesday, those students most likely won't do the homework until Tuesday night. That means they have already gone more than 24 hours without reinforcing the lecture.

I know this first hand because our school has been doing a 2 day a week block. And when my Algebra B students have me Monday and then not again til Wednesday, they tell me they don't even look at math and they forget the material.

But the real gem from the school board was this one;
"We really saw the value of the block schedule and the instruction taking place and the connecting that was happening between students and teachers," Lopez said of the schools they visited. "I can say pretty confidently that 100 percent of our staff is now on board."
That's right she thinks that all the staff is behind this. Now I am pretty sure this is political spin because there is no way EVERY teacher is behind this. At our school we have about 100 teachers and I know of about 10-15 that hate block. There has to be at least 5 teachers aren't questioning this and think it's a bad idea at Glendora High.

Unfortunately, I doubt they will change the schedule. 15 years ago our school introduced block. The principal at the time had to have the staff vote 3 times before he got the votes needed to do it. He said at the end of the initial year there would be another vote to see if the staff wanted to keep it. I will just say that 15 years later, the staff is still waiting to vote.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Thoughts Without Words: DC at it again...

DC Comics that is...I can get political at times, but this is more about DC's new costume makeovers.

I will put up the new Superman design tomorrow, but tonight I'll focus on Supergirl. Now there have been a ton of Supergirls and costumes for each one. If you don't believe me, take a look at this photo, this is most of the Supergirls;

See...a lot. But the one that seemed to stick was this one;

It was so well liked that they even changed Supergirl's look on JLU (she was in the white shirt suit above), except they kept the classic red skirt, but the midriff look was because of the comics.

So now, like Harley Quinn, DC is giving their comics a reboot and a new look;

I'm not sure what to say. The skirt is gone, which a lot of people thought was too sexy. The midriff is gone, which was her go to the last few years. The cape is a lot longer and has that weird collar thing going on. I guess the weirdest thing is the boots. They did a pretty good job of toning down the sexuality, but then they put on those dreaded thigh highs. I can't say I am totally offended since Supergirl has had so many different looks over the years. Now I can't say they same for Superman.

Thoughts Without Words: Harley Quinn's new costume...what the?

I guess I will go ahead and critique the new Harley Quinn costume since I spent so much time with Wonder Woman and other characters.

Harley Quinn was created for the Batman animated series of the 90's. The character was so popular that she was put in the actual DC comic universe. Her original costume was a great design. It had the perfect look to be a side kick for the Joker.
Well when they decided to make a Batman video game they decided to put Harley in the game.  When they released a video of her, everyone was shocked at her new look.  I would go ahead and put myself in that category.
Seriously...what is that?  There is nothing that connects her to the Joker.  The original suit had the diamonds, like cards.  This is something you would see at a rave.

But I don't think that's as bad as the latest design.  DC is relaunching their universe (again) and giving some of the characters a new look, like Harley.

Wow...that's just bad.  Seriously, as if the video game version wasn't slutty enough, they go for the corset top and bikini bottoms with thigh high boots.  If I wasn't told this was Harley Quinn, I'm not sure I could have told you who it was.  The diamonds on the gloves and maybe the mallet.  But other than that, how can you tell who it is?  This is bad.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Video Killed the Radio Star: Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones

Anyone that knows anything about Indiana Jones or Magnum P.I. knows that Tom Selleck was up for the lead role in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Due to Magnum though, he couldn't do it. What I never knew until I saw this on Topless Robot, was that there was a test shoot of him as Indy, with Marion.

That was...interesting. Harrison Ford will always be Indy. This just sort of sealed it for me. I felt like I was watching an episode of Magnum.

Anyway, totally unrelated, someone created a Han Solo P.I. opening;

pretty good, but check out just how close the movements are to the original;

someone spent a lot of time on that one.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Music Non Stop: Unearth...where did this come from?

I have been posting some of Unearth's new music from their upcoming album, Darkness in the Light, and I have been impressed with the variety of music they have had. This latest track, Watch It Burn, is similar to their older stuff with the breakdowns, but once again it's different because of the "bridge" towards the end that gives you some clean vocals and some different tempo. Overall it's pretty good, the guitar work in the intro is killer. I have no idea where all of this great music came from, it's not Adam D. because he has produced a lot of their stuff before. This is looking to be a pretty solid album.

Music Non Stop: New Limp Bizkit song - Gold Cobra

It's the title track off their upcoming album, Gold Cobra.
Limp Bizkit - Gold Cobra by thearmpit
I like it. It has some old school style, but it also sounds like their last album. Musically, I loved their last album. Vocals are what dragged that one down, Fred tried to emulate Rage Against the Machine too much. He sounds more natural here.

The sad part is that this album is coming out in a year that is full of great album.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Thoughts Without Words: And yet people will actually think this happens...

Let's face it teachers and education in general are under constant scrutiny and attack right now. So it doesn't help that a movie called Bad Teacher is coming out. I saw a huge cut out of this poster in a theater.

Yeah that's classy..."eat me". The trailer isn't any better. Cursing, drug references, and sexual innuendos are just the tip of the iceberg. I know it's a movie and it's totally fake, but unfortunately people are going to see this and think it's real and teachers are really like this. Hey just one more reason to get into education right now.  How about a new slogan for the department of education,  "Education: we used to be a respectable profession."

Monday, June 06, 2011

Inside Four Walls: But I averaged a B in high school...

I have mentioned Catch-22's in the past and this one is particularly close to my heart. Apparently getting a B in high school isn't that special. You know what a B gets you in high school, remedial classes in college.
Ninety-four percent of Chicago Public Schools graduates who go to city community colleges need remediation in math. Most also need to work on basic reading and writing skills. Many thought they were doing well in high school. 
Eighty-five percent of California’s incoming community college students aren’t prepared for college math and 70 percent aren’t ready for college English. Four out of five remedial students had a B average or higher in high school. Instructors are experimenting with accelerated remediation to get students into college-level classes quickly.
This doesn't surprise me at all. We are told to pass these kids and make them feel good about themselves. We don't want to fight any kind of battle about failing a student, why? Most of the time it's because teachers don't get that support from the administration to fight back. Most of the time they take the path of least resistance. How is that working for us?

When I failed a senior, the parent wanted a grade change because I didn't send home written notification. I did however have a face to face meeting. The parent heard that she needed a written notice or the grade would change to a D. I had to fight and print out Edcode before I finally got them on my side. How many teachers are willing to fight that hard?

This all goes back to one of my first Catch-22s. I was told to make my class grades reflect their state test score and when I did that, what was I told? I had too many F's and that I needed to have higher grades. So what do you want? Feel good grades or grades that match what they know?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Video Killed the Radio Star: Darth Vader visits Disneyland

A quick funny video of Darth Vader at Disneyland to promote the new Star Tours ride.

best comment on Youtube;
Anakin finally experiences the childhood he never had......awwww

Inside Four Walls: who wants to be a teacher??

Clearly the student is in the wrong. The teacher tells him to sit down and he uses his body to push her in the corner and then screams at her. Teacher's response? Punch him.

I think the worst part is the girl who actually yells at the teacher saying she had no right to hit him. Boggles my really does.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Who Decides: Mid-Albums of the Year 2011

This will probably be the hardest year for me putting together a Top 10 list.  If this list isn't already packed, I have Trivium, In Flames, Sepultura, Dead by April, Blood Stain Child, Unearth, Anthrax and who knows what else.  It's an awesome year for metal music, so let's get started;

1(tie).  Mercenary - Metamorphosis: I talked about this album HERE already.  And there isn't much I can add.  It's near perfection. Each song is heavy & catchy with killer vocals.  I'm not sure what else you could ask for in a metal album.

1(tie).  Times of Grace - Times of Grace: Reviewed HERE.  This isn't a more "metal" album than Mercenary, but it is a more complete album.  You have some acoustic tracks, some doom-like tracks, and some classic metal tracks.  It's a great album.  The worst part for both of these albums is that they might not end up number 1 at the end of the year.

3.  Cavalera Conspiracy - Blunt Force Trauma:  I was not a fan of Infliked or the last two Soulfly albums, but this one hits the spot for me.  It is very light on the whole "tribal metal", but Marc Rizzo definitely makes up for it with his guitar work.  For some reason I feel like I am listening to some NWOBHM with harsh vocals thrown on top of it.  Right now, this is my surprise album of the year.

From here on out, these albums can change from day to day.  It's not like they aren't good, they are so good it's difficult to put them in order.

4.  Before the Fall - Antibody: brutal modern industrial style metal.  I have always had a soft spot for bands like Fear Factory, Strapping Young Lad, and Divine Hersey, and Before the Fall are in that same vein.  Don't hold your breath waiting for that clean chorus...cause it ain't coming.

5.  Lazarus A.D. - Black Rivers Flow: a more mature Lazarus A.D. shows up this time around.  Still thrash-oriented, but they aren't afraid to slow it down and push the envelope.  Some real solid metal here for classic metal fans.

6.  Sylosis - Edge of the Earth: this one reminds me a little of Machine Head's The Blackening.  It is a long album and takes some time to digest.  Musically it sounds a lot like Metallica's classic albums of MoP, RtL, and AJFA.  Vocally, mainly harsh screams.  It works, but I think the lack of variety hurts this just a bit.

7.  Deadlock - Bizzaro World:  I talked about it HERE.  It's solid, nothing new, but nothing bad if you liked their last 3 albums.  I said they were going into that KsE path of writing the same music over and over again.  I'm not sure another album like this will work.

8.  Soul Cycle - Soul Cycle: Soul Cycle play instrumental classic thrash metal.  It's good.  I talked about the high amount of solid instrumental albums HERE earlier.  If you like thrash and don't need vocals to enjoy the music...this is a must.

9.  Amaranthe - Amaranthe: I talked about them last year and finally the album is here.  This is pop metal at its best.  Female, clean male, and harsh male vocals really works well here.  If you don't mind keyboards playing a big part of the music, then try this.

10. Tyrant of Death - Dark Space: another instrumental album.  Think SYL meets Fear Factory without the vocals.  It's great heavy metal...the guitars and drumming are insane.

This can change any day because bands like DevilDriver, The Haunted, Protest the Hero, The Human Abstract, Inside It Grows, Titans Eve, Degradead, Arch Enemy, Izegrim, Artas, Circles, and Mygrain have all released solid albums.  Each one of the bands mentioned could easily end up in the top 10.

But just do some quick math, there are 10 above, plus the 12 that barely missed out, and the 7 known albums that haven't been released.  That's 29 albums I am looking at trying to narrow to 10.  good luck to me.

Music Non Stop: one more In Flames song

Enter Tragedy.

This album isn't too bad. I know I wasn't expecting too much after A Sense of Purpose, but from the 3 songs I have heard so far, the album is shaping up to be better than A Sense of Purpose and Soundtrack to Your Escape.

I really like that guitar tone they have on these songs. It sounds more like Come Clarity than anything else.