CITY BOY GEEKINESS

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Its one of life's most hardest questions that every person has debated over: should I go with Research In Motion's BlackBerry or Apple's iPhone as my handheld provider? Right now I am contemplating which avenue I should go for with my next phone. 



The iPhone: Many of my friends have iPhones and are constantly in class or in the cafeteria just flipping away with their thumbs when they are bored and not paying attention. Two friends of mine, Natasha and Deanna, both have iPhones and could be the metaphorical spokespersons in my life for positively promoting their handheld. They each constantly brag about it's value and point out that with the iPhone I would be able to have a bigger selection of applications at my disposal, the touch screen application for the phone is more easier to handle than the Blackberry, and its easier to search the internet.


Are a lot of applications really what I need?

The BlackBerry: This has become the top contender for me so far because of the career field I am entering in. My brother, Paul, and a friend, Katie, would be the two people in my life, like Natasha and Deanna, who have talked positively about their phone choice and their choice was BlackBerry. They both pointed out that the simple choice is always the best because BBM is becoming the hot chat option; a large majority of my friends are constantly posting their BBM pin number for people to add. Texting would be much easier for me since it would provide all the keyboard buttons that would make messaging all my friends and contacts quicker to meet deadlines and time crunches; also I text very slow but can type incredibly fact...best way to combine both methods. Also the BlackBerry does have some important applications that I could download to the phone at any time.


Texting would be much easier but is that enough?

It's going to be tough to choose between both handhelds and I've already narrowed it down from other provider companies to these two brands. Once my plan finishes then I need to choose which one I want and we'll see by then what these two companies have developed in that time. I hate to spend too much a month on the phone bill and I know once I buy one then I will have to be paying it myself, but I know that it will be worth it. Right now, I'm stuck at where I will go but the fight will continue on for these two companies. 



Let's just see what happens when the rumored BlackPad hits stores and fights against the iPad for sales. It's going to be tense and the line will be drawn, but which side will you be standing on when the line divides? I got some time to think so please don't smile and laugh when you see me pull out my flip phone and spend three minutes trying to text with the buttons, concentration is key.
Welcome back to another review. On this section of reviews, I will be discussing interesting books and novels that come across my reading list and give a detailed, yet hopefully non-spoiler, review about the novel to all interested readers. The first book that will be reviewed will be the 2010 release and final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.

The Premise: Mokingjay takes place in the futuristic world that is Panem. After the failed rebellion against The Capital by the 13 Districts and the annihilation of District 13, The Capitol regained control and set a new law in motion to set a precedent. Stemming from a similarity to that of Battle Royale, each district would annually draw one boy and one girl (roughly around the ages of 12 to 17) at random to bring to The Capitol and fight in an arena to the death. 24 tributes killing each other where one winner would win food for their district will the others would starve with limited rations. Katniss Everdeen is the main heroine who is the unlucky girl who volunteered to enter the Hunger Games when her sister, Prim, was drawn to compete. The trilogy also follows her love triangle with childhood hunting friend, Gale, and her fellow District 12 male tribute, Peeta.

The story commences right when Katniss wakes up after the rescue attempt at the 75th Quarter Quell. Realizing that those around her, outside and in the arena, had orchestrated a rescue to get her safely to the remains of District 13 and begin planning an all out rebellion against The Capitol by all the Districts. The story focuses on Katniss trying to reel from the devastation that took place from her actions such as the decimation of District 12, the countless torture and deaths of loved ones, and her rising up as The Mockingjay to help unite the Districts against The Capitol.


The Good: Being a huge Hunger Games fan, I enjoyed the concept and story so far. The characters were well developed beforehand and it was really great to at least have some closer as to what happens to most of the characters. Some of the twists were interesting because at points I expected the novel to go very linear and present itself a certain way to then take a 180 and leave the reader wondering why that happened. I enjoyed how this book took a greater look at the relationship between Gale and Katniss. For The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, it was definitely positioned as the subtle connection between Katniss and Gale but the fledgling yet complicated romance between Katniss and Peeta. It was great that the latter was brought to the forefront and to notice how these two interacted without Peeta in the mix for the majority of the book was a new occurrence. Another good addition was the discussion and visits into the other Districts because even in Catching Fire, the author only roughly featured about visits to two Districts so it was nice to learn more about the different Districts and their relation to The Capitol.

Katniss really was the Girl on Fire!
The Bad: With some of its positive quirks, there were many negative attributes to this final novel and there has been a nonstop debate with die-hard fans about how it should have ended and the progression of characters. The first two novels portrayed Katniss as a strong yet tortured girl who seemed to be developing into a leader; however, for most of the book she tended to be doing whatever someone else was telling her to do. It was not till near the end when she was finally getting to make her own choices and take the decision in her own hands though still being manipulated one way or the other. Another negative factor was that the book didn't highlight many of the important events that readers were looking forward to all trilogy; the action tended to start and barrel through until there came a moment when it would "fade-to-black", as it would say, and Katniss would learn about the events she missed from being severely injured or knocked out at the heat of the moment. The conclusion may have been interesting and caused a large amount of drama, but some can argue that there could have been another way to depict the events instead of the way it was presented.

Another issue is that there was no grieving periods for any of the deaths that occurred in Mockingjay. We all knew that the final book was going to be the one with the most deaths but surprisingly enough, I think the characters already realized that as well since they showed barely any recognition or mourning towards death. We lost some beloved and fan favorite characters yet there really was no progression or time to mourn the loss. The story had to continue but when you kill off a major character, there needs to be some time for the reader to adjust what just happen and grieve.

Is Peeta the one who will end up with Katniss?

The major concern that has been discussed by every single fan and reader of the book is the final conclusion between the love triangle of Katniss, Gale, and Peeta. Everyone was wondering who she would choose out of the three or if she was not destined to end up with either of her pursuers. The development seemed a bit rushed especially when finding out who she ended up with because it felt like the decision was made for her and she accepted it as that she would have come to the same conclusion regardless. Without giving away the final choice, it was a bittersweet conclusion and many felt, including I at some points, a bit robbed at the end of the book, but I was happy overall because she choose the person I wanted her to choose at the end; even though I felt, while reading the book, she was going to choose the other suitor.

The Results: 7.5/10!
As a die-hard fan of the series, personally, I would have thrown away any reservations and problems I've had and ranked this book as a perfect 10; still recommending the series to everyone. However, to give a fair and accurate scoring then I would have to consider all the problems that have been pointed out. The book was a great take about all the events that changed Katniss and the people around her and the dealings of war. It was a great conclusion, but there was always room for improvements and many things could have been improved. I would still recommend this trilogy to anybody who was unsure about reading this series but the first will always stand out as my favorite then the second with the last, ironically, being the final one.

Agree or Disagree with the review? Then post your comments below and share your thoughts you had about the book.
Yes, I watch the television show Glee so I guess that makes me a Gleek...and I'm ok with it. I know a lot of amazing Gleeks out there...family, friends and a large amount of my classmates; don't think I don't hear you singing at your computer.

Pretty much everyone is familiar with the show in general but if you aren't, its a show about an unpopular glee club at McKinley High School in Ohio where they sing songs (sometimes just bursting out into songs like High School Musical) and dealing with life while attending high school. I understand that the show has some similarities to previous shows and movies in the past like Fame and High School Musical but this show definitely stands at the forefront of uniqueness. 




The second season premiered yesterday after a very long anticipation period and I will admit that I was a little hesitant. Many good shows has gone down hill or experienced some slowing down momentum during their second season; case in point, Twin Peaks for all you television buffs.  However, I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable the premiere episode was and most of the songs will quickly make their way onto my iPod.


The top songs hitters of the episode for me has to be Empire State of Mind (Glee cast) and Telephone (Lea and Charice). Billionaire (Chord) and Listen (Charice) were also great songs but I'll discuss that later on. I'm more of an upbeat song kinda of person and the first two really got me into the episode. The most hilarious part was at the end of Telephone when Sue Sylvester comes in and tells the girls to shut up...priceless.




Sunshine singing "Listen"
Sam singing "Billionaire"
We're introduced to three new characters this season and lost some: Coach Beiste, the new female coach after the former Ken Tenaka had a nervous breakdown, Sunshine, the new foreign exchange student from the Philippines, and Sam, the new guy who happens to become the new Football quarterback and not join the club. Both new students really have some talent with their individual songs and thought they would be great additions to New Directions; but they weren't my favorite songs of the episodes to be fair. A lot of touching moments between all them and the Glee cast but what surprised me most is that Charice's character didn't become a part of the Glee club but got recruited to the rival glee club, Vocal Adrenaline. Also missing from the list is behind-the-scenes glee club member, Matt, who has transferred out so if you've paid attention: there's only 11 members and they need 12 to compete.


All in all it was a great episode and I can't wait for next weeks Britney Spears episode where Brittany will be taking the reins as the central character for the episode. Let's see if the season can continue to rise after a good start.

If you want to learn more about the show, watch past episodes, and purchase many of the Glee songs online then visit their website, http://www.fox.com/glee/.
Hey bloggers,

I'm back at writing this blog and posting about my time on the weekend volunteering at the Scotiabank Aids Walk for Life. For those of you that don't know, the Walk for Life is an annual event across Canada where companies, people, and organizations raise money for ACT in their awareness and fight against Aids. The Walk commenced again this year on Sunday to a very big crowd and a lot of eager walkers and volunteers.




I signed up to volunteer at the water station so I was passing out water bottles to all the passing walkers and organizations. I ended up seeing a lot of familiar faces and they were truly surprised to see I was volunteering that day but it was my choice. Suffice it to say that I had a lot of fun and met some very interesting people.






There are definitely some high points for the day:
  1. Running up and down the main street with my new friend trying to find a dollar store to buy beads and boas for the high school students to cheer the walkers on.
  2. See a clown through the walk and thinking he was drunk.
  3. Seeing the same three people dancing for an hour and half at the after-concert.
  4. Blake McGrath "singing" at the after-concert.
  5. Knowing the Walk passed its fund-raising goals.

It was definitely a fun experience, could use some improvements but an event and cause that everyone really needs to check up on and get involved in the next year.



If you're interested in learning more about the annual event then please visit their website and think about volunteering or donating, http://www.aidswalkforlife.ca/.
For this article I will be counting down the top ten victims from the first ever Scream Trilogy. It has been 10 years since the last Scream movie has come out and with Scream 4 halting down in production, what better time then to take a look back at the most memorable kills and victims we saw on the silver screen by the hands of Ghostface. 

Note: I did not include any victims who were eliminated off screen or any of the killers' final demise. This list will comprise of those eliminated by the masked killer. Enjoy the list horror fans and prepare yourself on April 15, 2011 for the next trilogy.


10. Cotton Weary and Christine Hamilton - Scream 3
I know that I should limit each ranking to only one person but these two deserve to share the spot together. Cotton survived a brutal battle at the end of Scream 2 to be killed off in the very first moments of the next installment. These two made their way on the list together because viewers hoped that Cotton would survive in time to warn Christine of the killer. Trust is very much an important aspect in horror movies and this pair shows that there definitely wasn't any, excluding the fact that Cotton was going to cheat on her with an unknown female (Ghost Face).


9. Sarah Darling - Scream 3
Many can deem Jenny McCarthy's role as the aging blond starlet to be a gimmick and that no one was surprised to see her character killed off early on in the film. However, her scene definitely turned out to be one of the few gems from a lackluster sequel. Her fight to stay alive using a bevy of fake props for her survival all culminating in a quick demise really brought out the anticipation and excitement that was severely missing. Her longevity may have been suspect and you knew that one of the bigger celebrities was going to get the axe early on, but you can't blame the girl for trying to stay alive? I thought so.


8. Steven "Steve" Orth - Scream
The first death is always the most gruesome. Most people tend to forget that there was another player in the first opening minutes of Scream. He barely had any lines (well his mouth was taped shut) and he was killed in the first couple of minutes right. The reason that he made his way onto this list is because when viewers were beginning to process how this horror movie would develop... you see this guy taped to a chair and bleeding in the backyard. I hoped that Casey wouldn't get any of the horror movie questions wrong. Guess what... she did.



7. Hallie McDaniel - Scream 2
Scream 2 had some of the more anticipated and heavily performed scenes out of all the Scream movies. Nobody could forget the high speed car collision where Ghost Face tried to remove Officer Richards from the hood of a moving car while Sidney and Hallie were both screaming in the back seat. Suffice it to say that the Officer didn't survive the ride. Once Sidney and Hallie had survived their encounter with the masked killer... Sidney gets the bright idea to go back and uncover the killer's identity. Conclusion: killer's not in the front seat but behind Hallie. Guess who didn't survive then?

6. Tatum Riley - Scream
We've all seen them in horror movies; even Sidney pointed it out earlier in the film: the big breasted blond who should be running out the front door instead of running upstairs. Tatum was funny and lovable with all the witty sarcasm but she was doomed from the start. In what was the most memorable yet hilariously "slap-your-head" acts of stupidity, Tatum decides to squeeze her way through a tiny dogie door from an electric powered garage door. The reason her kill is not higher on the list is that many can debate whether Ghostface was the actual killer. Her demise was at the fault of the garage door but the killer did press the button. It all depends on the interpretation.
 
5. Jennifer Jolie - Scream 3
Like the #10 spot on the list, this iconic victim comes from the lackluster conclusion of the Scream trilogy. Many of the kills near the end of the movie were quick and pointless, but this one made up for the two before. Jennifer was the sarcastic and spoiled actress who made her "big break" in the Stab franchise that covered Sidney's life: her character was Gale Weathers. She played the comic relief, but the last laugh was from Ghostface. Through what seemed to be a staple in the horror genre (big house, secret passageways), Jennifer was trapped behind the walls looking through two-way soundproof mirrors, desperately trying to scream for help while the killer was approaching. This appeared higher on the list because it's one of the more memorable scenes from the last movie.


4. Maureen Evans - Scream 2
This scene was the stereotypical celebrity kill in the opening minutes of the movie; an homage to the first Scream movie. Maureen and her boyfriend, Phil, are going to the advanced screening of Stab. Phil was killed off early in the bathroom and the killer (disguised as Phil in full Ghostface costume) has positioned his seating beside an unsuspecting Maureen. What happened next seemed to be an act of Mob mentality! Once Maureen realized something was up when she found blood on his jacket, the killer began to stab Maureen while everyone cheered him on thinking it was a publicity stunt and her to be the weak gimmick victim. Machiavelli would be proud.


3. Casey "CiCi" Cooper - Scream 2
Here is another gem from the second installment of the Scream trilogy and this one is provided by a Scream Queen herself, Sarah Michelle Gellar. Following on the heels of the memorable phone call and sorority scene, CiCi is the sober sister for her sorority who begins to receive creepy calls from a mysterious individual. When she turns on the house alarm, the killer emerges and chases her up the stairs to her doom (Sidney would be so disappointed). The throwing of seemingly random items and running through the house culminates in her being thrown over the balcony. This is a personal favorite from the franchise.


2. Randy Meeks - Scream 2
He was the nerdy movie buff whose heart longed for the main heroine, Sidney. He survived the first movie and quickly became one of the series' favorite characters . However, what shocked movie-goers was that even a main character such as Randy was able to be killed off halfway through the sequel! Nobody expected Randy to be one of the casualties in the sequel but the shock of horror and anticipation earns him the runner-up spot on the list.  


1. Casey Becker - Scream
Do we even need to announce who the top victim/kill of the Scream trilogy movies: Drew Barrymore's performance as Casey Becker . The top spot has to go to the most suspenseful and scariest moment that defined the entire franchise to come. The difference between Casey's and Steve's death is that viewers got to know Casey and were fooled into believing that she would be the main character. Surprisingly, she would be killed nearly 10 to 15 minutes later on. She's the first victim who perfected the scary phone call conservation, the running from the killer, and had the first encounter with Ghostface on screen. Casey Becker truly deserves the number one spot as the top Scream Trilogy victims.


Agree or Disagree with the rankings? Then comment below and share your thoughts.
We all have them.

They used to be someone special who has touched our hearts and who we considered spending our lives with or someone who we perceived to have a long relationship with even though we possibly expected an expiration date later on. It can be a high school/elementary school crush that developed into that relationship by the lockers and after class or they were that "soul mate" who got down on one knee to only break your heart a few months later; they are our ex-boyfriends and girlfriends


 People always say that a little heartbreak in your life helps to make you grow and develop into a stronger person. That dealing with the challenges of a relationship that was doomed to fail can really put things into perspective and make you a wiser person in the game of love. However, what happens when you are the dump-ee and not the dumper? Does the same apply even though, technically, you choose to end the relationship for whatever reasons?


I don't know what hurts more: the heart out or losing you?
I know what you are going to say, "that maybe you broke up with them because they cheated on you or did something that ruined your trust". These are very perfect reasons as to why you choose to break up with someone because they wronged you and left you heartbroken, but what about those strange occurrences where everything seemed perfect or developing and then your, now current, ex decided to bring the hammer down? Does that make you a bad person because you choose to end the relationship even though you realized that there might not have been a future with them or there was no intensity? Why have you become the bad guy for, metaphorically, ripping out their heart?

I have been a longstanding character in this quest for finding true and meaningful love but along the way, relationships do end and they're not always "the one". I have had at least two instances where a relationship has ended by my choosing because I didn't see a romantic future with that individual. I always am the bigger person and hope to establish a long-lasting friendship with them. However, what happens when your ex doesn't want to stay as an ex?

Each ex ended up trying to win me over and discuss their feelings of regret as to why the relationship should commence again. I continue to be the bigger person and try to keep the friendship going but is there ever a limit? On one occasion I was "set up" by my closest friends to try a reconciliation on their birthday to get back together with them. Nevertheless, I choose not to for many reasons and it quickly became a situation where I was the bad guy because they were upset; when did my feelings get taken out of the equation? The other instance is a recent one where things are slowly and surely trying to get to a friend level but the constant regret talk, flirty messages and joking are beginning to pile up.

I'm not the type of person who cuts people out of their lives. Nobody likes to feel abandoned  and ignored because things just didn't work out. I like to try and set them up with other people and encourage them on their quest for love but I know the feelings are still there. Its hurts to see other hurting because its never nice to know someone is heartbroken and lovelorn. However, whats more worse: hurting something in an instant so they could find THEIR true love or be in a relationship where it didn't really seem to develop in time?

Sometimes getting back together with an ex does work out. Many relationships I currently know have at least broken up once and gotten back together; just some innocent drama. It all depends on the person and the relationship they have because maybe they didn't give that person another chance and it could have developed into something more. Though, if it didn't work out and you know that there is no chance that it will work out again then maybe its time to leave. The last thing you want to do is go behind someones back and go looking elsewhere for the night; its not a nice feeling and karma does dish out.
On this type of review, I'll be taking a look at exclusive content that you can find on the web. It can be anything from an web series to websites; anything that catches my fancy and interest. For the first "Online by Design" review, let's take a look at the cartoon parody series: Wacky Game Jokez 4 Kids.


The Premise: The story is simple and quite enjoyable. Mickey, a crook and thief from NYC, is kidnapped and held against his will to create online video game parodies for a company called VGV, Video Game Videos. He is forced and trapped to stay inside the company building and create these parodies with two other employees who are his "top-notch" film crew: June, an inept and somewhat airhead girl gamer who has become the brunt and parody of the stereotypes for girls who play video games, and Eric, an overweight and acne-faced "robot" with a Legend of Zelda triforce t-shirt who usually suffers the abuse and physical attacks from Mickey. Rounding out the cast is their boss and Wario look-a-like who continues to breathe down Mickey's neck about uploading quality video game parodies.


The chief, Eric, Mickey, and June in the first episode of WGJ4K
The cartoon web show has featured at least 3 different common formats:
  1.  Game Parodies: Mickey, June and Eric create parodies on popular videos games such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Metal Gear Solid, Legend of Zelda, and Super Mario.
  2. Game Chat...with Mickey the Dick: Mickey interviews guests from other popular web content, sites, and shows.
  3. Mickey's Magical Mail Bag: Mickey reads and comments on the mail sent from his "fans".

Where to find it: User HotDiggedyDemon is the creative mastermind behind the series and you can locate the series on such gaming websites like Newgrounds.com. It is also available on his personal YouTube and website, http://hotdiggedydemon.com/.


Looks like June was the only person who could take Solid Snake down!
The Good: The quality of the cartoon is amazing! Each video in the series continues to grow and the illustrations are top-notch; HotDiggedyDemon really has some talent. The parodies and jokes are really funny because some of them are so terrible that it is hilarious. The characters are really well developed because they have a dirty, mean or stupid quality about them that makes them likable...even Mickey "the Dick" is hilarious and quite a favourite between fans of the series. We get to see them interact with each other behind the scenes because it isn't just a show about video game parodies but rather about their experience making the show. This series has become one of the gems on Newgrounds and each video continues to turn fans who hated it over towards the fandom.

Mario again?
The Bad: For a show about parodying video game parodies, there aren't much of them. We briefly get snippets of games in each video where most of the videos is usually about Mickey, June, and Eric in the company dealing with their whole experience. Another problem is when they do choose to parody some video games, they usually stick towards the usual characters from the Nintendo era (i.e., Mario, Sonic, Link, Samus, etc.). The one tiny problem is that in recent videos, the creator stopped including the very addicting intro song that basically explained the premise of the show...it really gets catchy after the first time you hear it.

The Results: 9.5/10!
People may disagree with me for giving this series such a high score but it really resonated with me BECAUSE I am a gamer who has played video games for my entire life. I got all the jokes and really enjoyed every episode that has come out. The only reason that it isn't perfect is because of losing the intro and the lack of variety of video games that are parodied. This series is incredibly hilarious and I can't wait to see what comes next. Maybe some parodies for Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Halo, and fighting games like Tekken or Street Fighter?

Agree or Disagree with the score and assessment? Then leave a comment below and share your thoughts about the content and what you think it deserves. See you later on the next Online by Design.
Hey Everyone! 
When I got to college and started learning about the inner-workings of what the benefits of social media were, I never really took into account the benefits of a blog. I always figured that it was just a journal and people just posted their thoughts for people to see....but then, what is the difference between everything else we do. I regularly use Twitter and Facebook so why should I knock having a blog as well? In one of my last classes, we learned about change and why people resist it. So why should I be resisting something that could be a benefit in the long run?

Well, I guess things have changed because it looks like I finally gave in and made a blog. Following on the heels of my friends, I guess I would try it out and keep people posted about the happenings of life in the city. Don't worry bloggers, I'll be dishing the dirt about my thoughts, lists, polls, reviews about books, movies, television shows, video games and more....you know, the things that makes life amazing.

I'll try to keep things up-to-date and keep you all posted. Can't wait to start posting and delving into this new world; give it some time and I might get hooked.