Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bullying: a Big Problem

This is my English paper for my final for last semester:

Bullying: A Big Problem
            It is obvious that bullying is big problem. A person only needs to look at the instances of teen suicide and school shootings, such as Columbine, to know that bullying can have a major, negative impact on children. There is not a day that passes when bullying has not happened in schools all across the world. All across America, hundreds, if not thousands, of children skip school each day because they are afraid of it happening to them. For good reason, if a person has ever gone to a school as a child, they have gone through the traumatic experience of being bullied in some way. However, despite how bad many people say it is, or in some cases is not, it is actually much worse. Bullying is one of the biggest problems in schools today. Too little is being done to stop it so the problem continually gets worse and worse. It must be stopped before it gets out of control; the well-being and safety of students is at stake so it cannot be left unchecked like it is.
            Let’s face it; bullying isn’t some 20th century invention. As long as there have been social hierarchies there have been bullies. T.J. Billitteri claims in a 2010 article that “Bullying is as old as recorded history ‘Cain attacked and killed his brother Abel and killed him’ reads Genesis 4:8” Basically, Billitteri says that as long as humanity has existed there has been bullying. In another article, John Greenya quotes Ted Feinberg of the National Association of School Psychologists when he says “Parents and schools recognize that bullying is a problem that will not go away of its own choice — it's not a faddish thing.” Whether we like it or not, bullying is not a problem that is going to go away on its own. It must be stopped.
            In her book, Gender, Bullying, and Harassment, Elizabeth J. Meyer defines the differences between bullying and harassment. “Bullying is defined as a behavior that repeatedly and over time intentionally inflicts injury on another individual whereas harassment includes biased behaviors that have a negative impact on the target or the environment.” (2). What she is saying is that bullying is physically beating someone up while harassment is verbally abusing a victim.
            As the human race evolves socially and technologically, bullying techniques have evolved as well too making the problem even worse. Cyber-bullying is a drastically rising problem. Cyber-bullying is using technology to bully someone whether it is through a text, a computer, or a social networking site such as Facebook or MySpace. In a 2010 Sciencedaily.com article, the author said “One example of this is the Facebook group ‘Vi som hatar Stina Johansson (Those of us who hate Stina Johansson). This Facebook group was very difficult to remove. It took Stina’s parents almost one whole month.” Cyber-bullying is a big problem, and it is very difficult to stop. However, there are those who think that it isn’t such a big problem. Kate Harding of Salon.com says, “Just as Facebook is not causing the death of genuine friendship; it is also not causing the birth of High School enemies. It only facilitates the malicious gossip, rumors, cruel intentions, and hormone-fueled anger that have long been a painful part of teenagers’ lives.” What she is saying is that it is wrong to blame social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace for bullying because they aren’t the cause of bullying; they are merely a vehicle for it. It is people behind it all not websites.
While cyber-bullying may not be the cause of bullying, that doesn’t mean that cyber-bullying is not a gigantic problem. The example of the Stina Johansson Facebook hate group is one of thousands of examples of the drastic problem cyber-bullying has become. It doesn’t matter at all if cyber-bullying is the cause or not. What is an undeniable truth is that cyber-bullying is a gigantic problem. If a child has a bully at school, then at the very least he or she can go home for the weekend or even go on school breaks and be away from the bully completely. With Cyber-bullying, that is not an option. The bully can easily bombard the victim with as many hateful messages as he wants and all it takes is the click of a button. The victim cannot get away from that. Yes Harding is right; Facebook and other social networking sites are not the cause of bullying. But it is still a vehicle nonetheless and therefore a problem. A bully doesn’t need to even contact the victim. They can put videos or organize hateful groups on Facebook. A Rutgers University freshman named Tyler Clementi jumped off of the George Washington Bridge to his death after a roommate posted a video online of him having a homosexual encounter with another man. This is a prime example of the horrible consequences of Cyber-bullying. Whether some people admit it or not, it is a huge problem.           
Another majorly problematic form of bullying is sexual harassment. This is not just being sexist in bullying; it often goes into bullying someone for their sexual orientation as well. Elizabeth Meyer describes it as ‘gendered harassment.’ She says that “gendered harassment is a term used to describe any behavior that acts to shape and police the boundaries or traditional gender norms: heterosexual masculinity and femininity.” (1-2). So, what she is saying is that gendered harassment is a tool used by bullies to keep the gender based social norms in place. Harassment because of sexual orientation, or homophobic harassment, is a growing problem. Meyer describes it as “any behavior, hidden or obvious, that reinforces negative attitudes toward gay, lesbian, and bisexual people.” (5). In short terms, it is harassing people because of what may or may not be their sexual orientation. A victim does not have to be a homosexual to be the victim of homophobic harassment. Calling someone ‘a stupid queer’ regardless of whether or not they are a homosexual is blatant homophobic harassment. In Greenya’s article he says, “Studies show that one-third of gay students are physically harassed due to their sexual orientation, one in six is beaten badly enough to need medical attention and gay teens are four times more likely to be threatened with a weapon at school than straight kids.” This is not right. It should not matter if someone is a homosexual or not and even if they are, that shouldn’t mean that they should be abused for it.
            There is a solution to stop people from bullying others because of their sexual orientation. Many schools have started Gay-Straight Alliances. Mary Ellen Flannery wrote another article on bullying aimed directly at homosexual students.  She praised the additions of Gay-Straight Alliances in schools. “Nearly half of gay High school students say their school has a GSA, and those kids are about a third less likely to be threatened or injured at school, and less than half as likely to attempt suicide.” It only takes one person to make a huge difference on someone’s life. If a lot of people band together to combat harassment of homosexual students, a huge difference can be made.
            Of course, homophobic harassment is not the only kind of sexual harassment, there is also harassment simply because of gender. Sexist comments are what it comes down to. If a boy teases a girl for being a girl that is sexual harassment. Meyer says that “terms such as bitch, babe, chick, and fucking broad are commonly used in schools by male students as ways to assert masculinity by degrading female peers.” (9). Verbally degrading peers into nothing more than sexual objects is another common form of sexual harassment. It is far more common, and frequent, for females to be the victims of this than males.
Unfortunately, there are some people who do not see bullying as a big problem. Teachers or even parents think that it is good for children to be bullied. David Derbyshire said in a 2010 Daily Mail article, “In a study of American children aged 11 and 12…children who returned hostility with hostility appeared to be the most mature, the researchers found…were more popular and more admired by teachers and peers.” So, he is saying it is good to be bullied because if a child stands up to bullies, it shows that the child is more mature and the child will be better liked by teachers and peers alike. Of course, Derbyshire acknowledges in the article that bullying in of itself is still a really bad thing; he says that “While the study did not suggest that it was healthy to be the victim of bullying, it found negative experiences could teach children about conflict resolution.” So, Derbyshire says that the act of bullying in of itself is bad, but standing up to it can be really good.
            However, Derbyshire is one of the few people who feels that bullying isn’t such a big problem. Most parents and teachers agree that bullying does deep psychological, and in some cases physical, harm. A January NEAtoday article by Mary Ellen Flannery quotes the president of NEA, the National Education Association, “Bullying robs students of the opportunity to learn and can ‘exact scars that can last a lifetime.’” Flannery herself says in her Tomorrow’s Teachers article “No allegation of bullying should be ignored because…it is perceived as a harmless rite of passage.” While there may be some children that feel that it is good to fight back against the bullies, encouraging that would be encouraging fighting fire with fire. If kids stand up against bullies in a drastic way, such as getting into fist fights with their tormentors, then they are no better than the bully is. They’ve brought themselves down to the level of the bully. There is a potential benefit to giving victims a little power so they have some hope of their torture being stopped. When I was beaten up in 4th grade my mother told me to tell my bully that if he hit me again I would strike back. I did just that and I didn’t have a problem anymore. However, there is a line that must be taken into account. There comes a time when fighting back against the bullies will cause more harm than good. However, Derbyshire quotes Psychologist Melissa Witkow of Willamette University of Oregon, who in turn mentioned the study mentioned earlier in Derbyshire’s article, by saying “The study backs up research from academic Helene Guldberg, child development expert at the Open University, who said teachers should not protect pupils from playground spats as they can help them handle difficult events in the future.” This could not be further from the true solution. Sure some children will benefit from this, but using the ‘let them handle the conflict themselves’ idea as a one-size-fits-all approach to bullying is just going to make the problem worse. If the ‘handle it themselves’ idea is implemented, the bullies will realize the fact that they can do anything to the victim and the teachers will not interfere. Some kids may fight back and that will only solve the problem in the rarest of cases. For the children who cannot, or will not, fight back the bullies have a new open target.
As an example, let’s say that a child who has developmental and physical disabilities finds himself the target of constant bullying, which is not at all uncommon. There is no way for that child to defend himself in any way from the bullies. If the teachers will not interfere, the victim cannot fight back and the bully is left the victor because no one is going to stop him. There is no way the solution of letting the kids figure it out themselves helps the problem at all. It will just make it worse. Bullying is not good for the victim no matter how you slice it.
            There are much better ways of stopping bullying then simply letting the victim handle it by themselves.  One of the biggest anti-bullying techniques that is used far too little is the bystander. Children need social acceptance. This is evident because most of them go to great lengths to get it.  One of the techniques used is bullying others. They gain social acceptance by bringing someone else down. It’s often a public thing. So, bystanders need to get involved in bullying prevention. If schools can teach students to prevent other student from bullying at an early age, that will help the problem. If a student says something to another kid in passing that is hurtful, a bystander to that incident needs to step in and stop it. Kids care very much about what their peers think about them. If children in schools know that they will not gain popularity or support by verbally ripping someone apart or beating them up, they are far less likely to do it. Bullying other students gives the bully social power because other students will side with the bully to avoid being the victim themselves. However, if bystanders do not give the bully power by siding with him, the bully will have nothing to gain from being a bully.
Teachers also need to get involved. Teachers have more power in the school than any bully can have, so they need to do their part in stopping it. As it is, they aren’t. In his article, Greenya quotes Jaana Juvonen, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles “teachers intervene only about 10 percent of the time.” This is way too little and means that 90% of bullying cases have no interference at all. It is little wonder that it is so rampant. The bullies are fully aware that victims, bystanders, and even teachers are not going to stop them 90% of the time so, since no one is going to stop them, they have no reason to stop. There will be no consequences for them.
One can compare it to Hitler and Nazi Germany. Hitler took over Austria. No one stopped him. Other countries wanted to avoid conflict. He took over Czechoslovakia. No one stopped him. The Rhineland and the Sudetenland came next. No one stopped him. It took the invasion of Poland for people to care and that led to the single bloodiest conflict in human history. The point is that inaction on the part of stopping bullies will lead to the problem getting worse and worse. Eventually, it will get so bad that teachers and principals will have to intervene. By then, the problem has gotten so out of control that it will take much more effort to even begin to help the problem than if they had just intervened from the start. The longer people wait to start fixing the problem, the worse it is going to get and the harder it will be to get the whole thing under control. This isn’t just applicable on a case-by-case basis, but in the whole problem.
            Schools have already seen drastic consequences of not doing enough to prevent bullying. Repercussions have already gotten bad enough that blood is being shed. People need to look no further than in Littleton, Colorado on April 20th 1999. On that fateful day, two students of Columbine High School named Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris brought several guns and duffel bags filled with explosives, which luckily failed to detonate otherwise the casualties of the massacre would have been far worse, into the school and proceeded to massacre 12 fellow students and one teacher as well as injuring 21 more students. Journals written by the killers explain their motives. A Newsweek article by Susannah Meadows quotes one of Harris’ journal entries: “Everyone is always making fun of me because of how I look ... well I will get you all back. If people would give me more compliments, all of this might still be avoidable," he wrote. But he quickly realized it was useless: "Whatever I do people make fun of me, and sometimes directly to my face." Harris felt that massacring students who had teased him was the only way to stop all of this. It is apparent no one stopped bullying him and the result was one of the deadliest school massacres in history.
It isn’t like the Columbine High School massacre was the first school shooting or even the first major one. There have been other bloody school massacres but Columbine was the first school shooting that had bullying as the prime motive. However, it doesn’t even need to be bullies who are the targets in school shootings. When children go that berserk and start mass murdering like, Klebold and Harris, innocents get harmed too. It is highly unlikely that all of the kids who were shot bullied the two Columbine killers. Chances are a lot of the kids that the two of them shot didn’t even know the names of the kids who killed them much less had a hand in tormenting them. For another example, take the film Carrie. Throughout the whole movie she is tormented by her peers and it culminates at the prom where they drop a bucket of pig’s blood all over her. She goes nuts and kills everyone at the prom. The point is, she got bullied, like Klebold and Harris, past the point of insanity and innocent people paid the price for it. So, if bullying is not stopped, if it goes unchecked for too long, everyone suffers. It doesn’t matter if some people are not involved. Considering all of that, the ideas that ‘the kids need to handle it for themselves so teachers and parents need to stay out of it’ or ‘just ignore the bully and he’ll stop because he gets no reaction’ seems pretty silly. It may work if the bully is hurling a passing comment, but if the bully is dedicated to making the life of the victim miserable, which is the case more often than not, that will do nothing but give the bully an opening. If bullying goes on without interference for too long it gets out of control.
Knowing the consequences, schools need to come down harder on bullies. In Billitteri’s article he mentions Massachusetts bullying laws “The Massachusetts state law requires students from Kindergarten through 12th grade to take part in an anti-bullying curriculum each year. In addition…school staff members must report bullying to an administrator, and they must undergo annual training on bullying prevention and intervention… the law also requires principals to tell police if they believe ‘criminal charges may be pursued against a perpetrator.’ That sounds a lot better than “let the child handle it on their own. Don’t get the administrators involved.”    However, there are critics of the anti-bullying laws. Conservative Christian groups are against them. In Greenya’s article he says “legislation and anti-bullying programs that seek to reduce sexually oriented teasing are encountering strong opposition from conservative Christians, who claim they promote homosexuality and impinge on Christian students' freedom of speech.” So,  some Christian groups are fighting against laws that prohibit people from verbally harassing homosexuals because it inhibits their freedom of speech.  That would be like fighting an anti-hate crime law because people say that calling someone a vicious racial slur inhibits their freedom of speech. There is a fine line between free speech and hate spewing. Verbally abusing someone because of their sexual orientation, or for any reason for that matter, is hate spewing. As for promoting homosexuality, children aren’t going to look at an anti-bullying law and say to themselves “well, since it is illegal for someone to verbally harass me because of my beliefs or sexual orientation…I think I’ll become a homosexual now.” No, anti-bullying laws are good and they will help prevent bullying which in turn will help prevent incidents more like Columbine from happening.
            But a one-size-fits-all approach will not work. As with most things in life, there is not a single solution to this mess. Meyer says in her book “bullying and zero-tolerance policies tend to ignore the cultural and societal factors that lead to violence in schools.” (2). One-size-fits-all approaches do not get to the root of the problem, it is like cutting off the head of a weed. It will just keep growing back no matter how many times you cut off the head. Flannery has a similar view on this. She quotes Colby College professor Lyn Mikel Brown: “you really have to do this work with students,” Brown says. “Those programs don’t allow for messy, on-the-ground work of educating kids.” A blanket approach will not work. School districts need some serious anti-bullying laws to combat the problem.
            Bullying is a big problem. If authority figures will not interfere, students will continue to bully others to gain social acceptance from their peers especially if they know that teachers will not stop them. If kids are left alone to fend for themselves, or simply taught to ignore the bullies, they may eventually snap and begin harming those around them, or they may not; they may just attempt, or succeed in, killing themselves. That is not a better alternative. To truly prevent bullying, teachers need to intervene and, more importantly, bystanders need to step in as well and stop it. If the bullies have nothing to gain from bullying someone, they will not do it. As of right now, with little being done to stop them, they stand to gain at the very least social acceptance if they socially cannibalize other students. People need to step in to stop this. Society doesn’t want another Columbine. We do not want to be watching the news and suddenly a report comes on about how another middle schooler killed himself or brought a gun to school and killed fellow students as a violent reaction to being bullied. Bullying is not a problem that will go away if we ignore it. It will be around as long as society tolerates it, and as past events have proved the longer that people tolerate it or do not do enough about it, the worse the problem gets. Schools need to stop it now before it is too late.

Works Cited Page
Billitteri, T. J. (2010, December 10). Preventing bullying. CQ Researcher, 20, 1013-1036.
“Cyberbullying: A Growing Problem” Science Daily 2010. Feb. 22nd 2010.
Derbyshire, David. “Why it's not always bad to be bullied: Learning to fight back helps children mature, says study.” Dailymail U.K.  24 May. 2010
Flannery, Mary Ellen. “Counting on You” Tomorrow’s Teachers April 2011 P 18-21
Flannery, Mary Ellen. “Does it get better?” Neatoday January/February 2011 P 38-40.
Greenya, John “Bullying: Are the Schools doing enough to stop the problem?” CQ Researcher February 4th 2005 Vol. 15 Issue 5.
Meadows, Susannah. "Murder on Their Minds; The Columbine killers left a troubling trail of clues." Newsweek 17 July 2006: 28.
Myer, Elizabeth J. “Gender, Bullying, and Harassment” New York, Teacher’s College Press, 2009.
"Social Networking Sites Cannot Be Blamed for Bullying." Are Social Networking Sites Harmful? Ed. Stefan Kiesbye. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011.

Monday, June 27, 2011

My review of Jurassic Park

Spielberg had a record year in 1993. Schindler's List alone would make any director's year but then he had to go and release Jurassic Park too!? Simply amazing.

Acting/characters: The most high profile actor in this one is Academy Award winner Richard Attenborough. Jeff Goldblum was also a relatively high profile actor after The Fly. Sam Neil was well known for The Hunt for Red October. Laura Dern had done Blue Velvet before this one. so this movie had a relatively high profile cast. I think they did a good job. Not perfect but very good. They all embodied their characters very well. Yes even the kids. Now, normally I'm not a fan of child actors but the two in this movie were actually okay. I guess I hate child actors (especially in films like these) because they never have good characters and they're annoying. They are generally incapable of making even the slightest life-preserving actions. Here they do have traces of that but on the whole they are actually capable of helping themselves and as such they mostly aren't annoying. Mostly. The rest of the cast did a really good job and I enjoyed it. 9/10

Plot: I know that the T-Rex scene is the most famous one in the movie but I think that the Velociraptor scenes are far more suspenseful. With the Rex, you can hear it coming but with the raptors, they can be on you before you even know what happened. The kitchen scene is far more suspenseful than the first encounter with the T-Rex. Not to take anything away from the T-Rex attack of course. It's still as frightening as hell. The plot of the movie is different than the plot of the book. If I had to choose though, I would have to go with the movie. I just enjoyed it a lot more. It manages to get the right amount of suspense while still giving the audience an engaging and enjoyable story. It doesn't matter that most of the audience isn't going to know jack about the scientific and technological stuff. That's not the point of the film. I enjoyed it. 9.5/10

Screenplay: It does have elements of science and technological jargon that most won't know (genetic engineering and Chaos Theory!? Look man I just wanna see people get eaten bu a T-Rex), but like I said, that really isn't the focus. I enjoyed how a few vaguely humorous lines were put in the really tense scenes. It helped ease the tension of watching a Velociraptor stalk someone. It was very well done. Sometimes it gave the children too many lines which occasionally got irritating but if that's the worst thing it has about it, well it's a decent screenplay then. 9/10

Likableness: I officially announce this film as a classic. It will have a spot in the Library of Congress National Film Registry. It's just that good. The dinosaurs themselves still hold up today as really really awesome. The T-Rex and the Velociraptors especially. I would suggest this one to anyone who has not seen it (all five of you) as it is a truly great film. It has great suspenseful scenes, amazing effects, a great story, and some really good acting. I enjoyed it a lot. 10/10

Final score: 37.5/40 93% (N)
Tomatometer Score: 88%
Tomatometer Score if my review was added: 88%

TRIVIA TIME: 1. William Hurt and Harrison Ford were offered the role of Dr. Grant. Spielberg even considered Richard Dreyfuss. Sean Connery was considered for John Hammond. Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ally Sheedy, Geena Davis, Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Grey, Kelly McGillis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julia Roberts, Linda Hamilton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Joan Cusack, and Debra Winger were considered for the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler.

2. In Michael Crichton's novel, John Hammond proudly says that the narrator on the prerecorded park tour is Richard Kiley. Later, Kiley was hired to play himself in that role for the movie; possibly the first instance of a celebrity appearing in a book, and then later cast as him or herself in the film version. This feat was not repeated until 2009, when boxer Paolo Roberto played himself in the film version of Flickan som lekte med elden. He too was already previously featured as a character in the book.

3. The glass of water sitting on the dash of the Ford Explorer was made to ripple using a guitar string that was attached to the underside of the dash beneath the glass.

4. The full-sized animatron of the tyrannosaurus rex weighed about 13,000 to 15,000 pounds. During the shooting of the initial T-rex attack scene that took place in a downpour and was shot on a soundstage, the latex that covered the T-rex puppet absorbed great amounts of water, making it much heavier and harder to control. Technicians worked throughout the night with blow driers trying to dry the latex out. Eventually, they suspended a platform above the T-rex, out of camera range, to keep the water off it during filming.

5. To study the movement of the Gallimimus herd, the film's digital artists were ordered to run along a stretch of road with some obstacles, their hands next to their chest.

6. Fred Sorenson was the pilot who flew the crew off Kauai when the hurricane hit during production. He played Jock, the pilot who flew Indiana Jones away in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, also directed by Steven Spielberg.

7. In this film, Steven Spielberg directs the man who beat him to the Best Director Oscar in 1983 (Richard Attenborough, whose film Gandhi also beat Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial as Best Picture).

8. Steven Spielberg was so confident with this film that he started making his next film (Schindler's List), placing post-production in the hands of George Lucas.

9. Ariana Richards was upset by the fact that an action figure of her character was not produced. (Kenner only made dolls of Grant, Sattler, Muldoon, Nedry, Tim, and eventually Malcolm.)

10. The gun that game warden Muldoon uses is an Italian Franchi SPAS 12, a commonly used gun in films due to its aesthetic modern appearance.

11. The guest's encounter with the sick Triceratops ends without any clear explanation as to why the animal is sick. Michael Crichton's original novel and the screenplay, however, includes an explanation: the Stegosaur/Triceratops lacked suitable teeth for grinding food and so, like birds, would swallow rocks and use them as gizzard stones. In the digestive tract, these rocks would grind the food to aid in digestion. After six weeks, the rocks would become too smooth to be useful, and the animal would regurgitate them. When finding and eating new rocks to use, the animal would also swallow West Indian Lilac berries. The fact that the berries and stones are regurgitated explains why Ellie never finds traces of them in the animal's excrement.

12. Gerald R. Molen film's producer played Dr. Gerry Harding, the character who was out on the field with the sick triceratops.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My review of this season of The Next Food Network Star.

I watch a few cooking competition shows I admit it. It is limited to Top Chef, one of the various spin-offs of Top Chef and The Next Food Network Star. TNFNS has aired a few episodes for this season already so I will do a review blog on it and I will update it as each new episode airs.

These past two winners were the ones that I was really rooting for. I really liked Melissa D'Arabian and Aarti Sequaria. Aaron Macargo Jr. was also one that I was personally rooting for. So I hope this one goes well in terms of the winner.

Format of the show: In each episode, there are two parts: A camera challenge and a star challenge. During the camera challenge the contestants are given a challenge to make something good reflecting their culinary POV and present it to the camera. For example, last week's Camera Challenge was to take a Hershey's candy, make a dish out of it and present it to the camera and how it related to their POV in 60 seconds. A winner is chosen who often gets an advantage of some sort in the star challenge (like getting to pick something first) Then, they have a star challenge where they usually divide into teams and do a big challenge. For example, the last challenge was to split into teams of 6 and make desserts for a party of 150 people including the judges. Then a winner is selected and a loser is sent home.

The Judges:
Bobby Flay: This guy has the most experience out of any of the judges. He has around 7 Food Network shows and too many restaurants to count. As such, I find that many competitors are in awe of him. For a very good reason I admit. His standards are high but that is very fitting because you need to be the best to succeed in this show.

Bob Tuschman: Bob is one of the judges that is instrumental to impress. He is in charge of all of the programming on Food Network. he is pretty much as high as you can go in the Food Network hierarchy. As such, he also has very very high standards.

Susie Fogelson: the Senior Vice President of Marketing,  Creative and Brand Strategy. Another Food Network high ranker that needs to be impressed. I have to imagine that her and Bob are the ones you really need to impress. Yes you need to really really impress Bobby too, but he isn't in charge of marketing and programming. They are. Again, not to take away from Bobby. Like the rest of the judges, she has very high standards and expects those standards to be met.

Giada De Laurentiis: She acts as the mentor to the competitors. She is often the one who explains what the challenges are for the week. she helps them a long just a bit but in no way does she hold anyone's hand. She's still a tough judge to impress.

The Competitors:

Howie Drummond: Howie is a radio host for Alice 105.9. Being from Colorado I listen to the show a bit. I like Howie and I really wanted to see him succeed. His POV for the show seemed to be a good one: average Joe cooking. He could have added a very relatable element to The Food Network because he would have been relatable to a lot of people because he was just an average dude cooking. It could have been great. But his cooking unfortunately didn't match his radio talk show hosting skills and he was the first one booted off. It's really unfortunate. I was pulling for him.

Juba Kali: He seemed a nice enough guy. His POV was 'Food Made Simply' but unfortunately it took him too long to get his POV across. That coupled with him not doing well in front of the camera meant he was booted off of the show second.  He wasn't such a bad guy though. There are two parts to each show: A camera challenge and a star challenge. Normally a contestant is eliminated after both, meaning one per episode. Juba was eliminated after a camera challenge.

Katy Clark: She was a very nice person she just didn't do very well in front of the camera. The judges weren't incredibly pleased with her food either. However, she was passionate about it. Plus, and I love seeing this, she was eliminated but when she was eliminated she was incredibly gracious about it. I'm sure it was not fun to be eliminated but when the next thing you say to the judges after your elimination is "Well with a big smile I say thank you" with a big smile, it shows that she has character to spare. I really liked that.

Alicia Sanchez: From minute one she had problems. Not of her own doing even. Any cooking mistakes she made was her fault like the rest but she had some additional stress to deal with. From the very first second they met one of the competitors (who I will get to in a sec) decided that she would do her very very best to make Alicia's life miserable. No reason. This particular competitor pretty much hates everyone else but for whatever reason she targeted Alicia. Then to top it off, during the first camera challenge the judges said that they didn't like her accent (it's what they said but not what they meant at all) so, she had to do her next camera challenge believing that everyone hated her accent. Ultimately the judges kinda rescinded on that remark and as such she absolutely nailed her next camera challenge. She gave a good relatable personal experience. She made a dish with truffles on it and described a first date of hers where her date took her to a restaurant and put truffles on her dish. She then recalled that the date was a total jerk. She ended her story by saying the most brilliant burn I have ever heard on that show "I guess it does take a pig to find truffles" Burn. Ultimately her high levels of stress and lack of focus in the kitchen meant that she was eliminated. But I think the next person I will talk about had a little something to do with that. Not entirely mind you, but it didn't help.

Penny Davidi: Let's play a game of Never Have I Ever: Never Have I Ever seen a person on any TV show (keeping in mind I have not seen Jersey Shore thank God) that is so malicious, vindictive and just plain cruel. The worst part is is that if you ask her about her behavior she will almost see it as something to be proud of. She hated Alicia from minute one. I have no friggin' clue why. If her cooking wasn't good she would have been axed a long time ago. To be honest, if she had gone with her original POV of "cooking sexy" or something like that (basically, bringing sexy back to the kitchen) she's be gone or would be very soon). The judges basically told her that they thought it was a ridiculous idea (in not so many words). Since then her POV has been 'Middle Eastern Mama'. However, what she fails to realize is that she does not have a snowball's chance in Hell of winning. The judges know she is a jerk as does everyone who has seen the show. I can almost guarantee that her first few words in the next episode will deal with gloating that Alicia is gone. In fact, her first few words this episode were about how stupid it is to make friends on the show because you only get stabbed in the back. The ridiculous part is that she hasn't said a selflessly kind word to anyone yet. She will never get a show. Food Network watchers want to see hosts like Rachel Ray and Paula Deen. Someone who they would love to meet in real life because they come across as incredibly nice people. No one is going to watch the show of a self-proclaimed malicious jerk. I get the feeling that if I went over to her house for dinner she would make snide insults to my wife and kids (not that I have them yet) for no reason The minute she screws up badly she's gone. She's gotten to the point where it's plainly obvious that she is milking her jerkiness for all it's worth. She knows she will be a memorable person on the show  by being a jerk. The 'I'm only around because people love to hate me' thing will only last for so long. People will get annoyed when she isn't gone soon. I've seen 6 seasons of Food Network Star and I have never seen anyone like Penny and I still enjoyed the show a lot. You don't need a person like her to make a great show.

*update* Well, now she's gone. She had great food but tanked every camera challenge. I will say that I'm surprised to see her go this early. She still made great food. I fully expected Christ to get eliminated this week, but Penny over Jyll surprised me a lot. I'm not sorry to see her go and neither was anyone else judging by what they were all saying after she left. 

Vic 'Vegas' Moea: This is another guy who had a rough start. for the first two challenges he didn't put everything on the plate. You don't need to be genius to understand that is a bad thing. However in all fairness the second time was not his fault. It was just an unfortunate kitchen collision. However once he actually got food on the plate the judges were generally very pleased. He is doing better in front of the camera too. But I don't see him taking the whole thing. He could though. He is not out of it yet. You don't know who is going to get eliminated until it actually happens. This guy has some potential.
*Update* He got to the top 3. But he was just a little too weak in the very end. It's too bad. I would have loved to see him take the whole thing.

Whitney Chen: Is it just me or does she look a tad like Rachel Ray or someone like that? It's just me? Darn. I think she said she used to be an engineer. What a switch. I like her. She seems to have a nice personality. She did alright in one of the recent challenges to (and by that I mean she won). She has potential but not an incredible amount. However that's not to say that I don't like her and if she succeeds a lot in the next few weeks more power to her.

*Update* Yeah, she didn't do well enough. She was too inconsistent and didn't have the camera personality that she needed. I liked her well enough though.

Susie Jimenez: Her culinary POV is 'Latin with a flair'. It has potential but it, in theory, could be dangerous. Two other contestants are doing ethnic based shows and there are already others on the network such as Aarti Party. She needs to step up her game. With two 'ins' and a 'low' it isn't looking good. I don't expect her to last incredibly long on the show. But like I said with Vic, you're not out until the judges call your name. She could still surprise us. I just doubt it.

*Update* She got second which didn't surprise me too much. However, many runner-ups have gotten their own shows so don't count her out of the running yet. My bet is that she will eventually get her own show.

Orchid Paulmeier: In every reality cooking show like this, there is always one person who sets themselves above the group from the first challenge onwards. Orchid is that person here. With a pair of wins here and never having been on the chopping block, she has the most potential at the moment. As such Penny 'go-for-the-throat' Davidi tried to eliminate her the minute she got power. It didn't work and Katy got out instead. This is a tad of a tangent but I gotta say that it's not like I've never seen anyone try to get the frontrunners out before. But the malicious glee Penny has while doing it has set a new low for that behavior. Anyways, Orchid is easily one of the top people right now and her food combined with her ease in front of the camera mean that she will probably go very far.

*update* Well, she had a great start but crashed and burned. she just didn't have a dominant personality. Thus, she was eliminated in week 6.

Mary Beth Albright: She had a clunky start but she has a win under her belt meaning that she probably deserves to be there. It's still only week 4 though. She does okay in front of the camera but it needs a bit of work. She has potential, but she's going to have to pull ahead fast to stand out or impress me.

*Update* She had a great camera personality but she didn't deliver on her food well enough in the last few weeks. But she got very far so props to her there.

Jyll Everman: Right now (with the exception of a camera challenge win) she seems to just be there. While that may work for the beginning few episodes it certainly will not work soon. she needs to step up her game a lot. A camera challenge win means she has potential but I would like to see more of it. If she doesn't show it she will be gone soon.

*Update* Gone. If you say to the judges when they ask you what your POV is when you are in the final 6 and you have no idea you get the axe. she totally failed this week which was no surprise to me.

Justin Davis: His POV is 'Date Night' I love the idea. It would make for an excellent show if it was done right. However, he just seems to be there. He's done nothing major to catch my attention and his one win was a group win (not that there's anything wrong with that at all. A win is a win). he needs to step it up. By week 7 or 8, (maybe earlier) the pretenders will be gone.

*update* week 5 elimination. I am not surprised at all. He didn't strike me as someone who would go extremely far anyway.

Justin Balmes:  Well, he is gone now. His wooden personality in front of people on top of making the critical mistake of saying his food is bland before people even taste it means he got the boot. it's almost a pity, if he had had good food last week Penny might have been gone.

Jeff Mauro: With a pair of wins he's emerging as a potential star. With a sandwich based POV, it might take a bit of work to make that the best but if he can pull it off, he will do very well. He could make it to the top 7 or 8.

*update* He took the whole thing. He had a strong, and most importantly original, POV from week one and he took it all the way. I am not upset about this. He is a great guy and I am glad that he took the whole thing.

Chris Nirschel: He has a win (group effort) and a near loss. but everyone on the show will have their ups and downs. He's done nothing major to put him ahead of the others. he's just 'there' right now but I don't see him going too far.

*update* His immaturity and being uncomfortably over the top combined with him compulsively apologizing for food before the judges even tasted it meant that he is gone now. Plus, his 'balls' idea for the food truck competition was one of the worst I've ever heard.

Alrighty then. I will update this each week with my thoughts on the latest episode.

Monday, June 20, 2011

My review of the TV show 'Pushing Daisies'

This is a show that I got hooked on about a year ago and I only finished it recently. I feel that it is critically under-rated. Too few people have seen this. I think it may have suffered from Arrested Development Syndrome: it was just too smart for a lot of people. Which is really frustrating because there were a few story lines that they started that were incredibly interesting and if they had had more than 2 seasons they would have been really interesting but they didn't so we'll never know (unless the show gets renewed which I doubt but it would make my day). It is an amazing show.

The Characters:

Ned the Pie Maker: The protagonist of the series, the show centers around his special gift. He has the power to bring back people from the dead which he discovered when he revived his dog Digby after he was killed by a truck. However, if he touches the dead thing again it dies forever. If he keeps the dead thing alive for more than a minute, something else has to die next to it. Ned owns and runs a pie-based establishment called The Pie Hole which is fairly popular. Ned is awkward around people and only really feels safe around his girlfriend Chuck, and his friends Emerson Cod and Olive Snook. Due to his gift, he generally dislikes physical contact. I feel that he is an excellent protagonist and the stuff he gets into throughout the show as a result of his gift is really fun to watch. His awkward demeanor makes for some excellent scenes. If it were up to him he wouldn't have his power. He is perfectly content just making pies. Pies are his passion (and if the show is any indication, he is extremely good at making pies). He revived his mother after a brain aneurism which killed Chuck's father. His mother gave him a goodnight kiss which killer her again. A lot of time on the show is spent showing his back story which dealt with him being left at a boarding school by his father whom he never saw again except once in passing.

Charlotte 'Chuck' Charles: Chuck was the second thing that Ned brought back to life and kept alive. She was his childhood crush and he was hers. They lost touch and only came back together when he brought her back to life after she was murdered on a cruise ship. The first time Ned was aware that something else had to die when he brought something back to life for more than a minute was when his mother died of a brain aneurism and he brought her back to life. However, a minute later Chuck's father died as a result. In terms of personality, Chuck is the polar opposite of Ned. Her bubbly, happy-go-lucky personality is a stark contrast to Ned's awkward, shut-in personality.  it makes for some great scenes when she wants to go off and do something adventurous and Ned it unwilling. Of course since he brought her back to life, if he touches her she is dead forever and that makes for some interesting bits.

Emerson Cod: Emerson Cod is a private investigator. The show centers around someone who comes in wanting Cod to solve a murder. Cod is aware of Ned's gift after he accidentally saw it in action while chasing a suspect. So, Ned, Chuck, and Cod go to a morgue where Ned touches the murder victim and they question him/her for 60 seconds about their murder. They use that to solve the crime. even without Ned's gift, Cod is an above average P.I. With Ned's gift he is regarded as the best. Like the rest of the cast, his personality is unique. He is more sarcastic and pessimistic than the others but he has a definite soft side. He is driven by money ha makes from the cases and he splits it with Ned after they solve a murder. He has a daughter that he has been searching for for 7 years without success. In times of stress, he likes to knit. The best bits with Cod are when his personality clashes with Chuck's happy one. He rarely calls her Chuck, instead referring to her as 'dead girl.' Despite his personality he really does like Ned and Chuck.

Olive Snook: Olive works at the Pie Hole with Ned and Chuck. she has a hopeless crush on Ned which she doesn't hide at all but he rejects her advances. Olive is the only one of the four who doesn't know about Ned's gift but she is fully aware that they are keeping some large secret from her. due to the fact that she knows Chuck but Chuck is supposed to be dead, she believes that Chuck faked her death 'for some nefarious purpose.' She is generally left out of the loop when it comes to solving the crimes. However as the series progressed she was included more. She has a chipper personality but is often frustrated by Ned's refusal to include her in the big secret (because they believe she would spill the beans about it unintentionally) and his rejection of her advances. But she is still fiercely loyal to him. she likes Chuck a lot but is still jealous of the fact that Ned likes Chuck more than her.

The Narrator: The Narrator is an omniscient narrator of the show. Pretty self explanatory. He is a voice-over narrator as opposed to a physical one. Whenever the murderer and the motive is revealed, he always says "the facts were these." He is often the verbal communication of a character's feelings.

Vivian and Lily Charles: Chuck's aunts. They used to be a swimming duo called The Darling Mermaid Darlings before they retired. They don't know that Chuck is still alive and so Chuck has to hide whenever they see Ned. Ned sees them a lot and has pies delivered to their house often. They also have a good relationship with Olive. They rarely leave their house.Vivian is kind and caring and to an extent Lily is too, but she hides it under a cynical and sarcastic demeanor. It is enjoyable to see them interact with their starkly different personalities.

Plot: The plot structure of the show is pretty much the same: Emerson gets a visit from someone who needs help solving a murder, Emerson, Chuck, and Ned go to the morgue and interrogate the corpse for 60 seconds. They question several people involved and they eventually solve the case. There is also usually some back story to one or more of the characters.

I really like this show a lot and I am sad that it was cancelled after just two seasons. There are only 22 total episodes. The depressing part is that they seemed to be touching on some storylines that looked incredibly promising but since the show was cancelled they didn't do anything more. it seemed like a sudden cancellation too. But the 22 episodes that do exist are excellent. I personally would vote for it to be reinstated. I highly suggest this show to people. You can find the episodes on Netflix if you want. Check it out!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My review of the TV show Phineas and Ferb

My girlfriend got me into this show. I really enjoy it a lot. It is an animated show by Disney but I think it is way too smart to be just a kids show. It is smarter than Spongebob and Fairly Odd Parents and much less crass (nothing crass to be found here) than shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy. It is the perfect show to watch with your children. Adults will enjoy it just as much as children do.

The characters:

Phineas Flynn: One of the two protagonists of the show, Phineas is always trying to make the most out of summer with inventions to make the day more fun. And I'm not talking about little things, I'm talking about gigantic stuff such as a roller coaster, a rocket to Mars, giant mini-golf course etc. One of the things I like most about Phineas is that he has not animosity towards anything. He is merely a lighthearted, selfless, fun loving kid. He just tries to make the most of things with his step-brother Ferb. His selflessness an love for anything fun makes for some excellent episodes. we never do meet his biological father throughout the show but I know full well who he is...

Don't tell me they aren't related

Catchphrases: "Ferb, I know what we're going to do today!"
"Hey, where's Perry?"
*when asked if he is a little young to do something* "Yes, yes I am."
"Oh there you are Perry"

Ferb Fletcher: Phineas's step-brother. Ferb is pretty much silent and thus far has spoken about 50 lines in the entire series with most of them being about 6 or 7 words. His is the more mechanically inclined of the two and often builds more of the invention (but with Phineas doing it too still). He is British and as such speaks with a British accent. Like Phineas, he does what he does to make the most out of the day and he has no animosity towards anyone.  I think what I enjoy most about Ferb is that he's silent. It makes him communicating through actions more interesting.

Catchphrases: "Well actually..."
*When Phineas says they do what they do for fun* "And for the ladies."

Candice Flynn: Candice is one of the few people who actually sees Phineas and Ferb's inventions. she continually tries to 'bust' her brothers for it to her mother. However, each time her mother gets home, their inventions have been destroyed, cleaned up, or carried away by the battles of Dr. Doofenshmirtz and Perry something that leaves Candice utterly shocked and confused. As of now she has yet to bust them for real. When she does it is either a dream or time somehow gets erased. She spends most of her time with her best friend Stacy talking over the phone about how she wants to bust Phineas and Ferb and about her crush on one of the neighborhood boys, Jeremy. despite wanting to bust her brothers she truly does care for them. It isn't really explained why she is so devoted to busting them but occasionally she does like their inventions.

Catchphrases: "Ooh you are so busted"
"Stacy I gotta call you back"

Perry the Platypus: He is probably my favorite character in the show. He's a secret agent and he's a platypus. You can't really go wrong with that. Basically Perry is living with the Flynn-Fletcher family undercover as a mindless domestic pet seen here:

He generally gets a call from Major Monogram  (His boss) and enters his super secret lair by means of various hidden entrances throughout the house and the town as well. He then goes off to fight the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz. But in reality, the two of them are 'frenemies' they really couldn't live without each other and as a result, their scenes are the best in the show. Their fights clean up whatever inventions Phineas and Ferb make during the day. He really cares for the Flynn-Fletcher family and will often sleep on their beds at night switching off so as to not show favoritism. He's just a great character. I mean come on, he's a platypus secret agent.

Catchphrases: none really he doesn't talk but he does have a signature purr (or whatever you want to call it)

and he has a theme song


Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz: The 'evil' scientist of the show, He usually creates some 'inator' for the purpose of taking over 'the entire tri-state area!" yeah, not the world, the tri-state area. That's awesome and really really original. Most of his inventions center around some pet peeve or childhood experience he has. For example, he tries to destroy every lawn gnome in the entire tri-state area because his lawn gnome when he was younger was repossessed and he was forced by his father to dress up as a lawn gnome. He is from some country resembling Germany (He has a German accent) called Drudelstein and born in a town called Gimelschtump. His parents disliked him (Both failed to show up for his birth) preferring his younger brother Rodger. He is divorced and has a daughter named Vanessa who he really loves and he tries his best to be the best dad he can to her. He really likes Perry the Platypus (He never calls him just Perry. Only Perry the Platypus) and he relies on their fights and doesn't like it when they don't happen. I like him just because he's a really interesting character with a great backstory. he is hilarious to watch especially when fighting with Perry. He's my second favorite character on the show.

Catchphrases: "Ah Perry the Platypus, your timing is impeccable/unexpected and by
impeccable/unexpected I mean COMPLETELY PECCABLE/EXPECTED!"

"behold! the -inator!"
"Curse you Perry the Platypus!"

Minor Characters:

Isabella Garcia Shapiro- Phineas and Ferb's Mexican-Jewish friend. She has a total crush on Phineas, something he's totally unaware of despite her obvious attempts to show it. she leads a girl-scout-like troupe called the Fireside Girls who are constantly trying to earn patches.

Catchphrase: Hey Phineas, whatcha doooin'?

Buford Van Stomme: The resident bully who is friends with Phineas and Ferb. He isn't really that mean. His main target is a kid named Baljeet but they really like each other. They are rarely seen without the other around. Buford has a pet goldfish named Biff whom he is incredibly attached to.

Baljeet: Phineas and Ferb's Indian friend. He is constantly trying to do schoolwork and is worried about his grades. He is good friends with Buford but Buford is technically a bully to him.

Stacy Hirano: Candice's best friend. The two are usually found talking on the phone or hanging around in Candice's room. She is a little more level-headed than Candice and is usually giving her advice about Jeremy and her brothers. she really likes Phineas and Ferb and hangs out with them sometimes.

Jeremy Johnson: Candice's crush. She doesn't really know that her love for him is reciprocated. Jeremy has an evil little sister but he doesn't know that she is evil. He is usually found working at a local Mr. Slushee Dog (a local hotdog fast-food joint). Like most of the characters, he really likes Phineas and Ferb.

Vanessa Doofenshmirtz: Dr. Doofenshmirtz's daughter. she is often annoyed by her dad and is constantly trying to tell her mother that Doofenshmirtz is evil but with no results. Doofenshmirtz is constantly trying to tell her that she is evil and she occasionally shows signs that she is. Ferb has had a crush on her since he first saw her but she is largely unaware of it.

Lawrence and Linda Flynn Fletcher: Phineas, Ferb, and Candice's parents. Linda is Phineas and Candice's mother and Lawrence is Ferb's father.  Candice is constantly trying to bust her brothers to her mother but it always fails. Lawrence has seen some of their inventions but doesn't think anything of it since he thinks that Linda knows about it and is okay with it. Linda was a pop star in her youth named Lindana. She once dated Doofenshmirtz and jokingly said that instead of trying to take over the world, he should start with the tri-state area. Lawrence deals with antiques for a living.

Major Monogram and Carl the Intern: Major Monogram is the head of the organization that employs Perry as a secret agent: OWCA (organization Without a Cool Acronym). Carl is an intern for the organization. Every day, Major Monogram sends Parry out on a mission to stop Doofenshmirtz. The two characters have excellent chemistry and it makes for some great moments.

Plot: The structure of each episode is pretty much the same each time: Phineas and Ferb are bored and they create an invention to have fun for the day. Candice sees it and tries to bust them. Meanwhile, Perry is sent on a mission to fight Doofenshmirtz who is using his latest -inator to take over the tri-state area. The -inator is accidentally fired and cleans up whatever invention Phineas and Ferb have for the day just before their mother gets home which baffles Candice. despite the repetition of the structure, the episodes are incredibly entertaining and I enjoyed all of them. I highly suggest this show. it is good for all ages. There is nothing in this show that would bring it anywhere near even PG. It is incredibly fun. But don't take my word for it, watch one yourself:



Monday, June 6, 2011

My review of Wyvern

Acting/characters: Why is is that on average, a horror film has 1.5 smart characters in it? I have seen enough to know that 1.5 is the maximum amount of intelligent characters per horror film. So imagine my surprise when I find 5 or 6 whole intelligent people in this movie. Holey shamoley that's more than all of the Friday the 13th films combined! The acting was all it needed to be for this film. It's a cheap B-movie and that's all it's aiming for. actually, from what I've seen of the average B-movie, the acting in this is better. It was pretty decent actually. Not perfect but alright. 7/10

Plot: It's pretty simple and i have to imagine that it's par for the course with a film like this: Mythical creature terrorizes a small town in a secluded spot and the remaining townspeople have to figure out how to stop it. That's as complex as it gets. They do throw in one small storyline to give one of the characters (but no one else gets it) a bit of back story but they only talk about it for 5 minutes total. They could have dropped it and the film would have been the same. It was pretty simple. 7/10

Screenplay: It had its funny lines actually and I found myself laughing occasionally. But I don't think they spent a lot of time on it but who cares. They didn't. All we care about in this instance is that a Wyvern is attacking a town. a screenplay for a story like that is incidental. For what it was though, it was decent enough. 6.5/10

Likableness: I enjoyed it and I certainly wasn't bored at all. It had everything a good B-movie needs to have and it wasn't going for anything else. It was a decent little film and if I was forced to watch it again, it would be no punishment for me. If you're looking for a cheesy film with a few good laughs and an a slightly engaging story, this is the one for you. 7.5/10

Final score: 28/40 70% (D)
Tomatometer Rating: N/A
Tomatometer rating if m review was added: Technically 100% but they don't give an official rating until there are 5 reviews.

No trivia found for this one. Sad day.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

4 crucial bible verses that some people seem to routinely forget.

Now this may just be the media twisting things (you know, like they do) but I have heard a lot of stereotyping of Christians so I decided to do this blog on the top 5 verses that a few (certainly not, and probably not even close to, all) people seem to forget (in no particular order). I'll probably add more as I think them up.Now I must be clear here, I am not trying to stereotype anybody here. If nothing else, think of this as verses to life your life by (if everyone did this world would be awesome)

1. Matthew 7 verse 1: "Judge not lest ye be judged.

Of all of the ones that people should remember (Christian or not) it should be this one. Now am I breaking this verse by even writing this blog? I hope not it's not what I'm intending to do. Just saying. But I mean really, we all are total sinners so why on Earth do we think that we have any right to judge others for their sins. Only Jesus can do that and last I checked, Jesus hasn't made his second coming yet.

Yes this sign was clearly made by Jesus, one of the most tolerant and loving persons who ever lived. This is pretty hateful to have come from him

This verse directly connects with...

2. James 2 verse 10: For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

This one directly connects with the first one. This is basically saying that no one sin is greater than another. Ever sin is equally bad in God's eyes. So, anybody who thinks that Homosexuality is a sin (and I know this is touchy but it is) needs to remember that in God's eyes, it isn't better or worse than say, lying or gossip. So readers, the next time you  want to bash someone for being homosexual, remember that you aren't better than that person.

God also doesn't like judgmental people who ignore a lot of his basic teachings, such as loving your neighbor.

3. Matthew 24 verse 36: No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

I'd like to show you some images if you don't mind.

I could go on, but the verse specifically says that no one is going to know until it happens. So, if I were you, I would join the "day after December 21 2012" Facebook group. If Jesus doesn't know when it's coming, some dude looking for codes in the Bible about the end times certainly isn't going to figure it out.

4. Romans 3 verse 23: For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. You'd think this would be easy to remember but it doesn't seem to be. Those hateful people out there in the pictures above need to remember this one.