A Singer’s Love for Baseball

nick_baseballWe know Nick Lachey for his stunning blue eyes and amazing vocals worthy of any crooner. We were delighted when he was married to the charming Jessica Simpson and when they were featured together in the MTV reality series Newlyweds. We have all Newlyweds episodes here! We also supported him with our whole hearts when their show (and marriage) ended in 2005.

We’ve continued to follow him and rejoiced with him as he found true love with Vanessa Minnillo. Now with an adorable three-year old son Camden and a daughter on the way, we couldn’t be happier for our guy Nick.

Though we know much about Nick Lachey’s love life, we might not be as familiar with his other personal interests. We probably don’t know that Nick Lachey is also a big fan of the American past time. He loved the game so much in fact, that in 2006, he bought a third of the Tacoma Rainiers franchise. The baseball team is the farm team and the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The history of this baseball team is chronicled in this page.

Nick grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was a fan of the home team the Cincinnati Reds, which he failed to purchase. It wasn’t without attempt though –he tried to buy it when it came for sale six years earlier, but he wasn’t fortunate enough to seal the deal. However, the experience did ignite his interest to be involved in owning a team.

It’s no secret that Nick is passionate in entertainment, but the field of sports is clearly his other passion as well. Though he regrets not being a local owner and having the opportunity to be at every game, he does take time to really be invested emotionally and see things not just from a business perspective, but a fan’s point of view as well.

Even his friends talk highly of his love for the game. The devoted sports fan continues to give his support day in and day out to the team. Nick saw the many opportunities in baseball, with all its different leagues, and have enjoyed being involved in the game, even if it isn’t at the major league level. Although sports will never fully be the complete focus of Nick’s life, it does give him joy to practice his passion in a way that he enjoys.

The Tacoma Rainers are still playing as part of the Pacific Coast League, with their mascot Rhubarb the Reindeer at their ballpark, the Cherry Stadium. For more information about their games, you can always go visit their official website and get updates on their game schedule. If you find the play venues quite a distance away, bringing along your Tires Plus card will ensure that the journey will be safe and comfortable. Print out some Tires Plus coupons from this site to use with your card.

Interestingly enough, this sports enthusiast doesn’t only own a baseball team. He’s also part owner of the Hollywood Fame, a member team in the American Basketball Association based in Los Angeles, California. The team began playing in the fall of 2006 until the 2007 season, but is no longer a part of ABA.

And if owning his teams weren’t enough, he has also released a song called “Last One Standing”, which was written specifically for the NCAA’s Big East Conference basketball championship. His love for sports is certainly evident –even enough for him to sing about them.

On Pop Culture and Dolls

girls and dollsKids in the fifties played with different toys than the kids of this decade. Yoyo first became popular in America in the 1920s, along with bird whistlers and train sets. Mr. Potato Head and matchbox cars were popular in the 50s, GI Joe action figures in the 60s, and Game Boys started to become popular in the 80s. Sense a pattern? Just like books and movies, toys also reflect the current times.

With the rise of game consoles after Game Boys, young children have started to play with technological devices earlier on. Game consoles such as the Sony PlayStation series and the Nintendo Wii are popular toys for children. Phones and tablets like this newly-released Vtech InnoTab are portable games as well, used to placate any bored child.

But throughout all the changes in toys, most girls continue to play with dolls. Though the dolls have looked different over the years, it’s touching to know that some things never change. In a world where technology has become so advanced, dolls still hold a special place in our daughters’ hearts. Here’s why:

 

  1. She learns to move by herself

Dolls offer opportunities to develop cognitive and motor skills. As children tend to copy what the adults do (more than listen to what they say), parents will find that children develop self-help skills when they practice it on another object – in this case, the doll.

When your daughter acts like the doll is her own child, she repeats the actions she sees you do. It leads to the further development of her cognition. When she dresses, feeds, and cleans the doll, she is applying the technique while simultaneously learning it.And that’s a good thing. After all, if you ask any teacher, they’ll say that the best way to learn about something is to apply it.

 

  1. She starts learning about language

An anatomically correct doll can be helpful when teaching your child proper language. Words for body parts can be easily taught when you can point out to both her body and the doll’s. Your daughter will learn to express basic concepts and feelings when she starts talking about the child as a baby.

Your child will also feel that she is the parent of the doll, or the authority to be followed. So, she won’t speak to the doll in baby talk, but rather, how she envisions an adult would. That will practice her language skills and help improve them.

 

  1. She connects with the doll

This connection is important because it practices her for other human interaction. She tells herself she becomes responsible for the doll, so she starts to care for it. You can use playtime with dolls as a gauge (and rehearsal) to prepare her for her sibling.

By playing with her doll, she re-enacts life as she sees it happen. This helps widen her perspective and understand everyday concepts. While other toys can give the same lessons, dolls will offer children a unique experience of caring for something that looks almost human.

 

Each generation have different toys to play with, but somehow, dolls have stood the test of time. So this holiday season, give your daughter the gift of learning with the dolls you can buy with your American Girl Promo Code available in this website. Do not forget to get some of these doll accessories. It truly shows that though technology helps us in many ways, sometimes the tried and tested methods last because they work.

5 TV Channels For Kaiju Fanatics

kaiju tv channelThe Kaiju entertainment genre is a staple in Japanese pop culture, and its popularity has expanded to the western audience. This article shows how in the US alone, the most famous kaiju, Godzilla, has made its presence in the popular culture. However, American fans of kaiju films and television programs have often had a hard time satisfying their fix because offerings on TV were limited, partly due to the company Toho, owner of licensing rights to the famous Godzilla, being overly aggressive about its intellectual property, as discussed in this website. Nowadays, with the popularity of Internet streaming and the growing number of Web-based kaiju channels, it has become convenient for kaiju fans to keep up with the new films in this niche.

If you are a Comcast subscriber, you have the advantage of having more movie channels in your line-up to choose from. This means you can enjoy movie choices across various genres including kaiju, many of which may not be as popular or mainstream yet. Kaiju films, of course, have recently made their big debut in American entertainment via big budget productions like Godzilla and Pacific Rim. For the long-time kaiju fans, however, the authentic kaiju films are still the better option.

Among cable channels that are available to most Comcast subscribers in the United States, you can usually catch kaiju films and TV adaptations here:

  • The SyFy channel has long been known for airing hard-to-find cult favorites that you may not see on most other movie channels. In fact, in 2013, Bryan Singer’s Bad Hat Harry Productions developed a 90-minute pilot entitled Creature At Bay, revolving around a humongous Kaiju monster off the California coast. SyFy also regularly airs classic kaiju films during its late night programming blocks.
  • If Americanized and mainstream kaiju adaptations are more your thing, you will find plenty of these films on HBO, including the blockbuster Pacific Rim and the Godzilla movies. HBO is easily the most popular movie channel on cable, and its numerous platforms such as HBO Family, HBO Signature, and HBO Hits provide top-notch movie entertainment to viewers.
  • This cable and satellite channel has also become a destination for animation lovers, especially those who are looking for classic kaiju animated films. You might be able to come across a classic kaiju film on the late night block of G4, or you can also check out more recent offerings such as Kaiju Big Battel.
  • Sony Movie Channel. A few years ago, Sony Movie Channel featured a Godzilla Smash-a-thon, showing Godzilla and Mothra movies throughout a one-month period. You can still catch Godzilla and Mothra films on Sony Movie Channel every once in a while, or you can check out the on-demand listings to see if there are any currently available.
  • Cartoon Network. The popular network is geared towards younger audiences most of the day, but has been targeting older audiences in its late night programming schedule. If you monitor the listings, you might be able to catch some old kaiju animated films on Cartoon Network, or check out their on-demand listings as well.

Of course, aside from cable channels, you can also search the Internet for various websites that are dedicated to the kaiju entertainment genre. YouTube channels for kaiju lovers are quite plentiful, so all you need to do to enjoy your favorites is to have reliable and stable high-speed Internet connection, and you can stream the content to your computer or mobile device.

Make sure to check out the TV listings online so you are aware of any kaiju films being shown on your favorite movie channels. If you are experiencing cable connection problems, call the Comcast number provided here for immediate assistance.

10 of The Best Kaiju Movies Ever

kaijumovies1With the release of the iconic movie Godzilla earlier this year, the clamor for kaiju movies has been raised once again. Kaiju, a Japanese word with the literal translation for “giant beasts” have been the term used to refer to movies that have giant monsters as part of its main characters. Some kaiju have been one of the good guys and some of them have been the villains terrorizing defenseless humans, and some like Godzilla have played both roles.

Though the particular movie genre originated from Japan, usually with the monsters either attacking Japan or fighting another equally frightening beast, kaiju movies have now reached worldwide audiences. Moviemakers around the world have embraced the genre and have done their own version of these beasts, whose range of origins and physical appearance vary as far as the imagination goes. Here’s a list of top ten movies that have been influential worldwide:

 

  1. Godzilla

Obviously the 1954 classic by Ishiro Honda will top the list for being the original, and most arguably the best. One of the legendary movies about the horrors of nuclear war, this movie has made its mark on all kaiju movies with the monster’s dark and terrifying rampage around Tokyo.

  1. Pacific Rim

The ultimate robot versus monsters modern movie had been received positively around the world. Set in 2020, the plot revolves around gigantic mecha having to battle monsters from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Its superb effects and fight scenes really make it worth the 132 minutes you’re going to watch it.

  1. Cloverfield

The thing about Cloverfield is that at the start of the movie you don’t expect it to be about gigantic monsters. It’s not set in another world or in another time so it adds to the terrifying effect. The found footage that follows young New Yorkers on the night that a huge creature appears out of nowhere and attacks the city is enough to give you chills at night, yet that also makes it enjoyable to watch.

  1. Jurassic Park

Discovering that dinosaurs still existed and that they eat human beings on a regular basis made the United States the king of kaiju movies at the time of release. Steven Spielberg’s legendary creation was the first American science fiction adventure film. With the stunning visual effects and cinematography, it became the highest grossing film worldwide at the time.

  1. King Kong

Both the 1933 classic and the 2005 remake are definitely worth watching. Romantics will feel for the huge gorilla seemingly in love with the lady character, while die-hard action fans will love the chase and excitement of every other part of the movie.

  1. Gamera Trilogy

All three Gamera films are worth seeing for any kaiju fan. The 1995 original has been highly praised for its darker and more mature tones, as well as the groundbreaking special effects.

  1. Troll Hunter

This Norwegian film about discovering the existence of trolls has top-notch visual effects and cinematography. Add that to fun storyline and you have a hundred minutes worth of awesome.

  1. Mothra

This gigantic garden moth is the second most popular kaiju character, next only to Godzilla. One of the few kaiju monsters considered to be female, she appeared in seven movies with Godzilla and even has a trilogy of her own.

9.  Pulgasari

If this movie being produced by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il doesn’t cut it out for you, either it being set in feudal Korea, or Kim kidnapping the director and lead actress, or the plot being about communism probably will.

BeFunky_kaijumovies2.jpg10. Destroy All Monsters

This 1968 Japanese sci-fi film, the ninth in the Godzilla series was produced a year later in the United States. The final battle scene is one you won’t want to miss.

 

Kaiju movies have not always been successful. After all, just having giant monsters in your movie does not always equate to blockbuster success. You need special effects and at least a decent plot to get your audiences going. So to find out which movies are worth watching, you can either do your research online or get the phone number of Charter Cable customer service here so you can call them for assistance. They will not only provide you with a list of movies to watch, but will happily assist you in finding the channels where these movies will play.

Kaiju’s Got the Pop!

They are everywhere. Kaijus are no longer limited just to Japan, their stronghold is spreading all over the world. These giant beasts have found their ways to get into our daily lives. From television shows, movies and video games to merchandises like clothes and toys, Kaiju has invaded the Popular Culture.

BeFunky_versus.jpg

Kaiju had its first big screen break way back in 1933 in the form of King Kong. However, World War II obscured King Kong’s rise to fame. Years after, in 1954, a movie was made depicting a prehistoric monster named Godzilla who was resurrected and started attacking Japan. This was followed by many adaptations of Godzilla, with new twists. Godzilla’s reputation spread to the western part of the globe and Americans started their own turbulent relationship with Kaiju. These monsters had their own share of Hollywood fame as Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures joined Daiei Film and Kadokawa Pictures in creating Kaiju films. Some of the Hollywood Kaiju films are Godzilla, Pacific Rim, King Kong, Cloverfield and Clash of the Titans.

Comics is one effective medium that helped spread the Kaiju craze with titles like Enormous and Gamera: Guardian of the Universe. BeFunky_ultramanvskaiju.jpgThe world of television wasn’t able to escape the grip of Kaiju. Many TV channels joined the Kaiju craze and started showing Kaiju-themed programs. In these programs, gigantic robots assumed the role of heroes. The robots are driven or operated by humans as they battle the Kaijus. Ultraman, Super Sentai, Power Rangers and Godzilla: The Series are just a few of these TV shows. Kaijus also made gues appearances on popular TV shows like The Simpsons, Courage the Cowardly Dog and South Park where MechaStreisand, a giant and monstrous version of Barbara Streisand, attacked South Park.

Not surprisingly, the invasion extended to the addictive world of video games. Some of the most popular Kaiju-themed video games are Godzilla, King of the Monsters, Colossal Kaiju Combat, and Rampage. The players face these giant beasts and they have to prevent them from destroying the city and finally terminate them. As with any video game, the players are fueled by their desire to defeat such an impossible foe.

A kaiju would be the last thing to come to mind when you think of something child-friendly, but surprisingly Kaijus made it to the world of toys. Kaiju action figures comes in ultra-deluxe packaging and are usually expensive. These action figures became collectibles along with trading cards and board games which are highly valued by Kaiju aficionados. You wouldn’t think of them as cute but these kaijus became such an overload of cuteness as stuffed toys were made in their images. This seems to be the ultimate proof of just how crazy we are of Kaiju that we disregard their destructive nature and focus on their unlikely charm that appeals to children. BeFunky_merchandise.jpg The Kaiju craze is here to stay and there is nothing that suggests that it might end soon.  These beasts may only exists in our imagination, which we have to be grateful for, but we have developed such fondness for the idea of Kaiju existence to the point that we can no longer deny its influence on our lifestyle.

KAIJU WHAT? A Beginner’s Guide to Kaiju

You’ve probably seen them, or at least a few of them. It is impossible not to because of their size and attitude. They have their own movies and TV shows and of course they have their own line of clothing and toys and their own annual event. The name given to their kind is a Japanese word which refers to a strange beast, but that is an understatement for this titanic, aggressively destructive monsters.

BeFunky_godzilla_star.jpgKaijus usually look like insects, reptiles and other animals and sometimes mythological creatures, of course with the size being multiplied hundred times over. They exist either in a different planet or a dimension different than ours, and are able to enter the human world thru a black hole or a portal at the bottom of the ocean. As for Godzilla, the most popular and only Kaiju who has a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, it lives in our world during the prehistoric era and was sleeping until a nuclear test woke him up. Once a kaiju is able to enter our world, instant destruction happens. It wildly tramples, chews, eats, tears and attacks with all its might everything on its way. When the level of destruction reaches the critical point, the hero, usually a giant robot with a human driver or operator, enters the scenenand stops the kaiju.

There exists a categorical classification of Kaijus according to their power and destructive ability. This was first presented in the movie Pacific Rim. A Kaiju would be classified as Category 1 if it is one of the weakest type and can easily be defeated. Category 2 Kaijus are, of course, more powerful than Category 1. Category 3 Kaijus poses a significant threat. In the movie, the shark-like kaiju named Knifehead is categorized as belonging to this category. Category 4 are too powerful to be defeated by only one Jaeger or any single hero, thereby requiring a team effort. The massive and muscular reptile looking Leatherback belongs to category 4. Category 5 is the highest and kaijus, like Slattern, belonging to this class are insanely powerful and extremely resistant to attacks.

BeFunky_categories.jpgAside from the overly famous Godzilla, some of the other famous kaijus include Rodan, a flying mutated prehistoric reptile that was once a mortal enemy of Godzilla. Gamera who resembles a turtle and can breathe fire and fly, also belong to the list of elite kaijus. King Ghidorah who is a three-headed flying dragon is also worth mentioning along with the colorful giant moth named Mothra.

BeFunky_bigbattel.jpgThere is no exact number of how many Kaijus there are, probably thousands, but one thing is for sure, there will be no shortage of Kaijus waiting impatiently to completely destroy the human race. Kaiju Big Battel is an annual monster wrestling event for humans dressed as kaiju characters. It is a parody of both professional wrestling and the Kaiju genre films of Japan. Participants in these sanctioned battles are grouped into five teams. These teams are The Heroes, Dr. Cube’s Posse, Team Space Bug, The Rogues and the Human Co-Stars and The Graveyard.

Of Love and Monsters: Probing the Psychology of our Strange Fascination with Kaiju

Is it in man’s nature to be unable to resist loving those who destroy him?

This is about love and destruction. But if you’re looking to read about conventional romantic relationships, go and search for it on a different blog. This post has nothing to with that, but it has everything to do with an unconventional endearment, an unusual fondness, a strange fascination. It has everything to do with humans and has everything to do with Kaiju.

BeFunky_null_5.jpgKaiju is a strange monster who comes to wreak havoc on humans and flatten cities with its monstrous size, power and appetite for aggression without any discrimination and for reasons not fully known. After reading that description of Kaiju, you must be thinking, “Why in the world of monsters are you using words like endearment, fondness and love?” Yes, I hear you loud and clear. But no, I am not mistaken. I am really using those affectionate words and I am talking about monsters, serious monsters.

As the name implies, Kaiju originated in Japan but just as Anime and Manga have become major fixtures in Pop culture, people all over the world became acquainted with Kaijus and the whole TV and movie genre which involved these gigantic beasts. For many of us, our childhood was filled with Kaijus. We grew up watching tv series like Ultraman, Super Sentai and Power Rangers and pleaded too many times to our parents to buy us Kaiju action figures. In the internet world, many websites are solely dedicated to Kaiju characters and there is no shortage of merchants selling Kaiju merchandises online.

But why? Why are we so fond of Kaiju? Why do we have such fondness with fictional creatures that represent the ultimate threat to our existence?

BeFunky_atom-bomb-explosion.jpgTo answer this question, it would be smart to begin with Kaiju’s place of origin — Japan. Kaiju first appeared in the movie Godzilla in 1954, a time when memories of the horrible experience of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Nuclear bombings are still uncomfortably fresh. Seeing everything from a socio-historical perspective of the Japanese people, Kaiju creatures were probably their way of dealing with what happened. The giant beasts, much like the nuclear bombings, cause destruction of almost unimaginable expanse. Like the bombings, Godzilla seemed to have come out of nowhere and without warning, flattened cities and killed many people. Creating Kaiju characters is probably the only way that the Japanese people can come to terms with the magnitude of the loss and destruction they suffered without inciting any further conflict.

BeFunky_hydra_kaiju.jpgBut many fans of the Kaiju genre would probably bring forth the argument that gigantic monstrous characters have already existed in the form of Hydra, Chimera, Cronus and many more in Greek mythology, and that was way before Godzilla appeared. This is a valid and excellent observation and it makes us think that Kaiju is rooted as well on things other than the Japanese historical experience. So probably our fascination with these giant beasts is actually more universal than cultural.

Stories which involve Kaiju characters seem to follow a general plot and usually set in an urban area. The story will reach a climax when the monster comes and crush, scorch or eat everything he sees until the hero comes and fight the kaiju and either drive it away or kill it with his laser-equipped weapon. The same plot resembles the human race experience and Kaiju characters, the manner which they come out and destroy, are much like the natural or huge man-made disasters. The setting is always a city because it is where everything happens and where the human race has created and build things, and where there is the biggest potential for destruction. Probably it is our collective subconscious desire for retribution, redemption and deliverance. Our worries about our own mortality and the temporariness of everything manifest themselves. Our subconscious guilt for replacing the natural environment with man-made cities manifests in our penchant to see a Kaiju destroying a city. However, in the end we still desire forgiveness and being saved from ultimate demise and that is why we need Ultraman or the Power Rangers to stop the Kaiju.

BeFunky_kaijuvsjaeger.jpgAs our level of understanding and awareness of our own existence increase, we also now see Kaiju characters having more moral and psychological depth. They are now getting more human characteristics like guilt and the capacity to transform from being the ultimate bad guy to a good guy.

Our fondness for these monstrous agents of destruction are rooted in our experience, may it be cultural or universal as a human race. It speaks of our guilt, fears, desires, morals and dreams. However horrible and terrifying the Kaiju characters are, they are a part of the human experience, and that explains our unusual interest.

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