Interstellar: Going Beyond Your Imagination

Interstellar

 

Yesterday I went to go see Interstellar, and I was blown away. Director, Christopher Nolan, displayed science beautifully in this film. Sure some of the science was a bit off, but as he told the Hollywood Reporter–the science in the film is supposed to be based on speculation. Now aside from that, I kept thinking to myself while watching the film ‘we are supposed to keep pushing the boundaries.’ If we are to achieve anything in life, we must push past our limits and find a way (whatever it may be that you’re trying to achieve). It is how we (humans) have evolved throughout the years. With a thirst for knowledge and drive/motivation, anything is within reach. I encourage you to go out and experience this film for yourself. You may like it (or not), but you’ll come away thinking about how far we can push the envelope.

Why I’m Turning Into A Marvel Fan Boy

Marvel Comics

 

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been a DC Comics fan. Maybe it was due to Batman: The Animated Series or my obsession with Batman and Superman as a child. Even my mom made me a Batman cape (with an attached cowl) and add Michael Keaton’s awesome version of Batman, I was in DC heaven. That’s not to say that I didn’t like Marvel Comics at all (I just didn’t know any better at the time) it was the fact that DC dominated the landscape when I was a kid, and Marvel really didn’t fare too well in the cartoon world, which was key for me since I was only a kid.

 

Enter adulthood. After being blown away by Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, I was sure to be loyal to DC for life (or so I thought). You see, I have a talented brother, who happens to be one hell of an artist. He gives me insight on the comic world, and all the behind the scenes stuff that the regular fan would not know about. In a nutshell, he basically told me that Marvel knows what they’re doing, while DC is clueless and trying to play catch up with the recent box office success of Marvel films. I can still remember walking out of the theater after seeing Iron Man, and being excited about a possible future with comic book movies taking over Hollywood. Sure enough, my prediction would be correct and now we’re into what Marvel would call “phase two” of their movie franchises.

 

Although I will always be a supporter of DC, I like what Marvel is doing and the turning point for me, was when I watched Thor: The Dark World. While I enjoyed the filmed, it dawned on me that this is what it’s all about: engaging the fans and intertwining the Marvel Universe with all of their properties ( i.e., comics, movies, and TV shows). No longer could I deny Marvel’s brilliant strategy and ingenuity, which brings me to the point where I am right now: a Marvel fan boy. It’s amazing how far Marvel has come in such a short amount of time. Back in 1996, Marvel filed for bankruptcy and the comic world was dying out. Fast forward to today, and both the comic world and the comic book films are booming. Maybe I didn’t appreciate what was happening over the last few years, but I am very grateful for Marvel’s dedication and passion to bringing iconic comic book characters to life, and the creative vision they have for the present and future.

 

With Captain America: The Winter Soldier doing great at the box office, and plans for Captain America 3 to go head to head with Batman Vs. Superman, Marvel has my vote of confidence that they will continue to dominate the comic book industry, box office, and television. This is a very exciting time right now for comic book fans, and even though Marvel has plans laid out for the future, it’s important to appreciate what is happening right now, and to revel in the success of Marvel and the spectacular people who work very hard to turn someone like me—into a fan boy.

Grand Theft Auto: Why is it so successful?

GTAV

 

The video game industry has enjoyed a lot of success in recent years, but one game has stood out from the rest. No, it’s not Call Of Duty, Halo, or Madden. Grand Theft Auto has spawned controversy, and yet at the same time, has had people who can’t get enough of it. Being a “gamer” myself, I wanted to know: why is it so successful?

 

Answering that question may seem easy, but I can assure you—it’s not. People might say it’s successful because of the violence—and that may be true to some extent, but again, that’s not the core reason why it’s so successful. After thinking about it, and gathering information—I have come to a conclusion: freedom. Let me explain further, and give you exact details of why assessment rings true in the gaming world. GTA (Grand Theft Auto) enables the player to have complete freedom in the game. Typically in a game, you have a mission that you must complete in order to advance further in the game. In GTA, you are not forced to complete the main missions, and that in itself is what makes the game successful. And of course, the realism in the game plays a big factor in the success of the game. During the course of playing the game—you can do the following: steal vehicles, play golf, fly a plane, buy property, customize vehicles, etc. The possibilities  literally endless of what you can do in the game.

 

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Contrary to the media talking about the violence of GTA, I am here to tell you that gamers are not interested in just pure violence. Again, it’s the freedom factor, not the violence gamers are after. Gamers like to have choices in what they’re doing in a game, and GTA goes above and beyond in that department.

 

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Playing a GTA game is so different from other games on the market. You get to choose what type of person you want to be, how far you are willing to take things, and most of all: the decisions you will have to make. GTA does a great job of blending in realism, and getting you to make a multitude of decisions. Granted, there are instances where people will choose to act silly in the game, and make bad decisions. But again, it’s the freedom factor that makes it enjoyable for all types of people.

 

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Picking up a controller is a lot different today than it was 20 years ago. Today’s games challenge you, frustrate you, and make you think. GTA offers you all of those options, but it’s up to you to decide what you’re going to do, and most importantly, how you’re going to do it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Houdini: R.I.P To A Legend

HarryHoudini

 

Harry Houdini. It’s been 87 years since his passing and yet, Houdini, still remains the top name in magic, and in our culture. Growing up, I first learned about Houdini while I was in the third grade. Fascinated by the stories my teacher was telling the class—I was hooked and as they say “bit by the magic bug.” Since that day, I have been curious about magic and captivated by sleight of hand.

 

Most kids know about Houdini, and may even learn a few magic tricks. I, on the other hand, had a different experience with magic. In the third grade, our class put on a talent show, and of course, I went with magic as my talent. My parents were kind enough to get me a magic kit, and I picked a trick that involved a deck of a cards. The trick was supposed to go like this: I fan out the cards, and a participant chooses one of their liking—then I have them place the card back into the deck, and have them shuffle the cards thoroughly. After a few dramatic pauses, I tell them what card they have chosen. In magic, illusions/tricks will go wrong, and at an early age—I was about to get a taste of it.

 

Today was the day! I was ready to perform my trick for the talent show. Nervous and beaming with excitement, it was my turn. Fanning out the cards, I had one of my classmates pick a card of their choosing. Everything was going smoothly and then: panic began to run through my body when my classmate returned the card back into the deck. Not having a clue what the card I was, I smiled and shuffled the card back into the deck. The final reveal was coming whether I wanted it to, or not. Still panicking and not knowing what the card was, I blurted out the first card that came to mind. Waiting for the laughter of my classmates and my embarrassment soon to follow—my classmate looked at me, and his jaw dropped. Then, he sputtered out “how did you know what my card was?” I was stunned, and then basked in my “Houdini” moment.

 

From that point on, Houdini would be ingrained in my mind, and I still think back to that day often. Houdini had a profound impact on people when he was living, but after his passing, he has become even more famous. Houdini has inspired the greatest magicians of our time: Doug Henning, David Copperfield, Lance Burton, David Blaine, and Criss Angel. Houdini will be a name that people will continue to know, and be amazed by. His final breath was taken on October 31st, 1:26 p.m., 1926, Detroit, MI.

 

R.I.P to a legend.

Harry Houdini

Born: March 24, 1874, Budapest, Hungary

Died: October 31, 1926, Detroit, MI

 

 

 

 

Magic: The Art Of Impossibility

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Magic has astounded people for thousands of years. From sawing a woman in half to death-defying stunts, magic has captivated audiences, and has provided a getaway, for some. Even in 2013, magic is still strong as ever. What I will attempt to do in this post, is to give you a behind the scenes view of magic(no, I will not divulge and magic secrets.)

 

Being an amateur magician myself, I have had the pleasure of practicing the art of magic. It is an art form that is incredibly hard, and unfortunately, it does not get the credit it deserves. Magicians spend countless hours practicing illusions, sleights, etc. Magic will humble you, and at the same time it will bring the greatest joy to you. After spending time rehearsing an illusion/trick, it is time to test it out for people. In the beginning, the magician will test out tricks for family and friends. Once the magician is confident enough performing for family and friends, the next phase is to perform for strangers. It is one thing to astound your family and friends, but it’s another thing to pull off a trick for a stranger. When you astonish a stranger, it is one of the best feelings in the world. Knowing that you have pulled off something special is very powerful for the magician, and the stranger. In one instance, you get the magician feeling great, and the stranger is completely blown away. Today’s world is nonstop and constantly moving, so when a magician performs, it is a great escape for the stranger, and ultimately, the feeling of real “magic.”

 

Sooner or later, the question arises: How did you get into magic? This question will get answered a thousand different ways by magicians. For me, it started with Harry Houdini. When I first learned about Houdini, I was hooked. Escaping from handcuffs, straightjacket, 100 ft. of rope, and performing some of the most incredible illusions, Houdini instantly became my hero. Then when I was about ten, my mom and dad took me to go see David Copperfield. It was an experience I will never forget. Watching David Copperfield ignited my passion even more to do magic. A few years later, David Blaine came on the scene and inspired me even more. Glued to the TV, I could not believe some of the stuff David Blaine was doing, and his connection with people was even more magical. And lastly, the magician that really catapulted me in the art of magic, is none other than: Criss Angel. Each of the magicians I have mentioned all have their own mark on magic, and that is what’s great about it. You get so many types of magicians in the magic world, and it’s great to see what certain magicians come up with.

 

Magic is a great teacher, and it will teach you a lot about life. Failing, succeeding, learning how something works: magic provides it all. Learning about magic is a very rewarding experience, and I encourage everyone to at least try it. Start with a deck of cards and a magic book ( I will include where to purchase magic) Learn a few card tricks, and perform them to your family and friends. You just might end up wanting to learn more, and become a magician.

 

I leave you with this: Right now: someone, somewhere, is practicing magic. They are learning the sleights and mechanics to perform the desired illusion. When they are done practicing, and have shown their family and friends, they will get ready to perform for a stranger. That stranger may very well be you. Enjoy the magic, and always cherish that moment.

Check out these sites to learn and perform magic: theory11.com, penguinmagic.com, elmwoodmagic.com

The Psychology Of A Champion: Georges St. Pierre

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What makes someone a champion? There are so many answers, and not everybody will agree on what makes someone a champion. However, there is no doubt that everybody will agree that GSP(Georges St. Pierre) is the definition of a champion.

GSP was not born a champion. Growing up, he was often bullied, made fun of, and had very few friends. When he discovered Karate: everything changed. From that point on, GSP, had a burning desire. And that desire was learning. Karate was the first step in GSP’s journey to becoming a champion. GSP earned his first black belt in karate, at just 12 years old.

Fast forward to age 19. This is the pivotal age where GSP commits his life to excellence in the octagon. Seeking out coaches and mentors, GSP was like a sponge: soaking up as much knowledge as he possibly could. In training and in the octagon, he failed; a lot. But with each training and sparring session, he improved. With his relentless hard work ethic, GSP quickly became a well rounded MMA (mixed martial artist) fighter. Everything GSP does is very calculated. From his diet, training regimen, coaches, mentors, etc. He leaves no stone unturned, and it shows in everything that he does in-and outside the octagon.

Becoming a champion at UFC 65, GSP was on a path to greatness. That greatness was stopped shortly, after losing the belt to Matt Serra, at UFC 69. They would both meet again in UFC 83, and GSP once again, captured the title, and has not lost a fight to date.

So now that you know a little bit about GSP, the question will undoubtedly come up: what makes him (GSP) a champion? A thirst for knowledge, for starters. GSP explains how he looks at his life. He calls it “having a white belt mentality.” A white belt is where you start off in any martial art. It’s a stepping stone: learning phase, if you will. In having a white belt mentality, GSP learns from anybody. If he feels it will help him in any way, he will apply it to his skill set.

What can we learn from one of the best in the MMA world? To adopt the white belt mentality, and constantly learn from others. If you start implementing this in your life, you will look at everything differently. New ideas might arise, or you might get inspired by learning from someone else.

Learn more at: gspofficial.com

Twitter:Twitter.com/ GeorgesStPierre

Book Analysis: The 50th Law by 50 Cent and Robert Greene

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Fear:

a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. foreboding, apprehension, consternation, dismay, dread, terror, fright, panic, horror, trepidation, qualm. courage, security, calm, intrepidity.
 
Fear. It can play an integral part in out lives, choices we make, and how we go about our day. Reading The 50th Law made me wake up, and realize that fear is just an illusion. Now, that’s not to say that I won’t ever have fear in my life (I will) it’s human nature, but the laws discussed in this book will work for anybody.
 
The 50th Law describes 50 Cent’s (AKA Curtis Jackson) journey through life, and author Robert Greene, describes how each law has been used throughout history. Everyone can benefit from 50 Cent’s advice and his teachings. 50 Cent is a very smart guy, and every decision he makes is very calculated, and well thought out. There are so many great lessons in the book, and I will explain a couple.
 
Self-Reliance- This chapter will really make you think. It describes how to take full responsibility for your life, and how to become the best version of you. Being self-reliant will empower you and you won’t have to depend on people as much. Robert Greene describes dependency as a habit that is easy to always go to. The following are ways to become self-reliant.
 
Reclaim Dead Time- This step is crucial. Never let time just pass by. Always learn something new, or work on bettering yourself.
 
Create Little Empires- This step stresses to capture and entrepreneurial mindset, and do things on your own. Whether that may be making decisions on your own, creating something, or taking action on a goal you have set for yourself.
 
Move Higher Up The Food Chain- Once again, this step talks about continually moving up in life, and not depending on anybody. The clear message here, is if someone gives you things or does a favor for you, it is always with strings attached. Think about it.
 
Make Your Enterprise A Reflection Of Your Individuality- This particular step really struck me. You are one of one, and you will never be repeated in history ever again. Take advantage of your traits and qualities, so you can live life on your terms.
 
Opportunism- This chapter really explored how to make the best of any situation. The main message in this chapter, is that nothing in life negative or positive. They are neutral. Things are going to happen, and it’s up to you to decide if it is negative or positive. To me, this was very powerful to read-and I really thought hard about it. There are so many things that happen to us on a daily basis, and this way of thinking would put you ahead of 99.9% of the population. Here are the steps to acquire this “skill.”
 
Make The Most Of What You Have- This step describes to look past being materialistic, and understand that we will just want more after we get something we want. So, it is best to look at what we do have, and it will make us focus and come up with solutions.
 
Turn All Obstacles Into Openings- The point of this step and the main lesson here is: Turn any negative situation in your favor. You should welcome obstacles that come your way. It will make you stronger, and your mind will be better equipped to deal with such situations.
 
Move Before You Are Ready- This speaks volumes. I, myself, have struggled with this throughout the years. Taking a leap of faith, and never looking back, is key to accomplishing goals. It has been proven in history, and it is a reminder to stop telling ourselves we can’t, and start saying we can.
 
The 50th Law is a great read, and I hope you get the chance to read it. It’s so rare to have a book really teach you about life, and how to live it at the same time.