Friday, May 28, 2010

Hayley Williams of Paramore, posts top-less photo of herself!?

Hayley Williams, the lead vocalist of the Emo-Rock Band Paramore (which brought us the hit singles of the Twilight Saga Movies) had posted a top-less photo of herself via Twitter's TwitPic.

With more than 600,000 followers on her official Twitter page, her top-less photo just took a few minutes before it was spread all over the world wide web.

Shortly after the said incident, Hayley Williams posted on her twitter account;“Well … my night just changed drastically. Got hacked.”

Hayley claims she was a victim of a cyber-attack and her twitter account got hacked. Rumor has it that her phone was lost and the said photo was posted from her phone directly to Twitter, some also say she accidentally did it herself, and some say she did it intentionally.

Can't really agree with the latter, why would she do such a thing when she's at the peak of her career.

Thanks for munching by foodies!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Advance Risk Board Game Strategy Part 1: General Army Management

Also printed on Associated Content

Beyond setting up the Risk board and the basic mechanics of the game, the most important part of any Risk game is the question of where to place armies and what do with them. Here are four key concepts to use your armies effectively.

1. Continent capture and protection: Under most circumstance, the first priority of army placement when you begin a new game will be to place your armies in positions where they try to capture a continent (i.e. by capturing every territory belonging to that continent). In most every game I’ve ever played, the game play during the middle and latter stages of the game will center around placing armies to defend continents players hold, attacking continents to “breakthrough” the defenses and capture the continent, and trying to expand a single captured continent to capture a second, third, etc. continent.

There are two main reasons why holding a continent (or preventing your opponents from holding a continent) is such an important part of the game. First, holding a continent gives a player bonus armies for every complete turn that they hold that continent. These bonus range from a modest +2 armies per turn for Australia and South America to a whopping +7 armies for Asia. These bonuses can add up to give players dozens of extra armies later in the game.

Second, holding a continent carves out space where you can hold territories by placing armies on a few key “choke points”. A good example of this comes when a player holds all of the territories in Australia and the territory of Siam. By placing a substantial number of armies in Siam, the player not only protects that territory directly but also indirectly protects the entire Australian continent because any attack on those territories has to go through Siam first.

2. Card Mining: Winning cards and turning in completed sets can make the difference between winning and losing a game, especially in the late game when the extra army bonuses for turning in card sets become huge. Even in games without the progressive card bonuses (i.e. with “set value” rules, my preferred method of play), a cannon + cavalry + infantry set and the 10 extra armies it provides can make the difference between winning and losing.

The only two ways to win cards in the game are to win them by capturing at least one territory each turn or to capture them by eliminating all of the armies of any player on the board. Both methods involve attacking. Because of the importance of having cards, especially late in the game, it is usually not good to “turtle” into a corner of the board by placing your armies in completely defensive positions and not attacking at all. Such strategies are eventually doomed to fail (you have to attack sometime to win) and usually leave you vulnerable to elimination from a player flush with extra armies gained from turning in cards.

A good method to mine cards in a game is to select an area of the board where no one is trying to hold territory and capture one territory in that area each turn. An example of this would be if you held both Australia and Afghanistan early in the game and no one held or had strong armies in Asia. At the beginning of your turn, you could place roughly half of your reinforcements on Siam and half on Afghanistan and use your armies on Afghanistan to capture an adjacent country with only one army defending it to win your card.

As a compliment to this strategy, sometimes you can “squeeze” a player by capturing all of his or her territories in Asia, Europe, etc. and forcing that player into either a massive border attack to capture a card or into “turtle” mode to preserve armies. An example of this would be if a player holds South America and a couple of card mining territories in Asia and is also bottled in by players in North America and Africa. By capturing both of that players Asian territories, you would basically cut off the players ability to gain new cards and force the player to drastically change strategy.

3. Breakthroughs: Sometimes in Risk, as in life, it becomes necessary breakout of your familiar surroundings and leap into the wider world. In Risk, these types of moves during a turn usually take the form of “breakthroughs” where you push some or all of your armies from your home base (or even a strong card mining country) and attack the enemies’ front lines directly.

Before attempting any breakthrough, you should have a very specific goal in mind of what you want to accomplish with the move. Can you break through the enemy front lines and into her or his protected continent and take away the continent bonus armies for several turns to come? Can you eliminate one or more enemies and take their cards? Will your move leave you exposed to counterattack from one or more players to act after you?

An example of where this might be useful is in a situation where you control Australia and another player has just finished taking North America. If you have a large number of armies in Kamchatka, you might be able to breakthrough into Alaska and deny your enemy the +5 bonus armies that come with controlling North America. You may even be able to leverage this breakthrough into eventual control of the continent yourself, depending on your opponents’ response.

4. Equilibrium: Occasionally you will encounter situations in Risk where you are “stuck” for one or more turns in a situation where you are not necessarily vulnerable but, at the same time, you can do little to improve your position. In these situations, it might be best to take a “wait and see” attitude where you maintain the equilibrium while forcing your opponents to act against each other.

An example of this would be if you had a strong position in South America but you were blocked in by enemies with positions in North America and Africa. In this case, it might be wise to slowly build armies on your continental borders (Brazil and Venezuela) while waiting for your opponents to attack each other. Often times, a fourth player (maybe one with a strong Australian position and marching into Asia) will force a break in the equilibrium at some point and allow you to attack.

Bottom Line: When deciding where to place your armies in Risk always have a concrete strategy and never do things out of frustration alone. Always look for opportunities to strengthen your position and deny strong positions to other players. Every army counts.

Part 2: Australia

Part 3: South America

Thoughts on some movies: Sex in the City, Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Lacking in other ideas, I decided to review some movies my wife and I watched over the weekend.

1. Sex and the City:
spoiled, oversexed, ugly, stupid, rich, white girls whining about their problems, most of which are brought on by unbelievable selfishness on their part.

Not only that, but it was over two hours long. Any movie I watch over two hours long better have some epic battle scenes to break the monotony, or I'm going to get bored and start surfing the net.

Finally, how much really exciting stuff is there that can be said about female sexual relationships anyway? How many times you had an orgasm, how many positions you performed, what your guys stuff tasted like, etc. Who freaking cares? In real life, I've had people try to tell me about their sex life. It was gross and uncomfortable for everyone involved. Sex is a very natural part of life, IMHO, but it should be kept PRIVATE for the most part.

2. Mr. and Mrs. Smith: good but not great movie. My problem with Angelina Jolie is that, even though she has a rockin' good body, she looks like a horse in the face. Also, the storyline on the movie was very predictable. I called the ending (no I haven't seen it before, so what?) that the two were married about an hour into it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Google-PAC! (30 Years of Pac Man!)

When I was still a kid (back when Pac-Man was already a hit) and computers were still running on DOS operating system. I never really took the time of finishing a round of Pac-Man, I'm too lazy to finish off munching all the power pellets in the screen. But thanks to Google, I finally got the chance to finish PAC-MAN! and not just any regular one, a special 30th anniversary Google Edition!

Google Celebrates 30th year of Pac-Man by not just making a Google Doodle of the Game but making one that's actually Play-able! Visit now to play the game!

Happy Birthday Pac-Man!

Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shrek's Finale (Shrek Forever After)

Yesterday, we got invited (and to our surprise, so was Kris Aquino lol) to the opening of the new 3D Cinema of Eastwood Cyber One Mall in Libis, Quezon City, with the Premier showing of Shrek's fourth and final movie, Shrek Forever After. The 3D Glasses they're using is similar to the Dolby 3D glasses being used in Ayala Malls.

But the Cinema itself is a whole different story, seats are laid out great and one thing you'd find new are the type of seats they have, the whole seat can move and slant up to around 30 degress backward (so that's the reason why the seat seems to be too elevated from the one in front of it) so that you'd still have a great view of the Movie Screen even if you have the seats slanted all the way back. Now on to the juicy movie stuff... (p.s. Their Pop Corn's great too! 55pesos for a tumbler and 85 for a bucket, I recommend the sour cream flavor ;) )

So Whaddup with the Movie?
Well Shrek misses being a big bad and scary ogre, so he decides to make a deal with Rumpelstiltskin (voiced by Walt Dohrn), to make him a bad-ass ogre again even just for a single day. By doing this, Rumpel ends up being the king of Far Far Away land and Shrek gets erased from everyone's memory, now how all of these happened is for you to find out ;) but just the idea of Donkey not knowing who Shrek (as shown in the official trailer) is already a must see, I really can't imagine this movie without Eddie Murphy as Donkey!

The Good:
A great twist has been introduced, packs a ton of Laughs (as always from Donkey). I do recommend watching it in 3D (no need for IMAX, digital 3D will do). Enjoy new characters (as the main Antagonist) and another adversary (a very interesting and funny one at that!) sent to capture Shrek. If you're a fan of Shrek and/or needs a good comedy fix, this movie's highly recommended!

The Bad:
I couldn't think of any bad things about the movie, other than it being too short (an estimate of one and a half hour), it was kinda sad to know that this will be the last time we'll see Shrek in the big screen, but then again, it's already starting to lose its touch, but at least managed to end the series great with part 4. The first two movies were awesome, and even if this 4th installment wasn't able to out-do the first 2 movies, it was a big improvement from Shrek the Third (3rd movie).

Main Cast:
Mike Myers ... Shrek (voice)
Eddie Murphy ... Donkey (voice)
Cameron Diaz ... Princess Fiona (voice)
Antonio Banderas... Puss in Boots (voice)

Overall rating:
Being the finale of the Shrek Series and being a big improvement from Shrek 3, this movie's worth watching and seeing in Digital 3D (no need for IMAX). The whole movie is in 3D.

Shrek 4: Forever After opens in the Philippines today (May 20, 2010)
Special thanks to Eastwood Cinema for the invites!

Thanks for viewing cinephiles!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Why You Will Never Make Money Blogging

All bloggers have, at one time or another, dreamed of a retirement from our 9-5 jobs facilitated by the enormous success of our blogs. We imagine sipping drinks on the beach on some remote island that we own, all while millions of adoring fans continuously click on our ads and buy products from our affiliates to feed our privileged lifestyle. I hate to tell you this, but . . .

It's not going to happen!!!


1. No one reads your blog:
Lets be honest folks, out of the twenty people you associate with closely on a daily basis, how many of them read or follow a small blog on a daily basis? Unless they are bloggers themselves, I would guess that the answer is close to zero. Note that for "small blogs", I don't count sites like Tmz or Huffington Post. They resemble my blog about as much as I resemble the little snake creatures from the movie Alien.

Even among the few internet users who faithfully follow blogs, the competition is pretty intense. Unless you happen to somehow stumble into a niche that has a lot of interest yet hasn't been overly published, your chances of holding an audience are particularly slim. You're especially unlikely to do so with the kind of "shotgun" approach like I use.

2. No one clicks on your ads: Even if they do come to your blog, people probably aren't interested in the type of crap your site is selling. How many ads do you click on in the typical blog that you visit? I click on ads as a matter of courtesy for the other bloggers I enjoy, but most people don't. Even if they do, how long is it going to take you to become a millionaire from the 35 cents you make from two pity clicks a day?

3. People don't visit your site to shop:
When is the last time you went to a small Wordpress or Blogspot blog to buy something from Amazon, Kohls, Revlon, etc? Even if you did see something you really liked on there from one of those companies, would you really trust the link in the blog, or would you go directly to the company websites?

4. Someone can do your site BETTER that you: Even if somehow you do manage to find an absolutely brilliant series of ideas for your blog that make it a money generating engine, be assure that someone, actually a lot of someones, can write the same style blog with the same type of content even better than you do. Heck, I can think of at least a dozen blogs that I read on blogspot alone that are better written, updated more frequently, and have better content than my blog. Since I haven't seen any of them posting from their retirement homes in Maui, I am assuming that they continue to write more for fun than for the huge bump to their income it generates.

In summary, don't believe the crap that you find online about becoming a billionaire blogging. Not gonna happen. You could always click on my ads to support me though :)