300: Historical inaccuracy?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen or heard people ranting about how historically inaccurate the movies “300” and its sequel “300: Rise of an Empire” are. The best place to find this is in the comments section of pretty much ANY 300-related clip on Youtube. People get really passionate about it, getting into lengthy arguments debates about not only its portrayal of Spartans and Greek history, but also how negatively the Persians are portrayed. Whenever I feel like jumping into such… discussions, I try to explain that these movies are based on a comic book by Frank Miller, and NOT the historical events they depict.

300-comic

So, just for the heck of it, I thought I’d summarize here. For those who don’t know, “300” was a limited comic mini-series released back in 1998. It was written by Frank Miller, who most people know as the author of The Dark Knight Returns – the comic that is largely credited for Batman’s resurgence in the late 80’s. He’s also worked on things no one has ever heard of, like Daredevil, Sin City, and The Spirit. Oh, and he created some character called “Elektra”. And in case you’re not catching the sarcasm here, these bits on his resume makes him one of the top 10 comics writers in… well, the history of comics writing, I guess.

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The Future of SharePoint Server

I came across an interesting article by Cameron Dwyer. In it he looks at the future of the SharePoint brand. As any SP admin knows, Microsoft has been really pushing the cloud-based technology of the 365 suite, which currently includes a limited version of SharePoint.

I’m still on the fence when it comes to cloud-based technologies. I just have a feeling that it’s too much like a car which can ONLY be repaired at an authorized dealership. I’m old-school IT – I want to be able to pop the hood and change the oil if needed.

At any rate, take a look at Cameron’s post and see what you think – he makes some very valid observations.

Is the SharePoint brand going away?

Dracula Untold: What did I think?

This weekend I was under the weather but still managed to catch Dracula: Untold with the Mrs. We’re both fans of vampire flicks like The Lost Boys and Underworld – the good, action-packed ones. I went into this film knowing that it puts more of a “super-hero” spin on the legend, and – even though I enjoy both the vampire AND superhero genres – wasn’t expecting much. I liked what I got, though. It was a thoroughly enjoyable popcorn flick, as well as a nice spin on the well-known story of Vlad the Impaler, aka Dracula. It also kicks off a new attempt by Universal to reboot their popular “Universal Monsters” franchise made popular during the 40s and 50s. You all know these guys – Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Mummy, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

This review will contain spoilers, so proceed at your own risk. The film just came out, so I’m sure there’s a lot of you haven’t seen it yet. If you’re one of the brave & the bold, however, keep reading…

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Gotham: What did I think?

So I caught the pilot for Gotham last night. I really didn’t see how a TV show about Batman – but NOT actually featuring Batman – could work, but I was pleasantly surprised. If the rest of the episodes are as entertaining as the pilot, we might have a winner on our hands.

For those who don’t know, Gotham takes place roughly 15 years before Batman shows up. Newly-promoted detective Jim Gordon has returned to the city of his childhood, and is partnered with Harvey Bullock – a gruff, possibly corrupt detective who doesn’t like to make waves. Their first big case together is a doozy… the murder of Thomas & Martha Wayne. At the crime scene, Gordon promises young Bruce Wayne that he will find the man responsible and bring him to justice. Unfortunately, in the corrupt city of Gotham, that promise proves difficult.

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R.I.P. InfoPath

If you haven’t heard, Microsoft announced a while back that InfoPath was going away. We’re 2/3 of the way through the year so far, and still no concrete word on what will replace it, or even if we’ll be able to migrate existing InfoPath forms. John Liu has collected some good links regarding the fiasco on his blog at the link below.

http://johnliu.net/blog/2014/2/1/infopaths-future-and-what-everyones-saying.html

Personally, I think Microsoft is shooting themselves in the foot here. They’ve spent years trying to convince people to use InfoPath for electronic forms, and now that it’s finally somewhat mainstream, they’re pulling the plug with no clear replacement in sight yet. Unless they come out with something outstanding that migrates well, I have a feeling that a lot of clients will be hanging onto SharePoint 2010 or 2013 a lot longer than they would otherwise simply for InfoPath support.

So far it seems like existing InfoPath functionality will be divided up into various Office products like Access & Word, although some functionality is going away for good. We’ll have to wait and see what they’re cooking up, but I’m not optimistic.

 

 

Elder Scrolls Online (ESO)

Thanks to ZeniMax, I had a chance to spend all weekend in the ESO beta. I can’t give any details due to the NDA that beta testers have to sign, but suffice to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. The game is getting a fair amount of negative press, and I don’t understand why.

Personally, I think the game has LOADS of potential for what it is, and for the record, I plan on purchasing the game when it launches. If you enjoy MMOs and the Elder Scrolls series from Bethesda, I think you should give this a try. It’s not “Skyrim Online”, nor is it the next World of WarCraft, but it IS fun. And that’s about the best compliment I can give a video game.

Is religion insane, or do the insane simply turn to religion?

The Houston Chronicle has a front-page article this morning about how a man walked into the IAH airport and apparently committed suicide by police (or Homeland Security in this case). The article is very light on details about the shooting, and instead focuses on the man’s Facebook comments and suicide note – all heavily laced with religious overtones. In fact, they’ve already updated the article twice with the only update being an additional religious quote from the guy. I normally ignore such things, but this time I thought I’d comment on it.

Liberal media outlets such as the Chronicle and/or our friends in Hollywood always point out how looneys are religious. They seem to go out of their way to find (or create) a connection between the two. What they would have us believe is that religion itself, specifically a belief in God or the Bible, is insane. Catholics and Protestants both are typically portrayed in films as either fanatically strict, hypocritical, or downright crazy. The reality is somewhat different. What little connection there is between mental instability and religion is that millions of people who have incomplete lives – both sane and insane – have turned to religion & God to improve those lives. It works for many… but not everyone, and the guy involved in the IAH shooting is one such case where it didn’t. Based on his comments, he was obviously seeking help, and for whatever reasons, didn’t get it. At least however he had the decency not to hurt anyone else – only himself.

This is a topic my wife and I know something about. My mother-in-law is fruity as an orchard. She’s been committed several times in the past twenty years, but it’s nearly impossible to get help for her when it gets bad. Even the times that she’s cut herself up or threatened to hurt someone, neither the police nor the hospitals will do anything about it. The only times in her life that she’s been close to normal is when she regularly attended church and prayed every day. So nobody – not liberals, not the Houston Chronicle, not Hollywood – is going to convince me that God doesn’t exist or that he can’t help people like this.

Tolerance is a two-way street

I came across this well-written article that absolutely nails what I think regarding the issue of today’s “tolerance” trend. I’ve never seen this site before and have no idea what they are, but the article hits it on the head. To read the original article, click the link at the end.

One of the most eye-opening features of the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial – the trial where a few people in California are trying to redefine marriage for the entire nation to include homosexual relationships – was its near daily insistence on attacking foundational Christian moral beliefs.  On a regular basis, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Position Statement on Sexuality or the Catechism of the Catholic Church – both of which, like all orthodox Christian teaching on the subject, recognize homosexual behavior as sinful – would be pulled out and subjected to ridicule.  Worse, these Christian teachings were used as evidence that the recently-enacted California definition of marriage was irrational because it may have been based in part on religious teachings.  In other words, if you vote your faith, your vote shouldn’t count.

As disturbing as such a direct attack on religious belief is, it is also instructive.  For a long time, proponents of homosexual behavior have argued that their cause was also about “tolerance.”  But it never has been.  For them, tolerance is a one way-street, where their actions must be tolerated, but your beliefs cannot be.  Perry makes this clear: normalizing homosexual behavior requires marginalizing your religious beliefs.

It’s not just Christians who are seeing this, either.  Chai Feldblum, President Obama’s new head of the powerful EEOC, has admitted that when religious liberty and homosexual behavior conflict, “I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”  Hear that, pastors?  Your ministries, your churches, your sermons – they’d better get in line or get out of town.

Perry is just one of the recent examples of the attack on Christianity from homosexual activists.   Catholic Charities in both Washington, D.C. and Boston were run out of the adoption business by aggressive city officials who wanted to force them to place children with same-sex parents.  A church campground in New Jersey was punished by the state for refusing to use its property to host same-sex “commitment ceremonies.” A Christian student in a public college in California was verbally attacked by his professor for respectfully speaking out in support of traditional marriage.

Here’s a link to the original article:

http://blog.speakupmovement.org/church/religious-freedom/when-good-becomes-evil/

I spend a lot of time on the Internet and I’m sick and tired of being insulted & ripped a new one because I choose to believe in God or the Bible. It’s not like I go around quoting scripture or trying to force my views on others… but any time that belief comes up in a forum discussion or other online conversation, all of the “tolerant” people out there suddenly become very intolerant.