Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Strange Roaring Sound in Kiev, Ukraine

A friend alerted me that a strange and intense roaring sound has been occurring frequently in Kiev, Ukraine. No one knows where the vibration is coming from. Some have mentioned UFOs, angry ghosts, sea monsters, and other paranormal conspiracies. Listen for yourself below:

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Music: Cusco (New Age)

Cusco is a German New Age band named after the Peruvian city of Cusco. Their songs contain influences from music found around the world. Founded in 1979, the band comprises of two members, Michael Holm and Kristian Schultze. Both had long been fascinated with Cusco, once the ancient capital of the Inca empire (present-day Peru). Their music contains influences from music around the world, with a general emphasis on ancient South American flute sounds and melodies. Compared to the music of other new age artists, Cusco's music is quite melodic and usually energetic, and the band focuses on creating a fusion of modern and ethnic styles with classical music influences and solid rock music sensibilities. Most of the ethnic instruments are keyboard-generated, giving the sound a synthetic quality. In the late 1980s, their music received international popularity on the music charts, ultimately being nominated three times for a Grammy award.

The two songs below are "Andes/Inca Dance" (1987) and "Montezuma" (1993).

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse #11)

It's spring time in Bon Temps, and for telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse, the season will turn out to be one full of secrets--secrets that will bring major changes in her life...

Dead Reckoning, by Charlaine Haris, is the eleventh novel in the Southern Vampire files. Set in contemporary rural Louisiana, the two-natured have introduced themselves to the world like the vampires earlier in the series. News spread around the town of Bon Temps that Sam Merlotte is a shapeshifter. Sookie is working her shift in Merlotte's when the bar is firebombed, and it doesn't look like the bomber was human. To make matters worse, an old enemy from the past is out for her blood and revenge.

Meanwhile, tension between her vampire lover/husband Eric Northman and his progeny Pam rises when their boss, Victor, is taking over the state of Louisiana. Sookie's great-uncle, Dermot, a handsome fae who eerily resembles her brother Jason needs, temporary shelter, and Sookie uncovers a hidden secret left from her grandmother that holds clues to her telepathic abilities. Caught in complicated political matters of vampire society and fearing for her own survival, the peaceful life Sookie is wishing for seems like a distant dream.

When I first begn this series almost a decade ago, I thought the plot was original and the characters were interesting. However, as others have noticed in the past two years, the storyline of the Southern Vampire series is starting to drag. While I understand the supernatural world is very complicated, I think Harris is running out of innovative ideas. This has left her fan base very disappointed.

The good news is Sookie has uncovered a hidden family history, which means the end of this series is likely near. The next book should test Sookie's relationship with Eric. Will Eric follow orders and marry a vampire queen? Will Sookie return to Bill? How will Sookie find closure to her life? I think those answers will tie up this series nicely. Overall, I would rate this novel 3 stars out of five total.

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Southern Vampires series.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nicolas Cage in Civil-War Era Photo

A friend showed me this 1870 photo of actor Nicolas Cage, and I could not believe what I saw. It eerily resembles a younger version of him. The starting price is $1 million dollars on eBay. What do you think: Is the actor truly an old vampire, or does he happen to possess strong genes of a distant ancestor?

Finally, concrete evidence that vampires are real. Actor Nicolas Cage has been discovered in a photograph from 1870, and therefore, he is obviously a vampire. A collector of memorial photographs (as in, pictures of dead bodies) found this photo of a man (who appears to be alive) that lived in Bristol, TN around the time of the Civil War. This man is without a doubt Nicolas Cage.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Review: Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires #1)

They killed me. They healed me. They changed me.

Some Girls Bite, by Chloe Neill, is the first novel in the Chicagoland Vampires series. Set in modern-day Chicago, Merit is a humanities graduate student at the University of Chicago. She lives in Wicker Park with her best friend, Mallory, who works for a big advertising firm. Merit has another secret that she cannot avoid association: she is the daughter of Joshua Merit, one of the most prominent and wealthiest men in Chicago. Nevertheless, she is happy with her life in academia until one fateful evening changes her life for eternity.

Chicago’s vampires announced their existence to the world. Humans became exposed to the supernatural for the first time. When Merit is walking alone one late evening, a rogue vampire attacked her. Dying on the sidewalk, another vampire saves her life by turning her into the walking undead. It turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House, Ethan Sullivan. Located in Hyde Park, the mansion is full of vampires loyal to their lord. Allergic to sunlight, Merit must abandon her former human and learn everything quickly about vampire society.

Despite her independent and inquisitive personality, Merit impresses Ethan with her burgeoning powers -- superhuman strength, agility, sight and ability to withstand glamour -- that she becomes Sentinel of Cadogan House, a honorable title that has not been used in ages. She carries a powerful sword to defend the house against enemies -- and looks sexy in tight black leather too! However, the vampire who killed her is still on the loose. Tensions are already high among the houses. Will Merit survive her initiation or will blood be shed?

This is my first book series by Chloe Neill. I stumbled upon this book when I was searching for a book title by another paranormal writer. As a former Chicago resident during my undergraduate days, the urban fantasy plot was very interesting and appealing. I thought the book was enjoyable and easy to read. The pacing was excellent, and I could relate to the protagonist (since I am also a graduate student but in another city). The only con is the author tries to introduce too many other beings (i.e., sorcerers, nymphs, shapeshifters) that may confuse readers who are not well-versed in the supernatural lingo. Overall, I look forward to reading future Chicagoland Vampire novels.

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Chicagoland Vampires series, Friday Night Bites.
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011. Meanwhile, there have been reports of a devil-like face in the smoke of the Twin Towers. I will admit it looks real and creepy.

Please take the time to remember those who lost loved ones on this tragic day.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: Supernatural the Animation (2011)

Supernatural the Animation (2011) is a Japanese horror mystery anime based on the popular television live-action series, Spernatural, by Eric Kopke. The fist season consisted of 22 episodes, covering the first two seasons of the original live-action series. The anime explores the Winchester brothers' (Sam and Dean) childhoods and later expands upon secondary characters and anime-only enemies that were not covered previously in the live-action version. Sam and Dean hunt ghosts, creatures, vampires, demons and other supernatural phenomena across the United States.

After watching all 22 episodes, I was very pleased with the anime version. It expanded on the live-action series, exploring more details about the brothers' history and adding more plot development to key live-action events. Dean and Sam are designed exactly like the original live-action actors. I never got bored with the anime, which delivered greater artistic expression during action-packed scenes. The ending theme song (ding Theme: "Carry on my Wayward Son" by Naoki Takao) is sung in English with a very catchy tune. Overall, it made me appreciate why Supernatural has such a huge cult following on the CWTV after six seasons.

In the English dubbed version, Jared Padalecki officially signed on to voice Sam, which makes the anime feel as authentic as the original. Warner Home Video will release the Blu-ray and DVD box sets of the anime series (Japanese and English dubbed) on July 26, 2011 in North America. I highly recommend this series to hardcore fans. Viewers who are new to the show should watch the original live-action version before they start the animated series. Stay tuned for future updates if a second animated series is available in the future.

UPDATE: The seventh season of the live-action version will air on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 9:00pm Easter Time on the CWTV.

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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Windsor Hum Rattles Residents

An unexplained mystery has happened in Windsor, Ontario, a city located just south of Detroit, Michigan. For several months, residents have heard and felt a loud vibrating sound, known as the Windsor Hum, that vibrates and throbs the entire community. Strangely enough, Detroit residents do not hear it. Canadian government officials have yet to reach a conclusion.

WINDSOR -- Windsor attorney David Robins first heard the low rumbling while he was watching the NBA Finals on TV. The noise overcame the sound of his TV, so Robins went outside to investigate.

"My whole neighborhood was just rocking with this," he recalled, describing the noise he first heard in May as a deep, resonating vibration. "It went on for about an hour and a half. I'll be honest, I was a little bit scared by it. I wondered what could be so incredibly powerful to generate that deep a noise."

A whole lot of Windsor residents are wondering that. During the last several months, hundreds of people have heard the Windsor Hum, a late-night or early morning sound that vibrates, pulsates, thrums like trucks idling or throbs like the low bass from a car stereo...

The mysterious Windsor Hum of recent months -- officially without any explanation despite months of investigation -- has added Detroit's neighboring city to the ranks of worldwide communities experiencing odd environmental phenomena.
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Movie: A Chinese Ghost Story (1987)

In my chidhood, I was a fan of Hong-Kong action films based in ancient China. I provide plots of two 1980s-1990s films with a supernatural twist. A Chinese Ghost Story (1987) is about a young tax collector who falls in love with a female spirit whose soul is bound to a Tree Demon. He seeks the help of a Taoist hunter and both seek to free her from servitude. This film was so groundbreaking that it sparked a trend of folklore ghost films in the Hong Kong film industry, including two sequels, an animated film, a television series and a 2011 remake. Enjoy the theme song below:

Opening of "A Chinese Ghost Story" (Leslie Cheung and Joey Wong)

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