Tuesday, October 30

Star Wars: Episode 7 in the works

Actual footage from Episode 7
Today, Disney announced that it was going to acquire Lucasfilm in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm was founded by George Lucas, and is responsible for the Star Wars franchise. In the press release, Disney announced the partnership would lead to new toy lines, theme park additions, television spin-offs and yes, three brand new Star Wars movies.

The release reports that Star Wars: Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015. No other details about the movie were made public. Because of that, I am forced to fill in the blanks.

Possible Episode 7 scenarios/characters (please note that I am aware of the hundreds of Star Wars books that occur after the original 6 episodes, and the following is probably some kind of nerdy, mom's basement blasphemy against that canon of literature. Deal. With. It.)

  • Space Pirates of the Corellian becomes the unofficial title, stars Johnny Depp as a quirky space pirate obsessed with "Black Helmet's" treasure. 
  • Now that Vader is dead, the Evil Emperor Zurg takes over as the #1 bad guy.
  • The movie will be shown in theaters as two versions; "regular" and "karaoke sing-a-ling with that white ball that bounces on the lyrics"
  • The Death Star will be remodeled into a giant, gaudy castle. That's no moon...
  • The plot will also follow Luke Skywalker's kid, Ben Skywalker as he sings his way through high school. Spinoffs "Endor Musical I, II, and III" to follow.
  • Episode Seven stars Taylor Kitsch, and just like every other one of his movies, it totally bombs.
  • A Pixar short film is shown before the movie titled: "Star Wars: Revenge of the little lamp thing that got crushed in Toy Story"
  • Space Mountain is re-branded as Star Wars Mountain; no changes are made to that archaic ride.
  • Jar-Jar Binks plays a very prominent role in all three ensuing movies. 
By Aaron Brandt, Star Wars Episode I Racer expert.

Monday, October 29

Ryan Lochte's thoughts on Hurricane Sandy

Probably one of the most out of touch, misinformed tweets I have seen in a while. Nothing says national crisis like promoting your guest appearance on a show that no one watches. Dude, Lochte, you talked a ton of smack to Michael Phelps at the Olympics, couldn't back it up and now you are Tweeting about 90210 and a hurricane at the same time? Jeah?

I bet Phelps is swimming around Long Island right now, training for 2016, while Lochte tweets about his guest appearance. Phelps puts in the work, laughs at the haters and doesn't go on drowning (pun) shows on the CW. Phelps is probably towing tugboats to safety and rescuing dogs from the East River. Step it up, Lochte.

And Lochte's probably in Florida, so the geography makes a little sense, but I think this is the first time I have heard that this hurricane is "up north." But I'm no geographer. Jeah.

By Aaron Brandt, who is no geographer, jeah.

Introducing Mich.com

Today is the official re-launch of Mich.com. Founded and designed by Lutheran North grad Chuck Irvin, Mich.com is a Michigan-centered news/opinion site. I will be the editor and also a regular writer. Former LHN-er Brandon Brodowski and Michigan student Emily Fortin will also be regular contributors.

You can expect topics from news, politics, sports, entertainment, reviews and op-eds. I will keep writing about shoes, occasionally Lutheran high schools and salad reviews on this blog, but most Michigan-related topics will be posted at Mich.com.

Please take a second to check out the site; you might just find a nugget of knowledge or an epoch of entertainment.

Today, you can find some urban legends at the University of Michigan, some updates on the Crisler Center renovations, World Series coverage and the scoop on Proposal 6, which deals with the Detroit bridge to Canada.

 If you are interested in writing for Mich.com, please send me an email at aaronbbrandt@gmail.com. It doesn't pay great, but hey, that's what Mark Zuckerberg told his friends at one point. Yes, I just compared Mich.com to Facebook. Deal with it.

Thanks for reading!


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Sunday, October 28

Hurricane Sandy Evacuations

I just saw the evacuation map for New York City. Pretty scary stuff. Stay safe out there, America.

Thursday, October 25

New Michigan Basketball uniforms

A few weeks ago, Michigan unveiled it's new basketball uniforms, made by Adidas. The major changes are structural, as the jersey is much lighter, stronger and more breathable. However, they did tweak the design a little bit, adding some striping and different angles. The shorts also have a fade effect, and up close, they reveal that the fade is done using tiny block M's. Nice touch.
Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr.
Overall, I think the uniforms are an improvement. They look sharper and more modern. This is so much better than the old Nike's with the horrendous trim that looked like something a high school JV team from 1998 Elk Rapids would wear. However, I hope that they don't go with the neon green shoes (Nike calls it "volt"). I know it is the hot color in footwear right now, but it really clashes with the maize. Anyway, it is going to be a great year, and the Wolverines will be looking good. 

Tuesday, October 16

Michael Jordan Barbecue Sauce sells for $10,000

Just your average gallon of $10,000 BBQ sauce from McDonald's.

Yes, on Ebay, one gallon of McJordan Sauce has sold for 10 grand. Back in the 90s, McDonald's had a special MJ burger with a super secret MJ sauce. It obviously didn't last, which would make an intact gallon of the stuff very rare. But $10,000 rare? Let's see what else I can get for that kind of money, including a few MJ-endorsed products.

  • At Meijer, a 40 oz. bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's sells for $3.84. That's about $12.29 a gallon. So for the price of one MJ gallon, I could get about 814 gallons of Sweet Baby Ray's. 
  • I could also fill my gas tank about 200 times, giving me about four year's worth of gas, pending major price increases. 
  • I could get about 67 pairs of the Air Jordan 2012 Lite, which retail for $150.
  • I could buy 2,865 gallons of milk.
  • I could purchase 2,380 gallons of Gatorade.
  • I could snag 24,390 Rayovac AA Batteries from Walmart
  • I could own 18,519 pairs of Haynes Briefs (white) from Meijer
  • And I could also buy half of Al Jefferson's bed.
I get it. This is a collectible item and very rare. But this doesn't look good in a case, on the mantle or even in the man cave. And what happens if you accidentally spill this? Then again, knowing McDonald's  there are probably enough preservatives in that MJ Sauce to last until at least 2328. Sawuce.

By Aaron Brandt, KC Masterpiece fan. Free samples are appreciated.

Monday, October 15

"42" Movie Trailer

This clip came out a little bit ago, but still looks pretty good. It's a trailer for the movie "42" about Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson, who was the first African American to play in the MLB. The movie comes out April 12, 2003.

I thought the computer-generated Ebbets Field was pretty cool. That stadium sure beats wherever Oakland plays baseball...

Saturday, October 13

Ban field goals in football

You heard right. Get rid of 'em.
Never again.
Field goals are as un-American as driving on the left side of the road and the metric system. Get rid of them and restore America's game to where it should be. Do you think Abe Lincoln would have kicked a field goal when he was 4th and 2 on the Confederate football team's 26 yard line? No. Abraham Lincoln goes for it, and he converts. Touchdown, North! (Insert alma mater joke here.)

Field goals could be the worst play in sports. Yes, you get a few points, but then again, it is a sign that your team failed. You can almost hear the collective "meh." in the stadium once a field goal is kicked. Enjoy your cheap three points, knowing that you could have had seven, maybe eight.

Also available in orange.
And the fact that kickers need a different ball than the normal ball is a clear reason kicking should be banned. What, you can't use the same ball the rest of the team uses? Are you better than the team? Yes. Why not give Tom Brady a Nerf Vortex and see what he can do? "Brady, back to pass. He sees Gronkowski on the sideline! The throw! (whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiistleeeeee sound) Touchdown Patriots!!!!!!!" No.

Where is all of this anti-field goal rhetoric coming from, you ask? Well for one, I accidentally dropped Janikowski from my lineup last week, and two, my strategy in Madden 13 involves immediately cutting all kickers and punters in favor of a few extra Gatorade bottles.

Seriously, I never kick. Kicking is nothing but an admission of defeat. Kickers should be called "defeat specialists" because they do nothing but lead you to wishful, seven point thinking. Kicking is for weak teams who don't trust the abilities of the athletic people on their team. Kicking was the reason for replacement refs (research pending).

Apologies to Jason Hanson, the greatest Lion of all time (that hurts my fingers to type), but let's leave the kicking to soccer.

By Aaron Brandt, former owner of three Nerf Vortexes. 

Friday, October 12

Al Jefferson's Bed

After watching that Tigers game, I saw this and realized it is too good to pass up.

Al Jefferson, a basketball player for the Utah Jazz just bought a 10 by 12 bed for $23,000. You heard right.

Via @mowilliams
This raises a few points. One, I just watched an ESPN 30 for 30 titled "Broke" which was about, you guessed it, broke athletes. It detailed the excessive spending by professional athletes that eventually let them to financial ruin. This here bed seems to fall sharply into that category. If someone is willing to shell out 23 grand on a bed, what else are they willing to purchase? A $40,000 refrigerator? A white Tiger? A video game company?

Second, anyone who pays this much for a bed is a moron. Everyone knows you can haggle with these bed salespeople until they are throwing in pillows, head massages and aloe plants like it's their job (it actually is their job). That's just bed buying 101. Entry level stuff. I bet Al just strolled in to Art Van and said "I'll take the biggest bed you have, here's my card." I would have at least gotten $8,000 knocked off that price. And my Grandma would have gotten $13,000 off that price. Plus delivery. No sales tax. Nailed it.
Art Van's most expensive bed.

And lets do some math. The average king size bed is about seven feet by nine feet. So Al's bed was about double that. The most expensive bed on Art Van's website is a King canopy bed for $1,599.99. Those numbers just don't add up. Was doubling the size really worth paying 13 times more? For Al it was. For me, it was not.

I cannot believe I just spend 10 minutes analyzing a millionaire's bed purchasing logic but hey, this is the world we live in. And blogging about beds at 1:00 AM sure makes a person tired. Zzzzzzzzz.

By Aaron Brandt, who was invited to Art Van's exclusive customer service event featuring a door prize. Expert level bed blogger right here. 

Thursday, October 11

If _____ doesn't win the Presidential Election, I'm moving to_____

We've heard it before. Around election time, it seems that people feel the need to dramatically declare that if their candidate loses the election, they are moving out of the country forever. Here's a short list! (Source: Starpulse.com)
  1. Cher
  2. Alec Baldwin
  3. Barbara Streisand
  4. Akon
  5. Seal
  6. M.I.A
Well, JetBlue is offering a free flight to several international locations for people who decide to take the international plunge. They will be giving away 1,006 tickets total. This is a terrific idea that's not only topical, but also free. There is a 0.0% chance I would have given JetBlue any thought without this campaign. Now I am booking a flight to the political utopia of Mexico (using the massive profits from this blog). 

In all seriousness, what incentive would entertainers have to forever leave the entertainment center of the world (and possibly the universe, depending on the cable networks from The Sombrero Galaxy)? Threatening to leave the country because a president loses the election is about as dumb as booking a flight with Northwest Airlines. 

Not that any of the listed celebrities are relevant anymore; Cher is in some dark corner of Vegas, 30 Rock is in its dying days, I think Barbara Streisand is a type of shampoo for the elderly, Akon got locked up and they won't let him out, Seal has a lower Q rating than an actual seal and M.I.A. has been M.I.A since she flipped off the entire Super Bowl audience. 

Enough with the threats to leave this country. There are still a lot of great aspects of American life that you cannot find anywhere else (such as the infield fly rule, Lance Armstrong with a good reputation, the Red Wings, Gander Mountain, Columbus Day, Penn State Football, Tebow, Tebowing, and camo mudflaps). America!

By Aaron Brandt, American.

Tuesday, October 9


New ad from DDB New York for the "Water is Life" charity in Haiti. It has Haitians reading first world problem tweets from Twitter. Fascinating stuff when read in the perfect context. Really great perspective.

Read some more #FirstWorldProblems here. https://twitter.com/i/#!/search/%23firstworldproblems


Register to Vote, ok?

Today is the last day to register to vote. All registration forms must be postmarked with today's date, or they do not count. For an easy to use form, go to http://www.rockthevote.com/rtv_voter_registration.html, and sign up. You can complain about politics all you want, but if you don't vote, I don't want to hear it. The post office closes at 5 in most locations, so get moving.

Monday, October 8

Hands-free luggage to take over earth

A company called Cargo Collective has unveiled "The Hop," a suitcase that follows you around using a Bluetooth connection. It is connected to your cellphone, and uses a caterpillar track system to shuttle your sweaters and pants from Gate 143 to Starbucks.

On the surface, this invention seems pretty neat. No longer do you have to struggle to hold onto your bulky rolling suitcase as you frantically try to navigate the passageways of LAX. You are free to text, Skype, YouTube, Facebook, and many other nouns that are used as verbs in our vocabulary as we ignore the world around us.

However, I would rather lug a briefcase full of my undies than use this robotic monster. Right from the get go, I have my qualms. What is the biggest problem with air travel? Lost luggage. And nothing says "I want to lose my luggage" like trusting your iPhone, cell phone reception, Bluetooth connection and mechanical suitcase to get from point A to point B. If I can get lost in the airport, so can The Hop.

Also, this product reminds me of the MSE-6-series repair droid, otherwise known as the "mouse droid" from Star Wars. And do you know where the mouse droid worked? The Death Star. Due to guilt by association (which I'm told is a legal term that often holds up in court), The Hop has evil ancestors, and its sole purpose is the destruction of the Rebel Alliance. It's a trap!

I have to imagine The Hop would also be a target for thieves. If I was Joey McStealalot, I would be scouring the airport, looking for those little rouges, and snatching them. By the time you notice, I (Joey McStealalot), would have taken your heirloom candelabras out of the bag and hopped (pun) on the next plane to Flint (the most remote place I know).

Finally, the day is fast approaching where robots and machines become self aware, and when that day does come, I do not want my luggage to be a part of some Matrix-like plot in the battle for planet earth. Nothing would be worse than having to fight off your own rouge set of luggage, knowing all the while that even if you defeat said luggage, you will lose your heirloom candelabras.

I will pass on this idea, until all the above issues are solved. After that point, I am open to testing this luggage.  Cargo Collective, you can find my email in the banner above. I would also need round trip airfare and lodging to Italy or Spain. Thanks!

By Aaron Brandt, inexperienced experimental luggage critic.