Thursday, June 16, 2011

What is J.K. Rowling planning? Return of Harry Potter franchise?

If you haven't heard yet, J.K. Rowling has opened up two teaser sites. The first is a YouTube with owls and a countdown clock located here. The second is a website, This is obviously directly related to the Harry Potter universe, so what is it that she will be announcing in six days? The YouTube simply says, "The owls are gathering... Find out why soon."

What exactly is Pottermore? Your guess is as good as mine. I and many others have some theories on it, but we will find out the truth in six days.

Will it be a prequel to the Harry Potter franchise featuring his young parents leading up to the night Harry got his scar? Could it be some books featuring stories during their time at Hogwarts that we never read, or some side stories with their classmates such as Luna Lovegood and Neville? It could be Harry Potter e-books, but I don't see why all this fuss would be made over e-books. Maybe the original books would be released as e-books with new bonus chapters?

Or it might not even be a new book, and it's probably not. Maybe it is going to be some sort of video game, like an MMO similar to the Marvel Universe Online which was eventually cancelled? I would think it would be more than just any old MMO game if JK Rowling is planning this big announcement. Anyone have any other guesses? Speculation is all over the place, but we'll find out what Pottermore is soon.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Preview

I love these international tournaments, and the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup begins on June 26, 2011. The first time I watched soccer was during the memorable 1999 Women's World Cup held in the USA, so I still enjoy it to this day. Most people remember how big that was, with the team selling out football stadiums across the country, culminating with the United States beating China in penalty kick overtime for the championship in front of over a record 90,000 people at the Rose Bowl. Mia Hamm became a household name and Brandi Chastain scored the game winning penalty kick then pulled her jersey off to reveal the infamous sports bra. The game is still the most watched soccer match in US history.

Those players have retired, but the tournament lives on. The big difference between the men's game and women's game is the women don't slop around and fake injury as much, which is refreshing. It can get annoying watching Cristiano Ronaldo pretending to be hurt every 5 minutes, which I why I slightly prefer the Women's WC, but both are great fun to watch.

The 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup comes from Germany, and will be another great spectacle, and every single game will be broadcast live on ESPN. The time zone difference is a bit better for US fans than it was in China in 2007, when they played early in the morning US time. All of the United States matches will be at 12 pm ET. Be sure to watch the first match between Germany and Canada on Sunday June 26th, which will be at Berlin's Olympic Stadium in front of 75,000 people. Sure to be an exciting match.

I'll give some predictions for who will move on.
Group A: 1. Germany, 2. Canada, 3. Nigeria, 4. France - Germany should win at home and the second spot should be up for grabs by all three. I'll give Canada the edge.
Group B: 1. Japan, 2. England, 3. Mexico, 4. New Zealand - Japan vs. England should decide who wins the group. Mexico could be the spoiler, but Japan and England should come through.
Group C: 1. United States, 2. Sweden, 3. North Korea, 4. Colombia - The US is ranked #1 in the world, so not winning their group would be a disappointment. The second spot is up for grabs between North Korea and Sweden, I'll pick Sweden to beat them.
Group D: 1. Brazil, 2. Australia, 3. Norway, 4. Equatorial Guinea - Brazil is the favorite here along with Norway, but I will pick Australia to surprise and take out Norway.

Quarterfinals: Germany over England, United States over Australia, Japan over Canada, Brazil over Sweden. I'm tempted to pick Sweden over Brazil as an upset, but it's always tough to pick against Brazil. The USA has won the cup twice and never finished below 3rd place. Germany has won the cup twice in a row.

Semi-finals: United States over Germany - Germany knocked the USA out in this round in the States in 2003, so why not the other way around? Japan over Brazil. Am I nuts? Maybe, but Japan is ranked 4th in the world. It may be a sentimental pick, but they have the talent.

3rd Place: Germany over Brazil. Championship: Japan over United States. I'm going with the underdogs, even though most think Brazil, Germany, USA or Norway will win it all. Who do you think the top 3 teams will be?

After this, the 2015 Women's World Cup will be held in Canada and the number of teams will be increased from 16 to 24. Enjoy!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Paying with Pennies; MTV Movie Awards

I saw this story and had to laugh! A man named Jason West in Salt Lake City, Utah was in a dispute with a Medical Clinic about a $25 charge he didn't think he owed. So his way of handling it was by going to the clinic to pay-with 2,500 pennies that he dumped on the counter! Definitely badass! Sadly they called the cops and he was arrested for "a protest that served no legitimate purpose." I have no idea how someone can be arrested for trying to pay with legal money.

I say paying with pennies is badass. I have no idea how someone can get 2,500 pennies, but the next time you go buy something cheap for like a dollar, try and gather up 100 pennies to pay for it! I'm sure the look on the person's face would be priceless. That would make a good Senior Prank for you teenagers, have everyone pay for lunch with small change. It's been done before probably, but it's funny every time.

Oh, and in other news Robert Pattinson dropped the F-Bomb live on the Mtv Movie Awards and it didn't get censored. This is the second time this year at a live awards show, the first was when Melissa Leo did it at the more prestigious Oscars. I love it both times! Live TV F-bombs are the best. In the trailer for Super 8, it sounded like a dinosaur! Jurassic Park prequel? No, but whatever the monster/alien is in the movie will be cool. And of course the clip for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 presented by the always great Emma Watson gave fans just a taste of the action packed finale for the epic franchise. Oh, and those monkeys in the James Franco starring Rise of the Planet of the Apes are creepy. I prefer the cheesy 60s costumes/makeup from the first one.