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Hello -- After Edmund
Written by Mike Noel   
Friday, 29 August 2008

After Edmund

I love finding new musical surprises.  It is exciting to find some band who you've never heard of, pop in their CD, and be quite pleased with their music.  I've had a few of these experiences of the last few months.  After Edmund is just one of the new bands I've stumbled upon.  Great stuff.  The best description of their sound is anthemic modern pop rock.  Think of a beefier version of U2 with vocals more like Switchfoot.  

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 August 2008 )
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Interesting Plot Twist
Written by Mike Noel   
Friday, 29 August 2008

Sarah Palin

If you've been reading my blog here then you will notice that I've been somewhat intrigued by this year's election.  Several months ago I indicated that Obama has a great chance to win because of several different factors.  None of those seemed to be because he had a lot of experience but instead were mostly image based.  Even still he is all about image with no substance.  Obama supporters, please don't take that as a criticism, it is just a fact.  He wants to make changes but he's not saying what or how.  There's nothing wrong with being an "idea guy" and that's not my point.  My point is that this election is a lot about image.

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Swing Vote
Written by Mike Noel   
Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Swing Vote

As the US is gearing up for the 2008 Presidential Election it seems like a good idea to have a movie about the circus that the election can become.  Swing Vote does that well.  The story revolves around Bud, a cronic underachiever, and his precocious daughter.  On election day Bud forgets to vote so his daughter does it for him.  However, the machine fails while she is trying to vote.  Nervous, she scampers away from the polling place and hopes she doesn't get in trouble.  In a situation reminiscent of Florida, the entire country's vote comes down to one state, in fact, it all comes down to the one precinct where Bud was supposed to vote.  And, of course, it's a tie but Bud's vote didn't count.  Due to the machine malfunction Bud is given another opportunity to vote.  And this time,  his one vote will decide who the next president is.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 August 2008 )
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Gideon's Dawn -- Michael D. Warden
Written by Mike Noel   
Friday, 22 August 2008

Image

This was an absolutely amazing book!  I found it at a discount bookstore this summer and bought it as a last resort.  I was unable to find any other good books there and this one was the only one that showed the slightest bit of promise.  Then, even after getting it, I waited a couple months before I actually decided to read it.  Silly me.

So what was so good about it?  It's hard to describe. This in the fantasy genre but it avoids sounding like all of the other cliched books in the genre.  On the surface it is a story that has been done many times over -- a "normal" person is transported to an alternate world and discovers that he's the long awaited hero to solve their problems.  And in the vein of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, the main character in this book is not at all interested in being the hero.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 August 2008 )
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What? The news isn't accurate?
Written by Mike Noel   
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Let me start off by saying that I am not a conspiracy theorist.  I don't believe that there is a massive, widespread, and purposeful effort to misled most citizens into thinking a certain way.  That being said, I believe it is possible, in fact, unavoidable, for the things we encounter on a daily basis to affect our thoughts.  With that preamble out of the way I'd like to point out a new article that I found quite interesting.  On MSNBC.com the article, Study faults news media’s economic coverage, shows that the majority of news stories covering financial topics are negative and are based on outdated data.
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All My Holy Mountain -- L. B. Graham
Written by Mike Noel   
Sunday, 10 August 2008

All My Holy Mountain

All My Holy Mountain is the concluding book in L. B. Graham's Binding Of The Blade series.  Graham neatly wraps up the loose ends that he had left dangling since the very beginning of the series.  While things end predictably, it is entertaining none the less to see the
story unfold.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 17 August 2008 )
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The Dark Tower -- C. S. Lewis
Written by Mike Noel   
Sunday, 10 August 2008

The Dark Tower

When it comes to fiction C. S. Lewis is best known for his children's series the Chronicles of Narnia and his space trilogy.  There is, however, a collection of lesser known short fiction works.  The Dark Tower contains these works as well as a couple incomplete writings. The centerpeice of this collection is the 100 page beginning of the book The Dark Tower which was intended to be a sequel to Out Of The Silent Planet. There is another incomplete manuscript that tells the chronicles the events just after Troy was sacked. Two previously published short works and two unpublished, but complete, stories round out the collection.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 August 2008 )
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Sunshine
Written by Mike Noel   
Wednesday, 09 July 2008

Sunshine

A few years from now scientists discover that the sun is burning out much faster than they expected.  So much so that earth's climate has cooled to the point where humans will not be able to survive much longer. In a desparate attempt a ship is launched to the sun to explode a huge nuclear bomb in the sun in order to reignite it.  Along the way everything goes wrong.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 August 2008 )
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Father of Dragons -- L. B. Graham
Written by Mike Noel   
Wednesday, 06 August 2008

Father of Dragons

The books in the Binding of the Blade series get better with each installment.  Each book in the series starts right where there previous left off as if this was one, long, five volume book.  In this book we start to see all of the plans coming together (but things won't be resolved until the fifth book).  Even when all the plans that Aljeron and the others had been making have been falling apart, in Father of Dragons there is some hope.

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