Last night, Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 90th Academy Awards with an impressive monologue. Within the first few minutes, Mr. Kimmel addressed last year's major mishap of 'Moonlight' winning best picture over 'La La Land.' It was quite hilarious, and Helen Mirren presented a jet ski for the person which gave the shortest winner's speech. By the way, there was no clear winner of the jet ski at the end of the night. As for the big winners last night, there was not a major landslide. The 'Shape of Water' movie won four out of 13 awards. Best Picture, Best Director (Guillermo del Toro), Best Original Music score, and Best Production Design were the accolades that the movie won. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri won for best supporting actor (Sam Rockwell) and best actress (Frances McDormand). Allison Janney won best supporting actress for her stellar performance, in 'I, Tonya.' Gary Oldman won best actor for his impressive performance as Winston Churchill, in 'The Darkest Hour.' Then, there were other big movies that won equally important awards like 'Get Out'; 'Dunkirk;' and 'Blade Runner 2049.' It would have been great to see 'Dunkirk' win best picture, but the movie won three awards for sound mixing; sound editing; and film editing. In terms of TV ratings, the 90th Academy awards show was watched by 20% fewer viewers than last year's show. The show last 230 minutes, or 10 minutes short of 4 hours. This timeframe means it's like you are watching the super bowl, but with ads that don't cost $5 million for 30 seconds. There were some funny parts, of the show outside of Kimmel's monologue. If your speech went over 2 minutes, Kimmel mentioned that there would be a black man yelling 'get out' for you to finish. Instead of Casey Affleck presenting the best actress award, two talented academy award winners (Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster) presented the award to Frances McDormand. This move by the Academy was the right one indeed. All in all, the show was a good one. Kudos to ABC! Enjoy the picture above of Sam Rockwell, Frances McDormand, Allison Janney, and Gary Oldman. Good night everyone.
Well, Donald Trump has been POTUS for thirteen long months unfortunately. He has one big accomplishment to his name, and it's a so called huge tax cut. About 30 days ago, the government shutdown happened for 48 hours. Obamacare was not reformed, as Trump had promised to many American people. The list of President Trump's mistakes could go on for another hour or two. Let's get to the gist of this story, regarding the 2018 Presidents and Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey. The survey is supposed to rate the 45 presidents of this country, from a scale of 0-100 for overall greatness. The score of 0 is an absolute failure, while 50 is average and 100 is extremely great. The president that received the highest score is Abraham Lincoln. George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Harry S. Truman and Dwight Eisenhower received spots #2 through #7 on the list.
The seven greatest presidents were the same people, when this survey was completed in 2014. What did Donald Trump score on this list? He is dead last on this list. Trump ranked 40th out of 45 among Republicans and conservatives. Former commander-in-chief, Barack Obama, came in at 8th. Ronald Reagan came in at 9th, and Bill Clinton is 13th on this latest survey. For Donald Trump, this survey means that he should stop tweeting his ideas on twitter. Trump needs to realize that more than 85% of the news about him is true, and not 'fake news' as he loves to call it. Also, Trump should release his tax returns from the past six years to show the American public that he is not 100% corrupt. Political science professors Brandon Rottinghaus of the University of Houston, and Justin S. Vaughn of Boise State University conducted this survey. These professors probably took into account the fact that Trump's federal staff employees have lost their job, or decided to resign in huge numbers. Most of Donald Trump's approval ratings polls have shown numbers under 50%, which means this presidential greatness survey could be right on the money. Finally, Trump continues to see Robert Mueller's special counsel indict more suspects in a way to prosecute the President eventually. It would be great to see Trump being impeached this year, as he continues to declare there was no collusion from the White House in the past 18 months. If Trump is to present himself in front of Mueller for further questioning, it could lead to impeachment hearings. Let's see if Mueller's special counsel can indict more people in the Trump scandals. Enjoy the picture from February 19, 2018, and the horrific face of Donald Trump. Good day and good night!
Today, NBA teams did some massive trades and the NBA season is past its midpoint. The top two teams in the NBA are the Golden State Warriors, and the Houston Rockets. Golden State has the best record in the Western Conference and the NBA, but by 1 game only on those great Rockets. Houston has won their past six games, and they could overtake the Warriors soon. In the eastern conference, Boston and Toronto are vying for the best record. The Celtics are only one game ahead of the Raptors, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are in 3rd place in the East. The Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, Dwyane Wade, and some other players to different teams in the past 5 months. The big question for the Cavaliers is whether Lebron James will stay with the team in Summer 2018. Next, the NBA All-Star game is on February 18 in Staples Center/Los Angeles. The Golden State Warriors need the all-star break to happen soon, as the team has lost three of their last four games. In other NBA related news, the NBA trade deadline ended a couple of hours ago. The Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets did not trade any players. The Boston Celtics did not trade any players, but they don't have Gordon Hayward for this year. He tore his ACL earlier in the season, yet the Celtics continue to play like a really good playoff team without him. Marcus Smart was part of trade rumors, but he is staying with the Celtics. The Celtics seemed to have won the Kyrie Irving trade sweepstakes, as the Cavaliers are playing worse without their former all-star guard.
Finally, what does the 2nd half of the NBA season have in store? The Warriors and Rockets will battle it out for first place, in the Western conference. With the Cleveland Cavaliers making a lot of trades in the NBA this year, let's hope they don't make the NBA finals in June. It would be great to see the Boston Celtics or Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals in June, from the eastern conference. Going back to the western conference, the Houston Rockets beat the Golden State Warriors twice this year. The Rockets won the regular season series against the Warriors, because of their stifling defense. The Rockets need to have the better record than the Golden State Warriors, in the 2nd half of the season. Chris Paul and perennial mvp candidate James Harden will be hard to beat, in the playoffs. Many of my readers know that making sports predictions is not my forte, in all of my favorite sports. Hope the NBA western conference finals is Golden State vs. Houston, as it would be a fun series to watch. In closing, enjoy the picture of the NBA All-Star 2018 game above. All the NBA teams are probably looking forward to a much needed break, in a few days. As a huge fan of the NBA, the All-Star weekend is an exciting one because of the Slam Dunk contest; the 3 point shootout contest; and other fun events. Goodbye and hope the 2nd half of the nba season is as exciting, as the first half was.
The 2018 Australian Open ended earlier today with Roger Federer winning his 20th major grand slam title in Melbourne, against Marin Cilic in an epic five set thriller. Federer won his sixth title in seven finals, and he had not lost a set coming into the final. Roger won the first set (6-2), the third set (6-3), and the fifth set (6-1). He lost the 2nd set in a tiebreaker, and the 4th set (6-3). Roger was up 3-1 in the 4th set, and Cilic won the next five games to extend the match. Roger should have won the 4th set, but his serve was broken twice during that five game stretch. In the deciding set, Roger found another gear to close it out in seven quick games.
This match was the second time that Marin Cilic and Roger Federer had played in a grand slam final, in consecutive years. Federer had beaten Cilic in three sets at the 2017 Wimbledon final. Cilic hung around with Roger in the fourth set, and Marin will move up to #3 in the world in the new ATP rankings on January 29. Roger will move within 200 points of Rafael Nadal, as his 20th major victory helped him to gain traction on Nadal's #1 ranking. Roger's serve was much better than his stats were, in his semifinal victory over Chung. Roger won that match in two shortened sets, as Chung retired in the 2nd set before it was over. Roger won the first set by 6-1, and was up 5-2 in the 2nd set before the match ended due to Chung's foot blisters.
Lastly, Cilic's path to the final included a five set win over Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals. Nadal retired in the fifth set, as he was down 2-0 before leaving the match with an right leg injury. Cilic beat Kyle Edmund in the semifinals in three sets, and Marin reached his third grand slam final in Melbourne. The Croatian has shown incredible consistency over the past 2 years in the grand slam finals. Both Federer and Cilic had the pleasure of playing, with some celebrities watching them in the final match. Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky were sitting courtside at the Australian Open final. The beautiful married couple are well known for their acting prowess.
As this post ends, Roger Federer has won three of the past five Grand Slam tournaments. Hope he plays the French Open this year, as it would be good to see him in all four grand slam tournaments. Enjoy the picture above of Roger Federer and his new Australian Open trophy. His sixth trophy was another spectacular match, between two splendid players. Long live the Federer Express!
Today's story is about the island nation of Taiwan, and the various reasons why China calls it as a state or territory. The capital of Taiwan is Taipei, and the Taipei 101 tower has served as an architectural icon for the country since 2005. Taiwan was my home for three years, from 1981-1984. Taiwan is called as Chinese Taipei, and the United Nations does not recognize Taiwan as a country. Taiwan's unemployment rate was 3.8% in 2017, and Electrical and Computer machinery are its top two exports. Taiwan has been independent of China since 1950, but do not mention this fact to most Chinese government officials. The Chinese government wants to keep Taiwan as a region, or state of China forever. Taiwan used to be called Formosa, and it is under the rule of Republic of China (ROC) in the Chinese constitution.
Since 2013, over 67% of the Taiwanese population feel that the country should not unite with China. Almost 79% of the island population feel that they are Taiwanese, not Chinese. The official currency of Taiwan is the New Taiwan Dollar, and $1 is 30 Taiwan New Dollar (or NT). Could Taiwan go its own way or road, instead of being under Chinese unified rule? The country should pass an anti-secession law, but it could be many decades until this public opinion becomes a reality. Currently, the majority of the general public wants to maintain the status quo which is to be considered a region or state of China. More than 20 countries in different continents (North America, Asia, Africa, etc.) maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The political and legal status of Taiwan is called the 'Taiwan issue, or Taiwan problem.'
In addition, the main language in Taiwan is mandarin Chinese. It is hilarious when people consider Taiwanese as a language. Heck, a few Chinese people have told me that Taiwanese is indeed a recognized language. This story's closing points is Taiwan should become an independent country, and hopefully this plan becomes a reality before 2050. The island nation of Taiwan may not be a very safe place, but the country has improved its economic status through major exports and a higher GDP in 2017. Taiwan is considered as one of the four Asian Tigers, and it is one of the largest supplier of computer chips in the world. Maybe, the flag of Taiwan will change its colors and symbols one day to be separated from China. The current flag of Taiwan shines brightly above.
Today, there were three wineries in Napa County and Sonoma County for me to visit. Jacuzzi family vineyards was the first winery on my list, and this winery offered 5 different wine tastings for $10. This winery had a good selection of white wines like pinot grigio, prosecco, and chardonnay. Besides imbibing these three white wines, there should have been more of my favorite white wines like Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc. But, these wines were not offered in the inventory. Jacuzzi vineyards is located in the city of Sonoma, in Sonoma County. The next winery for me to visit was Artesa winery, which is located in the city of Napa in Napa County. Artesa is known for its panoramic views of Napa Valley, and there are a couple of nice avant-garde structures on the grounds. Yet, the sole white wine for me to drink was Albariño which is made in Spain. Artesa wins the award for least amount of white wine, for G. Ripley to drink. There should have been two or more white wines for me to try, at Artesa. Then, this winery would not have been the worst one for me to see out of the three. Also, the food at Artesa was a very limited plate of cheese; salami; chorizo, etc. Next, Inglenook winery became the next winery for me to visit in the city of Rutherford. This winery located in Napa county is hard to find; as it is tucked away from other visible wineries. The winery is owned by the Coppola family, and there is a wall that gives its ancestry including the famous Hollywood director, Francis Ford Coppola. Nicolas Cage, Sofia Coppola, Talia Shire, and Jason Schwartzman are famous Hollywood actors and actresses mentioned in the diverse family tree. There was a vast selection of white wines at Inglenook, like Sauvignon Blanc; Riesling; Chardonnay; and Blancaneaux. Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling wines were the ones, which I enjoyed. Inglenook winery was the most favorite of mine in the list of wineries today. Inglenook is quite ostentatious and lavish, as the winery has two levels in the chateau. The second level has the Tucker vehicle, which is an American car built in 1948. Finally, the Inglenook winery is the oldest of the three wineries seen today as it was built in 1879. Artesa is my least favorite of the wineries, and Jacuzzi is in the middle. The picture above shows the Inglenook winery with its greenery; fountain; and beautiful steps. A dopo!
Today, my encounter with the Zeus virus was a crazy one. The virus started when Mozilla Firefox did not open up to rotten tomatoes website, on my laptop. Instead, there was a voice on my computer talking about someone stealing my banking information, through my Facebook account and my yahoo or gmail account. The Zeus virus is a Trojan horse malware that runs on MS Windows. The Zeus virus is used to steal banking information by logging keystrokes, that a person does inside their web browser. The Zeus virus is spread through phishing schemes. If you have Norton Anti Virus software, then the Zeus virus can be removed and detected.
The Zeus Virus is one of the ten most destructive computer viruses of 2017, as G. Ripley found Infoworld.com had cited this information. The virus was discovered in 2009, and it is not retiring anytime soon. The virus was first discovered for performing criminal tasks, and it has infected computers in many diverse ways. In late 2010, the creator of the Zeus virus announced his retirement but not so fast. In recent months, the virus is still infecting computers like yours truly. If a computer has the virus, it is not the end of the world. The way to fix the computer was to uninstall Mozilla Firefox, and to turn off the computer. Then, you can reinstall Mozilla Firefox through another web browser. Test the Mozilla Firefox by going to basic websites like usatoday, and CNN.com. If you don't have the message coming out of your computer mysteriously, then the Zeus virus Trojan horse may be removed. Hackers from Russia and the Ukraine had controlled the Zeus virus back in 2011. Finally, there may be a time where the web browser does not have any indication or traces of the malware. In the end, everyone should realize that if your computer has a virus or Trojan malware then the computer can be recovered without any problems. One should install Windows Defender, McAfee Internet Security software, Norton Antivirus, or avast antivirus to remove and detect computer viruses. At the end of the day, a good computer is one that does not have any computer viruses that can infect the computer. Hope you enjoyed this article, on computer viruses and the 'system failure' image above. Addio!