Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Penguins of Madagascar Toys at McDonalds

The current Happy Meal toys feature characters from Nickelodeon's Penguins of Madagscar. I do not eat meat and even McDonalds fries are not vegetarian, so I am not trying to collect the set, but my mom got one for me and my dad got me two when he took my brother to McDonalds last week. So I have ended up with three of the toys.

I am kind of iffy on whether I think they are cool or not. They definitely look cool and they are great Adelie penguins for my penguin display in my Antarctic bathroom. However, as toys they fail quality wise.

First off the Private Penguin Toy (#7 in the series) is supposed to shoot out water, but it barely gets on little stream out per refill.

Secondly, the Kowalski Flips toy (#5 in the series) does not fit on the thing to flip it and even once you finally get it balanced it does not really flip up much at all.

On the other hand the Rico Disc Launcher (#2 in the series) works great, as it does suction on very well and launches the discs surprisingly far across the room.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Finally, a Shackleton Reached the South Pole

I am seriously considering February 2010 to be called Shackleton month, as it seems so many of my posts (3 of 4 so far) are related to Ernest Shackleton. This included my review of the movie Shackleton and the recovering of his whiskey.

Now I just read an article about the first Shackleton finally visiting the South Pole. The first Shackleton to the Pole is Navy Commander Scott Shackleton, who is part of this year's Operation Deep Freeze. He is a fifth cousin of Ernest Shackleton. Of course, Scott Shackleton had it easy in comparison flying into the pole and not attempting to trek across Antarctic to get there.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Video of Shackleton's Whiskey Recovered

I posted about the whiskey being recovered a few days ago here. Today I found out about a YouTube video about the recent recovery of Shackleton's whiskey. The video is below.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Whale Wars 2010: Another Clash of Boats

Earlier this year one of the activists boats were sunk in a clash between the whalers and the activists. The most recent clash was the ramming of the activist's ship, the Bob Barker, with one of the Japanese whaling ships, the No. 3 Yushin Maru. As usual they blame each other and there really is not much of a way to say who was really at fault.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Shackleton's Whisky Salvaged

Back in November I posted about the mission to salvage some of Shackleton's whisky from his 1909 Nimrod expedition. The whisky has now successfully been recovered. The team was sent to recover some of the McKinlay and Co whisky, but they also ended up recovering two cases of Hunter Valley Distillery Limited brandy. The majority recovered (3 cases) was of the McKinlay and Co whisky. The current owners of McKinlay and Co (Whyte and Mackay company) hope to be able to get a sample of the whisky and recreate the rare long discontinued brand of whisky.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Antarctic Documentary: Shackleton

Shackleton is an amazing movie based on Shackleton's Endurance expedition. The title is slightly misleading making it seem like it is about all of Shackleton's life, but it is pretty exlusively about the Endurance expedition. It is, however, a well-done movie based on the diaries of the men on the expedition. I have read a lot about the expedition and seen other documentaries, but this one truly stands out.

The main thing that stands out is that this movie spends a good deal of time focusing on the preparations for the expedition and the struggle just to get the expedition together. Of course, the main struggle is on the ice and in the James Caird, but it is nice to see how just getting to the ice too a lot of work in terms of getting the funding.

The 3-DVD set is mostly the movie, but the third disc is also full of special features worth checking out (note: that if you rent it through Netflix like I did you have to manually go in and add the bonus disc, as it does not add it when you add the movie to your queue and I almost missed it entirely). The bonus materials include an interesting documentary on the making of the movie and the difficulties of getting the right conditions to recreate the scenes. There is also a documentary that really is about all of Shackleton's life, as well as a feature on the general history of Antarctic exploration and research.