Category Archives: In the news

Edward Mullen’s Big Brother 20 Predictions

With Big Brother 20 starting last week, I decided to make some picks. I’ve seen the first episode, which introduces all the characters, shows a bit of their backstories, their social interaction, their game play, etc. There’s very little to go on, but that also makes picking this early on fun and exciting.

So without further ado, here are my #BB20 picks starting from the first eviction all the way to the winner. To learn why I made these decisions, please check out my video:


Big Brother 20 Sam Bledsoe

Sam Bledsoe

Age: 27

Welder

big brother 20 Rachel Swindler

Rachel Swindler

Age: 29

Vegas entertainer

big brother 20 angie rockstar lantry

Angie “Rockstar” Lantry

Age: 34

Stay-at-home mom

big brother 20 steve arienta

Steve Arienta

Age: 40

Former undercover cop

big brother 20 tyler crispen

Tyler Crispen

Age: 23

Lifeguard

big brother 20 chris swaggy c williams

Chris “Swaggy C” Williams

Age: 23

Day trader

big brother 20 bayleigh dayton

Bayleigh Dayton

Age: 25

Flight attendant

big brother 20 kaitlyn herman

Kaitlyn Herman

Age: 24

Life coach

big brother 20 scottie salton

Scottie Salton

Age: 26

Shipping manager

big brother 20 kaycee clark

Kaycee Clark

Age: 30

Pro-football player

big brother 20 faysal shafaat

Faysal Shafaat

Age: 26

Substitute teacher

big brother 20 angela rummans

Angela Rummans

Age: 26

Fitness model

big brother 20 winston hines

Winston Hines

Age: 28

Medical sales rep

big brother 20 jc mounduix

JC Mounduix

Age: 28

Professional dancer

big brother 20 haleigh broucher

Haleigh Broucher

Age: 21

College student

bb20 WINNER

big brother 2 brett robinson

Brett Robinson

Age: 25

Cybersecurity engineer

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Prodigy is Coming November 1, 2013

Prodigy - Edward Mullen

The greatest tragedy the world has ever known turned out to be the ultimate catalyst for change. In the wake of World War III, which decimated most of the world’s population, the remaining survivors vowed to not continue to repeat the same mistakes of the past. Fortunately, they had something previous generations did not have – advanced technology.

The year is 2117 and this once shattered civilization has become prosperous again. Innovative forms of technology have enabled them to abandon the old model and re-engineer a better way of living for all. Brain implants and genetic modifications have made an entire population educated, healthy, and kind.

Despite the benefits of this technology, it has created some unforeseen side effects that threaten humankind’s existence. When technology proves to be inept at solving the world’s problem, a new hope emerges in the unlikeliest form – a young orphan girl.

Article by Edward Mullen

Author of The Art of the Hustle and Destiny and Free Will

Host of The Edward Mullen Podcast

www.EdwardMullen.com

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Oblivion Explained (Spoiler Alert)

oblivion explained

My Cloud Atlas Explained post and my Life of Pi Explained post are both number one on Google (respectively), so I’m going to try my best to explain the movie Oblivion.

I think the best starting place for this movie is a scene that took place near the end.

Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and a crew of six others embark on a mission to explore some massive craft in space that orbits earth. As Jack and his crew get closer, the gravity of the massive craft is so strong that it pulls them in and they cannot escape from it. Realizing this, Jack makes a last-ditch effort to disengage a portion of the ship that contains five of the seven crew members. Jack succeeds and the portion containing the five crew members floats freely into space while Jack and his commanding partner board the massive craft. The five crew members are completely unaware of all this because for some reason they are in a sort of hibernation state.

So the portion of the ship containing Jack and his commanding partner drifts into the giant object in space (known as the Tet). Once in the Tet, it is presumed that Jack and his commanding partner are killed and cloned – perhaps not in that order. The details of this and the following series of events are not exactly clear forcing us to infer these parts of the story.

The Tet unleashes havoc on earth by destroying the moon. This disrupts the tidal and tectonic balance causing massive earthquakes and tsunamis. The process decimates nearly everyone and everything. The reason the Tet did this was because it needs energy from planets like earth similar to Unicron from Transformers or Galactus from Silver Surfer. But instead of eating the planet, it sent thousands of Jack Harper clones to earth to set up giant machines that extract energy from the oceans. It also deployed drones to protect Jack Harper and these machines. The drones are also tasked with scouring the surface of earth for any remaining humans that may thwart the Tet’s plan, and are programmed to kill them on site.

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Act 1

The movie starts with Jack Harper (Technician 49) and his female partner – who we eventually discover are clones of the original Jack Harper and commanding officer from 60 years ago. They have no idea they are clones because their ‘memories’ have been wiped clean. They are assigned the thankless mission of staying on earth and repairing any drones if and when necessary. They live in an über-modern house in the sky and are romantically involved.

Jack’s partner acts as his ‘eyes in the sky’ keeping him safe while he is on the surface performing his daily duties. The partner communicates with the Tet, who appears under the guise of a benevolent woman on a video screen. The Tet gives them instructions and protocols to follow, approves or denies requests, and reinforces the promise of one day returning to the Tet. They are told that once they complete their mission, they will be reunited with the other remaining humans from earth who are on board the Tet, and together they will travel to one of the moons of Saturn to establish a new colony.

Each day, Jack goes down to search and repair drones and is told to stay out of certain radiation zones. Jack tries on multiple attempts to persuade his partner to join him on the earth’s surface, but every time she vehemently declines because it is against protocol.

While repairing the drones, Jack gathers items that are left over from the past, such as books, baseballs, and records. Jack must also be on the lookout for ‘Scavs’ – scavengers who he is led to believe are the remaining aliens that destroyed earth. These Scavs watch Jack and notice that he is different than the other clones because he shows an unprecedented curiosity with these lost and forgotten objects from times past.

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Act 2

One day, the Scavs jury-rig some sort of device to a tower and attract the original Jack’s aforementioned disengaged crew, who have been drifting through space in a sleep-like state for the past 60 years. Once the crew ship lands, everyone is killed by drones except one – the original Jack’s wife Julia, who was one of the crew members. Jack rescues Julia, but has no idea who she is. He experiences flashbacks of her – remnants of his original self’s memories. These vague recollections grow stronger after Jack spends the day with Julia. She informs Jack that she is in fact his wife.

Julia convinces Jack to go back to the crash site to retrieve the flight log from her ship so she’ll have a better understanding of what happened. During this operation, the Scavs capture Jack and Julia. They reveal themselves as humans (not aliens) and tell him the truth. The truth is that the Tet is not a ship filled with humans, but rather some artificial intelligence hell-bent on destroying the world for its own sake. Apparently, it needs the energy from planets like earth to keep it alive. Information like who built the Tet, where it comes from, and how it uses the earth as an energy source are never explained.

Together, Jack and Julia enter the forbidden radiation zone. Jack discovers another clone of himself (Technician 52), which confuses the hell out of them both. They fight, and Tech 49 Jack chokes Tech 52 unconscious with a sweet triangle choke. Jack 49 takes Jack 52’s ship, goes back to 52’s house, and discovers another commanding officer, who is a spitting image of his commanding partner. I skipped the part where Jack 49’s commanding partner gets killed and also that she told the Tet that Jack found a woman who had crash landed to earth. So Jack 49 asks Jack 52’s partner if she wants to visit the surface with him and she vehemently tells him no – implying that 52 is much like 49 in that they share the same curious nature that was observed by the Scavs.

Oblivion

Act 3

Meanwhile, back at the Scav hideout, three drones attack the Scavs. A big fight ensues and the drones eventually get defeated, but not without killing several Scavs. Jack 49 partners with the Scavs and together they devise a plan to destroy the Tet. The plan is to board the Tet and detonate a bomb akin to Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star. But before Jack 49 boards the Tet, he leaves Julia behind at a little house he had built by a lake. The house is filled with all the old relics that he had gathered (books, baseball, records…).

So apparently Julia was pregnant with Jack 49’s baby and lived at the house for the next three or four years. We are led to believe she had the baby by herself (now 3 or 4-years old) and fended for the two until one day, Jack 52 and the Scavs find her. It is a big happy moment because Jack 52 has been searching for her for the past three or four years. Since he shares most (if not all) of Jack 49’s memories, he is a sufficient substitute for Jack 49 (who died in the explosion on the Tet) and the original Jack (who also died on the Tet).

My overall opinion of the movie is that it was really good. It started off slow, but that made it suspenseful. While the action and dialogue was limited, it was visually stunning and made for a great sci-fi adventure tale.

See Also:

Interstellar Explained

Cloud Atlas Explained

Transcendence Explained

Life of Pi Explained

Looper Explained

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Should Fallon Fox Fight?

fallon fox

In short, yes of course.

I never really understood what all the commotion was about regarding the post-operative transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox. With a tidy 2-0 record, the undefeated Fox met Allanna Jones on May 24th at CFA 11 (Championship Fighting Alliance). In a somewhat lackluster fight, Fox went on to submit Jones in the third round securing her third straight victory.

Fallon Fox has received a wave of media attention after it became known that she did not fully disclose her birth sex prior to fighting one of her earlier opponents. Many people, including UFC commentator and comedian Joe Rogan, current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey, UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione, and even UFC President Dana white have offered similar criticisms of Fox:

  • Men are stronger
  • Men have denser bones (referring to checking leg kicks and such)
  • Men have bigger skeletal structure (broader shoulders, larger hands, etc.)
  • Men’s skeletal structure moves differently (referring to pelvic bones and such)
  • In Fallon Fox’s case, she underwent surgery after going through puberty as a man

All these concerns fall under the same category — Fox has an unfair advantage.

If we assume that their criticisms are correct (despite none of them being doctors, or having any scientific research backing their positions), it still does not justify their conclusion.

1First, according to Sport Science, there is no significant difference between the punching power of men and women in the same weight class. Granted, this conclusion was based on a very small sample size (comparing one male boxer to one female boxer). Nevertheless, their comparison used a normal testosterone-producing male, not a post-operative, transgender on hormone therapy.

2Secondly, she’s competing against women in her same weight class. Whatever weight advantage she has in having denser bones, she loses in muscle mass. In the end, it all works out to be roughly the same difference. Besides, natural unfair advantages exist in every sporting competition on the planet. Some athletes in the same weight class are stronger, taller, faster, have longer limbs, have denser bones, have larger hands, move differently, are more intelligent, and so on. Case in point — UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.

3Thirdly, the fights are consensual. Since disclosing her transgenderness (for lack of a better word), Fox’s opponents can either accept or decline the fight with her. If they know that she is transgender, and are still willing to accept the fight, then who are we to stop them? Having two consensual adults doing things that do not harm anyone else is the same argument for legalizing same sex marriages, marijuana, and other drugs.

4If Fox is banned from fighting women, who ought she fight — men? That doesn’t seem fair. She should be able to fight someone. Besides, considering how talented Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano are, and how douchey Bryan Caraway is, it is conceivable that women could not only fight men, but beat them as well. Who wouldn’t want to see Cat Zingano vs Bryan Caraway?

5Finally, and I’ll close with this, Fox is not beating all of her opponents easily. In her latest bout, Jones took Fox to the third round in a close brawl before Jones lost via submission. This shows that despite these so-called advantages, the fights can still be competitive.

FURTHER READING:

Four Reasons Why Ronda Rousey Was NOT Wrong

The End of MMA?


Article by Edward Mullen

Author of The Art of the Hustle and Destiny and Free Will

Host of The Edward Mullen Podcast

www.EdwardMullen.com

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The Invisible Bike Helmet

invis-485x277No, this is not a joke! Another ‘What-will-they-think-of-next-moment’ hit the web this week when a Swedish company, Hövding, released a video of their new product—the invisible bike helmet.

Eight years ago, two Swedish women, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, set out to solve some problems with traditional bike helmets. As they saw it, the problems were that many cyclists refused to wear bike helmets because they are unattractive and wreak havoc on styled hair.

What started as a project for their master thesis in 2005, turned out to be an innovative solution that defied convention. The invisible bike helmet is not only revolutionary in terms of design and function, but it may also save more lives than standard bike helmets since more people may be willing to wear them. Every year, thousands of cyclists die, or are seriously injured, as a result of being struck by motorists. The women are convinced that “adult cyclists would voluntarily start protecting their heads on the roads without the law ordering them to do so.”

helmie-485x323They have received 10 million dollars to develop their concept. Some concerns at this stage have been raised from the lofty €399 Euro price tag to having an annoying apparatus wrapped around your neck on a hot summer’s day. On the plus side, with the invisible bike Helmet, cyclists’ hair is now free to blow in the wind.

Article by Edward Mullen

Author of The Art of the Hustle and Destiny and Free Will

Host of The Edward Mullen Podcast

www.EdwardMullen.com

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The Truth About Jack the Giant Slayer

jack-the-giant-slayer-reviewUpon seeing the movie, Jack the Giant Slayer, I became curious about the origins of the story since so many other iterations have shared the same theme.

  • Jack the Giant Killer (1711)
  • Jack and the Beanstalk (1807)
  • Roald Dahl’s novel BFG (1982)
  • Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

The version I’m most familiar with is Jack and the Beanstalk—an English folktale that closely resembles its predecessor Jack the Giant Killer. As the story goes, Jack is a poor boy living with his widowed mother on their small plot of land. Their only means of income is a cow, which at some point has stopped producing milk. Jack is instructed by his mother to take the cow to the market to sell it, but along the way he encounters an old man who offers to give Jack some magic beans in exchange for the cow.

Jack accepts the offer and returns home to show his mother the beans. His mother is furious and throws the beans out the window and then sends Jack to bed without dinner.

As Jack sleeps, the beans grow into a gigantic beanstalk reaching a land high in the sky. Jack climbs the beanstalk and upon reaching the top discovers a road leading to the home of a giant. Jack enters the house and asks the giant’s wife for some food for his aching belly. The wife gives Jack some food and even hides him when the giant returns home. The giant smells Jack and says:

“Fee-fi-fo-fum!

I smell the blood of an Englishman,

Be he alive, or be he dead,

I’ll have his bones to grind my bread.”

Jack emerges from his hiding spot and escapes down the beanstalk undetected by the giant. However, before leaving Jack steals a bag of gold coins from the giant. Now that I think about it, maybe this is where the slang verb “jack” comes from, which means to steal.

Jack climbs up the beanstalk on two more separate occasions to ‘jack’ some more of the giants’ treasures. The second time, Jack steals a hen that lays golden eggs. The third time he steals a magic harp.

On the third time, Jack is almost caught by the giant, but narrowly escapes down the beanstalk. The giant chases Jack down the beanstalk, but Jack manages to arrive at the bottom first. Jack uses his axe to chop the base of the beanstalk until it falls, causing the giant to plummet to his death. Jack and his mother live happily ever after with their new riches.

Ogres22-23

According to Wikipedia, the giant is unnamed in the classic version of Jack and the Beanstalk, but then takes on the name Blunderbore—the same name as the giant in Jack the Giant Killer.

This wasn’t the only piece of information on Wikipedia that piqued my interest. Apparently, there are a lot of controversial elements that play out in the seemingly innocent children’s story that had eluded me as a small child and even as an adult.

The Uses of Enchantment The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales AmazonIn his book, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales (1976), Child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim offers a theory that the reason Jack and the giant stories resonate with children so much is that they may perceive “grown-ups” to be scary giants at times. He states that the story teaches children to outsmart the giants and get the better of them.

The story is also criticized for its portrayal of Jack being a hero, but deceitfully hiding in the giant’s house, taking advantage of the wife’s sympathies, robbing them, playing a part in the murder of the giant, which leaves the giant’s wife poor and lonely.

Many versions of the story attempt to remedy these problems in the following ways:

  • By introducing a fairy, who tells Jack that the giant had robbed and killed his father, henceforth justifying Jack’s actions as retribution.
  • Vilifying the giant by having him terrorize humans and obtaining his treasure by unscrupulous means.
  • Claiming the hen that lays golden eggs and the harp originally belonged to Jack’s family and Jack was merely retrieving what was rightfully his.
  • By having Jack’s mother chop down the beanstalk rather than Jack.

By juxtaposing Jack’s actions to the antagonist, it paints him as a legitimate hero.

Jack-the-Giant-Slayer

Roald Dahl’s version of Jack and the Beanstalk is called The BFG (1982). In Dahl’s story, the giants fear Jack due to his reputation as a giant killer. Again, the giants are portrayed as friendly (as the tittle suggests—Big Friendly Giant) and Jack’s thefts are completely unmotivated and unjustified.

It’s always interesting to revisit something with a different perspective. It’s tough to say if the story is harmful to children since I doubt any of them would ever recognize Jack’s actions as immoral.

Article by Edward Mullen

Author of The Art of the Hustle and Destiny and Free Will

Host of The Edward Mullen Podcast

www.EdwardMullen.com

Edward Mullen

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Who Would You Cast in the Upcoming Justice League Movie?

Recently, Warner Bros announced their plans to release a Justice League movie—slated for June 2015—creating a lot of speculation as to who will be cast. Since I am a fan, I wanted to join in the speculative fun and proclaim my picks.

Superman – Henry Cavill

henry-cavill-as-superman

I remember watching the movie Immortals a few years ago and seeing Henry Cavill slaying evil. I had no idea who he was, but throughout the whole movie I kept thinking, He would make a great Superman! Obviously, I wasn’t the only person who thought that as he was later cast as the last son of Krypton. Without seeing the new Superman movie yet, it may be a bit premature to cast Henry Cavill in the new franchise, but I have no doubts that he can pull it off.

 

 

 

 

Batman – Matt Bomer

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Casting the role of Batman was difficult for me because I was looking for an actor to be around 35-years-old, they needed to look badass in a cowl, and they needed the acting chops to pull off a dark and gritty Batman as well as the philanthropic billionaire Bruce Wayne. For me, Matt Bomer fits that bill.

In addition, it was reported that Matt lost the role as Clark Kent because he is gay. I think it would be sweet justice to have him play the dark knight.

 

 

Green Lantern – Ryan Reynolds

d5ac27e634f7ad4d_RyanReynoldsGreen-Lantern

I like Ryan Reynolds for this role since he already played Green Lantern and he brings a lot of star power.

 

 

 

Wonder Woman – Gina Carano

gina_wonder

Gina Carano is a former MMA champion turned actress and is an overall badass in all her roles. She has the look and the pedigree to fill Wonder Women’s boots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash – Joel Kinnaman

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Joel Kinnaman may not be a big name now, but after landing the role in the new Robocop reboot, I think his star power will climb.

 

 

 

 

Green Arrow – Justin Hartley

Green_Arrow_Smallville-2

As mentioned before, I am a firm believer in keeping the continuity of characters. Yes, there is a new Green Arrow TV show, but Justin Hartley will always be Green Arrow/ Oliver Queen to me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shazam – Jake Gyllenhaal

jake-gyllenhaal-face_107853-1600x1200

Shazam is such a powerful character that it would make a lot of sense to build him into a franchisable character a la Ironman or Thor. As such, the actor would need to be someone who could carry a franchise. I think Jake Gyllenhaal has the credentials to pull it off.

 

 

 

 

Hawkman – Channing Tatum

still-of-channing-tatum-in-haywireChanning Tatum is a handsome yet rugged actor capable of bringing a comedic element to the role of Hawkman.

 

 

 

 

Aquaman – Adrian Grenier

adrian_grenier

Let’s face it, casting Adrian Grenier as Aquaman would be hilarious! I’m all for a little hilarity. If you don’t get the reference, Adrian’s character Vince was cast as Aquaman in the show Entourage.

 

 

 

 

Martian Manhunter – Tyrese Gibson

220px-Tyrese_Gibson_by_Gage_Skidmore

As one of the core members of the JLA, Martian Manhunter should be played by Tyrese Gibson. Not only does Tyrese have the superhero build, but he is also a really powerful actor.


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