Have you ever questioned the nature of your own reality?
HBO’s hit drama Westworld is about a futuristic park of the same name that was created to resemble the wild west and allow tourists the opportunity to live out their wildest dreams. The creators of the park used artificial intelligence to build hosts, which are essentially robots that resemble human beings both in physical features and emotional ones. The hosts are programmed with several different storylines and even some improvisational capabilities that are so realistic that guests cannot even tell the difference between real humans and the ones that only exist in the park. Guests are allowed to do whatever they want – shoot up a village, have sex with prostitutes, drink at the local bars – but cannot be harmed in any way while they are in Westworld.
The idea of a place like Westworld is a really interesting concept. What if there was a theme park you could go to that perfectly resembled the real world except for the fact that there are no consequences for you while you are there? However, what really makes the show interesting is when it explores the true nature of human beings. Most of the time, guests use the park to satisfy primal urges such as killing, having sex, and drinking. Humans want to be able to do these things with no consequences. On the other end, the hosts are so artificially intelligent and so smart that they slowly start to become self-aware of the nature of their own reality. Westworld really makes you think about how blurred the line could become between humans and technology.
I loved the concept of Westworld and thought the producers of this show did a really good job at exploring several different complex philosophies relating to artificial intelligence, human nature, and in particular human consciousness. I thought the acting was really great and the cinematography was amazing. The opening credits of each episode essentially show how Westworld was created using a 3D printing like technology, and I believe the physical setting for Westworld was in Utah which had plenty of beautiful landscapes to use. My one criticism of the show would be that it was very confusing at times, especially during the finale. I felt like the show could have slowed down a bit more and be drawn out to 12 or 15 episodes so that there was more time to absorb and process things. However, the confusing nature of the show also opened the door for many theories and discussions among fans which gives you several different perspectives.
Rotten Tomatoes: 89% critics, 92% audience
My score: 8.5/10
Let me know what you thought of the show in the comments down below!
The year 2016 was full of great memories and experiences. The video below shows the highlights from my life that were captured on camera during the past year.
On February 20th I downloaded an app called One Second Everyday where you take a one second video each day using the app and then create a mashup of all the videos together. While the video above shows the top highlights of 2016, the mashup below showed a representation of the day to day activities in my life.
At this point, people have said everything there is to say about the New England Patriots coming from 25 points down to win Super Bowl LI, their fifth Lombardi Trophy. Therefore, I just wanted to give some of my thoughts on the game and what it means for the future.
- Revenge Complete – Tom Brady was unfairly punished by Roger Goodell for something he did not do, and responded with the one of the best regular seasons and one of the best postseasons of all time. Brady won, Goodell lost, and the world is a better place because of it.
- Better comeback? – The Patriots completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, so a popular question in Boston now is which was better: Super Bowl LI or the 2004 ALCS? I still think I give the edge to the 3-0 comeback against the Yankees, but man that football game was epic.
- Brady/Belichick #5 – Tom Brady has now universally established himself as the greatest QB of all time by breaking the record for Super Bowl wins and Super Bowl MVP’s. Bill Belichick also broke a tie with Chuck Noll by winning a fifth Super Bowl as a head coach, also solidifying him as the greatest coach of all time.
- Boston Titletown – The Patriots championship makes ten overall for Boston pro sports since the Patriots first Super Bowl title in 2001. Boston has not gone more than three years without at least one championship since 2001.
- Three out of Four peat? – The Patriots open as the favorite to win Super Bowl LII in Vegas. A win in Super Bowl LII would mean the Patriots would have won three Super Bowls in four years for the second time.
- Tom Brady turns 40 – Tom Brady will be 40 at the start of the 2017 season and has showed no signs of slowing down. How long will he actually be able to perform at a high level? I think two more years but wouldn’t be surprised if he went beyond that.
- Offseason – Now that the season is officially over, what will happen during the offseason. Will Jimmy Garoppolo get traded? Could Gronk get traded? Will the Patriots give Hightower a big contract? Will Martellus Bennett take less money to stay? Who should the team be looking at in the first round of the 2017 draft?
The Patriots season truly was incredible and winning the Super Bowl this year truly was the most satisfying of all the championships. I’m looking forward to enjoying this offseason as champions and competing for another trophy again next year.
Posted in NFL, Sports
Tagged bill belichick, championship, comeback, jimmy garoppolo, new england patriots, NFL, roger goodell, Super Bowl, super bowl LI, tom brady
Isaiah Thomas was taken with the 60th and final pick in the 2011 draft out of Washington by the Sacramento Kings. After making no impact in Sacramento and Phoenix, Thomas was traded to the Celtics at the 2015 trade deadline and has been a crucial part of the Celtics’ success ever since. Boston made a run at the playoffs during that season and finished 7th in the East in large part thanks to Thomas. The following year Isaiah Thomas took over the role as starting point guard and led the team to a 48-34 record and the 5th seed in the playoffs.
Despite high expectations for Thomas and the Celtics this season, Isaiah has been able to once again take it to another level and launch himself into the NBA’s elite. Not only has he been lighting it up from a scoring stand point (29.9 PPG – 2nd in NBA), but he has been scoring when it counts the most. Thomas is averaging 10.5 PPG in the fourth quarter alone, including four 20 point fourth quarters, which is on to pace to shatter the highest fourth quarter PPG in the last 20 years. Thomas’ 29.9 PPG is tied with Larry Bird in 1987 for the highest scoring season in Celtics’ history. If Isaiah can catch Russell Westbrook for the scoring title, he will be the first franchise player in history to do so. Thomas is also approaching John Havlicek’s records of 40 straight 20 point games (he currently has 34 and counting).
Thomas is also challenging several Celtics franchise records this season.
The biggest case for Isaiah Thomas for MVP this year is the Celtics’ record with him on the court. Since he returned from injury in mid-December, the Celtics are 19-6 and have risen all the way to the #2 seed in the East with a 32-18 record, sitting only 2.5 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thomas has averaged 33 points per game since coming back from injury, and has scored 60 points over the last three games in the fourth quarter alone. The little guy turns 28 years old on Tuesday and shows no signs of slowing down. I think no player is more valuable to his team at this point in the season right now than Isaiah Thomas.
La La Land tells the story of two young people aspiring to make it big in the extremely competitive entertainment industry in Los Angeles. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a jazz pianist whose passion is to make jazz popular again and start his own jazz club. Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress trying to land TV or movie roles but also wants to star in her own play and her write her own script. Sebastian and Mia keep running into each other coincidentally, either at a restaurant or a coffee shop or a party, until it becomes only a matter of time until they fall in love with each other. This movie examines the joy and hardships of these two young people as success in their respective careers forces them to make difficult life decisions about their relationship.
If you have paid attention to the movie world at all during the last few months, than it shouldn’t be surprising that I think this movie is nothing short of phenomenal. This is also coming from someone who is big into the horror movie genre and tends to dislike romance/musical type movies in general. The perfect word to describe this movie is beautiful. The cinematography was outstanding and the musical tracks throughout this entire movie did a great job at complementing the emotions portrayed by the main characters throughout. The acting from Gosling and Stone was outstanding because they really did an excellent job at portraying the real life struggles and emotions that occur when you are forced to decide between your career and someone you love. I thought the ending was brilliant and really tied together the entire theme of the movie by examining the consequences of the choices that young people, who have their whole lives ahead of them, can make.
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
My Rating: 9.5/10
This is one of those movies that everyone should see regardless of demographic or movie preference. I highly recommend it.
The NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons and AFC Champion New England Patriots travel to Houston to face off against each other in Super Bowl LI on February 5th. The Patriots will enter the game as 3 point favorites while the over under of 59.5 is the highest in Super Bowl history. The stakes for this game are pretty clear: Atlanta is seeking it’s first Super Bowl in team history while Tom Brady is seeking an NFL record 5th Super Bowl trophy while being able to exact revenge on corrupt commissioner Roger Goodell.
Matt Ryan and Julio Jones lead a high flying offense with a multitude of weapons up against a Patriots defense that led the NFL by giving up just 15.6 points per game in the regular season. I expect the Patriots primary focus will be taking Julio out of the game by double teaming him with a combination of Logan Ryan or Malcolm Butler and a safety covering him at all times. The Patriots linebackers will have their work cut out for them trying to stop a dynamic duo in the Falcons backfield of Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman who can be deadly in the screen game.
On defense, the Falcons have improved throughout the year and their speed has consistently caused turnovers for the opposing offense. However, even without Gronk, the Falcons will have their hands full trying to slow down Tom Brady and his multitude of weapons. I think the Patriots can use the ground game with Legarrette Blount and Dion Lewis to expose the smaller size of the Falcons defensive front. Tom Brady will look to utilize his go to weapons in the playoffs with Edelman and Hogan to carve up the Falcons secondary.
At the end of the day, this is a matchup of one team that consistently knows how to win against another team full of newcomers to the big stage. I think Belichick has a coaching advantage over Dan Quinn and I think the Patriots want this game more than the Falcons for a chance to get revenge over Deflategate and establish themselves as one of the greatest dynasties in the history of professional sports. New England beats Atlanta 31-26.
BONUS PROP BET PICKS
- PATRIOTS -3 (obviously)
- UNDER 59.5 total points scored (also obviously)
- DION LEWIS (+2000) for MVP
- TAILS for the coin flip
- UNDER 2:20 for the national anthem
- OVER 1.5 times Trump mentioned during broadcast
- ANY OTHER COLOR (5/2) than blonde for Lady Gaga’s hair
- UNDER 1.5 times deflategate mentioned during broadcast
- UNDER 1.5 times Gisele shown during broadcast
- BLUE (15/2) color of gatorade for winning team
Let me know your thoughts on the game in the comments down below!
Posted in NFL, Sports
Tagged atlanta falcons, bill belichick, dan quinn, deflategate, devonta freeman, dion lewis, julian edelman, julio jones, Matt Ryan, mvp, new england patriots, NFL, nfl playoffs, prop bets, super bowl LI, tevin coleman, tom brady
Sunday, January 22nd at 3:05 PM: #4 Green Bay Packers @ #2 Atlanta Falcons (-4)
The NFC Championship may feature the best quarterback battle in recent playoff memory as red hot Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers fly south to Atlanta to take on MVP candidate Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ #1 scoring offense. Green Bay got off to a hot start in Dallas before barely hanging on at the end, while the Falcons were rarely tested in a blowout of Seattle. This game may come down to which defense makes a play during the final drive, as I expect both teams’ offenses to tee off on the opposing defense. I think the Packers’ defense has been very vulnerable and Matt Ryan, who is one of the bests QB’s when playing on his home turf, will make big plays to Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu. The Falcons defense does have a decent pass rush and if they can stall one or two key packer drives with a sack or negative play, Atlanta will have a great chance to move on. However, Aaron Rodgers is playing out of his mind and will carry the Packers to a 38-34 win.
Sunday, January 22nd at 6:40 PM: #3 Pittsburgh Steelers at #1 New England Patriots (-5.5)
Arguably the two most successful franchises and quarterbacks in recent memory will clash on Sunday as Big Ben and the Steelers take on Tom Brady and the Patriots. These teams have combined for 10 Super Bowl titles while the quarterbacks alone have combined for 6 rings. The winner of this matchup will set an NFL record with their 9th Super Bowl appearance. The key to this game will be each team’s gameplan on defense. The Patriots will have to figure out how to stop Antonio Brown and Leveon Bell while the Steelers will have to pass rush Tom Brady and game plan for a myriad of offensive weapons that includes Julian Edelman and Dion Lewis. Tom Brady has had great success against the Steelers throughout his career including two victories over them in the AFC Championship, and has never lost to current Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. The Patriots will play a hard fought game and Bill Belichick will ultimately outcoach Mike Tomlin while Malcolm Butler contains Antonio Brown and the Pats run defense steps up. Patriots advance to Super Bowl LI 27-23.
Let me know your predictions in the comments down below!
Posted in Sports
Tagged aaron rodgers, AFC Championship, antonio brown, atlanta falcons, ben roethlisberger, bill belichick, green bay packers, leveon bell, malcolm butler, Matt Ryan, mike tomlin, new england patriots, NFC Championship, nfl playoffs, pittsburgh steelers, tom brady