REVIEW: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

I just finished reading The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown the other day, and it was excellent. It’s also #1 in the Amazon.ca Sales Ranking! Anyway, this is my quick review of the book, no real spoilers so feel free to read. First, here is what the book is about (from Amazon.ca):

A murder in the silent after-hour halls of the Louvre museum reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ. The victim is a high-ranking agent of this ancient society who, in the moments before his death, manages to leave gruesome clues at the scene that only his daughter, noted cryptographer Sophie Neveu, and Robert Langdon, a famed symbologist, can untangle. The duo become both suspects and detectives searching for not only Neveu’s father’s murderer but also the stunning secret of the ages he was charged to protect. Mere steps ahead of the authorities and the deadly competition, the mystery leads Neveu and Langdon on a breathless flight through France, England, and history itself.

Now I know what you’re thinking, what is Mack doing reading a book about religion! Well, seems I really DO read a variety of things and am not totally ignorant about the topic. This book was a superb read, very entertaining. Yet at the same time, quite educational! Brown succeeds in blending fact and fiction to make history enjoyable.

And there are a lot of facts in this book! On his website, Dan Brown explains how much of the novel is true – namely, the artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals. That is what made the book most interesting to me; that so much of it was true! It was definitely interesting to read about an actual ancient secret society that actually performed the rituals described and followed the beliefs explored in the book. I suppose I would be lying if I said I liked the theory about our modern day religions and where they came from.

I definitely suggest you read this book – its wonderful! And if you are really keen, Brown has even posted a partial bibliography of titles on the topic. Anyone else read this book yet? I want to discuss it with someone 🙂

The Thin Blue Line

Not to take anything away from Tampa winning the cup, but I had an MRI today (for Brock‘s job). It was an interesting experience! I called this post the thin blue line, because there is one that runs up the center of the inside of the machine. That and the fact that at times it sounds like machine guns going off 🙂

It was painless, not too long, and really not that uncomfortable (unless you are afraid of enclosed places). It was also neat because there is a little mirror inside so that you can see out. Good job Brock 🙂

Check out the pictures!

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING – STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS 2004

After two periods of superb hockey and one terribly dirty and horribly officiated third, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 to earn their first franchise Stanely Cup! For more on the game, visit SportsGuru.

Vincent Lecavalier was awesome in this game, running circles around the Flames. The Bulin Wall was big when he had to be. And DAVE ANDREYCHUK has finally won a Cup after 22 seasons. Fedotenko had two goals tonight. Richards was dangerous as always. The first two periods were ALL Tampa Bay.

The third period was terrible. A call that was absolute bullshit (since when is two guys colliding a penalty for either one!?) gave Calgary a powerplay and they scored to get within one. Yet, as we have seen before, Calgary got dirty and took a penalty in the last minute of the game, after which Iginla did his famous yapping. And it was dirty, stick up in the face, in the corner, at an awkward angle when someone already had him covered. Of course, Iginila had nothing again – no goals, no shots, no assists, absolutely dick-all. It’s a damn good thing that Brad Richards was named MVP, as Iginla (the other favorite) clearly did not earn it.

So Tampa are the new champs. There are more Canadians on their roster than on Calgary. They finished second overall in the regular season. They played as a TEAM, everyone contributing when they had to, and obviously earned their win. I am a proud Canadian, but I first and foremost want fair play. Tampa won fair and square (and without any dirty play I might add). Saying the Cup belongs in Canada because its a Canadian game is like saying no one should win the World Cup except Brazil. Or that the Blue Jays should never have won the World Series. It simply doesn’t fly.

Oh, and I am an Edmonton Oiler fan. Thus I cannot cheer for Calgary. If you can’t understand that, you aren’t a true Edmonton fan. Go ask a Montreal fan about cheering for Toronto. You’ll get the same thing if they are a true Habs fan. This has nothing to do with not cheering for Canada.

The forecast was LIGHTNING and they delivered!! TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING ARE THE NEW CHAMPS!

[UPDATE: Thanks to SportsGuru for pointing out that Tampa actually finished second in the regular season, three points behind Detroit.]

Super Size Me!

I went to see the documentary Super Size Me today with Sharon. It was really great, and I definitely recommend it to everyone. I know that I will never stop eating McDonald’s completely, but this movie will definitely make you think twice.

Morgan Spurlock is the interesting fellow who decides to go on the McDiet. Three meals a day for thirty days he eats only McDonalds. He looks like a regular guy, but at the beginning you find out his health is superb. You know, of course, that his health will deteriorate, but you have to watch the movie to see just how bad it is. It’s really astounding.

After the movie it was suppertime, and guess where we went? NOT McDonalds! We had pasta and then went for coffee, but the movie kind of makes you lose your appetite. If you get the chance, watch this movie!

One other thing to note, I was underdressed compared to Sharon, BUT I got lots of comments on my “Have a sister?” shirt! Turns out its an excellent conversation starter for people 🙂

Forecast: LIGHTNING BABY!!!

Game 6 was a dandy as Sportsguru will tell you, but Tampa Bay prevailed and we are going to game seven! It was a very tense game, but the end result is all that matters 🙂

The movie (Day After Tomorrow) wasn’t all that bad either. I walked out of the theatre half expecting snow. In fact, it was actually quite humorous in places!

Now, I propose we stage a flag burning downtown after the game Monday night, where Oiler fans who are cheering for Calgary can redeem themselves by taking those stupid car flags and burning them. What do you think? Damn traitors shouldn’t get off scott-free!

OH…before I forget. The Flames lost. HOW MANY GODDAMNED POINTS DID IGINLA HAVE? HOW VISIBLE WAS HE? Useless.

Gillette's M3Power

Anyone seen the commercials for Gillette‘s new razor, the M3Power? Looked like a damn cool “shaving system” so picked one up to try. Now, for a device that contains 36 patents I expect nothing less than the “World’s Best Shave”.

I must say, its a damn cool razor. Obviously, its not going to be better than the fancy self-cleaning, self-sharpening, self-coffee-pouring electric razors you can get, but for a normal razor, its damn sweet. And really its not that normal.

It’s green and silver, awesome. It has an on/off switch, awesome. It takes less strokes, awesome. It has advanced lubricated strips with Vitamin E and Aloe, awesome. It uses micro-pulses to stimulate hair away from skin, awesome. It was launched like a movie, awesome. But why do I like this razor? Simple. I am a guy, and this is a gadget 🙂

RE: NHL pulls Fraser, Watson from Game 6

Don’t mean to trespass on SportsGuru’s turf, but this one irks me. From TSN:

Sources told TSN the league has decided referees Kerry Fraser and Brad Watson, who officiated Game 4 in Calgary, will not handle Game 6 at the Saddledome. [Read Full Story

And in the comments, this one from CAULFIELD14 hits the nail bang on the head:

This is rediculous [sic]. It drives me nuts how a loss is anyone’s fault but the players. Fraser, love him or hate him, has done a great job in this league for 30+ years. Somehow it’s his fault TB scored on a powerplay in the opening minutes? And Watson (a good Regina kid) makes the proper boarding major call and he get pulled from game 6? Why doesn’t someone blame Neiminen for his actions? No one blamed Walkom or LaRue for calling Bertuzzi’s hit? Neiminen takes stupid penalties all the time (his 3 minors vs VAN, game 1). The referees are assigned the finals based on PERFOMANCE. They are consumate professionals, and get the calls right 99% of the time, even when they are against Calgary.

It’s shaping up to be a memorable, if controversial, series! Why do I get the feeling that if Calgary loses on Saturday, Sutter will come out and complain about the referees being changed?

Read: TSN

Game 6 and Movie!

If you aren’t doing anything on Saturday you should come to BP’s at South Edmonton Common to watch Game 6 of Tampa Bay vs Calgary! Unfortunately the Flames won tonight, so I’ll be cheering for Tampa to win and then take the cup at home! I’ll be there, and so will Dickson, Andrew, Megan, and probably Sharon and Annie (who, please note, STILL do not have blogs). After the game we’re gonna go watch The Day After Tomorrow.

WHO: You and the people above!
WHEN: Saturday, June 5th, 2004 at 6:00 PM
WHERE: Boston Pizza’s Lounge at South Edmonton Common
WHY: To cheer on Tampa Bay then watch a movie!

Hope to see you there!