Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Ian McKellen on X-Men, Magneto Prequel

Here's an interview with Ian Mckellen from the website SuperHeroHype.com

He discusses the upcoming Magneto spin-off movie, and the new technology used in X-Men: The Last Stand, that will allow him to play himself at a much younger age.

I just saw X3, and was blown away by the effect used in the opening sequence of the film, where Magneto and Professor X appear in a flash back that is supposed to take place 20 years ago. It was absolutely subtle, and totally convincing. They really looked younger. Patrick Stewart looked just like he did in the first episodes of Star Trek: TNG. No makeup was used, instead photos of their younger selves were somehow mapped on to their faces.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Tahitian Noni lays off 130 workers

My employer just laid off 130 of my co-workers. Here's their explaination why - as told by the Daily herald.
GRACE LEONG - Daily Herald

Tahitian Noni International laid off 130 employees in Provo and American Fork in a move to shift resources from its central Utah office to key regional offices and markets worldwide.

The layoffs, which represent nearly 8 percent of its global work force of 1,650, took effect Thursday and affected departments including training and support, call centers, marketing, and lower executive management in Provo and American Fork.

After the restructuring, the Provo-based dietary supplements maker's offices in Utah, which traditionally provide support for the company's global operations, will have 720 workers.

Its Provo headquarters and call center had 600 workers, while its American Fork research and development, manufacturing, and distribution plant had 250 workers.

The affected workers were given "very generous severance packages, outplacement support services, letters of recommendation and had their health insurance extended for two months," said Shon Whitney, the company's vice president of marketing communications.

The company last laid off 45 workers in 2002 in a cost-cutting move, he said.

"Thursday's cut backs took place across all departments," Whitney said. "Several managing directors and directors were also laid off."

"As we grow globally, it's hard to manufacture and provide international support from just one central location," Whitney said. "We will continue to have more than 700 workers in Utah. But we won't be as centralized as we used to be. We will continue to do R&D, product development manufacturing for North and South America from Utah.

"We're not restructuring the entire organization for cost-cutting reasons this time as much as we're shifting resources and jobs outside of Utah to seven of our key markets in the U.S., Japan, China, Taiwan, Germany, Norway and Sweden."

"By growing our regional support offices, we can move faster as a company and cater to markets in those countries as they are very different from Utah in terms of culture, product, customer service and even technology needs," he said. "We need to put our resources in areas where our sales are coming from."

While the United States is Tahitian Noni's largest market, accounting for 40 percent of its total sales of $530 million this past year, the remaining 60 percent of its sales are derived worldwide.

Japan is the company's second-largest market, accounting for 35 percent of total sales; Europe accounts for between 10 percent and 15 percent, while other markets worldwide account for the remainder.

Whitney said he couldn't immediately specify how much the company will spend on its globalization initiative, nor could he specify how many jobs are being added at its regional offices worldwide. The company is opening a manufacturing plant in China this fall and planning additional support offices in Glendale, Ariz., Japan, Taiwan and Germany.

Last year, the company opened four business support offices each in Japan and Taiwan, and three more offices in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta and New Jersey.

Founded in 1996, the company is operating in 73 markets worldwide and has manufacturing plants in Tahiti, Japan and Germany.

Grace Leong can be reached at 344-2910 or gleong@heraldextra.com.
This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page A1.

Friday, May 26, 2006

How To Backup Your Mac Intelligently

Here's a thorough tutorial of how to best backup your Mac.

read more | digg story

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Mormon Connection in Next Dan Brown Book?

The following story was taken straight from the ksl website. The original story can be found here.

I found this story very interesting. Especially the part about Joseph Smith's Masonic ties and Professor Robert Millet's statement.

May 24th, 2006 @ 10:10pm

Carole Mikita reporting

With the success of the film version of 'The Da Vinci Code', many wonder what's next from author Dan Brown.

Freemasonry, the oldest and largest charitable fraternity in the world, is his focus. Dan Brown saw the Salt Lake Masonic Temple building when he first came to Utah two years ago.

Since there are Masonic Temples in many countries around the world, what's the Utah connection, you ask? Well, Dan Brown also went to Temple Square and noticed the similarity of the symbols on the Salt Lake Temple.

Tens of millions of readers simply could not stop turning the pages of 'The Da Vinci Code'...

Dan Brown has already written Professor Robert Langdon's next adventure. Murder, intrigue and conspiracy take him to Washington, D.C. in search of clues and connections to the Freemasons.

Legend says the fraternal organization had ancient beginnings, back to the masons who built King Solomon's Temple. They adopted a series of secret signals to identify one another for protection.

Ridgely Gilmore, Masonic Grand Master 2005: "Every lodge room, such as the one we're sitting in, is called a representation of King Solomon's Temple... And so, we operate in that structure...is it real? Um, I would let historians argue about that..."

Masonry came to America with the Founding Fathers.

The plot of Brown's new book, "The Solomon Key" apparently involves the murders of current political leaders by a man connected to the Freemasons.

The book deals heavily with Masonic symbols. The 'G' represents God and geometry. The square and the compass represent truths.

Similar symbols adorn the Salt Lake Temple. Two years ago, Dan Brown toured Temple Square and recognized them.

Aaron Wilhelm, Dan Brown's host 2004: "He was, of course, very interested in the symbology on the Mormon temple...he was interested in the pentacles and the suns and the moons and the stars and all that. So, I gather his primary interest was to sort of see the Mormon embellishment of masonry as it exists, in his mind, of course..."

What's the similarity? How will the Mormon and mason connection play out in the new novel? Should latter-day saints be worried the book could intrude on the sanctity of temple ceremonies..."

Professor Don Cannon says the first five presidents of The LDS Church were Masons, beginning with Joseph Smith in Nauvoo.

Donald Q. Cannon, Ph.D., BYU Church History & Doctrine: "There are so many symbols that are very similar...even the external symbols like the all-seeing eye, for example... The beehive for another."

As Joseph Smith was being shot to death in Carthage Jail, he sent a Masonic signal to his attackers.

Don Cannon" 'Oh, Lord, my God... Is there no help for the widow's son? That's the Masonic distress signal he knew that some of the people, possibly in that hostile group were Masons..."

Controversy has swirled for decades. For years, Masons refused to admit Mormons. But in two years, Glen Cook, a Latter-day Saint, will become Utah's first Masonic Grand Master.

Dan Brown, no doubt, has found fascinating examples of Masonic symbolism laced with early Mormon history. He returned to Salt Lake City this year and church leaders allowed him access to the historic archives.

BYU Professor Robert Millet explains the connection this way: "It seems to be the case, after the Prophet Joseph had been inducted into Masonry that he sensed elements of truth, pieces of antiquity within the Masonic ceremony and then inquired of God."

How will Mormons play in the new novel? All we have now, like Professor Langdon, are a collection of unconnected symbols, as clues...

Aaron Wilhelm: "I'm sure that no matter what he writes...someone's going to take it as negative...I think he sort of enjoys that..."

The title may or may not be 'The Solomon Key' but we understand the book, originally slated for this year, will be released in 2007.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Will somebody please stop Ellen Johnson?!

Before reading my comments, please read this news story from ABC 4 Utah.

To summarize; Ellen Johnson, American Atheists leader, wants crosses memorializing fallen UHP troopers to be taken down. She says they violate the constitutional separation of church and state because the crosses are on public property.

A direct quote, "I think its a very bad idea to honor and memorialize these brave men and women by violating the very laws they died to uphold."

Ellen... you're full of #@&%?*.

This "separation", is meant to protect our religious beliefs, and our constitutionally granted rights to practice them. One major reason it was added to the constitution was to keep us free to worship as we wish, rather than as the state thought we should. For instance, Iran is an Islamic state. Islamic law is the same as state law there. You either obey Islamic law or you suffer the consequences. We don't want the rules and contraints of someone else's religion imposed on us, so we have a separation of church and state.

A memorial cross is a religious symbol, but it does not belong to any one church, so even if the state allows it's presence on public property, it is not forcing us to obey that religion, or even advocating it. Rather, the state is allowing the voice of it's people, who believe in that religion to be heard. Since this is still a government of, for, and by the people, the peoples voice should come through in the actions of the government.

Don't let Ellen Johnson twist the constitution this way! This is not an Atheist country (just look at our money), so don't let people like her try to turn it in to one. She's free to not believe whatever she wants to not believe, and she's free to express it, but so are we.

I don't get offended when I see someone wearing a star of David, or veiling their face, or speaking out loud and openly about how the spirit directed them to do this or that, because I've learned something that all Americans should learn... TOLERANCE.

Take note Ellen, and spread the word to your friends. If you don't believe in it, ignore it. It doesn't mean anything to you anyway so why be offended by it?