The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

The Hobbit 2

Director: Peter Jackson
Writer: J.R.R. Tolkien
Main Characters: Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Richard Armitage (Thorin), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel), Lee Pace (Thranduil), Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug/Necromancer), Aidan Turner (Kili), Manu Bennett (Azog)

Plot Summary: After successfully crossing the Misty Mountains, Bilbo, together with Thorin and his dwarf friends, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor from Smaug by uniting the dwalves with the Arkenstone.  Being chased by Azog and his orc army, Thorin and company enters Mirkwood Forest without Gandalf with full of dangers, and there they get imprisoned by the Wood elves led by Legolas and Tauriel.  Thanks to Bilbo’s ring and the aid of Bard, the descendant of last ruler of Dale who possesses the last black arrow to defeat Smaug, they survive the ambush from orcs and made to Lonely Mountain.  In the meantime, Gandalf went to investigate Dol Guldur infested by orcs, realizing the true identity of the Necromancer–the return of Sauron.  Bilbo, as a stealthy burglar, is sent to retrieve the Arkenstone, only ending up awakening Smaug who now is taking off to the Laketown to bring fire and death again.

Quick Reflection: Coolest dragon ever!  I love the casting for the Hobbit, and there is no doubt about it.  I was going through the Lord of the Rings trilogy last couple days, and in the Hobbit, we cannot expect the same epic feelings.  The point is not to compare the Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings but to compare it to the original novel of Tolkien.  Frankly I haven’t read the Hobbit yet, but there have been some concerns of people of Peter Jackson’s modification and addition to the original novel–I will talk briefly about this in Side Note.

For this movie, I would give 8 out of 10.  Even though I loved the humour here and there, amazing casting and graphic, there were some parts where more thorough story development was needed.  For instance, I am pretty sure the reveal of Sauron’s return on the MiddleEarth should have been given more significance than in the film.  The reason as to why people in the Laketown were stopping Bard from getting the black arrow set up was not fully described either.  After all, I don’t like being left hanging at the end of the movie–I just can’t wait for the next one!

Bard: You have no right to enter that mountain!
Thorin: I have the only right.
Bard: Dragonfire and ruin, that is what you’ll bring upon us! He cannot not see beyond his own desire!

Side Note: Frankly speaking, I couldn’t enjoy the movie 100% because I was aware of the fact that the character ‘Tauriel’ was not in the original book of Tolkien BEFORE THE MOVIE.  I should have avoided any news articles prior, for every scene with Tauriel was a constant reminder for me that none of such thing could happen in the original scenario.  Well, nonetheless, I still enjoyed Tauriel and Kili’s little affectionate moments 🙂

Related Article:

Quote 4

“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” – Nelson Mandela

Alas!  Nelson Mandela, the first president of a democratic South Africa as well as the iconic campaigner of freedom and human rights, passed away at the age of 95 from a prolonged lung infection.  After being released from 27 years of imprisonment, he had continuously fought against apartheid*, and he had made an everlasting impact on the mankind as a peacemaker.

Just as shown in the quote, Nelson Mandela was able to be regarded as a nation’s father because of his leadership.  He had made an unforgettable imprint on our lives not only because what he was fighting for mattered to people but also because he was not afraid of ‘taking bullets’ for people in the very front line.  Some of those (so-called) leaders love to lead from the front during the prosper of the nation while hiding at the back during the crisis.  Surely, Nelson Mandela’s demonstrated leadership set an example for the world’s leaders and those who aspire to become one.


*A system of racial segregation in South Africa, which existed from 1948 to 1994.

President or president?

Capitalization is one of the trickiest and most confusing grammar rules for me.  For instance, which one should we use, President or president?

Country’s President

We capitalize the word President when it comes immediately before the name of a president of a country (e.g., President Barack Obama).

On the other hand, even if referring to a president of a country, the word president is not capitalized unless followed by the name — this grammar rule is quite surprising because I’ve always assumed it is capitalized regardlessly.

Organization’s president

In some publications (mostly American English style), presidents of organizations/companies are also capitalized when proceeding their names (e.g., NCAA President Mark Emmert).

However, other publications (including most British English style) do not capitalize the word resident if referring to a president of an organization.

In general, it is safer not to capitalize unless the word applies to the leader of the country.

[Excel] Exchanging Rows/Columns

Have you ever had any experience when you input data into Excel and realized that it would look better if rows and columns were switched?  (I had!)  Did you struggle to retype everything or do mundane copy and paste work?  (I did!)  Apparently, there is better and much easier solution out there.

Here is the data you put in.  You will see that there are too many columns, and when printing out, probably this wouldn’t fit one page.


1. Copy (CTRL + C) the table you would like to edit and click the cell you would like the new table to be placed.2

2. Click the Paste Menu, and find ‘Transpose’ function.3

3. This will be your result!  So simple!4


Quote 3

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” –Albert Einstein

The end of the year is approaching, and now that I am in the midst of career transition, I cannot help thinking of where I am going in my life.  Of course I want to succeed in life; I would love to become an influential person in our society.  However, in the light of this quotation, I would plan my future in a way that adds value to my surroundings.  I want to build my personal brand.

Tangerine and Their Usage

I hate the smell of butter that stains in the microwave – it makes me feel like gagging almost.  I try to clean up with wet tissue after using it, but somehow the smell doesn’t completely go away.  The solution?  Apparently, the answer is one of my favourite fruit kinds:


Thank God, we don’t have to use the inside fruity part – the delicious part…yummy!  After eating them, we simply have to save up the peels.  Fill water into the bowl (about half) and put those peels inside.  Then, microwave the bowl for 3 – 5 minutes.

While enjoying the citrus smell of it, we can simply wipe off the water vapor inside the microwave.  🙂 Simple yet awesome!

Font Styling with Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop has a lot of useful functions, and personally I love using Photoshop for personalizing logos, presentations, brochures and portfolios. Here is little tip for font styling.

1. Open up a layer and write something with the font style and colour of your choice. Untitled1

2. Right clicking on the font layer will bring up the list shown in the picture.  Choose ‘Rasterize Layer’ option, and add another layer.Untitled1-2

3. When the new layer (Layer 1) is selected, click the font layer while holding CTRL key.  Doing this will result in dotted outline along the text.Untitled1-3

4. [Select – Modify – Expand] will bring up the dialog box below.  Put the number (about 5), then fill in the colour of your choice.Untitled4


5. Now double cilck Layer 1; Select Droup Shadow and go to Belvete and Emboss option.  Put in numbers of your choice.Untitled1-6

6. Now, double click font layer; Select Pillow Emboss under Belvet and Emboss option.Untitled1-7

The end result:Untitled8

Applying the skill: Untitled9