Five Good Things for 12/2/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

download1) I love sushi, but I am definitely used to more Americanized versions both in type and how it is served. There’s a lot of etiquette surrounding the correct way to eat sushi in Japan. Thankfully, Mental Floss has an infographic to help.

51mxLFfUYXL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_2) I just finished reading Margaret Atwood’s latest novel, The Heart Goes Last and I highly recommend it. Set after a financial crisis that has sent much of America into a second Great Depression, it focuses on a married couple who volunteer for a social experiment they are told will both help improve conditions in the country and provide them with a good life. The Heart Goes Last explores themes of love, corruption, free will, and surveillance that are very relevant to our current times. I still love her MaddAddam Trilogy the best, but this might be a close second.

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Five Good Things for 11/12/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

I didn’t have to work yesterday and the best of intentions to write all day. Instead I slept all day. That’s the same thing, right? But I must have needed it because I feel about a million times better today. So I guess that’s… something.

591) I love that even after an actor’s run as the Doctor ends, that Doctor’s story can continue on in audio plays, novels, and especially comics! Titan just announced a 4th Doctor miniseries coming in March. Tom Baker was such a classic Doctor and I’m glad his spirit will continue in new adventures.

15143346792267246422) This beautiful sci-fi short film, Exode, imagines what it would be like if a civilization formed on the back of a living creature. And what would happen if that creature died. It’s such a perfect, moving little story and the art is like being in a dream.

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Five Good Things for 10/28/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, g, ood. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

supergirl-poster1) Supergirl! If you haven’t seen the premiere of the new CBS show yet, go watch it. It’s not perfect, it suffers from pilotitis (having to serve as a first episode as well as a pitch for the network and therefore cramming in way too much exposition/plot because network executives are stupid and have no imagination). But it sets a beautiful, adventurous, optimistic tone for the series. Melissa Benoist is perfect as Kara – bubbly and likeable, but stron – and the supporting cast put in excellent first performances as well. It’s wonderful to have a superhero show that’s led by a woman and also isn’t so grimdark as many recent entries. I kind of already ship Kara with Barry Allen from The Flash. And I want her boots. I can’t wait to see where this show goes once it can stretch its wings.

2) My social anxiety isn’t terrible, but it’s definitely there. Interactions are draining. These cartoons made me smile, particularly the one showing an empty bed as, basically, paradise. Continue reading “Five Good Things for 10/28/2015”

Five Good Things for 10/15/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

1) Hater Free Wednesdays. Are you a comic fan who hasn’t always felt welcome in comic book stores or other nerdy spaces because of your gender, race, or sexual orientation? Or even just because of your lack of hardcore comic-book knowledge? This is a great resource cataloging comic-book stores that are safe and welcoming for geeks of all kinds. It’s how I found my local store, Black Cat Comics, where I’ve always felt totally at ease (it helps that there’s a really cool chick who works there and is incredibly helpful and welcoming to n00bs). Hater Free Wednesdays also documents stores that people have been made to feel unsafe in. And if you’re looking for a gaming store, check out Hater Free Saturdays.

2) Magnets! I knew it. Thor’s Hammer is nothing more than mere mortal trickery, as proved by this man who made a replica Mjolnir that only he can lift.

3) Pasta carbonara is one of my favorite foods. and I especially love this recipe which includes jalapenos and sweet corn for a southwestern spin on the dish. It is a little tricky to make the first time, but not as scary as it sounds. If you follow these excellent directions you will do just fine. This recipe is best if you can buy or make fresh pasta for it. And of course, use high quality bacon!

800px-Fall-tree-branch-leaves-along-river_-_Virginia_-_ForestWander4) In love with autumn? Now’s a great time to take a hike and enjoy the colors. National Parks Traveler has a roundup of some of the best fall hikes in the National Parks. If you live near or will be traveling to one of these parks, check one out. In my neck of the woods, the Alpine Pond trail at Cedar Breaks National Monument is really something to see, and I have very fond memories of Acadia National Park in the fall as a child. Not near a park? The Weather Channel has maps of foliage all over the country so you can still go see the colors at their peak.

Bee-apis5) Who doesn’t love pollinators? Wait, you don’t? Then take a moment to think about pretty much everything you like to eat and also all flowers. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Okay. You do love pollinators, right? I knew it! Unfortunately we’re in a bit of a pollinator crisis at the moment but we can all help. Check out The Pollinator Partnership for why pollinators are important and how you can help (and beautify your neighborhood at the same time). There are planting guides as well as other resources to help our bees, moths, butterflies, and hummingbirds do their jobs.

Five Good Things 10/06/2015

Five things I encountered today that were interesting, educational, beautiful, edifying or that I otherwise found to be…well, good. None of these are promotions and I do not receive any benefit from sharing them. I just like them.

BIGHARD1_263_4021) Sex Criminals. If you’re not reading this series by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdansky, you should be. I just finished Volume 2. It’s hard to say anything about the premise without spoiling it, but trust me, it’s better to be surprised. What I will say is it’s a sci-fi story that explores sexuality, sexual shame, relationships, depression, and a whole host of other sticky (yes, I know) topics in an incredibly frank and bittersweet way. Also there’s chases and fights and a lot of genitalia. Issue #13 comes out this week.

30866_d2) Strawberry Blush Rose Oolong Tea from Teavana. I got some for my birthday and I’m loving it. It’s an incredibly dainty, floral tea with all kinds of fruit and rosebuds in it. It honestly looks more like potpourri than tea but it tastes delightful. It makes me feel like I should be wearing a gown and discussing the prospects of the new bachelor at Netherfield Park. I’m going to drink it while I watch Downtown Abbey and wear a giant hat.

download (3)3) The Cosplanner App. This is my new favorite app. It lets you easily organize all the cosplays you want to do and keep track of your progress.You can store reference photos, things to make or buy, a task list, upcoming events, and even create a timeline and budget. It’s a free app, although you can upgrade for more storage/fewer ads. I whip it out any time I have an idea for a project even if I don’t know when I’m going to do it, because then I don’t forget and I can keep my eye out for things to pick up for it as I come across them. I also use it for non-cosplay craft projects. Yes, those exist.

lego-who5-480x4804) The Doctor Who Lego Set. It’s finally here!! I think this one pretty much speaks for itself, but I have to say I love that it’s not solely NuWho based. Hopefully one day we’ll get all the Doctors/companions to go with. But this is a great start. Do I have it? No. Do I lust after it? Yes. Do I want it more or less than I want this BB8 toy? Some secrets shall never be revealed.

dimetrodon5: The paleoart of Simon Stalenhag. Amazing, vivid paintings of lost worlds, dinosaurs, fish, reptiles, and birds. A lot of modern Paleoart is hyper-realistic, trying for an almost photographic feel, but Stalenhag’s is softer around the edges and more reminiscent of works painted of living wildlife. Somehow, this style makes these extinct animals and landscapes feel more real.