Rain, Rain Go Away

I have been dying to take some photos to share with you guys but it is crazy wet outside. It’s been windy, cold, and rainy for the past few days. Stay tuned for those promised pictures!


On an unrelated note:

“There’s more to life than pithy profile quotes”

This has just been going through my head all day for some reason.  I hope some of you get the reference…


Birdland: 3.5/5 Stars

What at first appears to be a wonderful slice-of-life story, Birdland slowly becomes a science fiction tale.  It would be very easy to spoil, however I’ll try not to.

The protagonist and hero, Bridget Leaside

Birdland is an interactive story where you play as Bridget Leaside, a seemingly normal awkward teenager.  She’s an unwilling participant in summer camp along with other high school students including the young sleuth Bell.  At first, the game can be difficult to get in to. By the end, you’ll be smiling ear-to-ear, practically yelling,”we did it! We did it!”  Anybody who enjoys surreal stories that seem normal, yet somehow just a bit off kilter– this one’s for you. Also, the writing is accompanied by nice sketches of the main characters. Izzy Marbella(the illustrator) gets two graphite-smudged thumbs up from me.  That said, the whole design and interface in general is very smooth, modern, and clean-looking.

 Birdland’s story revolves around Bridget’s low self esteem and feelings of alienation from other teens her age. While she’s very sweet and tries to do her best, I found myself internally screaming at my screen, “GROW A PAIR AND TRY HARDER GOSH DARN IT!”  If you play it, you’ll have sympathy for her, but in addition an incredible amount of pity, just wanting to fix her unhappiness.  In the end, you’ll see her blossom with the help of a friend.(I’ll just leave it at friend, but actually, there was the cutest lesbian romance)

This all seems pretty typical, but when Bridget’s dreams seem to bleed into her life, she’s full of anxiety, and nobody really listens to her worries.  These are not just any dreams, but vivid dreams where she must explain how humans function to a bird-human-thingy.  Yeah, when anthropomorphic bird-freaks start to take over your summer camp, be worried. Listen to that Bridget chick!(pun intended?)

Like pretty much every science fiction story, Birdland ends with humans proving their superiority over aliens by making art and being generally clever and emotional. Hurrah for humans, for we can make paintings better than emotionless bird-beings!  This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s fairly over done, or, arguably, the only lesson in science fiction.  The author executes it charmingly and with some unique Canadian references thrown in, but I could see this resolution coming from a mile away.  Still, that didn’t stop me from fearing for humanity for a second there.

I’m fairly sure I’ve spoiled the plot by now. Stop reading and just go play it, before my mouth leaks any further! I can feel the spoilers trying to escape–just go!

Birdland by Brendan Patrick Hennessy

15 Crazy Candy Corn Facts

Photo courtesy of willc2 at flickr.com

Did you know that today is National Candy Corn Day? Delish! Here I go, serving up some funky facts about candy corn for you all. Voila:

  1. Candy corn was invented in the United States in the 1880s. That’s some old-fashioned candy!
  2. Candy corn is the cause of one of the largest candy factory disasters ever.
  3. It is (usually)gluten free, vegetarian, egg free,and dairy free. Some brands are not vegetarian, so always check the ingredients.
  4. A  piece of candy corn is actually 3 times the size of a real corn kernel.
  5. Candy corn was originally sold under the name “Chicken Feed.”
  6. This year, 9 billion kernels of candy corn will be produced.  That’s enough candy to circle the circumference of the moon 21 times if laid end-to-end!
  7. candy corn makes great fake fangs and can be used in making spooky alcoholic drinks.
  8. Throughout the year, candy corn comes in different colors and is sold(in the United States) as Indian Corn, Reindeer Corn, Cupid Corn, Bunny/Carrot Corn, and Freedom Corn. In Canada, Blackberry Cobbler Corn is sold in some regions.
  9. It’s estimated that around 90 billion pounds of candy corn are sold each year.
  10. 47 percent of people eat the candy kernel all at once while 43 percent eat the narrow, white end first and 10 percent eat the yellow end first.
  11. Candy corn is the most controversial Halloween candy.  In this study, some described it as having no flavor.
  12. Candy corn is made with 8 ingredients:  sugar, corn syrup, carnauba wax, water, fondant, food coloring, binders, and marshmallows.
  13. The Bagel Store in Brooklyn sells candy corn flavored bagels. For real.
  14. 20 Kernels of candy corn contain 140 calories.  That’s 7 calories per kernel.
  15. Celebrate National Candy Corn Day by making some sweet desserts with candy corn in them such as fudge, cupcakes, jello, candy bark, and whatever you can dream up!

Watch candy corn being made in a factory here.

Cool Candy Corn Stuff:

Sources:

What’s a Human Worth?

On Monday’s episode of Good Mythical Morning(a daily YouTube show) the hosts discussed prices of things on the Black Market.  On Silk Road(online marketplace), one can purchase a hit-man to kill someone for around 25,000 dollars. You could even buy a Chimpanzee for 50 dollars. 50 buckarooneys!  This is new information to me, and probably most regular people.

NOPE NOPE NOPE! Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
NOPE NOPE NOPE!
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

After watching the video, I sat and processed all of this craziness.  Specifically, I considered the actual price of a human’s life.  I think you’re getting a great deal if you’re paying 25,000, 30,000, or even a million dollars for someone’s murder.  That doesn’t mean that you should go for it, though.  What makes me say that?

Because the only price I’d pay for one human’s death is two or more human lives.  Call me an idealist, but  I believe it is a “fair trade” if the intention is to save two or more lives by sacrificing one.  This is pretty common sense, and I’m sure many people can agree with me.  There is no way to justify paying any dollar amount for murder.  In short; lives are priceless– they are priceless in the very best way.

Scarlett Johansson Ruins Best Movie Ever

As I briefly mentioned in Silly Pug Sunday #2, I was busy this weekend.  Well, I’m sort of ashamed to say why I was so busy. I was, well… Watching movies.  Now that that’s off my chest, let’s cut to the chase!  Here are the 3 best movies I’ve watched in the last week. These aren’t new movies, but they’re pretty awesome regardless.

Ghost World

Thora Birch, left, and Steve Buscemi, in Ghost World

  • Ghost WorldProbably the best coming of age story I have ever seen or read.  It stars Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, and Scarlett Johansson.  Buscemi and Birch are awesome, but Johansson is the worst part of the movie. Sure, she’s pretty, but she can’t act.  Honestly, I don’t care how you look, but if you’re an “actor” and you got the part not because of your acting abilities, but because of your face, I’m pretty sure you’re just a model.  Thora Birch plays Enid, a recent high school graduate who just can’t seem to conform to “normal, american life”.  She can’t keep a job, and even has to re-take art class.  While struggling to find her way into the adult world, she falls into a socially unacceptable romance with Seymour(Buscemi); a lonely, and much older, man who enjoys collecting records.  The ending is abrupt, open-ended, and absolutely perfect.(Based on the graphic novel.) 4.5/5 Stars
  • The Lives of OthersThis is a German movie recommended to me by a friend, and can be watched with English subtitles.  It takes place in the GDR, around 5 years before the fall of The Wall.  Our unlikely hero is Captain Gerd Wiesler(Ulrich Muehe), a member of the Stasi(German secret police).  He is tasked with listening-in to a writer and his wife’s lives  to determine if they are a threat to Communism and the Communist agenda.  Despite them not knowing him, he knows them.  Wiesler questions his duties and decides to interfere.  Unfortunately, the ending is sickly-sweet and a huge cliché.  The dialogue is, conversely, written so well, I’d say it’s quote-worthy.  The Lives Of Others is emotionally powerful, making viewers feel Captain Wiesler’s loneliness and isolation.  This film is perfect for history-buffs who enjoy learning about Germany.  3.5/5 Stars
  • Little Boy: In case you’re questioning my sanity over my choices in movies–relax, this one’s good, clean fun for the whole family.  Little Boy is the story of a very, very small boy named Pepper. During WWII, Pepper is forced to learn about the power of belief, hatred, and kindness.  Artistic cinematography does a great job of keeping any guts and gore out of the movie.  Because of the setting of the story, I will advise that the main character refers to Asian people as “Japs”(a racial slur) for half of the movie, but I think you’ll see that it’s worth it in the end because Pepper resolves his racist feelings.  The cleverly titled(you’ll have to watch the movie) Little Boy definitely gets my seal of approval, for it is funny and interesting for both adults and young’uns, and deals with some pretty serious(and important!) issues. Also, impeccable acting on Jakob Salvati‘s part.  When your kids get to the age where they want to know what “the N word” means, rent this, and watch it together.  Little Boy is bound to start some really good conversations at home, and some hearty laughs. 3/5 Stars

What’s in a Scar?

When you look at someone, and you see their face or arms covered in scars and scabs, what do you think?

Do you wonder, “how dare they show their face?”

Or maybe, “is that from a razor, or fingernails?”

Is the thought, “fat emo pig!”

or more like, “acne, gross!”

Is there pity?

Is there mercy?

Don’t you ever wait to hear what they have to say?

Her sickness isn’t catching,

but yours is.

If you’d even stick around you’d know

Her beauty, her brilliance

Her shame, and darkness

If you’d stop staring,

and start talking

And listen,

and hear

You’d know she isn’t dirty,

or cruel, or scary

You’d know

A whole lot more

And you’d be enlightened,

in another world.

Trichotillomania and Skin Picking Disorder(SPD) are a royal pain in the butt, and not many people know what it is, even when it’s in front of their eyes. Learn more here: Trichotilomania Learning Center.

People Biting Computers

You read the title of this post right.  As I was looking for a good stock photo to compliment a post the other day, I noticed a series of pictures showing people biting laptops and tablets. I am not making this up.  These photos taken by freedigitalphotos.net user Ambro made me quite confused, but also quite hysterical.  Check it out:

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Making a Home

“Home is where when you go there, they have to take you in,” Robert Frost

Let your freak flag fly and find your people! Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Let your freak flag fly and find your people!
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It’s important to think about your home. I’m not just talking about where you live, or where you grew up. Home can also mean your group of friends, your romantic partner(s), people who practice the same religion, who like the same music or art, and people who care about the same issues.  For example, metal music is one of my homes.  The wordpress writing community is one of my newer homes.

I think, the most important thing, is to preserve the welcoming atmosphere and warmth of one’s home.  In many communities there are problems with people trying to “lower” other people. For example, in music communities, people often try to claim they’re more “metal,” “hardcore,” or “more obscure” than you.  Have you ever seen exercise-nuts try to out-protein each other? It’s pretty much the same thing.

I have come to realize that it’s not worth it to compete with people in your home.  There are so many boring, mean, close-minded people in the world.  Who cares if your painting is “deeper” than mine, we all like painting. A rare, precious member of your home should be celebrated and accepted.  There are so many other people on this earth you have nothing in common with, so praise them for being “one of your kind.”

Find your people and welcome them with open arms. You have to let them in.