Because Science! … Fiction

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Since the completion of the short story collection, the stack of unread books on my shelf has been empty for some time. I, of course, needed to go and find a new stack.  And find a new stack I did XD  In fact, I have three series lined up now… two of which belong to friends and one I bought for myself.  They are all science fiction and/or fantasy novels.  Who doesn’t love a good book about things that’ll never happen in this life time or the next?

Science fiction had this stigma for me personally.  I get bored easily with details about environments and objects…  I don’t read books for that stuff… I read books for the more interesting interactions amongst peoples or the interaction of a person’s thoughts and feelings.. because humans are complicated and so much more interesting than there-are-pretty-flowers-in-the-garden-filled-with-dew-drops-from-the-cool-night-air kind of shizz.  Most of the time I skim through descriptions, get the gist, and make up my own setting in my head.  So I’ve always avoided Science Fiction novels because worlds we’ve never been to or technologies we’ve never seen require lots of description.

When my roommate suggested The Foundation by Isaac Asimov, I was reluctant to pick it up.  I was more willing to reread a book on my shelf than read this story.  But I am glad I broke out of my comfort zone…  I read the story in a week.  I admit, I skipped over any description that bored me… and I didn’t follow any of the military-ish strategies they were describing.. because none of that really mattered for the end game of this novel.  I’ll give a brief description of the story

WARNING:  semi-Spoilers begin here.

The world is ending!  It’s very original, I swear.  There is a “mathematician” called Hari Seldon.  He uses the psychology of mass movements and statistics to predict the future.  We meet Hari Seldon at the beginning of the book.  There he informs people the universe is going into dark ages and will remain there for 30,000 years… unless he sets up a community of scientists at the far reaches of the galaxy…  called The Encyclopedia Foundation.  How will this help?  They will collect all information as a cover… but really, they are the most brilliant minds, staying as safe as possible and breeding, for 1000 years to shorten the dark ages.  And by as safe as possible, I mean following Seldon’s advice on how to avoid conflicts with more powerful people.  The remainder of the story navigates us from Seldon crises (as they are called) to Seldon crises.  I expect the entire series will do the same until the Second Empire is set up 1000 years after the dark ages begins.

What I like the most about this story is that no one person matters.  The science is about the masses, so it is not the individuals that matter in the books, but the events that happen because of actions by large amounts of people.  What matters in the story is the survival of The Foundation from one crises to the next so the Second Empire might begin sooner.  What matters in the story is how a Seldon crises comes into being and how it is extinguished.  It is an interesting concept…

Now I am reading the second book in the series Foundation and the Empire.  I expect it to be as great as the first, and I will move on to as many as my roommate owns.

This series is known as one of the greatest Science Fiction series of our time…  so you should definitely go out and read it if you haven’t already.  I promise you won’t be bored at all, and the books are quick to read.

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First Kiss First Kiss

So you know that First Kiss video that went viral a couple of weeks ago. The one that leads you to believe that it was an experiment conducted by sociologists/psychologists/studieshumanbehavior-ists… but it’s really an ad for a clothing commerical??

Well, someone decided to make a “spoof.” But you can’t even call it a spoof because it does so much more than even that First Kiss video did.. it shows that it doesn’t matter if someone is different than you in one of the most controversial ways. It shows that a hug or general kindness toward one another can break down hate (for a second at least).

This video takes some homophobic people and some gay people and it has them hugging it out. The video is on The Gay Women Channel (I also listed them in https://werrrd.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/women-are-funny/ ). I didn’t even know it became so popular until AfterEllen (AE) posted something about it today. I want to continue raising their views because it is a great video… one that I thought was funny but I guess holds more value.

The Bunny The Bear The Rabbit The Turtle

and The Whole damn Forest.

I don’t know what it is about The Bunny The Bear.  All their music sounds the same, yet each song sounds different enough that I don’t get bored.  This band uses the mix that I prefer: unclean and clean vocals.  Although in their most recent album Food Chain, it seems that TBTB leans more toward unclean singing with a few songs that are If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say –esque.

I definitely recommend TBTB.  You might be surprised at how much you’ll enjoy their music.  Wikipedia lists their genre as post-hardcore, synthpop, and experimental rock.  They do have an electronic sound, but not in the same way as Breathe Carolina, so do not write them off as another dance band.  The instrumentals are more hardcore with the fast tempos and low bass, but the electronic sounds add a wonderful melodic sound that instantly grabs your attention.  You’ll even be surprised at how much you’ll love the vocals.

But my description is only a description… you’ll have to hear for yourself.  Just trust me, and check them out!

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Taking Back Sunday’s album “Happiness Is”

Happiness is… a new album by a favorite band that’s just come out.
Happiness is… a new album by a favorite band that shaped what you look for in music.
Happiness is… sitting in your bedroom enjoying the sounds and the lyrics and the magical moments.
Happiness is… excitement of expectation on the way up to the top and the excitement of fear on the way to the bottom… a roller coaster ride.

Taking Back Sunday is definitely a roller coaster ride. I first heard Taking Back Sunday on FuseTV in 2005. “MakeDamnSure” was the key that unlocked the door to punk music for me. And it was one of the first times I’d ever seen a music video.. the experience was incredible. I bought that album, and have played it over and over and over. The Louder Now album is one of the better ones. One of the rides up the roller coaster for me and TBS.

Then I met a friend who introduced me to Tell All Your Friends.  When I first heard “Cute Without the E” and “There’s No I in Team” and “You’re So Last Summer” … well… I think that was the first time I had an eargasm.  It was beautiful.  Songs like those forever cemented TBS into my Favorite Bands list.  I loved the dueling vocals and the realness in Adam’s voice.  Of course… those were the highs in that album.  I am still not able to fully listen to the album ..

which is an issue with most of their music.  They have some REALLY good albums like Tell All Your FriendsLouder Now, parts of New Again, and Taking Back Sunday, i.e. the highs of their music.  But… I consider them good albums solely for the reason that I found a song on the album that I liked.  Then there are the other albums.. albums which contain only songs that I do not enjoy.  Those are the album lows.

That is what they’ve done with Happiness is.  It’s a low.  It’s Where You Want to Be and parts of New Again all over again.  This is not happiness…  This sound is not something I’m into.  I think most fans of TBS are like this too.  I think we all keep expecting TBS to come out with an album full of songs like “Cute Without the E”… and it’s not going to happen.  TBS found their sound a long time ago, and it’s not that punk sound we fell in love with.  They are actually more indie than punk to tell you the truth… which is…  the lyrics are wonderful.  They tell a story, they have deep meaning in poetic lines, and they are touching.  But the way they are delivered… well… there’s a reason fans of punk are fans of punk.

Anyway… I came across an article in http://www.altpress.com.  They posted a release of a song that didn’t make the cut to Happiness Is.  It’s called “How I Met Your Mother”… the title alone is punk.  Taking something popular and making fun and turning it into your own art.  The song is not amazing but so much better than anything on the album.  WHY DID THIS NOT MAKE THE CUT?!  Who knows.

I think everyone needs to come to terms that TBS is not one of the idols of punk rock.  They never were.  They are indie, and you’ll never love them as a whole the way you love the few songs.

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“Arrow” to Introduce Characters for “The Flash”

Confessions of a Nerf Herder

OIiver Queen meets Barry Allen OIiver Queen meets Barry Allen

Barry Allen, aka The Flash, debuted towards the end of the first half of Arrow‘s Season 2, played by Grant Gustin. For all accounts and purposes, the last word from the Arrow world is that the character is currently in a coma after a little ‘accident.’ Barry is getting his own series on The CW, and a host of characters have already been cast for that show. It’s now been revealed that some of them will actually be debuting in an upcoming episode of Arrow; Episode 19 of Season 2.

The brief word for now reads:

“Last fall on Arrow, Grant Gustin was introduced as Barry Allen, the boy who would become The Flash. Now, you’ll meet several new faces from the CW spinoff before the season is over. Episode 19 of Arrow, titled “The Man Under the Hood,” is penned by the trio…

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Don’t Judge a Video Game by Its Cover

When I go into a book store, and I don’t have anything specific I’m looking for, I pick up books with the following thoughts in mind: “That’s a cool title, let me check it out” or “I really like that cover.”  This method… it works for me.  I’ve only ever bought one book that I couldn’t get through, and that was Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs.  So by majority rules, DEFINITELY judge a book by its cover.

WHAT do books have to do with video games?

In this post, the connection is the way I choose them.  I was surfing through Steam one day.  I happened across this screenshot,

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and the caption said the game is completely hand drawn in a ballpoint pen.  I HAD TO SEE IT.

I didn’t know what to expect.  The preview video showed sketches, and it showed colors, and it showed a side-scrolling shooter.  I was hooked.  I didn’t care to look up reviews to see if the game is playable.. in fact, I’ve been known to rock the socks off really crappy games or gaming conditions (I’m playing with a 4 year old integrated graphics card.. ‘nuf said).  So I bought the game.  This game is known as Ballpoint Universe Infinite.

Is the game as prettyful as the screenshot made me believe?  YES.  The game is literally hand drawn in ballpoint pen.  The only part of the game that is questionable hand drawn is the background… but that could have been easily painted.  I played only a minute of the game before I started talking non-stop about it to my Steam friends.

I KNOW NOTHING.

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So the story is basically this:  rational drawings like squares and triangles, known as The Logicians, are trying to come in and destroy irrational drawings (which remind me of surrealistic art).  The main character is obviously the hero of the irrational drawings.  This character is thrown into the space force, and the main levels are side-scrolling shooter missions.  When you aren’t in a level, then you are exploring the world laid out before you so you can fully appreciate the time and effort the creators put into the game.

However, the game isn’t all colors and happy drawings.  While exploring, the controls are horrible.  I’ve been using a mouse.  If you move the mouse a little to the right or left, the characters starts instantly moving in that direction.  This makes standing still almost impossible.  The pause button is in the top right corner of the screen, so you have to be in a position where moving to the right is okay in order to pause the game.  This also makes the jumping (which is necessary for parts of the exploration) quite horrible.  If you make a jump perfectly, but move the mouse a little to readjust your arm… well, you go off a cliff or platform… i.e. you fall to your doom… over and over and over and over and and and.. this is quite frustrating.  And one of the reasons this game takes longer than a day to play.  You can easily fix this issue by using a remote control.  But I personally found a controller makes the shooter levels harder… also because of controlling the main character.

I still haven’t completed the game.  I have this problem… that if I’m going to play a game this easy, I’ve got to 100% it.  So I’m just waiting on certain bugs to be fixed… before I beat the last boss.

Other than these… tiny *sarcasm*… issues,

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the game is super fun.  Here’s a decent enough review on the game: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/01/06/wot-i-think-ballpoint-universe-infinite/.  The reviewer did a good job relating how I feel about the game in more depth and video game jargon.

Lady Loving Culture versus Lady Loving Culture

What the heck does the title of this post even mean?!?!  😉

Through most of my lady loving life, I had very little to do with pop culture or politics or fashion or the civil rights movement.  Then one day a few years ago I ran across The L Word.  SHUT UP.  I had no idea there was representation on television.  I had no idea there was a wonderful group called the Human Rights Campaign fighting for the rights of women just like me (as well as gay males, bisexuals, and the trans* community).  I HAD NO EFFING IDEA.  So today… I know more than you could ever think possible about different television shows having lesbian story lines, movies, celebrities who are actually gay, different names of different organizations, different names for different sexual and gender identities.  I KNOW SO MUCH MORE.  In fact… I may be guilty of talking about this stuff too much.  I promise, I’m not in your face about it… I just nerd out about it.  How could you NOT nerd out about Ellen Page, Imagine Me & You, Tegan and Sara, the Naomily ship, etc.  COME ON.  IF you are a lady who loves the ladies and you don’t know this shizz, you are missing out.  I used to be just like you… and now I feel whole.

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While feeling so passionate about all the stuff I was coming across, I found sites full of peoples who also care about not-going-to-benefit-me-in-life information: afterellen.com, autostraddle.com, curvemag.com, shewired.com, …  

The two sites I refer to over and over again, however, would be http://www.afterellen.com and http://www.shewired.com.  Here are the reasons why I use AfterEllen:

  1. They keep track of almost EVARY show with a lesbian story line.  They must have 24 hour foreign workers watching every possible show on American television for 99 cents an hour pay.  
  2. If there isn’t an actual lesbian story line, but there are lesbian undertones… they do those too.  Those foreign workers probably get paid 1 dollar an hour because they have to work at reading those undertones.
  3. They keep track of celebrity shizz as well.  It’s like People Magazine… except it should be called Lesbian Peoples Magazine.
  4. Once in awhile, there will be a bracket showdown.  These showdowns could be between nominated ships (like Red and Belle from Once Upon a Time), nominated clash ships also known as slashes (like Buffy and Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), or nominated bisexual character, or nominated lesbian character, etc. etc. etc.  SO MANY OF THESE COULD EXIST.  And it’s fun to see which of your favorites make it to the top 🙂

There’s other stuffs on the website… but that’s what’s poppin’ on the main page, so that’s what grabs my attention.

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SheWired is a different variety.  While they do have articles and recaps about celebrity stuffs and television shows, there is so much more… 

  1. The first thing they have that I really really like is they post about LGBTQ vloggers.  Of course this is exciting because they are vloggers I enjoy watching and I’m happy for those girls to be recognized for the amazing things they do.
  2. This site does a much better job of featuring articles about fashion or sports or politics.
  3. Another unique feature I really enjoy is that they have a scrolling window on the side which is twitter feed of people the site follows.  This is especially exciting for those of us who refuse to get a twitter account *guilty*.
  4. I personally enjoy SheWired’s layout much better than AfterEllen’s layout.

Although there has been an increase in representation everywhere for the lady loving ladies, it is still significantly small.  If it wasn’t… then there wouldn’t be foreign workers whose job it is to find these instances 😉  Because of the small-ness, all of these sites are going to write about the same stories.  SheWired and AfterEllen are so similar in many respects.  You can be the judge for yourself which is better for your needs.  I like using a mix of both.

If you use a site that I haven’t listed, let me know.  I’m up for finding a site that encompasses the pros of both these sites… maybe it’ll reduce the amount of time I spend on the internets…

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