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1. My Take On An Open Letter From GRRM


A friend sent me a certain link, thinking it might amuse me. It did, sort of.

Here it is, so you can read it too. 


It seems people have been noticing how many characters you like get killed in Game Of Thrones. Some must have been complaining about it, because his response is rather grumpy. But I did chuckle when he pointed out that, among other things, Ned Stark is an idiot who warned his enemy - and then that they had cast Sean Bean in the role, what did people expect? Because, of course, he does  tend to play roles in which he is killed off. I can think of two off the top of my head - Boromir in LOTR and a man who got on the wrong side of Henry VIII in the miniseries with Ray Winstone(I forget the character's name, but he was real, and Mr Bean got to use his Yorkshire accent). Though he also played Odysseus in Troy and Odysseus survived, didn't he, and came home to a faithful wife and a loyal son, unlike the other Greek heroes. 

Then he went on to call William Shakespeare a psycho and argue that there are piles of bodies on the stage in Shakespeare tragedies. Well, yes. Though one play he describes with gruesome relish is Titus Andronicus, which was probably Shakespeare's first play, certainly early in his career. I must admit, that's one I can't watch. I had to read it at university and haven't read it since then and I didn't go to see the movie(what were they thinking, choosing that one?). It's too awful. There's even a scene where this man is standing making a beautiful, lyrical speech about his niece when she has just been raped and mutilated! But the thing is, it wasn't the only one of its kind. It was part of a very popular genre, the revenge tragedy. I guess he and his company must have decided to cash in on the craze,

And Shakespeare, like a certain American spec fic writer complaining about him, was a writer of popular stuff that everyone went to see. He was a commercial writer. If he was alive today he would probably be writing sensationalist stuff for TV. He wouldn't be getting invited to writers' festivals to talk about the deep and meaningful symbolism in his work. The fact that he wrote stuff that makes you laugh and cry and says for you things that you can't express yourself and has something to say about everything  is beside the point. He would probably be shocked to find people running courses in his work. I had a very faint taste of that once, when I found an online review of a short story I had forgotten I'd written, reading into it all sorts of things that had never occurred to me when I wrote it. 

Shakespeare was the sort of guy you could have a beer with at the pub. And he wrote plays that are still performed, not because they're great literature(though they are)but because they still have things to say to us. 

Then Mr Martin goes on about that dreadful, violent book, the Bible. Well, I can't deny that. I have always liked the Bible for that very reason, all the sex and violence ...;-) 

I read The Game Of Thrones when it first came out. I liked it for the believable mediaeval stink and discomfort and for the fascinating weather conditions on whichever planet it is, oh, and for all the eating that goes on. Some fans wrote a wonderful cookbook, which I have at home. I have since read more, though I'm not sure I'll finish the series, not because of the violence and killing off your favourite characters, but because, IMO, it has turned into a soap opera. I'm not a fan of the soaps.  I'm also not a fan, in general, of fat fantasy series, however good they might be. Terry Pratchett was another matter. His books weren't thick and it mostly didn't matter if you hadn't read the earlier ones, though you'd probably rush off to find them anyway.

To be honest, there are other books of his that I prefer. Tuf Voyaging, the space-based story of a man and his cats and their adventures in a seed ship. Fevre Dream, the story of vampires in the Old South and a vampire who is sick of killing people and wants to find another way of getting his nutrition, is my favourite. That was about to come out when he was in Melbourne for a very small convention at a tiny hotel in St Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne - the population is small here, so even US minicons would be huge compared to our conventions. I remember him saying that he chose that setting because it was a time and place where slaves could disappear and nobody would ask questions. He was working on the TV series Beauty And The Beast at the time. And I enjoyed his work. Fortunately, the early ones are still in print, no doubt because of the success of his later ones. Read them if you can. 

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2. On Writing

red branches

You have to give yourself permission to [write badly] because you can’t expect to write regularly and always write well.
— Jennifer Egan

The post On Writing appeared first on Caroline Starr Rose.

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3. Tomorrowland

"When I was younger, the future was... different."  So says Frank Walker (George Clooney), one of the heroes of Brad Bird's Tomorrowland, in the opening narration that acts as a frame for the film's story.  It probably says everything you need to know about this movie that Frank--and the film itself--seem entirely unaware of the irony and self-contradiction inherent in a statement like this, and

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4. Guest Post from Michelle Isenhoff

It’s almost summer! I live in Michigan, so during the few months when the sky is blue, the grass is green, and clouds are fluffy, I pack away my winter projects and hit the outdoors—preferably with a book in hand. Those days are just around the corner, so I’m stocking up my Kindle now. If […]

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5. That kid

वो बच्चा …

कुछ दिन पहले दोपहर मे दरवाजे पर घंटी बजी. इतनी गर्मी में कौन आया होगा सोच कर मैं दरवाजा  खोलने गई तो देख दस बारह साल का एक बच्चा थैला लिए खडा था बोला आंटी जी धूप,  अगरबत्ती  लाया हूं ले लीजिए … मुझे शक हुआ कि भरी धूप में किसलिए … कही उसके साथ  कोई गिरोह न हो …मैने बहुत मना किया कि नही लेनी पर फिर भी छोटा बच्चा जान कर 20 रुपए की अगरबती ले ली. दो दिन पहले फिर घर की बैल बजी. बाहर गई तो वही बच्चा था. उसने फिर खरीदने के लिए जोर दिया उसने बताया कि उसके पिता शराब पीते हैं और मां घरों मे काम करती है और कमाई का कोई जरिया नही … मना करते करते भी  मैने इस बार 30 रुपए की धूप और अगर बती खरीद ली. पर मन में बार बार एक ही बात आ रही थी कि ऐसे लोगों की बात में कोई सच्चाई नही होती ..

आज किसी काम से  भरी दोपहर में मार्किट जाना पडा, ट्रैफिक की वजह से कार रेंग रेंग कर चल रही थी अचानक मेरा ध्यान एक दुकान पर गया. वही बच्चा वही थैला अगरबती बेच रहा था. आवाज तो सुनाई नही दे रही थी पर उसके हाव भाव से लग रहा था कि वो मिन्नत कर रहा है कि दुकान दार खरीद ले और कुछ ही देर में वो पसीना पोछता  चुपचाप सिर झुका बाहर आ गया. सामने का रास्ता साफ हो गया था इसलिए मेरी कार भी आगे बढ गई. रास्ता साफ था पर मेरे मन मे बहुत उथल पुथल चल रही थी.

बेचारा सच्चा था पर मैने विश्वास नही किया शायद इसलिए कि समाज मे बुराई इतनी बढ  गई है और हम उसमे इतने उलझ गए है कि सच्चाई और अच्छाई हमें दिखाई नही नही देती.. दिखाई देती भी है तो हमारा दिल उसे नही मानता

पर अब मुझे उसी बच्चे का इंतजार है वो आएगा तो मैं उससे खूब सारी धूप और अगरबती खरीदूगी …

The post That kid appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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6. Free Review Copies at Audiobook Jukebox

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7. our lady of the bogus wifi

Here's a drawing based on a medieval painting at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt. Great museum! I wasn't so taken with their modern art, but the old stuff was grand.



(Here's our lady peeking at the original painting.)

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8. Pay it Forward with Shirley Harris Slaughter


Check out Crazy! Hot! And Living on the Edge! by Shirley Harris Slaughter for Pay It Forward Week!

Check out author Shirley Harris Slaughter about her book Crazy! Hot! And Living On The Edge! on Stories From Unknown Authors http://blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors 
This was a great show and a good book.




Crazy! Hot! And Living On The Edge!


Summary:
Imagine experiencing emotions that have you questioning your sanity. Your body gets overheated at the least bit of excitement and you scramble to find a fan or some air. Or you find yourself in the throes of a panic attack and can’t understand how to shut it off, so you are filled with anxiety wondering when the next one is coming. What if every time you take a drug you experience side-affects that you are warned about on the label? The title was conceived in my mind after I thought over all the situations I had found myself in, getting out of them, and the affect all of this had on my overall physical and mental well-being. Crazy! Hot! And Living On the Edge!! Is the True Story of My Upside Down Life!

  • Paperback: 84 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (April 3, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1508952507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1508952503


About the Author

Shirley Harris-Slaughter’s first book highlights her passion for history which led to her first published work, Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African American Catholic Community. But she wouldn’t have been able to write that book had she not had the presence of mind to conquer the health crisis she found herself in. She is an advocate for natural health and healing. Any problem that she had to face, she found her way out of it through sheer determination and a miracle. This led to her second book CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!! Harris-Slaughter saw a void that needed to be filled; and so she decided to share her experience. Harris-Slaughter has been active in her community by supporting candidates for elected office, and voting in every election. She served on the Oak Park School Board. She is an advocate for children and mentored four freshmen girls in the Winning Futures program. She is an active member in her church and she belongs to the Rave Reviews (Virtual) Book Club. She married her best friend Langston and they share a blended family. “We are as different as night and day and yet we are so much alike in many ways. We made it through thirty-two years!” Shirley Harris-Slaughter is available for speaking engagements. Contact Email Address: sharrislaughter@gmail.com 

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9. This...



Forthcoming from Spectral Press
Astounding artwork by David Chatton-Barker

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10. Taking Care of Our Elders

grandpa

One of the many things I like about Facebook? You get to learn things about your family that you otherwise probably wouldn’t have known.

The man laying on the ground in the picture above is my grandfather – my dad’s dad. He fought in World War II.

I’m just going to post what my Aunt posted on Facebook …

Dan said his dad never talked about the war much (who could blame him) but he would tell us this story often.

One day there was an order to head out, so some of his buddies got into the jeep. Right before Leroy got in, his commanding officer said “Hutton you stay”. That jeep was hit and Leroy lost good friends. He would say to us, “If I would have gotten in, you all would have never been here, that saved my life”. Glad he didn’t get in!”

Isn’t it amazing to think that one moment in time, that one split second decision my grandfather’s commanding officer made, led us to this moment: Four children, ten grandchildren, nineteen (?) great grandchildren later.

It sort of boggles the mind when you stop to think about it.

My grandfather is in his early nineties now. We lost my grandmother, my dad’s mom, about … three years ago (?). She developed dementia toward the end of her life and it was a terribly sad way to say goodbye. It was very hard on my parents, I know. And now my grandfather is being moved to a nursing home today because we have reached the point where he can’t take care of himself and it’s physically too hard on my family to help. (He’s wheelchair bound and he requires physical assistance to get into bed, go to the bathroom, etc).

This is INCREDIBLY hard on my grandfather. He’s FIERCELY independent, has been his whole life, so now that he is being forced into this situation, well, it’s been difficult, to say the least.

My parents came over yesterday and they filled in the details. It was heartbreaking to listen to the anguish in their voices and watch tears gather in their eyes.

My grandfather begs them to take him home. He doesn’t want to go to the home. Who can blame him?? But though my family tried to take care of him in his home for one week, the situation is simply more than any of them can handle. They’re trying to make deals with my grandfather, work hard, participate in physical therapy, work on his strength so that he can at least walk on his own again and then they can take him home and work on a schedule to have someone with him at all times. But my grandfather is being stubborn. I’m sure the whole situation is embarrassing and humiliating for him. I see this in patients every day at work. It’s SO HARD to succumb to physical restrictions and have to rely on other people to help you when you’ve been so used to being on your own, taking care of yourself, your whole life.

This situation makes me think of my own parents a lot. They’re getting up there in age, too. Though they are still both relatively young and stay physically active (they go to a gym to walk and socialize every day), I can see early signs of dependency. It brings a lump to my throat to think me and my siblings may be in a similar boat one of these years. And though you can promise you’ll never, ever, put your loved ones in a home, you can’t TRULY promise that. I think this situation with my grandfather has taught me that. All you can do is the best you can do for the situation you find yourself in.

I also wonder how our boys will react when Kevin and I reach that age. Getting older has never really bothered me before, but honestly, seeing my grandfather’s situation has opened up doors I never really knew existed before.

I learned that being in a home, a DECENT home, is terribly expensive. This will likely put a huge dent in my grandfather’s money. I have no idea how much he has, it’s really none of my business how much money he has, but knowing my family, he likely has a nest egg somewhere he can rely on to help him through this stage. I feel terribly sorry for people that DON’T have that money to fall back on.

Kevin and I have talked about making sure we have a will. But I’m not sure we have ever really discussed our plan if one of us ends up in a nursing home. I have made Kevin promise me he will never put me in a home, and vice versa, but my grandfather’s situation has taught me, it’s never quite that black and white.

I worry that dementia runs in our family. I mentioned my grandmother had it and there are signs my grandfather might have it, too. I’ve always worried about my own memory – I have trouble remembering things NOW. What will I be like when I reach my twilight years?

I think that’s one big reason I refuse to retire. Which, I realize is unrealistic, my body will deteriorate … I realize this. But I hereby pledge to work on keeping my mind active. I’m not saying my grandparents did not do that, dementia is not something you can likely prevent, but I will do everything in my power to keep it at arm’s length.

In the meantime, life trudges on. All we can do is try and keep pace with it.


Filed under: Life

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11. Monday's Stories:Fact or Fiction

Running behind due to the weather.

Hello, Monday's Stories will be posted as soon as possible. I'm running behind due to power outages. My utilities just returned, so hopefully they will stay on, at least long enough for me to publish a post. Thank-you for coming by, and Monday's stories will be published today. Thank you for your patience, and I hope you will return.    

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12. Sloths


Too cute!

Sloths Are So Talkative!
Did you know #Sloths made this adorable sound? It's like they're calling out for us to hug them, too cute! What animals do you think they sound like? Tell us below and share the video if you want to see more #SlothSundays.
Posted by Animalist on Sunday, May 17, 2015

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13. Happy Days

Good friends, good food, good weather - hey,

What more could one desire?
(I guess I'd add close family ties
Or else I'd be a liar!)

But hanging out with those you like
Or even those you love 
Is what the stuff of happy days 
Appears to be made of.

An anecdote, a sip of wine
And some camaraderie
In comfortable surroundings
Is the perfect day for me.

How lucky if you have tha chance
To laugh, relax and schmooze*
And for the icing on the cake -
It's nice to have some booze!

*converse

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14. Happy Memorial Day!

Today we honor our fallen heroes. Here's a coloring page to help you do it:

There's also one for soldiers in other countries - our friends and allies. Color the flag to fit your nation. Let's remember those who fought for our freedom today.

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15. DINO-MITE! Dinosaur picture books with bite

If dinosaurs had any inkling as to how popular they’d end up, I’m sure they would have stuck around longer to enjoy their fame and fortune. Here are a few more new titles to add to your prehistoric, dino-inspired picture book collection, some serious, some silly. All fun.  Dino-Daddy by Mark Sperring and Sam Lloyd […]

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16. Mervyn Morris @ Liberty Hill Great House


Drawing Room Project

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17. प्लास्टिक बोतल में पानी

प्लास्टिक बोतल में पानी कितना खतरनाक हो सकता है कभी सोचा न था.

कुछ देर पहले मेरी सहेली मणि का फोन आया कि उसकी तबियत ठीक नही पेट दर्द है बहुत तेज. मैं तुरंत उसके घर पंहुची. बहुत ज्यादा दर्द हो रहा था. दवाई ले चुकी थी. मैने पूछा कि आज दिन भर क्या क्या खाया तो उसने बताया कि वो दोपहर तक  बिल्कुल ठीक थी. शाम को शहर से बाहर जाना था जल्दबाजी में कार मे पानी की बोतल रखना भूल गई. रास्ते में प्यास लगी तो कार मे एक  प्लास्टिक बोतल में पानी  रखा मिल गया  शायद दस बारह दिन पहले रखी होगी . वही पानी पी लिया. बस उसी के बाद से …

बस , अब मैं समझ गई थी. मैने कही पढा था कि कार में रखी प्लास्टिक की बोतल जब धूप या तापमान की वजह से गर्म होती है तो प्लास्टिक में मौजूद नुकसानदेह डाइऑक्सिन का रिसाव शुरू हो जाता है। ये डाइऑक्सिन पानी में घुलकर हमारे शरीर में पहुंचता है डाइऑक्सिन कोशिकाओं पर बुरा असर डालता है. वैसे उसे तो मैने ज्यादा कुछ नही कहा पर सचेत जरुर कर दिया कि आगे से वो कभी कार मे रखे  पुराने पानी को कभी न पीए… इस बार तो मात्र दर्द ही हुआ था पर इससे भी बुरा और  खतरनाक कुछ भी हो सकता है…

दवाई के बाद उसे आराम हुआ और वो सो गई तो मैं भी घर लौट आई और नेट चला कर इसी विषय पर खोज की … और बहुत कुछ पढा और आप के साथ भी शेयर कर रही हूं

Drinking water from a plastic water bottle poses serious health risks

http://rajasthanpatrika.patrika.com/story/health/drinking-water-from-a-plastic-water-bottle-poses-serious-health-risks-972113.htmlप्लास्टिक की बोतल में कई नुकसानदेह केमिकल होते हैं, जो गर्म होने पर रिसकर पानी में मिल जाते हैं। ये खतरनाक केमिकल सेहत को नुकसान पहुंचाते हैं। कैंसर, कब्ज और पेट संंबंधी कई बीमारियों के अलावा कई अन्य नुकसान हैं इन बोतलों के।

एक रिसर्च में यह सामने आया है कि प्लास्टिक के बोतल और कंटेनर के इस्तेमाल से कैंसर हो सकता है। हवाई के कैंसर हॉस्पिटल के डॉक्टर एडवर्ड फुजीमोटो ने प्लास्टिक और कैंसर पर काफी शोध किया है। उनका कहना है कि प्लास्टिक के बर्तन में खाना गर्म करना और कार में रखे बोतल का पानी कैंसर की वजह हो सकते हैं। उनका कहना है कि कार में रखी प्लास्टिक की बोतल जब धूप या तापमान की वजह से गर्म होती है तो प्लास्टिक में मौजूद नुकसानदेह डाइऑक्सिन का रिसाव शुरू हो जाता है। ये डाइऑक्सिन पानी में घुलकर हमारे शरीर में पहुंचता है। डाइऑक्सिन कोशिकाओं पर बुरा असर डालता है। इसकी वजह से महिलाओं में ब्रेस्ट कैंसर का खतरा बढ़ जाता है। Read more…

मैने तो अपना प्लास्टिक बोतल में पानी का अनुभव शेयर किया।  क्या आप भी मुझे कोई अपना अनुभव बताना चाहेगें … हो सकता है कि आपके अनुभव से किसी को फायदा हो जाए …

The post प्लास्टिक बोतल में पानी appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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18. Happy Memorial Day... and Geek Pride Day!

Happy Memorial Day!  In honour of the day, Amanda, Teresa and I (with Christina on trumpet) have done a video!


It was absolutely gorgeous when we filmed. So many pictures were taken. I don't have them here, but I will share eventually.  You will see most of the footage in the film.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!


Also... Today is Geek Pride Day! Who's excited? Who's excited?!

So, I usually post lots and lots of gifs with my posts, but as there are an inordinate amount of questions associated with this tag, I'm not going to post AS many.  I will post where I deem it appropriate.

Without further ado... the Geek Day Question Fiasco! (Yep, that's what I'm calling it.)

1.)  Who directed the first Star Trek Movie?
Do we mean MOVIE, or TV show?  If we are talking movie, I haven't the foggiest.  If we're talking TV show, I'm pretty sure it was Gene Roddenberry.


2.)  Where did the Winchester's live before Mary's death?
Lawrence, Kansas.
*shiver

3.)  What do the Druids call Merlin?
Emrys.

4.)  Who was originally casted for Han Solo?
I feel like, once upon a time, I knew, but I don't know anymore.
*It appears that the correct answer is Kurt Russell.

5.)  Who are Arwen's brothers?
Elladan and Elrohir!!!
THESE guys! :-)
 
6.)  Who was the first goblin to guide Harry around Gringotts?
No idea.  I'm guessing Warwick Davis, in one of his innumerable roles in those movies.
*Actually, it wasn't Warwick Davis... he played the bank teller.  It was actually Verne Troyer, who played the role of Griphook the Goblin.

7.)  In what Star Trek episode did the Tribbles FIRST appear?
a.) Trials and Tribble-ations
b.) Amok Time
c.) Trouble with Tribbles.
Wow, this is multiple choice?  The answer is C., Trouble With Tribbles!
*That look. :-)


8.)  Who played the First Doctor?
That white haired gentleman.  Hang on, let me think... Let... me... think...  William.  William something.  I'll come back to this.

9.)  What hits John on his way to see Sherlock in the streets in "The Reichenbach Fall"?
A fella on a bicycle.

Which of the following knights did not betray Arthur?
A.) Lancelot
B.) Gwaine (Which, by the way, is spelled WRONG!  I don't care if it IS a TV show... that name is spelled GAWAINE.)
C.) Leon
D.) Mordred
E.) Elyan.
And I would have to say, since this TV show is apparently pro Lancelot and NOT Gawaine, it was Lancelot who did not betray him.  As I cannot find what the proper answer is to this, I'm afraid you'll have to discover the truth of it yourself.

10.)  What was Bones' first name?
I think Leonard. Or wait. Sylvester?

11.)  The Tesseract is one of six powerful "Infinity Stones." What are the other five?
Ta Da!

12.)  John Watson goes on a date with a girl in "The Blind Banker." What is her name?
Sarah, but don't ask me her last name.  I dinna ken it.

13.)  What does TARDIS stand for?
Time And Relative Dimension In Space.

14.)  Who killed Darth Vader?
I *think* the Emperor guy?  I'm not hugely into Star Wars, so my trivia on this point is a bit foggy.

15.)  What does the inscription on the Colt say?
All I know is Samuel Colt made it.  I don't know the inscription.
*Apparently the inscription reads, Non Timebo Mala,  which is Latin for I Will Fear No Evil.

16.)  What words did Moriarty carve into an apple as a message for Sherlock?
I O U. 
"I owe you a fall, Sherlock."

17.)  What episode of TNG were the Borg originally introduced?
*I dunno*

18.)  How does Sherlock Holmes like his coffee?
Black, two sugars?

19.)  Who finally kills Morgana?
Merlin, I believe.

20.)  Who is older, Fred or George?
Fred.

21.)  What kind of plane does Han Solo fly?
A Millennium Falcon!!!

22.)  Where do Eowyn and Faramir settle (and rule) after the War of the Ring?
 I *think*.... Ithilien?

23.)  What does the T stand for in James T. Kirk?
Tiberius.

24.)  What is John Watson's middle name?
Hamish.  :-)
*Source

25.)  Who is the most famous Doctor?
I'm thinking it was Tom Baker.

26.)  What is Chewbacca?
*I always wanted a Wookie, but I found out they weren't real.*

27.)  What is the color of Gallifrey's sky?
Red. Which seemed like a bad idea. Red is such an angry color.

28.)  What does SHIELD stand for?
Strategic Homeland Intervention and Enforcement Logistics Division
*Epic Music

29.)  In Iron Man 2 what element saved Tony Stark from blood poisoning?
I am Vi-braaaaa-niiiii-uuuuuum!
:-)

30.)  Name the seven horcruxes.
1.  Tom Riddle's Diary.
2.  The Ring in Dumbledore's drawer.
3.  The Locket in that weird cave.
4.  The Goblet in Gringotts.
5.  Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem.
6.  Nagini the weird snake.
7.  Harry Potter.
That last answer sounded a bit weird, didn't it. :-)

31.)  Name the movie that goes with this famous exchange: "I love you." "I know."
Star Wars, the original second movie, I believe - what's it called? "The Empire Strikes Back"? - Anyway, it's that scene right before Han goes into the deep freeze thingy.  Carbonite.

32.)  In which episode did the sonic screwdriver first appear?
Heh.  It was with the second doctor, I think, but I'm not totally sure, y'all.

33.)  Where was the HOUND group located?
Liberty, Indiana.

34.) What is the Secret Word that opened the Gates of Moria?
Mellon.
*Source

35.)  Which college did Sam Winchester attend?
*Oh yeah.  Stanford.  Duh.

36.)  Who does Lavender give Ron for Christmas?
I'm not really sure what to take from that question.  Does she really give him someone?  Who?  Who?  Not the Doctor, that's for sure!
*That answer, apparently, isn't WHO, but WHAT.  And it was a necklace that said "My Sweetheart."

37.)  In Doctor Who, who is Davros?
*Seems he was the Chief Scientist of the Kaleds.  Now you know. :-)

38.)  In "The Blind Banker" which book does Sherlock use to crack the coded messages?
Some sort of A-Z atlas of London.
*A-Z London Street Atlas

39.)  What action made Thor worthy of Mjölnir?
He faced the Destroyer and sacrificed himself in exchange for the safety of the earth.

40.)  In what episode was Arthur crowned King?
Somewhere in the fifth season?
* Nope, apparently it was season 4, episode 3, "The Wicked Day."

41.)  How many kids are in the Weasley family?
Seven.
*source

42.)  When did Bruce Banner "Hulk" for the first time?
In Harlem?
*Per the comic books, he first hulked after being caught in the blast of a gamma bomb.

43.)  What is Ron's boggart?
Spyiiiiiders!!!
*source


44.)  What is the name of the remote and uninhabited planet that was destroyed by the first test of the Death Star's laser cannon?


45.)  Who saved Frodo from the barrow wights?
"Hey, Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo!"

46.)  What is the name of the Gentlemen's Club that Mycroft Holmes attends?
The Diogenes Club.

47.)  What iconic word is the Ninth Doctor known by?
Fantastic!

48.)  A character from Captain America: The First Avenger reappears in a later movie as a villain. Who is it?
James "Bucky" Buchanan Barnes.  He reappears as the Winter Soldier.
*Source


49.)  In which classic episode did Sarah Jane leave the TARDIS?
*Appears to be Season 14, Episode 5, The Hand of Fear.


50.)  What did Hagrid give Harry the first time they met?
A rather messy birthday cake.

51.)  Who was the father of Legolas?
Thranduil.

52.)  Which three people does Moriarty have snipers set on in "The Reichenbach fall"?
John, Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade.

53.)  "Every life is a pile of good things and bad things...." complete this quote.
"The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don't always spoil the good things or make them unimportant."

54.)  What kind of car does Dean Winchester drive?
DIS ONE!!
A '67 Chevy Impala :-)

55.)  What team played in the Quiddich World Cup that Harry attended?
All I know is that Viktor Krum was fabulous.
*He played for the Bulgarian National Quidditch Team, but I can't find the name of the team.

56.)  When was Agent Phil Coulson first introduced? What were his first lines?
He was introduced in the very first Iron Man.  I'm pretty sure his first lines were, "I'm Agent Phil Coulson" or "I'm Agent Phil Coulson with the Strategic Homeland Intervention and Enforcement Logistics Division."

57.)  In Merlin, what is the name of the evil spirits that attack Camelot at the beginning of Season Four?
Sorry, haven't seen the show.  Only the first season, and I got caught up in a multitude of other shows since.

58.)  The despised character Jar Jar Binks (who first appears in "The Phantom Menace"), hails from what underwater society found on planet Naboo?
He is despised.  Why do we care?  And I'm not looking it up.  It's late. :)

And HARTNELLWilliam Hartnell was the name of the man who played the first doctor! :-)  I REMEMBERED! :)

59.)  What political office did Pippin have in Gondor after the War of the Ring?
Thane, I believe.

60.)  When was Lancelot first introduced?
Somewhere in the first season.  Like the fourth or fifth episode?  It felt early on.  I remember thinking I didn't despise him, for a change.

61.)  What does Harry want to be after he Graduates from Hogwarts?
An Auror.

62.)  Which Avenger has no personalized/superhero weapon?
This one is tricky, since neither Black Widow NOR the Hulk really have personalized weapons.  The Hulk IS a weapon, and the Black Widow MAKES weapons out of anything.

63.)  Which Supernatural character shares Dean's birthday? (hint: it's a girl.)
Charlie?
*Oh, Jess!  That's cool. :-)

64.)  What three items does Sherlock steal to impersonate a waiter for his clever surprise “reveal” to John Watson at the restaurant?
A.) A comb, a fountain pen, and a boutonniere.
B.) A monocle, sharpie, and a silk cravat.
C.) A bowtie, glasses, and eyebrow pencil.
I'm going to say C., a bowtie, glasses, and eyebrow pencil.
*source


65.)  What are some other names used for Gandalf the Grey?
Mithrandir, Gandalf Greyhame, Gandalf Stormcrow.  The Dwarves also called him something, and he was also called something like Olorin, somewhere, I think.


66.)  What is the the licence plate number on the Winchester's car currently? (NO LOOKING IT UP!)
CNK 80Q3?
Whoa, I was RIGHT!!

67.)  Which Avenger movie did Hawkeye first appear in?
Thor, God of Thunder.

68.)  What was the name of the waltz Sherlock played at John and Mary's wedding?
The Blue Danube?
*I think actually the Blue Danube was the one playing when he was practicing his dancing, but he played a song he composed for John and Mary.

69.)  When was the One Ring destroyed?
In the Third Age somewhere in the year 3000, I believe. March 25th.

70.)  How many years had the Great Dragon been imprisoned when Merlin first entered Camelot?
A huge amount of time!
*About 20 years, I guess.  I asked a sister who has seen it. 



71.)  Where is the Stark tower located?
New York City.  Manhattan area?

72.)  Who voiced the computer in the TNG?
Oh, wasn't it the nurse in the Original Series?  What was her name... Nurse Chapel?
*source



73.)  There are five ranks of Wizards. What are they?
White, Grey, Brown, Red, Blue. Or possibly two blue, no reds.

74.)  How did Mary accidentally reveal her true identity to John? (This is for Sherlock, BTW)
Didn't she shoot a coin or something that Sherlock threw in the air? And John, who was hiding in the house, saw and realized she was an assassin.

75.)  Who is K-9?
A mechanical dog belonging originally to the Fourth Doctor, I believe.

76,)  What is the Name of Aragorn's ring?
The Ring of Barahir!!!
*Source

77.)  What is inscribed upon each side of the sword Excalibur?
A Just Question, My Liege.  Possibly a variation of "Whosoever pulls this sword from the stone is rightful king of England."

78.)  What is Bucky Barnes' full name?
James Buchanan Barnes.

79.)  What was the gift given to Boromir in Rivendell?
In Rivendell?  Or Lothlorien?  'Cause I don't recall him getting a gift in Rivendell, but in Lothlorien he received a gold belt and an Elven cloak.

80.)  "You were right, okay? I see light at the end of this tunnel..." Finish this quote.
"And I'm sorry you don't."  If there's more, I don't know it. :-P

81.)  Where did "The Last Battle for Camelot" take place?

82.)  What were the names of the Eagles who rescued Sam and Frodo from Mount Doom?
A.) Orcrist, Sting and Glamdring.
B.) Narsil, Glamdring and Hadhafang.
C.) Sting, Anduril and the white Knife of Legolas.
D.) Aeglos, Orcrist and Sting.
None of the above.  I know one was Gwaihir, but the others were Landroval and Meneldor.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST:
How did Sherlock fake his death?
Don't we wish we knew?! 

And that's the end of the tag, folks.  Thanks for stopping by and giving it a read!

God bless!

Cat


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19. An Inspiring Weekly Digest You NEED to Know About!


This is your brain.













And this is Maria Popova who will gladly pick it each and every Sunday morning if you register to receive Brain Pickings, her weekly free website digest that I promise you offers unlimited inspiration to keep you keepin’ on – personally, professionally and any way you need to. 



Ms. Popoval, “a cartographer of meaning in a digital world,” continues to offer visitors to her website “an inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness, spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy and more.” 
The Sunday digest offers the week’s most “unmissable” articles.


Here’s who and what came my way last Sunday, May 17:

Wendell Berry on How to Be a Poet and a Complete Human Being 

The Heart and the Bottle (by Oliver Jeffers): A Tender Illustrated Fable of What Happens When We Deny Our Difficult Emotions   

The Magic of Moss and What It Teaches Us About the Art of Attentiveness to Life at All Scales


I owe fellow writer and friend Ellen Reagan untold thanks for first connecting me to
what’s now my weekly dose of inspiration, insights and mind-whirling knowledge I never even knew I needed to have.

WOW’s!” and sighs and smiles and “I didn’t know that’s!” usually punctuate my first reading of the digest.
At the end of the day, I return to save/copy to my journal particularly relevant and/or meaningful quotes and lines  - about life, love, children, work, writing, disappointment, joy, wonder, marriage, you-name-it.
Throughout the week that follows I find myself forwarding at least one article or quote to someone I care about.

You can listen here to Maria Popova talk about how and why she created Brain Pickings.
You’ll be so happy she did.

And do subscribe to the weekly digest. 
You’ll be so happy you did.

Happy Brain Pickings!

Esther Hershenhorn

P.S.
You can also savor Maria Popova's delicious and nourishing fare via Facebook and Twitter.
(www.facebook.com/brainpickings.mariapopova/Brain Pickings @brainpickings


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20. #BookADay: FOX AND SQUIRREL MAKE A FRIEND by Ruth Ohi (my sister!!), published by Scholastic Canada

#BookADay: FOX AND SQUIRREL MAKE A FRIEND by my awesome sis, Ruth Ohi (published by Scholastic Canada). This was a "Best Books" selection by the The Canadian Children's Book Centre and a "First and Best" Toronto Public Library Selection!

"Is there room for someone else in Fox and Squirrel's friendship? Fox and Squirrel are the best of friends. But when Yellow Bird comes along, he and Squirrel frolic high up in the treetops where Fox can't reach. Fox feels like Squirrel doesn't need him anymore. Can Squirrel help Fox see that there's room in their friendship for another?

The simple text and joyful art together deliver a heartwarming tale with a subtle but profound message about the strengths of friendship, loyalty, and acceptance."

More about my sister and her school visits: http://RuthOhi.com

More about the book: http://www.scholastic.ca/…/v…/fox-and-squirrel-make-a-friend

---------------------
More info: Donalyn Miller's Summer Book-A-Day Challenge | Archives of my #BookADay posts

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21. Musical Book Beats for Little Ones

Music and books have many benefits in common for a baby’s long-term development. Learning about patterns and sequencing, counting, memory, expressing language and emotions are all powerful advantages to being exposed to these experiences. And when combined, this makes for a most engaging, dynamic and instrumental union. Here we explore a few upbeat and rhythmic […]

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22. New Voice: Stefanie Lyons on Dating Down

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

Stephanie Lyons is the first-time author of Dating Down (Flux, 2015). From the promotional copy:

At Café Hex, Samantha Henderson can imagine being the person she really wants to be. 

It’s her place to daydream about going to art school and getting away from her politician father. It’s her place to imagine opening herself up to a new kind of connection, away from her family and the drama of high school.

Enter X—the boy she refuses to name. He’s older, edgy, bohemian . . . in short, everything she thinks she needs. 

Her family and friends try to warn her that there may be more to him than she sees, but still she stays with X, even as his chaos threatens to consume them both.

Told in waves of poetry—whispering, crashing—Dating Down is a portrait of exhilaration and pain and the kind of desire that drives a girl to risk everything.

In writing your story, did you ever find yourself concerned with how to best approach "edgy" behavior on the part of your characters? If so, what were your thoughts, and what did you conclude? Why do you think your decision was the right one?

I did struggle with how much to tell. My story is about a girl who spirals downward while in a bad relationship. It’s odd because—as far as the drugs and partying—I didn’t feel I needed to censor. But the sex, well, that was the part I wrote around for many edits until finally realizing it just wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t go there. So I did. And it hasn’t been a problem out in the real world with readers.

I guess my new mantra is anytime I take off my seventeen-year-old hat and put on my writer’s hat, I’m doing a disservice to the story.

As someone with a MFA in Writing for Children (and Young Adults), how did your education help you advance in your craft? What advice do you have for other MFA students/graduates in making the transition between school and publishing as a business?

My MFA made all the difference. I was a sponge while I was at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Time there is an endless source of creative inspiration and information: The lectures and discussions. Talking about books. Why you did or didn’t like a particular one. Turning something in on a monthly basis and knowing someone’s on the other side ready to read it and help you make it better.

All these things gave me “aha” moments. And the people I met were super talented and supportive. I didn’t just gain a degree, I gained lifelong writing friends.

As for advice for other MFA students making the transition, I’d definitely say, know that when you’re creating something that is the creative process. Once you create it and turn it over to an agent or editor that is the business process.

The creative process is personal. The business process isn’t. Learn to separate the two and you will have a much easier time.

Ruby is a vital part of the creative process.

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23. Setting and POV

Your setting is filtered through the point of view character's senses.

http://www.adventuresinyapublishing.com/2015/04/pov-secret-to-creating-memorable-setting.html

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24. The Glorious 25th Of May! Terry Pratchett's Night Watch

                                                         
Truth! Justice! Freedom! And a hard boiled egg! (And no, I'm not going to say, "Make that two hard boiled eggs" - different universe)

Just now, I finished rereading Terry Pratchett's Night Watch. It's one of the later City Watch novels. It's one if my favourites. And it occurred to me that this is "the glorious 25th of May" as mentioned in the book,so what better day to post about it? 

In this one, Sam Vimes, Commander of the Cory Watch, is without the backup of his loyal crew, Carrot, Angua, Cheery Littlebottom, Detritus and so on, because he has been thrown into his own past. He does, mind you, have Fred Colon. Nobby Nobbs is there, but he's a child, who's carved himself a police badge from soap. Still, he's useful. The future zombie Reg Shoe is alive. There's a rebellion growing in the city against the current Patrician(Vetinari, the future Patrician, is still a student at the Assassin's Guild, though he plays a very important role in the story, as does his aunt, presumably the one mentioned in Guards!Guards!). The History Monks are around - and I had just been rereading  Thief Of Time, in which you first met Lu Tze, the old monk who exhorts you to remember Rule 1(beware of skinny old men) and follows the Way of Mrs Cosmopolite. Vimes is thrown into the past while chasing a genuinely evil murderer, and realises that if he doesn't mentor his young self and take part in things happening in thus history, he may never make it back at all to his wife, his about-to-be-born child and his friends - and the murderer is right at home in the scary old times of Ankh-Morpork.

As I said, one of my favourites and there's a delightful adaptation of Rembrandt's painting on the cover.

But I love pretty much anything of Terry Pratchett's and I love this universe because, unlike many other fantasy writers, he doesn't waste time on long lost princes and elves going on a quest. Well, there  is a long-lost king, but he's a cop first and foremost and uninterested in taking the throne, even if he admitted he knew what he was, which he doesn't. And there are elves, in the Witches novels, but they aren't Galadriel or Legolas, they're lunatics who would rather kill you than look at you. And as someone who reads her folklore I can tell you he has it a lot more right than those authors who fill their books with twinkling glamorous fairies. And yes, there are wizards, but they like their huge meals and long snoozes and have no interest in going on quests. 

What I love is that his heroes are ordinary people. They're Mums and Dads running an all night Klatchian takeaway shop or farming in the Ramtops or having a fight with the neighbours. And in Ankh-Morpork, they enjoy their unofficial street theatre, and Ankh-Morpork has long ago stopped fighting other city-states and started selling them stuff. Any barbarian invader who tries to take over finds himself leaving with cheap wine and a purple straw donkey and a lot less money than when he arrived.

I love it all! So, raise your glass of whatever and drink with me to Freedom, Truth, Justice and a Hardboiled Egg!

And to the wonderful, much-mourned Terry Pratchett.

 

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25. The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

In the first chapter of The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough, a baby boy is visited by the manifestation of Love. Appearing as a man in a fine gray suit, Love gives the boy a steady heart and these words: "Have courage." The next night, the manifestation of Death visits a baby girl across town and marks the child with a tear and whispered warnings. The first chapter is set in 1920; the next chapter skips forward to 1937, when the players are seventeen years old and the Game officially begins.

Told in third person, the book shuttles between the perspectives of the players - Flora, an African-American aviatrix who tends to planes during the day and sings jazz music at her uncle's club at night, and Henry, a scholarship student who lives with his best friend's well-to-do family - and the game runners - Death, a cynical feminine presence who would give Once Upon a Time's Queen Regina a run for her money, and Love, a masculine presence who believes in the transformative power of love. Other characters who come into play include Henry's best friend Ethan, Ethan's little sister Annabel, Ethan's cousin Helen, Flora's grandmother, Flora's uncle, and others at the jazz club. The third-person narrative permits the readers to know more about the characters, the events, and the overall big picture than the main players, who are unaware of their part in the Game. Revelations and connections lead to some tense page turns, especially as the story ramps up to the climax.

Death is a master manipulator, cunning and some would say cruel as she finds a way to get close to Henry and use him as a pawn. Meanwhile, Love is determined and hopeful, and his side story is something that made me want to give Brockenbrough a very strong high-five. The world would be a better place if all people were open-minded and optimistic and true to themselves.

The contrast between Death and Love is stark, but what's even more interesting is what they have in common. Consider, if you will, what they want; what they seek; what they are willing to sacrifice; and what they refuse to give up. It's eye-opening and tear-jerking and thought-provoking and other hyphenated things. If you are an emotional reader, you should probably have a box of Kleenex nearby. Also, perhaps you should sit in a comfy chair so you can grip the arm of it and/or curl up in a ball when necessary.

The writing throughout the novel is thoughtful. Every scene offers a complete picture of the setting and the people present. For example:

"Do you ever wonder," Helen said, walking down the stairs towards him, "if flowers feel pain when someone cuts them?" She lifted one from the basket. "Does it look like it suffered?"

"Oh, Helen," Mrs. Thorne said, "what a curious thing to say. I'm sure Henry has thought no such thing."

It was true. But, he realized, he would not be able to look at a flower again without wondering whether it had suffered, or whether anyone had cared.
- Page 94

The word "someday" is introduced early in the book as something important to the characters, and it leads to an impactful song that I wish we could hear.

If you liked The Game of Love and Death, you should check out The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Read the original book, then see the classic film. The book was written by Josephine Leslie, but she used a pseudonym: R.A. Dick. The book also inspired a TV series, a sitcom. You should also read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which is directly narrated by Death, who is omniscient and genderless and more of an observer than a manipulator. Set on the European homefront during World War II, you'll need Kleenex to handle the tears you'll shed while reading that book, too.

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