beboots: (aang says yay)
 GUYS GUYS GUYS CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO: Peter Jackson Posts First Video from the Set of The Hobbit. It's ten minutes long... and I was smiling and and full of glee for that entire ten minutes. My face hurts I'm so happy. \o/

I mean, we've all been hearing rumours about the filming of The Hobbit, ever since Return of the King finally came out on DVD, you know? And I felt that we'd kind of been strung along, will they or won't they, and I know I'd heard that they were finally moving forward, but I happened to stumble across someone linking this in their twitter feed a little while ago and it just makes me so, SO happy. 

I read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings when I was like ten. I was told I had to read the latter before dad would take me to see the Fellowship of the Ring. I did. I didn't understand all of it at that age (for the first three chapters or so I thought that "Merry" was "Mary" - a girl - and was disappointed when I found out s/he wasn't), but it still remains one of my favourite book series ever. 

I have vague memories of my nine-year-old self reading The Hobbit to my younger brother in bed. It's an amazing story that I think will never grow old. 
I'm definitely going to reread the ENTIRE series this summer, post haste, as soon as I finish exams. Perhaps I will even be doing so in Spain, if I can find a nice, small and compact paperback version (likely at a secondhand bookstore).

I'm also SUPER happy that Martin Freeman is going to be playing Bilbo Baggins. I think he will be absolutely perfect in the role, especially as he will be continually played off of the dwarves. Check out this video to see why he has the perfect facial expression for dealing with recalcitrant dwarves. 
I suspect Martin Freeman will also have had plenty of practice as an actor dealing with other actors being eccentric to his practicality, as seen in the BBC's Sherlock, which is ALSO amazing. 
Anyway, in conclusion... SUPER EXCITED, GUYS. You can bet I'm going to be waiting for these video blogs religiously. The Hobbit...! <3 <3 <3
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)

At the behest of [ profile] mightyinkas , I've been convinced to make a post of all of the really funny pictures I've compiled that, well, hate on Twilight. See original post here.  

I usually don't hate on something like this. I'm more of a live and let live kind of person. I'm normally not one for taking potshots... but Twilight makes it so easy. >_> Just to be clear, though, I'm not trying to be malicious. See this comment by me explaining my thoughts on the quality of Twilight. This is all in good fun. You'll laugh. I promise. 

The vast majority of these come from the Mark Reads Harry Potter blog's comments... which explains the continual references to Harry Potter as well. 

Let us begin.

Cut to spare spamming your friends list with LOTS of (hilarious) images. Many, many more under the cut, guys. Check it out! )

Book meme!

Feb. 23rd, 2011 10:22 am
beboots: (Default)
Just returned from the beautiful Rocky Mountains, to which I was dragged after being kidnapped by my family and left to escape down mountainsides in subzero temperatures. By which I mean that my father and sister dragged me away from my homework on an impromptu skiing trip, and I had fun despite the weatherman lying and saying it would only be -12C, when in fact up the mountain it was below -20C, plus a ridiculous windchill. My neckwarmer, pulled up past my nose, frequently froze over with ice (I once had a LITERAL icicle dangling from my nose, guys! I thought that only happened in movies!), so much so that when we retreated in to the chalets to warm up after every third or fourth run, my sister and I took to running our face coverings under the hand blow dryers in the washrooms to defrost, dislodge and evaporate the ice. Crazy. 

Anyway, in a continual effort to dance around my homework even though I'm now back at home and have no excuse not to work on it... Here is a meme!

Snagged from [ profile] anyjen . Bold the one's you've read! (The BBC estimates most people will have read six.)

1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien - aww yeah. I had to read the entire trilogy before my dad would let me watch the first movie when it came out in theaters. I was twelve, and it was awesome. 
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible 
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman - another book series my dad introduced me to. I got the first one for my birthday when I was in junior high school, and I cried at the end... then quickly devoured the last two. 
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens  - grade twelve English class... the only way I got through it was by alternating reading it with Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, which is written in a similar kind of diction but involves magic and arrogant people and Napoleon. 
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott - No, but I have read her "Hospital Sketches" which she wrote while working as a nurse during the Civil War!
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger - SO AMAZING. I cried at several points, and was very touched at others. 
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell (twice)
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky - No, but I keep getting it confused with the English translation of Foucault's Discipline and Punish, which I have read, cover to cover, for a class?
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll 
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Graham
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis 
34 Emma – Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis 
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell 
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown - read it while on vacation with father and sister in England and France in grade eleven during spring break. The only reason I enjoyed it was because it kept mentioning places I was travelling to RIGHT THEN as I read it. It had a weird synergy with my vacation. 
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery - as a Canadian, you kind of have to. When I visited the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, their English & French library in the basement had an entire section dedicated SOLELY to different editions of the Anne of Green Gables series, in many different languages. 
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding (we actually had this book at home, but I never picked it up)
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville 
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker - yep, and I kept having to remind myself that as cliché as some of the bits seemed, that this was the book upon which ALL of those other clichés had been based.  
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens - no, but seen a theatrical production of it in person?
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker 
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - reading RIGHT NOW. I'm on the fourth or fifth story in the collection.
90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery - somehow missed reading this despite the fact that almost ALL other French immersion students in my high school had had to study it several times in the original French. It's on my summer reading list, just because. 
93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94 Watership Down – Richard Adams - no, but was traumatized by the animated movie version as a child. (NOTE: cartoon + bunnies = NOT AUTOMATICALLY A CHILD'S FILM OMG BUNNIES TEAR EACH OTHER TO PIECES IN THAT MOVIE). I will read it soon, just so I can exorcise my childhood demons. 
95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas 
98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

My score = 19/100? I am at least peripherally aware of the cultural impact of many others on this list, due not the least of which to movie and theatre versions of the books, but also due to things like Wishbone. >_> Anybody else remember Wishbone? Now I'm feeling nostalgic.. 
beboots: (Canada "discovery" history)
 Good evening, everyone! Happy Valentines day, for those of you who celebrate it! 

First, a brief link recommendation. If you've never heard of Postsecrets, you should definitely check them out: essentially, people send in anonymous postcards with their secrets on them. Some are sad, some are quirky, some are touching, and all are absolutely awesome. This week they have a Valentine-themed series of postcard secrets for you to look at. This one was my favourite: 

Furthermore, the Edmonton Journal (which, along with the National Post, I read almost every day to keep up with news about the world) apparently held a contest for the best Edmonton-themed Valentines cards, most of them poking fun at the city. This particular one was my absolute favourite, mostly because I had to cross that bridge five days a week to get to Fort Edmonton this past summer. It was murder during rush hour when it was down to one lane. >_<; It's been under construction for at least two and half years.

For more, see here!

As a side note, I did celebrate this Valentine's Day as a single person. Here's hoping that I shall find my true love in the coming year! :) I should mention that I mostly enjoy Valentine's Day because it also doubles as my dearest mother's birthday! We have flowers and chocolate about the house, then, regardless of the state of our personal lives. :) Happy birthday, mother mine! Now, tomorrow is the holiday I look forward to even more than the events of St. Valentine... Cheap Chocolate Day! Celebrated: wherever chocolate is sold!

On a final note... I actually began writing this post in response to the lovely surprise left for me at [ profile] atla_valentine. I hadn't realized that people would leave me messages! :)  They made me smile. Therefore, my original plan had been, in response to people writing lovely flattering things about the history dorkery that goes on in this journal, to write a post about some of the crazy little tidbits I've been learning about in my History of Translation class... which just so happens to be what I'm studying for at the moment (even as I procrastinate reviewing for the midterm to write this post). I'll get around to that very soon! It will still happen!

I did, however, just have a thought. Maybe I could do something completely and utterly crazy and unprecedented. I could... do a history meme. I want to share the love with you guys. I love telling historical anecdotes; I like to think I got quite good at it while working at Fort Edmonton. Maybe no-one will want to play with me. I will still tell crazy history stories to the world! Just give me a direction, guys. :) What do you want to hear?

It shall be a shameless effort at trying to emulate the cool kids (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE), only instead of fanfic, it will be random history tidbits, in the style of the posts that have appeared in this journal before.

THEREFORE, what I resolve to do is ask you, the readers, for history prompts! Ask me a historical question: anything you like. For instance: "who is your favourite member of European royalty and what was the most interesting thing they ever did?" "What do you think is the silliest reason a war ever started?" "What is the most unusual historical artifact you have ever seen in person?" "What can you tell me about Canada's participation in such-and-such a war?" It can even be something like "tell me the craziest thing you know about the 17th century/the bubonic plague/aboriginal history/etc., etc., ad nauseam." I shall even search for an appropriate image to accompany the historical blather! 

If I don't know the answer to your question, I resolve to use my research skills and access to university databases to find the answer! You may get more coherent history squee if I've heard of the topic before, though. I have studied European history across the ages, some East Asian history, and lots of Canadian and American history, but still, don't let that limit your selection! I suspect that if you ask me something about the history of medicine or the French or English languages you will get extra-long anecdotes. Indulge your curiosity, and I will try to be interesting in return! :) 
beboots: (Civil war lithograph)
 So [ profile] beckyh2112 and I have been chatting a lot about history stuff since I made that post a few hours ago (about Two-Spirited People), and I thought that hey, it might be a good idea to recommend some history books for people! There are a lot of history books out there – too many to fully digest, let alone really pick out the good ones – so I thought that I’d share (and recommend!) a few of my favourite titles. I was originally planning on writing this post in a few days, when I had less homework... but I've lost all motivation to do more readings and I had this on my mind... so I may as well just get it out of my system now.

Some of the books on this list are so-called “popular histories” (meaning they’re published by a more mainstream publisher), but others are more academic histories. The difference between the two is usually that the popular histories are more readable (they’re meant to sell better and appeal to a wider audience) and the academic histories are more rigorous and possibly more expensive because of limited publication runs. Be wary of some histories published by the popular press: some don’t go through actual, y’know, peer review, which means they can be published even if they’re saying untruths. Take, for example, the horrific work by Gavin Menzies. He’s the guy who wrote a “history” book so full of bullshit actual historians have dedicated their entire academic careers to proving every last little detail wrong. Menzies is the guy, for instance, who lied about HIMSELF on his “about the author” bit in his book, saying he was born in China (instead of visiting it as a babe in arms) to give himself more credentials. Because he has none. I had a professor (now the head of the East Asian Studies department at the U of A, I think?) give an entire hour and a half long lecture to us on the subject of how much Menzies sucked. So yeah, caveat emptor when it comes to the popular press. They still have lots of awesome stuff!

…And now that I’m done that little soapbox speech… Let’s get down to some recommendations, shall we? (Many of these authors have their own websites which talk about their books... so you can at least take a peek at the cover, and possibly special features, which is why I link them here.)

-There is, of course, the awesome book with the awesome title I’m working my way through, discussed in that last post: The Importance of Being Monogamous by Sarah Carter. See that post for more (awesome) details.

-Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadaversby Mary Roach. Perhaps this is more of a text on modern medicine/culture/etc. with historical elements, but I still enjoy it even though it is quite morbid. A friend of mine who knew I liked the history of medicine leant me her copy and I've been reading through it slowly. It's all about "life after death" - what happens to human bodies. Not just things like new alternatives to burial and cremation (although it talks about that too) but things like practicing surgery on the dead, examining the bodies of a plane crash to tell the story if the black box fails, what precisely happens when a body decomposes, human remains being used in ballistic testing... even modern cases of cannibalism. The author has an interesting attitude towards death (in the epilogue she talks about what she'd like done with her body, a decision made in light of all the research she did for this book), which is refreshing but also kind of unnerving at times. Not for the faint of heart... but I'm glad I read it. 

-The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History by Katherine Ashenburg. This book is more of a pick me up, compared to the one I just described. It's essentially a history of cleanliness in the Western world. I think most of us have a vague idea that in the middle ages nobody bathed and such, but we're a bit fuzzy on the details. This book is wonderful for filling those details in with lots of fun facts and awesome anecdotes. It really does answer the question of "how dirty were they, really?" For instance, during the Renaissance, the rich would often just change their crisp white linen shirts several times a day and be considered clean. Queen Elizabeth bragged that she would take a bath once a month "whether I need one or not". It wasn't until the late 1700s that the rich were noticeably cleaner than "the great unwashed" masses of the poor. I was particularly interested in the later chapters that dealt with changing views towards cleanliness in the regency era onwards... 

-The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic - and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson. This book really exemplifies what I find fascinating about the history of medicine and the development of ideas and theories during the mid-nineteenth century. This book is absolutely fascinating. It's about Dr. John Snow (also, incidentally, the anesthetist to Queen Victoria during childbirth) developing theories about the waterborne spread of cholera, directly challenging prevailing ideas of miasma at the time. I'm heavily citing this book during a section of my thesis to demonstrate how hey, these health theories had a logic all of their own and shouldn't be dismissed out of hand by people in the 21st century who have the benefit of generations of experiments and clinical experience. (And really, to people without microscopes, does "tiny invisible creatures" make any more sense that "bad smells" as a cause for disease?)

-Intensely Human: the Health of the Black Soldier in the American Civil War by Margaret Humphreys. (That's a link to it available on Google Books! Bits of it available for free!) Informative, but a bit depressing. This topic is rarely discussed in medical histories of the war or histories of the African American contributions to the conflict. I think it's the only book that's entirely dedicated to this topic. Incredibly well-written, though, and definitely a recommended read if you're into such topics. 

-Our Mother's War: American Women at Home and at the Front During World War II by Emily Yellin. I did a four-way comparative book review on American Women's roles during the Second World War for a women's history course last semester, and this book really stood out for me. The author is a journalist and it does show in her format: lots and lots of short little anecdotes, light on the analysis... But fresh and energetic and darn interesting! They all couldn't be Rosie the Riveter after all... A very good read. 

-The Mother Tongue: English and how it got that way by Bill Bryson. One of my favourite non-fiction books of all time by one of my favourite authors of all time. His writing style is informative as well as being highly entertaining! The title is self-explanatory, but the chapters cover not only the history of the English language but also things like what it CAN'T do (which amounts to examples from other languages for things that English can't describe), to chapters on English place names (and surnames, and their crazy pronounciations) to even a chapter on wordplay and puns. My favourite example? How do you turn a piece of paper into a lazy dog in three steps? Answer: A piece of paper is an ink-lined plane. An inclined plane is a slope up. A slow pup is a lazy dog. Say it out loud. My mind was blown. Anyway, if you can only read one book on this list, this one had better be the one. <3

Aaand... that's all for now. I could recommend more, but I'm tired at the moment. Feel free to ask me to recommend books or articles on specific topics! There's no harm in asking! (All I can do is say no, I am prostrate that I have never heard of you're topic and I am clearly woefully uninformed and I will remedy that post-haste by running out and reading a bunch of articles on the subject you bring to my attention. ;) )

beboots: (naruto)

I'm sure that if anybody knows my tastes well, they'll know that I absolutely love well-written crossovers. As such, I thought I'd link you guys to the best stuff I've run across thus far... and that I can think of off the top of my head and can dig up easily enough. (Thank you so much, Delicious, for continuing to exist...) Many of these are oldies but goodies. :)

I've noticed that a disproportionate amount are Harry Potter crossovers... but JKR created such a lovely sandbox, so it should be no surprise that everyone wants to play in it! ;) There are also lots of Good Omens crossovers on this list, but in my defense, Good Omens is an amazing book, and it engenders some amazing fanfic. 

(Cut for long list of awesome fics) )
One of the best crossover videos I've ever seen. Another oldie but goodie: Cowboy Bebop X Trigun. Hey, one show is about a bunch of bounty hunters in space. The other's about a guy on a planet in the future with a giant bounty on his head. THEY MUST MEET.

And of course, I can't mention awesome crossovers (let alone awesome crossover videos) without at least mentioning the Buffy vs Edward video (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer X Twilight).

I'm thinking I'll do a timetravel fic recommendation list as well one of these days. And a good alternate universe list, too. 
beboots: (Spread teh light!)
I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but in between studying, I've been working at Fort Edmonton in the evenings, mostly on the weekends, for their Christmas Reflections programming. I do things like light the bonfires, answer people's questions, make sure everyone knows about the free hot chocolate and cider (and the sugar cookies, fresh-baked in the old wood stove at Henderson house!), sometimes helping out with children's crafts, etc. There are also sleigh rides with a Christmas-centered history tour throughout the park, and carolers wandering about singing historical versions of popular Christmas carols. :) It's lovely, and has a beautiful atmosphere. The older buildings are lit up with lights, and Mother Nature has obligingly given us several good sprinklings of snow to decorate everything.

I wanted to also state first off that I'm not all about putting the "Christ back in Christmas" or whatever. I think that it's a lovely winter holiday (especially needed to break up the dreary long winters with a bit of joy and cheer), and a good chance to eat good food and spend time with your families. Also, while I'm not big on Christianity, I do absolutely ADORE Christmas carols. Say anything else of them, but the churches knew how to write good songs. ;) I will sing all about the glory of Christ if it's done beautifully. Maybe I'm hypocritical and shallow in this respect, but I equally love songs like "The Holly and the Ivy", "Good King Wenceslas", "I Saw Three Ships", "O Come All Ye Faithful", and "We Three Kings of Orient Are." I don't distinguish between the Christian, pagan, or commercial songs very much. I'm not as fussed about some more modern songs: whether or not I like "Jingle Bell Rock" depends on the version, and I absolutely hate with an unabiding passion the song "Santa Baby". Maybe it's because it played on the radio every fifteen minutes back when I worked at Superstore, from November 1st until December 31st, but it grates in my ears. Also, I don't see Santa as sexy, but maybe that's just me. Huggable, yes, sexy, no. Seducing Santa Claus sounds far too much like prostitution for me to actually like that song, even if it weren't sung in the most annoying voice possible. :P

Cut for discussions of lesser known verses of Jingle Bells... )

Cut for discussions of the history behind "The Huron Carol", my favourite (and Canadian!) Christmas song... )
Anyway, I found this lovely version sung in Wendat, French, and an older English translation. 

If you want an idea of what the popular English lyrics sound like, see here. This English translation follows more closely the idea of Brébeuf's lyrics as opposed to the direct translation of the Huron. 
beboots: (Elizabeth portrait)
So as I briefly mentioned in my other post today, I'm at loose ends. When I ended off my last post with that video of one of my favourite scenes from Trueblood, I thought "hey, that's what I can do! Write a brief review!" But I suspect this is going to turn into something more of a "this is why I love Trueblood" with frequent reference to Twilight for contrast.

Now then, for the uninitiated, in brief, what is the Trueblood series about? 

Right then, any questions? None? All right, we're done for the day. 

Just kidding. That was a short, 15-second clip of Eric Northman, one of the sexiest vampires there is. He's a thousand year old viking, and a jackass. He's also quite creepy at times, open about his sexuality, can get violent, etc. But here's the thing: he's not Edward Cullen. 

Neither is Bill Compton, what you could think of as the "Edward" figure of the Trueblood series. 

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

(I should confess my sins, first: I have read the Twilight series. And seen the movies. I can be entertained by them without respecting them, all right? >_> For examples, see "Reasoning With Vampires", which tears apart the diction and characterization of the Twilight books, with hilarious results (P.S.: three separate links).)

Let me elaborate... MOAR VIDEOS under the cut too! )
In conclusion, here, have an unrelated video in which Buffy doesn't take any of Edward's bullshit. 
beboots: (Elizabeth)

In the continuing effort to avoid doing more homework (hey, I managed to finish that four-way book review in time to be handed in this morning, okay?), I've decided to write a review of a book that I read last week (again, in an effort to avoid doing homework). 

1632, by Eric Flint, the first in a series. (Note for anybody who knows me in RL: other books in this series besides "The Baltic War" and "The Ram Rebellion", which I already have on my bookshelf, would be an excellent Christmas gift. :D )

First, take a moment to contemplate the awesomeness that is this cover. 

Yes, that is what it looks like. The plot goes thusly: the West-Virginian town of Grantville is displaced in time and place from the year 2000 to the year 1632, essentially dumping them in the middle of the Holy Roman Empire in the midst of the Thirty Years War, one of the most bloody conflicts in European history. 

And lo, it was awesome... )

I want to read this later book in the series just because of the cover: 

Aww yeah! >:D
beboots: (Default)
 I was really stressed out yesterday. Right now, I'm just focusing on getting through this semester, and finishing my degree, while still trying to find stuff to actually apply for. As of now, I have no clue where I will be in September. 

So for now, here are a couple things to distract you (that may indeed even prove useful!)

-Ten Words You Need To Stop Misspelling. (Also, others in that Grammar Pack of Posters)

-Sounds Familiar? A neat-o compilation of voice recordings of different regional dialects in England, some of which has analysis. If you've ever been fascinated by English accents, linguistics, etc., definitely check it out!

-Have a picture of a white peacock on the attack. And a video of an incredibly shocked hawk while I'm at it. And a video of an animal that clearly enjoys life.

Also, for when things get really stressful, have a gorgeous nature time lapse video of Japanese landscapes with soothing piano music:

(And now I need to stop procrastinating and actually get back to writing that book review. Hey, cut me some slack, I've written 7 pages already!)
beboots: (Civil war)
In a continuous effort to avoid doing more homework, I ran across THIS linked to me through someone else on facebook. It is a flowchart in which you have to explain what the internet is to a street urchin in 1835. DO IT. (Warning: theft, plague rats, and murder may occur, but awesomeness is a guarantee)
beboots: (Elizabeth)
In the last few weeks, whenever the stress has gotten to be a bit overwhelming, I shut my books, made a mug of tea, put on a podcast or two, and took out my beadwork. 

And holy crap guys, I did a lot of procrastination on my homework. >_> Check this out!

This is a rope necklace made from tiny little glass seed beads. I learned how to do this over the course of the summer at Fort Edmonton, and I even completed three or four necklaces in this style while interpreting to people, but never one this long. I should have measured it before I gave it to my beloved friend Yan (who keeps making me food and being an awesome person!), but it had to have been at least two feet all around, if not more. 

Well here, see it for yourselves... )

A few details of the strand, twisted, so that you can fully appreciate the colours and the way the light plays out on the three different textures of the beads. 
beboots: (Default)
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Last summer, I worked on the 1920s Midway at Fort Edmonton. One of the rides (the iconic one) is a Ferris Wheel from the 1940s (but it looks accurate to the 1920s). It goes pretty fast; it's got like room to seat 40 people on it, and you go around like once every ten seconds, maybe fifteen. It personally makes me nauseous, especially on hot days, but when there's a slight breeze, and it hits you just right? It's a fun ride. 

One day, sometime in June, I saw a group of schoolkids get on the thing. I had to run to the carousel for a few minutes, but when I returned, they'd gotten off the ride. Nothing unusual... except they were all clustered around one person, jeering. I came up (I was heading in that direction anyway, and curiosity killed the cat and all that), and they were actually surrounding one kid. Everyone was probably like twelve or something, and this kid had just thrown up (he'd clearly eaten bubblegum icecream - I remember the vomit being blue). All of the other kids were laughing and taunting him. 

I just went right up and was like "HEY" in a very angry voice. I said something to the effect of "What the HECK to you think that you're doing? Stop this right now!" Because I was so much "older" than them (I was twenty at the time, which is like ancient to kids at that age), I was thus  an authority figure (that wouldn't have flown if they had been teenagers). In fact, I have no idea where their teacher was (they looked like a schoolgroup), but they often ditch kids of that age and older on the Midway to have fun while they go have a smoke or a snack or whatever. 

Anyway, I got them to stop, I told them that they were being stupid, and I took the kid who had thrown up aside and asked if he wanted to come with me to get some water. Really, it was just an excuse to get him out of there, but he took it. I took him to the employee breakroom, which is air-conditioned, and got him a glass of water and a few kleenexs to clean himself up. There were a few other Midway-types in there, and we all spoke with him for like five minutes while he calmed himself down. I told him that even I got nauseous on that Ferris Wheel, and the other carnies backed me up. We generally just tried to make him feel better. 

I think that embarrassing incidents like this really stick in the minds of children. I still remember the day that I was chewing on the end of a white-out pen in grade six, as was my habit with stationary, and having it burst in my mouth. It got all over me and everybody laughed. That kid is probably going to remember this day for the rest of his life, and I wanted to make sure that he remembered that not everyone is a mean little insensitive asshole. Well, his classmates might be, but at least the museum ladies in the funny outfits were nice, right? 

I also think that somebody in authority needs to stand up to bullies for kids like him and tell them that they're being insensitive and stupid. If nobody confronts them about their poor behaviour, where do they get any incentive to change from? 

So there's my two cents on bullying. What say you, guys?
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The Devil's Dictionary.

Why no, I'm totally not procrastinating to avoid studying for my English exam. Whatever gave you that idea? ;D



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According to Naruto, hard work and determination could easily be substituted for lack of ability when it came to things such as these.  )
(Quote in subject title by Woody Allen; it's very true.)

So currently, I'm almost overwhelmed by mid-term studying. That's why I'm on here, updating fanfiction - because I need a mental break from 17th century China. It's interesting as all hell, but after a while, my brain starts cramping up. D:

In addition, one of my reviewers on used this emoticon:


It is utterly awesome - thumbs up, man! :D I intend to use it ad nauseam from now on. b._.b


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April 2011

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