Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Round Up

 It's the last Friday before Christmas, people! How is it already the end of December?! Craziness. Do you have all of your shopping done, or are you waiting to do some last minute? I'm pretty sure I'm done. Hopefully I haven't forgotten anything! Okay, now on to the rest...

I'm sure you've heard about the Sony hacking attack by now. It started back around Thanksgiving and has been ramping up into a fervor through this week when basically the hackers said they would attack any theaters who decided to show The Interview. After many theater chains pulled out of showing the movie, Sony itself decided to cancel the release. Now, the hackers are gloating about their victory and saying Sony is not allowed to release the movie in any format (and using terrible grammar to make this new demand). The FBI has also confirmed that North Korea is likely responsible for these attacks, which honestly once they threatened the theaters really became more of an act of terrorism than a cyber crime. The definition of terrorism is the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims, and I think this attack clearly fits that moniker as it was all about intimidation. While I understand the aim to keep everyone safe by pulling the movie, I think this sets an incredibly dangerous precedent. Isn't it the US policy not to negotiate with terrorists? And now we've just handed these people a win. What will they, or anyone else, demand next? People are pulling their showings of Team America, a studio has pulled a Steve Carrell movie that had something to do with North Korea. Where does it end?

Okay, moving on. We all know Photoshop is used way too much on celebrities these days, making them look thinner or getting rid of any supposed "imperfections." But apparently this photo manipulation has been going on since before the advent of the modern computer! These pictures show before and after of a photo of Joan Crawford from 1931 that was retouched, but by using chemicals in a photography lab. And it took six hours rather than maybe 30 minutes or something. 

Speaking of old photos, how about some rare historic photos? Some of them are kind of sad, some are just cool, and some are plain interesting. One of my favorites is the picture of Sweden the day after they changed the side of the road they are supposed to drive on. Ha, I can't imagine the kind of chaos that would cause now. The picture I featured above is of some workers building the Golden Gate Bridge. Scary!

To end on a completely light note, have you ever wondered what your zodiac sign says about your dating habits? Then check out this article that goes over just that! Reading over the few of people I know, they all made me laugh as they all seemed pretty true. Of course, the zodiac stuff is just for fun, but it's just that - fun. I'm a Capricorn, if you're curious.

Okay, that's all for this week! Happy Holidays to all!

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Favorite New Shows of 2014

Is it just me, or has this year been somewhat paltry in terms of awesome new TV shows? I was racking my brain trying to think of what new shows I have enjoyed, and came up with a whopping two. Two! Now that's just sad. To be fair, I didn't even try watching most of the new series this year, but it didn't seem like very many of them have been making waves aside from the ones I mention at the bottom here that I wanted to watch, but haven't gotten around to.

But let's get to these two shows that I felt were worthy enough to make the cut this year...

The Flash started his journey over on Arrow, which was a much smarter attempt to launch a new series than Supernatural's sad backdoor pilot. Anyway! Yes. The Flash started on Arrow, in a way, but this series is not nearly as dark as its predecessor. Obviously there are still dark moments, but it is also laced with some humor and lightness that Arrow definitely does not have. Now I have to admit, I am a few episodes behind on the show, but I fully intend to catch up and keep watching, so it's definitely on my keeper list.

I feel a little weird including this, as it's not really your typical show-show. But I enjoy that it's only one night a week rather than every night, and he always seems to be pretty spot on in his observations on what is going on in world news. To be honest, I don't watch the regular news very often, so it's always good to have a bit of a catch up segment for those things I may have missed.

Now for the shows that I would like to see, but haven't had a chance to quite yet: Outlander. True Detective. Peaky Blinders. Transparent. I've also been hearing about How To Get Away with Murder a lot, but for some reason that one doesn't call to me quite like the others.

Are there any others I have missed that you think I should check out?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Round Up

Some of you may have noticed that I missed last week's Friday Round Up. Sorry about that, but I was out in Florida and honestly hadn't much looked at the internet all week, and didn't even remember until Friday was almost over that I missed the post. I'm sure you're all just devastated (I kid).

Anyway, here we are back at it again! And can you believe we're only two weeks away from Christmas right now? Where has the month gone?!

Speaking of Florida, did you hear about the Orion launch last week? (For those who don't know, the Orion is a spacecraft that they are hoping to take humans to Mars in the coming years, pretty cool stuff!) I tried to watch it in person, but was foiled. On the first day, wind kept delaying the launch, then they had a mechanical issue, so it got delayed to the following. Cut to the following day, and when the rocket is going off, we run outside, only to find that it's all cloudy and rainy. No rocket trail to be seen. We did sort of hear it, but it was kinda sad. But! Not so sad? I got to go to Harry Potter world at Universal Studios. My plan is to write up a review of sorts with some of my pictures and possibly some video; hopefully it won't take too long!

It's the end of the year, so there are quite a few best and worst of 2014 lists going around. I've even got a couple coming up in the rotation. Mine are about books and TV, but this one is all about the worst movies of 2014. I'm not sure I necessarily agree with them putting Horns on the list, because while it was a bit all over the place, it certainly does not deserve a worse spot than Transformers, in my opinion, which I barely could stand to sit through half of. Seriously, why do those movies keep making money? It really bums me out, because honestly, all of you people who saw Transformers? I wish all of you saw, say, Whiplash, which is actually worth seeing.

I did mention that I will be featuring my favorite books of 2014, but here is Kirkus' official list of the best YA books of 2014, which honestly tend to be my favorite genre. You can also see what their lists for other categories are as well, if you're not so into the young adult novels. Honestly, I haven't read any of the books on their list, but I'm sure they are all pretty good. I only have so much time for reading, though. Sadness.

Now for something different - have you ever wondered what would happen if you drank a bunch of Coke every day? Well, one guy decided to try drinking 10 cans of coke for 30 days to see what would happen. Needless to say, not good things. He gained a bunch of weight and became kind of addicted to it. Another woman tried sticking a tooth in a cup of coke to see how well it would fare. Yeah, not great either. Gross. I pretty much never drink pop (or soda as you may call it), as I'm not a fan of carbonated beverages in general, but this just gives all the more reason why we shouldn't. Yuck.

I don't often see sizes listed as "one size fits most" in clothing stores, but apparently it is a thing in some places. Buzzfeed decided to have a group of its female employees all demonstrate what certain pieces of clothing would look like on different sized women, and let's just say the only person any of the clothes looked halfway decent on was the girl who was a size 0. How many girls do you know that are a size zero, regardless of their height? Not a lot? Yeah, me either. One of my best friends is pretty tall and she has a hard time just finding clothes that aren't cut too short for her waist or legs. I often have a problem with pants not having enough thigh/butt room, or if they do, then the waist is too big. I mean, every girl comes in a different size. One size fits most is just silly.

And, just for fun, let's end it with a cat picture:

Such varied and pretty kitties!

Until next week!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Supernatural 10x09 "The Things We Left Behind"

After a few episodes dabbling in lighter fair, tonight the show got back down to business with the larger arc of the season. This episode was ostensibly about parents and how they can be quite the influential factor in one's life. We even get a little story featuring John Winchester, which is quite nice, as the boys hardly mention him much anymore, and he was the whole impetus for them getting together back in the pilot. Anyway!

spn10x09-2Castiel, after his crisis of conscience some time ago, has decided to seek out the daughter of his former vessel, Jimmy Novak. Turns out his daughter Claire is not doing so hot. Her mother took off shortly after the whole incident back in season four, and after her grandmother died, Claire has more or less been on her own. And not doing so well, at that. In and out of foster care, all that fun stuff. Cas, wanting to help her out, decides to break her out of juvy, or wherever she is, and she promptly steals his wallet and runs off back to this guy she apparently was living with for some time.

Thinking this is surely a dire emergency, Cas calls up Sam and Dean to help him track her down. Actually, this episode didn't have really any hunting in it to speak of, or any fighting of creatures or the like. Have they done that before? I mean obviously The Benders were people, but that was more of a mystery. I'm kind of drawing a blank. Interesting!

Anyway, the brothers do, in fact, help track her down, just as she's about to try robbing a convenience store to get money to help out her surrogate father Randy pay off some loan sharks. Honestly this story is a little bit boring. I did enjoy the stories from Dean, but the rest? Eh. Basically, Claire goes back to her beloved Randy, who promptly sells her out to the loan sharks for certainly nefarious purposes, but the boy come just in time to save her.

spn10x09But, because we've also had renewed worries about Dean's Mark working in mysterious ways, things do not end there. Instead, Dean gets cornered by the loan shark's heavies, which is not so great for them as he's been having dreams about killing people. And... yeah. Those guys didn't stand a chance. Sam is understandably worried about this turn of events, because Dean didn't really have to kill them in that situation. Which means he just killed a bunch of humans rather than a bunch of monsters. Uh oh.

Meanwhile! As you may recall, Crowley captured the witch Rowena, who turns out to be none other than his long lost mother. Apparently she was quite a terrible mother back in the day to her young son Fergus, and the now-named Crowley isn't so hot on forgiving her for abandoning him when he was eight years old. Rowena happens to be quite cunning, though, and manages to turn Crowley against his fellow demon by making him think said demon was working against him. Who knows what her motives are in this situation. Does she actually want to reunite her family with Crowley, or is she just waiting for her chance to abandon him once again?

I'm afraid that's all she wrote for this week, though. And now we're heading into the winter hiatus. I was kind of expecting a more action-packed episode than this one, which was much more contemplative. I'm not sure that's necessarily a bad thing? Hmm.

Random Thoughts:

- When Randy first came on screen, I was like who is that guy! I definitely know him from something. My boyfriend came in and said he looked familiar too. Well, turns out, he used to be on Days of Our Lives. Yes, that's how we both knew who he was. Is that sad or what? haha

- Dean seemed to be eating an awful lot throughout the episode. Did he have a feeling he may be going darkside again, and wanted to enjoy food while he can? He also asked Cas to promise to take him out if he does go down that dark path again, but we never actually heard Castiel promise to do that.

- What happens to Claire now? Will they just send her off somewhere, or will Cas try to be sort of her dad for a while?

- I think one of my issues with the show right now is that there aren't any super clear goals. Like, they want to get rid of the Mark of Cain, sure, but that kind of feels like it's on the backburner right now. What is Cas' deal? He was rounding up angels, now he's feeling guilty about messing with human lives... Not sure where his story is heading. Crowley - I mean, what is his goal? He's the King of Hell, what else is there for him to go for at this point? He seems a bit bored himself. Maybe this is all building to something? Hopefully. I'm not even saying things have been bad, because actually this season has been quite good so far. Anyway, just some random ramblings for you.


Dean: Some chick bolting on you is not an emergency. That's... that's every Friday night for Sam.
Sam: Dude.

Castiel: Is ketchup a vegetable?
Dean: Hell yes.

Gerald: My mom used to burn me with cigarettes.
Crowley: Nobody cares, Gerald.

Dean: Whoa, Miley Cyrus, settle.
Claire: Easy, Hasselhoff.

Castiel: Do you think Claire's in trouble?
Dean: She's hanging out with a guy named Randy. She's in trouble.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Supernatural 10x08 "Hibbing 911"

After last week's big mythology episode revealing both the big bad of the season and her relation to Crowley, this episode went in an entirely different direction, featuring more of a monster-of-the-week classic. But, while that may have been a recipe for eh, this was a fun episode because it featured the return of two favorites, two sheriffs from past episodes - Jody and Donna. While we've seen Jody a bunch of times, duh, this is only the second time we've seen Donna, but probably not the last.

spn10x08-2Jody is forced to attend a Sheriff's Retreat in Hibbing, Minnesota - where Donna happens to be attending the very same retreat. Jody is a little turned off by Donna's chipperness at first, but as they get to know one another, that changes. While Donna may seem overly chipper, she knows her stuff and is a good sheriff.

Anyway! On to the actual story here. Turns out, the Sheriff's Retreat is not the only thing going on in Hibbing. There are also some dead bodies piling up, that look a little less than normal. Jody calls up Sam and Dean, and although at first they decide they shouldn't come out, Dean is feeling cooped up and decides they need to go anyway. And it turns out it's a good thing they do, because something nefarious is definitely going on.

Things seem hinky the moment they arrive in town. Either the lead sheriff or his deputy is hiding something, and it turns out that it's actually the sheriff. The deputy informs Dean that the sheriff has been hiding the surveillance tape of how one of the guys was killed. Fishy, fishy. It becomes all the more fishy, though, when Donna happens upon the sheriff looking like he's just killed and is feasting on another lady sheriff, who just happened to be hooking up with Donna's ex Doug there at the retreat.

Donna never really knew what happened in her last encounter with the Winchesters, and despite them trying to get Jody to keep her out of harm's way and not aware of the darker side of the world, now she has to be brought up to speed on the things that go bump in the night. Although she is, of course, surprised and dismayed at this turn of events, she is ready to go when Sam and Dean want to head out to try to find the sheriff and dispatch him.

spn10x08When they arrive at the ramshackle barn the sheriff seems to be hanging out at, things take a turn. He warns them to run just before they all get jumped by a group of vampires, one of whom happens to be a teenage girl Jody gave money to earlier when she thought she was a homeless person. It turns out that the sheriff used to sort of run their little outfit, but he took off years ago. Do we really care about the vampire backstory here? Not really. Though they're all tied up, Dean and Donna both manage to escape their bonds and do some vampire be-heading. Although the vampire sheriff was sort of technically good, he didn't make it, so they don't have any questionable decisions to make there at the end.

As they part ways, Jody tells Donna to call her if she wants any tips on what kills what in her new crazy world, and Donna seemed pretty apt for that. A spinoff with those two? Now that would be much better than that stupid Bloodlines crap last year. Meanwhile, Dean claims that when he killed the vampire this time around, he didn't feel pushed by the Mark at all, which seems like progress... or something. Since he kind of rubs his arm and looks like he may have been lying about that to Sam. Who the heck knows.

Random Thoughts:

- I didn't really touch on a lot of the smaller moments between Jody and Donna, but they were all great. Jody was so annoyed by Donna's ex-husband Doug treating her terribly, that she finally told him to basically shove it. And seeing the memories of Jody's own lost husband and son was pretty sad to see as well. She's always so sassy that sometimes it's hard to remember that she had this tragic things happen so many seasons back.

- Jody also is dealing with the teenage Alex she took in last season, who seems to be acting much like teenagers do - that is, kind of like a jerk. Will we be seeing Alex again, or just these mentions of her?

- Sam and Dean are still trying to find information on the Mark of Cain in the Men of Letters bunker, but not having much luck. Instead, Dean is able to find long treatises on transgender werewolves, which is definitely not super helpful.


Dean: I love the smell of parchment in the morning.

Sam: Enjoy the retreat.
Jody: Screw you, Winchester.

Jody: You know my stalker?

Sam: This time, try to be a little less defensive of your pretend job.
Dean: You know, this badge means something.
Sam: I made it at Kinko's.
Dean: Yes you did. Be proud of that.

Donna: What the cuss! A vampire?!

Donna: Hakuna Matata, lady.
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