Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Round Up


This may be sort of a week overdue now, but as I'm sure many of you know, we landed a spacecraft on a comet recently, the first time in history that has been done (at least in human history!). There have probably been tones of stories out there, but some that caught my eye was this one featuring photos from the comet's surface, and this one featuring strange sounds emanating from the comet's surface. The sound one is quite freaky, actually, as it sounds like the Predator or the creepy aliens from Signs communicating with each other with a whole lot of pops and whatnot. Scientists think perhaps it's the sound of stuff being jettisoned into space and then kind of popping or something, but who knows.

In other science news, have you ever wondered just how much carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere at any given time? Well, NASA has released this time-lapse video of a year of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and it's pretty amazing/scary. Scarmazing? Basically, the atmosphere gets a lot more CO2 going on in the winter months as compared to spring and summer, when trees are doing amazing things and sucking up the stuff. It also shows carbon monoxide from fires and such at different times of the year as well. It kind of makes you want to move to Australia or something, which is hardly covered in the stuff as compared to everyone living in the northern hemisphere.

If you're a fan of Star Wars, perhaps you should try taking this supposedly super hard quiz on the topic and see how you do. I got 9 out of 15 right, which isn't too shabby. Some of them I was debating between a couple answers and just chose the wrong one. But on at least one I just completely guessed and got it right, so perhaps that evens out. How did you do?

As some of you know, I am a big YA book fan. That means I end up seeing a lot of YA movie and TV adaptations, because I'm curious just how well they are going to pull it off. The Hunger Games? Great. Percy Jackson? Not so great. But the real question now is, what other properties should be developed in that way? Well, this article discusses some of the titles they think would make good adaptations for Netflix. Personally, I would love to see Cinder done well, as I've found that series really cool. The Knife of Never Letting Go may be more appropriate as a movie series than a TV series, but that would be one that may be tough to do well. And, of course, I absolutely adore the Legend series and would really want that one done right. A couple of the others I'm a bit eh about, but others I haven't even read yet. Any fans out there? What do you think?

Finally, I will end it on a bit of a more serious note. Relationships are tough sometimes, as I'm sure everyone knows. And if you don't know that it can be tough, well then you must have had some pretty great relationships! Many couples can't make it in the long haul, and this article discusses why that may be happening. Basically, it pays to be nice and listen to each other is what it's saying. If you don't actively listen and be kind to one another, you won't make it. Something to keep in mind!

That's all for this week! In one more week, we will be in post-Thanksgiving mode. Can you believe? My goodness!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Supernatural 10x06 "Ask Jeeves"

Supernatural 10x06 "Ask Jeeves"
Mrs. White, in the Kitchen, with the Revolver.
You know, having two light-hearted episodes in a row has been rather refreshing. I've enjoyed having just the brothers Winchester doing their thing rather than all of the extra angel/demon drama swirling around. This week's episode was a pretty classic standalone, and one done well. I found myself laughing quite a few times throughout.

Basically, Sam and Dean find themselves at this rich lady's funeral after Dean finds one of Bobby's old phones with a message saying Bobby is one of her benefactors. Since they are basically his next of kin, Dean figured they may as well go and see what the deal is. What they find, of course, is a little more out there than they were expecting. Although why wouldn't they expect something out there? Come on now, boys.

At first everything seems okay. Well, as okay as can be when all the relatives aren't particularly mournful and instead seem to be lusting over Sam and Dean. They get what Bunny left for Bobby, and it turns out to be some kind of cross-shaped pendant, with some fake rubies and diamonds. But it's not just a pendant, oh no, it has a secret key. What can the key be to? Well, the boys are wondering as well, and figure perhaps the butler knows, so they head back to the mansion just in time to find out another member of the family has been killed. Dun dun dun!

Even worse - a police officer is on site and now Sam and Dean are stuck in the house. Classic Clue whodunnit time comin' atcha! While Sam occupies those in the living room, or whatever it may be, Dean goes off to explore the rest of the house as one of the women is claiming a ghost killed the guy. They can't get to their car for their supplies, though, so it's a bit back to basics for them here. Dean ends up seeing a strange book on a shelf that has the same symbol as the pendant, and it turns out to hide entrance to the attic that needs, you guessed it, their special key!

And up in the attic is the maid, Olivia, with the other dead maid from the opener, who was stashed up there for, you know, safe-keeping. At first they think it's the butler who may be up to nefarious deeds, but it turns out that the butler is dead too. Only Dean is talking to the butler while Sam is looking over his dead body, so what the heck? Are there a bunch of ghosts hanging around the house? Nope, just your friendly neighborhood shapeshifter. Except not so friendly.

Supernatural 10x06 "Ask Jeeves"The boys find some silverware in the house and proceed to go about trying to nonchalantly touch everyone with it, only no one reacts, so who the heck is the shifter? Wait, can it be... the detective? But no, he's dead too! Dun dun dun! Now the family is starting to freak out a bit, and get suspicious of Sam and Dean being the only new people in their midst, so they lock them up.

Not the best idea, of course. But at least they figure out they weren't using real silver in the first place, and that's why no one was reacting. They would've found that out soon enough, though, because it turns out that sweet maid Olivia is really the shifter. Apparently she is the secret child of the deceased Bunny, who was the woman who everyone was originally mourning. She was locked up in the attic all of her life until recently, and when no one showed respect to her mother, decided it was better to just start killing them. Naturally.

Sam and Dean manage to find a gun cabinet in the room their locked up in, though, so they can get out and kick some shifter ass. And we find out the backstory of how Bobby got involved with this family many years ago, blah blah, no one really cares about the crazy shifter's backstory. Dean swoops in and shoots her up with some silver before she can kill Sammy. And he puts two more bullets in her for good measure, which Sam thinks is a bit excessive, but Dean claims is just him getting back into the game in their classic BM moment at the end of the episode.


Random Thoughts:

- Dean's little grin when the woman asked if Sam works out was pretty hilarious.

- Enjoyed all of the Clue jokes - picking up the lead pipe and the rope when exploring. The wrench. The knife. The candlestick. The revolver. All accounted for. Classic.

- Sam having to pretend to seduce the two women was pretty hilarious. He always seems to have the cougars after him. It's a shame Jared doesn't think he's very good at comedy, because lately I think he's been pretty great with the subtle comedy, perhaps even moreso than the regular drama stuff.

- These last two episodes have felt more like classic Supernatural to me than the show has felt in a long time. Honestly, I'm not really looking forward to getting back into the whole Cas and Crowley of it all next week. It's been nice to see the Winchesters on their own, working together. Boo hoo.

- There were quite a few great quotes in this episode, I may not have gotten them all. Any I missed that you loved, feel free to share of course!

Quotes:

Dean: Real men don't drink out of cups this small.

Dean: Bobby had secrets man. Like loving on Tori Spelling. If only he knew Dean cheated on her.

Dean: You stay here and keep an eye on Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard.

Dean: Guess we can rule out the butler did it.

Sam: We're not the bad guys, Dash.
Dash: I beg to differ. You're wearing flannel.

Dean: We got played by the maid.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Round Up


Posting this is a bit late today, whoops! Life has been a bit busy this week, so much so that I realized I didn't even have that many links to share when I started working on this today. But I've remedied that now! We're good to go here, people. Let's get started on the weekend! Oh and the picture above is what's going on in the Portland area of Oregon right now. Ice craziness! I'm down in LA but wanted to share a picture from my hometown area.

Have you ever turned on Netflix, scrolled through the hundreds of movies you've never heard of, and then just given up in frustration at not being able to pick something? I feel like this has happened to all of us at some point. But this handy dandy list of the best movies on Netflix you haven't seen is super helpful for those particular nights! Or days, too. I've seen three of the films on this list, and I have to agree that they are all pretty good. The three in question are Nowhere Boy, The Ice Storm, and Gattaca, for those wondering. And I even own a copy of Short Term 12 on BluRay, I just haven't gotten around to watching it yet. Any on there you've seen that you would recommend?

So there's this video of a guy in Russia having a near miss in a road crash that at first seems pretty amazing. But! When you watch the full video, some questions arise. One - Why is the pedestrian seemingly just standing in the middle of the intersection? Seriously, he doesn't appear to be crossing the street, but rather just standing there. Two - Why are the people filming the crash filming in the first place? And why do they appear to have no audible reaction when the crash happens? I mean, I would be going like "holy sh*t!" or something, but it's pure silence in the car. All a bit suspicious!

This is just a bit of fun. I always enjoy seeing different takes on popular movies, and this artist decided to remove one letter from some famous movie titles and draw the results. Here you can see everything from OboCop to Finding Emo. I think the one that gave me the biggest chuckle was Oh Bother, Where Art Thou? I won't spoil what it is for you, so just go look.

I'm not sure I necessarily agree with whatever message this post may be shilling, but I do enjoy comparing goofy pictures of celebrities as kids to what they look like now. Some of the kid photos are pretty classic. But I'm not sure about calling it "proof there is always hope" because that basically just says don't worry, you may be pretty someday. And should being pretty be the only thing we worry about? What about being smart? Okay, I'll stop now. But you get what I mean.

That's all for this week! Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Delightfully Dense Peanut Butter Cookies


Sometimes, you just need an easy little peanut butter cookie to brighten up your day. And these ones certainly fit the bill, being both easy and quite yummy. They don't flatten out much when baking, instead pretty much holding their little ball shape while getting some small cracks on the top. You can decide not to roll them in sugar before baking, but that does cause them to spread just slightly more, and they dry out a little bit faster. But it's all up to personal taste there! Perhaps you don't want quite as much sugar, and that's perfectly understandable.

I also appreciate when recipes make smaller amounts of cookies, as having a bunch lying around is no good for a couple reasons. You know, so you don't eat all of them. And also so they don't go a bit stale before you have a chance to eat all of them.


You can use natural or the Jif/Skippy variety of peanut butter for these. The ones I made in this recipe were with natural peanut butter. I expect they are not quite as moist or sweet as ones made with the "regular" peanut butters, but they are still delicious, and perhaps slightly healthier? Sure! Honestly I always prefer to use non-natural peanut butters because I hate having to mix around the oils in natural ones. And this time was no exception, as the oil kept spilling over the edge of the container and just generally causing me to be annoyed. But c'est la vie, I suppose. It's just peanut butter.


Delightfully Dense Peanut Butter Cookies


Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted or aerated
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar, for coating
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Beat together your peanut butter and butter until smooth. Add in the brown sugar, and beat until combined. Then, add in the egg and vanilla and beat some more until it's nice and creamy.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour and baking powder, then slowly mix in to your wet ingredients until just combined.
  3. Line your baking sheet with parchment or a silpat. Place your sugar on a plate, then roll spoonfuls of the dough into balls, and coat them in the sugar by rolling them around the plate.
  4. Place them about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet, and bake for about 12 minutes, until the edges just start to brown and the cookies start to crackle on top. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for another 10 minutes before transferring to a rack or plate to cool completely.

Recipe via Julia's Album

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Supernatural 10x05 "Fan Fiction"

I have to say as a long-time Supernatural fan, I definitely appreciated this episode. There were so many small moments throughout that only those who really know the show would understand (evidenced by my boyfriend asking me just what the heck was going on and when I explained saying it sounded like gibberish), that I found myself having a little giggle to myself quite often.
spn10x05-2
Let's get on to the recap, though! In Flint, Michigan, an all-girls school is putting on a musical production of the Supernatural book series. The drama teacher in charge of said production is less than enthused by what she's seeing from director Marie's vision, and when she decides she's going to go ahead and tell the principal to cancel the whole thing, promptly gets swept up by some mysterious vines to points unknown.

Meanwhile, Dean is working on his beloved. You know, the impala that he was so rudely neglecting as a demon. And also looking up cases, such as this possible disappearance in Michigan. Sam is reluctant to go out on another case that seems highly unlikely to be a supernatural one, but Dean is rather insistent. And when they get there, of course, things turn priceless as they realize just what is going on. Honestly, the plot isn't super important in this episode, so I should be able to wrap this up fairly quickly here.

But! Basically, they're both flabbergasted at what is going on, though Sam seems a bit more flattered and amused by it than Dean, who is, of course, being very Dean about it, especially all the mentions of subtext. Anyhow, when they do some exploring and come up empty, though, they decide it must not be ghosts or monsters after all. But, duh, that's before another girl goes missing, right in front of director Marie's eyes. Taken by some scary Scarecrow with vine hands. D'oh.


spn10x05The brothers inform Marie and her AD that the world of the supernatural is real, and attempt to tell them that they are, in fact, the brothers Winchester, but the ladies only believe the supernatural part. At first they think the monster terrorizing the play may be a Tulpa, but the weird flowers it leaves behind just don't fit. Sam, being the geek boy he is, figures out that it's actually the Greek god Calliope, who feasts on those trying to stop works of authors, basically. So, since both of the girls were trying to stop the play from happening, they were taken. And when the play is over? It's the director's turn to bite the dust.

Of course, they're not going to let that happen. But they can't just stop the play because that's what caused all the disappearances in the first place. So, the show must go on, and only after when she comes for Marie will they then be able to dust Calliope. Things don't always run smoothly in the Supernatural world, though, and Sam gets captured by Calliope. Luckily, he manages to still stake her eventually with whatever wooden stake thing is meant to kill her, just as the scarecrow monster was about to take Marie on stage, resulting in an explosion of purple death goo all over the audience, who loves it.

And that's only the first act of the play! By this time Marie has kind of figured out that Dean and Sam are legit after all, and they stick around to watch the rest of the play, as Dean has kind of softened to the idea after spending time with them, and they get to watch the final BM. You know, the brother melodrama, not the bowel movement.

To leave things on one final note for the fans, though, the "publisher" of the novels shows up at the play... and it's none other than Chuck himself, or perhaps God if you believe that. While I'm sure all of us would like to believe that may mean he was coming back again, I feel like that was just a little nod to the fans rather than something more. Also funny because earlier in the episode they were wondering where Chuck was in the cast of characters and Marie had said she didn't much like that storyline, so she cut it. Har har.

Random Thoughts:

- Loved all the title card in the beginning! Always fun to see all of them at once like that.

- Also loved the "we've got work to do" nod with the shot from inside the trunk. Yes!

- Dean nodding along to the music was pretty hilarious. The songs were all pretty funny, actually. And it was also nice to have the group number of Carry On there at the end, with the boys watching.

- What's so great is how much this show can poke fun at itself. Not many shows really do that, but these meta episodes really just show how much they listen to and appreciate the fans, and how we can both be amused by each other in equal measure.

- Also enjoyed all of the nods to the Amulet aka Samulet, with Dean putting it on his mirror there at the end as well. Aww.

- Don't you kind of wish we saw the robot tentacles in space?

- This episode has become an instant classic, for sure. I'm sure watching it back again there will be even more Easter eggs for fans.

- There were really too many different quotes to get all of them down, but the below are some of the ones that stood out at the time.

Quotes:

Sam: Oklahoma? Hugh Jackman got cast in Oklahoma.
Dean: You ran tech, Wolverine.
Sam: Shut up.

Sam: Casdean?
Dean: Shut your face. Get in the car.

Sam: It's not a Tulpa.
Dean: Come on say it one more time, but more Arnold... it's not a Tulpa...

Marie: Writer. Director. Actor. I'm gonna Barbra Streisand this bitch.