Subscription “boxes” are popping up all over the internet these days! From makeup to nerd gear, there are so many out there! I looked into yarn subscription boxes but most of them were $32+ a month like Yarnbox, Fiberista Yarn Club, and Yarn Crush.
These boxes are definitely appetizing, but as a mother of three small children, I just don’t have the money for that. In September, I saw a suggested post on facebook featuring the Jimmy Beans Wool Beanie Bag. Beanie Bags debuted in October, and I was lucky enough to grab one before they ran out. For $10 a month, this sweet little bag of yarn and goodies is a steal! ($10 USA, $15 international.)
The air cools; fall begins, and out come the sweaters! I love knitting and crocheting, but as a mother of three small children I don’t have the time for large projects like sweaters.
This year I thought I’d spend my autumn months knitting and crocheting some geeky holiday ornaments! Here is a list of both knitted and crocheted ornaments you can make. Keep them for yourself or gift a bit of geek to any nerd on your list! Some of these are actual ornaments and some are amigurumi that you can add a simple yarn loop or a hook to for hanging. Continue reading Geeky Ornaments to Knit and Crochet
As a group, us geeks can be a little, well, snobbish about the games we play. Why would we play Clue when we could play Catan? Why choose Scrabble over Stone Age? As much as we might think that way, a quick Amazon search for “board games” reveals that classic titles such as Monopoly, Clue, Sorry!, and The Game of Life are still the top results. My husband and I returned to two popular games—Yahtzee and Clue—both of which had recently been given a Firefly-themed makeover, to see if they could win us over.
MegaCon will be taking over the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, on April 10th thru April 12th this year. Complete with celebs, a one-mile indoor walk benefiting the Hero Initiative, gaming, cosplay, and vendors to make you drool.
This year’s MegaCon is a little more special to me because I’ll be celebrating my 30th birthday (okay, so I’m celebrating a week early…so sue me) and I’m going to make it count. I have plans for a Stan Lee photo op, a picture and autograph from Michael Rooker, and hitting up some of my favorite artists and vendors for some presents to myself.
The celebrity line-up includes Stan Lee (Mr. Marvel himself), Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy/The Walking Dead), Robbie Amell and Danielle Panabaker (The Flash), Adam Baldwin and Alan Tudyk (Firefly), David Ramsey (Arrow), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who/Guardians of the Galaxy), and many more.
Also in attendance will be the cast of the Animaniacs—Rob Paulson (Yakko), Tress MacNeille (Dot), and Jess Harnell (Wakko)—which should make for a great “Voice Actors Gone Wild” panel.
In addition to the contests, gaming, and speed dating, MegaCon will also be hosting the first MegaWalk benefiting the Hero Initiative. For $40 you can participate in a one-mile walk lead by Superman legend, George Perez. The best part, other than the really cool medal and swag, is that the walk is indoors and goes right into the main convention hall.
The Crafty Dork makes adorable amigurumi dolls based on anime, comics, and video games. Sons of Sandlar is the spot to stop at if you want super comfy real leather boots for cosplay or day-to-day wear. I tried them on at a Ren Faire a few weeks ago and fell in love with them.
If you have plans to be in Orlando from April 10th thru the 12th, make sure you stop by and check out the convention. Tickets start at $30.00 for a day or $75 for the weekend. Children 10 and under get in free with a paying adult. MegaCon is an all-ages convention and strollers are welcome.
Today, Firefly favorites Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion announced their new project, Con Man, now open for funding on Indiegogo. What is Con Man? Well, the description from the Indiegogo says:
“Wray Nerely (Alan Tudyk-Me!) was a costar on Spectrum, a sci-fi series which was canceled -Too Soon- yet became a cult classic. Wray’s good friend, Jack Moore (Nathan Fillion) starred in the series and has gone on to become a major movie star. While Jack enjoys the life of an A-lister, Wray tours the sci-fi circuit as a guest of conventions, comic book stores, and lots of pop culture events. The show will feature all the weird and crazy things that happen to Wray along the way to at these events these events.”
That sounds… oddly familiar… Wait, where was I again? Yes! You can support this project, because the guys want you (and everyone else) to be the producers of their fine endeavor. You can check out the Indiegogo page for all the various awesome you could get for helping to support this project. But most important of all, Firefly fans, we get to see two of our guys together again. On a spaceship.
“I wanted to make a show that featured all of my favorite convention artists and friends together,” Tudyk says. “Not only that, I wanted to celebrate the world where heroes, villains, zombie hunters, and space pirates all overlap. I especially wanted to work with my friend Nathan Fillion again.”
It’s a celebration of why we are geeks in the first place, and I for one cannot wait to see this happen!
Do you remember catching fireflies on hot summer nights, putting them in a jar as the prettiest present for your mom, and then releasing them again before bed? I do. The image of so, so many little lights all around my yard is a fond memory. For my kids, they have collected and enjoyed fireflies too, but I don’t see as many around. Are these beautiful insects disappearing?
The Clemson Vanishing Firefly Project wants to answer that question, and has started a firefly census. The goal is “to promote environmental sustainability and stewardship through the participation of local communities in environmental science research.” That means you! Your family can take part in real science that is important to our world. How? There is a mobile app (or an online version) that is easy to use for the census. Check out these videos:
One for kids:
There is also a Firefly Facebook page to continue the conversation. Our world needs your help, so do some science with your kids that’s meaningful, fun, and gets you outside on those hot summer nights.
Joss Whedon. If I had to make a shortlist of people who could become the Patron Saint of Geek, he would be at the top of it. These days, his body of work is so broad that you’ll struggle to find a geek who doesn’t love at least some parts of it. From The Avengers to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, through Firefly and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the sheer range of genres within the Whedonverse is astonishing, although each one features a certain something in their dialogue and overall attitude that make them distinctly Whedon.
Reading Joss Whedon collects together articles that cover all types of Whedon’s work, although there is naturally something of a focus on his television productions. It is arranged into collections, beginning with a set of essays on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, moving through Angel, Firefly/Serenity, and finally, Dollhouse. Collection/part five, “Beyond the Box,” covers Whedon’s non-TV work with four essays on Dr. Horrible (webseries), Buffy’s Season Eight (comic series), The Cabin in the Woods, and The Avengers (films). Each TV series is also given a brief introduction for readers less familiar with them. The final part of the book covers “Overarching Topics” and covers subjects that stretch across multiple Whedon works with essays including “Technology and Magic: Joss Whedon’s Explorations of The Mind” (Jeffrey Bussolini) and “Hot Chicks with Superpowers: The Contested Feminism of Joss Whedon” (Lauren Schultz).
A second table of contents is also provided that groups the essays by subject. This is especially useful to those of us looking to use the book as a reference tome. The subjects used include Human Identity, Gender, Narrative & Writing, and Myth & Intertext. Together, they do an impressive job of summing up what the Whedonverse does best and the questions it repeatedly raises.
One of the things I took away from early in the book was a comparison between Whedon and Shakespeare. The comparison wasn’t discussing talent or output, simply their working practises. Whedon is known for working with a small group of actors repeatedly (Nathan Fillion, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Fran Kranz, etc.) in much the same way that Shakespeare’s plays were usually performed by the same group, The Lord Chamberlain’s/King’s Men. It’s a point hammered home by Whedon’s adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, a production he has himself referred to as “a love letter—to the cast.”
Another point I found especially interesting was a discussion on the way Whedon’s work often focuses on the concept of “chosen” family rather than family as defined by blood. It’s a recurring theme I hadn’t ever really thought of. The Scoobies in Buffy, the crew of the Serenity, even The Avengers. All are groups who have found their “families,” rather than being born into them. It’s far from being an idea unique to Whedon; the TV shows Supernatural and Warehouse 13, for example, address the concept regularly and somewhat more explicitly, but it’s certainly a recurrent Whedon theme. Even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which premiered too late to have essays included in the book, has drawn on similar themes.
I am not a die-hard Whedonite; rather I have remained on the fringes of his Verse, dipping my toes into almost every one of his creations (to date the only Whedonverse show I haven’t watched is Angel). However, despite not being familiar with every last nuance of the Whedonverse, I found Reading Joss Whedon a deeply insightful collection that not only made me look at the Whedonverse with different eyes, but at other media as well. I especially loved “All Those Apocalypses: Disaster Studies and Community in BTVS and Angel” (Linda J. Jencson), which looked at the ways disaster and survival was presented throughout Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The essay has me thinking in new ways about not only my own fiction, both written and viewed, but the way these subjects are presented by the real-world news media as well. Not being a huge fan, I occasionally had to do a little googling when episode titles were casually thrown in as references (it’s been a few years since I last watched Buffy), but this didn’t detract from my overall understanding or enjoyment.
Reading Joss Whedon is a great book both for Whedonites looking to read more about their favorite verses and for those interested in storytelling and media as a whole. If you’re after something to really stimulate the mind as you lie on a beach this summer, this might just be the book you’re looking for.
Valentine’s Day can make anyone not in a couple feel somewhat left out. If much popular media is to be believed then romantic relationships are the pinnacle of the connections we can share with other human beings. Forging a romantic pairing is often shown as one of the most important goals we can strive for in life; however for most of us these relationships form only a tiny fraction of the meaningful connections we will enjoy throughout our lives.
We form deep, meaningful bonds with our parents, siblings, teachers, colleagues, and friends that are every bit as powerful and rewarding as those we share with our partners—sometimes more so. We are starting to see more varied relationships on screen lately such as Frozen’s Anna and Elsa so I wanted to look at a variety of different relationships and how they are portrayed.
Sisters: Anna & Elsa (Frozen) Without going too far into spoiler territory for those who haven’t yet seen Frozen, the relationship between royal sisters Elsa and Anna is something truly special. As young children they were as close as sisters could be, but after a near-tragic accident forces Elsa to pull away for reasons Anna can’t know, they must grow up estranged. Anna never stops hoping for reconciliation though, and even after she finds romantic love she seeks Elsa’s approval. What happens next sets off a series of catastrophic events, but sisterly love trumps all in this story and turns out to be the key to saving an entire kingdom. Important Quote: “Do you want to build a snowman? Come on, let’s go and play. I never see you anymore. Come out the door. It’s like you’ve gone away.”
Brothers: Sam & Dean Winchester (Supernatural) They say that blood is thicker than water and we’ve certainly seen enough of it spilled from Sam and Dean Winchester. The pair are so utterly committed to one another that they risk everything to save each other, including casting themselves into the fiery pits of Hell for all eternity. While I’m not advocating making deals with crossroads demons to keep your siblings safe, it’s a strong reminder of just how strong family ties can really be. Important Quote: “All I’m saying, Sammy, all I’m saying, is that you’re my weak spot. You are, and I’m yours.”
Father/Daughter: Richard and Alexis Castle (Castle)
Watching your kids grow up is hard for every parent, but there’s something especially difficult about the single father/daughter dynamic. Alexis was 14 when Castle first began airing and since that day we’ve all watched her grow up as she progressed through high school, found and lost love, graduated, and moved on to college. Castle himself has watched these events too, often unsure of exactly how to help out whilst still allowing her to navigate her own path—especially difficult when his daughter was frequently the more mature one of the pair. However the two have always been there for one another to offer support and advice. Important Quote: Alexis: “How come we never had a nanny?” Castle: “Well, your mother and I decided if someone was going to screw you up, we wanted it to be me.”
Friendship: Malcolm Reynolds and Zoe Washburne (Firefly)
Friendships formed in the armed forces can be some of the most long-lasting and powerful bonds you will form. There’s nothing like suffering a harrowing experience to really bring people together. Mal Reynolds served with Zoe Washburne (then Alleyne) during the Unification War and together they survived the devastating Battle of Serenity Valley, the only two in their platoon to make it out. After a brief stint with a “terrorist” group, Zoe joined up with Mal to serve aboard his new ship Serenity where the pair worked together so well that it caused occasional jealousy between Mal and Zoe’s eventual husband Wash. Important Quote: “I wouldn’t stand for it anyway, Captain, jealous man like me.”
Bromance: Tony Stark and Bruce Banner (Marvel Universe) Iron Man and The Hulk are two of the most layered characters in the Marvel universe; both have an outward image that masks the flawed, even damaged, men underneath it. By the beginning of The Avengers Bruce Banner has become so disenchanted with people’s reactions to him that he has effectively hidden himself away from the world. He instantly senses the fears of everyone involved when he is finally ousted from his private world. Tony Stark is the only person who doesn’t react that way and is simply delighted to meet him, even thrilled at Banner’s reputation, a reaction that genuinely surprises Bruce and sparks their friendship. Important Quote: It’s good to meet you, Dr. Banner. Your work on anti-electron collisions is unparalleled. And I’m a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster.
Womance: Dana Scully & Monica Reyes (The X-Files) A lot is made of the so-called “bromance” but little is ever said about its female counterpart. According to Urban Dictionary the word for this relationship is a “womance” but it is certainly not as commonplace. Monica Reyes’ character wasn’t introduced on The X-Files until season eight and didn’t become recurrent until season nine but this does not diminish the importance of her relationship with Agent Scully.
The relationship is best understood when considered within the context of the death of Scully’s only sister Melissa at the end of season three. Melissa was the polar opposite of her sister, a flighty spiritualist prone to taking off suddenly on journeys of self-discovery. However, the few scenes we saw of the pair together showed how close they were. Melissa’s death was a huge blow to Scully and left her with seemingly no close female friends excluding her mother for the several years until Monica’s appearance. Despite her initial wariness (trust no one after all) Scully became close friends with Monica who clearly began to fill the hole left by Melissa. As the show’s ninth and final season drew to a close they were clearly portrayed as close female friends, one of the relationships the show had yet to explore with Scully. Important Quote: “I was thinking that you reminded me of someone that I was close to—my sister.”
Mentor/Student: Buffy Summers and Rupert Giles (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) The mentor/student relationship is most commonly seen between characters where the younger individual is lacking a parent and the older individual ends up filling that role to a greater or lesser extent. Giles took on a fatherly role to the entire Scooby Gang but mostly to Buffy, a relationship that far surpassed even the often intense bond between Watcher and Slayer. He not only supported her through her progression as a Slayer but personally too, a role that increased over the years especially after the sudden death of Buffy’s mother. Important Quote: “If it’s guilt you’re looking for, Buffy, I’m not your man. All you will get from me is my support. And my respect.”
Colleagues: Dale Cooper and Harry Truman (Twin Peaks)
Dale Cooper’s approach to solving a case couldn’t really be more different from Harry Truman’s but together the pair began a partnership that was every bit as complimentary as Holmes and Watson. The relationship between the two is deeply rooted in respect and despite Truman having countless opportunities to ridicule Cooper, he never takes them up. Cooper and Truman are the perfect example of a yin and yang relationship where two wildly different types of people can work together perfectly to solve impossibly difficult problems. Important Quote: “Agent Cooper is the finest lawman I’ve ever known. I’ve had nothing but respect for him since he arrived in Twin Peaks.”
This list is by no means comprehensive, I had to cut out more than I left in, so I’d love to hear about the relationships you love that have nothing to do with romance. Let me know your favorites.
I stumbled across Life Geekery’s shop a few months ago when I was searching Etsy for Harry Potter goodies (as one does). I wasn’t even looking for a Kindle/iPad/iPhone cover at the time, but when I found this shop Ihad to have one. The heart wants what the heart wants, so Harry and my iPad Mini have been together for three months now.
Life Geekery is run by the husband and wife team of Matt and Nikki Mason, and their handmade designs are witty, made with Eco Felt, and priced around $30. I contacted Nikki to find out what inspired them and how they got started.
We’re a super nerdy husband and wife team that love to craft! The whole geeky cozy business started simply because I wanted a fun little case to store my own Kindle and couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. After coming up with a few different ideas we decided to make them and put them up on Etsy just to see if other people would like them as much as we did…and they did! Now we get to spread the joy to nerds everywhere and we couldn’t be more happy about that!
So, basically, the couple behind this business is just as much fun as their product. With more than 700 sales in less than two years, the shop is definitely popular. In addition to the awesome Firefly, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Dr.Who cases pictured above, designs also include Chewbacca, Frodo Baggins, and several others (Sherlock cover, stop flirting with me!). I’ve seen a Ron Weasley cover on their site, and I could swear I saw a TARDIS flash by on their website banner.
I asked Nikki who comes up with the designs, and she told me, “My husband and I collaborate on the designs, but he’s more of the designer and I’m more of the sewer.” Nikki and Matt are based in Hawaii, and each case is handmade to order—you can specify the tablet or phone it’s meant to fit. This means your case will not arrive right away. I waited a good few weeks to get mine, but I’ve had it since early March and thought it was well worth the wait.
I had to get used to having the opening at the bottom since these are sleeves and not cases (my typical cover preference). I’ve never used a sleeve for a Kindle or iPad before, so for the first few days I nearly dropped my Mini a few times because I kept carrying Harry right side up. And felt is slippery. I think I would slightly prefer to have the opening at the top of the sleeve, but I’m torn because I like the instant access when plugging it in to charge. Cases are fiddly on that point. And, honestly, once I got used to carrying Harry upside down it was no longer a problem. My Mini is protected, and it looks very cool. It’s also very easy to find in my giant, bottomless bag of stuff, and it makes me happy every time I see it. This has been one of my favorite purchases of 2013.
Tonight sees the return of SyFy original series Warehouse 13 for the second half of its fourth season after the show left viewers on a cliff hanger with a plague unleashed and threatening to wipe out half the world’s population.
Although not as popular as many current shows on air, Warehouse 13, is now one of my favourites after having spent the last few months catching up with the show on Netflix. Here are seven reasons why I’ve fallen in love with it and why you should give it a try.
By now, if you’re a Firefly fan, you’ve probably heard the outrage heard across the ‘verse. The story goes something like this. The Firefly character Jayne Cobb’s silly orange hat, lovingly knitted by his mother, has become an iconic symbol of the cancelled-too-soon series. People have knitted their own hats for years. You see them on college campuses. You see them at comic conventions. People love their Jayne hats, and when you see one, you give a nod to your fellow Browncoat. Occasionally people put their hand-knit caps up on Etsy or other sites to sell them to other fans. No mass production. Just a few fans making pizza money.
ThinkGeek, one of my very favoritest sites of all time, decided that since there was a lot of demand and very little actual product, maybe they should do something about that. They worked with an officially licensed producer to get an officially licensed Jayne’s Hat in their store. It’s not an exclusive item to ThinkGeek, but ThinkGeek had a hand in designing the perfect silly orange hat for fans. It’s suitable for both head warmth and finding all the cool people who recognize it. Shiny!
One problem. Now that it’s an instant money-making item, Fox has started issuing cease and desist letters to those little Etsy shops that have been selling the product for years. Etsy chose the path of most butt coverage and has been reportedly shutting down stores, not just issuing warnings or delisting the offending items. Stores that sold non-hat related Firefly fan merchandise have also been reportedly shuttered – just in case.
Yes, it completely sucks to have your Etsy store shut down for an activity you thought was fine for years and years, but the truth is that those stores were making money off of someone else’s intellectual property, no matter how rich they weren’t getting in the process.
It was always a legally gray area, and as soon as you call it “Jayne’s Hat” or mention the series from whence it came, you’re riding on the coattails of a show you didn’t make. Sure, Fox makes everyone mad for having cancelled the show in the first place, but it was their show to cancel, and it’s their show to license even after it was cancelled. Yes, the optics of closing down mom and pop stores is bad, but if they don’t defend their license, even against the small stores, they could lose the ability to defend it against the big ones. Update: an actual IP lawyer explains how a lowly hat can become a trademarked item.
The way I see it, this whole Jayne’s Hat issue actually has a silver lining for Firefly fans. How, you say? You know what you get when you take a cancelled science fiction show with a loyal fan base that likes to spend a lot of money on licensed products? Maybe you get Star Trek the Motion Picture. Maybe you get the eventual resurrection and re-imagining of your universe into a vast series of books, comic books, cartoons, TV shows, games, rides, products, and movies. Yes, it could happen. Some of it already has. Spend your money on licensed products, kiddies. It’s a story that is too pretty to die.
Furthermore, ThinkGeek has taken a lot of unfair flak over something that totally wasn’t their fault. They had nothing to do with Etsy stores being shut down. They just wanted a cool hat, and they played by the rules to get one legitimately — just like they did when they made the coolest Tauntaun sleeping bag, ever after overwhelming fan demand. I want to see them bring more super cool, super creative fan products to the market. It would be the best targeted weight loss plan ever (if the target of all that weight loss was my wallet.)
After all the kerfluffle over the hats, ThinkGeek has issued the following statement:
Browncoats, we hear your concerns about the cease and desist on Etsy Jayne Hat sellers!
Honestly, they didn’t have to do this, but it does make them big damn heroes. Speaking of ThinkGeek charity and big damn heroes, be sure to pick up a Neurodiversity shirt from ThinkGeek to go with your hat. It’s not Firefly, but the profits from the shirts sold in April will go to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
Jayne’s yellow and orange hat is one of the big symbols of the Firefly fandom. I, like many other Browncoats, was disappointed to hear of cease and desist orders sent out to crafters of this unique hat by 20th Century Fox, who own the rights to the show.
Etsy stores often sell items from various fandoms that cannot be obtained anywhere else. Several years ago, I was in the market for a rainbow parasol for a Kaylee costume. I couldn’t find one anywhere, so I started painting them myself. I even sold them for a while in my now defunct Etsy store. I imagine that a lot of Jayne’s hat knitters got a similar start. Buying Jayne’s hat on Etsy and other sites was great for fans who couldn’t knit.
But now ThinkGeek has started selling the licensed version of Jayne’s hat. Several of my Browncoat friends speculated that this may be the end of fan made hats, and it seems that’s exactly what Fox would like to happen.
In addition to cease and desist orders, several Browncoats have found that their Etsy stores have been shut down. I know of at least one person who had their store shut down for selling other Firefly inspired items, but not Jayne’s hat.
The Browncoat fandom is in an uproar over this. It gives us another reason to dislike Fox. While I know that Fox owns the copyright, it is more than a little frustrating to be faced with this after many of these knitters have been making these hats for over eight years. I also believe Etsy went overboard shutting down shops that weren’t even selling the hats.
ThinkGeek has been getting flak even though they weren’t really involved. In response they have announced this week that all of the proceeds from the sales of Jayne’s hat will go to Can’t Stop The Serenity. This makes me tempted to get another hat because I love supporting this Browncoat charity drive. It also makes me love ThinkGeek even more!
I’m sure this won’t stop Browncoat knitters from making Jayne’s hat, but they will have to be more careful when listing the hat for sale to avoid copyright issues.
I would consider myself a Firefly fan. I use the word shiny far too often, am hoping to someday have my very own Jayne hat, and am guilty of worshipping at the altar of Captain Tightpants. Yes, definitely a fan. So, I can say without hesitation that Firefly: A Celebration needs to be on your shelf if you, too, are a Browncoat.
Firefly: A Celebration is a 544-page faux-leather bound compilation of the three companion books previously released by Titan. Even if you already have those books, you are going to want this one just for the beauty of having it all in one wonderfully thick volume. It truly is something you’ll proudly put on display.
This book includes all the show’s scripts, lots of behind-the-scenes photos and plenty of interviews with the cast and crew. There is even a bit of extra fiction from the show’s writers. Yeah, if you’re a Browncoat you’re already counting your coins and it will be worth every cent.
Even if you have the original three companion volumes, there are some extras here that make this even more attractive. It includes a beautifully colored prop replica of a banknote and nine frameable photos of the castmembers all tucked into a little pocket in the back of the book.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since Firefly aired and was so abruptly cancelled, breaking the hearts of sci-fi fans everywhere. Firefly: A Celebration ($49.95) is the perfect way to remember and celebrate the shiniest show in the ‘verse.
On Higgins’ Moon in Firefly, there’s a lil’ ol’ city called Canton where the biggest export is mud, and to keep the mudders moving, this drink, far from “mother’s milk,” provides “all the protein, vitamins and carbs of your grandma’s best turkey dinner, plus 15% alcohol.” Our beloved knitted-hat-wearing big damn hero likes it too. Here’s one Mudder’s Milk recipe for you to try.
Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster
It takes a two-headed guy to invent a drink that has an effect “like having your brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick,” and that’s just what Zaphod Beeblebrox did for the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy universe. Not only are you likely to have trouble finding the real ingredients (Ol’ Janx Spirit, water from the seas of Santraginus V, Fallian marsh gas, and other delights, plus the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger to finish it off), Douglas Adams said in an interview that “there are a number of environmental and weapons treaties and laws of physics which prevent one being mixed on Earth.” That means you’ll have to choose one of the many Earth-bound imitations.
At one time you could buy Fry’s favorite beverage in Futurama, as Slurm was sold as an energy drink, but if you still want it, you’ll have to turn to eBay. It probably wasn’t squirted out of a real Slurm Queen anyway. This imitation recipe calls for rum, sour apple schnapps, pineapple juice, and 7-Up. Good luck with that. You might end up wishing for the Slurm Queen.
Our favorite fictional worlds are often fantastically full of fantasy flavors–some better than others. It’s hard to resist creating Earthly versions of them, so why fight it? Here are fourteen foods from fiction and ways to make them yourself, along with three you can find without much invention.
Of the myriad Middle Earth munchies, lembas seems to be the most popular to recreate. (Maybe because “cram” is a less appealing name, especially when eating it is described as “a chewing exercise.”) Lembas, on the other hand, has a description similar to hard tack, a cracker sort of thing we don’t see much of in the US. Here’s a lembas recipe based on what we know about it. At the end of the experiment, you will be baked andthentherewillbe cake.
Fruity Oaty Bars
I wouldn’t fault you for printing Fruity Oaty Bar wrappers and putting them on your Clif bars. That seems reasonable, and less likely to have any ill effects from consuming Blue Sun products. But if you want to make your own, they tell us right there in the name that they likely contain something resembling fruit, something resembling oats, and are bar-shaped. How convenient! Even more convenient–a recipe using oats and the fruit puree of your choice. I invited your best friend, the Companion Cube. Of course, he couldn’t come because you murdered him.
Cake and grief counseling will be available at the conclusion of the post. This is your fault. I’m going to kill you. And all the cake is gone. You don’t even care, do you?
Leave it to the Klingons to name a delicacy with the sound a human is likely to make when eating it. Short of actually eating live worms (which I really don’t recommend, despite enjoying How to Eat Fried Worms), you can recreate the look with Jell-o Blood Worms. If your tongue is brave, try this recipe made with ginger and cocoa. And if you’re really yearning for the sensation, I think you could get close with casu marzu.Momentum, a function of mass and velocity, is conserved between portals. In layman’s terms, speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out.
Really? Really? You want to eat spoo? Babylon 5 fans are so weird. (I love you anyway.) How about some gnocchi spoo? It’s not worms, but we covered that particular taste with the gagh. Did you know you can donate one or all of your vital organs to the Aperture Science Self Esteem Fund for Girls? It’s true!
Nutrition is important, but food is supposed to look good as well as taste good. Please remember this.
I’m all about space travel, but you won’t see me spending long on any planet that thinks food cubes are a good idea. Claudia Black, who played Aeryn Sun on Farscape, says they used “hawanalis.” A poster on the RPF suggests that what she really meant was haw flake candy.That thing you burnt up isn’t important to me. It’s the Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit; it makes shoes for orphans. Nice job breaking it, hero.
The problems with popplers are plentiful, and not limited to MEAT protests. There’s the lack of transportation to Omicron Persei 8, the difficulty of eating animated food, and the fact that I can’t stop thinking about my fond 80s feelings for Popples. Searching for imitation recipes of this Futurama universe delicacy will yield you everything from seafood bites to hush puppies to chicken nuggets, so choose your favorite deep-fried, ball-shaped treat and sing along. You can pick ’em, you can lick ’em, you can chew ’em, you can stick ’em. If you promise not to sue us, you can shove one up your nose!” The Enrichment Center is required to remind you that the Weighted Companion Cube cannot talk. In the event that it does, ignore its advice.
Your food is problematic? Let us solve your problem! Make your own Firefly ice planets to torture your kids all afternoon. Anyway, this cake is great. It’s so delicious and moist. Look at me still talking when there’s science to do.
San Diego Comic-Con was a blur of awesome, as usual. Now that it’s over, I’m glad to sit back, rest my weary feet, and enjoy what was arguably the most awesome event of all: the Firefly reunion panel. I missed it in real life: couldn’t devote a whole day to standing in the thousands-deep line for Hall H. Hooray for YouTube. I made it about forty-five seconds into this video (“He wanted to be introduced as a bounty hunter and sandwich maker, but you know him best as a leaf on the wind”) before I teared up. How about you?
See 47:33 for a truly heartwarming moment: Joss Whedon (and much of the cast) getting choked up at the question, “What do the fans mean to you?” Nathan Fillion leads the panel in a standing ovation of the audience — a poignant tribute to the devotion of the fans, and a testament to the reciprocity of the relationship between Firefly‘s creators and its deeply loyal viewers.
“When I see you guys,” said Joss Whedon, “I don’t think the show’s off the air. I don’t think there’s a show. I think that’s what the world is like.”
Between The Cabin In The Woods and The Avengers, you might feel like you’re swimming in Whedon lately. (And if you’ve read my GeekMom posts, you know I’m a fan of that pool!) But if you can’t get enough Whedon, there’s a little more to love in Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion.
This self-described “essential guide to the Whedonverse” is 496 pages of essays compiled by PopMatters on nearly every aspect of Whedon’s work. About half of the book is devoted to Buffy and Angel, followed by smaller sections on Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible, Firefly, and his work in comics and other films. The introduction is slightly out of date as of the book’s release date, referring to the “future” releases of The Cabin In The Woods and The Avengers (released three days after the book in the US and weeks earlier in the UK), but the final chapter does include essays on these two movies. And of course, we hope the title itself will quickly be out of date as well, making the book no longer a “complete” companion, as Whedon’s career is far from finished.
Note that this is absolutely not a book like The Cabin In The Woods Visual Companion. There are no pictures, no scripts, no reflections on the joy of washing down gallons of blood with boiling water. Most of the essays are written with an academic slant, with titles like “Pedagogy of the Possessed” and “The Ethics of Malcolm Reynolds.” If you prefer to sit back and enjoy the entertainment value of vampires and apocalypses, it might not be the book for you. On the other hand, if you’re interested in things like humanism, free will, and feminism through the lens of Whedon’s work, you’ll be quite pleased. But as the editor points out in his introductory note, “it’s different all the way through.” There are plenty of interviews with actors and writers from the shows, and nobody says you have to read every page. You can skip about to the parts that interest you. And if by chance Cabin or The Avengers was your introduction to Whedon and you’re ready for more, several chapters introduce you to pieces of his work. The first few chapters made me want to watch Buffy from the beginning.
The essays admire Whedon’s work, but they don’t treat him or his work as flawless. The book is not a loving, uncritical, rave review. Rather it’s an in-depth examination of an already wide body of work, the themes that pervade them, and the mind behind them. Dive into more Whedon–grab a copy of Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion.
If you don’t know how to fill in the rest of that quote, shame on you. Yes, I’m being horribly judgmental but I am an avowed Star Wars fan and that quote is one of the biggies. It’s right up there with “Use the Force, Luke!” and “I’ve got a very bad feeling about this.” I think it’s fair to say that having at least a few Star Wars quotes in your repertoire of witty comebacks is a geek essential.
I could write this whole post about Star Wars quotes alone, but that would mean ignoring some of my favorites from elsewhere in the geekverse. There’s Star Trek, and Firefly, and The Terminator, and Monty Python, and, and, and…. actually I could probably write a book. I don’t have the time today, though, given Christmas presents like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Lego Mindstorms demanding my attention. So instead, here are just a few of my favorites. Not afraid you won’t know them all? You will be, you WILL be….
“Use the Force, Luke!”
Really, if you don’t know this one, then how on earth did you even find this blog? I should not need to tell you this but it’s from Star Wars: A New Hope because it’s the biggest, most important quote in all of geek history with endless potential for use in daily conversation. Co-worker can’t get his file cabinet open? Struggling to get the lid of a jar of pickles? Can’t quite reach the genuine replica lightsaber on your mantle? All these moments are perfect opportunities to break out this quote.
“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”
No one could forget Spock uttering this phrase as he was overcome by radiation after saving the Enterprise in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Then there’s the slow slide down the glass as he collapses to the floor and dies. Wait, I need a minute. This quote encompasses the essence of all that is Star Trek. The Federation is not about power and privilege, but about making the galaxy a better place and sacrificing for the common good. Use this one to con your friends into doing anything, from seeing a movie they don’t want to see to giving you the last piece of pizza because you need it more. Try it, you’ll see.
“I aim to misbehave.”
A bit newer on the scene, but still an essential geek quote spoken by Captain Malcolm Reynolds on the short-lived Firefly television series. Unlike Spock or Obi-Wan’s lines, there’s no depth of meaning behind this one. It’s a simple statement of the intent to have fun, cause trouble, and wreak a certain amount of gleeful havoc. Hey, New Year’s Eve is just a few days away, a moment designed for this quote if ever there was one.
If you ask Gollum, this line refers to The One Ring in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, but you can use it to refer to just about anything. It might be something amazing like a shiny new car or something you intend to take before your friends get the chance–like the last piece of pizza. If you want it, then it’s your precious. The key here is that you not only can but must use a creepy, scratchy Gollum-like voice to deliver this line.
“Have fun storming the castle!”
This is one of those movies that, if you watch it once, you can’t help but find yourself quoting forever. The Princess Bride is chock full of memorable quotes, but this is one easy to sneak into conversations. Send your kids off to school or your husband off to work with this cheery wish. Or, your co-workers on their way to what is sure to be a long, boring meeting or evening commute home.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list, like I said, that would require a book, but these are certainly my favorite and easiest-to-use quotes. If you know them all, 10 Geek Points to you! (And if you’re still wondering about that first one, watch the clip below.)
More importantly, what would you add as essential quotes for every geek to master?
Ever since Fireflywas canceled all those years ago, Browncoats all over the world, including me, have been longing for more of the TV series. While we were lucky enough to get a major motion picture in Serenity, more of the series would be like a dream come true.
There have been several times that it looked like Firefly might have a chance at coming back, but each of these times have ended in disappointment. Now there is a new but distant hope for our beloved show.
A blog post on Tumblr pointed out the fact that Netflix would have the resources to bring back Firefly. Netflix is already producing new episodes of Arrested Development, which adds to the hope that they may be able to do the same for Firefly. The blog has been posted all over my twitter and Facebook feeds today with even Nathan Fillion posting it on his twitter with the comment of: Hmm. Hmmmmm. HMMMMMM.
While Netflix has been making some mistakes lately, resurrecting a beloved show like Firefly would gain them a ton of subscribers. I’m not getting my hopes up, but as a Browncoat I would dearly love to see more of my favorite show.
Several years ago we ditched cable because it seemed we were getting more reality shows than anything else and paying a ridiculous amount for the privilege. Instead we stream the shows we want to see and even paying by the episode for a few still puts us ahead of our old cable bill. Usually, we have more than enough to keep us busy, but this year, sadly, we have not found an “it” show. Worse, we don’t have a sci-fi show in our queue at all. What happened to sci-fi television?
I should be clear that I am talking spaceships and aliens and not just shows with an “out there” theme. I am a big fan of Fringe, but it does not involve space travel. There are no new planets or green-skinned aliens so it doesn’t count. Same with Terra Nova which, honestly, I am only half interested in to begin with because it’s just Jurassic Park revised. No space ships there, although that big thing they walked through to go back in time was a Stargate if ever there was one.
No, what I want is a Battlestar Galactica, a Firefly, a Star Trek. Heck, it doesn’t have to be remotely related to a franchise that already exists as long as it gets us off of planet Earth and on to planet-not-yet-discovered. What happened to those shows? Why have they forsaken us?
Perhaps it’s Sci Fi Channel becoming SyFy that started the downward trend. If even the network that is supposed to be the go-to place for science fiction decides it doesn’t want to be that anymore, then you know the genre is headed for trouble. At this point, I’d take reruns of Lost in Space like they used to air when the network was new. Those shiny, silver spacesuits were so cool. I wanted one. Okay, I still want one.
I suppose I will have to be content with the huge amount of older sci-fi that can be streamed. Re-watching Star Trek: The Next Generation has gotten my kids completely hooked which makes me happy. I also found a little gem in The Captains, a movie documentary that is a touching look at the people who brought the Star Trek captains to life, courtesy of William Shatner. And there are those Firefly DVDs that I haven’t broken out in awhile.
It looks like I’m out of luck this season and will have to resort to old favorites to get my fix of spaceships and aliens. Maybe next year the networks will remember there are plenty of viewers who love sci-fi and that we’d really like to have a new favorite show. So say we all!
I love costumes and usually I take any excuse that I can to wear a costume, including Halloween. But as this Halloween approaches, I’m finding myself reluctant to don a costume. I’m going to be taking my daughter trick-or-treating with my best friend and her daughter this year. When my best friend said she wasn’t going to wear a costume, I decided that I wasn’t going to either for the first time in years.
I think I’m costumed out because I’ve worn the same costume for every convention I went to this year, except one. That one was a Star Trek convention and the Kaylee Layer Cake dress from Firefly wouldn’t have fit at all. I love wearing the Layer Cake dress but it’s starting to wear out and fall apart.
I hand-sewed the dress and I honestly made some mistakes with it. So, now I’m faced with having to re-make it and that just seems really daunting to me. Plus my husband volunteered me to make our toddler a Layer Cake dress too, so she can march in the Dragon*Con parade with me next year. I think a mini-me dress is going to be even harder than the one I made for me. Either way, I probably won’t start either until next year.
So, I still love costumes but I’m a bit relieved to just be a regular mom taking her child out trick-or-treating this Halloween. My daughter is going to be a witch and she is really looking forward to Halloween. For now, I’ll be taking a break from cosplaying until next year’s convention season starts up.
When Nathan Fillion tweets a link, it doesn’t take long for thousands of his loyal fans to click on it. He tweeted a link last night that has Joss Whedon fans all over the internet buzzing.
The link was to a website that just had a little information such as that this is a film named Much Ado About Nothing that written and directed by Joss Whedon and is based on a play. It also states that principal photography is finished as well as giving a list of names, including Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof and Sean Maher. Those three who have been in other Joss Whedon works like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly.
According to the press release, it is a re-imagining of Shakespeare’s comedy by the same name. For me, I’ll be watching for news on this and definitely will be going to see it when it is released. It is a little surprising to see a Joss Whedon project since he is still busy with The Avengers.
Sean Maher, best known as his role as Simon Tam in Firefly and Serenity, announced today that he is gay. Due in part from encouragement from his agent, he remained in the closet for years in fear for his career. With the support of his family, including his partner Paul and their two young children, he was able to find the courage to come out.
I had the honor of being able to meet Sean Maher at Dragon*Con last year. He was a very sweet guy and I wish him all the best as a result of not having to hide who he really is anymore.
As a Browncoat, I am amazed by the amount of creativity that my fellow Browncoats seem to possess. I’ve done a few things like re-create Kaylee’s Layer Cake dress from the Firefly episode, Shindig. Along with painting parasols that match the one that Kaylee has in the pilot. But my feeble attempts look really poor when you consider that the Mal’s gun that is pictured is made out of paper!
Leo Firebrand, a papercraft artist, created this replica of the Captain’s pistol using some floral foam, paper and some paint. It is really amazing and so very shiny!
If you listened to the latest GeekMom podcast, you will have heard that I’m very excited for Dragon*Con. There is less than two weeks left until the con, so my mind is focused on getting ready for the most fun weekend of the year for me.
Because I’m a mom of a toddler, my Dragon*Con experience is a little different than most. My husband and I stay off site at a relative’s house, who watch our daughter while my husband and I are at the con.
We take MARTA, which is the train and bus system in Atlanta, because it is so easy as there is a stop right outside of the con. This does mean that we can’t do a lot of late night stuff because the train stops running at 1 am, but staying off site makes Dragon*Con very affordable for us.
Dragon*Con is one of the biggest conventions in the US. I think only San Diego Comic Con is bigger. But this is my 5th year attending, so I’m pretty well versed on how to get the most out of my Dragon*Con experience. There are some things that are just happening this year that I’m excited for.
On Friday night, there is going to be a Masked Ball in honor of the fact that this is the 25th year of Dragon*Con. Then on Sunday is the wrap party for Browncoats: Redemption, which is a fan film based in the Firefly universe. I’m pretty excited for both of these events.
I enjoy LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) quite a bit, though these days I don’t get to do it as much as I like. I first start LARPing in college when I got introduced to Vampire: The Masquerade. I’ve played in a weekend Firefly LARP and try to go down to GA to play in a boffer LARP when I can.
Because of being a fan of LARPing I am very excited for the new movie, Knights of Badassdom. The basic concept is a demon from hell is accidentally summoned and the LARPers need to defeat it. This movie stars several well known actors, including Summer Glau, which warms my Browncoat heart.
According to IMDB, Knights of Badassdom is due to come out this year. There is no release date that I could find though.
Since she was very small, my daughter has found comfort by holding onto my hair. When she was itty bitty, it wasn’t a very big deal. But now that she’s 2 1/2, she can pull hard. And she twirls her fingers around my hair, and it hurts when she tries to disentangle herself.
So I’ve been trying to break her of this habit because it’s become painful for me. I also suffer from migraines, and when my daughter pulls on my hair, it makes the migraine worse.
My daughter loves to play dress up, so she pulled out her Jayne hat (which Jayne gets from his mother in an episode of Firefly) along with mine so we could both wear our hats. I realized that when I’m wearing my Jayne hat that my daughter has a hard time getting to my hair.
Using a Jayne hat to break my daughter of this bad habit is a very geeky solution to a normal parenting problem. Are there any ways you have used something geeky to help you parent?
My best friend found out and immediately lent me her DVDs of the series. It took me a while to get started, but once I did, I was sucked in.
I’m not sure why I didn’t start watching BSG earlier, but I think it is because I missed the beginning on TV. It’s hard to come into the middle of a series that should be watched from the beginning.
I had been meaning to watch it since it seemed like something I would like. Plus, I attend Dragon*Con, and there always seems to be a lot of BSG guests at Dragon*Con. So, I found that once I started watching, it was hard to stop.
I recently finished the series, and I thought it was excellent. Even season 3, which many people do not like, I enjoyed. Though there was that brief “what the heck is going on” at the beginning of season 3. The end wraps things up nicely, with some surprises in there.
If you haven’t watched this series before, I would recommend it highly. I would caution that if you do, don’t wiki anything. I made that mistake several times, and got spoiled several times. It didn’t change my enjoyment of the show though.
Next on my list of shows that I wish I was already watching but never started is Dr. Who. I have the first season of the new series that I’ll be starting next.
I’ve been a fan of Joss Whedon’s work since I discovered Buffy in college. I didn’t get the channel Buffy was on, so my mom taped it for me and sent me the tapes. So I would watch hours of Buffy at a time.
Because of Buffy, I watched Firefly from the beginning. And it was love at first watch. I became a Browncoat at that point and a lifelong fan of Whedon’s work.
So happy, happy birthday, Joss Whedon!
If you want to help celebrate, there are many CSTS showings throughout the country in honor of his birthday.