Monday, October 31, 2011

John August: Writers, Don't Forget about Adoption!

John August posted an open letter to Cindy from "Blue Valentine" on his wonderful blog a few weeks ago.

In it, he discusses Cindy's options in regards to her (spoiler!) unwanted pregnancy. She chooses continue the pregnancy to term, but does not consider adoption. August believes that our media portrayals of adoption keeps many women with unwanted pregnancies away from that option due to misconceptions and perpetuated stereotypes.

Even though I've never adopted a child, it's always what I've planned on doing if I decide I want to have children someday, so I do look for stories and depictions of adoption on TV and film. I have to agree with August. It's really hard to find an accurate or uplifting view. "Glee" has certainly done a crap job this season. "Once Upon a Time" isn't doing any better (and may be doing worse), which is really too bad because I actually enjoy that show.

I'm with John. TV and film writers, get to work writing accurate portrayals of adoption! And, John, you're a successful screenwriter, maybe you can put some positive portrayals out there of your own? I know I'll try to once I've gained success!

Just a thought.

Ok for REALZ the Last Muppet Trailer

Technically, this one was released back in mid-October, but I forgot to post it. So here it is! With more Mahna Mahna with Neil Patrick Harris! Also, other funny things! Hooray!

This American Laugh: Ira Glass Sex Tape

My friend Michael Grinspan co-wrote this totally awesome parody of This American Life. Of course, it's shrouded in a sex tape story (boys will be boys), but the parody of the actual show itself is spot on.

My favorite part is when Ira Glass tries to make an overarching statement about life based on his sex tape. I feel like they do that even with the tamest stories. Ah, well. I just listened to this week's episode, "Middle School," and I enjoyed it. Although, I have way better middle school stories than the ones they listed.

Hunger Games Posters (!) (?)

Ok, it's really hard for me to get excited about posters (unless they're Harry Potter related), so as much as I want to be psyched about these Hunger Games posters, I'm really just happy that there is some Hunger Games related news. It's been forever!

Also, I'm totally with /Film on this one - Cato and Peeta look exactly the same! What's the deal? Are they making some literary commentary I hadn't thought about before? Or are they just now regretting casting all white guys? Heyo! (Also, you know that's totally true)

Below are Cato and Peeta. Seriously. It's freaky.

[Via /Film]

The Final Muppets Trailer

This last Muppets trailer is jam-packed of parodies - they really went out with a bang! Literally, because they have that guy that always explodes everything. Love that guy.

PS. Did you see Neil Patrick Harris doing Mahna-Mahna? I can't wait for this movie!

[via /Film]

Pirates! Band of Misfits, Trailer #2

I actually think I like the original trailer better, but I'm still super stoked for the latest Aardman stop-motion animated film. Plus, you actually get to learn what the movie is about in this one! Fancy that!

[via /Film]

It was Fungus, in the Cave, with the Fat-Eating

Scientists have (finally!) definitively identified the fungus that is infected bats all across North America with white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease that kills millions of bats each year.

This Scientific American article goes into more detail, but the basic gist is that this fungus, which is common in the UK, affects out bats more severely because ours are smaller. When the fungus attacks, our bats don't have enough body mass or insulation to survive. The fungus eats it all up!

What's the solution? Unclear. But knowing is half the battle, so this should give scientists a fighting chance to knock out white-nose syndrome for good.

Then can they tackle colony-collapse disorder? Because we need bees as well as bats to pollinate our crops.

Uuugh, New G-Reader!

Has anyone else gotten a look at the new Google Reader? Am I the only one who thinks it looks really gross? It's so drab and gray. I miss my colors! And all of my shares!! While I like the idea of using Google Plus more, why did they have to deactivate my awesome Google Reader sharing list? Boo, Google, boo!

What do you all think of the new Google Reader? Have you figured out a way to make the layout less totally blah and boring? The color palette is right out of the Twilight Saga - grays, whites, and red. Barf!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

[MoMA via Neatorama]

Foxxy the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

I'd say she's pretty fox-like, wouldn't you? Another adorable (corgi!) puppy courtesy of The Daily Puppy.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October Unprocessed: Update

This year I took on the October Unprocessed challenge. It's been an interesting month. Here are my findings:

1) When your only qualifications for processed are "ingredients you would find in your kitchen" then you can still have tons and tons of tasty treats, such as everything from Liddabit Sweets (our favorite sweet stand at the New Amsterdam Market), ice cream from Blue Marble (which is now being stocked at grocery stores, can you believe it!?), and special work cupcakes. However, we did give up certain clearly-processed sweets like anything from the CVS. Plus, most of the sweets we did have (minus some super-special work chocolate-chip-cookie-covered Oreos) were organic and came from local, sustainable food places. That made our treats even sweeter!

2) At first, not having the choice of processed foods was especially difficult at work. There are so many cereals and snack bars to choose from, but I was very tough on myself in that regard. The only thing from work I let myself have was catering (and cupcakes), and even then I cut down on my bread and pasta intake. After about a week, though, I started bringing in more food from home and overcame my hunger and cravings that way.

3) Roasted broccoli makes a great dinner when you're eating at 9pm. It also makes a good work lunch.

4) I ate a lot more vegetables in general! Almost every day (minus weekends), I've eaten at least one serving of a real, healthy vegetable. That may not seem much to you, but for someone who literally hates vegetables (especially the healthy ones!), it really was a challenge. Covering things in cheese and/or pasta sauce can greatly help, though. Also chugging water and swallowing it along with the barely-chewed vegetables can help, too. Although, I don't think that's how people are supposed to eat anything except maybe pills. I do take a lot of pills, which is probably where I got the idea.

5) Having a supportive partner makes all the difference. I gave the BF Sundays off from Unprocessed October so that he could enjoy his football games to the fullest, but he didn't even take them! He stuck with me through the whole month. The only exceptions he took were a few sodas here and there to help ease a migraine, which is totally understandable. He's the best!

To all of you who tried October Unprocessed I hope it went well for you! I certainly plan on carrying over my habits from October into November and beyond... with a very strong exception for midnight on October 31st. No one denies me my Halloween goodies!

Mt. Rainier: Superhero?

The cape pretty much gives it away.

For more pictures of this awesome phenomenon (sunrise sky shadow!), check out Komo News.

Hyperbole and a Half: Adventures in Depression

I thought Allie Brosh was too busy writing her new book to post on Hyperbole and a Half, but it turns out she was suffering from depression. Her first post in almost six months discusses in a heartbreaking, yet somehow funny, way, what her depression felt like and how she started to overcome it.

I certainly hope Allie continues to get better and wish her all the best.

Elbee the Cockapoo!

To get off the Halloween subject for a bit, here's an adorable puppy, courtesy of The Daily Puppy. Look at that face and them paws.

That is all.

13 Epic (and Spooky!) Pumpkin Carvings

The weirdest part is that most of these wouldnt' work as Jack-O-Lanterns. That being said, they're still pretty darn cool.

[Mental Floss]

Have a Stuff Mom Never Told You Halloween!

Ladies, if you are still in need of a Halloween costume, check out Stuff Mom Never Told You's list of 35 fun costumes inspired by the podcast!

Check it out if you're looking for a paradoxical costume like Sexy Spongebob or historical costume like Hypatia, lady Egyptian mathematician extraordinaire. If you'd like even more fun and wacky inspirations, try The Hairpin's "Take This Halloween Costume Idea... Please."

Fellas, if you're still in need of a costume, I'm pretty sure some of those corgi costumes can be translated into people costumes, though you may not look quite as cute.

The Nest Thermostat: Heating of the Future!

I feel like this fancy, iPod-looking thermostat should be called the iStat or the iThermo. It actually looks like a fun way to save money on your heating and cooling bill, and will be out in November. Of course, in my apartment all you can control is turning the heat on/off, so this would be worthless for us. Generally, we just keep it off and let everyone's apartments around us keep our apartment warm or cool. I will say, it definitely keeps our electric bills in line!

Also, it's probably a bajillion dollars.

[via Mental Floss]

We are the 1%: College Humor Parody

I'm not always a fan of College Humor videos, but this sketch is a spot-on parody of the 99% Movement.

My favorite part? "Look at those fat cats!" Plus, butler jokes will always work on me. Oh! And shirtless men. That'll win me over pretty darn fast.

Puppy Plays Fetch with Himself

This is one smart pup! I love that in his self-made game of fetch he still gets the opportunity to really "catch" the ball, since it bounces pretty high. Also, I love that he gives his owner the chance to play with him before resigning to playing by himself.

"Pirate's Life" Soothingly Creepy Music Video

Hand drawn animation is generally pretty awesome, but, I can say this as someone who has taken drawing classes, animating water and liquid effects with only markers and positive/negative space is truly outstanding. Bravo, Kijek/Adamski! The song is "Pirate's Life" by We Cut Corners.

We Cut Corners "Pirate's Life" from Kijek / Adamski on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Hallowdogs!

Yes, another post about dogs in costumes - this time, we've got 50 adorable pooches marching in the Tompkin's Square Dog Halloween Parade. Huzzah!

Buzzfeed has all the spooky-cute photos.

PS. I know it's not as wonderful as 90 corgis (and, yes, MTA bus corgi was also in the list of 90 costumed corgis), but it's still pretty great. Plus, more poodles!

The Greatest Song Ever Written

You know how much I love Axis of Awesome. Well, here are another forty songs comprised of the same four chords, courtesy of YouTuber bethj007.

[via Buzzfeed]

Yogurt: Carb Killer

Ok, yogurt doesn't kill carbs, but a new study suggests that it can help us digest carbohydrates, and that's close enough for me.

I hope this means that every time I eat yogurt, I can eat a donut without feeling guilty. Not that I do that or anything...

[via Cosmos]

Thursday, October 27, 2011

90 Corgis in Costume: Best Thing Ever?

I have been rationing myself to 10 corgi pictures a day all week so that on Friday I can go crazy and look 40 pictures and then my heart will explode. The full list is on Buzzfeed.

Seriously, just look at this squirrel corgi!

We should have him infiltrate the squirrel militias and defeat their plans to take over the world from the inside. That corgi could totally do it with just one puppy-eyed look.

And this businesscorgi could sweep financial and (further) health reform through Congress no sweat! No one would say 'no' to a millionaire's tax if HE suggested it!

Friday, October 21, 2011


A couple from Des Moines, Iowa who had been married for 72 years passed away this week an hour apart from each other, holding hands.
Gordon died at 3:38pm holding hands with his wife as the family they built surrounded them. "It was really strange, they were holding hands, and dad stopped breathing but I couldn't figure out what was going on because the heart monitor was still going," said Dennis Yeager. "But we were like, he isn't breathing. How does he still have a heart beat? The nurse checked and said that's because they were holding hands and it's going through them. Her heart was beating through him and picking it up." 
"They were still getting her heartbeat through him," said Donna Sheets.
It sounds like a beautiful way to leave this world.

I know of another couple who have been reunited in the great beyond this week. I'm happy for them, though I'm sad that so many of us here below will miss having them around us. But you can't separate love like that forever, and one had to return to the other.

[KCCI via Neatorama]

Got Your Ducks in a Row

What is going on here? Where are they going? And why are they waddling when they could be flying? Seriously? The squirrels must have something to do with it...

 [via Neatorama]

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Simon's Cat: Double Trouble

It's been a while since we had a Simon's cat short. This one involves a kitten, which automatically makes it doubly adorable. My BF loves to talk about the differences between cats and kittens (and how cats are far superior) and I think this cartoon lays out those differences pretty darn clearly.

A Good Day for Goldendoodle

It's been a rough week so far, and I thought everyone could use a little goldendoodle love. Meet Mason, Professor of Cute Studies at Adorablenstein University in Loveableton, NY.

Thanks, as always, to Daily Puppy.

Dr. Spaceman Movie, Please!

This needs to happen:

30 Rock

Also, I need to check out that donut place. Probably after I complete my October Unprocessed month, though...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gumby Google Doodle Today!

Head over to Google today to see a fun Doodle featuring some of the late animator Art Clokey's famous characters, like Gumby, Pokey, the yellow dinosaur, and those two wacky Blockheads. When you click on the clay lumps, they turn into each character (then back into a little clay lump). Very entertaining.

Were you a fan of Gumby when you were little? I loved him and Pokey! I was really into clay and animation, so it was the perfect show for me.

Also, isn't Art Clokey the perfect name for an animator? Seriously. The Doodle is in honor of what would have been his 90th birthday.

For more information on the Doodle and Clokey himself, check out this Washington Post article

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

We'll Miss You, Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs passed away this evening after a long fight with pancreatic cancer. He was a young man who worked hard and accomplished much. His will to live was stronger than most, but even someone with immense will, talent, drive, and fortune cannot best death forever, even when it strikes too young.

Despite issues I've had with the Apple company, Steve Jobs was a man whose achievements are immeasurable, beyond innovations in computers, phones, and the way that we interact with the world, he also helped create and fund Pixar, one of the most important cultural icons of our time. He was both a profoundly scientific and creative man, a rare combination. I wish he had gotten a chance to show us more of what was in that brilliant mind of his.

He also understood the importance of giving back to the community. After his liver transplant three years ago (around the same time I had my kidney transplant), Steve fought hard to improve access to transplants among all patients in California and across the country. He knew that, as a wealthy man with the ability to move across states easily, he could register in a state where he would have better access to a transplant. He also knew that was unfair to others. Instead of simply being grateful for his good fortune, he decided to give back by asking for policy changes that would increase access to transplants for all patients, not just those wealthy and well enough to travel.

If you'd like to read more, Gawker has a round-up of heartfelt thoughts and reactions to Steve Jobs' passing.

We'll miss you, Steve. You (and I'm sure you knew this) will not be forgotten. I hope you are resting peacefully now. You deserve it.