Archive for the Popular Culture Category

Alexa, who you gonna code?

Posted in Popular Culture, Techie Stuff with tags , , , , , on October 3, 2017 by phanteana

do you or someone you know own an Alexa? for anyone who might be living under a rock, it’s that wonderful invention that tells you what the weather is or how many calories are in a chicken wing. there have even been cases of individuals getting creative with their Alexas, such as this guy and also this Hamlet-inspired contraption. now…what if you could design your own voice app to interact with Alexa? well, you can thanks to Codecademy, who have partnered with Amazon to teach new and experienced coders how to build their own Alexa skills. Codecademy is already known for its free training in languages such as Python, JavaScript, and Ruby but also offers instructions on how to Make A Website and how to incorporate Responsive Design into said website. not only is the course free, but you don’t have to actually own an Alexa to participate. so go ahead, build you own voice app and ask Alexa all the crazy questions you want!

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an unexpected (ok, not entirely) anniversary

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2017 by phanteana

long before i became a librarian, i visited plenty of libraries. i borrowed tons of books, even if i never finished all of them. but one which i took out frequently and always completed is one that has withstood the test of time. it has been translated into countless languages, beloved by literary critics, librarians and voracious readers everywhere, has has been beautifully displayed in art and film countless times, and today turns 80 years old…and to think, all this from a book whose central character was created while grading exams. happy anniversary, Bilbo Baggins!

 

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they keep trawwwling meeeee

Posted in Music, Popular Culture with tags , , , on September 12, 2017 by phanteana

a long-standing trend in popular music is that of the parody artist, or a musician who spoofs pre-existing songs a la Weird Al (who’s been making fun of the rest of us since the early days of cable TV). among the new breed of parody bands include the fast-food obsessed Mac Sabbath, Tragedy (a heavy metal tribute to the Bee Gees), and Phoenix, AZ’s self-described “Ned-al band” Okilly Dokilly. but just when you think you’ve heard it all comes something from the depths of the ocean (or in this case, Los Angeles): Koi Division. that’s correct…all your favorite Joy Division tunes redone for the nautical set. it may be ridiculous, but it provides a much needed laugh. even if you’re allergic to seafood, you can at least enjoy these carpy cut-ups onstage.

 

clowning around

Posted in Film, Popular Culture, Techie Stuff with tags , , , , , on September 6, 2017 by phanteana

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the scariest thing about our IT department is when you really need assistance, but their out-of-office notification is turned on!

 

(as for the movie, the reviews are pretty darn good so far)

 

the greatest goths in literary history

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by phanteana

even with Labor Day and the end of summer vacation approaching, the season doesn’t officially end until late September. so while the layers don’t have to be pulled out of storage just yet (especially if you’re in L.A. where September is chock full of heatwaves), the summer reading lists are wrapping up just in time for the school year (or the beginning of the fiscal year for some working folks). reading trends have changed over time, but one genre that has maintained consistency on teachers’ syllabuses is that of Gothic Literature (or, Goth Lit for short). you don’t necessarily have to be Goth to enjoy classics such as Frankenstein or Wuthering Heights, as these publications are universally acclaimed by a variety of readers.

where Goth Lit is concerned, most people often think of Mary Shelley or Edgar Allan Poe. yet there are plenty of other Great Goths in literary history, many of whom you wouldn’t expect to be even remotely linked to the term (save for Nick Cave, who is the only actual Goth on the list)…until you delve a little deeper into their works. you don’t have to wait until Halloween to read these authors, as their works can be accessed year-round. but if you feel the need to get into the spirit (even though it’s still shorts weather), grab a book and put on a classic Goth album of your choosing to enhance the experience.

 

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i saw a tower, a man in black, and a gunslinger…

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on August 6, 2017 by phanteana

…and i will gladly see them all again. it was a long wait, but in the end it was worth it.

long live the King

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on July 29, 2017 by phanteana

it seems 2017 is indeed the Year of Stephen King. with less than a week to go before The Dark Tower welcomes its visitors, the excitement (as well as the anxiety) is building up. i haven’t been THIS excited about a movie since, well…since the last time i took a trip to Middle-Earth. considering summer movie season is typically comprised of sequels and reboots, this is an anomaly all its own as an original piece of work with an unusually short run-time for Roland and Walter‘s epic showdown. obviously, there are plenty of people who are unfamiliar with King’s saga, so in order to prep them for it Rolling Stone has offered a listing of its backstory and what to expect (without revealing too much, of course).

Tower isn’t the only Stephen King adaptation making an appearance this year. The Mist is now a TV series, and coulrophobia will be on the rise once again when IT comes back to terrorize everyone who repressed nightmares of the 1990 mini-series. if y’all intend to see the latter, keep an eye out for an homage to Tim Curry…and maybe sleep with the lights on for awhile.