Archive for oddities

“you can’t stop what’s coming”

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , on July 19, 2017 by phanteana

it’s mid-July, so that usually means heatwaves and San Diego Comic-Con (which doubles as both a life-changing experience and an escape from the heat, since SD doesn’t seem to suffer from an overabundance of humidity). this year, mid-July has another association with it: only a few more weeks until The Dark Tower is released! it took 35 years to translate onto celluloid, but it’s finally (almost) here!

 

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since it’s taken roughly half of Stephen King’s lifetime to write the series and it’s always been viewed as the sole piece of his resume that was deemed implausible to film, it would seem logical to promote the long-awaited film adaptation as heavily as possible. but despite its status as a “summer blockbuster”, this Tower has largely kept its doors closed, and it’s likely due to maintaining the secrecy surrounding the project (it was in the dreaded Development Limbo for 10 years, after all). in addition, because its an epic story audiences expected a lengthy run time (you know…the kind where comfy clothes are required). but the British Board of Film Classification says a maiden voyage to Mid-World will take much less time than imagined. still, this is a place i’ve longed to visit for years and i’m excited that the opportunity has finally come.

magical manuscripts & spellbinding sources

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , , , on July 14, 2017 by phanteana

transcribing manuscripts is only one facet of an archival role. depending on the subject matter of what needs to be translated, the work involved can either make you look forward to setting your alarm early, or cause you to count down the minutes until lunch. in other words, work isn’t always meant to be fun (it is called work, after all)…but it can be, if you invoke the right frame of mind. the Newberry Library in Chicago has opened up a portion of its roughly 80,000 documents pertaining to religion for the public to transcribe, including a number of manuscripts dealing with the occult, bizarre healing remedies, witchcraft, and spell casting. the Newberry would love any assistance with this otherworldly project, so while you might want to brush up on how to call the corners, you don’t need a Ph.D to translate the materials. just be careful not to summon any demons; they’re known for not returning books on time.

 

 

stay on the path!

Posted in Popular Culture with tags , , on June 15, 2017 by phanteana

the Paris Catacombs are one of the most highly visited sites in Europe, as they stretch far and wide underneath the bright lights and grand romance of the city. while in Paris many years ago, it was among several tourist spots on my itinerary and seeing it in person is truly memorable. but for two teenagers, a recent visit to this subterranean lair warranted a very different experience straight out of a horror movie. fortunately, their ordeal had a positive outcome. but let this be a lesson to anyone embarking on a tour group: stay on the path! (and bring extra batteries for flashlights)

everyone’s a critic

Posted in Film, Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on April 27, 2017 by phanteana

it’s common knowledge that J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis had a unique friendship. since social media and the Internet weren’t around during their time, we don’t actually know what a typical conversation was like between the two authors, and can only assume it usually involved meeting at the local pub to discuss what they were working on. despite the lack of technology that was readily available during the early half of the 20th Century, movies were common forms of entertainment both in the U.S. and in England. among those churning out motion pictures was Walt Disney, whose brand of animation seemed to draw the ire of both Tolkien and Lewis. while they may have phrased their opinions more eloquently, their general consensus after attending a screening of Snow White was that “it sucked.” Lewis claimed the dwarves had “bloated, drunken, low comedy faces.” JRRT, on the other hand, described “feelings of nausea” upon seeing the film. early 20th century fantasy authors: they’re just like us (except without social media)!

 

 

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Aslan, those aren’t dwarves! i should know, i’ve spent waaaay too much time with them. 

 

magic (and a whole lotta sugar) in every sip

Posted in Art & Photography, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on April 24, 2017 by phanteana

since the invention of social media, it has become a platform for sharing images of food, cats, kids and silly memes. the best one that i’ve seen recently involves a new concoction made by an international coffee chain (which probably looks better than it tastes…sorry, i stick to tea) paired with a classic 80’s fantasy film (which, in all honesty, i would actually love to see a live-action version of):

 

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forget Red Bull…this’ll give you wings!

 

send me an earworm

Posted in Music, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on April 1, 2017 by phanteana

there are many songs that are instantly recognized by just a few notes…like this. or how about this one? and who can forget this classic? well, one song that won’t die is finally getting the coverage it deserves after nearly 35 years of infiltrating our brains….and that’s a wonderful thing. y’all know the words, y’all have danced to it a zillion times at clubs (i know i have). you’ve even heard countless cover versions of it (my favorite is this little known gem from the late 90’s). here’s hoping this song continues its long reign as one of the greatest ear-worms of all time!

game over, man

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , , on February 26, 2017 by phanteana

what makes an actor versatile? it’s the ability to appear in both mainstream and underground media, and be revered for it. very few thespians can pull that off but one who achieved that goal was Bill Paxton, who unexpectedly left this world yesterday. if you grew up in the 80’s, then you probably recall some of his cult classics (Weird Science, Near Dark, and a big-budget one called Aliens). then, the 90’s came along and ushered in his more mainstream period (ahem…Twister, Titanic), but the accolades kept pouring in. of everything he ever did, perhaps his most surprising role was that of New Wave musician in a band called Martini Ranch (and that ridiculously-comical-and-slightly-creepy “Fish Heads video…because everyone has to start somewhere before they hit it big). he also appeared in New Order’s video for “Touched By The Hand of God.” i always enjoyed Bill, but knowing he had a spot in New Wave history has given me an even greater amount of respect for him, thus making his death even more upsetting. 😦

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