Celebrating Tolkien Reading Day!

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Originally posted on A Tolkienist's Perspective:

James Tolkien (Header)

(P.S. Fake pipe – I do not smoke. The intriguing expression is real though …)

Celebrating Tolkien and His Timeless Works

On the 25th of March, Year 3019 of the Third Age, the One Ring was destroyed in the depths of Mount Doom – bringing an end to the dominion of Sauron and the heralding the liberation of Middle-earth.

In our world, this day marks a worldwide celebration and appreciation of Tolkien and his works.Tolkien (BBC)

Celebrations usually take the form of Middle-earth reading marathons; with some even more reading marathons.

Pick your favourite passages and let the words flow within your mind, as you experience the magic of Tolkien.

I myself have just begun my 9th or 10th re-read of The Silmarillion; which will lead me on to re-experience The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Tolkien is a fantastic writer and master world builder.

To honour today’s celebration…

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Review: JEM & THE HOLOGRAMS #1

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Originally posted on :

Jem-and-the-Holograms-IDW-comics-2015.jpg

Okay, let’s get this figured out: “Jem and the Holograms” was an animated show that ran from 1985-1988. Now, was it a show and then it became a line of dolls? No, it was a line of dolls and then it became a show. You know, Hasbro. Same deal like Transformers. The Jem dolls were similar to Barbies (looks like the same mold was used) but with a glam rock vibe.

Yeah, talkin’ about Transformers, Jem is set to be very much a similar deal. The major motion picture comes out October 23, 2015. And, leading up to that, is this six-issue comic book published by IDW Publishing. Let’s take a closer look.

In the front seat writing the limited series is Kelly Thompson. I’ve read her pieces in Comic Book Resources over the years and I appreciate what she does. She sees herself as a voice for women. She…

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Yoshihiro Tatsumi, RIP

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Originally posted on :

Yoshihiro-Tatsumi

“Sensei is dead.” When he clicked on the email, that is all that the esteemed comics authority Paul Gravett had to read to know what had happened. Some will say that the work of the master cartoonist Yoshihiro Tatsumi (1935-2015) has brought them to tears. That’s quite a tall order. But it is certainly plausible. The world of comics, as you may know, is more than one thing. One aspect of it can be so rarified to make the most glamorous and refined creatures on this planet pale in comparison. That’s what you get when certain people communicate with, “Sensei is dead.”

Just imagine getting a text with, “The king has died.” It’s a bit surreal. And, I’m sure, not what Tatsumi would have wanted. Yes, for authorities on comics, and regular everyday fans, Tatsumi knew his manga. He was a master of the more introspective gekiga. He was no…

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Toward an Understanding of the Steampunk Aesthetic

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Originally posted on chrispavesic:

Steampunk Aesthetic

For me, the steampunk aesthetic is perhaps best defined by the object-based work of its fans. The literary tradition can be traced back to the Victorian Era works of H.G. Wells and Jules Vern, or in the more recent era to authors William Gibson and Bruce Sterling and their ground-breaking novel, The Difference Engine, but the steampunk movement truly gained momentum with the fan interaction available through the internet. Web sites, blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, and other social media sites created an easily accessible platform for fans of the steampunk genre not only to share pictures of their finished creations, but in many cases to share detailed plans and/or blueprints. Some may see this as ironic—that an art form seemingly dedicated to a simpler time and technology is actively promoted through modern technology—but that would be missing the point. Technology and design are essential to many steampunk enthusiasts and form…

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Yep, Mars One appears to be a scam

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Sable Aradia:

Sigh. Well, I thought it sounded too cool to be true. Could be a hatchet-job I suppose, but . . . :(

Originally posted on SelfAwarePatterns:

I’ve written critically about Mars One before, just evaluating their claims at face value.  But it appears that I wasn’t nearly skeptical enough.  Mars One appears to be a scam.  A Mars One “finalist” candidate explains why: Mars One Finalist Explains Exactly How It’s Ripping Off Supporters — Matter — Medium.

“When you join the ‘Mars One Community,’ which happens automatically if you applied as a candidate, they start giving you points,” Roche explained to me in an email. “You get points for getting through each round of the selection process (but just an arbitrary number of points, not anything to do with ranking), and then the only way to get more points is to buy merchandise from Mars One or to donate money to them.”

“Community members” can redeem points by purchasing merchandise like T-shirts, hoodies, and posters, as well as through gifts and donations: The group also…

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The Problem With Girls In Math And Science

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Originally posted on Drifting Through My Open Mind:

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Last year I went to a Parent-Teacher conference with my daughter’s G.T. (Gifted and Talented) teacher. She sang my daughter’s praises. I basked in her glowing words and swelled with pride. Until she said this:

“She’s really good in math. Probably one of my best math students. Even better than the boys in the class.” – said by a real, live teacher. One that teaches kids.

Cue record screech. I immediately snapped to. I wish I could tell you that I questioned this teacher’s perceptions. I wish I could tell you that I pointed out to her that the very statement she meant as a huge compliment was in itself sexist. But I didn’t. I muttered something along the lines of “She’s always been a natural at math,” and something about “number sense.”

My daughter doesn’t think she’s good at math. She thinks it’s her worst subject.

We’ve tried…

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