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Friday Things: 11/17 - Monday Edition - The Goddess Morticia Addams

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[Hah, I didn't forget about the link dump! I'm just.... late. Happy Monday!]

On Life and Happiness:

Take your vacation days! It's good for your health.

Very sad story about a dude who realized that he's wasted away his life instead of going after his dreams.

The Pope has some great tips for being a happier person, and you don't have to be religious to follow them all.

On TV, Anime, and Video Games:

I have always been aware of the Addams Family, but it wasn't until I rewatched the films as an adult that I came to see Morticia Addams as a woman to aspire to be. Here's a taste of why.

This is an interesting essay about what The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask meant to the author and why it's an important game.

Have an anime/manga/Japan-loving friend? My pal Lauren Orsini wrote up a great gift guide for the otaku in your life. I personally can vouch for the Just Bento Cookbook that's listed there, as I check it out of my local library pretty often for ideas when I want to mix things up. It's absolutely fantastic.

Other:

I'm a fan of the food at Disney World in general, but yeah, these "hidden gems" look pretty... yeah. I'm drooling.

Elido Turco goes into forests with a camera and a mirror and creates some truly stunning photography.

Stuff I Did Here and There:

Over at PANELS: Art Roundup: Spotlight on Groot.

On Book Riot: 5 Anime Series Based on Classic Literature.

New vlog!

[Have a wonderful week!]

Friday Things: 04/04 - Elsa sings Let it Go in 25 languages

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[Oh hey, it's Friday! Work starts in just a few days... back to the grind. That is, if I don't drown in this afternoon storm.]

On Books:

Read an excerpt from Dorothy Must Die! over at Epic Reads.

First Second have released a graphic novel this week that has been translated from French called Hidden. It's about the Holocaust in the perspective of a little girl.

 

 

On Star Wars:

Art Nouveau style Princess Leia designed by Adam Hughes as a beach towel. I'd lounge on this.

This. This is the toaster I need in my life. Darth Vader toast.

On Disney:

Oh My Disney asks important questions that we don't have answers to, such as what Scar's name might have been before he got the scar.

Cute video featuring Frozen's Let it Go being recorded in 25 different languages it's been translated to.

For the nail artists out there: tutorial for painting Cinderella's castle.

Other:

Cool notes about realistic teen stories (like The Fault in Our Stars and Eleanor & Park) gaining popularity and movie deals. It's a trend I'm all for if it's really catching on.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask makes for a great leggings design. Very tempting.

Cute diversion: how to draw a kitty cat.

Mario Kart 8 for WiiU looks like so much fun!

[*rows away*]

Friday Things: 11/24 Sunday Edition - The art of Plants vs Zombies, shark cage diving, and extreme beading

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[I'm back! Not as late as last week, but yanno, Sundays aren't a bad time for these. That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.]

On YouTube:


Nick Pitera is back with another awesome cover video, this time of Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Truly, one of life's greatest problems: how do I draw a butt?

For you Whovians, learn how to make awesome Doctor Who-themed cupcakes

Improv Everywhere is currently filming a Harry Potter series, and one of their recent videos is of Harry looking for Platform 9 3/4 in NYC. It's worth a watch. 

On Books:


Yes, more novels need to be turned into graphic novels a-la A Wrinkle in Time.

There is now an Official DC Super Hero Cookbook, and it's a thing you can buy. Right now.

Fans of Plants vs Zombies games, rejoice! An artbook is being published by Dark Horse, featuring concept art and all kinds of other goodies. Knowing the creators, it's sure to be hilarious. It's slated for release in May of 2014.

On Disney:


The next title in the DisneyNature series is all about Bears, and it looks like John C Reilly is going to be the narrator. I'm looking forward to it!

Disney's Castle of Illusion is now available for iOS! I pre-ordered that game for PS3 and still haven't played it -- the shaaaame. I should really hop on that.

If slapping Disney characters all over fruits and veggies is what it takes to get more kids to eat 'em, then so be it. This is awesome.

On Travel:


Andrew Evans, a NatGeo explorer, explains why he doesn't go shark cage diving, and why you shouldn't either.

British Airways set up a billboard that gives you information about planes that are flying overhead. Super cool - I have indeed always wondered where planes are going (or coming from) when I see them go by.

Other:


(via Neatorama) Someone beaded an entire kitchen. Beads. Everywhere. Everything. Beads. It took five years.




(via BoingBoing) How to make pixelated cookies. Specifically, of Link from Legend of Zelda.

Shopping around for the holidays? You can now give the gift of Amazon Prime.

[That looks good for this week. Once again - I'll be making a holiday gift guide type thingy, so if you have any suggestions, links to awesome bookish Etsy shops, or requests, let me know!]

Friday Things: 09/06 - Life lessons from a bear and a dancing Science Guy

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[It's a little late, but it's still Friday in many places, so yay! Here's this week set of things I saw around the internet recently]

On Books:

(via Bookshelf) Rockin' Star Wars Millenium Falcon bookcase.

"Life Lessons from Winnie-the-Pooh" over at BookRiot. Beautiful.

Hugo Awards - full list and winners!

(via Twitter) If you ever wonder what ever happened to Clarissa (from Clarissa Explains It All), this might be the answer to all your burning questions. New book scheduled for release in 2014. I'm there.

Oyster is like Netflix for ebooks, and it looks amazing. All ya need (for now) is an iPhone. (further reading at BookRiot)

On Comics:

Ohio Dad was a bit worried about the costs of his daughter's wedding. So he sold his copy of Amazing Spider-Man #1 to fund it. Yay, Ohio Dad!

New comic I'm interested in: The Star Wars, which will be an 8-issue mini-series adapting George Lucas' rough draft.

This couple not only made their engagement shoot horror-themed, they then turned the images into a comic. Very cute idea!

On YouTube:

You saw this coming, I'm sure. The latest video by John Green on Mental Floss. 107 Regional Slang Words.

New webseries, Ask A Slave, headed by a lady who was one (as an actor, of course) at one of those historical parks, based on actual questions and such she got while in character. 

 

 

Other:

(via Fashionably Geek) Legend of Zelda spiritual stone props as well as spiritual stone necklaces.

I reviewed an awesome art book for Japanator!  It's called 100 Masters of Bishoujo Painting, vol. 2.

Bill Nye on Dancing With the Stars? Looks like I need to figure out a way to watch this season.

[Enjoy the links, and have a great weekend. :)]

 

 

Friday Things: 08/17 - halfway there

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[Heya folks! I'm halfway through my vacation, which is a good and a bad thing. The good thing is, I'll be spending less money, haha. The bad thing is, vacation is halfway done! Ahh! But, I still have an awesome week ahead of me, and I made some time to do my weekly link dump. Check it!]

(via GalleyCat) Pay what you want - Doctor Who bundle! Check it out on Story Bundle. From this post's time stamp, there are still four days to grab yours.

(via TOR) Guillermo del Toro's sketchbook. Wowzers. If you're a fan of his films, do check these out.

The latest book by Haruki Murakami will be fully translated into English soon. You don't have much longer to wait!

(via Spoon & Tamago) Amazing ballpoint pen artwork by Shohei Otomo. Seriously, they're stunning.

Delightful Dr Seuss-themed body paint by Made U Look.

(via GeeksAreSexy)Thor's hammer (Mjolnir) bookend by Gentle Giant! Yep.

(via GeeksAreSexy) Link's Master Sword in real life. What?!

10 Books to Read When You're Moving over at Book Riot. Though I moved a few months ago, I'll probably end up picking one or two of these up.

The latest by Lindsey Stirling is another collab with Peter Hollens, and this time it's a Star Wars Medley. And it's so awesome.

Finally, someone else raises the question - why aren't eBooks being bundled with physical copies?

(via Amanda Nelson on Twitter) This woman sings Total Eclipse of the Heart, impersonating 18 different divas. Do yourself a favor and watch it.

[Enjoy!]

Friday Things: 06/21 - Neil Gaiman, bomb pendants, and bad trailers

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[Another week gone by...! 

The rainy season has kicked up in my area, which is both a good and bad thing. It's good because we need the rain. It's bad because now I'm actively battling mold that threatens to invade my apartment. I've already lost a small towel to it - very upsetting.]

On Books:

New terms have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary, and some of them are about the internet.

Do all your friends talk about Neil Gaiman and say you should read his books, except you have no idea where to start? Jeff at Book Riot is here to help.

I know, I already linked something from Book Riot, but here's one from Eric Smith titled 7 Books You Should Never Give Out On A First Date. It's funny. Read it.

Neil Gaiman tweeted a link to this review of his latest book (The Ocean at the End of the Lane) by William Alexander on the Star Tribune, and named it his favorite review thus far for revealing nothing of the plot but explaining what the book was about.

 

 

On Japan:

I follow Andrew Evans on Twitter and keep up with where he is in the world, but I hadn't really watched much of his video content until he tweeted a link to an old one he made about the daily life of a Japanese student. Since it's relevant to my current daily life, I clicked - lo and behold, his video is on point. If you're curious about how Japanese school children do their thing, here's a peek.

I've written about the prize figures that are in the UFO Catchers in Japanese arcades. I hope to make this a regular feature, but let's not get too much ahead of ourselves.

 

 

On Disney:

Discovered this gem via Nick Pitera on Twitter - beautiful Disney Piano Medley I by AJ Rafael.

The trailer for Frozen is awful, as well as late. It looks like an Ice Age short, and tells us nothing about the plot or the female lead character. What gives, Disney? The movie is slated to hit theaters soon, and nobody knows much of anything about it. Marketing fail, much?

 

 

Other:

(via Fashionably Geek) lovely Legend of Zelda jewelry - I can't ever pass up sharing these. Check out the Hylian Crafts storefront.

Interested in news about the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII? Here's some information about the characters we can expect. I'm still rooting for the rumored female lead character, though there doesn't seem to be a matching male twin for her, which slightly dashes my hopes for Jaina and her brother. Though, who knows, maybe he just isn't going to be a lead, and thus wasn't a part of this casting call.

[That's it for this week! Enjoy! Have a great weekend!]

 

 

Friday Things: 05/03 - Saturday Edition

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[It's a little late because I was having some computer troubles! But all is well. It's also Golden Week in Japan right now, so hurrah for holidays! I'm off until Tuesday, which is awesome.]

On books:

Are you an author? That's cool, just don't be awful and, like, be a jerk to people who don't like your books; or worse, sic your fanbase on 'em.

Absolutely love geeky weddingsThis shoot is based on Neil Gaiman's novel Stardust.

File this under awesome shelving ideas... these shelves look like paper blowing away.

Shakespearean Insult Bandages. Need I say more?

 

 

On Photography:

This is apparently kind of old, but fstoppers brought it back - Brad Pitt took some great photos of Angelina Jolie a while ago. Sometimes, it's not about your skills as a photographer, but rather the passion you have for the subject. And it shows.

Glow sticks + waterfalls + long exposure = I can't adequately describe how beautiful the results are.

RocketNews24 pretty much wrote the perfect, most descriptive title for this one: "Sunrise Over a Sea of Clouds at Nearly 10,000 Feet."

 

 

On Video Games:


I seriously need to play Guacamelee.

If you're clear for Skyward Sword spoilers, there's a good argument on TOR for a Zelda-as-the-hero Legend of Zelda game following the events that ended that one (or really, any title that had her taking a more active role in the story).

 

 

Other:

In case you've been following any of Disney Interactive's web series and shortshere are some of their upcoming projects.

via my buddy Romney, check out ten words about love that don't exist in the English language.

A new momma attended a panel with Wil Wheaton and asked him why it's awesome being a nerd. His response (in video) is wonderful.

Tinkerbell goes steampunk!

via Geeks Are Sexy - this girl might be my new favorite YouTube geek musician. Like, she's giving Lindsey Stirling a run for her money in my personal rankings.

[To make up for this being a bit later than usual, I made it a bit longer than usual! Have a great weekend!]

 

 

Friday Things: 04/05 - I'm back!

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[Hello! Greetings from Japan! I'm all moved in at my lovely little town, and it looks like I'm finally settled down enough to get back to my regularly programmed Friday Things. Yay! I'll be updating with pictures and stories about my life in Japan, so don't fret. For now, just chomp on some links.]

On Games:

I didn't know that DuckTales (the game) was being remastered, but Joystiq posted an update about it recently, including the info that we'll get a bit of a prologue with it for story background. Now I'm excited!

Square Enix's latest FFXI newsletter is all about Seekers of Adoulin. It definitely makes me want to re-activate my FFXI account...

One thing that did make me quite sad this week was to see that Zelda Reorchestrated is shutting down. When I went to MAGFest, I attended their panel and the crew was so hopeful they were going to launch their CD this year, talking about how they were in contact with Nintendo about it and getting final approvals. It didn't work out though, and they're not going to be able to release Twilight Symphony after all. Sad!

On Disney:

If you're a fan of Where's My Water? by Disney Mobile, there's a great behind-the-scenes look in this video by The Disney Post.

What's that, you ask? Am I excited about the next entry in the DisneyNature series? Yes, yes I am definitely excited to learn about Bears!

I've been a little more tuned in to Disney/Hyperion-published books lately, and these The Never Girls books totally slipped under my radar. Yep, I'll be reading those soon, too!

Other:

I like looking at cool cakes, and I must say this TARDIS one is impressive.

I'm pretty miffed that Google is nixing their reader, so I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do as a replacement for all the blogs I cycle through every day. LifeHacker has a list with alternatives that I'll have to try out soon. Any suggestions?

[A little short this week, but that's all I've got! I've been pretty busy with the move and settling in, not to mention exploring my area, meeting new people, and trying new foods. I'll be posting regularly again from now on though, so please keep checking back!]

 

 

Friday Things: 10/05

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[Woo, Friday! 

IThis month I'm taking off to Virginia and later on to Orlando. Next month I'll be going on a big road trip to see many of our nation's state parks and then in December I'll probably be taking off for the end of the year. That means I'll have plenty of new pictures and stories to share, so I hope you'll check it out. 

Enough about me. Time for links!]

On movies and TV:

I'm pretty excited for the upcoming Tinkerbell movie Secret of the Wings, so here's a link to an extended sneak peek. The movie hits shelves Oct. 23.

I went to see Frankenweenie on Wednesday with an early screening pass and I must say it's a very cute movie. It isn't scary, really, and Burton manages to drop in plenty of homage to old horror and monster movies at every turn; not to mention little Disney gems like making the movie theater at the New Holland town square with a marquee showing "Bambi." It's got a cheesy ending, but overall is a nice little film and only 87 minutes long. If you want to learn more, check out Nerdist's discussion with Martin Landau and John August. There's some great stuff therein, and there's a nice chunk in there about the science teacher character in the movie. They talked about him being a good teacher that ends up getting a bad rap/fired, etc, which is absolutely true, but they failed to mention that the mouth animation of the teacher is utterly mesmerizing.

I used to love watching Pushing Daisies when it aired the first time. I thought it was so cute! And then it had to get canceled as all good things do. Good news, though: While the show might not come back to TV, it might hit the stage and come back in the form of a live performance. Hype?

On games:

Ben Kuchera of PA Report dug deep on the case of review scores and their effect on sales. The bottom line is that reviews do affect game sales, however powerful branding could counteract bad reviews at times as with the case of the recently released Resident Evil 6. This is a good read.

The Zelda Project is a beautiful thing that exists. Go to this site and check out the photos. They take my breath away~

 

 

On Books and stuff:


Book Riot ran an open letter to Bridget Jones -- "You are not fat." I've been waiting for something like this for ages!

I'm thinking of joining this Christmas Books Giveaway hop. The only problem is, I'll have to think of what actual books I'll be giving out, so do you have any ideas? Obviously, it needs to be Christmas-themed or -related.

Other:

PetaPixel posted this awesome infographic on ISO, aperture and shutter speed (exposure guide originally from reddit). If you've read all the guides you can handle on how these things work and still don't quite understand it, a visual representation of the values might help you best. Check it out.

New Piano Guys video! Do I need to say more? Yeah, actually, I do... it's that dumb One Direction song. But... it's The Piano Guys!

[That's it for this week! I've been kind of busy since I've been inundated with review assignments for both Tomopop and Japanator. On the toy side, I've already gotten one of my reviews published (Harley Quinn statue - she's awesome) and have about seven more to do in the next couple weeks. On the Japanator side I'm getting a Bunny Drop review up and still have to do two more. Lots to do this weekend...]

 

 

Friday Things: 08/03

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[Another week gone by! It went by so fast....]

On gamer-related things:

Someone showed me this tee a few days ago and it made me laugh. Any shirt, really, that depicts chickens in Legend of Zelda context is going to get a reaction out of me. This one in particular is called Finger Lickin' Deathwish and it's up for US$15. What also made me chuckle is there's a bit in the description about picking on little guys in games, and how eventually they fight back (like the chickens). It reminded me of FFXI, a game where there'll always be a small rabbit-type monster that can kick your ass.

Keeping with the Legend of Zelda theme, here's an awesome cosplay. Dark Link! More pictures here. (via Fashionably Geek)

We might, just might, be seeing a Rufus (Final Fantasy VII) Play Arts Kai figure from Square Enix sometime soon. Now, I'm kind of tired of seeing merchandise from that game, but the emphasis with this news is that they're producing a figure for a character who has never seen any figure love before. It's too bad I'll probably never see a beautiful and affordable statue of a moogle a-la FFXII.

On stuff you can watch:

It wasn't until this past weekend that I started hearing about a movie called The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki. I saw a figure is in its prototype stages during our coverage of Wonder Festival for Tomopop (we missed it before, so I reported on it yesterday), and then someone else was chatting away about it on Twitter following his watching of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (created by the same person, Mamoru Hosoda). Eventually, I remembered that my buddy Elliot who contributes to Japanator with me reviewed it for the site. And he gave it a perfect 10/10.

The newest season of Doctor Who will be starting up soon, and the official trailer has launched. The first five episodes will air this fall, and in the trailer we got snippets of weeping angels, dinosaurs, Daleks, and... fire. I also saw a flash of someone that looked a hell of a lot like David Bradley (he was Argus Filch in the Harry Potter movies), and what will end up being a supposed tearful farewell of the Ponds. I'll be writing up summaries and such as it airs, by the way. (If IMDb is to be believed, it is actually David Bradley in that snippet, who is scripted into one episode regarding the dinosaur thing)

If you were ever curious about Peter Mayhew and how his life was around the time he embodied Chewbacca, this is the biopic for you.

Lindsey Stirling strikes again with another inspired music video based on music she covers on her violin. The tune is to Phantom of the Opera (a medley), and quite a lot of work went into it, from costumes to choreography and cinematography. For full credits and info, check the description under the above-linked video. Oh, and she's going on tour. She isn't coming anywhere nearby me for now, but you might be luckier. 

On photography:

I love bokeh and shooting with a shallow depth of field in general. It isn't for every situation, but I still plug it into my work when I can. Yesterday, I learned about a book (it's only US$8 by the way) called The Art of Bokeh: A Guide to Using Shallow Depths in Landscape Photography by Christopher O'Donnell. It's sold as an eBook in .pdf format, meaning it could be imported to the iPad and taken around with me everywhere I go. Christopher writes that he's written it from a beginners perspective, so anyone that wants to learn about bokeh in general would learn from his book, but it's otherwise written with a landscape photographer in mind. I'll be purchasing the book and on a separate post, write up my thoughts on it. (via PhotoInk)

Disney revealed the latest beautiful portraits by Annie Leibovitz out of the Disney Dream Portrait collection, featuring Russell Brand as Captain Hook balancing over the jaws of the Tick Tock Croc, and Will Ferrell, Jack Black and Jason Segel posing as the three Hitchhiking Ghosts of the Haunted Mansion.

Both pictures look great, and The Disney Parks Blog also showed a "behind the scenes" look at how these shots came to life with a video about the Ghosts. For a look at Russell behind the scenes, a Disney fan blog has you covered. update: The official Disney Blog posted up a better behind the scenes section, with video of Russell and everything.

Other (art):

There is some rad art on this deviantART user's page. Movie posters of iconic sci-fi movies drawn and re-imagined, playing cards, and even comics - all drawn in a fun style. Check it out.

[I think I've caused enough time-wasting for one day. Hope you all have a lovely weekend! As for my shameless self-promotion, if you're into Fairy Tail - here's a post I wrote up this week to get you up to speed with all the anime licensing and merchandising info up until now. On the toy side of things, I've just posted a new contest at Tomopop. You could win some neato figures that I've reviewed recently and generally just have fun.]