Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Picture Kaleidoscope 11/30/11

Eye feasting time! (No, no, the other way! :P)

The Castle Art Department shared this pic of the painting in Castle's study. He was even hinting they could share places to get it! 

From Petapixel - Photographs recreating paintings of the old masters. This one is my favorite!

Gloss Overload by xKimJoanne. Something captivating about this one. 

Pics of the Top 10 Volcanoes To Visit in the World from Cool

Not your typical NASA pic! Heh heh. Expedition 29 Crew Lands. Something just grabbed me about this one.

From actor Jim Beaver - Jack Daniel's in a Can (In Japan!)

Peaceful Peppermint by girltripped. Great for Christmas! heh heh.

From Lucienne Diver - Beautiful Moments

Way cool time lapse video of earth from orbit

Last but not least - Waterfall, Moonbow, and Aurora from Iceland by Stephane Vetter. A MOONBOW! Who knew there was such a thing?!?!?!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Welcome to another Mind Sieve episode of DOOM! :P

A cool app brought up by Petapixel called Stuck On Earth. This could be a great boon to authors wanting to write about different locals as it will give you pictures of almost anywhere. And it's Free! (Snapped it up myself! Bwahahaha)

Bullets from English Civil War Found in Newbury from the History Blog. 100 years before ours. :)

This one caught my eye from the title on the roster at the History Blog - A Map of a 19th Century Woman's Heart. Not what you might think but somewhat fascinating! Sea of Wealth indeed! lol.

K B Owen Mystery Monday: The Butler Did it? What I find funny about the findings is that a few weeks ago I watched a comedy spoof called Murder by Death from 1976 that actually said all novels of the period were always dumped on the butler. lol.

Medieval Weapons in the American Civil War by Sean McLachlan. Stuff we just don't think about for the Civil War.

And on the creepy side of discovery news - Depleted Texas Lakes Expose Ghost Town, Graves from

A lovely Exclusive Amazon Interview with Terry Pratchett!

Exclusive Amazon Interview with Sir Terry Pratchett from Neal Thompson on Vimeo.

From Hijinks Ensue - Winter is Coming. Calvin and Hobbs meets George RR Martin. Hee!

People Food For Puppies by Amy Shojai. Just in time for the holidays! Do's and Don't's!

Nathan Fillion Dishes on "Castle" : Wants to Avoid 'Moonlightining Curse' on

Trailer to a movie called Gone. Could be interesting!

From New Scientist and One Percent - Electronic Contact Lens Displays Pixels on the Eyes. How cool is that!

From Kate Wood and her Tursan Tuesdays (Journeys through the Celtic World): A Story of Scathach (female warrior and teacher).

From the New York Times - Where No Museum Has Gone Before! They have an exhibit where you can even smell moon dust! I'm sold! There's 11 picts with descriptions on the side. Looks fab!

This is totally adorable and great for sharing with the kids - Mars in a Minute: How Do You Get To Mars?

Saxon Graveyard Found Under Warwickshire Patio from the History Blog. Make sure to read the last sentence, cracked me up! Heh heh.

The Mayflower: A True Story and One You May Not Know by Jess Whitkins. Nice info and some pics!

Gene Lempp's Designing From Bones series - Swamp Visions. Exploring the Great Dismal Swamp in Southwest Virginia to Northeast North Carolina.

A new Simon's Cat video - Catnap.

Lisa Gail Green gives a super quickie on Why Do You Need A Platform? (Worth it just to see the funky shoes! Heh heh.)

Life After the Contract guest post by Katie Ganshert. Some nice insights!

The Most Crucial Step To Effective Book Marketing by Tony Eldrige. Tell it brother!

Debbie Ohi shares her list of resources for Google + Guide for Newbies. Huge list!

Key To Digital Marketing Success? Be Less Digital by Mark W Schaefer. Interesting results and something I've tried to live by.

From Becca Pugglisi Weather Thesaurus Entry: Summer - How to use weather in settings.

Structure Part 8 - Balancing The Scenes That Make Up Your Novel by Kristen Lamb.

Dear Dean Wesley Smith - I'm Keeping My Agent, Thanks by Jim C Hines. More common sense talk right here!

Do You Suffer From One of These Writing Maladies Part I and Part II by Nathan Bransford.

Okay dokey, I think that's it for this week. Enjoy and see you next time!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Movie Review - Hugo


Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Christopher Lee, Jude Law, Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Griffiths, Emily Mortimer, Helen McCrory, Frances de la Tour, and more.

Directed by: Martin Scorsese Based on the Book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by: Brian Selznik Screenplay by: John Logan Original Music by: Howard Shore

Premise: A young orphan doing his uncle's work at the Paris Train Station sometime after WWI finally makes headway on the puzzle/repair he and his father were working on when the latter died. Hugo is convinced that if he can just fix the automaton, it will give him a message from his deceased father. (Rating PG)

Review: The previews for this film don't begin to touch what it's about. The tale has multiple layers and each discovery spins the story into totally unexpected directions.

The theme of dreams, machines, and discovery are threaded throughout. CGI use is very subtle most of the time. So much so you will be hard pressed to tell the difference between what's real and what's not at times.

The story unfolds slowly as the world and the denizens of the train station are unveiled to the viewer. This gives the whole a great depth and wonderful layering, which will in turn support the worldview held by the protagonist.

There are no true bad guys, just people. Each trying to do the right thing in their own way. Some of the most serious are also the most humorous. And you will find yourself caring for every last one of them. Very young children probably wouldn't be entertained enough by the film, but those ten and up should find it fun and full of adventure and even magic. Adults will be even more enraptured, especially at some of the unexpected turns and discoveries.

Definitely a worth while film! (Don't want to spoil anything by saying too much! The discoveries are half the fun!)

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Would Pay Full Price to See It Again!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Picture Kaleidoscope 11/23/11

Feed your eyes!

Lego store in the mall had this beauty in their window. Sweetness!

Funky fan at a new Mexican restaurant in town. Weirdest fan blades ever! :P

If you click on the link for the larger/original image, you'll see an astronaut reflected in the photo. Loved that!  NASA's Image of the Day - Bean Walks on the Moon.

There's something just pleasing about this one. Heart of Gold by lieveheersbeestje.

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

Once it gets going this is amazing! Got it from Petapixel.

From NASA's Pic of the Day - McCandles orbits in Jetpack. So cool!

Jon Huertas shared this pic from Castle


Monday, November 21, 2011

Mind Sieve 11/21/11

Welcome to one and all to another Mind Sieve round of insanity! Hope you find something fun or at least useful in this mess! :)

If you're an NCIS fan, you heard Dinozzo talk about his Bucket List. Michael Weatherly shared the whole thing with the fans here. It's so Tony! Heh heh heh.

Chuck (NSFW) Wendig shared his Recipe for Sinner's Stew (Contains coffee, beer, and whiskey! oh my!) Sounds quite nice.

Hunger Games movie preview. I've not read the books but know a lot of people who love them. Preview is definitely titillating, that's for sure. :) And I love the young man playing the male counterpart. Awesome actor.

Ellie Ann is doing a series of blogs on What I Want To Be When I Grow Up - First up A Spook. And she interviews one to get the real skinny. Fascinating.

Artist MarieMJS painted this to encourage the writers for the British series "Sherlock" to write Mark Sheppard into the cast. I totally agree! Would be a super blast! Here is a Watson and Sheppard match.

A Dr Who Movie on the Way! I'm both excited and nervous about this development! But still, Dr Who on the BIG SCREEN! Woot!

Best For Film has found out that those Muppet people also have a penchant for the Twilight films. Here's one of the three posters. You can find all three here. Too funny!

Steven Popkis has a cool discussion on Signs of Life. Basically, how do you really know if there's life on a planet.

Gene Lempp's Designing from Bones tackles Signalling Viewpoints this week! (I'm thinking another worls where electricity doesn't work so towers are manned by telepaths where the next tower right at the edge of their range - mind to mind communication. heh heh.)

Movie Preview for Mirror Mirror. Looks like it will be a blast! Not your typical Snow White story, that's for sure. lol.

New preview for Disnety Pixar's Brave. Looking forward to it!

Kristen Lamb warns - Beware the Social Media Snuggie! One Size Does Not Fit All!

Are Libraries Good for Authors? A post by Kristin Laughtin. (People actually think of libraries as book pirates?!?!?)

Well, a week of two ago, I had articles here about joining Klout. This week, I have one about DeKoutifying by John Scalzi. Heh heh. (I don't do any of the perks stuff or eagle eye my score, so...shrug) What will you decide?

Rachelle Gardner gives advice on What NOT to Blog About. And she's totally correct. The internet NEVER forgets!

Why Writers Need a Platform by Kristen Lamb.

Sharla Rae tells us Why Some Blogs Make Me Cranky. (And I totally agree. A lot of this stuff makes me cranky too! Heh heh. But then, that's why I am your Mind Sieve. Bwahahahaha!)

Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law - awesome discussion by Chuck (NSFW) Wendig and the weirdness we as writers get mired in. Go - Read - Be Free!

More from Chuck (NSFW) Wendig as in 25 Reasons Readers Will Keep Reading Your Story.

Does Age Matter For Writers? Question answered by Rachelle Gardner. (I know an author that didn't publish till her 80's and she's still kicking buns! Booyah!)

From Larry at The Are of Receiving Criticism. Some very good points in this! All peeps are not made the same with critiquing skills.

Foreshadowing: How A Sore Thumb Can Prepare You For A Brutal Beating by Roz Morris. Good stuff!

Okay, the eyeballs are screaming. Time for me to stop. This should keep you lot busy for a while anyways. Bwahahahahaha!
Till next time!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Movie Review - Immortals


Starring: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, John Hurt, Joseph Morgan, Anne Day-Jones, Greg Bryk, and more.

Directed by: Tarsem Sighn Written by: Charley Parlapanides and Vlas Parlapanides Original Music by: Trevor Morris

Premise: King Hyperion is searching for a special bow he can use to release the Titans trapped under Mount Tartarous. It's how he seeks to reap revenge on the gods who failed him as well as the rest of the world. Young Theseus, unknowlingly trained by Zeus, gets thrown into the middle of Hyperion's chaos as he searches for the weapon. (Rated R)

Review:  I would STRONGLY caution against taking children to this one. There is a lot of carnage but also truly vicious implied torture and abuse. That being said...

This had one of the coolest and most intriguing beginnings that I've seen in a long time. The music ramped up at just the right moment to make the whole scene sing. Masterful. (And creepy. Oh so very creepy.)

Forget about what you know about Greek Mythology when you go see this film, however, as this follows it very very loosely and in some places totally changes it. So you've at least been warned. :)

Great costumes and sets and some amazing colors and contrasts. The CGI vistas are breathtaking. A lot of detail on everything. They also have a lot of fun with scene transitions, several of which were quite lovely. Depictions of murals and buildings looked very legit for the period so gave great atmosphere. And when something godlike happened, you had no doubt of it! Weirdest head gear you have ever seen as well 0 very imaginative for the gods and the priestesses. Even had some foreign tongues in a few places for flavor, though they do fall back to modern English and worse, British accents, but what the hey.

Lots of great fights! Was super impressed when Henry Cavill made some moves like pulling a sword or holding his spear (even chopping at a log that never gave) seem very natural and fluid. Aside from a little time spent on Theseus and a couple of others, the rest didn't get much in the way of build up, but it doesn't hurt the overall story too badly.

There is one bit of bad planning by the architect of the Wall, but then again I don't think they ever thought anyone would get that far. Still, the movie is fast paced, the villain has depth, and I liked the role of the gods, how they have rules they've not shared with the humans, and therefore make what they do or do not do, seem fickle to those below. Definitely a new take on Zeus for sure.

The ending was also quite neat and leaves you with a sense of unease at those things which we can't see.
Overall, quite the visual and fun romp.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Movie Review - Twilight Breaking Dawn Pt 1

Twilight Breaking Dawn Pt 1

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Billy Burke, Gil Birmingham, Sarah Clarke, Ashley Green, Peter Facinelli, Anna Kendrik, and more.

Directed by: Bill Condon Based on the Novel by: Stephanie Meyer Screenplay by: Melissa Rosenberg Original Music by: Carter Burwell

Premise: Bella and Edward finally tie the knot, yet something unexpected occurs while in their honeymoon. Something that might very well cost Bella her life. (PG-13)

Review: The film starts out a little off key, the dialogue and acting not quite jelling for some reason, but luckily that improved before long.

Lots of little funny moments splattered all over the first half of the film. A lot of subtle touches too, so that they 'show' a lot of emotions at certain moments rather than 'tell' them, which was great.

There was even a sub story thrown in, which if you're not paying attention could be easily missed. Keep an eye on Billy, Charlie, and their lady friend. Edward and Jacob aren't the only ones with love troubles.

The CGI for the wolves was good, though they change back to humans seemingly fully clothed. But where the movie truly excelled was all the work they did on Bella. There's a bathroom scene that gave me chills as we see her shoulders and backside. And then the scene with her almost at the end of the film. Beautiful seamless transitions that truly brought the point home. Kudos on that, guys!

As you should expect, the movie leaves you hanging for part 2, but the film itself does go full circle. Make sure to stay through part of the credits as there's a little more to see - a quick peek on what we can expect part 2 to be about. Trouble is coming!

Overall, it was fun and entertaining.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Picture Kaleidoscope 11/16/11 - The Austin Comic Con Edition

Oh yeah! This past weekend was the Austin Comic Con put on by Wizard World. Got a ton of pics. (From the phone - already was carrying way too much through the airport :P)

Obligatory table shot.

Yes, the book is OUT!  I held it in my little hands for the first time there. :P

Creepy companion across the isle. All weekend LONG! (She did not get prettier over time. :P)


Angry Zombie Lawn Gnome. Also across the isle from me, at least on Friday. (I think he might have wanted to date the dead girl.)

Major steampunk presence! The Airship peeps had their own table even!

Scare For A Cure - sign ups for costume contest, kids costume contest, and doing makeup for donations. Also took donations during the "Shoot the Storm Trooper" times. 

Indiana Jones! Golden Idol and all!

Full form Steampunk Storm Trooper! Loved the alchemical vials.

Yes, Predator was in attendance

Summer Wear Batman - or so he said! lol.

Baddie from the Watchmen

Ood!  Ood!!!

Harvey Dent. Even had words on the suit. Awesome job.

Loved this look. Better in person and his eye was also red. A dark drow, I believe.

Inspector Gadget!

Ghost Rider! Red glowing eyes too. Darn you camera!

A Roman Centurion and Maiden costumes made totally from paint swabs. Dang!

Manly Men!

Blue Bird of Paradise

Royal guard from Clone Wars and the Red Skull!

Queen of Hearts! Off with their heads!

He's BATMAN! Hee!

And what I took is only a sampling of the costume goodness at the place. I never even made it down famed peeps row. lol. Afraid to go down other aisles too. Loads of tempting goodies EVERYWHERE!


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