Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Gilmore Girls - Fall frustration and freak outs

Okay, I finally watched the last episode of the Gilmore Girls. I took two notes during the entire show (SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS ALL THE SPOILERS):

Photo Credit: jeffmason

Note #1: The Life and Death Brigade passes their time walking in front of storefronts and posing on rooftops now, do they? A little dull compared to leaping off buildings.

Note #2: Rory gets a house handed to her. Of course she does.

Guys. I was not a Gilmore Girls fanatic when the show was on, but I have a great fondness for Stars Hollow, and while it was glorious to be back there, this season (and by season I mean series of episodes, not the "Fall" episode) really magnified everything that I found ludicrous about the show in the first place.

Ludicrosities:

  • They always have money to do things, including flying across the ocean and/or country on whims, buying all the outdoorsy stuff (this is very expensive), and eating out every meal all the time. I know this is a common TV thing, but it especially sticks out in their reality.
  • The eating. The food. It's just kind of offensive. I know it's supposed to be a part of the charm of the show that they love to eat so much and eat so unhealthily, but it's actually ridiculous. Especially combined with the fat shaming.
  • The fat shaming. These two women who spend all their time doing nothing but consume junk food and never exercise and then maintain magically tiny bodies make fun of others with larger bodies. Badly done.
  • The whiteness. I know Stars Hollow is a small town in middle America, a magical place we all imagine to be full of white people with American flags that never touch the ground, but how are there still only three non-white characters on the show? Well, more if you count Mrs. Kim's brow-beaten Korean choir, but they are more props than characters.
  • The complete lack of fortitude on Rory's part. Lorelei doesn't have a ton of fortitude either, but I'm going to give her more grace for having been a teen mother, which might have used up a lot of her fortitude.

Then there's those last four words.

I didn't take any notes on those because, well, what am I supposed to note?

That it's the most stupid, idiotic ending ever?

That, oh, great, now everything has come full circle and Rory is going to be the next unwed mother and undoubtably have another daughter with a distant, rich father? (I'm assuming the father is Logan, but I really hope it's that Wookie Man and then she has to track him down and finds out that he's actually a really awesome dude who she unfairly judged for dressing like a wookie, and then she falls for him but it's too late because he's seen that she's shallow and terrible and he'll be a good dad but otherwise uninvolved.)

For those of you saying, "well, they'll be a sequel now", NOPE. This is how the creator always envisioned ending the story. With this stupid like mother, like daughter, it all comes around, nobody learns or grows or anything changes, ending. Fine. Great. Whatever.

OH! And Rory's book! Does anyone else hate it when a movie or TV show or play ends with the character having written the story of the play/movie/TV show? As soon as Jess told Rory to write about her life and relationship with her mom, my eyes started rolling and the eye roll reached its peak when Lorelei told her to drop the "The" in the title - "Just, Gilmore Girls. It's cleaner." UGH. EYES. ROLLING. ALL. OVER. THE. FLOOR.

ALSO, THEY NEVER RESOLVED THE LETTER! The letter that Emily claims Lorelei left her that she will never forgive her for that Lorelei is adamant she didn't write. Did she? Who is lying and/or mistaken? What could be so terrible in that letter? This is an unacceptable hanging thread.


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Monday, December 5, 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Singalong! Where Have All the Good People Gone? by Sam Roberts

Guys, doesn't it sometimes feel like we've run out of good people in the world? I know that we haven't, but dang if the news would make us think otherwise. Let's take a moment to complain about it with Sam Roberts and then go out and help someone who needs a hand.


WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD PEOPLE GONE?
by Sam Roberts

Oh, the Milky Way has gone a little sour
The leaves dried and the flower fell away
I've been sitting, waiting for a sign
Inhuman beings taking up all of my time

Want to leave but I've got to stay
And I'm wondering more everyday
Montreal to Hong Kong
Where have all the good people gone?
Traffic jam but I'm on the shoulder
Took ten cops to pull me over
Bangkok to Babylon
Where have all the good people gone?

I haven't met a friend in a long, long while
They don't check my head but they, they check my style
The modern world is a cold, cold world
And all I meet are cold, cold girls

Want to leave but I've got to stay
And I'm wondering more everyday
Montreal to Hong Kong
Where have all the good people gone?
Traffic jam but I'm on the shoulder
Took ten cops to pull me over
Bangkok to Babylon
Where have all the good people gone?

And it's always the same, we just turn away
We are stealing from ourselves, we are feeding off ourselves

But we were born in flame
We need a cool breeze and a summer rain
We are stealing from ourselves, we are feeding off ourselves

Oh, the Milky Way has gone a little sour
The leaves dried and the flower fell away

Want to leave but I've got to stay
And I'm wondering more everyday
Montreal to Hong Kong
Where have all the good people gone?
Traffic jam but I'm on the shoulder
Took ten cops to pull me over
Bangkok to Babylon
Where have all the good people gone?

Want to leave but I've got to stay
And I'm wondering more everyday
Montreal to Hong Kong
Where have all the good people gone?
Traffic jam but I'm on the shoulder


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Friday, December 2, 2016

Learning! Roundup: Family traditions, twitter bots, observable evolution, and more!


Family Rituals Boost Happiness

There is new evidence showing that families with rituals or traditions tend to be happier and feel closer to each other. Of course, this is a correlational study, so it could be that families that are closer tend to have more traditions, or that the alien Zorg is sending energy rays to random households that both increase happiness and a propensity to enact collective ritual. However, traditions are nice, and there is some logic to the idea that doing thing together will increase a sense of togetherness.

Something to think about as we get into the holidays, the perfect time to get a tradition going!

Bots Against Racism

Here's a fun and heartening experiment: a researcher decided to try creating Twitter bots to help fight racist rhetoric online. He created four different twitter accounts that were either representative of a white or black user, and that were either high influence (over 500 followers) or low influence (few followers). He then programmed the bots to simply reply to those who used racist language saying something like "Hey man, just remember there are real people you hurt when you harass them with that kind of language."

It worked! Sort of. Some of the time. So the heartening part is that, in some conditions, the person used less racist language following the "reminder" tweet. If the tweet came from a white person (in-group, as the majority of those using this language were white men) with high status, it resulted in a decrease in language use. Unfortunately, when it came from a black person (out-group) with low status, it actually increased the use of racial slurs.

This is a great piece of evidence to show that when allies stand up to their peers, it can make actual change!

Observable Evolution

You know how evolution sounds great and all, but it takes forever and you never get to actually witness it happening and that's a total bummer? Not anymore! Biologists have now been able to observe the evolution of a new species in a laboratory flask. Cool!

Know Your Cephalopods

You know when you look something up and realize you know absolutely NOTHING about it? My friend posted this adorable and informative graphic called "Know Your Cephalopods", and, while I could deduce what a cephalopod probably is from the context, I realized I didn't really know what it meant. Google told me that a cephalopod is "any member of the molluscan class Cephalopoda", forcing me to face more ignorance and look up molluscs, and on it went... Anyways, basically they are invertebrates that live in the water, and cephalopods have symmetrical bodies with prominent heads and tentacles/arms/wavey bits. Like this:

Posted by the American Malacological Society. Artwork by Ketrina Yim.

The Nighttime Thirsties

As someone who HAS to have a glass of water next to the bed while she sleeps (I get so thirsty!) I now feel scientifically validated: new research shows that mice get thirsty before they sleep, to replace fluids that will be lost throughout the night.

Me and the mice, regulating body fluids night and day.

Gender and Class Bias in Hiring

Yep, it's still a thing, and there's more research to show that it's true: men from higher social classes will get more responses from job applications to men with lower social classes or women from any class with identical credentials.


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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Me & Ryan Gosling being very serious at the movies

I am very bad at not smiling on purpose. Sometimes, my friends and my dear Ry Ry decide that they want to see me try to frown, and the result is generally something like this. This particular instance, Ryan was unimpressed with my efforts. He thinks I can do better, but he is just blinded by the high esteem in which he holds me.




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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Inspiration! Roundup: 1.7 billion ways to be Muslim, recommended reading, and lots of magic

My desire to protect our waters is so strong right now. Let's go to Tofino! Go to the beach! look at the ocean. Don't  cover it in oil.
This week's "I want to go to there":
I suddenly find myself deeply desiring a return trip to the natural beauty of Tofino.
(Possibly this has everything to do with yesterday's approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline.)

1.7 Billion Ways to be Muslim

Just like any religion, Muslims are a multi-faceted group of people. Here's a wonderful little intro video made by Vox highlighting all the different ways a person might live their Muslim faith.


Recommended Reading

Trying to expand your intake of culture beyond the default can be hard. First of all, if you're anything like me, you really want to see Dr. Strange and the new Gilmore Girls, and re-reading Harry Potter makes you feel safe and happy. There is only so much time and so much to take in. Plus, let's be honest, we have to work just a little bit harder to find things outside the default (that's why they're defaults), and nobody's got time for that.

That's why the internet is great! It's full of lists like this one, in the Guardian, collecting non-western books for students (and non-students) to read.

Magic Leap

This is by far one of the most incredible things I have ever seen.


Read more about Magic Leap in this Forbes article.

Su Blackwell Brings Books to Life

I am so in love with the magical artwork of Su Blackwell. She creates the most magical worlds out of paper and books.

Su Blackwell's magical book art is incredible.

A Harsh Reminder

Despite my love for inspiration, here's a harsh-but-true reminder about work, life, and creativity. It's not just about feeling good. Sometimes (or all the time) you just need to show up and start working.

An anti-inspiration quote from Chuck Close that is actually rather inspirational



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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Gilmore Girls: Winter to Summer

I have not yet watched the last episode of the new Gilmore Girls season. This is not stopping me from having thoughts and opinions:

(WARNING, SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS - not of the last episode, of course, but of everything up until then.)



DID THEY NOT GET THE RIGHTS TO THE THEME SONG???? This is very upsetting. The intros feel empty and sad.

Rory is... unimpressive. I'm not talking about the fact that she doesn't know what she's doing with her life or anything. I'm talking about the way she gives up so quickly on everything. She has the curse of the naturally gifted: she's used to working hard and then seeing success. When she doesn't, she crumbles because she is not used to meeting resistance.

Lane seems like she's still a pretty cool cat, but they gave her a truly unfortunate set of mom-bangs.

There is nothing more frustrating than watching a show where everyone is unhappy because everyone feels disconnected from everyone else, but they are disconnected and unhappy because they are all lying and keeping secrets from each other!

If Rory doesn't have a valid driver's licence, why does she keep driving everywhere????

People have aged reallllly unevenly. Zack looks like a tired old man! Oh, Zack! What happened to you? Meanwhile, Kirk is a total hottie!

It seems clear that they want to tell a story that stretches over all four episodes (or "seasons", but that is confusing parlance in TV-land where seasons refer to something very different), but that doesn't mean you can't have some closure at the end of each episode. Every other TV series does it, you did it in the past, you can, too!

For example: what is with this LETTER that Emily brought up once in therapy and then never got brought up again??? This better get cleared up in the final episode.

Alex Kingston! Alex Kingston is on the show! And she is cheeky and hilarious and I love her.

Rory is kind of a total jerk. She's got a boyfriend who she ignores and constantly forgets about and won't do the service of breaking up with and sleeps with a bunch of other people including an engaged Logan, who is also being a jerk here, but expectedly.

Will Lorelei ever not be able to suddenly need to go and do something dramatic?

If you're doing a TV show with a bad play in it, you don't need to show us the bad play for 15 minutes. It's okay for your episode to be 15 minutes shorter than you intended - this is Netflix, you're not trying to fill a fixed broadcast slot.

I miss Richard.

Paris continues to be one of the best, most interesting humans. Her bathroom freak out when she holds a door shut with her stiletto'd foot is one of the finest moments in television history.

Who on earth would let Paris talk to children????

When you eat junk food like the Gilmores your insides die.


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