Tag Archives: xkcd

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday

And yes, it be Sunday again!

Today I’d like to discuss guilty pleasures.

I always thought I didn’t really have one, but I do.

I absolutely ADORE this website TomandLorenzo.com. It’s a blog written by a gay married couple, who post approximately six blogs a day (impressive, right).

These blogs are on fashion (my favorite is their red carpet commentary), reality TV (although I only read the posts on Project Runway, I’m a fan) and television shows (they covered Lost, V, Mad Men, Glee, you name it).

What I love is that they’re incredibly sharp, open-minded and witty! They usually make me laugh at least once a day. If I haven’t read their blog for a couple of days, I’ll make a cup of tea, sit down and just read all the blogs they posted (and with their high output rate, that usually has me settled for an hour).

They have thousands of readers and get hundreds of comments on every post. I know I write in a very different genre than they do, but I truly admire them as bloggers. I think they’re a great example of “how to do it”.

Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t be wasting my time with superficial stuff like red carpet commentary. But it’s so much fun to just look at a dress of some lame celebrity and say “OH MY GOD YOU LOOK HORRIBLE” with the appropriate facial expression. It’s just a way of letting off steam! That’s what makes it my guilty pleasure.

So tell me, because I’m curious, how do you let off steam? What is your guilty pleasure?

And now, it’s time for another blog mashup!

Fun & Interesting blogs

The Past, Present & Future of Email [INFOGRAPHIC] @ Mashable.com – This was pretty interesting to see!

Cybernetic cat ears read your brainwaves and let the world know if you need a cheeseburger @ io9.com – Somehow I’m afraid I’d get brain damage if I’d wear these ;p

Will Ferrell Reprises Role as George Bush Impersonator, Reacts to Bin Laden’s Death [VIDEO] @ Youtube – this seriously had me laughing my ass off.

32 Examples of Awesome Star Wars Graffiti @ io9.com – May 4th was Star Wars day (“May the Fourth be with you”) – reason for this awesome collection of Star Wars graffiti!

Explore Twitter’s Evolution: 2006 to Present @ Mashable.com – Another really interesting article

Find your sign on the sci-fi geek zodiac @ Blastr.com – What’s your sign? Mine was Pirate. In all seriousness, I’ve always wanted to be a pirate, so this was kinda cool and satisfying :p.

Speaking multiple languages can give you multiple personalities @ io9.com – quite interesting. Is my English speaking personality very different to my Dutch one? I do wonder…

Blogs on Books, Writing, Publishing, Social Media and all that

Genre Map @ Bookcountry.com – This is awesome. Explore the genre maps and find out what other books are closest to your writing style.

Twitter v. Facebook @ Bookends, LLC. – Interesting insights.

Subtle Ways to Come Out of the Writing Closet @ Elizabeth Craig’s Mystery Writing is Murder – I need to practice this. I did add my title “author” and contact info to my email signature!

Join in the Love Revolution–#MyWANA @ Kristen Lamb’s Warrior Writers – This is no joke – join us, writers! You’ll get brownies and good coffee!

My Secret Lover @ Jack Flacco –  Ah yes, the secret lover. A great description of the writer’s odd habits!

The Art Of The Blurb Request @ Pub Rants

My Secrets to Successfully Growing My Social Media Followings @ Jody Hedlund

What’s in a Name? @ Jami Gold – Kvothe told me names are powerful things.



and of course… Progeny @ xkcd.com

Sunday Morning Coming Down

‘Tis Sunday again. Last week’s been a very hectic week. I’m glad it’s past now, and I’ll have a somewhat more relaxed week next week (if you don’t count the exam I have this week Wednesday and next week Wednesday). From 20-26 April there’ll be no school, though, which is pure bliss!

Last week I found out TED.com (for the second time, actually). You might know it for their slogan, “Ideas Worth Spreading”. It’s been gaining popularity last year.

From TED.com’s about page:

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

I watched a TED film featuring the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and I found it very impressive. Please read the following:

The news that Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been detained by authorities has prompted significant concern here at TED HQ. We had shown a film of him at last month’s conference, an unexpected and courageous statement about his treatment by the government, social change, the power of the web, and his hope for the future of China. The film, which was shown as Ai Weiwei himself watched live over the web in the middle of the night, prompted a huge standing ovation from the TED audience.

TED is a nonpartisan, nonpolitical organization, and we understand the Chinese authorities’ concern at anything which might provoke social unrest. But for anyone who believes in the power of ideas, of human imagination, it is heartbreaking to see one of the world’s great artists shackled in this way. We will be tracking developments carefully.

This is the film:

Acting against a government like he does takes a lot of courage, for which I admire and respect him greatly.

More Charity for Japan

Last week was Genre for Japan week. People could bid on (sci-fi/fantasy) special edition books and collections and all sorts of other cool stuff. They collected £11.139,36 which is amazing!

I found two other great initiatives to collect money to help the victims of the disaster in Japan. At KeepRecipes you can donate and receive a collection of 21 exclusive recipes:

This unique cookbook includes 21 recipes including Japanese classics, fusions, haute cuisine and more. From Braised Black Cod to Miso Ramen to Japanese Tai Snapper Taco, you’ll get a great selection of recipes. Your donation will also get you a free membership with KeepRecipes, the “iTunes for Recipes”. Donate now!

Your gift will go to the American Red Cross in support of disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific.

Donations start at $10. You can donate until June 30th.

At CharityBuzz they organized Fashion & Friends for Japan, an auction, which is also quite cool.

Bid on one-of-a-kind experiences and over the top fashions, including a made-to-measure Tom Ford suit, a one week stay at Parrot Cay, invitation to the Elton John Oscars party, tickets to the Victoria’s Secret show, seats at Vera Wang’s fashion show followed by a meeting with her backstage and a shopping spree, a stay at CFDA President Diane von Furstenburg’s Bahamas home, and much, much more.

All proceeds will go to the Japan Society, which has created a disaster relief fund to aid victims of the earthquake.

You can find the auctions here. If I wasn’t such a poor student I’d totally go out with Paris & Nicky Hilton for a shopping spree. Rofl,  that would be hilarious!

Go check out those auctions folks. There’s so much good stuff.



And since it’s Sunday that means it’s time for another blog mashup!

Interesting & Fun stuff

Jared Leto imitates Kurt Cobain, last week it was 17 years ago Cobain passed.

This week, Eric Whitacre’s new Virtual Choir (with 2000+ singers) video was released: Sleep. Lux Aurumque was published last year, with only 185 singers. Wow, right? I wish I could sing and participate! Also, I was quite impressed with this kid, who sang all 8 parts of Sleep and put them together.

YouTube Video of the Day: Invisible Instruments Can’t Be Seen To Be Believed @ Mashable.com

Win a signed copy of The Rough Guide to Psychology @ BPS Research Digest

QS – Under the Sea @ Mirrors, Musings and Magic

Where are you from? @ Chronicles of an ABCD

New App Translates Food Photos Into Calorie Counts @ Mashable.com

Why You Should Stop Obsessing Over Your Competitors @ Mashable.com

Social Media, Writing, Publishing, etc.

Almost Famous – Live from L.A. @ Kristen Lamb – don’t hide behind a picture of you cat, writers, show us your face!

The Little Button That Is Hijacking Your Blog @ Pushing Social

The Dark Side of the New Age of Self-Publishing @ Storyfix.com

What’s Your Most Embarrassing Moment As a Writer? @ There Are No Rules

3 Tips For Finding Something To Say When You’re Out of Ideas @ Jody Hedlund

Working with Your Editor @ BookEnds LLC


And of course… Headache @ xkcd.com

Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon

I love Sundays. It’s the only day of the week where it isn’t busy in the city. Love it.

This week was really calm compared to last week. I worked on an assignment that’s due for tomorrow all week, spending many hours at the University. I’m really glad with what we produced, though! Thursday is our verbal exam about it, where we’ll have to discuss and defend our findings to the teacher’s criticism.

The contents of the box

Today I’m going to practice guiding an intelligence test, which is fairly interesting. Everyone in our class got this huge box with all sorts of tests. It’s bright blue and when I took it home (I don’t have a driving license so I take public transport) people were eying me, and I bet they thought I had a bomb with me – so I tried to behave inconspicuously :p.

My mom is my victim – we’re going to have to do the whole test and then I have to score it. It takes about 2-3 hours (probably more 3 than 2 because I’m still inexperienced and have to read the guidelines all the time) :p.

Ah, it’s going to be fun, though.

I don’t have much else to say, my week was that boring.

Ah, I could say one more thing… If you love fantasy and haven’t read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss yet, go read it (read my review here). It’s one of the best books in fantasy I’ve ever read and I digged into the sequel a couple of days ago… Arguably it’s even better than the first book.

Then… It’s time for another blog mashup!

Interesting & Fun stuff

How LinkedIn Is Taking Care of Business [INFOGRAPHIC] @Mashable.com

How Women Really Feel About Their Facebook Friends [SURVEY] @ Mashable.com

Twin Babies Talk About The Bronx Zoo Cobra @ Buzzfeed.com – this was asbolutely hilarious, a must-watch!

Explore our solar system an interactive 3D model of our solar system planets and night sky @ Solar System Scope

New Google Tool Tells You How to Make Your Site Faster @ Mashable.com

Cricket and wisdom and katamari, oh my! @ The Mirror – this is awesome. I love Katamari Damacy!

Writing, publishing, social media etc. etc. etc.

How to Get Reviews for Self-Published Books @ There are no Rules

The Blue Scabbardfish @ MySilentFury.com

Finally, A Kick Ass Blogging Idea List Without The Usual Suspects @ Pushing Social

5 Ways to Persevere Through Blogging Slumps @ Jody Hedlund


And as always: xkcd: Headache… Happy Sunday!

HypnoCat will hypnotize you!

Gloomy Sunday

There’s always something a little gloomy about Sundays, don’t you think?

A few strange things happened this week. First of all, I made a very important decision.

I donated my brain.

Here in The Netherlands, you are free in the choice whether or not to donate organs after you pass. Another option, which can be combined with the donation of organs, is the donation of your brain to the “Dutch Brain Bank”, de Hersenbank. *

This organization was founded in 1985 by a neurobiologist I greatly admire – Dick Swaab**. He’s not afraid to research unconventional things, such as homosexuality, religion and moral behavior and even love, and its foundations in the brain. Over 30 years time, he’s received multiple death threats from people that didn’t agree to his rather well founded theories, simply because they didn’t like them, or because they were scared by them.

The Brain Bank researches brains extensively, and not just in The Netherlands, but in over 30 countries worldwide. They focus particularly on neurodegenerative diseases like Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. As my grandmother suffered from Parkinson’s and I might as well, in the future (one gets Parkinson’s either out of the blue or because of a genetic component), which is why I think it’s important, whether I get the disease or not, that they research my brain as well.

It was quite a big step for me to actually sign these papers, have my mother sign them as well, and throw them in the mail box.

It was like I was saying goodbye to my own brain.

*Another option, here in The Netherlands, is to donate your body to “science”. You can donate your entire body, which will be used to train medical students and for research.

**Dick Swaab recently published a book called “We are our Brain” (Wij zijn ons Brein). Hopefully it will be translated to English in the near future. When it is, I will be sure to announce it.

Another strange thing that happened this week was that my boyfriend left for a trip in the US. He’ll be gone for another two weeks and two days. That’s not the strange thing, though. I can handle that bit (sort of – an empty bed is weird).

As you may (or may not) know, we own several fishtanks. It’s my boyfriends hobby, mostly. When he left, I would have to take care of the fish.

So, he left. Then, not even 24 hours later, one of the filters broke, and the fish were starting to look quite miserable. Already, I was trying all day to keep them alive, by refreshing the water and trying to fix the filter…alas, no luck. A few died, but they generally seemed to do a little better. No clue why. Maybe because I told them to man up.

I went to bed, woke up and read a bit. Then I got a call from my one of my neighbors who lives an apt higher. We all live above a store (that sells expensive guy fashion) and have to go through that store to get out of the building.

“Manon, there is a leak in the store, it looks like it’s coming from you.”

I nearly got a heart attack. I got out of bed, went downstairs and nearly slipped because of all the water on the floor. Then, I really nearly got a heart attack. At the very least, I got a panic attack. At least there was no lack of oxygen in my blood.

At that moment, the tank was still leaking. What happened is that the adhesive used to glue the glass plates together apparently was so old that it just.. broke. I scooped out all the water so that the level went below the little leak. So all was well, then.

About 100 to 120 liters of  aquarium water leaked into the store below. The whole ceiling was wet, and it looked rather depressing. I think the levels of adrenaline in my blood were 5 times higher than normal.

I asked a handyman to come look for me, tell me what the damage was, what we would have to do. He wasn’t really impressed – I think by my stressed phone call he thought my floor was about to collapse. He said “just paint the ceiling a couple of times, then you’re fine.” Surprisingly, there wasn’t much damage on my own floor.

My house looks strangely empty without the huge tank. A lot of work went into it (it was a second hand, really old and ugly tank, my boyfriend was trying to patch it up), which is a bit sour. Right now, I just wish we never got the tank to begin with.

Anyone willing to donate a vacation? Anyone at all?

I think I’ll need a three week vacation to get my hormone levels back to normal. I spent the night at my mom’s, and now I’m scared to go back home. What’s next? Will my microwave explode? Will my desktop pc short-cirquit and set the house on fire? Will the washing machine fall through the floor when centrifuging? I hope the reason why I haven’t heard anything from my neighbors and the store people isn’t because they died in the fire caused by my broken water heater, but because nothing’s wrong.


Now, on to more interesting stuff: the blog mashup of this week! Since I have to hand in a considerably big (HUGE) assignment next week, I’ve been procrastinating considerably (A LOT) by reading all sorts of blogs.

Writing, Publishing, Social Media & Such

3 Helpful Blogs I’ve Recently Discovered @ Jane Friedman, There Are No Rules

10 Reasons Why Authors Love Ebooks @ The Creative Penn

Why Pen Names Suck & Can Make Us Crazy @ Kristen Lamb

How to Easily Write Brilliant Blog Posts @ Pushing Social

7 Ways to Be Professional @ Rachelle Gardner

Other Entertaining Stuff

How LinkedIn is Taking Care of Business (Infographic) @ Mashable.com

The Fundamentals & Best Practices of Logo Design @ Mashable.com

Twitter’s Long History With Malware [INFOGRAPHIC] @ Mashable.com

The Surprising History of the Lobotomy @ Psychology Today

‘Knowing it in your gut’ is real @ Science Daily

FF – Places to go when you want to switch off your brain! @ Mirrors, Musings and Magic


And of course… xkcd: Trapped

Enjoy and have a wondeful, uneventful Sunday.