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Book Review: Around the World in 80 Dates

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Buy Around the World in 80 Dates (Sydney Alexander Series, Book 1) on Amazon || Buy from NavPress.com

I’ll freely admit it. I was skeptical about this book. Recently I signed up for NavPress’ blogger review program and was checking out the books they had available for review and I thought, “a Christian chick-lit book? That must be awful.”

Now, you must understand something. I’ve been in the Christian culture since I was prenatal. I know how ridiculous items made in our culture can get (*coughLeftBehindFilmscough*). Though, do not go ragging on the Left Behind books since my uncle went to college with Jerry B. Jenkins at my alma mater.

But I digress.

Despite my reservations, I decided to give Around the World in 80 Dates a try. After all, the cover looked compelling and, as a Christian single girl, I felt I needed some feel-good chick-lit. If nothing else, I’d have something serious to say in my review about the lack of realism in Christian fiction.

Boy was I wrong. I picked the book up and two days later had the entire thing read (I would have had it done sooner, but I have a friend visiting). It’s been a long time since I consumed a book like I did Around the World in 80 Dates.

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Episode Review – Star Trek:TOS – The Cage (Unaired Pilot)

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Buy Star Trek: The Original Series – Season One (DVD/HD DVD Combo, Remastered Edition) on Amazon || Watch Star Trek on YouTube

The copy I found aired after the first movie came out. It had an introduction by The Great Bird of the Galaxy himself, in which Gene talked about the process that brought about the pilot, the reasons way it was rejected and how parts of it managed to make into the show.

The special effects really got my attention. While today we can have a computer make a life-like rendering of a ship moving through space, back then a lot of thought went into how to do things – the credit shot with the backdrop, moving stars, scale modal combo is effective in conveying motion.

Also, I need to mention the fact that Jeffery Hunter was hot!

Moments That Really Stood Out:
1. The character of Spock – in this episode he isn’t the Vulcan we know, but just some alien who is fine smiling when he comes upon a humming plant.
2. The line said by Vina – “They rebuilt me, everything works, but they had never seen a human. they had no guide for putting me back together.” This stood out because of it similarity too a line from the Doctor Who episode Empty Child/Doctor Dances.

Book Review: God’s Little Princess Devotional Bible

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Buy God’s Little Princess Devotional Bible: Bible Storybook on Amazon

What little girl doesn’t love being a princess? If your child enjoys the stories of Cinderella and Snow White, this is the devotional for her. Written with ages 4-7 in mind Shelia Walsh brings Bible stories to life — highlighting women of faith, virtue and character from the Bible and letting girls know that their worth is not in how they look on the outside, but who they are on the inside.

But there’s more than just Bible stories retold in ways that a child can understand. Shelia weaves in activities, songs, tiny skits and ethical lessons as the book progresses. Since kids learn best through using all of their senses, this is a huge plus for this book. I’ve read other devotionals aimed for kids and (to be honest) they were pretty bland. Especially for kids who grow up in a Christian home and know all of the stories by heart, but not so with Shelia’s delightful book.

My favorite part is the design. From the front cover (which features sparkly jewels for the tiara and glitter for the small heart and the word Bible) to the inside where each page is gorgeous decorated and colored with cute graphics and girl-friendly colors. This makes the book playful and fun to read.

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Movie/DVD Review: Splinter

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Over the years, the Horror genre has been dismissed by film snobs as nothing more than an indulgence in excessive, shallow pleasures by violence and gore obsessed individuals who feed on screams, despair and bloodshed. Admittedly, so much of it is often derivative, cheap and uninspired. However, innovation and care can still occasionally be found within the dark recesses of this mostly misunderstood form of storytelling. Case in point, Splinter.
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Comic-Con Collector’s Book Available for Pre-Sale

40th_ccibook A new hardbound collector’s book entitled Comic-Con: 40 Years of Artists, Writers, Fans and Friends is now available for pre-sale.

The massive 208-page, 9X12 full-color book features over 620 images from the 40-year history of Comic-Con. Most of the art has not been seen since its initial publication in Comic-Con’s program and souvenir books, and the majority of the photos have never been seen outside of the Comic-Con archives. And sprinkled throughout the book are quotes and observations from leading professionals in comics, movies, and television, commenting on their own experiences at the show.

The whole package is capped off with an amazing new full-color wraparound cover by one of Comic-Con’s favorite special guests: Sergio Aragones. Masterfully colored by Tom Luth!

Advance sale books are $31.99 and includes CA Sales tax, but are only available to those attending Comic-Con 2009 and must be picked up on site during the convention. Unfortunately at this time Comic-Con cannot ship the book. All orders for pick up must be received by Monday, July 13, 2009.

Books will also be for sale at Comic-Con (provided books are still available) for the cover price of $40.00 + CA Sales tax.

Complete information on how to order and where to pick up the Book at Comic-Con is available at http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_40th_book.php.

Comic-Con: 40 Years of Artists, Writers, Fans, and Friends was produced by Comic-Con and designed and published by Chronicle Books of San Francisco, one of the world’s leading publishers of pop culture and art and photography books.

Bozeman, Montana wants your Social Media Passwords…

In a Associated Press (AP) story written by Matt Gouras and posted yesterday, it is reported that job applicants to the city of Bozeman Montana, are asked for their usernames and passwords for such social networking sites “to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.” (from the article). Usernames and Passwords. Already, job and business sites such as CareerBuilder, CNN Money, and others (links below) advise job seekers that potential and current employers may already be checking out your online persona, but this is something that – to their credit, in my opinion – has the ACLU and at least one Montana House Representative, Brady Wiseman, very critical of this practice.

The original AP story, hosted on Google News.

careerbuilder.com: “Will Your Social Networking Profile Get You Hired or Fired?”

CNN Money: “Fired for Facebook: Don’t let it happen to you”

Permimeter Knowledge Center: Will Facebook get you Hired or Fired?

Why You Should Watch Vengeance Unlimited (if you can)

vengenceunlimitedNot many people remember the short-lived TV series Vengeance Unlimited. It ran in 1998 to 1999 for one season and only had 16 episodes, having succumb to the overwhelming power of it’s rival for the time slot – Friends.

Michael Madsen plays the lead character, Mr. Chapel. You may know Madsen better from his tough guy roles in various films including his memorable character, “Mr. Blonde” in Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. He brings the same flavor of tough guy, slightly crazy acting to his role as the mysterious Mr. Chapel and his performance in the role is one of the highlights of the series.

The show’s premise is Mr. Chapel’s line of work – Vengeance. Much like the A-Team if you have a problem and need help you can hire Mr. Chapel to exact revenge on those who have wronged you. Dishing out his special brand of justice isn’t for free of course: clients either pay $1 million dollars or promise to do Mr. Chapel a favor in the future. The favor of course can be anytime, anywhere, doing whatever Mr. Chapel requires. Sometimes this favor borders on the illegal and unethical and sometimes it’s the mundane. One of the longstanding jokes of the series is when Mr. Chapel cashes in the favor and it’s been paid he tells them they’re off the hook and the former client response “thank God!”

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Destroy Build Destroy!

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Want to build and destroy at home? Play Blast Works: Build, Trade, Destroy for Wii!

Watch Destroy Build Destroy tomorrow (June 20th) on Cartoon Network!

Ok. We’ve all seen Robot Wars and it’s variants – the shows where teams build, well, robots and try to inflict enough damage to another teams creations to win a competition. And then we’ve seen Junkyard Wars, where people take stuff that looks like it was left over from a massive Robot Wars competition, build a solution to solve a problem and win a prize. Yeah. Great. But wait – Coming to Cartoon Network, branded under a “CN Real” tag, is combining the best bits of both – and adding explosives.

And judging from the promo clip, rocket launchers.

“Destroy Build Destroy” does just what the name implies, the show wrecks vehicles, machinery, what-have-you and then the two teams of teenagers (yes – teenagers …with rocket launchers…) go to work. With help/cheerleading from the host, Andrew W.K., two teams build working gadgets from the wreckage and then… destroy them. According to tv.com, the premier pits Skaters against the Math Club, who are tasked to “build flying machines that attack each other”.

You know, I used to be amazed – and maybe a little jealous – of the really cool toys that weren’t around when I was little – like Mindstorm Legos, or even the pirate sets. Now they’re giving teens freakin’ rocket launchers! I so could have used one of those.

Promo:

So You Think You Can Dance – Top 18

Last week saw Paris and Tony’s departure from the contest (I so called it!).

The big fluff bit of the week was “Big Secrets!”, so we found out about Randi talking to her dog on the phone, Ade’s full name is even harder to pronounce then Kupono’s, Caitlin can do a dinosaur impersonation, Brandon has never been to a gym, Asuka blows spit bubbles, Max likes to cook (OMG! Likes to dance AND COOKS!!! Marry me!!!), Jonathan sings — badly, Jeanine has a teddy bear and on her first day of school, Ashley threw up.

On to the dances!

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Book Review: The Dresden Files #4 – Summer Knight

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Buy Summer Knight: A Novel of the Dresden Files on Amazon || Buy Summer Knight Audio Book on Amazon || Watch the Dresden Files on Hulu

The fantastic thing about the summertime is that there is ample opportunity to read. Whether you are sitting around by the pool on a sunny day or snuggled at home watching the rainstorms, it’s a great time to catch up on all those books you’ve been meaning to read but just didn’t get around to. For anyone who is actually looking for something to read, I’d like to recommend an amazing and interesting series called the Dresden Files.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Tickets