Nodds & Nends: Ballerina Hulk, Podcasts, and It’s OK to be Smart

Check out this cutesy quiz about science and learn that it’s OK to be smart. ;) I did OK, not perfectly. But at the time I took it I was really sick from un-diagnosed strep throat, so my brain was a little fuzzy.

SF Signal asked their readers to name their favorite SF websites, podcasts, publishers, book bloggers, and comics. Elizabeth Campbell mentioned Book Store Book Blogger Connection which was founded by Little Red Reviewer and which I have participated in. She lists those some bloggers who participate in Book Store Book Blogger Connection and during the podcast episode, SF Signal mentions Absurdly Nerdly at 47:40, though he totally butchers the name of my blog the first time. Also mentioned are Books Without any PicturesNashville Bookworm and The Book Smugglers, some book bloggers I follow because they have excellent reviews.

Want to see a ballerina Hulk? Of course you do.

So apparently, there is a series about WereHEDGEHOGS!!! I think I may have to see if I can track one down and read it. Because, What. The What?

Did you know that some background, distracting, noise can actually up creativity? I think it’s because the brain has to concentrate on ignoring it and that takes up the thinking-about-cats-on-the-internets part of the brain. You can now listen to a rainy cafe to help get you in the mood to concentrate, create, write, or blog. I think it is awesome!

Remember my review of that webseries Jane Eyre? Well, I’m obsessed with it. I think it is well written, quirky, and a delight. Plus, the creators are really cool and they’ve actually made a website for their fictional Thornfield Aluminum Exports company. Jane also has a twitter account and a tumblr. Totally cool.

A new Piano Cosplay has popped up. This time it’s all Batman and she is in a Catwoman costume. And looking mighty fine. You are welcome.

Webseries Review: Hitman 101

A while ago, Scott from Bad Guy Films contacted to tell me about a new webseries he created, Hitman 101. Basically he just wanted to let me know it existed if I wanted to check it out. It took overly long for me to do so, and for that I do apologize, to Scott and you all, because it is an engaging, excellent webseries about the life of a Hitman that I do think some of my readers will quite enjoy.

I like the main actor a lot. Georgie Daburas plays the Hitman. He is really good and I like that he doesn’t overplay his role or tap into stereotypes of “Bad Guys.” When he meets a girl at a coffee shop and starts to like her, his face softens and goes all cute and vulnerable. A very sweet and entrancing moment to watch. It doesn’t hurt that he’s quite a cutie. The rest of the characters are also well written, though some of the other actors do seem to play the stereotype rather than the “real” person. Perhaps that is the direction the show was going for, and it works OK as he plays the “Straight Man” Hitman to their caricature of people from that world. I thought the production value was fairly decent, though some of the night shooting turned kind of green from the lights near where they were filming. I really liked that there were a lot of different locations, that doesn’t happen very often with webseries.

I’ve seen four episodes so far and enjoyed them all. The first two are basic set up for the series and character, but the third one is when the action really starts. Including some fighting. I liked the different fighting styles that were portrayed and the different moves executed. However, pretty sure in a real fight they would all have ganged up on him at once and not taken him on one-by-one. But that tends to happen a lot of in visual story telling. Still, a really cool scene.

I also enjoyed the simplicity of the plot. Hitman 101. It’s all in the title. The life of a Hitman, and what he goes through when things do not go as planned. Of course there has to be drama, of course things go wrong, but he’s a smart and engaging character and it is definitely a fun series. Do check it out.

Webseries Review: Jane Eyre

The other day on Alisa’s twitter feed I discovered a new webseries called Jane Eyre, which is a modern take on the classic story by Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre is in nursing school, but has decided she is going to get a job being a nanny and answers a Craigslist ad. I’ve seen both episodes that have been posted, and what I’ve seen is really good.

I like that it is a video blog so that production value doesn’t need to be so excellent. The story is funny and modern but with the same feel as the original story. I like the actress, she does an excellent job. She is cute in her nervousness and she is funny in an understated way, which I like. The second episode had be really nervous, I had to stop it half way through and go do something else to calm down. I know it isn’t real, but damn, it felt like it. I’m hooked.

If you enjoy remakes, Jane Eyre, or clever webseries, you should check this one out.

Webseries Review: Space Janitors

Space Janitors is part of Geek & Sundry. You can watch the first season online at Geek & Sundry’s YouTube Channel or on the official Space Janitors website (the second season launched April 2, 2013!). Some of the other webseries reviewed this week have just begun or already ended, but you can watch 9 whole episodes from last season in like an hour and get caught up for this season in no time. I’m a huge fan of Geek & Sundry, so subscribe to their YouTube channel and get amazing nerdy content, watch webseries like Space Janitors, and thank your lucky stars there is such amazing content out there.

Ok, plug over. Can you believe I didn’t get paid to do that? Or even asked to do that…….

Space Janitors is a comedy/sci-fi web series created by Davin Lengyel and Geoff Lapaire. It chronicles the lives of two janitors, Mike Chet (Pat Thornton) and Darby Richards (Brendan Halloran) who serve aboard an evil iconic space station. After all, someone has to buff out the blaster burn marks from the halls and mop up the hero guts from the not-so-bottomless shaft.

The misadventures of Mike and Darby and their friends – a dogmatic computer psychologist, a curious Android, and one of the 10,000 clones aboard the station who are all named Dennis – shed a humorous light on popular and otherwise serious science fiction staples. In first season of Space Janitors we see the lives of the blue-collar staff at work on board the ship, punctuated by the occasional run in with the Dark Lord or a squad of invading rebels giving us the low rank glimpse of an epic galactic conflict.

This shows is so often giggle worthy that when I’m having a bad day I watch episodes to catch nerdy references and smile. I like the characters on this maintenance crew who show that living on a space ship is not all about lazer shoot outs and glory. Sometimes it is taking out the trash and standing to the side when said lazer shoot outs are happening. Brendan Holloran and Pat Thorton have a great bromance as Mike and Darby. Their comedy chemistry makes for a wonderful viewing and a lot of laughs.

Production value is actually fairly high seeing as they have funding and are distributed by Geek & Sundry. Some of the technology is purposely old school looking for comedy value. For example, when the incoming Dark Lord’s call flashes on a DOS screen that is just comedy gold. Some of the special effects are rather cheesy, but purposefully so, after all this show is about making fun of space operas and science fiction , as well as, paying homage to what the nerd/geek/dork community loves and knows. But I’m actually quite impressed when they don’t go for cheesy, the special effects are really well done.

If you need a laugh today, tomorrow, or any time really (because I think we all could use more laughs and hugs) check out Space Janitors. Give them some love, because Space Janitors have dreams too.

Webseries Review: Adults Only

First up folks, Adults Only is NSFW! If you could not tell that by the title, let me assure you, mostly every scene takes place in an adult video store. While nothing graphic is shown, pictures of DVD covers are blurred and language is bleeped, this is not a webseries for the youngins. It is however, probably one of the funniest webseries I have seen in a while. I laughed throughout the entire third episode. I love when that happens!

I was contacted by the webseries publicist and asked if I would like to watch and possibly review the series. I received no compensation for my review. It is just how I found out about the series. Actually, that happened a year ago. So, Adults Only, I apologize for my late review because your show is awesome and I enjoyed it immensely!

Chance Rioux is an Olympic Medal Winner and ten years later his ride to fame and back again has dwindled and he has to take a job working for his brother-in-law- at an adult video store. Chance is just a regular guy mentally bogged down by his past success, his only spot of sunshine is his hope to win over the beautiful lady at the local cafe.  Though he has no experience he works as a manager of the store and oversees two employees, a disgruntled woman who has an interesting tattoo on her breast and Ted (who goes by Crotch). Crotch also has a band and he seems to be the marketing force for this little store of misfit adult toys, especially when he realizes that Chance looks like a certain adult film star.

This series is funny and full of heart. The writing is excellent. Chance is someone to whom the audience can relate because, like everyone, he is just trying to deal with changes in his life and letting go of some dreams and forging new ones. Plus, his fallen face just squeezes at my heart. The weird things he has to put up with on the job make me cackle with joy. Though I’ve never worked at an adult video store, I have worked retail and honestly the job is the same no matter the product. Customers are weird, co-workers come up with crazy ideas, and you can generally find the product cheaper (in this case free) on line.

The production value was OK and the sets were minimal, but it was what I expected from scenes at a store and a cafe. Some of the office scenes were rather darkly lit, but I think that was the intent of the production. I really quite enjoyed one of the special guest stars that they got. One, because I knew who he is, and two, because he has quite a charming face and seeing it on my screen was no hardship. ;) While perhaps not the most grand of productions, the story line was interesting and funny, the characters charming and relatable, and I really liked this webseries. Check out the first episode here. (I had some trouble with the 7th and 8th episodes not loading correctly the first time and cutting out after 3 minutes, but this may just be my computer and connection. I reloaded the pages and they played fine.)

Trailer below, slightly NSFW. . . . depending on your work. ;)

Webseries Review: The Broken Continent

Remember when I mentioned a kickstarter for a new webseries, The Broken Continent? And that my best friend was in it doing the fight scenes? Well, the kickstarter was funded! Now up for your viewing pleasure at The Broken Continent. I’ve seen three of the episodes and (even though biased ;))  I think it is a well done webseries.

bc_characters_highres

The great continent of Elyrion was the center of the world’s culture and knowledge. . . . [Then Magicks]

In anger at this blasphemy, Relios [the True God] struck at the center of Ars Exilior, breaking the continent of Elyrion into five pieces, which would become known as the Heart, the Blade, the Crown, the Eye, and the Fist. . . .

Some three millennia after The Fracture, Eadwyn Redway is the King of the Heart and the Blade. . . Seeking to surpass his father, Eadwyn looks to conquer the remaining three Shards. Not all share Eadwyn’s ambitions, however, and some have risen up to oppose him. . . .

Among those who oppose Eadwyn’s desires of conquest are the Daughters of Tairol. . . . (Synopsis parts taken from the website)

The production value of this webseries is really good. Some of the armor clinking was a little distracting, but other than that the music was well played and slotted and even the layered effect of the birds gave the series a real sense of place and time. The actors are good and I think they all play their roles seriously, because this type of sword and magicks fantasy could come off as cheesy, but it doesn’t. I also really like that those in opposition to the tyrant are an amazonian warrior type of female tribe. Way cool! The fighting is fun and the story is interesting, so I enjoyed it.

My only concern is that it is a really involved story line for a webseries. Even just trying to sum it up is rather involved. I took the synopsis from the website and I felt the need to cut down a lot of what they have on their page and it’s still a long synopsis. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, I like involved stories, but normally webseries have an easier tag line than several paragraphs. Added to the involved plot line are those weird fantasy names and honestly I just kind of skim over something like that usually. I don’t know how this is going to play out for them in the long run, but people quite enjoy Game of Thrones and that has involved plot lines and weird names too. (Seems to be a Game of Thrones theme in webseries recently, I wonder why that is. ;))

If you like high fantasy, sword fighting, and warrior women, check out The Broken Continent a new webseries in the vein of Game of Thrones. A dangerous King, children in peril, and women with long beautiful hair fighting for their lives, The Broken Continent is an engaging story with a beautiful background.

Webseries Review: School of Thrones

If Game of Thrones was high school it would look like the webseries School of Thrones. Dany Targaryen (played by Ashly Burch) is the new girl at school and she arrives to find out that Prom Night is Coming. Prom at this high school is generally a horrible night as the school is divided into several die hard cliques. The Jocks, the Hipsters, and the Weirdos are all acting in the best interests of their families, lines are drawn, and even best friends forever will be against each other on Prom Night.

I really like the concept, it is clever but simple. The action starts right away and there is no need for exposition because the whole plot, Prom is Coming is said on a poster with cheesy music playing. I really like that. The relationship drama is what moves this story forward, and I’m a big fan of relationship dramas. I also was quite pleased with the acting. The cast is obviously taking this seriously, and they did a really good job. I’m also a fan of their opening sequence, really good graphics and a cool idea.

I thought it was clever how the different cliques in school were the different house from Game of Thrones. However, while clever, the episodes are not very witty until about the middle of episode 3. As there are only 3 episodes it was a while before I ever laughed at something. I enjoyed the first two episodes, they just didn’t reach giggle worthy. Perhaps if I liked making fun of really bad wigs, but that was all kind of “Meh” to me.

This show may be about high school students battling before Prom Night, but it is a not a show for kids (there is some language, even the dropping of the “F” bomb, if I heard correctly). It’s a show for people who like Game of Thrones and wondered what it would look like reimagined in a modern day setting with high schoolers. Or it is for those of us who haven’t really gotten into the whole Game of Thrones thing, but enjoy clever webseries with excellent production value and good acting.

Webseries Review Week

Hey Peeps! So, about the only thing the internets ever asks of me is to do review of webseries. I really enjoy getting those emails and checking out new webisodes and seeing the creativity of other people, which I think is awesome in and of itself even if I don’t particularly want to be BFFs with the finished product. But I’ve gotten behind in my reviews because of life and stuff and what have you, so I’m taking this week to catch up on those. Woot!

webseries week

Mario Brothers On Youtube

On Cracked! After Hours is a video on why Mario is a douchebag. These guys always crack me up, they are hilarious! Some really great writing here. (Technically this isn’t on Youtube, but saying Mario Brothers on the Interwebs or videos or what have you, just didn’t sound as good to me.)

A cute song a song written from Toads (the mushroom) perspective, called Thank You Mario, But Our Princess is in Another Castle.

Nodds & Nends: Nerdy Crafting, Steam Punk Thrifting, and Pop Culture Happy Hour Podcast

Want another DIY crafting idea to make an awesome present for the geek in your life? Check out this Keyboard to Picture Frame idea on Will Craft 4 Food. I really want to do this, when I can find some time. Bwahahahahaha.

Jimmy Fallon is one of the very few talk shows I will listen to, and it is often because of his nerdy/geeky side. He had on the show this really cool Visual Reality goggle thing called the Oculus Rift -VR and it looks amazing! They are just starting production of the gaming console and I think this is going to be big. One hopes. :) You can preorder them for $300. You really should watch the clip on the show, it was hilarious, the presenter really got Jimmy good.

I found a cute segment on Steam Punk Thrifting on The Nerdist which goes through the steps of putting together a cheap cosplay outfit by going to a thrift store and doing it yourself.

Want to see some pretty eyes today? Head over to this tumblr page for a really cool picture of some street art. (Also, if you are going to ogle the tumblr girl, please ogle her age as well.)

Some really cool articles I’ve stumbled upon recently are:

Laini Taylor’s post about how needing to use the term adult is childish. She makes some really good points.

And thanks to Stephanie I started listening to NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast and came upon this article about autism and nerd culture in popular culture. The guy who wrote the piece has an autistic son and he talks about being able to relate to certain shows because of their inclusion of autism and often nerdy people who are on the spectrum and how he thinks his son is treated better because of these shows.

On my cousin’s G+ account she posted this awesome video of Minecraft in real life. The effects are really good for a webseries.  Sara would probably not be impressed with their stage combat acting skills, but I thought it was cute. Thanks Breanna for the tip.