Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Late Posts

Right, so I forgot to post something yesterday. Um, sorry? I have finals and I'm sick. Which is, of course, perfect timing. So, sorry. This may happen again. And sorry for this being a lame post.

Here's an apologetic cat.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chemistry and Dillo Day

So this post is late, but I have a good reason. I was busy this weekend.

Friday, chemistry club put on its spring show, and as a member of chemistry club, I was on hand assisting. And watching the lake get lit of fire. As well as other things getting lit on fire and/or blown up.

Then, yesterday was Dillo Day. Dillo Day is basically a school sponsored concert/bacchanalia that lasts all day. I didn't know any of the groups playing but most most of the music was pretty good. I really liked the fireworks at the end though. I like fireworks a lot. Also there was a booth set up with free sunscreen which was very much appreciated by all.

Anyway, my mom reads this blog, so that's really all I can say about that.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone. I hope you all have a very pleasant day. Drink lots of water. It's in the 90s here so I can only imagine what others are going through heat wise.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happiness Week?

So this week is Happiness Week. There's a student group called Happiness Club and this week they are doing something everyday to try and perk up the campus. Normally I'd be thrilled. Unfortunately, this school-wide Happiness Week is occurring right during my own personal "Everything is Due and There's No Escape" Week.

As much as I want to go out and get a temporary tattoo, or join in a water balloon fight, I can't because every time I think I'm done, more work pops up

That being said, I have made the decision to at least attend flashback Friday. It takes place after my last class on Friday, and it's only two hours. I will definitely have earned a happy fun break.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


So I'm a fan of Doctor Who. I'm also a fan of BBC's Sherlock. Which means that naturally, I'm a fan of Wholock. What's Wholock you ask? It's when fandoms collide and imagine crossovers between the two shows.

Like this!

Or this!

Then there's really out of canon stuff, that's still amazing.

The fanfics are where things start to get really weird, but let's be honest, that's sort of what fanfic is for.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Priorities are a Thing I Have

So this week is academically not that strenuous. This is good, because this week has a lot of season finales. That I want to not wait until the weekend to watch. I'm totally on top of my work though.

The main problem comes more from the fact that the weather has been lovely for a few days now, so I have to pry myself outside to enjoy it.

Currently however, there is a thunderstorm. So of course, I'm watching that. I love thunderstorms. While it's definitely not snowing I would love to see a thunderstorm with some snow. That would be amazing. It's instead raining, but just softly enough that it isn't always clear if the sound I hear is rain, or just the wind in the trees.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Movie Recommendations 2

So I was thinking about movies I like, and after I decided to write about these, I realized how well they worked together. Both are based on memoirs that take place in the 60's era (roughly, there's some extra time on both sides of that).

The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio
I didn't expect to like this movie. My mom told me about it. She said it was about a housewife who won slogan and jingle contests to help keep her family afloat. I thought it sounded dull. Then I watched it and it became one of my favorite movies ever. This movie is funny and smart. The family relationships come across strongly. The fourth wall is broken in a creative and consistent manner since, reasonably, the filmmakers expected that audiences might need a little background on how contesting works, and other such details. My only real critique is that while the main character and her husband have 10 children, the daughter Terry (Tuffs) is given more material, and more scenes of bonding than the others. Of course, the only reason the book was written is that the real Terry Ryan wrote a book about her childhood and her mother's contesting, so it's not actually surprising. Additionally, it doesn't overwhelm the movie. There are plenty of other wonderful moments between Evelyn and her other children, just a few more with Terry. I think this is a really fun movie, and if you can walk away and not have that sandwich jingle stuck in your head, you're a stronger person than I am.

Riding in Cars with Boys
I don't remember why I first checked this movie out from the library, but I'm glad I did. It tells the story of a girl named Beverly, who in the 1960s gets pregnant as a teenage and marries the father. This story is juxtaposed with on older Beverly, traveling with her adult son to visit her (now) ex-husband, to get him sign a release so that she can publish her memoir, "Riding in Cars with Boys". It's funny, it's sweet and I just recommend it wholeheartedly.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Bechdel Test and Me

Recently I started looking into something I'd heard about only slightly called the Bechdel Test. In order to pass the test there are three criteria that must be met.

1. There must be at least two female characters
2. Who speak to each other
3. About something other than a man/men.

This test is applied to movies and TV shows to look at how women are presented. Mainly, the goal of the test is to try and shed some light on how infrequently women exist in movies independent of their relationships to men. Think about your favorite movies. How many of them pass this test?

This test is interesting for a lot of reasons. It's very revealing when looking at the percentage of movies that pass, but when the actual movies themselves are examined, passing the test doesn't always mean the movie is female friendly, or contains a strong female role model. Similarly, not passing the test doesn't mean the movie is antiwoman. After all, according to the Bechdel Test Movie List Paranormal Activity 3 passed the test while the final Harry Potter movie does not.

After all, a thing to note is that the test doesn't care if the women talk about stereotypically "girly" things like shoes or make-up, so long as they aren't talking about men. As a result plenty of movies that don't provide positive female role models or positive messages about women pass. Meanwhile an action movie where the strong female leads discuss defeating the evil male bad guy, would fail.

It's also interesting  because of how strict the definition of men is. The test doesn't care if the women are discussing a romantic lead, an ailing father, or a mortal enemy, if the person about whom they are speaking is male, the movie fails. My problem with this is when the topic of conversation is about a public figure. If the women are discussing the recent actions of the male president and how they feel about it, I'd view that as a pass, because they are discussing politics, however according to the test, it is a fail because they are talking about a man. Luckily from what I've seen, while my president example would fail, a discussion about congress would pass, because it is an organization, even if it is an organization mostly made of men. A more concerning part of the test is that women who discuss their daughters pass, but women who discuss their sons don't. While this makes sense when characters are talking about adult children, if characters say "Nathan rolled over today. Did Bobby" "Why yes, Bobby did." instead of Lucy and Emily, I feel this should be a pass.

The test is further complicated with the added requirement that the female characters be named. The purpose of this restriction was to avoid movies in which two background characters that have nothing to do with the story are the only reason it passes (ie. Police Woman 1: Boy it's hot today. Police Women 2: Sure is. Say what's that? Police Woman 1: Why it's a meteor. And it's heading right towards us!). Unfortunately, there is no clear definition of named. Do the characters have to be addressed by name during the movie, or is it sufficient for them to be named in the credits? There is no clear indication, which leads to interesting fights in forums about the test.

I think the Bechdel test is a useful indication about how women are presented in film and other media, but it cannot be used alone. Context is not a part of this test, and context must be provided to fully understand what is going on in the world of media in regards to women.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

I Heard Somebody Say...(2)

So I was walking up the stairs the other day and I passed someone talking into her cellphone. All I heard was "That's why we were all bending over!"

Scenarios in my head for why a (presumably) large group of people was bending over:

1. Avoiding a fireball.
2. Lots of pennies on the ground.
3. Toe touching competition.
4. Group scoliosis testing.
5. Group cavity searching.

I'm sure none of these are right, but since I'll never find out the actual explanation, I'm happy imagining.