Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Poetry from Feed Author Mira Grant

by Sara N.

Here's a spooky little read for Halloween. Mira Grant, author of the most excellent zombie novels Feed and Deadline, re-imagines Annabel Lee for the undead universe she's created:


"And the stars never rise but I feel the dead eyes/Of the beautiful Annabel Lee." If that doesn't put you into a spooky seasonal mood, I don't know what will. Happy Halloween!

Thanks to the folks at the Orbit Books website for sharing!
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Photos from Zombie NightLife

by Megan S.


San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences was overrun by the walking dancing dead last Thursday night amidst the dinosaur skeletons and mounted stuffed animals.  The weekly 21 and over event featuring cocktails, lectures, roaming science exhibits and dancing also had a zombie prom, the chance for an undead makeover,* a photobooth and, the pièce de résistance, a zombie drag show full of glitter and gore.  Check out photos of the best costumes and roaming exhibits after the jump!

*My response when the woman asked if I wanted red sparkles in my bloody cheek gash?  An overly loud and enthusiastic, "Yes, please!"
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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Suggestions Wanted: What's the Scariest Book You've Read?

by Sara N.

Photo by brainloc at stock.xchgn

It's Halloween weekend, and I'm looking for a book to read. So I ask you, fellow nerds and book lovers: What's the scariest book you've ever read? (For me, it was Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot when I was 13. I slept with the lights on for a week.)

What would you suggest to give an adult reader a good case of the creeps? Hit the comments!

Photo by brainloc at stock.xchgn
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Friday, October 28, 2011

Patterns Found, Pumpkins Carved, Pigs Menaced

by Sara N.

In case anyone was curious:


I went with my favorite of the angry birds, and I gave him a pig to menace. Thanks to Sandra for the suggestion! Everyone had good ideas, but these were simple, the patterns were easy to find, and I think they'll be a hit with the neighborhood trick-or-treaters.

However, a few friends have cautioned that the pig will probably end up splattered on my driveway by Tuesday morning. As one of them pointed out, I created something that society has trained us to destroy!
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Halloween Recipes to Try ... If You Dare

by Sara N.

Yes, that's a cake. Wait, where are you going?
Megan offered some excellent ideas for a theme Halloween party yesterday. Now allow me to expand on your menu options with suggestions to delight and horrify your party guests.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Cutest Ewok of All

by Megan S.


This year, I opted not to carve a pumpkin.  Instead, I channeled my crafty impulses into making something for Lilly.  Something awesome.

I made her a Wicket costume.
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The Perfect Last-Minute,Endlessly Customizable Geeky Halloween Party Idea Complete with Music, Cocktails and More!

by Megan S.



Halloween is only days away and the parties start tomorrow. Are you throwing one but haven't got a clue what the theme should be? Were you planning on just hosting a regular old shindig but wish you had something exciting in store instead?

Have no fear, dear reader, I have the perfect, endlessly-customizable geeky Halloween party idea complete with music, cocktails and more!
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Family Time

By Meghan B


Kristina Alexanderson is a fantastic photographer who has recently gotten inventive with some Star Wars toys, creating a completely heartwarming series of images about a Stormtrooper and their little child. I've never gone "aww" over action figures before. They've also never made me feel the need to go and tell my parents I love them.

Alexanderson's skillfully staged photographs of a wonderful childhood for the little Stormtrooper, going on adventures with their Mom or Dad. Each image is wistful and cute. I just can't get enough of these.

Please visit Kristina Alexanderson's Flickr page to see even more of the Stormtrooper family photo album. Some of my favorites are below the cut! Prepare to have the cockles of your heart warmed.

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It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

by Meghan B.

It is one week until November! Do you know what that means? It's officially NaNoWriMo time! What, you don't know what NaNoWriMo is? It's only the most insane, wonderful, stressful, awesome event that happens in November! Forget the turkey and parades, this is where it's at.

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Started in 2009 with just 21 participants, it now has over 200,000 people who scoff at the idea of free time and try to bang out a 50,000 word novel in just 30 days. Armed with nothing but copious amounts of caffeine and the power of their imagination, over 2.8 billion words were written last year. 

Every year, I set up camp in front of my laptop with a cache of tea and Goldfish crackers and attempt to bring to life a story in just 30 days. It's clearly insane and deliriously fun. I absolutely love it. I've participated since 2006 and I've "won" three times. While nothing has come from these little novels (ahem publishing houses, I'm waiting!), the feeling of accomplishment is invigorating. In a world where we have less and less control of our lives, being the master of my novel is a fabulous feeling. Some days I want to pull my hair out while others are like a waterfall of words.

Have you ever said to yourself "One day, I'm going to sit down and write a book"? If so, what are you waiting for? You have one week to round up some characters and start to pull a plot together. Do you have a novel idea that's been gnawing at your mind for weeks or months of years? This is your chance! Are you ready for a challenge? Now is your time!

The rules are simple. At 12:01am on November 1st, sit down in front of your computer and start writing. Keep writing until 11:59pm on November 30th. It can be any genre you want, as long as it's written by you. 50,000 words may seem like a very short novel, but many notable classic works clock in at that magical number, such as The Great Gatsby and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Think you can't write a novel? That your efforts will be in vain? Some lucky people have turned their NaNoWriMo novels into real published works. Sara Gruen wrote a novel about a Depression-era circus for NaNoWriMo and found massive success with it. It was a New York Times bestseller and even became a feature film. The novel? The lovely Water For Elephants. Maybe one day you can also have a sparkly vampire play the lead in your book's movie!

It's just 1,667 words a day. That's equivalent to just twelve tweets on Twitter. 

You can do this. We're in this together. Go to the NaNoWriMo website and sign up. Run to the store and stock up on snacks and candy. Prepare to fling yourself into a world of words and madness. I mean, what ELSE are you going to do in November anyway?

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Twilight Redux


A friend of mine has a daughter who is starting to get old enough to get out of Disney Princesses and into vampires. Namely Twilight. Since I'm the resident expert on all things paranormal and vampire-y, my friend asked me what I thought of the novel. It's been awhile since I've read it, so I picked it up and read through it again. For the sake of completeness, I also re-watched the movie.

Yeah, that's right, I read Twilight and watched the movie.  On purpose. Twice.

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Sephora Puts the Ooooo! in Spoooooky

by Megan S.




Sephora has created a number of gorgeous looks for this year's Halloween with detailed step-by-step instructions. I just wish I was dressing up so I'd have an excuse to wear the fairy makeup or the Dia de los Muertos look!

Here are a few of my favorites with links to the directions under each photo.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

A Whole Lot of To-Do About 'Much Ado About Nothing'

by Megan S.



The geek corner of the internet exploded last night when Nathan Fillion tweeted a link to a site, Much Ado The Movie. The site contains just a single image announcing that principle photography has been completed on Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing, presumably based on Shakespeare's play of the same name, and a list of the star-studded cast chock full of Whedon favorites.  Why did the internet have a conniption fit?  Because the media had never heard of the project before last night, an all but impossible feat for a film with such a high profile cast and crew.

So, what can we glean from the measly amount of info provided and what insight can Angel scriptwriter Mere Smith provide?
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Classically Cultish

by Megan S.

via Katie and Joe
The best holiday of the year draws closer which means our first ever month-long Halloween movie marathon is almost at an end. Don't worry, I've saved some of the best movies for last. This week's installment are seven awesome cult classics! (Three of the flicks feature everyone's favorite B movie star, Bruce Campbell!)
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Help Me, Bloggi Wan Kenobi: I Need a Pumpkin Pattern

by Sara N.

Pumpkin carving is a big, big deal for my friends and family. We have a pumpkin fest every year wherein we break out the patterns and the scoops and the intricate little carving tools to sculpt our masterpieces. Most of us use the cheapie orange plastic jobbies that you can pick up clearanced to 50 cents on Nov. 5 and then save for the following year. (Not my brother, though. He has his own set of wood-handled carving tools. That's how serious we are.) We work hard to come up with patterns that are recognizable to the public but still a little geeky. Ordinarily, I find something I love pretty easily.

But this year, I'm struggling. I need a pattern, people! Preferably fairly recent pop culture, and preferably something that won't make me want to throw my pumpkin against the wall halfway through the carving process. I tried in vain to find a pattern for Doctor Who's weeping angels, but I had no luck on the Internet. I quickly abandoned the thought of making one myself thanks to the one-two punch of lack of time and lack of pattern-making expertise. I then thought about making a honey badger pumpkin, but again, there's no ready-made pattern and no time to try to make one myself. I'm a huge Game of Thrones fan, but I couldn't come up with one indelible image that would be obvious even to fans of the show.

So I appeal to the wisdom of our wise readers: What should my pumpkin be this year? I need your best ideas, people! For inspiration, here are some of the pumpkins my group has done in years past:
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Knit a Sweater, Save a Penguin

by Sara N.

Photo by Toby Zerna/Newspix/Rex USA
First, say it with me: Awwwww!

Yes, penguins in sweaters are too adorable for words. But there's a very good reason they're rocking those rib knits.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

On The Horizon

By Meghan B

Gail Carriger is one of my favorite authors and her Parasol Protectorate series is awesome beyond words. Sadly, the brilliant series will end in 2012. I'm stuck between feeling excited for the next volume but so sad that it's coming to an end.

Well, fear not! Recently, Gail has announced the new series she will be working on, and it takes place in the wonderfully strange and often hilarious Parasol Protectorate world!

Spoilers are under the cut if you haven't read Heartless, the fourth book in the series!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No Carve, No Mess Pumpkins

by Megan S. with help from Nails


Let's face it.  Not all of us are good at being crafty and even fewer of us want to put that much effort into carving a pumpkin that will rot in two days.  With that in mind, I dug around and found the easiest, cleanest and most awesome pumpkin ideas on the web that don't require cutting into the squash.  Find the link to the directions for each under the photo.
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Frankenstein's Monster Knows How to Accessorize

by Megan S.



Going as Frankenstein's Monster or Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas for Halloween? This adorable choker with matching ring and bracelet are just the accessories to make your outfit awesome.  The three are available from Weirdly Cute on Etsy.

Thanks to S4 reader Laura R. for the tip!
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Waiting for November


The next month is the lull before the storm of holiday video game releases. On November 11th, we get Skyrim, the newest installment of the Elder Scrolls.  On December 20th, we get Star Wars: The Old Republic. And then I imagine I won't be thinking about any games ever again - until next March when we get Mass Effect 3.

Until then, here are a few things I'm playing around with.
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Wolverine's Secret is Out

by Megan S.


Don't get so huffy, Wolverine.  Your secret about your adamantium claw maintenance routine was bound to come out someday.
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Monday, October 17, 2011

True Confessions of a Geek II

by Megan S.


Ready or not, here's our next round of True Confessions of a Geek and this one's a bit controversial...

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Creepy Kid Movies Adults Love

by Megan S.

via Katie and Joe
Halloween is only fourteen days away!  Spend the next seven celebrating the kid in all of us by watching some of the best child-friendly spooky movies that you'll still love as an adult.
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Friday, October 14, 2011

Undead Fun: Suggestions for Zombie Fans to Read, Sing and Wear

by Sara N.

Please enjoy the following mish-mash of zombie-related items. It's bloody good reading.
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Thursday, October 13, 2011

STELLAR FOUR EXCLUSIVE: Felicia Day is a Time Traveler

by Megan S.

Art imitating life. Day on the set of Eureka, a show that previously featured a time traveling story arc.
Just weeks after news surfaced that Nicholas Cage was a vampire, Stellar Four has uncovered photographic evidence that actress and social media mogul Felicia Day is a time traveler.

The proof...

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True Confessions of a Geek Mom: Halloween Costumes

by Kindle-aholic
Guest Blogger

via GoMattOlson
It's Halloween costume time again. The kids usually pick out their own costumes (within reason). They're still pretty young, so too gory is out, and nothing “too old” either (slutty costume for little girls are just wrong - there, I said it).

The older one is used to the concept, and she already has a bounty of dress-up clothes, so I think the plan is to create her own fairy one. And if she decides she wants to be a princess or a superhero, we're covered there too. One down.

My son actually decided to be easy this year. He said he already had a knight costume so that's what he wants to be. Awesome. Settled, no money out of pocket, he's happy, job done. Right?
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

All Hallow's Read

by Meghan B

Neil "Scary Trousers" Gaiman has come up with a new October tradition. It's called All Hallow's Read and it is an awesome idea. Come and let Mr Gaiman himself explain it to you.


Sounds easy enough! This October, share the love of reading with your friends and family by scaring the pants off of them! What holiday isn't improved by the exchange of books? Find a scary book for all the special people in your life and just remember to be there for them at 3am when they can't sleep and they're CERTAIN there is something in their closet.

Aaaahhhhh!!!
All Hallow's Read even has a website with suggestions for (age appropriate) scary books for kids, as well as some suggestions for adults.

I think the scariest book I ever read as a child was certainly those creep-tastic Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark books. They were a series of short and terrifying stories, coupled with horrific artwork I STILL can't look at without having nightmares. I think I may even have nightmares just from having to Google for the cover image. That's what makes a book truly scary though. It stays with you. Even if you don't want it to...

What stands the test of time as being the scariest book you've ever had the (dis)pleasure of reading? What made it scary? Name some of the best scary books for other's to try out for All Hallow's Read!
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dancing with the Stars Goes Fanboy

by Megan S.


Dancing with the Stars' opening number cranked up the crazy to epic with last night's dance montage.  IT WAS INCREDIBLE.  The number began as a western and ended as a ballroom-dancing Jedi-Sith battle. PEOPLE, THERE WERE SEQUINS AND LIGHTSABERS INVOLVED.

AMAZING.

It was a sign of the geekiness to come.  The evening centered around famous film scores and nerdy dance numbers abounded with Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Flash Gordon, Toy Story, Superman and Psycho.  While the dancing Jedi portion isn't available online yet, the others are and we've got the best of the night for you.

Watch 'em after the jump!

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First Trailer for The Avengers Released


Ahh, fangirl squee!  Go here to check out the first trailer for The Avengers.  I cannot express how excited I am about this movie.  (Also, Chris Evans - whoa, tall!)
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Your Manicure Will Blind Them with Science

by Megan S.


ZOMG!  Nail polish that reacts to magnets to create awesome designs!  Why haven't I heard of this before?!  I rarely paint my nails (it just never seems to stay on more than 12 hours) but this has me seriously considering a trip to Sephora.  The relatively new concept available from a couple of brands adds metal to the polish.  Immediately after a generous layer is painted on the nail, a magnet is held directly above the wet polish and a pattern emerges.

Find out where to get it and watch how to apply after the jump.

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Oldies but Ghoulies: 7 Classic Horror Movies

by Megan S.

via Katie and Joe
This week's installment of our month long Halloween movie marathon features seven of the best classic spooky movies of all time.  They're practically required watching for any good film geek.  Check out the list after the jump!

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Friday, October 7, 2011

I Will Read What I Want, Judgmental Bookseller Ostrich!

by Sara N.


Meet the Judgmental Bookseller Ostrich. She's pretty funny ... until she's not. I've collected a few of the entries from the meme page and organized them from most funny to most enraging. Read on:
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A Subtle (and Gorgeous!) Doctor Who Halloween Costume

by Sara N.

Take the understated route for Halloween this year and whip up a delicate version of the Fourth Doctor's iconic scarf.

Tom Baker made it famous; you can make it fabulous — provided you have the nimble fingers, steady hands and boundless patience it would take to string all those beads together. (At least, I assume that's how it all came together. To my eternal regret, I'm not a jewelry maker.)

You can find a description of its creation here.

Thanks to Laura B. for the tip!
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Thursday, October 6, 2011

True Confessions: I'm a Geek Mom

by Kindle-aholic
Guest Blogger


My COG: I wish I'd used ThinkGeek to register for my baby shower. I mean look at these superhero onesies - pure awesomeness. I found these after my own had outgrown the onesie, but they are tops on my list of gifts for expectant parents (especially those of the geeky persuasion).

It's true, I am a Geek Mom. I've always been a geek, so it's really not all that surprising to anyone who's talked to me for 5 minutes. I'm much more likely to drop the kiddo off at school in my Wonder Woman t-shirt than a twinset, and I make sure there is at least 100 feet between me and any Nicholas Sparks books at the library (I live in the real world, I don't like to read about it). I have to say it's a bit lonely being an out and proud Geek mom, at least in my neck of the woods. Want to discuss the latest from Ilona Andrews or Cherie Priest? My options are sadly limited in real life. Of course, there are plenty of closeted geeks, furtively reading their YA dystopian novels at home, but they are elusive and hard to spot in the wilds of the local park, mom's group or school function.
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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Creepy Cake N Bake Contest


Stacey Jay, paranormal author and cake baking goddess, has a contest up on her blog today.  She also has the creepiest cake and zombie clown cupcakes ever - and she shows you how to make them!  Go forth and vote, people. (Also, if zombie clowns aren't nightmare fuel, I don't know what is.)
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The Revolution Will Not Be Whispersync'd

by Meghan B


Last week, a friend of mine wrote an article all about e-readers and their importance. It is a well written article and I urge you to check it out, but I must also heavily rebuttal it.

It's no great secret that I love paper books. I subscribe to all the often said reasons for my adoration; the smell, the feel of paper, the unique experience that is reading. I also believe books are incredibly important. They hold a treasure trove of knowledge, opinions and art. They illuminate and touch on every topic possible. In short, I think the printed word is one of the most important things humanity has ever created. I believe the printed word is also a great equalizer. As long as you have the ability to read, you can learn anything you want.

In his article, Agrippa also mentions the same thing. He postulates that the ever evolving technology of ebooks will make it easier than ever to get information to the masses. His article states that this technology will increase the flow of knowledge and allow people to access texts that are banned or unavailable to them because of social circumstance.

Not so fast...


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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

When Hate Turns to Love


Sorry, Xander.  Still hate you.

You know that one character on that one show that you just hate?  Who makes you cringe every time s/he comes on the screen and you just want him/her to die die die?

Yeah, you know the one.

And then somehow, by some strange turn of events, you have a complete emotional 180 and it's a brand new day.  You see him/her tear up and so do you.  S/he gets hurt and you're as devastated as the rest of the gang - or more.  It's weird how that works, isn't it?

Here are a few of my from hate to love characters.  (Spoilers for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Stargate SG-1, and The Vampire Diaries within.)

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Monday, October 3, 2011

True Confessions of a Geek: The First Edition

by Megan S.

IAMSOEXCITED!THISISOURFIRSTEVERTRUECONFESSIONSOFAGEEK!

*Ahem* Let me try that again.

Hello and welcome to our first edition of True Confessions of a Geek, admissions of geeky awesomeness and embarrassment from all around the globe. (Need to get something off your chest or want to proclaim your geekiness to the world? Click here to find out how.

Now, without further ado...
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A Halloween Movie A Day Keeps The Boogieman Away

by Megan S.

via Katie and Joe
One of my absolute favorite things about Halloween are the spooky movie marathons on TV. This year, there's no need to wait to find a good one; I've made one for you!  28 movies full of thrills, chills, laughs and warm fuzzy (yet creepy!) feelings for the four weeks leading up to the best holiday of the year.  This week's theme is comedy-horror!  So, check out the list and then head on over to Netflix (or is it Qwikster now?) and have your own marathon.

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