Saturday, October 29, 2016

Win a Gold Pass to a Supernatural Convention bySupporting a Charity

We are great fans of Supernatural. Readers of this blog must be aware of that.

The actors and actresses who work on that show are great supporters of small charities that make direct impact on individual lives. That's not to knock the big ones, like Goodwill or the Red Cross, but everyone has heard of them. There are thousands of charities that aren't publicized but deserve support and publicity.

Ruth Connell, our favorite witch Rowena, has given us the opportunity to join her mega-coven and support My Hope Chest, a charity that helps breast cancer survivors pay for reconstructive surgery.

Creation Entertainment, the company that puts on those fabulous Supernatural conventions (some of us are going to the one in Burbank in two weeks) is supporting her efforts.

Anyone who buys, or has bought, something from Ruth's collection, will be entered in a drawing for a gold pass to a 2017 Supernatural convention. That would get you in the best seats, everyone's autographs and a whole bunch of other good stuff.

I bought the scarf.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Overdue: The Final Unshelved Collection Kickstarter Campaign

The twelfth and final collection of Unshelved, a comic strip about a library.

We wrote how uncool it is that Unshelved has decided to shelve themselves and will cease producing new scripts very soon.

As a last hurrah they are publishing one last book, Overdue, through a Kickstarter campaign.

And how cool is it that it's fully funded. In fact, it's raised more than double its goal.

We've all dibbsed our copies. Why don't you? You've got 12 days left to do it.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

How Cool is This?

  • There really is a Hell. It's in Michigan. You can buy a square inch for $12.95 or become Mayor for a day for $100, and it's name was official in 1841, so it isn't just a tourist trap.
  • The new season of Supernatural. The first two episodes have been great. Though next time there's a Sam in the shower scene, he should take his shirt off.
  • Unshelved, the cool library-based webcomic, has raised more than twice its goal on Kickstarter for publication of its 12th collection. We helped.

How Uncool is This!

 South Coast Plaza will light its Christmas tree before Thanksgiving. At least this year it's soaked in fire retardant.

Unshelved, the cool library-based webcomic will stop publishing new strips 11 November.

Creation banned booze at Supernatural conventions. Makes you wonder what happened to cause this action.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Wonder Woman Now UN Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women

The United Nations has made Wonder Woman an Ambassador for the empowerment of girls and women. We here at GHPALS had a rousing discussion about this action.

Member A: "What an absurd choice as a role model for empowering young girls. I love Wonder Woman, but she's an appalling example of female empowerment. Sure she's more than capable of holding her own against men. She's an Amazon, born and bred.

"But how does being born into a society where women are empowered already inspire someone born into a society where women aren't? The Amazons don't take in women from outside their world They don't often help anyone outside their tribal island. at all. 

"Furthermore, they are just as close-minded in their approach to men as other tribal societies are in their approach to women. Nothing in the Wonder Woman story has her fight to get an education or avoid female genital mutilation or forced marriage. Nothing in her story gives girls any useful or helpful suggestions that would help them evade such practices."

Member B: "Come on! Wonder Woman is the ultimate in woman power! She fights just as well as the guys. Why wouldn't she inspire a kid? No one cares about her origin story."

Member C: "Give me a break! She's fictional."

Friday, October 7, 2016

How Cool is This1

  • Gwen Briscow's Jubilee Trail  is an e-book! Available iBooks and Amazon, this amazing historical novel focuses on the Santa Fe trail and Southern California before the Gold Rush.
  • NFL Sunday Ticket. We can watch every Bears game legally instead of via a kind stranger's illicit stream.
  • Westworld Is Ed Harris good or evil? Is the phrase "These violent delights will have violent ends" the equivalent of a contagious bacteria? What's with all the milk?
  • Tours at the Tallman House, Rock County Wisconsin Historical Society On one tour the guide is a real estate agent trying to sell you the house. On another the visitors are treated like applicants for a servant position.
  • The Latest Trailer for Supernatural Season 12. Watch It Here. Sam and Dean are fighting the Nazis necromancers again. Lots of favorite characters are back. Many sneaky references to previous episodes, like the billboard for Mystery Spot.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 7: Did anyone ever censor your reading?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members are reporting their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition.(See our post Banned Books Week.)

Our final prompt also came out of our discussions of the other prompts. Did anyone ever censor your reading?

As always, our members' responses were spirited.
  • When I was a freshman in high school during the Vietnam War, my Mom ran the library at a hospital where wounded soldiers were sent for treatment. Publishers donated boxes and boxes of remaindered books so they could get a tax deduction. Most of the titles were useless–few young men want to read Beowulf or Sir Gwain and the Green Knight, titles dumped because the covers were redesigned. Mom would buy mysteries and thrillers with her own money and bring home the great literature. One of those books was an English translation of The Satyricon. I picked it up because the cover said it was Roman and the world's first novel. It didn't say anything about it being racy. My Latin teacher saw me with it and confiscated it until she could talk to my Mom. She gave it back to me later that day, smiling when she handed it to me. My Mom had said it was OK for me to read because I wouldn't understand any of it. I didn't.
  • My English teacher  was fired when it was learned we were reading John Locke instead of some dumb novel on the approved reading list. We had to read The House on Mango Street as our next assignment and I lost all respect for the English department.
  • I was running the Scholastic Book Fair at my daughter's middle school when some parents asked me not to sell the Harry Potter books. I moved them to a prominent location instead.
  • My mother once tore up a paperback book because it was "just dirty." I had already read it, but the book was certainly pornographic and had no redeeming social value whatever. Mom didn't object to the book being sold, just the location of this copy. "There's a place for books like this," she said, "and it isn't in my house."

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Banned Book Week Day 6: Which banned book character would you want to have lunch with?

In honor of Banned Books Week (September 26 through October 1, 2016), GHPALS members are reporting their answers to five prompts suggested by the Banned Book Week coalition. (See our post Banned Books Week.)

Today the prompt is Which banned book character would you want to have lunch with?

Our members' answers:
  • Tom Sawyer. I have always wanted to be that clever.
  • Long John Silver Think of the stories he has to tell. He could even cook the meal. Oh, Treasure Island was never banned? Why should that disqualify him?
  • Mr. Darcy, but only if he were single. I bet I could steal him away from Elizabeth. Surely Pride and Prejudice was banned somewhere.
  • Atticus Finch so I could find out if he was really the man portrayed in To Kill a Mockingbird or the guy portrayed in Go Set a Watchman, a book I personally choose to ignore.
  • Holden Caulfield so I could punch that snotty brat in the nose. I had to read that book in high school because my English teacher and every other English teacher in this country loves that godawful book. I'd rather have read a real classic.
  • I looked over the 2015 list and there isn't anyone I'd want to meet, much less dine with. Instead of trying to ban books for their content, why don't people try to ban them because they're crap?
  • Professor Snape He's the most interesting character in the Harry Potter books. If not him, then Luna Lovegood. She's cool.
  • Uncle Scrooge And before you get snotty, comic books ARE BOOKS. And they were banned in some places, thanks to some wacko psychiatrists. Me, I'm grateful to them because MAD Magazine came out of it all. My favorite Disney character was never threatened. How can you not want to dine with the Richest Duck in the World, who's "tougher than the toughies and smarter than the smarties."
  • Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. I was surprised to find A Study in Scarlet on one of the lists, but someone complained about its depiction of Mormonism. Wouldn't everyone like to talk to these two men? 
  • Tarzan of the Apes. Surely someone somewhere has banned the Tarzan books because of their treatment of Africans or Apes, or violence or something or other. He's the guy I want to meet, though he'd probably eat his meat raw while I waited for mine to cook.
  • Hanibal Lector because he's such a good cook. 
We came up with a final prompt to stimulate discussion during Banned Books Week. Tomorrow we'll post the answer to Did anyone ever censor your reading?