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Dalin’s Oscar Predictions 2016 – Best Picture Edition: The La, The Moonlight, and the Arrival

That time of year again is rolling around the corner, where Hollywood has their eye on the next movie to throw onto the awards hype train. So every week (leading up to January 24th, when the Academy’s nominations come out) I’ll be giving you my predictions per category, so that you can impress your friends at all of your New Years Eve parties. And without further ado, let’s see who could score Best Picture…. and the nominees are….

<> on October 19, 2009 in Santa Clarita, California.

Continue reading Dalin’s Oscar Predictions 2016 – Best Picture Edition: The La, The Moonlight, and the Arrival

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Hairspray Live! Review

Hairspray Live. Where to start? This may have been NBC’s best live show yet, but that isn’t saying very much. Taking a hint from Fox’s Grease, they transitioned this live production into a multi-set, live audience production. While I very much enjoyed this production there were some obvious setbacks.2016-1024-hairspraylive-aboutimage-1920x1080-ko

The first thing that has to be noted is the cultural relevance. If there was ever a time that Hairspray needed to be done it was now. The positive messages about peaceful protesting in the face of hatred, bullying and racism, are exactly what we need. Art mimics life and that is exactly what happened tonight. Jennifer Hudson’s rendition of “I Know Where I’ve Been” was incredibly powerful and moving.

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The Hot Mess (that looks to be) NBC’s “Emerald City”

NBC is a network that has as many hits as they do misses – and with the release of the trailer for their January slated Emerald City, I’m going to speculate that they might have another misfire on the horizon. But hey, I thought Once Upon a Time would only last one season, so who am I to judge?

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Books on My Holiday Wishlist

Happy December! ’Tis the month of gift-giving holidays, so if you are at a loss for what to ask for or what to get your YA-reading loved one, check out the recent releases on my list for inspiration. Continue reading Books on My Holiday Wishlist

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“Star Trek: Discovery” Announces New Cast Members

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Someone (aka the people at CBS Television) have clearly gone into my brain and taken the fan fiction I wrote at 14 years old, and have brought it to life. What do I mean? Well, the folks behind the new Star Trek series (Discovery) have announced some more casting – and hold onto your nerdy tissues, because this news is incredible. That’s right, in addition to previously announced Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), we found out that two more actors have joined the cast -Anthony Rapp (Rent) and Doug Jones (Hellboy). If this sounds crazy amazing to you, then clearly this (like it is for me) is your nerdy dream come true.

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Boldly Going: “Dead Stop”

When we last left the NX-01 crew, they were beginning their mission of exploration. It’s remarkable how unprepared Captain Archer and his crew was by the 24th century standards viewers were accustomed to.  But by the beginning of Season 2, the crew has bonded and the dynamic has improved. The previous episode saw the ship encounter a minefield with disastrous results. “Dead Stop” picks up with Archer and Tucker inspecting the damage in a pod.

The ship is in such a way that it would take years to return to the Jupiter Station because the hull is so damaged they can’t go faster than Warp 2. Captain Archer decides he needs to send out a general distress call and asks Hoshi to be as vague as possible to hide how dire their situation is. The Alpha Quadrant is still uncharted territory in Archer’s time, and the captain is weary of encountering new species who may take advantage of them. A Tellarite freighter on the edge of communications range answers the distress call with coordinates of  a repair station.

Damage from the mine.
Damage from the mine.

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The Gal-lery: Edmonia Lewis.

Acknowledged as the first professional African American and Native American sculptor, Edmondia Lewis was a talented classical American artist and manipulator of marble. The fact that her life is bookended by hazy details at its beginning and end, only makes this gifted artisan an even more intriguing individual, to say the least.

Edmonia Lewis, c. 1870.
Edmonia Lewis, c. 1870.

Continue reading The Gal-lery: Edmonia Lewis.

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“A Magic Place” – “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Movie Review

Back in 1997, not many of us could predict the popularity of the Harry Potter series. We never could see the fanbase that would occur, the movies that would be made, and the theme parks that would be built. None of that was even a twinkle in most of our eyes. But now it is 2016, and author J.K. Rowling is giving us another tale from her Wizarding World, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them—and it doesn’t feature even a whisper of The Boy Who Lived.eddie-redmayne-in-fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them1

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Personal Reading Challenges: Nonfic November

Over the summer, I participated in a Sci-Fi reading challenge by Fortified by Books. In addition to motivating me to get around to reading some great sci-fi, it made me realize something liberating: you can invent your own reading challenges! For years, I have been participating in those year-long 50 category challenges, but sometimes they started to feel oppressive. That’s why I love these short-term challenges that increase my knowledge of a specific genre. So this fall, I challenged myself to break into a genre I rarely touch, by reading as much nonfiction in the month of November as I can. Here are some of the books I chose: Continue reading Personal Reading Challenges: Nonfic November