Knives Out by Rian Johnson (2019)

Before the virus, my friends recommended that I go see Knives Out. However, my town essentially shut down the day I was going to see it, so I had to wait some time to watch it on demand with my family at home. But Jesus Mary Christ was it worth the wait. 

Now, I know everyone is already raving about this movie. So I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but just in case you haven’t heard: Knives Out is now tied for my favorite movie of all time. Yes, of all time.

I always worry about hearing hype for a movie or book, because I don’t want to be disappointed while watching/reading it. I worried that Knives Out would have this issue, but I enjoyed it far more than my friends made it out to be (Unfortunately, now that I’ve effectively called it my all-time favorite, I’ve increased the likelihood this will actually happen to you. But you should see it, anyway!).

Because Knives Out is a whodunit murder mystery, most of the appeal lies in spoilers. I’ll split this review into a spoiler and non-spoiler section, with the second alluding to what I found appealing and what you might find appealing, as well.  … More Knives Out by Rian Johnson (2019)

The Night Panther (Flood Thieves Chapter 7.5)

“The Bloodkoomas have been taken to where that life resides,” the Escopu growled. “If you find them and do not join them, they will kill you. If you do not find them, you will die. I can take you to the, and spare your life. Do you really want to die for mankind when its age will soon catch up to it? Don’t be stupid, Chosen Child. You have been raised to serve the gods and your ancestors, but soon they will all be powerless compared to those who remain alive. You can be a king in the new age. All you have to do is exactly what I say.”

Mawnco’s skin crawled at the Escopu’s words. He refused to even consider the possibility that they were true…except that the Escopu obviously knew where the Bloodkoomas were. … More The Night Panther (Flood Thieves Chapter 7.5)

When can you tell if feedback is genuine?

Presentations, creative writings, videos, art, etc. There are a lot of times when we want feedback from our peers, test-readers, and professionals. But if we ask someone if our creation is good, how can we know if the “yes” is genuine?

There are a few ways to divine the truth of someone’s feedback–I wish I had more, and would appreciate any comments (or feedback ;)) suggesting more methods. But for now, I’ll share what I know. 

More importantly, I’ll emphasize this point: sometimes it’s not the sincerity of feedback that you need, but the personal information to know whether or not to implement the feedback. … More When can you tell if feedback is genuine?

The Flood Thieves Chapter 7: The Chase

“Shh!” Mawnco cut her off as they came to a sudden stop, and all at once everything was silent. Although they lacked breath, they did not dare give away any hint of shallow breathing. Absolutely nothing stirred, though the distant grunts of the searchers lingered.

“What do you think it is?” Mawnco said in the darkness as the starlight vanished once again.

“Think what is?” Patcha wondered.

“That! On the ground.”

“I don’t see anything because I don’t have a torch,” Areesee snapped back.

Then the cloud cover shifted again, and a sheen of light caught Kooteeck’s eyes. Mawnco was some ways ahead of where the three girls pressed up against the walls of a long-hall, standing over a small puddle that had accumulated in a muddy patch of ground where the cobblestones broke in the street. Kooteeck saw nothing special about it, and it certainly did not emit any light besides the reflection of the star-shine. Except that the puddle was a deep indigo color.

 “Calm down, Mawnco, it’s just a puddle,” Patcha assured him. “But there seems to be an inconsistency with what color it should be and what color it is.”

“The ink!” Areesee announced.

“And next to the ink…?” Mawnco offered hesitantly. The girls’ eyes wandered to see a large paw print beside broken glass. … More The Flood Thieves Chapter 7: The Chase

A Review of the Copenhagen Zoo

You know what I hate about the Copenhagen Zoo? Nothing, it was a delightful experience.

Exhibit Size
I always felt like I was spoiled with zoos and museums growing up, having access to the Houston Zoo and the Houston Museum of Natural History. Obviously they’ll be outclassed by the San Diego Zoo and the Smithsonian, but I wasn’t expecting the Copenhagen Zoo to be any better than Houston’s. Heck, I was expecting a repeat of the Central Park Zoo, which I remember having very small enclosures (it’s in the middle of a city) and even inaccurate informational posters. 

One of the indoor elephant enclosures

But even though the Copenhagen Zoo is in Denmark’s capital, the exhibits were absolutely enormous. The Zoo only has 27 acres of land (compared to Houston’s 55 and San Diego’s 100), but the enclosures for any given animal seemed about three times the size of Houston’s. No animals were pacing except for the wolves (granted, it’s difficult to give wolves enough space). The polar bear had five separate enclosures, not including the water sections. Even the tiny red panda and Capuchins had two different exhibits they could walk between, using mesh tubes that spanned overhead. And the elephants? Jesus Christ. Not only did they have the usual large outdoor sandlot, but they also had three separate indoor enclosures (though one was exclusively for the bull elephant). 

And it really seemed to show. The animals all seemed a lot happier and more active — not to mention fertile, as there was hardly an exhibit without babies. The macaques, elephants, giraffes, hippos, Capuchins, and bears all had offspring following them around.  … More A Review of the Copenhagen Zoo

The Flood Thieves Chapter 6.5: The Fields of Innocence

The Janpee stepped atop the Chakana, his sandals making dull thuds against the marble as he climbed to the top tier. He placed a red bead on each semicircle around the hollow square. They began to glow with the fading light, and suddenly the green splotches of the marble began to glow bright as fire. Once the tablets were all glowing orange, the Janpee collected the beads and threw them into the hollow center. He stepped down, and indicated for the four to ascend.

Patcha and Kooteeck followed Mawnco and Areesee’s lead, quickly climbing the slippery, but surprisingly lukewarm, tiers. Patcha gasped at the top when she saw that the hollow center now swirled with orange mist, like the silt of a fiery river. Areesee, without hesitation, dropped down into the mist, and disappeared. There was no sound to indicate a person hitting any sort of ground. Patcha felt her stomach clench. There was no sign of her at all. She had never seen magic of this sort in all her life, nor heard tales of it. … More The Flood Thieves Chapter 6.5: The Fields of Innocence

WolfQuest: Anniversary Edition by Eduweb (2019)

You start off the game as a 2-year-old wolf in Yellowstone Park who has left their natal pack to carve out a living away from the nest. Your primary goal is to survive by hunting prey and avoiding competitor species such as bears, mountain lions, and the enormous wolf packs that hold territory around you. 
The hunts are thrilling, all the competitors and potential mates are engaging, and it’s honestly just cool to zoom around with the speed of a greyhound (when in real life I can barely climb the stairs without feeling winded). … More WolfQuest: Anniversary Edition by Eduweb (2019)

A Freshman’s Exhaustive Guide to UT Austin — 2019 Edition

Table of Contents:
Resources
-Electronics Resources
-Recreation
-Free for Students
-Libraries
-Other
Try to Avoid
-Crime
-Other
Food
-Everyday Food
-Eating Out
–Meals
–Dessert
Cultural References and History
-General
-Violence
Art Installations
-Statues
-Other Art
Things to do around Austin
-Touristy Stuff
-Nightlife
-Daylife
Housing
-Dorms
-Common Off-Campus Housing
Jobs
A Virtual Tour
Logistics, Admissions, and Tuition
-Admissions
-Tuition
-Other Logistics
Tips … More A Freshman’s Exhaustive Guide to UT Austin — 2019 Edition

The 3 Big Shames

eep this in mind if your legs are injured, or if you are incontinent, or if you are nervous about speaking to someone in a foreign language. Knowing where the shame comes from will help you fight it. Knowing why you feel ashamed will help you realize why you shouldn’t feel ashamed. … More The 3 Big Shames