Game Of Thrones, Children’s Edition

The Huffington Post

There’s nothing quite like sharing the joy of reading with a friend. Suggesting and enjoying books and stories build bonds that last forever. Lately, the most popular series on the planet is “A Song of Fire and Ice”, the inspiration for the astoundingly popular HBO program “Game of Thrones,” But, how do you share this captivating and often times very adult-themed story with a precocious youngster? Fear not, parents. The acclaimed author George R.R. Martin has written a children’s companion to “A Song of Fire and Ice” called “The Ice Dragon.” Rather, Martin had written the story in 1980, but the TV show’s popularity provided the impetus for the story’s re-release. “The Ice Dragon” will hit the shelves October 21st, complete with illustrations. Older readers are recommended to give the kid-friendly excursion into Westeros a read as well.

Enjoy sharing the fantastical tales with your children; just try to hide the HBO GO account password from them, because they’re probably not ready to watch the series yet.

TV Tropes

Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 11.48.33 PM

Certain elements of fiction are often repeated throughout multiple platforms and genres. Have you ever noticed that fictitious bars have rifles mounted above the liquor bottles? Or the motif of using chess pieces to signify class, status, and importance? What about the perplexing tendency of fictional morticians to enjoy their lunch break while examining a recently-deceased murder victim?

These recurring elements are not clichés; rather, they’re better known as tropes. Tropes are easy to identify, but considering that they number in the hundreds, it’s difficult to keep track of them.

That’s where comes in handy. This online repository for all things fiction provides the user with not only a comprehensive list of tropes, but also informs as to where you can find them. Included in this database are numerous genres of fiction, e.g. literature, television, music, video games, manga, and movies.

Enjoy scouring the website for your favorite elements of fiction. You just might begin recognizing tropes in your binge watching of Netflix shows.

The Infinite Jukebox

The Infinite Jukebox visualization of "Scatman"

Didn’t get enough “Scatman” in the 90s? Now you can potentially loop those “ski-ba-bop-ba-dop-bop’s” for-ever with The Infinite Jukebox, “for when your favorite song just isn’t long enough.” This web app uses “the Echo Nest analyzer to break the song into beats…but at every beat there’s a chance that we will jump to a different part of song that happens to sound very similar to the current beat.” The Infinite Jukebox also creates a neat visualization of the pathways between beats (pictured here).

Source: Neatorama


Then Everything Looked Like Facebook, And We Collectively Yawned

Selena Larson, writing for ReadWrite, hits the nail on the head in her post, “The Unbearable Sameness of Social Networks.” She shows screencaps of her profiles on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn, all of which have embraced the “cover photo” (to put it in FB language). Maybe this explains my recent disenchantment with social networking sites; and the increase in social media “hiatuses” I’ve seen popping up from “friends” and “follows.” Or maybe we’re seeing an acceptance of the visual. But more likely we’re seeing a troubling uniformity in how we engage with one another on social networking sites.