Weekly Rainbow Pizza Links

I’ve been reading a lot murder mysteries lately, so I’m in a mood for something silly today – weekly links time!

I’m loving these beautiful funkadelic rainbow lightbulbs which throw patterns on the wall – probably not the best light for when you’re trying to cook in the kitchen, but hey, it’s so pretty!

Unmasked superheroes – some of these are not what you’d expect!

History’s most powerful and poignant letters and diary entries – prepare to feel moved.

So this is 6,000 matches being lit at the same time which is weirdly satisfying to watch.

So this is a receipt for rainbow pizza. Eat it at your own risk.

Me and social media.

A little dose of Disney – Disney characters in the real world. I quite like the idea of little mice from Cinderella running around, although it’s probably not a safe scenario there! More from the creator, here.

A review of every James Bond movie by animated spy agent Archer. Don’t expect much from this guy.

Some of these are beautiful – photos merged with fantasy for some very cool pictures. Something to try at home, perhaps.

And now, a rap.

Weekly Mean Legolas Links

Yaayyy, it’s Sunday! Here’s a few links before the crazy week back to work (for me) until the holidays!

I loving the new Twitter crazy this week – #explainafilmplotbadly – some hilarious submissions here! Here’s just a few of my favourites.

I love finding alternative worlds of famous cartoon or TV characters – this is one comic strip I found by the wonderful Sassquach of Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald on a Boy’s Night Out. It’s a little long so be patient, but it’s wonderfully moving and well done – as soon as I read it I wanted more. Let me know what you think of it.

I have to throw in some Disney here. If they re-made Disney films like this, imagine how much more popular (and awkward) they’d be!

A whole tumblr site devoted to Parks & Recs mash-up with Lord of the Rings. Weirdly it works well. Read more on Buzzfeed here.

And if you liked that one, this is even better – Mean Girls meets Lord of the Rings. I love how well they fit. Here’s a Harry Potter mash-up as well.

I wish I had ideas like this when I go on holiday. Famous landmarks which are transformed with simple pieces of cut-out paper. Part one here and part two here.

I thought this was amazing – astrophysics of galaxies visualized with a foam ball soaked in water, complete with the stars. Not entirely accurate but makes a beautiful demonstration.

Literary classics re-imagined in text messages. Most of them sound like whiny teenages, to be honest.

Well, it was inevitable, they have everything else. Japan has it’s own My Little Pony cafe, for all the Pony fans (and Bronies).

Birds with arms. Because, why not.

Something cute to finish off – wildlife that’s cute and funny. These are submissions for the competition held by The Comedy Wildlife, some of these are adorable!

Let me know what you think of these, I’ve been giggling away and wasting lots of time in front of Sherlock re-runs, and generally having a good Sunday looking for these : D

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Weekly Gurrrlll Links

I always enjoy doing these, although inevitable I go from one (more sensible page) and end up watching cat videos on Youtube.

What does ‘Guurrl’ really mean? I can relate to all of these.

Parenting. Nuff said.

For the Harry Potter Fans who want more after the ending – here’s a compilation of what happened to who in Life after Hogwarts.

For the Bollywood watchers, here’s an accurate and hilarious summary of Devdas. I remember when this came out (more than ten years ago now!) and it’s still pretty breath-taking (and emo!)

I almost wish my wedding pictures were this emotional.

I need to convince my mum to plant these in her garden – flowers that turn into transparent skeletal looking flowers.

If Disney Heroines had their mothers, they wouldn’t be in the mess they ended up in. That clears a lot of things up.

Instagram nonsense which is actually kinda cool

Words you never knew existed but which have lovely meanings.

This is cool – the Bechdel IMBD list about women who talk about something other than men.

Shakespeare illustrated – I liked this one from Romeo and Juliet!

The pencil case I would have hated as a kid, but which I want now so I can pretend it’s one of my mum’s rotis.

Throwback Thursday: Potions & Cauldrons in Harry Potter Studio Tour

I went to the wonderful Harry Potter Studio Tour a while back, and thought some of the sets, costumes and details were amazing – I’ve said before that I won’t post too many photos so I don’t ruin the experience for anyone who wants to go, but I thought I’d do a quick post of a shot I took of the Potions room, which was beautifully laid out with bottles, glasses, beakers, potions and of course, cauldrons.

I love the atmosphere of this photograph, there wasn’t a lot of light so it was almost a night-time view, but it worked because of the soft glow of the lamps and the blue shades in the shadows – you can almost imagine a student creeping through the room trying to steal ingredients or hide from Snape!

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Weekly Geeky Nerds Links

Weekly links time! Here’s something to go clickety-click with while you eat that slice of cake. (Okay fine I have  a slice of cake which is now gone).

Becky the wonderful blogger’s views on commuting WHICH I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH. Basically this is me every Monday morning. Except instead of my hair getting stuck in the doors, my scarf/handbag/eyelashes do instead.

Slang 101 by Doc Brown – thought this was pretty funny, especially because it sounds like a lot of silly boys in high school at the moment.

This is fun, an entire tumblr site dedicated to art created by bloggers of the Harry Potter world. If I could draw better, I’d contribute, as it is, I’ll just scroll through these with a crazy smile.

Ten years of ‘Mean Girls’ – I feel old 😦

How to describe different TV shows to different people. I really do this with some shows, you know – maybe I should just switch to Indian dramas.

Remember Frozen? The Disney film that everyone’s raving about? Here’s one way it could have ended.

This is pretty emotional, 60 powerful photographs through history from around the world – serious beautiful photo-skills to aspire to.

Are you a geek or a nerd? I say nerd (or at least, undercover nerd).

Yaaayyy Lego-special Simpsons!

Is it weird that I’m impressed with the dedication for this – 100 Days of (perfectly synchronised) Dancing?

Artist Isaiah K Stephens tackles our childhood cartoon characters and makes them All Grown Up. I feel even more old and depressed now. Time to go sit with the babies and get into Henry Huggle Monster or whatever it’s called.

So when I get married, I’m asking this to come in my dowry – a chair that holds 300 books and some pretty scarves with stars from outer space. *Hint* *hint*

That’s all I have for this weekend, it’s a lovely sunny Bank Holiday weekend, which means times to flood the parks with the whole of your family tree and hog some space under the trees. If not, stay inside like me and dream about eating some Chinese food which is probably not very healthy.

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Pink Room Mondays

I visited the Warner Bros Harry Potter studios last year, which was amazing fun because of all of the props, huge sets and detailed little pieces which were all over the studio. After my visit, I decided against posting pictures of the tour and the studio, because I thought it would spoil things for people who wanted to visit, especially as there are plenty of different things to do, sets to see and activities to try out.

I’ve been reading Harry Potter since I was a young top hat, and grew up loving the books without ever knowing what a phenomenon it was and how popular it became – I’m glad I never knew while I first started reading it, because it meant I read with no expecations, and genuinely loved the books. I was 11 when I first started the series (same as Harry Potter was!) and it’s always felt slightly like I grew up with the series, at the same time as the hero did.

Even though I won’t spoil the tours for you, I’ll post one photo from the day, which was one of my favourite sets. This was the set used for the extremely pinky office for Dolores Umbridge in the film, which surprisingly looked a lot more glamorous up close than it did in the film (pink decor wouldn’t exactly be my first choice!) The room is in a little round concave, which looked amazing from the outside looking in, particularly when you see the tea-cups and saucers on the wall.

So here’s to some pinky mondays, not always favoured, but sometimes glamorous.

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Fairy Tales & Long Tails: The Top 10 Witches

One aspect of supernatural and fairy tales which take many forms is witchcraft, and of course, the witches who practise it. And witches have always appealed to me (more than the twee vampire stuff that’s floating around these days anyway), because of idea of magic they are able to have access to, and the idea of abilities beyond human ones. Here’s a list of the top ten witches which are most recognisable in both literature and film.

1. The Grand WitchThe Witches, Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl made us shiver with his imagination when we were kids, and with a kid-murdering, bald, toe-less, evil group of witches like these, it’s no wonder why. And of them all, the Grand Witch (is majestically and wonderfully captured by that good old magician Quentin Blake) is the scariest witch, being a creepy, mad-eyed woman whose beautiful mask hides an ugly heart and a plot to turn all the smelly children into miceys. If you didn’t read this in your childhood then you won’t know what a witch is.

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2. The Three Hubble Bubble witchesMacbeth, Shakespeare
One from the classic, the ‘original’ three witches who warn Macbeth of his future as a king. Sort of like a medieval, Scottish version of the three Greek Fates, but without the single eyeball between them. Much of the witchy lines we recognise today is taken from this play (“Something wicked this way comes” for example) and while their appearance in the famous play isn’t very long, they are pivotal to the plot and give a dark tone to the idea of being King . We never find out what’s boiling and toiling in the cauldron though.

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3. Jadis, or The White WitchNarnia Chronicles, C. S. Lewis
Literally a cool one, she a white witch by colour only, but her intent is all black. Keeping the land of Narnia in permanent Winter, turning her rivals and opposers into stone, sacrificing Aslan the lion and feeding Turkish Delight to Edward, the crime list goes on (I never forgave her for the Turkish Delight, I absolutely hate that stuff. Yeuch.) While her arrogance is her undoing, her reign in Narnia is one which becomes legend in both the book itself and in Narnia.

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Vogue baby, vogue.

4. Hocus Pocus sister witchesHocus Pocus
We loved watching Hocus Pocus (still do), if only because the witches are amazingly dopey, each sillier than the last. And they’re a personal favourite in my house because all of my sisters like to describe each other as being one of the witches (apparently I’m the Sarah Jessica Parker one, probably cos she jumps around a lot with her hair flying out. I dunno.) Bette Midler is never better as the goofy, evil witch in this film, and while it’s cheeky, it’s also a hilarious combination. The classic line in my house is ‘booooookk‘. Now there’s a real book lover.

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5. SabrinaSabrina the teenaged witch
Who said all witches had to be bad? Sabrina was the witch who was just like us…and also a secret witch. And who wouldn’t want to change her clothes in the morning with just a click of fingers? Sure, there were nosey Aunts, philandering black cat familiars and the annoying love rival at school, but Sabrina managed it all in time to come home for tea and do her homework in time.

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6. Mildred, The Worst WitchJill Murphy
I remember reading this series when I was younger, about a scatty, unorganised witch with the worst luck ever, making her a terrible witch. But it was always great fun, there was something slightly Enid Blyton-ish about reading about her school adventures, her little cat Tabby and of course her teachers, such as Miss Cackle (obvious name, no?) – although she also appealed to me because of her slightly geeky, and very messy plaits.

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7. HermoineHarry Potter series, J. K. Rowling
Who can forget this witch? She’s a genius with her academics, she’s  a crazily talented witch, and she seems to prefer redheads. ‘Nuff said.

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8. Samantha, BewitchedBewitched tv series
Witches have marriages, in-law issues and parent problems too. And no one does a nose-squiggle like Samantha. I always liked the older series over the new version, if only because I kinda want my marriage to be one like Samantha’s and Darrin’s (including the random penguins you’ll find walking around in their house!)

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9. Serafina PekkalaThe Golden Compass/Northern Lights trilogy, Philip Pullman
This is one of the more interesting witches, she’s young, beautiful and fights on the side of evil. I like the protrayal of witches in the Golden Compass trilogy because of how non-conventional the witches are, they are seen as full of fire and vivacity, with Serafina Pekkala at the forefront as the witch queen. I thought Eva Green played this role quite well in the movie, especially because her style lends itself a lot to the fanstasy aspects of the novel.

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10. The Wicked Witch of the West, or ElphabaWizard of Oz, Wicked by Gregory Murphy, Orange mobile adverts
Out of all of them, this has got to be one of my favourites. And not just because of her stripy tights (I used to have a similar pair in high school. Those were not my best fashion moments). The Wicked Witch seems to encapsulate all the clichéd things about witches we grew up with – a green, pointy face, a black hat and cap, a wicked cackly laugh and evil creatures to do her bidding. One of my friends once said that I look a bit like green witch in the Orange adverts. All I can say is that if I had a team of flying monkeys at my disposal, I wouldn’t be chasing after a girl for her sparkly shoes, I’d send them to Louboutin instead. I also LOVE the re-interpretation of the Wicked Witch (and her sister, the Witch of the East) in Gregory Maguire’s Wicked, showing the political struggles of animals and their hierarchy, as well as the discrimination suffered by Elphaba  the green ‘witch’ due to the colour of her skin.

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I did try to think of more witches but didn’t have a lot of luck (apart from the ‘Disney witches like Snow White’s Evil Queen, or the cannibal witch in Hansel and Greta, similar to the Baba Yaga type character in African stories), especially because I didn’t want to churn out a list of the standardised idea of what a witch should be. For example, I was going to include the evil witch Maleficent from the classic Sleeping Beauty, but she’s more of an evil fairy, and there are many versions of this story which means there will always be another type of fairy or witch.

What other witches can you think of? And would you put fairies and witches in the same category?

Weekend Pretty…Harry Potter

I visited the Warner Brother studio tour of the Harry Potter sets (which I have dubbed Harry-Potter-Land ever since) and had great fun, there’s an amazing amount of things to look at and if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter series (which as you’ve guess, I am), then this is HarryLand Havana.

‘Scuse all the random people in the way, I have no idea who they are and why they’re ruining my view 😦

Fairy Tales & Long Tails: The Top 10 Most Famous Literary Villains

I’ve always found villains in books to be fascinating, whether it’s because of their glee when they’re causing havoc, their deeply fascinating intellectual psych or whether it’s because they’re just downright entertainingly evil in a way that the heroes are never allowed to be. Maybe it’s also because the villains symbolise the free, uninhibited sides of ourselves that do all the things we’d want to do if only we didn’t have that darn conscience. Although for those of you listening to that pesky voice telling you to burn stuff…er…that might not apply.

Here’s my list of Top Ten in no particular order:

1. Lord Voldemort (or Tom Marvolo Riddle) – Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling
This is a pretty disturbing character, showing how magic can go to one’s head (and burn off your nose to make you look like a cocaine-user in the process). Lord Voldemort is a sinister wizard, intelligent, manipulative and quite charismatic – a lethal combination which works well to gather followers who are willing to destroy, murder and battle in his name. With people being afraid to say his name out loud, he is almost comparable to a mythical legend whose actions have a long-lasting, although terrible, legacy. The film adaptation did justice to his creepiness, showing a ruin of a man with barely any humanity left and a consuming ambition to win – not to mention a seriously worrying face problem. Dentist, anyone?

2. The Grand WitchThe Witches, Roald Dahl
An old hag severely in need of a face-lift, The Grand Witch is the ultimate scary witch with features that you never even knew about until you read this book. Bald, blue-spitted, wonky teeth, square feet and with about a hundred other maladies which also sound suspiciously like something a lot of old people might suffer from (hate children, always telling children to take a bath), the Grand Witch has ambitions no less than to rid the population of their greatest pests – children. Quentin Blake captured the look well, using sinister looking figures with scary eyes and wonky noses to make us think twice about every other strange woman who offers us sweets in the street. Not that I ever took sweets, Werthers Originals were never my thing, hmmph.

3. Count DraculaDracula, Bram Stoker
The original of the Gothic bloodsuckers, this character is surprisingly understated in the actual book itself, rather than the Hammerstein-style, blood-spatter and gore we often see today. Nor is he like the sexy-pire seen in Angel and Buffy, with their techno-gadgets and sparkly stakes. Dracula is a Transylvanian aristocrat who uses dreams, charisma, manipulation and intelligence to fool the hero, Jonathan Harker, and manages to get very bitey with Mina, his fiance/wife. What follows is a difficult journey to hunt down a cleverly hidden vampire who is difficult to defeat.
Not to be confused with Vlad the Drac, the vegetarian vampire, who incidentally also is a pretty nifty dancer too.

4. Lady MacbethMacbeth, William Shakespeare
Quite possible one of the coolest villains, both in level-headedness and erm…levels of awesomeness, Lady M is a very memorable female anti-hero who isn’t quite villain nor heroine. Unlike her weaker-willed other half, she’s a strong character and willingly pushes her hubby onto meet her higher ambitions (who WOULDN’T want to be Queen, eh?) Although she’s finally reduced to a hand-wringing wreaked, unravelled by her own imagination and visions of blood, she’s proof that behind a successful man is a pushy woman who may not necessarily always be his mother.

5. SauronLord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien
This villain is more than just a big eye in the sky, it’s a FIERY, angry eye in the sky. Unlike the more subtle, politically-charged eye of Orwell’s Big Brother, this eye is constantly searching for the One Ring which will bring him better broadband quality and more Sky channels. Or something like that anyway.
Makes you want to buy some eye drops for the poor, cranky thing.

6. IagoOthello, William Shakespeare
Another of ole Billy Shakespeare’s creations (yes I’m a fan of Mr S, as you can see), this time of a master of the manipulative mind-changing and seed-sowing. And he’s not very nice to his wife either.  Iago is the epitome of the whispering devil on your shoulder, being careful to side-step any actions which could land himself in trouble while always encouraging the worst in others for his own entertainment and jealousy. Racist, jealous and sexist, this is a pretty nasty character, and not someone you’d want to your pet guinea pig to in case he micro-waved it out of pure spite.

7. Professor MoriartySherlock Holmes Casebooks, Arthur Conan Doyle
Moriarty is the ultimate brainy villain, designed to be Sherlock’s perfect arch-enemy to match his wits. Always in the middle of a network of thieves, spies and murderers, Moriarty represents chaos and villainy, always escaping away in the background without being caught in an exasperating slippery way. Mind you, this is from the Victorian period where people were so prude they’d put pieces of fabric around table legs to hide any potential scandal from looking at…well…it’s legs.

8. The White WitchThe Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis
With her shares in the Turkish Delight Factory, a questionable hairdo and a face seriously in need of some make-up to liven it up, the White Queen is another female delight who does the usual tyrannical thing of keeping the land in ice and terror. Oh, and turns anyone who defies her into stone. While her social skills need some serious dusting, her levels of scary-ness and witchy-ness are pretty up to scratch. My sister dressed up as the White Witch once, all she did was wear a white dress and put a white scarf on her head and she won the prize for best dressed costume. I went as Alice in Wonderland but just about managed a blue dress and a random apron which nobody understood what I was meant to be. I’m guessing the long black Pocahontas-hair didn’t help much.

9. The JokerBatman, Bob Kane
Although technically a graphic novel villain rather than a literary villain, I still think the Joker deserves his place in this Hall of (obscure) Fame. Having several facets to his personality, and being seen as genius, insane, evil, criminal and heck, even funny (well, he IS the Joker), he is arguably one of the most famous and fascinating villains in graphic novels which has been interpreted and re-interpreted by so many. I love the fact that several actors have made this role their own, each representation unique to the other, and yet still open to others to be re-invented. Not sure I approve of his crazed make-up style, but you gotta love the jokes : )

10. President SnowThe Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
I had to mention this sinister fella, due to all the hype recently from both the books and the film adaptation, and it can be agreed that this blood-breath’d and rose-obssessed President is one you certainly wouldn’t want to cross paths with. Cold, politically inspired and willing to sacrifice anyone to make an example, this is a character who uses brutal, Battle-Royale style games to keep the country in check. While his motives are continually questioned throughout the novel, he is a character that is hard to feel sympathetic for, simply because he’s just a smug git.

There are, of course, hundreds more villains out there that I’ve missed out (otherwise I’d be here all day), but to me, these are definitely the ones which come to mind when I think of ‘villain’ in the traditional sense. Oh and I’d like to make an honoury mention to Dahl’s The Twits simply because they always made me laugh, and they look like half of my family does first thing in the morning :).

Any more literary villains you think there are worth mentioning?