I've (temporarily) given up on fixing the stylesheet... after reading a little into the matter I'm, quite frankly, surprised it works at all. So the pages look a little crappy in IE. So what. One more reason to switch to Mozilla. :P I can make so much better use of my time with a recs post.***buffyversetop5
: a seasonal community for rec'ing favourites of the past year, be it fanfic, fanart, vids, meta... anything. A fantastic idea. It'll take a good while to check out everything rec'd there. (And posting is still open through January, so maybe I'll find the time to come up with my own list.)***
I'm properly inspired to rec some of my non-buffyverse favourites:Fanfic: Talking Stick/Circle, a fantastic, epic Voyager series by Macedon and Peg Robinson. (part 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
A series of eight stories, extremely well written. The plot is epic, and the format particularly interesting: Macedon wrote "The Talking Stick" as a one-shot from Chakotay's POV because, being a Native American himself, he was dissatisfied with the clichéd way the character was portrayed on the show. Peg wrote 'Circle' quasi as a reply from Janeway's POV, and a 'dialog' ensued. This series does something that the PTB never accomplished: explore the full potential of ST:Voyager.Original fiction: Women on Fire by plaidder
I don't usually read original fic online, but because I've read and loved Plaidder's Garak/Bashir DS9 fanfic, I checked out the first book in this series, "Taken Child". And was hooked. Plaidder has a rare talent for world-building. Her universe draws you in; you'll feel, laugh, suffer, and hope, with these characters.
By all accounts this story should be sitting on a bookstore shelf, next to the other fantasy bestsellers. The mixed genre (femslash, fantasy, with a good deal of social critique) and the length of the novel may make it a hard sell, but I still hope to see this picked up by a publisher eventually. I cannot recommend this one highly enough.This link
will take you to the first chapter of "Taken Child".
After that, go here
to order the complete stories. (She mails them as text attachments, free of charge.)Books: Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh
The story of a puzzle that mathematicians and math enthusiasts alike have been trying to solve for over 300 years - ever since in 1637, Pierre de Fermat wrote matter-of-factly in the margin of a book, "I have a truly marvellous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain." (neener neener)
Hard to believe that a documentary about a mathematical proof could be more suspenseful than any mystery book. The pacing of this story is such that it's hard to put down. It provides a fascinating look into the world of mathematics and is written in a way that even the layman can follow. The author takes us on a tour of the history of number theory, and shows how centuries' worth of discoveries all play into the final proof of Fermat's theorem. Singh manages to keep the book free of mathematical formulae (but if you're so inclined, the appendix contains some of the proofs mentioned in the book). One exception is the notorious one in question, which looks simple enough: xn
...Movie: Rhythm is it!
This movie is showing in Muenster in its 66th consecutive week, and with good reason. Again, a documentary that beats every movie I saw that year (including 'Lord of the Rings' and 'About Schmidt").
It's a documentary about an educational project of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle: 250 Berlin schoolkids from various countries and social backgrounds study a choreography to "Le Sacre du Printemps", to later perform on stage.
The performance came to be a huge success, but it didn't come overnight. Choreographer Royston Maldoom only slowly gets through to the students, many of whom are socially disadvantaged with no self-confidence, let alone a feeling for their own body. For many of these kids, this is the first time they sink their teeth into a task and get a feeling of accomplishment. To see how art can change the life of people is simply inspiring.
The film just came out on DVD - I've been waiting for that all year. The 3 DVD set contains not just the movie itself, but also the complete stage perfomance, commentaries, and much more background material. (for just 28 Euro a good deal). Language: a mixture of English and German.Kids' books: "Junie B., First Grader" by Barbara Park
I picked up "Junie B., First Grader - Cheater Pants" at the airport this summer. 23 hour layover... I was bored
. Due to my job I buy a lot of kids' books, mostly for the illustrations. But this one I actually read because, really, it's hilarious. I've bought a couple more of them on amazon since. Geared toward beginning readers, I'm thinking this series would be great for kids who're just starting to learn English, too. The style is easy to follow, but not simplistic. I like the way the stories convey a moral without being so anvilly moralizing.
Uff. Now I'm going running. In the snow! :)