Always the land of diversity, we here in the US have not one but TWO wizarding schools (one official, one made up in the wonderful world of the Internet, which is…very American): Ilvermorny and Eaglecrest. I wanted to sort myself in both and see what happened!
On Pottermore, J.K. Rowling recently announced that the United States has its own wizarding school, Ilvermorny. While it is AMAZING to have a Hogwarts of our own, the school has been pretty controversial. Each house is represented by Native American legends, which could be cool if it were coherent or based in a narrative where Native Americans created the school. Instead, Irish wizards created Ilvermorny and adapted Native American culture as they saw fit, which is…pretty problematic. Continue reading
Just some videos this week, but BOY are they great videos spanning my range of interests.
First we’ve got a beautifully created video about Learning a New Language. This girl is a powerhouse creator, and I LOVE how she captures the struggle of learning a language that is not your own – not so much the mental struggle, but the emotional struggle of not being able to express yourself or even BE yourself in another language.
Then we’ve got Lin-Manuel Miranda talking about his last performance as Alexander Hamilton, and AGH, the end of an era.
Finally, we have the Buzzfeed Try Guys getting photoshopped again, but this time according to female photoshop standards. I LIVE for their cultural awareness and female positivity while also being absolutely hilarious.
1| Rachel Held Evans wrote a really beautiful piece about how we can never escape the faith of our childhood or arrive at a new “better” faith. Instead, we wrestle with acknowledging our privilege and interpretations as we seek deeper truths, celebrating and critiquing the Church as we do so.
2| David Schell wrote about how the angst of Advent was transformed into joy when he heard about the warm welcome offered to Syrian refugees in Canada. It’s a super heartwarming look at what happens when Advent becomes real.
3| Jaya Saxena wrote a school report about the life of Alexander Hamilton based only on the musical with no historical context, and it is hilarious!
Today I am going to talk to you about America’s ten dollar founding father without a father, Alexander Hamilton.
Alexander Hamilton was an important figure in American history for many reasons. He was America’s first Secretary of the Treasury, founded the New York Post, and together with his friend and rival Aaron Burr invented rap in 1776.
1| Buzzfeed has been doing a lot of amazing articles and videos for their Mental Health Week, and I especially loved watching the Try Guys go to Therapy. Their videos are usually based on humor, so it was really cool to see them open up about themselves to each other in a group therapy session.
2| Star Wars stars (old and new) create an a capella music medley with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots!!
3| Another Star Wars song! This one is a parody/summary with killer harmonies.
Today is the second-to-last day for the Harry Potter 30 Day Challenge!
Day 21: Pick one character to bring back from the dead.
Just one!? If Lupin had survived the Battle of Hogwarts, I would choose Sirius. I want them to be BFFs for the rest of their lives. But I can’t bring back one without the other, because they’ve already spent so much of their lifetimes alone, and I hate that for them.
I would bring back Dumbledore, but let’s be real. He’s old, he lived a good long life, and he walked into death with his eyes wide open.
I’m a monster, and I never really cared all that much about Dobby. I could maybe get on board with bringing back Hedwig, but in the end there’s only one choice: Fred Weasley.
GEORGE NEEDS HIM. I NEED HIM. He died too young and too funny. Continue reading
BuzzFeed recently introduced me to the the existence of @firstdateqs, a Twitter account where people are revolutionizing first dates. Throw out questions about careers and families of origin and ask the truly important ones, like, “Do you think birds hear their own voices and are like ‘ugh is THAT what I sound like?'”
I’ll be honest, I would be super impressed by a guy who brought his creativity A-game to the restaurant. So, just to practice, I thought I would answer a few. Continue reading
We live in a beautiful age of constant entertainment and distractions. I am, of course, talking about smart phones, and the apps that give me immense joy.
- Candy Crush.
What is this, 2012? MIGHT AS WELL BE, because I can’t stop playing this addicting game (and its counterpart, the even better Candy Crush Soda). Getting to level 350 has been a tough road. There have been levels that were so fun I accidentally passed on the first try. And there were other, hellish levels that kept me stuck for a month. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t quit Candy Crush.
As much as I love Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook remains my go-to social connection app. It’s the easiest way to share thoughts and pictures with every circle of friends and acquaintances, however emotionally close or distant. While other apps establish a niche in pictures or quotes, Facebook says, “I’ll take it all. Don’t click too many extra buttons!” It’s the catchall of social media, and I am nothing if not lazy.
Okay, so this is a little quick to be throwing around “Apps I Can’t Live Without.” I’ve only had DomiNations for a week, but it has been an extremely obsessed week. This app is a better version of Clash of Clans. You get to choose a historical nation and actual historical landmarks (I’ve got a Babylonian Hanging Gardens decorating my Chinese civilization). And instead of meaninglessly advancing through levels, you march through time, from the Stone Age to the Space Age. It is helplessly addicting, and I highly recommend everyone waste their time on it.
Easily my most used app when bored. The staff at BuzzFeed is excellent about keeping a steady stream of news articles, quizzes, videos, and photo compilations uploaded. There are times that I check their feed after five minutes only to be delighted by new content. They are witty, socially on the nose, and unapologetically feminist. Three of my favorite things.
What is the point of the Internet if not to keep your treasured memories stored for all of eternity? Timehop saves you the tortured minutes of scrolling through old photo albums or Twitter feeds. Instead, every day the app brings memories to you! Honestly, I’m only slightly ashamed to admit that most days, before I even get out of bed, I check to see the new day’s Timehop info. What did I do one year ago? Or six? I’ll never need to use my brain again, thanks to this app.
Having your own music is fine, I guess. But I like accessing all music all the time all the places. Spotify allows me to listen to any artist that I want (except Taylor Swift, curse her beautiful genius brain!) and create playlists that make roadtrips infinitely more bearable. One friend handwaved Spotify away, insisting that Pandora was all he needed. I insisted that they serve two very different purposes: Pandora introduces you to artists you might never have heard, and Spotify allows you to explore their discography and listen to everything they’ve ever made.
I love being careful with money, so obviously a budget app is right up my alley. I like Goodbudget because I can create virtual envelopes for various needs: “Groceries,” “Gas,” “Restaurants.” It keeps me honest throughout the week, and reminds me that, oh hey, I went to Chick-fil-a twice already this week, so maybe I should stop spending money there for a while. I can always use that kind of accountability.
Which apps are your favorite? Leave a comment and let me know!