I’m not joking when I say this is a mushroom. It is actually the Red Cage (not hard to see where they got their name from), Clathrus ruber mushroom.
Do you guys think it is edible? They always say though bright things in the jungle are poisonous… but it’s so pretty!
If you like rabbits head to Okunoshima, Japan. This island off Hiroshima is a paradise for rabbits, with a far greater population of rabbits then of people. In fact people have nick-named it Usagi-Shima, meaning “Rabbit Island”.
The Okunoshima rabbits are so used to people, that when approached (especially with food) they don’t run away. Now I don’t know about you, but if I ever go to Japan, Okunoshima would be one of my stops.
This fluffy little island actually has a pretty dark past. In 1925 there was a huge push in chemical weapons development in Japan and they have built a massive center on the island. The subject of the experiments for the biological weapons is a rabbit. After World War II had finished, the island was cleared of any residents and the rabbit freed and continued to populate the island.
In 1988 people were allowed to populate and visit the Okunoshima again, and to their suprise there was an infestation of rabbits!! Well, when I say infestation I only meant the cuddly kind
It’s not often that a parent gets a chance to reach out and help his or her child survive bullying. Unfortunately, for the most part, it’s too late before the parents even know what’s going on.
Luckily for Noah, his mother is on the ball. On February 8, 2013 this boy will be turning 13 years old. And he posted on his Instagram about deciding to take his own life on that day. Why? Bullying.
We’ve written about how I was personally moved by the movie “Bully”, how we need to clear away the trolls from cyberspace, how a letter to stand up against bullying can make a difference. Now Noah’s mother has set up Letters for Noah, and she and Gay Geek are asking you to write a letter of a different kind: a letter of love and hope.
We can hear all we like about bullying, but there’s nothing like reading the pain in a mother’s own words:
Noah has been dealing with bullying for the past year. He has been feeling alone and left out, ostracized from old friends and a misfit among new kids. As soon as things would begin to get better, there would be another setback. He was once the life of the party, the big man on campus. Now his self esteem has all but disappeared.
Noah’s mum needs you to tell Noah that he is loved and that he does matter, because he’s not getting that from his peers. She has opened a P.O. Box and is hoping to get as many letters to him by his 13th birthday, on the 8th of February 2013.
If only every bullied child had someone so incredible caring for them.
Check out this animation by Stodoe Studios. It is only about a minute and a half and the art is amazing! Word on the block is that the animator works for DreamWorks (not surprising given how great the animation is). Of course the subject of Stodoe Studios is quite the choice too!
I do have to warn for dark humor though!
I love the little yes Harry does at the end ^-^
I was sitting in the library on Monday afternoon when a notice from The Wheeler Centre popped up in my facebook news feed: there were a tiny handful of tickets left to see Neil Gaiman on Thursday night.
I scrabbled for my purse and in a matter of minutes I had made my first ever online purchase. For only $12 I would be seeing a talk I figured I had a snowball’s chance of ever getting to, even when the show had first been announced. Imagine, if you will, the bounce in my step and the foolish grin of girlish glee with which I terrified strangers on the way home.
Some background, for those unfamiliar with the Gaiman name and the beautiful face it is attached to: Neil Gaiman is a multi-award-winning English author and the husband of rockstar Amanda Palmer. He has written novels, comics, theatre, films, short stories… The movie Stardust is based off a Neil Gaiman novel of the same name. He wrote the script for the film Beowulf. He wrote Coraline and American Gods and co-wrote Mirrormask and wrote an episode of Doctor Who called “The Doctor’s Wife”. His work is strange and dark and beautiful and inspiring.
Let me just say right now that this review will be slight, and not very critical. How could it be? After all, without the influence of Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer, I’d be struggling through a psychology and putting my dreams on hold. Instead, I’m doing exactly what I want to do – because if they can, why can’t I? Neil Gaiman has taught me so much about writing; the things I write now, the things I want to write, the things I will write, and all just by writing stories of his own and putting them out into the world where I can find them, peel them apart and drag them inside and bathe in their words. Without Neil Gaiman, I might never have ever considered writing comics. I might be forever trying to write the same terrible novel, over and over, letting my writing stagnate and never trying to branch out, to experiment.
But this is a report of the evening. That’s why the title isn’t “Neil Gaiman: A Love Letter” (though one day that might come). So let’s get back to that.
The show was at the Athenaeum Theatre, a beautiful old building on Collins St in Melbourne, and put on by The Wheeler Centre. Embiggen Books* had a table set up in the foyer laden with pre-signed books and comics. I got to the theatre an hour early and it was already packed – this was definitely a Fan Event, completely booked out (how I managed to get a ticket I will never know). We were let into the theatre at 7:30, and not a seat was spared.
Around 50% of the audience were cute girls in cute dresses with thick, rectangular glasses – aka women who were basically me, multiplied (except usually shorter). There were middle-aged men cradling rare copies of obscure books which feature Gaiman’s work. A mother and (very enthusiastic) daughter sat beside me as we were waiting to go in. A woman with big, black platform boots, spiked hair on a partially shaved head, facial piercings and a bowtie spoke with a sweet voice to a man with an accent I couldn’t place (they met when we were waiting to go in, sat together during the show and were still talking when I left. Neil Gaiman is one of those people, the kind whose audience can be made up of people who are all strangers to each other and are firm friends by the end of the night). Doctor Who fans in TeeFury shirts were dotted among the audience. In the queue for autographs afterwards, two men in front of me discussed their children. One of them told me about how his original Sandman comics had been destroyed in the recent Melbourne floods. Some people in the audience had seen Mr. Gaiman performing in Tasmania just the week before, following him around the country like some kind of rockstar – which, really, he is.
When we got into the theatre, we were all greeted with a nice little surprise – a world exclusive sneak preview on Neil Gaiman’s new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, balancing on the arm of each and every chair. It contains the first three chapters, un-proofed and un-edited (I read mine in the queue for signing – it’s really very good). Mr. Gaiman read chapter five to us at the beginning of the evening, after telling us that the little world exclusive we held in our hands was the section of a book he usually read at these sort of things, but he was terribly afraid of us reading along.
There were some broad questions about the writing process and the writer’s life, about privacy in the face of being married to a frequently naked rockstar. The interviewer was clearly just as nervous and dithery as anyone sitting there in the audience would have been. This did come off as unprofessional, but she was funny and, as I heard someone say as we were filing out of the theatre, no one in the entire universe could not be flustered in the presence of Neil Gaiman, handsome and charming as he is. At any other event, with any other writer, she would have been irritating – but not this writer, and not to this audience. A little way into the evening she admitted to having spent the past week completely immersed in Neil Gaiman’s work, doing little but reading and watching and listening. On that night, with that audience, it was only right that the interviewer be just as obsessed and just as big a fan as everyone else in the theatre.
I imagine the Wheeler Centre’s youtube channel will probably upload a video of the evening at some point, so I won’t recount too much here. The little tidbits we were given which I can report are thus: The HBO adaptation of American Gods, a project I am very excited about, will most likely air in 2014. Neil Gaiman’s upcoming Doctor Who episode will maybe be called “The Last Cyberman” and it will contain, I quote, ‘Cybermen and other stuff’ (details are apparently scarce due to Moffat’s trained spoiler assassins). The other exciting news is that director Ron Howard is apparently keen to adapt The Graveyard Book into a film – though as Mr. Gaiman said, the nature of the film industry is so transient that films don’t actually happen until they happen.
He finished off with a reading of a poem called ‘Australia Day’, which you can find here in poor quality and with shadow puppets.
After the event itself was done, I queued for a little over an hour for an autograph, buying myself a copy of Signal to Noise from the Embiggen Books table as I passed. Getting my book signed – my copy of Fragile Things, the first Neil Gaiman thing I ever read – was rushed and awkward and he was definitely grumpy by that point, but now I have a photo** with one of my favourite people in the world and, in my slightly battered book of short stories, an inscription: my name, a loopy signature, and the words ‘SWEET DREAMS’, just like that, in red ink.
A little piece of the man to whom, it seems, I owe so much.
*I’ve heard rumours lately that Embiggen are struggling to stay afloat – if you’re in Melbourne, drop into their store at 197-203 Lt Lonsdale St (directly across from the Wheeler Centre). They really are an incredible store, with a selection ‘curated by authors, philosophers and scientists’. By yo’self some books and help this great little shop keep on keepin’ on.
**I added the smiley face in Microsoft Paint because I am a Profeshunnul Artist and do not know how to computer. For those who wish to disregard the generally anonymous nature of this site and see my dopey face, you can find the unedited picture on my tumblr here.
I know this isn’t particularily geeky or has anything to do with being gay.. but this just has to be asked. Does anybody else find it strange that 50 Cent and Bette Midler are friends?
They apparently became fast friends after the restoration project of Jamaica Queens (where 50 cent used to live). At the same New York event she had shouted “”I Love 50!”.
“We own 60 of these community gardens,” Midler says. “We looked all over town for a group that was interested in these sorts of things. We found G-Unity, which is Curtis’ foundation.”
I really adore the fact that she calls him ‘Curtis’ just as freely as she calls him ’50′. It’s fantastic.
You can even check out their website for this project: gunityfoundation.org
Isn’t it a weird and wonderful world?