Fan Art Friday: A Mandalorian

Welcome back to our Star Wars coloring book club, where every now and then Kiri from Star Wars Anonymous and I color the same image to compare and contrast.

I had to double check that this was Jango Fett and not Boba before I started coloring. The double pistols are the clear giveaway that this guy’s armor should be blue. Also, his armor looks so nondescript, no personality or wear.

I have been a fan of Mandalorians since way back in Legends when Boba Fett’s real name was Jaster Meerel. (This has since been retconned at least twice.) I especially loved the Mando culture set out in Karen Traviss’s Legends books and the Knights of the Old Republic video games. The Clone Wars series also added some interesting things.

I am pleased to report that I finally have Disney+ and of course the first show I’m watching is The Mandalorian. I’m enjoying it vastly, spending half of the episode squeeing over Baby Yoda and the other half squeeing over the cinematography, music, scenery, and getting to see a live action loth-cat.

I considered coloring this picture as Mando from the show, but his armor is even more boring and colorless than Jango’s. Also, I couldn’t do that to poor Jango who’s already overlooked as it is.

Semi-Hiatus

Hi guys! You may have noticed a lack of me around here and I just wanted to officially say that I will not be posting regularly in the near future. I’ve just got too much going on right now to have any spare brain space for writing or any kind of creative activity. I am still reading as much as I can, and I finally got Disney+, so hopefully I will still be posting on those topics occasionally, as well as coloring book stuff and photos. I also hope to keep reading all my fellow bloggers’ stuff, so you will still see me around the blogosphere.

Until then!

I stole this from Jennifer at My Book Joy

Feeding Reading 2021

It’s once again summer and that means free books from Kellogg’s Feeding Reading program. Buy any of the participating Kelloggs products and submit a photo of your entire receipt, and you will receive a credit for a book from their selection, which this year includes some classics and some recent releases.

Some of this year’s free books

You can get up to six free books either to ship to your house or donate to a library of your choice. In our house we live on Pop-Tarts and Eggo waffles, so I have already gotten all six of our books, some for my kids, some for my nieces…and one for me.

The program goes until the end of September, but make sure you submit your receipts within two weeks of purchase to get your credits. Happy reading!

A Squirrel Obstacle Course 2.0: now with socialization!

Last year I wrote about Mark Rober’s pandemic-inspired foray into backyard squirrel watching as seen in his YouTube video on creating a squirrel obstacle course. He’s now revisited this topic a year later to improve on the course, creating a 9-part challenge for the squirrels in his Walnut Heist video.

As I explained in my post, the original video explored squirrel behavior using two perspectives: ethology, the study of animals’ behavior under natural conditions, and behaviorism, measuring behavioral responses to stimuli. In his new video, he also explores a third dimension, studying interactions between the squirrels as they navigate the course.

Returning are our four experimental subjects, this time cast in heist movie-style roles based on how they approach the course: Rick (the acrobat), Marty (the hacker), Frank (logistics), and Phat Gus (the mastermind).

Phat Gus, who last time turned out to be a pregnant female, is still my spirit animal.

So the obstacle course is even more elaborate this time and even incorporates the heist theme with some Mission Impossible stations. It is of course fun to see how the squirrels tackle and eventually overcome all of the challenges, but I especially enjoyed seeing how the squirrels interacted when more than one of them was on the course at the same time. They exhibited plenty of social behaviors, such as:

  • Stealing bedding from each other’s nesting boxes
  • Copying a jump/strategy that they watched another squirrel attempt first
  • Shadowing another squirrel in the air duct maze from the outside
  • Getting in a small spat when two squirrels were in a small enclosed space together
  • Mating behavior (we’ll keep it G rated here)
  • Social grooming (one squirrel grooming another)

This made me realize that despite seeing squirrels nearly every day of my life, I didn’t know all that much about squirrel social behavior. So it was fun to learn more about that while enjoying such an entertaining video. But I definitely wasn’t surprised this time at how quickly the squirrels completed their mission, making this obstacle course look easy!

Good job, Phat Gus!

Fan Art Friday: Sunny Days in the Empire

Welcome back to our Star Wars coloring book club, where every now and then Kiri from Star Wars Anonymous and I color the same image to compare and contrast.  We’re kicking off summer with the next picture in the coloring book, this Imperial mandala.

Once again I had no plan for this one, just picking colors as I went. It came out fine! The colors are bright and summery. Check out Kiri’s version here, which is also bright and summery!

All the circles here, including the Imperial crest and the Death Star, reminded me of a kind of sun/moon/eclipse theme. This, in turn, got me thinking about the most famous moon in Star Wars…not the Death Star, but the Forest Moon of Endor. This moon has always been a bit confusing: is the moon named Endor, or is the planet it’s orbiting named Endor? The answer: both! Endor the gas giant planet has nine moons, the largest of which is also called Endor. The others are totally unpronounceable, like many things in the Star Wars galaxy. (Another moon is Kef Bir, which is featured in The Rise of Skywalker as containing some of the wreckage of the second Death Star.)

I don’t really have a point to this tangent, except that it’s weird for a planet and its moon to have the same name. But it’s definitely not the weirdest thing in Star Wars!

Happy summer everyone! Hope you have plans to spend some time in the sun with your loved ones.