Little Jedi’s First Halloween Costume

So my kid isn’t even born yet, and he’s already been participating in my Halloween nerdiness. Here’s my “costume” at work today. 😀



Celebrating Fall with Nature, Books, and K-pop

Trilobed redFall is not my favorite season; I don’t look forward to colder weather.  But it is unquestionably Ohio’s best season, and every fall I look forward to the seasonal hallmarks of leaves changing and neighborhood kids Trick-or-Treating.

I love taking hikes to see the beautiful leaf color and identify all the trees.  If you live in the Midwest or Northeast, you can use these two posts to help you identify some leaves you’ll see changing right now, including oaks, maples, sassafras (at right), hickory, and others.

Fall leaf identification

How to Recognise Different Types of Trees From Quite a Short Way Away (Fall leaf ID part 2)

I also love curling up with a good book; in my Seasonal Reads series I discussed two great books that I love to re-read at this time of year: one a classic eerie tale, and one a funny and thrilling modern urban fantasy.

Seasonal Reads: Something Wicked This Way Comes

Seasonal Reads: Dead Beat

And if you want some background music for while you are reading, you can check out these K-pop music videos will a plethora of clowns, zombies, and crazy costumes.

K-pop MVs (Halloween Special): Block B’s “Jackpot”

What helps you get into the fall season?

Sailor Eppendorf and Falcon Tube (me!) in the lab

This is Halloween, Halloween!

It’s Trick-or-Treat in our neighborhood right now, so I’m handing out Snickers and Gobstoppers while watching The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’ve seen some Ninja Turtles, Olaf the snowman, a Power Ranger, pirates, Captain America, something from Monster High, and a possible Artemis/Diana.

Our newer cat Juhani has the patience of a saint and barely fussed when I put some Princess Leia buns on her head.  (They were made for a small dog…) Kinda fitting that a cat named for a Jedi is “dressed” as another Force-sensitive woman.

Seasonal Reads: Dead Beat

Do you ever find yourself coming back to a certain story at a certain time of year?  I often re-read books during a specific month or season that I feel is inextricably tied to the book.  Here’s what I’m reading right now to get in the spirit of the season.

 Dead Beat, The Dresden Files #7 (Jim Butcher)

17683Harry Dresden is the only wizard in the Chicago phone book, and it’s his responsibility to keep his city safe from werewolves, vampires, necromancers, Fae, and other assorted magic users looking for trouble.

You should definitely be reading The Dresden Files because they are great books that actually get even better as you go.  What makes Dead Beat in particular so special that I would re-read it?

First of all, it’s set at Halloween, featuring a vampire, several necromancers, and Herne the Hunter as antagonists.  So perfect for getting in the Halloween spirit.

It also introduces some really great characters.  Harry has many allies that help him along the way; my favorite is cop Karrin Murphy, but she’s barely in this book at all.  Don’t let that deter you.  Instead, Harry’s sidekick is Waldo Butters, a small, cowardly, polka-loving medical examiner.  He is awesome and he only gets more awesomer in later books.

Like all the Dresden books, Dead Beat stands on its own well while still fitting in well with the rest of the series.  It ties up some loose ends of books that came before it and also sets up some things for future installments.

But if you’re looking for what really makes Dead Beat amazing, this image says it all:



K-pop MVs (Halloween Special): Block B’s “Jackpot”

K-pop is slightly notorious for having some really weird MVs; sometimes they even border on creepy, like this one from hip-hop group Block B.

Warning: there are clowns.  But only at the beginning.

Beyond the awesomely bizarre visuals, I feel like there’s a whole lot of metaphor going on in the video.  This young girl seems to have been kidnapped, brainwashed, trained and made over like a doll; people have speculated that it’s a critique of the idol industry.

The members (in the order they start singing):

  • Zico (0:37)—leader, main rapper
  • P.O (1:06)—rapper, maknae
  • U-Kwon (1:14)–vocalist, lead dancer
  • Taeil (1:21)—main vocalist
  • Kyung (1:53)—lead rapper
  • B-Bomb (2:09)—vocalist, main dancer
  • Jaehyo (3:00)—lead vocalist, visual

“Main” is ranked higher than “lead” in these positions.  Zico is actually not the oldest but simply has the personality to be the leader.  The “maknae” is the baby of the group (P.O doesn’t fit the maknae mold at all lol).  The visual is basically the most attractive member who does promotional activities.

More from Block B:

More Halloween-appropriate K-pop MVs: