What the Smegging Smeg?

Geek out!, Movies & TV

Every now and then I come across an image of a kitchen with a Smeg fridge:


Smeg USA.

Is it just me, or does anyone else have this immediate reaction?

What the Smegging Smeg

Referring, of course, to the one, the only Red Dwarf.

Red Dwarf 1600x1200Cockpit

Red Dwarf Official website.

In all seriousness, it has to be challenging to invent a vocabulary for your imaginary world (or name a product line) when humanity has never before published as much or as internationally as we do nowadays. The chance of constructing something odd or offputting in some language or subculture has gone way up, and that’s not even taking into account semantic change. Just consider this tweet by Mary Robinette Kowal on researching historically appropriate vocabulary for her Glamourist Histories series:

On the other hand, that’s the delight of living languages – they keep evolving. We wouldn’t be here if they didn’t.

❤ languages! 🙂

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a funny thing.

Geeky Room Re-Do: Maester Pycelle’s Entryway

Geek out!, Moodboards, Movies & TV, Stunt Double

While I may have some qualms about the adaptation of The Song of Ice and Fire cycle for the screen, there’s no doubt that the production values are amazing. I am in awe of the costuming, lighting and set decorating departments especially. They do such gorgeous work!

Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, here’s a room re-do from season 1 of Game of Thrones: the entryway into Maester Pycelle’s room in King’s Landing.

GoT Maester Pycelle Entry Seas1 Ep10

Game of Thrones, Season 1, episode 10. HBO.

This corner of the room is seen in episode 10, and it’s where Maester Pycelle dons his official-old-dude posture. In the screencap above, the door is at the left, behind Pycelle’s back. There’s a wooden char in the lower right-hand corner and a mirror on the wall. The shelves are filled with small chests or boxes, jars, some candles, herbs in vases and other doodads.

Finding a chair similar enough was a challenge, just like the furniture in my Eddard Stark office re-do. You might find a replica by searching for x-frame (or x-form) chair, Dante chair, Savonarola chair or scissors chair. It’s much easier to find modern bookcases resembling Pycelle’s shelves, though, and I found an exact match for the mirror. Chests, wooden boxes, old bottles and vases are probably easiest to find in thrift and antique stores, but I’ve listed some online options below.

GoT Pycelle Entryway Re-do Collage

  1. The Edge Mirror, Kirkland’s, $140. Exact match!
  2. An ‘X’ Frame Moorish style chair from Spain, 19th Century, Bonhams
  3. Verona six-shelf bookcase, Cost Plus World Market, $175
  4. Antique Style Wooden Small Trunk, Wayfair, $34
  5. Pirate Treasure Chest, Wayfair, $50
  6. Vintage Polish Hand Carved Box, Ebay, $18
  7. Vintage handcarved wooden box, DragonflysVault on Etsy, $9
  8. Wood Fired Bottle, MBrownCeramics on Etsy, $25
  9. Wall paint: Behr Premium Plus Ultra Cathedral. There are also several other muted teals you could pick from.
  10. Antique Bottle With Handle, WeeLilGlassie on Etsy, $13 for two
  11. Venetian Rib Candle, Target Australia, $5
  12. Vintage Pilgrim Crackle Glass Vase, JaysRoom on Etsy, $18
  13. Light Green Vintage Glass Bottle, willandbequeath on Etsy, approx. $17

(Herb image: Stylish Spoon.)

Anything you’d add or remove?

12th Doctor Trailer & Fan-Composed Theme

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Something Doctor-ish must be in the air this week! First, BBC released the Doctor Who series 8 official full length trailer last Sunday.

Not only that, I ran into this fabulous fan composition: Who Am I? (12th Doctor’s theme by James Jarvis).

It went straight into my geeky playlist! One of the comments called the theme “dark yet mysterious.” I’d add that it has potential for contemplation or reflection, even melancholy. Even though we still don’t know much about this incarnation of the Doctor, it sounds like reflection of the past is the theme (or one of the themes) for season 8. The official trailer gives some clues (at approx. 0:25-0:35) when the Doctor says:

Doctor: I’ve lived for over 2,000 years. I’ve made many mistakes. It’s about time I did something about that.

And later, on the Tardis steps (at approx. 0:45-0:55), there is this exchange between Doctor and Clara:

Doctor: Clara, tell me: am I a good man?
Clara: I… don’t know.

Jenna Coleman’s hesitant delivery of Clara’s line is brilliant, as are Peter Capaldi’s pensive facial expressions picked for the trailer. James Jarvis’s composition captures the attitude of the trailer very well – try playing the trailer without sound with Jarvis’s theme in the background.

Can’t wait for season 8!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

George R. R. Martin Archives at Texas A&M University Libraries

Books & Mags, Movies & TV

Twenty years ago, author George R. R. Martin donated his archives to the Texas A&M University Libraries. Martin’s archives are housed in the library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection and consist of manuscripts, editions of his works, correspondence and other materials. Martin has continued to donate materials to the collection; it now includes almost 1,000 volumes of first editions and translated works, plus 200+ boxes of manuscripts and memorabilia.

Texas AM Uni Libr Martin Exhibit

Texas A&M University Libraries.

From March 2013 to February 2014, the library ran a large-scale exhibit, Deeper Than Swords, together with events including a book signing and a lecture / Q&A with the author.

Texas AM Uni Libr Martin Booksign

Texas A&M University Libraries.

Apart from A Song of Ice and Fire cycle / HBO’s Game of Thrones series, the exhibit highlighted Martin’s earlier work (including juvenalia) and various accompanying artifacts and visuals.

Texas AM Uni Libr Martin Case1

Texas A&M University Libraries.

Texas AM Uni Libr Martin Case2

Texas A&M University Libraries.

Although the exhibit is no longer open, the Texas A&M library has kept some Deeper Than Swords materials online. Apart from several photosets, the hour-long talk with Martin is available on YouTube.

In his talk, Martin discusses among other things his childhood and the importance of comics, books and libraries to his career.

(Additional details of the exhibition are available in the article How we brought 3,000 people to the library … With the help of Mr. George R. R. Martin by Todd Samuelson and Cait Coker, published in College & Research Libraries News July/August 2013, and Allen Reed’s article ‘Game of Thrones’ author George R.R. Martin returns to A&M published in The Eagle on February 10, 2013.)

I’m impressed at the amount of work that Texas A&M librarians and administrators invested in this Martin exhibition and in their Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection. They’ve even built a Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Database with close to 90,000 items of SF/F history and criticism. I’m sure their special collections will continue to be an invaluable resource for scholars and enthusiasts alike.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing. Because librarians rock! 🙂

Discoveries: TheNaughtyRabbit on Etsy

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Elisabeth Holmes runs an Etsy shop called TheNaughtyRabbit. She sculpts small rabbit figurines out of polymer clay. Elisabeth’s rabbits aren’t your usual garden variety, though: they are leporine takes on popular fantasy / scifi characters. And adorable!

Rabbit Collage1

Top row: Harry Dresden, Robocop. Bottom row: Arya Stark, Captain America, Buffy the vampire Slayer. Elisabeth Holmes / TheNaughtyRabbit on Etsy; collage by Eppu Jensen.

Rabbit Collage2Rabbit Collage2

Top row: Sam the Eagle, Star Trek. Bottom row: 4th Doctor, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Elisabeth Holmes / TheNaughtyRabbit on Etsy; collage by Eppu Jensen.

I’m impressed how much detail she can include on figurines 2” tall, and how well she can match rabbit-ness (if that’s a word) with something from each character’s personality. They are apparently inspired by her pet rabbit, who is full of tenacity and spunk and stubbornness. (Sounds exactly like my sister’s rabbit, who has sadly passed.) Holmes herself describes her creations with one very apt sentence: “These rabbits act as a small reminder of the resilience and exuberance of rabbits and how each of us can add a little bit of that to our lives.”

They are indeed adorable! Must. Resist. Temptation. Must. Resist. Must.

Darn – I’m probably going to be assimilated! 🙂

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Discoveries: The Hillywood Show

Geek out!, Movies & TV, Stunt Double, Thumbs Up

The Hillywood Show is a parody video project by sisters Hilly and Hannah Hindi. Each of their videos features impersonations, song and dance numbers and spoofs of various celebrities or movie / tv characters. Falling down that rabbit hole that is the Internet, I found my way to them through their Doctor Who / Rocky Horror Picture Show crossover-mashup-awesomeness.

In Hilly and Hannah’s own words,

“People assume that a parody is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non- linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big video of wibbly-wobbly, Time Warp stuff. Like the TARDIS, The Hillywood Show® makes a production that’s bigger on the inside and showcases David Tennant’s beloved Doctor in a memorable way. Allons-y!”

Without further ado, I give you the Tenth Doctor, brilliantly cosplayed by Hilly Hindi, doing the Time Warp, a parody video by The Hillywood Show:


How come I had never heard of them before? So, so brilliant! Thank you, Hilly and Hannah!

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Geeky Color Combos: Star Trek TOS Klingons

Colors, Geek out!, Inspiration, Movies & TV

You know those design recommendations that urge you, especially when hesitant, to start with a picture and base your color selections on it? Here are some ideas on how to achieve it with a geeky starting point. I’ll select a photo, a painting, a still, a screencap or the like that is geeky in some way, and use mainstream photos to illustrate how a color combination pulled from that model image might work in real life.

Klingons are a race from the Star Trek universe that have been through several iterations. Star Trek the original series kept their version of Klingons simple: basic humanoids with ample facial hair but without prosthetics, which would define Klingons in later series. Colorwise, the ST:TOS Klingons mostly wear black and gold.


Screenshot from ST:TOS episode “Day of the Dove”. Wikipedia.

Like other dark hues, black can be a challenging color for interiors. Combined with gold (or other metals) it’s luxurious, however. For example, the library below is inviting and doesn’t feel claustrophobic because of the white ceiling and smaller amounts of white in the bookshelves:

Elle Decor Mark Badgley James Mischka black-rooms-06-lgn

From the home of Mark Badgley James Mischka; via Elle Decor.

From the home of fashion designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka; via Elle Decor. Note how they included gold inside the chandelier shades and miniature trophy antlers on the walls.

Tweaking the wall color towards dark grey like in the photo below will create a similar impact with a little more light in the room. Instead, the ceiling and floor are painted black.


Excerpt from the book Great Fashion Designers at Home; via The Aestate.

Excerpt from the book Great Fashion Designers at Home; found via The Aestate.

This next room is perhaps a bit of a stretch. The walls and ceiling are white, but the golden hardwood floor, the table lamp base, golden-hued mirrored cabinet and the leopard print armchair definitely nod towards a black and gold combination. And I just couldn’t resist including it because of the fur bedspread – it brings to mind Worf and Jadzia’s bedroom in Deep Space 9.


From the home of Angela Dunn and Colin Radcliffe; via The Aestate.

From the home of model Angela Dunn and designer Colin Radcliffe; again, via The Aestate.

It’s especially easy to introduce black and gold with smaller accents:

Black Gold Decor Collage

Clockwise from top right: gold & black decorative pillow cover by CodyandCooperDesigns on Etsy; pencil holder by LekaArt on Etsy; Greek key end table from decorpad.com; black & gold print by Penny Paper Co.; and Art Nouveau style floorcloth by kate4decor on Etsy.

The combination of black and gold also makes a sumptuous look to wear:

Black Gold Wearables Collage

Clockwise from top right: Tolani black gold paisley scarf from ilovethatgift.com; Metal Henri Flats by Christian Louboutin; Sony on-the-ear headphones; black nails with gold tips by unknown, via Anne Kyrouac on Pinterest; gold baby headband by PoppyBows on Etsy; Theia cocktail dress from Lyst; and Tom Ford men’s gold/black aviator sunglasses from Overstock.

P.S. Access other posts in the series with the geeky color combos tag.

Finland Love, Community Style

Geek out!, Movies & TV, Thumbs Up

May Day is celebrated today at home in Finland – so, traditionally, it’s a day off – and I’m not feeling well, so I’ll just leave this brilliant piece of comedy here:

I wonder whether the writers knew that the airport code for Helsinki-Vantaa is HEL. 🙂 Also, I’m tickled by the fact that Finland is a bit of a running gag in Community.

Hyvää vappua!

Houses of Awesome Exploration

Design & Designers, Geek out!, Movies & TV, Thumbs Up

You may have seen this already, but the project is so fun and laudable that I’ll boost it some more.

Students from the Albert Einstein Institute created these Game of Thrones style science house sigils. They commemorate some of the most exciting projects in physics and space exploration. LISA Mission shared them on Facebook. Below are two of my favorites – visit LISA Mission for more!

House ISS

LISA Mission; image via Science Llama.

House Curiosity

LISA Mission; image via Science Llama.

Individual images via Science Llama.

Sadly, I’m not a hard sciences person. If I were, as a European, I’d probably be in House ISS.

Photo Pairings: Doctor Who

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I’m going to take a leaf out of blogger Holly Becker’s book and try photo pairings. Holly started with pictures of some floral fabrics and paired them with photos she thought were a good match to the pattern. I’ll try it with a geeky starting point.

This batch was inspired by Doctor Who. You can’t think of Doctor Who without thinking about certain iconic things like the Tardis…

Tardis Room

Left: Zir, via Wikipedia. Right: The Design Files, via decor8.

Left: Zir, via Wikipedia. Right: The Design Files, via decor8.

…the fourth Doctor’s scarf…

Doctor Who Scarf Leaf

Left: Traveling the Vortex. Right: Kent McFarland, via Audubon Guides.

Left: Traveling the Vortex. Right: Kent McFarland, via Audubon Guides.

…the other Time Lords…

Time Lords Gallifrey Room

Top: BBC, via katherine_b. Bottom: Charles Neal Interiors.

Top: BBC, via katherine_b. Bottom: Charles Neal Interiors.

…and Daleks (this one with tongue firmly in cheek):

Colored Dalek Outfits

Left: Doctor Who TV. Right: Rue Magazine Sept 2013.

Left: Doctor Who TV. Right: Rue Magazine Sept 2013.

That was fun! Anything you’d like to add?