Geeking out: A comprehensive Game of Thrones guidelet

Geeking out: A comprehensive Game of Thrones guidelet






With season three looming over the horizon, fangirls and boys are now almost salivating with geekery over what the new season will bring. Personally, I need to finish reading A Storm of Swords this week (ack!) because much of what happens in the new season will come from this installment. I’m sure though that the people behind the TV series are going to stretch Book 3 into two seasons. There is no way everything will fit in one, I think!

But before the season premiere, here’s nymag’s quite comprehensive refresher course on all things Game of Thrones. Enjoy!

[images borrowed from nymag.com]

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Wikipedia needs help

Wikipedia needs help

Can’t imagine a world without Wikipedia, can you? So I’m doing my bit. Let’s all do our share to keep it alive.

From Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales

Wikipedia is the #5 site on the web and serves 450 million different people every month – with billions of page views.

Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn’t belong here. Not in Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is something special. It is like a library or a public park. It is like a temple for the mind. It is a place we can all go to think, to learn, to share our knowledge with others.

When I founded Wikipedia, I could have made it into a for-profit company with advertising banners, but I decided to do something different. We’ve worked hard over the years to keep it lean and tight. We fulfill our mission efficiently.

If everyone reading this donated $10, our fundraiser would be done within an hour. But not everyone can or will donate. And that’s fine. Each year just enough people decide to give.

This year, please consider making a donation of $10, $20, $50 or whatever you can to protect and sustain Wikipedia.

Thanks,

Jimmy Wales
Wikipedia Founder

 

Excerpt and reaction: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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“That night at the Brooklyn party, I was playing the girl who was in style, the girl a man like Nick wants: the Cool Girl. Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

“Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men — friends, coworkers, strangers — giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them. I’d want to grab the poor guy by his lapels or messenger bag and say: The bitch doesn’t really love chili dogs that much — no one loves chili dogs that much! And the Cool Girls are even more pathetic: They’re not even pretending to be the woman they want to be, they’re pretending to be a woman a man wants them to be. Oh, and if you’re not a Cool Girl, I beg you not to believe that your man doesn’t want the Cool Girl. It may be a slightly different version — maybe he’s vegetarian, so Cool Girl loves seitan and is great with dogs; or maybe he’s a hipster artist, so Cool Girl is a tattooed, bespectacled nerd who loves comics. There are variations to the window dressing, but believe me, he wants Cool Girl, who is basically the girl who likes every fucking thing he likes and doesn’t even complain. (How do you know you’re not Cool Girl? Because he says things like: ‘I like strong women.’ If he says that to you, he will at some point fuck someone else. Because ‘I like strong women’ is code for ‘I hate strong women.’)

“I waited patiently — years — for the pendulum to swing the other way, for men to start reading Jane Austen, learn how to knit, pretend to love cosmos, organize scrapbook parties, and make out with each other while we leer. And then we’d say, Yeah, he’s a Cool Guy.

“But it never happened. Instead, women across the nation colluded in our degradation! Pretty soon, Cool Girl became the standard girl. Men believed she existed — she wasn’t just a dreamgirl one in a million. Every girl is supposed to be this girl, and if you weren’t, there was something wrong with you.” — from Gone Girl

I’ve always been suspicious of hype — and this book has a lot attached to it! It’s in practically all the “must-read” lists this year and with good reason. I picked it up because I was curious and I’m sooo glad I did! This is one of those books that marry high-brow literary-ness with low-brow storytelling. It’s taut, spare in prose, but still richly detailed, both in plot points and “navel gazing” psychological ruminations. Didn’t have high hopes for this when I started reading it, but it’s easily one of the best books I’ve read all year… OK, admittedly, it wasn’t a great year in books for me. But still.

The London Daily Mail called this “… a book you’ll be begging other people to read just so you can discuss it with them” and I can’t wait for friends to read this so we can all just freak out over the story — and I did a lot of freaking out and what WTF-ing while reading this, believe me!

Note: Hmm, it occurred to me that I’ve read a few outstanding books in 2012, so it’s a bit rash to call this “the best book I’ve read all year”… So post has been amended to: “one of the best books I’ve read all year.”