Category Archives: Something Awesome

Something Awesome: Writing Excuses

I don’t talk much about writing here on the blog partly because I think there are so many people much better qualified than I am to do that and partly because though I really love the act of making up stories, I would much rather talk about mythological things or scientific phenomena.

The thing is though that I spend a lot of my time thinking about the mechanics of writing because I’m constantly trying to make myself a better writer. Which is also why I use a lot of the resources provided by the aforementioned more qualified people. And one of them is Writing Excuses. It is a weekly podcast, 15 minutes long, starring regularly three very succesfull genre authors and one very succesfull web cartoonist. They usually cover one topic per week ranging from nitty gritty stuff like making description do more than one thing to broader topics like writing gaming fiction. Pretty much all episodes are aimed at writers and aspiring writers but once in a while they’ll do an episode that has more broadly interesting stuff like the Hollywood Formula. And the best thing about it all is that it’s wildly entertaining all while teaching cool things.

And really, what could be more awesome?


Something Awesome: Dr. Who

If you’re even remotely involved in geek culture you’re probably at least somewhat aware of Dr. Who. A lot of people have never seen even one episode of Doctor Who while they’re still aware of it. A colleague of mine said that he hadn’t started watching because it had always seemed to him like such work to get up to date. And that’s part of what’s so awesome about Doctor Who; you can basically start anywhere. There’s all this history, going all the way to the sixties but you can basically start anywhere and the new series starts a whole new continuum if you really feel like starting from the beginning.

So here’s what you need to know. Doctor Who tells the story of the many and varied adventures of the Doctor. Always just the Doctor. The Doctor is the last of the Time Lords, an alien race who look much like humans but live for hundreds and hundreds of years. The way the Doctor spends his time is traveling around the Universe and fixing injustice and stopping horrible events all over time and space. For some reason he keeps getting drawn back to humans to save us time and time again. As a Time Lord he is also capable of regenerating, which means that when he’s about to die he gets born again which is why we are on the 11th Doctor right now. To keep from getting lonely he keeps finding human companions, mostly women. His ship, the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), is shaped like a police box and it’s bigger on the inside. While some of it is just silly adventures there are some very painful and beautiful episodes. Some have even won awards of many different types.

My Doctor has always been and forever will be David Tennant but the others have their own charms. And each of them has their own personality. But the Doctor goes on.

And that’s more than awesome.

Something Awesome: Flashmobs

I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m a fan of flashmobs but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned how much of a fan I am.

A well executed flashmob is something that is sure to get me teared up. Especially the musical ones.

There’s just something incredibly beautiful not only in the reactions of the crowd but the sheer effort on the part of the arrangers to make it happen.

And to beat that you must be incredibly awesome indeed.

Something Awesome: SuperBetter

I’ve been lucky in many respects and one of them is that I’ve never been truly seriously injured nor do I suffer from clinical depression. From what I understand though both have in common a difficulty sometimes of even getting out of bed. Enter SuperBetter.

SuperBetter is a game/social network to make the small things in life more epic. It’s based on theories in neuroscience, medicine and psychology and designed by game developers (the idea actually came from Jane McGonigal, who’s one of the most amazing people in existence). It gives voice to the struggles one faces and helps the people around them come to terms with the head-space that surrounds these conditions. Things like drinking sugary drinks become villains to tackle, giving yourself the time and inclination to laugh become quests. It sounds corny but it’s how our brains work and from what I know of pretty much anything, it should really work.

Also, I love the tagline; You are stronger than you know. What’s not awesome about that?