Category Archives: Uncategorized

So maybe there are potatoes in Westeros after all

Remember that post I did a while back when I talked all about Old World/New World foods?  I mentioned that I added potatoes to some of my favorite Westerosi dishes, like Roast Aurochs with Leeks, because in GRRM’s writings there are already a lot of other New World foods in Westeros.  After all, beans, squash, pumpkins, pecans, and corn are all post-Columbus (and thus unknown in Medieval Europe) but make an appearance in Westeros.

Well, it turns out that at least on HBO’s Game of Thrones, potatoes do in fact exist in Westeros.

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It’s not just me. I feel better now.

After my sort-of-rant about spoilers yesterday I discovered that other people have been noticing the same phenomenon.  Notably, Stephen King made some comments on his Twitter feed about GoT spoilers.  And other people noticed.  And other sites on the intertubes also apparently made similar comments, like this article at Jezebel, this one at the Independent, and this one at C|Net.  And I am hardly the only one who suggests staying offline if you want to avoid spoilers.

So I am not crazy to think “it’s OK for me to have in-depth discussions about ASOIAF and GoT on my own blog and people screaming about spoilers should just go somewhere else”.

I feel a bit better now.

-Geoff

GoT: Books vs. TV

Before I begin, I just want to say that if anyone reads the title of this post, and thinks that I am NOT going to talk about things that may be spoilers for those who have not read the books, you are just… dumb.  It is not my intent to be a big meanie who spoils everything for all those people who have not read the books but are devoted fans of the HBO series.  But come on, these books have been out for years, and the TV show is now in its fourth year.  You should probably just go read the books, or else stay off the internet.  Otherwise, perhaps you should consider staying in a monastery or becoming Amish or doing something to keep away from the internet and popular culture.  ASOIAF/GoT are so hugely popular and widespread at this point, it’s everywhere.  It’s in magazines at my doctor’s office and on t-shirts of people walking down the street.  It’s almost like saying you didn’t watch the 2007 World Series and you don’t want to know how it ends before you can watch it, even though you live in Boston.  Or not knowing the ship sinks in Titanic  but getting mad at someone who mentions it.  We are rapidly reaching a level of patent absurdity when it comes to these spoiler issues.  I just refuse to say “spoiler alert” everything time I talk about ASOIAF or GoT.     So this is the last time.

So if you want to have a freakout about that sort of thing, GO READ SOMETHING ELSE.  If you can’t think of anything, I can probably offer some suggestions.    But ultimately, those who wish to avoid spoilers should assume some responsibility for themselves and stop insisting the whole world police itself for their benefit.

Anyway, on with the discussion.

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The relevancy of technology and underwater archaeology

The ability of human beings to work in an underwater environment has obviously improved pretty dramatically in the last few decades, and our ability to find the wrecks of vessels like the Titanic in thousands of feet of water many decades later is pretty amazing when you think about it.

But there is still a long way to go when it comes to underwater searches.  The problems with locating that missing Malaysian Air flight immediately come to mind, but there have been a few other examples lately that make me wonder what the hell we are doing wrong and what we could do to improve.

We seem to have a widespread problem of not finding people in (relatively) shallow waters like lakes, ponds, rivers, and creeks.

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Hey, Boston!

Today is a beautiful day.  In fact, today is supposed to be the best day this weekend.  Do all of us who are stuck inside working a favor:

GO OUTSIDE

Take your dog for a walk.  Find a bench and read Game of Thrones in the sunshine.  Go to your local park with some friends and practice your light saber dueling.  I know we’re in the grip of Marathon frenzy right now so maybe don’t take a backpack anywhere, but go out and do something.  Get some of that Vitamin D that we New Englanders lack.

And for the love of all that is good and holy, don’t hole yourself up in a library, museum, mall, or other indoor windowless place.  Those of us who are stuck working inside one of these places thank you in advance.

~Kelly

A couple of clarifications

1) Yes, the bomb squad has had a busy day today in Boston.  Yes, they did just blow up two things in controlled detonations (as in, within the last two minutes) at the Marathon Finish Line.  Geoff and I are both fine and were nowhere near any of the controlled detonations today.  Yes, there were more than just those two detonations, no, we were never in any danger.

2) To all the crazies/”patriots”/martyrs/whatever who think that today is a day for demonstrations of their ideologies by throwing backpacks full of stuff into random places: Go back under whatever rock you came from.  We don’t want you, you will get caught and possibly killed, and your “message” just gets lost in the kerfuffle.  Stop already, enough.  April 15th is for paying taxes.

3) To the people heading up the security theater that now invades so much of our lives: I want my rights back.  Catching the guy who tossed those backpacks into the middle of a heavily guarded street was no biggie.  Stopping the guy who shot up KS yesterday?  Not a whole lot of warning on that one despite his obvious history of hatred.  Oh, and that was terrorism too, in case you missed the memo.  Just because a white guy did it doesn’t mean it isn’t terrorism.

And finally, to leave the serious topics for a minute:

4) Geoffrey and Joffrey aren’t the same person, thank all the Gods.  If you’re looking for information about the character on Game of Thrones who died, his name is Joffrey and that post is here.  Geoffrey is my husband and he is a) not a psychopathic murdering boy king and b) very much alive.

~Kelly

ETA by Geoff:  And c) I am very much loyal to the Starks and hate the Lannisters very very much.  I am a true man of the North.  Nyah.

The King is Dead, Long Live the King

If you missed Game of Thrones last night then you’re probably going to be confused by the title of this post.  That or you’ve already been spoiled by the internet from some other source.  Either way sorry/not sorry.

Geoff and I have read the books, in some cases more than once, so we know the general story line despite what Benioff and Weiss might do to it to streamline for TV.  That being said, the title of this post isn’t in and of itself a spoiler, it’s tradition.  Either way, if you don’t want to know more, don’t go past the jump.

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Surviving the Apocalypse

As anyone who knows me well will tell you, I am somewhat obsessed with emergency preparedness and safety in general.  Mind you, not to the point of having a bunker and hoarding gold coins and such, but I do take that sort of thing seriously when it comes to normal Red Cross-type preparation.

Well, this past week I got to hear Annalee Newitz, one of the founders of io9, give a reading from her new book: Scatter, Adapt, and Remember:
How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction
.  And it was quite illuminating, and a lot of fun to boot.  Count on the Harvard Bookstore to always bring in cool authors.

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I know this is old, but…

I had not seen it before yesterday.  And it’s quite well done.

Besides, after Sunday I just have Game of Thrones on the brain.  SO excited that Season 4 has finally started.

-Geoff

CHICKEN

So there was the Game of Thrones season 4 premiere.

Then this happened.

And then, the fan art.

This doesn't really need a caption, does it?

This doesn’t really need a caption, does it?

My day?  Made.

~Kelly

ETA: Fan art, the gift that keeps on giving.  Now with MORE CHICKEN.

Brought to you by the twitterverse.

Brought to you by the twitterverse.

ETA the Second:

While twitter brought us the above image, it didn’t bring an attribution… immediately.  Thanks to the link to this post getting around the original artist got in touch with me and I can credit the original image to ROCOM.  You can find ROCOM at that link, which goes to tumblr, or on twitter @rocom

This is what the original image looks like.

Before The Hound was shopped onto the KFC bucket.

Before The Hound was shopped onto the KFC bucket.

If I hear from the creator of the image at the top I’ll be glad to ETA again.