All posts tagged: astronomy

Strange Happenings in September

Fall officially starts at 9:30 am Eastern Standard Time on the 22nd, and I’m already prepped with pumpkin spiced coffee and Cheerios.

Strange Happenings in July

July 1st Unsolved Mysteries reboot streaming on Netflix. The new version will be produced by members of the original team and be released in 6 episode batches periodically. A few changes have been made to the original format, each episode will focus on a single mystery, and run for 50 minutes. It will not replace original host Robert Stack, who passed away 5 years ago. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia on shelves. When glamorous socialite Noemí Taboada receives a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin begging to be rescued from a mysterious doom, it’s clear something is desperately amiss. Catalina has always had a flair for the dramatic, but her claims that her husband is poisoning her and her visions of restless ghosts seem remarkable, even for her. July 3rd Renowned musical Hamilton streaming on Disney+. Consider it a Christmas in July gift that Disney scrapped plans to release Hamilton in movie theaters this fall and decided to offer it on Disney+ the Friday before 4th of July. The perfect alternative to canceled fireworks shows. …

Strange Happenings in May

Today is May Day, traditionally celebrated to welcome spring, warmer weather, and the promise of fruitful harvests in the future. Dancing around the maypole doesn’t currently fit in our current social distancing conventions, but there are a few other ways to celebrate. Picking a vase of wildflowers, going for a nature walk, a backyard campfire, or even just walking barefoot in the grass of your yard are all ways to get in touch with nature and celebrate spring. Beyond today, there are a new books to read, a few new shows to try out, and a litany of movies and cult favorite TV shows to binge on streaming services. May also brings the final super moon of 2020, the possibility of seeing a comet with the naked eye, and close with Instagram’s most popular astronomy event, Manhattanhenge. May 1st Hulu: Aeon Flux, The Conjuring, Batman Begins and The Dark Knight streaming. National Theater Live is streaming their 2011 production of Frankenstein on their YouTube channel. Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternated between playing The …

Strange Happenings in April (Social Distancing Edition)

The abundance of free time many of us have found ourselves with has in a way, created a strange new pressure. We should be making the most of our newfound leisure time, shouldn’t we? But many experts caution against throwing ourselves into too many activities at once. This extra spare time comes at the cost of life as we knew it, and there is nothing wrong with taking time to rest, process, and feel grief for the way life was. No matter how you choose to spend the time this month, whether it’s starting a new hobby or binging twelve seasons of a show you’ve never watched, create a new routine for yourself, and find things to look forward to. I’ve got a whole list of possibilities below, let me know if you have any I can add! April 1st Start of National Poetry Writing Month! If you have ever wanted to try writing poetry, today is the perfect day to start! Visit the NaPoWriMo site daily for featured poets, prompts, and the poetry posted …

Searching for Springtime Scares

I like to align a lot of my writing with the seasons, since I take a lot of inspiration from nature. Spring is usually a challenge for me, as I prefer darker themes and imagery. How do you make sunshine and budding flowers scary? I might be able to take some tips from a hugely successful horror movie that premiered last March. Jordan Peele’s Us featured warm weather, picturesque settings, and children. Peele contrasts these elements with dark tunnels, and a nighttime confrontation between the protagonist’s family and terrifying, murderous versions of themselves. I can also take  literary inspiration from some classic short stories.  Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper is centered around a sunny room. And of course, Shirely Jackson’s famously unsettling The Lottery, detailing the horrifying tradition of a small New England town each June. What’s your favorite spring time scare?

Strange Happenings in March

March holds much to look forward to. The start of spring, the year’s first super moon, and the one day a year restaurants list a boiled dinner as the day’s special. There’s also new books to read and new shows to watch while we wait out the wind and rain that usually make up winter’s last gasps. March 1st We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry on shelves. Set in Danvers, Massachusetts during the 1989, a high school field hockey team discovers witchcraft may be the key to a winning season. Since I grew up in a small Massachusetts town and also played field hockey in high school, I am absolutely looking forward to reading this book! My team certainly could have used a little magic to break our cycle of losing seasons. Dispatches from Elsewhere begins on AMC. A departure from much of Jason Segal’s previous work, ‘Dispatches’ follows four people from different walks of life who’s lives are changed by a puzzle that opens them up to a world of possibility and magic. …

Top 5 Winter Thrillers and Horror Movies

I love horror movies and thrillers set in winter. In some of the best, the winter weather can act as a second antagonist, trapping the hero of the movie. In others, it offers up gorgeous cinematography to serve as a poetic back drop for the story to unfold in. Below are some of my favorites, I’d love to hear about yours. Fargo The Cohen brothers set their thriller/black comedy in Minnesota during the late 80s, and use the expanse of long roads and barren, snowy landscapes in between cities and towns to their advantage. I’ve never seen headlights used as a plot device so well. Insomnia Unlike the rest of the movies on this list, much of Insomnia’s atmosphere relies on the perpetual daylight of summer in Alaska. It haunts Al Pacino’s weary detective relents as he hunts an unsettlingly friendly suspected serial killer. The Shining Based on the classic horror novel by Stephen King, the remote Overlook hotel that provides the setting for the film has an interesting duality. It is both a sanctuary …

Blood Orange Lemonade

There aren’t many fruits that I look forward to being in season during the winter, but blood oranges are definitely one of them. In season roughly November through May in the US,depending on where they are grown, they usually show up at my grocery store around mid January, but I start keeping an eye out for them in December. One of my favorite things to make with them is a flavored lemonade. It’s a little work, but more then worth it. I top mine with Blavod vodka for an extra kick (and macabre color), but it’s refreshing on its own as well. Blood Orange Lemonade: 1 cup blood orange juice – squeezed from about about four oranges 1 cup lemon juice- squeezed from about ten small lemons 1/4 cup orange juice- squeezed from one orange 3 cups water 3/4 cup simple syrup One blood orange sliced One lemon sliced Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and let sit for at least an hour. Top with vodka for an extra kick.