February 14, 2014

Stuff and Things 2/14/14

Life as I Know it
Happy Valentine's Day! Or as I know it, the-day-before-my-birthday-and-also-the-reason-my-friends-all-have-other-plans day!
I'm quite comfortable with my role as crazy fangirl, though. (I still have 24 hours to pretend this will happen. Shhhhhh)

I know I've been kind of an absentee blogger lately, but in my defense, that always seems to happen around this time of year anyway.

Okay, that's not really a defense. Why do you guys even still come here? I suck.

Did you guys get Thunder Snow last night? I did. And I'm a little too way excited about that fact. Thunder Snow. It sounds like a Syfy original movie. Or a bad eighties power ballad.

What else, umm... Have I ever told you how much I hate Dr. Oz? Like, with a passion? Since the grand majority of his claims are unsubstantiated-- or even actively rebuffed-- by actual medical science? Well, after reading this article in the New Yorker, I've gone from thinking he's just a buffoon who doesn't know how to check his sources to a legitimately terrifying public figure knowledgeably peddling pseudo science as fact. I mean, this quote in particular I find chilling:
Oz sighed. “Medicine is a very religious experience,” he said. “I have my religion and you have yours. It becomes difficult for us to agree on what we think works, since so much of it is in the eye of the beholder. Data is rarely clean.” All facts come with a point of view. But his spin on it—that one can simply choose those which make sense, rather than data that happen to be true—was chilling. “You find the arguments that support your data,” he said, “and it’s my fact versus your fact.”
-Michael Specter: "Is Dr. Oz Doing More Harm than Good?
 And on this subject, let's have a chat about one of my biggest peeves, which I can trace right back to Dr. Oz. Coconut oil is not healthy. Is it better for you than Crisco? Yes, but not as much as you think. Is it better for you than olive or vegetable oil? No. Is it good for you? No. If you sit down and actually do the research, which is a thing that I like to do, this all becomes readily apparent. Coconut oil is very high in saturated (bad) fat. It raises good cholesterol, but it also raises bad cholesterol. And while it does contain mid-chain triglycerides, which some studies suggest may help with weight loss, it doesn't contain enough in a serving to actually give you any benefit.

But don't take my word for it; this article from WebMD sums up all these points very well. (And in anticipation of the next argument, no I didn't do all my research on WebMD, but the article is consistent with all the rest I found and is a good summation in layman's terms)

Look, use it because you like it or use virgin coconut oil as a less processed, vegan alternative to solid fats like shortening or butter (the non-virgin version of coconut oil is very highly processed), I have no problem with that. But stop perpetuating the idea that it's some sort of health food

Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic
So, I actually found this book because the title was in my stats as a search term someone used to find this blog. Obviously, I then looked it up. It had good reviews and was only 99 cents in the Kindle store, so I bought it.

It was disappointingly mediocre.

The surprise twists were obvious, the plot had pacing issues, and the author did a whole lot of telling without showing. Not to mention the narrator, Jade, was unrepentantly Mary-Sue. She was gorgeous and she knew it. She had, not one, not two, but three super-hunky love interests. She was super talented and it turns out super powerful with "mysterious" origins. She came from an independently wealthy family and had a super successful line-out-the-door bakery at 23.

And, though I hate to say it, way too much time was devoted to describing the cupcakes, which had zero purpose in terms of the plot.

The book is the first in the series, so I gave the next one a shot (first books, like pilot episodes, are usually the worst in the series, so I try to give it the benefit of the doubt), and it was even worse. The first book at least showed potential if the author just cleaned up some of the more glaring flaws. The second book had all of the flaws of the first, without its redeeming qualities. 

So despite the awesome title, I'd suggest giving this one a miss.

Sherlock: The Sign of Three- Obviously, the most adorable episode ever. Between Drunk!Sherlock, the best man speech, Sherlock trying to reason with the ring bearer, and Mary setting John and Sherlock up for a playdate, I almost died. The end was a little sad though; Sherlock admitted that he'd always loved to dance, and he didn't have anyone to dance with. *sniffle*

Sherlock: His Last Vow- Okay, I'm going to admit to you right now, I was really scared that the show was going to end for good after this, because "His Last Bow" is the last story, and that really had me on the edge of my seat. I called the Mary twist (granted, only like 2 minutes before it was revealed. Still, called it). I always thought it was a bit weird she immediately knew that text was a skip code, but I wasn't even thinking of that; I was thinking, "Lady whatsherface wouldn't hire Sherlock only to assassinate Magnussen herself! Sherlock, noooooooooo!" Magnussen was super creepy creeper villain. Redbeard broke my heart and as for the end:

Also, yeah, I did kind of miss him.

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