My obsession with an Edward Cullen-obsessed world

Apparently I’m not the only person who has noticed that so many teens and tweens are suffering from OCD – read, obsessive Cullen syndrome. It seems to be a disorder only two things can cure: time or something else to obsess about.

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be anything in the near future to respond to the needs of a hormone-laden, angst-ridden generation of female teens and tweens. It seems that Hollywood might have a (very) short memory when it comes to catering to that niche. As Joal Ryan explains:

Film.com‘s Eric D. Snider, who last spring warned smug fanboys to take Twilight seriously, says no matter how many times a chick flick hits, Hollywood is surprised—”as if they’ve never heard of this strange niche demographic known as women before.”

“Then they get all excited about making more movies for women, and then they forget all about it and go back to making movies about giant robots,” Snider says.

As a writer, I have to say that pleases me; hopefully another book will take the place of Twilight and create yet another reason for all these teens and tweens to visit this delightful place called a book store.

Five Geeky things to do this Holiday

Now this is what I call a fun-filled holiday!

Five Geeky things to do this Holiday

By Charlie Sorrel

The orgy of spending that is The Holiday Season begins in the US this weekend. Family, food, gifts, the whole daunting shebang.

Sure, you might enjoy spending the four-day weekend locked up in the house with the in-laws and stuffing yourself with leftovers, but why not escape? Here we give you five suggestions for healthier, cheaper, nerdier and, above all, funner things to do this holiday.

Get Nerdy in the Kitchen

Face it. You’re going to have to cook a turkey, so why not make it fun? Deep frying is dangerous but gives a crispy skin, a Turducken is, well, it starts with the word “turd”, so we’ll skip that, and you can even chop out the breastbone and flatten the thing for the grill (fast and juicy). There are many alternative turkey methods, but the main thing you need to remember is the temperature.

A probe thermometer is cheap, and it’s the only way to know when the bird is done. Turkeys have thin parts, thick parts, flat bits and round bits, so estimating the time you need is wildly inaccurate. An probe plunged carefully into the thickest part of the meat will tell you when the meat is just juicy, but not overdone. When the readout hits 161ºF, pull out the roast and let it rest for 15 minutes and carve. If you have a thermometer with an alarm that can summon you from the den, then that’s just gravy.

Make a Camera

You could buy a new Canon 5D MkII, as we suggested earlier today, and escape the family for a day of shooting. Better still, especially if you have kids, is to make a camera. Yesterday we posted a guide to building a giant camera from an old flatbed scanner, a magnifying glass and a stack of black cardboard. This will keep you from getting bored, keep the kids out of trouble and, best of all, you can escape into the den later to “process the images”.

Read the rest of this post here.

Should our hopes, aspirations, dreams for the future be pinned on one man?

The Obama shockwave has yet to recede, and I’m already hearing chatter about America reclaiming it’s former glory because of him. I also heard that Canada, Europe and the rest of the world cannot hope to ever achieve such a position unless and until they produce their own version of Obama.

Excuse me?

Since when are we pinning everything on one person? In the past it was perhaps the only way to function, when villages were sparsely populated and settled far from each other, the villagers didn’t have much of an education (if any) and, busy growing food and tending to their animals, had no time to do anything but survive – they had to pin everything on one person.

Just in case you haven’t noticed, things have changed. For the first time ever, there are more people living in urban areas than in rural areas. We have tools available to us that those villagers couldn’t even begin to imagine. The world has become such that one person cannot hope to achieve anything were it not for the strength of the people he is working for. Not only does it give a whole new meaning to “One for all, and all for one”, but it sets to redefine the way we are currently functioning as a society. And from the looks of things, with it all crumbling around us – the way we are currently functioning is pretty terrible.

Barack Obama does seem to be an incredible individual who has achieved a lot; but it is unfair to pin it all on one person. There is one thing we can all do though, that is, reflect together and consult on our role in today’s society and see how we are going to help this vision of change for a better world happen.

And by the way, here is the very interesting article that inspired this post.

Can Europe produce an Obama?

By Steven Erlanger

In the general European euphoria over the election of Barack Obama, there is the beginning of self-reflection about Europe’s own troubles with racial integration. Many are asking if there could be a French, British, German or Italian Obama, and everyone knows the answer is no, not anytime soon.

It is risky to make racial comparisons between America and Europe, given all the historical and cultural differences. But race had long been one reason that Europeans, harking back to the days when famous American blacks like Josephine Baker and James Baldwin found solace in France, looked down on the United States, even as Europe developed postcolonial racial problems of its own.

“They always said, ‘You think race relations are bad here in France, check out the U.S.,’ ” said Mohamed Hamidi, former editor of the Bondy Blog, founded after the 2005 riots in the heavily immigrant suburbs of Paris.

“But that argument can no longer stand,” he said.

For many immigrants to Europe, Obama’s victory is “a small revolution” toward better overall treatment of minorities, said Nadia Azieze, 31, an Algerian-born nurse who grew up here. “It will never be the same,” she said, over a meal of rice and lamb in the racially mixed Paris neighborhood of Barbès-Rochechouart.

Read the rest of this post http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/12/europe/12europe.phphere.