The Dangerous Truth of Reading Books

With the beginning of season two of The Magicians, I have decided to reread Lev Grossman’s beautifully crafted novels; any excuse, am I right? Today I got just a few pages into the first book when Grossman’s description of the relationship Quentin has with the Fillory books resonated so strongly with me:

But there was a more seductive, more dangerous truth to Fillory that Quentin couldn’t let go of. It was almost like the Fillory books – especially the first one, The World in the Walls – were about reading itself. […] it’s like he’s opening the covers of a book, but a book that did what books always promised to do and never actually quite did: get you out, really out, of where you were and into somewhere better. (The Magicians, Lev Grossman) read more

Searching for Solutions

We all have problems from time to time: a person we like that we want to like us back or a need to understand what happened to our brother who disappeared from the college he was attending. We have those moments of crisis where we look deep in ourselves for answers. Maybe we reach out to a friend, research, read to find a solution, or break through a wall to take an entrance exam. Then we take that solution and turn it into action. That is one of the true beauties of being a human, that we can use our keen intellect to create change.

But what should one do if you have worked so hard to create a change, to solve a problem, and nothing happens. Or worse, the wrong thing happens like your niffin brother tries to kill you. How do we cope with that level of failure? read more

Season Two Premiere Viewing Party

Jan 25, 2017 8:30 PM PST

We left off on an amazing cliffhanger and the commercials on Syfy promise another beautifully shot season of twists and turns as we seek to discover if Julia can handle the amazing task she has taken on, the future of Fillory, and what are they going to do next with Quentin’s character.

Please join us as we live blog through the first episode of the second season, you’ll have to have a valid FTB login to participate.

The live blog will start at 6:00 pm PST tomorrow. read more

#BATTLETHEBEAST

You can enter the contest here: BattleTheBeast

The way had been shut, the Neitherlands were shattered for all Quentin knew. The Beast didn’t need to kill them, he had simply used them. Now that he had attained the power he sought they didn’t matter anymore. In Fillory, they had been hiding at the faun’s house, underground, beneath the roots of a massive clock tree. They had been so arrogant; they were proud of the battle magic Penny had learned. “My THAC0 is on fleek.” Janet laughed, casting magic missile at a row of bottles. THAC0 (to hit armor class zero) had become a running gag after Quentin explained what it was. That evening they gathered wild mushrooms and cooked them in a big iron pot in the faun’s fireplace. They had feasted and gotten drunk on Fillorian honey wine. Now he knew. They had been so stupid. The Beast had been there all along, quietly watching them practice and drink and joke about his armor class.

Beauty is Terror

Slime molds: organisms in a sate of permeability

Slime molds are collective organisms that are nearly uncategorizable. Cellular slime molds are individual micro-organisms, something like amoebas. They live on detritus: decaying plant matter. When food is scarce, something amazing happens. They seek each other out and join together into a macro-organism. In their initial stage as a macro-organism, the plasmoid stage, they are capable of movement, and moreover of “hunting”. The collective organism moves through bifurcation, it branches towards where it wants to go and then retracts from where it has been. As a macro-organism, it searches for a large food source (usually decaying plant matter) and devours it. After the macro-organism has discovered and consumed the food source, it forms fruiting bodies to propagate its spores. The spores scatter throughout the forest, and where they land they will develop into individual micro-organisms.