Yearly Archive:: 2017

Pitch Perfect 3 Hits the Familiar Notes

If you’re reading this, odds are you’re already planning on seeing the latest Pitch Perfect movie—you just might be looking for some additional justification. So here it is. If you liked the first two films in this franchise (everything these days is a franchise), Pitch Perfect 3 won’t disappoint. There’s female bonding, the same characters you’ve followed, and a little off-color humor. At this point, do you really care what the plot is? I can tell you it follows...

Oumuamua, a Messenger from Afar, Pays a Visit to Our Cosmic Backyard

It is difficult to deny the enormity of space and the cosmos, the scale of which can make one feel immensely small—yet at the same time can fill one with a deep sense of wonder at it’s magnitude. As Carl Sagan described, “our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.” Despite the grandiosity of the space that surrounds our small planet, we continue to seek deeper meaning and to unravel the mysteries that have puzzled...

A Twin Cities Soundtrack Geek Digs into the Original Score of Ken Burns’s The Vietnam War

Let’s not waste any time here—the most recent film score to come out of the Oscar-winning duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, the soundtrack to Ken Burns’s The Vietnam War, is first and foremost exceptionally, stunningly beautiful. . . . How? How can something so tightly woven through something so horrific be anything else? Ken Burns needs no introductions and may as well be the definition of “Masterful Documentarian.” And by this point, Reznor has done well to establish himself as...

Who Gets Excluded from the Gender Commentary of Sleeping Beauties and The Power

This fall, the books Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King and The Power by Naomi Alderman were released. Both make an attempt at viewing what the world is like for women by depicting plagues that affect them while leaving men (mostly) unharmed. This is not a new mechanism in genre literature, with the popular comic Y: The Last Man being a prime example of earlier explorations of a gender-based malady. However, the basis of these two novels, an illumination of inequality...

The Punisher Punishes His Enemies and Rewards Audiences

I have a theory. I feel the consensus among most critics is that violent television shows are unsophisticated or lowly even if they’re done well. Why do I feel that way? I recently looked up the Rotten Tomatoes score of Netflix’s The Punisher and was instantly deflated. Currently, it holds a 61 percent—which is still considered “fresh,” mind you, but still far too low. Most may look at this show and think that it’s just a guy on a...

This Week in Geek (12/18/17–12/24/17)

Welcome to This Week in Geek, your guide to events of interest to the Minnesota geek community for the week of Monday, December 18th through Sunday, December 24th. Board Game Night at Tamarack Tap Room What: Gaming When: Monday, December 18th at 6:00 p.m. Where: Tamarack Tap Room The Tamarack Tap Room, in partnership with the Gaming Goat, presents a weekly Monday-evening meetup for board games and beer—meet new gamer friends and enjoy a brew. As with most public...

What’s Next for Minnesota’s Max the Library Cat?

Max the cat has had quite a busy few weeks. In early November, Macalester College professor Rebecca Wingo snapped a photo of a certain sign at the school’s DeWitt Wallace Library targeting Max and posted it on Twitter. A few weeks later, it showed up on Tumblr, then Reddit. Suddenly, Max was launched to global Internet fame. It also introduced Max’s owner, Connie Lipton, and the sign’s creator, senior library associate Chris Schommer, who had never met before. In...

Acclaimed Musician and Composer Jeff Russo Talks Fargo, Star Trek, and More

Imagine growing up knowing you want to make music. That’s your thing. But instead of choosing to master a single instrument—or maybe even two—you decide you need to learn all of them because you have so many ideas, sounds, and scores permeating your thoughts that it just seems counterproductive to do otherwise. Jeff Russo, rock musician turned Emmy-winning composer for television, film, and video games, had such a start. “The desire to be a multi-instrumentalist came from the idea...

The Shape of Water Is Bizarrely Beautiful and Sweetly Surreal

Only Guillermo del Toro could conceive a creature feature so artistic, violent, romantic, and weird. Even for a director as accomplished with tales of monsters and magic, this is by far his strangest picture for a story so bold with direction so odd. If monster movies seem too docile in the age of the melodramatic Twilight and the milquetoast adventure of The Mummy, del Toro proves that you can have harsh horror elements alongside an erotic factor and still...

3 Tasty Recipes to Take Your Traditional Holiday Meal Vegan

It’s holiday season again! And for vegan foodies who are always looking for new recipes to try but still want some familiarity, The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and The First Mess: Vibrant Plant-Based Recipes to Eat Well through the Seasons by Laura Wright are two great cookbooks to use. I chose the recipes here for the long Thanksgiving break, and I would definitely cook them again for other holidays. The main portion of the meal...
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