Do you know how they shipped fragile things before 1957? I don’t know, since this was before my time (and my parents’ time) but I can only imagine how tragic a life without BUBBLE WRAP would be. Imagine never having popped those fragile yet cushiony bubbles. Imagine receiving goods damaged and maimed. The shame. The horror.
We’ve all gotten our dirty mitts on a piece of two or bubble wrap and OH GAHD is it satisfying. If you want to get really vindictive you can pop it behind someone unsuspecting and send their stomach into their esophagus. (This is what happens when you do things like that to me. It is awful but apparently highly amusing for the other party.)
Anywho. On to the fun facts.
- Bubble wrap was originally created in 1957 as wall paper. This should tell you how crazy the 60s were about to get. Imagine bubble wrap walls…
- There are different sizes of bubble wrap for different shipping and protection methods.
- The bubbles can be made into SHAPES. LIKE HEARTS.
- Bubble wrap appreciation day was started by a radio station in 2001.
- “Bubble wrap” is a trademarked by the Sealed Air Corp. It’s one of those things that’s trademarked but the commonly used terminology for any kind is used, like Band Aid or Kleenex.
- You can virtually pop bubble wrap here.
A lot! Yesterday’s meeting was very well attended and we had a ton of thoughts and feels about The Alchemist. Most of us liked the story, though there were some dissenting opinions. Here are some interesting highlights from the meeting!
The Alchemist is something of an inspirational piece and its main message is that everyone should follow his or her heart to personal fulfillment. There was plenty to say on that topic (including a fascinating discussion of privilege and opportunity and whether literally everyone has the chance to follow their dreams or if it’s just the people that can afford to do so…) but something that was coincidental and funny was that we read this book so close to the new year when a lot of people look at their lives and wonder if they’re on the right path.
We also learned that different translations of books can entirely change people’s interpretations of them! Seems obvious in retrospect, but I guess it never occurs to you until it happens to you directly. In one earlier translation of The Alchemist, the phrase “Personal Legend” is translated simply as “destiny.” Seems innocuous enough, right? But actually, it made a difference in how people interpreted the book, since destiny implies a certainty in events that Personal Legend avoids. I dunno, maybe you had to be there, but it made for good conversation.
Here’s a snap of (most of) our book clubbers all ready to talk it up! There actually ended up being so many people at the meeting that I couldn’t get them all in the frame of my phone! (Sorry friends!) OH! Also, it has come to my attention that even some of our loyal book clubbers didn’t know about KU’s Instagram feed! Sacrilege! Follow along on IG @kardsunlimited
The next book club meeting will be at 6 p.m. here at Kards Unlimited on February 22nd! We’re reading 2 (ish) books for that meeting, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass! Hope to see you all there!
Ok, so. January 16th is Appreciate a Dragon Day. Usually, I like to talk about a bunch of different dragons and why appreciating dragons is super fun and great. However, this year I’d like to remind everyone of a very special dragon, this guy right here:
Aw yeah. Spyro the Dragon. So here’s the thing. When I was a kid, we didn’t really have video games in the house. My parents didn’t even have cable. They wanted us to “read” and “learn things” and “play outside” and all that other uncivilized nonsense. Don’t get me wrong, in retrospect I really appreciate my upbringing. But when I was a kid, there was not a lot that thrilled me more than going to a friend or relative’s house where they were modern and had video games and/or cable television, so I could experience them.
So one summer we road tripped out to my cousins’ house in Maryland or Virginia or some state where they lived, and they had one of the Spyro games. And it was so so awesome, you guys. It was like all the things I loved rolled into one heroic, flying, fire-breathing adventure. I loved it.
For those of you who may not know, the Spyro games featured the above little purple dragon, who ran around with his friend Sparx the Dragonfly saving the world from various problems in the different games. Childish? Yes. But also a lot of fun. I kind of want to go buy myself one right now, tbh.
So anyway, pick a dragon and appreciate it today! Dragons rule!
If there’s one thing you should always do, it’s read the book before you see the movie. Hell, you don’t even have to go see the movie, but it is 100% acceptable to read the book anyway. Here at KU, they’re making 12 of the lovely books we sell into movies this fine year. So, here they are in order of release date!
1. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L.James. Release date: 2/13/15.
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.
2. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Release date: 3/20/15
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
3. Paper Towns by John Green. Release date: 6/5/15
When Margo Roth Spiegelman beckons Quentin Jacobsen in the middle of the night—dressed like a ninja and plotting an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows her. Margo’s always planned extravagantly, and, until now, she’s always planned solo. After a lifetime of loving Margo from afar, things are finally looking up for Q … until day breaks and she has vanished. Always an enigma, Margo has now become a mystery. But there are clues. And they’re for Q.
Printz Medalist John Green returns with the trademark brilliant wit and heart-stopping emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.
4. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. Release date: 9/18/15
Thomas was sure that escape from the Maze would mean freedom for him and the Gladers. But WICKED isn’t done yet. Phase Two has just begun. The Scorch. There are no rules. There is no help. You either make it or you die. The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them. Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off. There are others now. Their survival depends on the Gladers’ destruction—and they’re determined to survive.
5. Frankenstein by Marry Shelley. Release date: 10/2/15.
Few creatures of horror have seized readers’ imaginations and held them for so long as the anguished monster of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The story of Victor Frankenstein’s terrible creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense. Considering the novel’s enduring success, it is remarkable that it began merely as a whim of Lord Byron’s.
“We will each write a story,” Byron announced to his next-door neighbors, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley. The friends were summering on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland in 1816, Shelley still unknown as a poet and Byron writing the third canto of Childe Harold. When continued rains kept them confined indoors, all agreed to Byron’s proposal.
The illustrious poets failed to complete their ghost stories, but Mary Shelley rose supremely to the challenge. With Frankenstein, she succeeded admirably in the task she set for herself: to create a story that, in her own words, “would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature and awaken thrilling horror — one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.“
6. Peanuts by Charles Schulz. Release date: 11/6/15
This isn’t exactly a book but THIS IS MY BLOG POST AND I CAN DO WHAT I WANT. We love The Peanuts here at KU and we have enough salt and pepper shakers in their likeness to warrant their inclusion on this list.
7. Mockingjay: Part 2 by Suzanne Collins. Release date: 11/20/15.
“My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.”
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Though she’s long been a part of the revolution, Katniss hasn’t known it. Now it seems that everyone has had a hand in the carefully laid plans but her.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay — no matter what the cost.
8. Krampus: the Yule Lord by Brom. Release date: 12/4/15
One Christmas Eve in a small hollow in Boone County, West Virginia, struggling songwriter Jesse Walker witnesses a strange spectacle: seven devilish figures chasing a man in a red suit toward a sleigh and eight reindeer. When the reindeer leap skyward taking the sleigh, devil men, and Santa into the clouds, screams follow. Moments later, a large sack plummets earthward, a magical sack that will thrust the down-on-his luck singer into the clutches of the terrifying Yule Lord, Krampus. But the lines between good and evil become blurred as Jesse’s new master reveals many dark secrets about the cherry-cheeked Santa Claus, and how half a millennium ago, the jolly old saint imprisoned Krampus and usurped his magic.
Now Santa’s time is running short, for the Yule Lord is determined to have his retribution and reclaim Yuletide. If Jesse can survive this ancient feud, he might have the chance to redeem himself to his family, to save his own broken dreams…and help bring the magic of Yule to the impoverished folk of Boone County.
9. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. Release date: TBA.
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.
10. A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. Release Date: TBA.
In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman named Alan Clay pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great. In A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers takes us around the world to show how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together.
11. Room by Emma Donoghue. Release date: TBA.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.
Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating–a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.
12. Pride, Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen/Seth Grahame-Smith. Release date TBA.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.
The perfect thing to shove in your facehole for breakfast in the dead of winter is oatmeal. Not only is it hot and delicious (if you can get past the texture), but it has soluble fiber which can help lower cholesterol. ON TOP OF THAT, it’s a bowl full of complex carbs, meaning it sticks with you longer than say, a doughnut.
If you’re not interested in the health benefits of oatmeal (we can’t be friends) but let’s discuss the many amazing flavors of oatmeal.
You’ve got your maple brown sugar, apple cinnamon, cinnamon and spice, original, blueberry, you can throw in some bananas, some chocolate, pumpkin, peaches and cream… Oatmeal has variety out the wazoo.
While cereal is and will forever be my favorite breakfast option, oatmeal may come in at a close second. It tastes good, it’s good for you and it warms you up! There’s nothing like a good hearty breakfast to set the tone for your day. Because let’s face it, breakfast can make or break your day.
To my Beloved Reader,
I once went to a rather strange play. It was about a young man who traveled to Paris in search of his past, taking with him a bundle of love letters. The letters were old and faded; they had been written by his grandfather to his grandmother long, long ago.
As he read through the letters in a small apartment in Paris, he encountered the all-engulfing , romantic, fiery love that his grandparents had shared. But the letters only told half the story, as his grandfather had saved none written to him.
This young man in continually inspired by the words of love put on paper. Finally, he reads one last letter. This one spoke of deep sorrow. His grandfather had outlived his beautiful wife, and dearly regretted not saving the letters she wrote to him. She had saved every word he ever wrote to her in a beautiful box so that she could remember his love at any moment. But he did not and, once she was gone, wished that he had something to hold in his hand and read with his heart.
As I walked out of the theater at the end of the play, I thought through all the keepsakes I have: playbills from shows I loved, pictures of friends, movie ticket stubs and dried flowers. The ones that are most precious to me are the letters that were written to me. They are there when I need them to reread and remember that I am loved and full of potential.
Today is National Letter Writing day, which is why I have written this letter to you, dear Reader. The month of love is just around the corner. The world will tell you that you should be buying chocolates, flowers, shiney gifts, but sometime the best most precious gift you can give is a heartfelt letter full of the reasons that your special someone is just so special.
Write well, dear Reader.
A. Lirael Flint
Today we celebrate the great wonderful world of Bubble Baths! (Yeah, I know that song is about champagne, but I don’t care)
I have always been a huge fan of a good relaxing bubble bath. (Usually paired with a dangerous habit of placing my laptop entirely too close to the tub so that I can stream Netflix.…)
My love of bubble baths started very young. One of my favorite reasons for visiting my Aunt’s house was that she had this very strange and loud device that made ALL THE BUBBLES. See that thing on the right there? Yeah, it looked kind of like that except bigger and with more 80’s production values. Like really cheap yellowing plastic. You stuck it in the bottom of the tub, and then there were bubbles EVERYWHERE! It was magical.
Now, I’m sure a lot of you have your perfect set up for a bubble bath already, but just in case it’s been far too long since you’ve had a bubble bath and you want a very detailed how-to guide, here it is!
How to take a Bubble Bath for the person who needs all the tips:
Clean your tub ahead of time.
Look, this is the hardest step, but you’re getting it over with first. It’s also well worth the hard work, so just go ahead and do it. Cleaning your tub will make you feel much more relaxed and happy. No one wants to be mid bath and then start thinking about the slime and grime that is possibly encrusting your tub. But make sure you do this a day or so ahead of time!! Don’t clean your tub and then just jump right it! there is bound to be some residue cleaning solution in your tub, and that stuff is killer on your skin!
*While you’re cleaning your tub, make sure your tub actually has a drain stop! Some tubs sadly lack this feature. If your tub doesn’t have a plug, you can always buy one!
Collect the following supplies:
–Bubble bath solution! Choose a scent that makes you all warm and fuzzy inside! In a pinch a few dollops of shampoo or soap will work just fine, but to really get all the bubble action, you want to stick with actual bubble bath!
– A nice bottle of wine (optional, but you don’t know relaxation until you mix hot water and an alcohol buzz)
–Some candles! If you want a scented candle, make sure you choose a smell that will mix nicely in the air with your bubble bath smell. You want something light and fresh, not a heavy thing that will give you a heachache after 30 minute of being in an enclosed room with it.
–A good book. Stop on by for recommendations!
–Music. You want something relaxing and meditative. Seriously. Don’t be like, mannnn I just really like metal, I’m going to just listen to that. No. That’s music for cleaning your house and boosting your pulse. You want to do the opposite of that.
– Toys! (also optional.) (also.…. I’ll let you decide if I mean kid toys or.… adult toys.) Just make sure they’re water safe! Obvi, don’t stick anything with batteries or chords in the water with you unless it’s actually supposed to do that.
–A Very Fluffy Towel!
– Possibly one of those bath tub pillow things. sometimes the ceramic can be a little hard on your neck, and you can get a nice bath pillow for relatively cheap.
– Have roommates? You might need to print this out to hang on the door.
Create the perfect setting!
It’s time to bubble bath! You have all your supplies ready, and your tub is clean! Now to start creating the spa-like scene for your epic bath.
–Start filling your tub. This can take a while, so it’s nice to start this while you’re prepping. Make sure to add the bubble bath in early, and occasionally give it a good stir to create an even amount of bubbles. Also, make sure to keep the bathroom door closed so that all that warm lovely steam fills the room.
–Light those candles! Just make sure they are not close enough to accidentally set your hair on fire.
–Put on some low soft music. (You’re going to want to be able to adjust the volume AFTER the water stops flowing. Just keep that in mind.)
–Make sure the bathmat is there for when you get out. (I know that sounds like common sense, but I can’t even tell you the numbers I have almost died because my bathmat was not where it should have been when I got out of the tub with my super wet, very clean feet.)
Fill an easy to reach table or surface with all the things you need during your bath: fluffy towel, book and a small hand towel to keep it dry, wine (Seriously consider using a plastic cup, because broken glass in water is like a literal death trap.) and toys of course. Once everything is within reach, it’s time to.…
HAVE A BATH. And enjoy the hell out of it.
Have fun bathing, guys!
P.S. Don’t like bubbles? Use Bath Tea or Bath Bombs instead! ( We might have some in store, but they’re going quick!)
If any day is especially suited to the celebration of Sherlock Holmes, it’s his birthday, January 6th! (i.e. today!) Sure, there are plenty of great detectives in pop culture. The brilliance of Christie’s Poirot and Miss Marple is not to be ignored, Sayers’s Lord Peter is a pip, Columbo and Monk are great, and of course there’s Batman the World’s Greatest Detective (some people say.) There’s something special about Sherlock, though. Even before the incredible modern reboot introduced us to the other-worldly brilliance of Benedict Cumberbatch & co., Sherlock Holmes is a character that brings you into his world the way very few others do. Not to mention he’s a totally awesome antihero! Everyone loves an occasionally drug-addled misanthrope who solves crimes for a living! Or if they don’t they are crazy. Anyway, in honor of Sherlock Holmes Day, I suggest you spend some time watching every episode of the BBC’s spectacular show, Sherlock. To aid in your task (there are only 9 episodes, but they’re each about an hour and a half long, so you may have to prioritize), here’s a list of all nine episodes, ranked from my least to most favorite. (Though, to clarify, they’re all amazing and better than pretty much everything else on TV) (Minor spoilers ahead. Unless you know absolutely nothing about Sherlock Holmes at all, confidently read on!)
9. The Blind Banker (Series 1, episode 2) — Great, but kinda feels like a place holder. Lots of exposition, Holmes and Watson getting to know each other, that kind of thing. There is, however, an excellent scene where John tries to explain what a date is to Sherlock and he doesn’t get it. 3.5/4 stars.
8. The Reichenbach Fall (Series 2, episode 3) — Also great, but Sherlock dies in it, so that’s not as good. Plenty of perfect interactions between all the characters, but again, Sherlock dies. Blah. 3.75/4 stars.
7. The Great Game (Series 1, episode 3) — Omg, so great. We get introduced to Moriarty! Ah! And he’s so good, you guys. If not for Benedict and Martin, it would totally be the Jim Moriarty show. But again, seems very introduction/exposition-y. 3.9/4 stars.
6. A Study in Pink (Series 1, episode 1) — Oh man. The introduction between Sherlock and John is so fantastic, you guys. And the first case is SO cool! Serial suicides! 4/4 stars!
5. The Hounds of Baskerville (Series 2, episode 2) — Great obviously because of the source material. The Hound of the Baskervilles is definitely one of the best known and loved Sherlock Holmes stories. Also great because we find out Sherlock doesn’t know Lestrade’s first name. So Sherlock. 4.25/4 stars!
4. His Last Vow (Series 3, episode 3) — Really amazing. You wouldn’t have thought that there could be a villain scarier and more evil than Moriarty, but there so is. Ugh, I hate him. What kind of person licks a stranger or pees in a person’s fireplace? A psycho, that’s what kind. 4.75/4 stars! Mostly because it also features Sherlock’s parents who are amazing beyond belief.
3. A Scandal in Belgravia (Series 2, episode 1) — The second series premiere features one of the greatest characters in the Sherlock Holmes universe, Irene Adler! The Woman. What a great moniker. Other great moments include my favorite line in the whole series, “I always hear ‘punch me in the face’ when you’re speaking, but it’s usually subtext.” Snark from the one and only John Watson, ladies and gentlemen. And also Sherlock strutting around Buckingham Palace clad only in a bedsheet. Because reasons. 5.5/4 stars. Srsly, so good.
2. The Empty Hearse (Series 3, episode 1) — It’s the series 3 premiere and John has a mustache and a fiancee! And we find out pleasantly soon that Sherlock was never really dead! Very good, since without him there’s not much of a show. Second best because it introduces Mary who’s probably the best non-Sherlock character in the show. Yes, even better than John and Moriarty. She’s so good, guys. 10/4 stars!
1. The Sign of Three (Series 3, episode 2) — This episode is the absolute best for a bunch of reasons. 1. John and Mary get married which is the cutest. 2. Sherlock is John’s best man and it’s probably the most feels in the entire known universe. If I ever give a best man speech, I really hope that it’s half as good as Sherlock’s because if I can do that, I’ll have won at life. 3. The boys are even solving murders on John’s wedding day, which is pretty hardcore.
So that’s it! Go watch Sherlock and be amazed and enthralled.