WoW BfA: Flying Again!

My human mistweaver monk and Erik’s paladin were able to open flying for us early last month, and it’s glorious!

To celebrate, I got myself a Stormsong Coastwatcher mount.

WoW BfA Flying Stormsong Coastwatcher

Now we’re slooowwly working on the Honeyback Harvester mount. There aren’t enough fuzzy bee butts in my life yet!

Speaking of flying: I understand most of the arguments on both sides of the flying vs. no flying discussion. Personally, though, even if I strongly prefer to have flying, I think the current solution (introducing the Flight Master’s Whistle with a short cooldown once you hit level cap) works fine. I’m glad they added and kept it.

Image: World of Warcraft screencap

Of Dice and Dragons is an occasional feature about games and gaming.

Star Trek: Picard Series Trailer from NYCC

Oooo—I can’t believe I didn’t yet blog about the second Star Trek: Picard series trailer that came our way. This was released at New York Comic Con.

Star Trek: Picard | NYCC Trailer | CBS All Access by CBS All Access on YouTube

Like the San Diego one, this trailer looks so awesome! The Borg presence doesn’t seem quite as heavy as the SDCC trailer gave reason to believe (but then again, you never know). It’s lovely to see glimpses of the old TNG cast, however, and the spiffy new tech and props look absolutely amazing. Mostly I’m thankful to see Sir Patrick Stewart in another genre production, for he is getting old and who knows how much longer he’ll have with us.

Picard is set to premier on January 23, 2020. Soon!

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Frozen II Is at the Theaters, and Soon Dubbed in Sámi

Today is the premier for the animated sequel Frozen II here in the U.S. Unlike most Di$ney princess movies*, I will be seeing this one during its theatrical release for a particular reason.

In the story, Anna and Elsa et al. travel to the north and meet a people resembling the Sámi. For their research and inspiration, the Walt Disney Animation Studios not only talked with Sámi people but actually signed an agreement with the Sámi to do it in a respectful, collaborative way.

The Sámi are the only indigenous people within the European Union area. They currently live in the northern reaches of Norway, Sweden, and Finland, and the Kola Peninsula in northwestern Russia.

Disney even invited some members of the Sámi Parliaments to U.S. to see the movie at the world premier, meet some of the makers, and tour the animation studio.

Yle Siv Eli Vuolab Samediggi Frozen II World Premiere

The most exciting part for my linguist brain is that the studio will record and release a version dubbed in Northern Sámi, the largest of the Sámi languages. The voice actors are drawn mainly from Sweden and Norway, among them the acclaimed Sámi musician Mari Boine, but also one Finn. (Yay!)

Yle Frozen II Screencap Northern Herders

While it’s true they aren’t very numerous these days (partly thanks to racial, linguistic, and cultural discrimination), the Sámi do exist and do have a living culture. (Just check out the music scene for one incredibly vibrant aspect—yoik comes almost in all styles now!) I grew up two hours south of the Arctic Circle, and the Sámi were my classmates, neighbors, and teachers. For me it’s delightful that Disney took the time to research, listen, and respectfully pay homage to people I grew up with.

Undoubtedly I will also enjoy scenery that reminds me of trips to Lapland even if the first reports say the northern mountains look too young and rugged to be based on the fells on the Finnish side of the border. 🙂

Yle Frozen II Screencap Valley View

*) The only other exception is Moana, which was also produced in cooperation with indigenous peoples.

Images: Per-Olof Nutti, Aili Keskitalo, Åsa Larsson Blind, and Tiina Sanila-Aikio with their daughters at the world premier of Frozen II by Siv Eli Vuolab / Sámediggi via Yle. Three members of the northern herder tribe from Frozen II via Yle. View overlooking a northern valley from Frozen II via Yle.

In Live and Active Cultures we talk about cultures and cultural differences.

Second Trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now a month away. Here’s the second (and apparently final) trailer:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker | Final Trailer by Star Wars on YouTube

My my, it looks more epic than before, and you really cannot fault episodes VII and VIII for being bland. Furthermore, the movie seems epic in all senses, with beautiful work in both the visuals (environments, propping, fights—did you notice the outstanding cutting of the trailer?) and the story (resistance, courage, friendships, sacrifices).

Now I have one wish: that J.J. Abrams won’t ruin it. (His work has been a hit or miss for me in the past.)

Hey, look! We found a thing on the internet! We thought it was cool, and wanted to share it with you.

Delightful Music: Fringe Theme

One of the most enjoyable things about Fringe is the theme song. Here is a full, 6-minute version:

Fringe Theme [FULL] via mrbrzoskwinka on YouTube

It’s composed by Michael Giacchino, who has an extensive music department background in genre tv, movies, and games (Jurassic franchise video games and movies, Alias, Zootopia, some rebooted Mission Impossible and Star Trek movies, Rogue One and both of the new Spider-Man MCU movies, for instance).

It’s rare to come across a speculative show theme that uses the piano so unapologetically, let alone a story of an FBI agent investigating weird crimes. I’m in no way an expert, but I seem to have noticed that piano has fallen out of fashion these days, so for me the Fringe theme is valuable on those grounds as well.

An occasional feature on music and sound-related notions.

The Mandalorian: Second Official Trailer

Disney has released a second official trailer for their new Star Wars tv spinoff The Mandalorian:

The Mandalorian – Official Trailer 2 | Disney+ | Streaming Nov. 12 by Star Wars on YouTube

Like the previous one, it’s quite dark; I’d say even darker than the first. This one is also 15 seconds longer, but I’m not sure how much of that is actually new footage and how much is repeat scenes spliced up differently. There seems to be a more scuffed up reddish armor plus a shiny silvery one, so perhaps the Mandalorian will be kitted up for a big confrontation? And speaking of, there seems to be ever so much fisticuffs, perhaps even to the exclusion of plot—but what else would you expect from a series focusing on a bounty-hunter?

I’m a little icked by the hint of a romance, because there was a time when Hollywood claimed that’s the only thing women were good for (or, as audience, could ever be interested in), and that time hasn’t quite yet met the pitiful depths of the most lone corner of the deepest abyss imaginable that it so amply deserves. At least there also were women doing other things in this trailer, including an armored, physically competent-looking woman in a bar. Hard to say for sure, though; as we know, no group is a monolith, and trailers always lie.

Streaming is to start on November 12, 2019.

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Quotes: Because the World Is Yours and It Is up to You

I remember reading Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising pentalogy in a Finnish translation as a child. This summer I read them all in the original English. I didn’t remember much of them at all, just impressions, and was struck by how much more simplistic the story was than I’d thought.

Current Reading The Dark Is Rising

There was only one section in the whole 1,000+-word tome that the present-day me reponded to:

“We [Old Ones] have delivered you [humakind] from evil, but the evil that is inside men is at the last matter for men to control. The responsibility and the hope and the promise are in your hands—your hands and the hands of the children of all men on this earth. The future cannot blame the present, just as the present cannot blame the past. The hope is always there, always alive, but only your fierce caring can fan it into a fire to warm the world.

“[…] and you may not lie idly expecting the second coming of anybody now, because the world is yours and it is up to you. Now especially since man has the strength to destroy this world, it is the responsibility of man to keep it alive, in all its beauty and marvellous joy.”

– Merriman in Susan Cooper’s novel Silver on the Tree

The novel this quote comes from, Silver on the Tree, was originally published in 1977. I wonder whether World War II and/or the fear of atomic power might have been behind this paragraph? For me, however, it clearly applies to the current climate crisis.

Cooper, Susan. The Dark Is Rising: The Complete Sequence. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, p. 1079.

Image by Eppu Jensen

Serving exactly what it sounds like, the Quotes feature excerpts other people’s thoughts.

BB-Hate Pumpkin for Halloween

Grab black paint, duct tape in a few colors, permanent markers, and two plastic pumpkins to make your very own BB-hate pumpkin this Halloween.

Desert Chica Karen Heffren How-to-make-a-Star-Wars-BB-9E-Pumpkin

Tutorial by Karen Heffren at Desert Chica. She’s also made a cool BB-8 from an actual pumpkin!

Crossposted from the Playfully Grownup Tumblr.

Image by Karen Heffren at Desert Chica

In Making Stuff occasional feature, we share fun arts and crafts done by us and our fellow geeks and nerds.

A Levitating Snitch Cake

Twitter user Michael Harris shared a cake made by his significant other, Kate Pritchett, with an actually levitating quidditch snitch (follow the link for a video):

Instagram Kate Pritchett Levitating Quidditch Snitch Cake

She shared a few details of the cake:

“I told you I was going to make a floating Snitch cake. (3 x 2 layer white chocolate mud cakes with vanilla meringue buttercream and blueberry and lemon or raspberry and black pepper filling. Special shout out to the wood-look board I made. [fist icon])”

 

Instagram Kate Pritchett Levitating Quidditch Snitch Cake Detail

Pritchett clearly is a foodie—just have a look at her amazing Twitter and Instagram feeds. Her dedication to getting the details just right is incredible. Everything is thoroughly thought-out and carefully prepared.

Instagram Kate Pritchett Levitating Quidditch Snitch Wings

I’m gawping here! (Yes, I just declared gawp to be a word.)

Kudos!

Images by Kate Pritchett via Instagram: Cake. Closeup of details. Snitch wing prototypes.

Geeks eat, too! Second Breakfast is an occasional feature in which we talk about food with geeky connections and maybe make some of our own. Yum!

The Mandalorian Trailer

The Star Wars family of spinoffs is about to have a new member: The Mandalorian. Here’s the trailer:

The Mandalorian | Official Trailer | Disney+ | Streaming Nov. 12 by Star Wars on YouTube

A much darker view of the SW galaxy like in Rogue One; the story is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order.

The writing credits are split between George Lucas and Jon Favreau, and episode directors include Taika Waititi and Bryce Dallas Howard. It won’t be Howard’s first directing gig, but the first I’m likely to see. (Basically I only know her as the twit of a corporate lady whose heels were practically glued on for the chase scenes in Jurassic World, although apparently I’ve seen her as Gwen Stacy in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3.) The series music is by Ludwig Göransson, whose work on Black Panther I really liked, so that’s also promising.

One point of personal delight is the glimpse of a small craft flying over a flat, wooded land dotted with small lakes and smaller fields (the sequence starts at about the 15-second mark). It’s one of the very few instances on the large, international screens of places that look like my home that I’ve seen. I hope that’s not all of it!

Other than that there’s not much definite info to be got, so we’ll have to see. I can’t even decide yet on the basis of this trailer whether The Mandalorian is worth the trouble of looking up what Disney+ streaming might take to access or whether we should just wait for the disc release.

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