Living Vicariously Through Social Media: A Wheelchair Scooter

Oh my goodness—I am so (so, so, so) overly excited about this wheelchair scooter called Pendel:

NimbleDearArchaeopteryx-mobile via Videopress.com

It’s by Huka, a Dutch company. And it’s SO. AWESOME! Just wheel your chair up the little ramp, stabilize the chair, secure your stuff, lift the ramp up behind you so it’ll form a low “back wall” for the wheelchair area, and go! Aaaaaa!

io9 Tom Hiddlestons Loki Whee Gif

In a sense, I’ve been ridiculously lucky so far—none of my chronic conditions have affected my mobility. I’ve never even sprained a limb, let alone broken one. I have been operated on, though, although fairly lightly and fairly late in my life. However, that one experience was enough to convince me of the absolute, unadulterated value of mobility aids of various kinds, including accessible building.

Twitter Adam Holisky Picard Full of Win

Which reminds me: I just cannot (can-NOT!) understand people who gripe and complain about having to get help, including walkers or wheelchairs or whatnot. Isn’t the tech there precisely to enable us to function more independently for longer, just like glasses?!? Aren’t we social animals who help one another???

Expanse Tedious

(Badly fitted or broken aids, on the other hand, are the worst and should be burninated. And don’t even get me started on how despicably some people choose to treat disabled people who are just out and about, minding their own business…! #JustAskDontGrab)

One thing’s for sure: whenever I get to the stage that I need various aids, mobility or otherwise, BRING ‘EM ON!

Twitter ItsJustJords Sitting Frog

Pendel found via Nicola Griffith.

Images: Tom Hiddleston as Loki whee gif via a comment on io9.com. Captain Picard Full of Win via Adam Holisky on Twitter. “Tedious” screenshot from The Expanse season 3, episode 4, “Reload”. Sitting frog via ItsJustJords on Twitter.

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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.

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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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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Visual Inspiration: Organic Shapes in a Garden Cottage

This ensuite cottage in Pali Hill, Mumbai, sits within a garden and literally brings the nature to your side. There are doors and windows, but both are oval or roundish, and even the former are see-through.

The White Room Garden Room Bed

It was created by the India-based architectural studio The White Room, run by Nitin Barchha and Disney Davis. The organic shapes immediately have an otherworldly effect—at least I’ve never been in and rarely seen a house like this.

The White Room Garden Room Entry Hall

The White Room Garden Room TV

And here’s the ensuite bathroom:

The White Room Garden Room Ensuite

I do have a vague recollection of maybe seeing something like this in Star Trek somewhere. Other than that, the closest existing visuals that come to mind are sets Weta Workshop created for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies. It would be nice to see—or read of—more interiors that deviate so starkly from our own.

Found via Colossal.

Images by The White Room

The Visual Inspiration occasional feature pulls the unusual from our world to inspire design, story-telling, and worldbuilding. If stuff like this already exists, what else could we imagine?

Downton Abbey the Movie Is Out on Friday!

Downton Abbey the movie comes out on Friday! Here’s an official trailer:

DOWNTON ABBEY – Official Trailer [HD] by Focus Features on YouTube

Situated in 1927, this story will have the king and queen—George V and Mary of Teck, of whom I know nothing—visit the Abbey. From the IMDB casting list it sounds like we have a few new characters.

Since there seems to be little hope of another Jane Austen production (beyond Sanditon, which has not been released yet, and another Emma, which is of very unknown quality) I guess Downton will have to do. Even though I’m not really a fan of the era, I am looking forward to seeing the fabulous, fabulous acting (especially Maggie Smith!), multi-faceted characters, and gorgeous costuming and sets again.

I do, however, confess that the rigid adherence to artificial rules of “good” society really rubs me the wrong way at times. Sadly, a royal visit makes it sound like there might be overly much of the artificial, but we’ll see.

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Walden Grove High School Dance Team Does Infinity War / Endgame

The PAC Dance Team from Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona, went above and beyond in their Marvel Homecoming Assembly Dance performance:

“Marvel” Homecoming Assembly Dance by ThePac Walden Grove on YouTube

Based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the performance recaps the story of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.

You go, kids! 😀

Found via File 770.

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