Never More Than We Can Bear

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No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:13


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The Frailty of Human Life: Labor Vita, Necesse Mori

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Salvator Rosa, “The Frailty of Human Life”, 1656

On June 20, 1615, Italian Baroque artist Salvator Rosa was born.

The above painting, “The Frailty of Human Life” (1656), was painted soon after the death of his son, Rosalvo.

In the painting, Death (the skeleton) is directing the child to write on a scroll. The scroll reads “Conceptio Culpa, Nasci Pena, Labor Vita, Necesse Mori”, which means “Conception is a sin, Birth is pain, Life is toil, Death a necessity.” Continue reading

The Art of Horror II: A Sci-Fi Twist

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They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but we all know that it’s the cover art which initially draws our attention to a book in the first place.

Movies are no different. A lot of time, effort, talent and money goes into designing a movie poster, because it’s that first impression which often translates into big bucks or big flops.

I’ve sung the praises of movie posters before. First in the post “The Art of Horror“, and then again in “Hammer’s Glamour: The Art of Hammer Films“. Illustrated movie posters have sadly fallen out of fashion in Hollywood. But that’s all the more reason to keep highlighting a few classic examples here!

My love of cheesy, eccentric, down-right bad B-movies is no secret. Currently on my “to-watch” list are gems like “The Two-Headed Transplant”, “Drive-In Massacre”, and “Track of the Moon Beast”. (This is a real list, btw, I’m not just making it up for effect.)

A few things in particular come to mind when I think of the 1950-60’s era: 1) Classic family life and glamourous everyday fashions, and 2) crazy, campy, colourful science fiction films. Films about brains that won’t die, aliens and space ships, women from Mars, and babes in gold bikinis. So today, we’re going to be focusing on film posters of the psychedelic sci-fi persuasion. Now, not all of these are from the ’50-60’s era, but every poster has something in common: Each is a work of art; a vibrant illustration of the fantastical, soaked to the core with rich imagination and a mastery of colour and composition.

One of my favourites from today’s selections is, to me, the embodiment of kooky 1950’s science fiction: “The Brain Eaters” (1958). Continue reading

Ctrl-Alt-Customize: Wearisome Web Browser Woes

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A few nights ago while I was playing around on Pinterest, I was assaulted by the following pop-up message:

“Pinterest works much better on modern browsers. Internet Explorer is getting pretty old. You may want to consider switching to something newer.”

Wow, Pinterest, you have a lotta nerve smack-talking Internet Explorer when the whole reason I was using Pinterest in IE instead of Chrome was to check and see if a bug I recently reported to Pinterest was affecting other browsers.

Yeah, ANOTHER Pinterest bug, one that’s making it impossible to pin from the web. You know what they say about people in glass houses…

Bristled at their smarmy, condescending nag, I immediately took a screen grab of the message and tweeted out:

Call me old-fashioned, call me out of touch, but I’m telling you, what I said is true. I DO still need Internet Explorer for some of the things I do, and IE DOES do a number of things that other browsers simply don’t (and they SHOULD).

So I started thinking: I wish there was a way to design your own custom web browser, where you could incorporate any functions and features from any existing browsers. You know, take the best that each has to offer and make one good browser.

Currently, no browser is perfect. Or even close to it, in my opinion, which is why I’m forced to run THREE browsers simultaneously.

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The Continuing Debt To Love One Another

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Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

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Feeding or Fighting the Monster Within: The True Message of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’

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Gigantic in stature, yet uncouth and distorted in its proportions; his face was concealed by long locks of hair, but one cast hand was extended, in colour and apparent texture like that of a mummy. There was never a vision so horrible in his face, of such loathsome yet appalling hideousness.

~ Frankenstein, 1818

I have a confession to make.

In high school, I read Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”. But until recently, I had never read “Frankenstein”.

I know. How is it possible that the girl who loves all things horror and devotes the entire month of October to writing blog posts about her favourite movie monsters — Frankenstein included — has never read what must be considered the literal mother of the horror genre?

In 2018, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s classic horror novel “Frankenstein”, or “The Modern Prometheus”, celebrates its 200th anniversary. And last fall, I decided it was time that I finally read the novel which is credited with legitimizing horror in literature.

Published in January 1818, “Frankenstein” was, if you’ll pardon the pun, an entirely different breed of monster. Not only was this the kind of tale that had never been mainstream before, it was also written by a woman.

At age 19 in 1816, Mary legally wed famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and after his death in 1822, she devoted herself to publishing and sharing her husband’s works. But it was Mary herself and her dark, Gothic tale of science fiction horror which would be immortalized in history forever.

Mary published Frankenstein anonymously, and many believed her husband to be the author. She penned a number of novels in her relatively short and tragic 53 years, but it was her definitive man-playing-God tale — the result of a rainy afternoon ghost story session with friends (1816) during which it was suggested that all try their hand at writing a horror narrative of their own — that she is remembered for.

Now, there are a lot of friendly preferential debates out there, including some which will be familiar to my regular readers: Pepsi or Coke? Addams Family or Munsters? Sam or Dean? But even more common is the age-old question — book or movie? Continue reading

SyfyWire.com Collector Showcase: My Scooby Doo Collection

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Every once in a while, I get to do something really fun. Last month, I was featured in Syfy Wire’s Collectors Showcase. Or I should say, my Scooby Doo collection was!

I’ve loved the Syfy channel since back when it was still SciFi, and I’ve followed Syfy Wire on Twitter for many years. So when they put out a call to collectors for a chance to be featured on their website, how could I resist? I mean, I have a closet full of Scooby Doos!

Happily, I was selected to have my collection immortalized and shared online with other geek, nerd and toy enthusiasts, and here is the result!

Syfy Wire Collectors Showcase: A Massive Trove of Scooby Doo Treasures

Please do click through to the Syfy Wire site to have a look, but I’ve also gone ahead and included the entire interview (with photos!) here on my own blog. I decided to do screen grabs of the article to give you a break from reading grey text on a black background. Continue reading

With the Measure You Use to Forgive, You Will Be Forgiven

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All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.

~ Acts 10:43

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

~ Mark 11:25 Continue reading