Northern Ireland based geekery & nerdisms

Monthly Archives: March 2013

I really must have mentioned this brilliant little shop before, but I figured that I should devote a whole blog to it’s wonders, because it truly is a treasure trove.
The Corium sells handmade, locally sourced nick-nacks and whosits, and recently opened an online store (so if you’re stuck indoors because of, for example, snow, you can still shop ’til you drop). If you are out and about braving the weather, you can visit the shop in Belfast, just around the corner from Forbidden Planet and Urban Outfitters, right opposite Alley Cat.

Goodo.

Anyway, I’ve been browsing their online store – here are a few of my very favourite things.

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Mushroom salt & pepper shakers

These are adorable, are they not? Anyone who buys them and does not immediately draw little faces on them so that they look like Mario mushrooms is no friend of mine.

Only £5.50, too! Bargain, especially if you compare with the extortionate prices for similar products in a certain nearby hipster-factory.

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Lego Boba Fett necklace

Have you ever seen anything that is such a perfect balance of kick-ass and adorable? No, you have not. Look at his little hands! There are a few necklaces in this style – and £8 is a steal for something like this. Mind you, they do have a Jar Jar Binks necklace, which is of course the ugliest, most inappropriate thing I’ve ever seen, you should only buy it if you plan to melt it.

I am not a Jar Jar fan, could you guess?

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Batman key-ring

Plucked from the sale section of The Corium’s website, these freakin’ adorable little key-ring people are in short supply. At £3.99, it’s no wonder. I would like one, please. He could keep my little string-person-Spiderman key-ring company.

I like that his slightly wonky eyes make it look like he’s glaring at you. Realism.

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Titanic t-shirt

I find it a tad bizarre that Belfast is proud of the Titanic. Yes, it’s cool that it was made here, but there are some very quiet rumours that the ship didn’t actually do very well once it was out on the big blue wet thing.

Still, it pulls in the tourists, so I suppose it can only be a good thing. And the witty t-shirt (£9.99, by the by), has a point…

Next time you are in Belfast, it is well worth hunting this tiny little cave of magical thing-a-ma-bobs. Be prepared to spend a small fortune though, you won’t be able to resist. You can find The Corium on Facebook, here.

You can find me on Facebook, here.

S.

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I may have discovered the cure for writer’s block…and it may be snow. Seriously, I have been freakin’ prolific this week, because it’s too cold and difficult to get anywhere or do anything. Hence, a Sunday review that’s actually on time. It’s such a shame that my life is quiet and simple, and I am desperately running out of things to review. Without turning this into a movie blog, which would be dumb, because I like to watch the same flicks over and over and over and over.

Clerks and Tangled are currently in heavy rotation. I think the trick is to have insane variety. And catchy Disney tunes.

Anyway. Yes. It’s Sunday, I should decide what I’m going to review…shall I be a tad more intellectual, perhaps?

REFUGEEKNI’S 10 BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU DIE

SO LITTLE TIME.

SO LITTLE TIME.

I always hate those sort of titles, because it’s like…your death is imminent. And probably zombie related. It is sort of catchy though, so I suppose I shall leave it. Anyway, I’ve tried not to be too obvious in my choices (I could have just picked any book from A Song Of Ice And Fire or The Hobbit and gone back to bed, but I owe you more than that).

  1. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

    This recommendation comes with a warning; this is one twisted, horrible book. Not one for animal lovers. Or fans of basic human decency. Banks’ novel is centered around Frank, who kills wasps (and various other small creatures) in complex rituals, believing the outcome to indicate some aspect of the future.

    Gory, soul-destroying and fascinating – this is not a novel for the faint of heart.

  2. The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

    While my first choice is dark and terrible, my second is deep, but uplifting. I am not a religious person and despite the title, I truly believe that this is not a religious book. It’s very human, revolving around the idea that when you die and go to heaven, you meet the five people to whom your life was most influential. The protagonist, Eddie, tells the story of his 83 year long life through these people he meets – although some of them he didn’t even really know at all.

    It’s a thought provoking read, and while it isn’t necessarily ‘geeky’, everyone should read this book.

  3. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

    Androids and bounty hunters! Strongly influenced Bladerunner. Need I say more?

  4. The Dice Man by “Luke Rhinehart”

    What if you left everything in your life entirely to chance? To the roll of some dice? Luke Rhinehart does this, and the results range from entertaining to life-destroying. A truly intriguing read – sex, murder and psychology.

  5. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    Inspired one of the greatest movies of all time (Demolition Man. No, really, I truly believe that it is a masterpiece), Brave New World is set in 2540, in a world where psychological conditioning and ‘reproductive technology’ are the order of the day. I guarantee, you won’t be able to put this book down.

    Sidenote: my cat is named Huxley. Surely, that is the greatest of all honours ever to be bestowed on an author?

  6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

    If you haven’t heard of the book, you’ve surely heard of the movie, starring Aragorn. Um. I mean Viggo Mortenson. McCarthy gives us the post-apocalyptic world that we most definitely do not want to think about. Zombies are all well and good, but starvation and complete and utter hopelessness? Very real fears. The novel follows a father and son through the murderous wilderness, and the massive lack of punctuation is just further testament to how THERE IS NO POINT TO ANYTHING.

    Don’t expect a happy ending.

  7. Misery by Stephen King

    I am not a huge horror fan, but this book really stuck with me. In an age where celebrities are considered public property, the scenario of a super-fan abducting an idol and keeping them locked away is not as fanciful as you might like to think.King at his very best – you’ll never want your fifteen minutes of fame, after all.

    If you don't want to read it, it's cool - Family Guy did a recap.

    If you don’t want to read it, it’s cool – Family Guy did a recap.

  8. The Great Gatbsy by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    A strange choice for a geeky selection of books, I’ll grant you, but this is truly a masterpiece. I read it at least once a year, but I’m amazed every time. The characters are so real that you’ll want to scream at them (or hug them), and you’ll further lose your faith in humanity. Because everyone is a dick who is out to use and abuse you.

    Also, this is happening soon.

    Also, this is happening soon.

  9. The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

    Oscar! Beloved Oscar. Another book I consider to be extremely psychological (it would seem I do like a page turner that messes with your head…), Dorian Gray is a vain narcissist, granted immortality. While his physical self is left untouched by his years and his sins, his portrait bears the scars.
    I am a massive Oscar Wilde fan, for the same reason I am a Shakespeare fan. People and their attitudes never really change; The Portrait Of Dorian Gray is as morally relevant today as it was when it was written.

  10. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell

    TERRIFYING, because it practically came true. The government are in your homes, in your heads, watching your every move! Big Brother is watching, people. Always watching.

There! I think my book choices may say more about myself than anything else, but at least you’ve got a nice little peek inside my brain. Obviously, there are also hundreds of other books you NEED to read – I am a huge fan of the fantasy genre, and while I’ve avoided it successfully for this whole blog, I do so love a book with a nice wizard or a lost prince or an angry god.

That’s another blog for another time, though.

S.

p.s. I have a Facebook page. It needs your love.


I am a huge fan of finding geeky things in places in which you may not expect to find geeky things. Like Tesco or a cat boot sale. I was wandering around Toys ‘R’ Us rather recently, and was pretty darn impressed with some of the toys that are out there for tiny children to gnaw on. They are the geeks of the future after all, and it is our responsibility to leadeth them in the ways of the force/Star Fleet protocol/One Ring.

We should also instill in them an idiot proof zombie apocalypse plan, because if it doesn’t happen in our lifetime, it’s sure as hell going to happen in theirs.

Click for hilarious captions/insights.

I have to admit, out of all the many hundreds of geeky toys for kids, the Lego has always been my favourite; I think it always will be. Video games and light-up-singing-wonder-dolls are fairly amazing, yes, but there is no joy in childhood like building something vaguely resembling a spaceship all by yourself. And then hurling it at walls and siblings until you get a good wreckage to start all over again with.

Many happy childhood memories. Although there is no pain like standing on a Lego brick in your bare feet.

S.


Comment if you can think of any others? I’m making a list…

S.


Do you like blogs? I like blogs. I am obviously quite a fan of writing them, but believe it or not, I do read them too, from time to time.

I especially like when a blog is terrible. I once read one (no, I’m not going to tell you who by or where you can find it, because that’s so mean), but it was essentially some wee lady from Belfast, talking about her sexual conquests. “N ten he did me up da bk of da Waterfrnt”…I really wish I was kidding, but it did have me in stitches for about three weeks.

ANYWAY. On to blogs that are decent and don’t scar delicate brain matter…

If you are a girl (or a very modern type of man), then you might be interested to read That Belfast Girl. The blog itself is mostly about fashion and the such (I wish I could dress well, but I generally look like a hobo), but my favourite parts of said Belfast girl’s adventures are the awesome events she gets invited to, and reviews of lovely Belfast restaurants.

thatbelfastgirl.blogspot.co.uk

thatbelfastgirl.blogspot.co.uk

Next up, Panic Dots. If you don’t know what Panic Dots is…well, you obviously don’t live in the greater Belfast/Lisburn area, where there are little pink stickers advertising the site absolutely everywhere. Everywhere.

Panic Dots is not so much a blog as a whole grown-up website, devoted to the Northern Ireland entertainment scene. Northern Ireland entertainment used to be an oxymoron. Not so much these days.

panicdots.com

panicdots.com

On closer inspection, Panic Dots actually get up to much more than I thought they did. Go read about it here.

Next up is a controversial choice, perhaps. I’m not trying to chase anyone away from this glorious blog, or force my own teeny opinions in your face – I am just a fan of good writing and free thinking. On that note, Atheism NI is worth checking out. The site has recently had a face-lift and it looks awfully spiffy; it’s packed with religious and atheist arguments/debates/tidbits from politics, international news and even Twitter. I’m a particular fan of THIS recent post.

atheismnorthernireland.com

atheismnorthernireland.com

Finally, www.frenchforcupcake.com. The most recent addition to my weekly blog checking, but perhaps the one I look forward to the most. Fashion, baking, the world’s most adorable puppy, baking and BAKING. Such baking. This über talented lady sells cupcakes at St. George’s Market (as The Lily Pink Bakery), and once you have one, you will want to have fifty.

Damn. Now I’m hungry.

S.


Except for this one, right here. Mine. Blog. Yes. Good.

I am always on a mission to fill my house with geeky and amazing things. This is particularly difficult given that I don’t trust eBay (I don’t know why, it’s best not to ask), it’s a real task to find such magical geeky treasures in Northern Ireland (although I really do try) and I am not made of money.

I am made of water and…whatever else people are made of. Iron? Love? I honestly do not know.

There is a website, however, where all my dreams come true. ThinkGeek.com loves everything I love, and the prices are totally reasonable. They are in dollars because, like all the best things, ThinkGeek is American.

American. See?

American. See?

Anyway, there are literally hundreds of things on this website that I want/need/require to live, but I have chosen a few of the shiniest, most colourful things for you to go buy for me.

Thanks.

You can use all the bottle caps you mine to craft a fort!

You can use all the bottle caps you mine to craft a fort!

I cannot imagine any situation where this would not be useful.

I cannot imagine any situation where this would not be useful.

Superior Mario.

Superior Mario.

I have ALWAYS wanted one of these. Always.

I have ALWAYS wanted one of these. Always.

Marvellous, yes? Yes! And there is so much more. So much. Their selection of Game Of Thrones goodies is magical; you need one of each of these things for your season three premier party, of course.

Speaking of which…no, in fact, the perfect Game Of Thrones themed party needs a blog all to itself.

S.


Okay! I finally remembered to do one of these on time. The down side is, I don’t think I really have anything I want to review. I have literally done nothing all week, except for watch The Office (US, naturally), play drinking Jenga and eat fast food. I am an inspiration, I know.

Oh! I suppose there is this one other thing that I do all the time. Just before Christmas, I discovered Supernatural. I realize that everyone else discovered Supernatural years and years and years ago, but it is pretty new to me. Mind you, I am catching up nicely – about to start season seven, so I think I average about two seasons a month.

Which is actually sort of sad.

Anyway, if you are not familiar with the concept of the show, it’s about two brothers (who both won the gene-pool lottery and are brain-warpingly good looking) who travel all over America being monster hunters. One of the brothers is Jensen Ackles (formerly of Days Of Our Lives) and one of them is Jared Padalecki (who used to be on the Gilmore Girls), but don’t let their dodgy acting pasts or floppy hair scare you away. Given the way I feel about horror movies (why would you pay money to have someone make you scared and miserable?), it’s a bit of a surprise addiction, because at times it can be really bloody creepy. Ghost kids and piles of skin and people exploding; the works. It also happens to be hilarious. There’s this one episode where they end up in an alternate dimension, where they are actors playing themselves on a TV series. No, really.

I don’t really know how else to sell the show to people who don’t already watch it. There are hot girls, sometimes? The music is awesome (but only if you really like Kansas)? There is really no point to this blog what-so-ever, I just needed an excuse to bring up Misha Collins and my insane love for his perfect face. It needed to be on the internet, somewhere.

Ours is a real and perfect love.

Ours is a real and perfect love.

I have discovered, in recent weeks, that I actually have a super power that is very closely tied to this particular TV show. I am slightly psychic about it. I always know what’s going to happen, but only about thirty seconds before it happens. It’s not a great super power I’ll grant you, but I’m sure not all the X-men were that useful.

Anyway, if you haven’t already given Supernatural a chance, you really should. You’ve got a whole heap of catching up to do.

S.