Month: December 2015

Running in Heaven!!

I know I’ll be running everywhere in Heaven after I die, but I think my ashes can be in The Dark Side!!

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In the buildup to the release of The Force Awakens, we’ve seen an avalanche of unusual Star Wars merchandise — mostly licensed, but some not — ranging from custom pianos and a diamond-encrusted BB-8 to a Han Solo blaster flask and unintentionally creepy shower heads. However, these Star Wars urns may claim the title of strangest tie-ins, all while causing us to dwell on our own mortality. Or at least Darth Vader’s.

Franchise fans who’ve been struck down probably won’t become more powerful than we can possibly imagine (sorry). However, they can still embrace the Dark Side by making a Darth Vader or Death Star urn their final resting place. Just don’t mistake the former for a Darth Vader cooler.

Although U.K.-based Urns for Ashes introduced the items well before the latest wave of Star Wars mania swept across the globe, CNET reports the company has seen inquiries rocket by 300 percent ahead of The Force Awakens. (Both urns are temporarily out of stock.)

Priced at about $223, the urns are produced using 3D printing, which means the color can be customized. Of course, you can also choose your own inscription, in case you want to remind family and friends that your Force ghost is always within earshot.

A sad day in Marvel Comics!!

After I posted about Charles Xavier being a great character to me, a friend got me this great comic for CHRISTmas!! 

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Even though Charles Xavier dies in this one, he went out doing what his passion was, wanting to help his FRIEND!!

A “Comic” book CHRISTmas Eve??

(Icelanders maybe on to something but I’ll tweak it…   LOL)

 The beautiful Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve..

woman reading

Book lovers will want to adopt this lovely holiday tradition, which melds literary and holiday pleasures into a single event.

Icelanders have a beautiful tradition of giving books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading. This custom is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it is the reason for the Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood,” when the majority of books in Iceland are sold between September and December in preparation for Christmas giving.

At this time of year, most households receive an annual free book catalog of new publications called the Bokatidindi. Icelanders pore over the new releases and choose which ones they want to buy, fueling what Kristjan B. Jonasson, president of the Iceland Publishers Association, describes as “the backbone of the publishing industry.”

“It’s like the firing of the guns at the opening of the race,” says Baldur Bjarnason, a researcher who has written about the Icelandic book industry. “It’s not like this is a catalog that gets put in everybody’s mailbox and everybody ignores it. Books get attention here.”

The small Nordic island, with a population of only 329,000 people, is extraordinarily literary. They love to read and write. According to a BBC article, “The country has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world… One in 10 Icelanders will publish [a book].”

It seems there is more value placed on physical, paper books than in North America, where e-books have grown in popularity. One bookstore manager told NPR, “The book in Iceland is such an enormous gift, you give a physical book. You don’t give e-books here.” The book industry is driven by the majority of people buying several books each year, rather than the North American pattern of a few people buying lots of books.

When I asked an Icelandic friend what she thought of this tradition, she was surprised.

“I hadn’t thought of this as a special Icelandic tradition. It is true that a book is always considered a nice gift. Yes, for my family this is true. We are very proud of our authors.”

It sounds like a wonderful tradition, perfect for a winter evening. It is something that I would love to incorporate into my own family’s celebration of Christmas. I doubt my loyalty to physical books will ever fade; they are the one thing I can’t resist collecting, in order to read and re-read, to beautify and personalize my home, to pass on to friends and family as needed. Combining my love for books and quiet, cozy Christmas Eves sounds like a perfect match.