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It’s a bold move to reference The Wicker Man in a film so clearly inspired by it. Unfortunately, it appears to be the only bold decision Death of Me makes during its 94 minute run.

Death of Me is a 2020 film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (best known for his work on the Saw series) and starring Maggie Q as Christine, an American woman on vacation with her husband, Neil (Luke Hemsworth), on a small, fairly unremarkable island in Thailand. Things start badly for the pair — they wake up dirty and covered in blood, run late for their…


I read “A Scandal in Bohemia” today. Perhaps ‘read’ isn’t quite the right word — I was lucky enough to find an audio version provided by a volunteer on Librivox, which is essentially the Gutenberg Project of audiobooks. So, I listened to the story.

It fascinated me. It is not the first Sherlock Holmes story that I had ever read; that distinction belongs to The Hound of the Baskervilles, which I had read a very long time ago as a child. However, I am not very familiar with the canon works, having absorbed the Sherlock Holmes story through a number…


Photo by Luizmedeirosph from Pexels

There is a man who stares at me. I see him while I walk my dogs through our neighborhood. He stands imposingly behind his front door made entirely of glass, and he looks at me in a manner that I can only describe as a glare. I don’t walk my dogs in his yard, preferring the more barren mulched path across from it. But it does unnerve me a bit.

The feeling I get when I can sense his eyes attempting to bore holes into my skin is something like the beginning of a horror movie: A sense of unease…


As a self-identified autodidact, dedicated to always learning, I hate the inaccessibility of academia. What is and should be upheld as a fountain of great knowledge is instead sneered at as the mountaintop of elitism.

The Price of Academic Knowledge Makes it Unattainable

While those who frame academia as elitist can fall into anti-intellectual rhetoric, they have a point. Today, I found an article on memory retrieval and learning mechanisms. I take great interest in these subjects as I try to maximize my learning as much and often as possible.

However, this particular article was not open access. To have the privilege of reading it, I would need…


People are always mad about something. Like a rollercoaster, the anger at indignity gets the adrenaline pumping, words get heated, and people feel the vindication of being right, or otherwise proving someone else wrong.

Last week, or however long ago it was, someone published an article on some news website about how plus-size mannequins and representations of fat women participating in fitness activities are actively harming and potentially killing real women, or something. This isn’t much different from other fun jabs, like some YouTube person making a video about how fat people are pathetic. Or something.

You’ll notice that I’m…


It is heartbreaking to know that the path to equality and justice is not a linear one. Today, Vice President Mike Pence admitted to the claims that the Trump Administration had been denying requests from embassies to fly the rainbow flag, the symbol of support to LGBTQ+ people. This new policy is a reversal of the Obama Administration policy, which was to grant all requests to fly the Pride flag during Pride Month.

Pence defended the decision to turn down the requests from embassies in Israel, Germany, Brazil, and Latvia. “I’m aware that the State Department indicated that on the…


As I work on improving my own skills, I’ve turned to Lingvist as one of the ways I keep up with my Spanish education.

What is Lingvist?

Lingvist is a language-learning app and website that works as a mix between Memrise and Duolingo.

Unlike Memrise, which asks you to answer flashcards, and Duolingo, which asks you to write out full sentences, Lingvist asks you to fill in the blank in a sentence in your target language. Once solved, it moves onto the next vocab word, occasionally asking you to review words you may have had trouble with earlier (a technique called spaced repetition).


It’s the new year! Has anyone made a New Year’s resolution to learn a new language? Luckily, language-learning apps like Duolingo, Memrise, and Babbel have made it a lot easier to learn a language. I’ve decided that one of my many resolutions include completing both the Spanish and Russian trees on Duolingo.

While I’m guilty of breaking my streaks, I’ve been a Duolingo user for years now, having completed the French tree and having learned a little bit of over a dozen languages. During that time, I’ve learned some tricks to better learn with Duolingo.

Using Speech to Text

Duolingo is great, but sometimes…


Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

It was the glossy sheen that caught Martin’s attention. Bending carefully, murky water lapping insistently against his chest wader, he fished the scrap of paper from the surface of the water.

It was a photo, a piece of it, anyway. The water must have damaged it enough, then the heavy winds and stinging rain ripped it to shreds. Horribly waterlogged, but miraculously recognizable. A little girl perched on the shoulders of a young man. Glee and mirth forever printed in ink, happy times that only just drove home the fact that Martin was wading around in someone’s living room.

He…


Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I almost never check promotional emails, so it’s a miracle I opened an Acorns email a couple days ago. It was an email promoting some of their blog posts. One caught my eye: “9 Side Hustles for 2019 That Don’t Require a Lot of Talent or Ramp-Up Time”.

It was all good up until I saw the subheading, “Sell Your Favorite Products”. Initially, I wasn’t concerned — perhaps they meant dropshipping, or affiliate marketing on your blog, or even flipping thrifted garb — but looking at the first sentence under that heading formed a cold pit in my stomach.

Rodan…

Grey

Freelancer, blogger, writer.

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