StarTalk Live! Big Brains at BAM (Part 1)

Late with my Science Saturday blog, but it was worth it to post this! StarTalk Live! Big Brains at BAM (Part 1)

Topics: Veganism and Colonization of Mars, Big Bang Theory, homeschooling, and lots of great guests! And Neil DeGrasse Tyson, of course!





About “The Inn at the Crossroads” Food Blog

A little while ago, a friend sent me a link for an exciting, literary-based food blog called “The Inn at the Crossroads”, where they have created recipes for medieval-style dishes from the Game of Thrones books. My favourite recipe so far has been their elderflower fritters. I’ve posted the links below, for both their blog and the elderflower recipe. Check out this amazing, and extensive, food blog! There’s also a link for the official cookbook for GoT, if you’re feeling ambitious! Happy eating!

The Inn at the Crossroads Elderflower Fritters recipe link:

The main link for The Inn at the Crossroads food blog:



Historicon 2014 July 17-21 Fredericksburg, Virginia

I just learned from my fellow blogger, Casemate (publisher and distributor of history books) that Historicon 2014 is going on right now! Casemate has an exhibitor’s stand at the convention run by the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society. This year’s theme is “Big Wars, Little Soldiers–World Wars Throughout Time”.

Check out the games, events, and seminars at the Historicon 2014 website here:

Here’s the Casemate blog that has their convention information!

Let me know how it is…as I am unable to attend!


Absolutely Decadent Recipe for Lavender and Garlic Sweet Potato Fries from blogger Rose (RoseEatsPlants)….

This looks amazing! I couldn’t resist sharing this with you for my #FoodieFriday blog, courtesy of the RoseEatsPlants blog/blogger.

Lavender and Garlic Sweet Potato Fries with Balsamic and Blueberry Ketchup

Check out RoseEatsPlants’s other great blog entries here!


Ching Shih, Powerful Female Pirate from China

Ching Shih (B: 1775 D: 1844) was a powerful female pirate, running her fleet through Eastern waters. According to Wikipedia, she took control of her husband’s piratical operation after he died, running it with notable success. Ching Shih has been represented in such pop-culture media as books, graphic novels, and movies (Wikipedia). Deadline Hollywood covered the upcoming series “Red Flag” in a previous article; about, of course, Ching Shih and her accomplishments as a pirate and martial leader.


While the information might be accurate, I never rely exclusively on the internet to provide reliable historical information, and have not read much about this pirate as of yet. I have, however, (for myself as well as for you!) found an university press book for further reading…just one book, alas. If you know of any other books or journal articles on Ching Shih, let me know in the comments below!

Pirates of the South China Coast, 1790-1810–Dian Murray (available at Abe’s Books,



The Quickie by Kitty Fine

Sadly, the last time I read any erotica was a purloined copy of Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus, way back in middle school. Kitty Fine’s The Quickie reminds me of the innocent and illicit pleasure of reading erotica for the first time. In comparison to my naïve, closeted childhood, there is nothing reserved about main character Nikki’s frank appreciation of sex, imbued with all the open wide-eyed wonder of youth. Nikki’s quickie sexual encounter is erotic and titillating, of course, but the character’s narrative voice still feels age-appropriately wholesome and fresh, in that it matches the young woman’s maturity level and personality.  Nikki does define herself as a nympho, but in a charming way that reminds the reader that we were all young, with rapacious sex drives, once upon a time (or still!).

I think what appealed to me most about The Quickie is that the writing is concise and straightforward. I’m always a fan of clean, unfettered writing, but the naturalness of Kitty Fine’s prose makes this erotica piece both comfortably enjoyable and stimulating at the same time, without that odd undercurrent of guilt that some erotic writing can evoke. I felt that a little more attention to sentence style and structure would have helped smooth over a few minor glitches that disrupted the flow of the read.

Overall, a strong, and sexy, read from a strong and well-balanced writer. Quite enjoyable!



Egmont Key State Park and Lighthouse

Egmont Key State Park is located near Fort DeSoto. It’s home to a wildlife refuge, a lighthouse, and the cool-looking ruins and structures of Fort Dade that date back to the Spanish-American War. It’s only accessible by boat or ferry, and there’s no overnight camping allowed on the island, but you can rent a boat and camp on the nearby Shell Key Preserve. We took the ferry out with a group of people (most of whom we didn’t see the rest of the time on the island), although our ferry operator was so visibly pissed that he had to go out to Egmont Key and that he complained about the trip the whole way and kept trying to bully us into going to Shell Key Preserve instead. In spite of our grumpy ferry operator, it was well worth the trip, and I would love to go back and camp out on Shell Key Preserve with a rented boat, so I would have more time to spend on the island.

(All photos taken by me–copyright disclaimer)