Posts by: Lee McKusick

Geek, finalsite Support Specialist, RIT Alumni, Community Manager, Ballroom Dancer, PC Gamer, Jedi Knight

Textbook: A Literary Fashion Blog

As both an avid reader and someone with a passing interest in style and fashion, I think that Textbook is a pretty awesome site. It’s a blog that takes fictional literary characters and imagines how they would dress today.

Some of my favorites:

Jay Gatsby --  F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

Jay Gatsby

Count Dracula -- Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Dracula - Textbook

Elizabeth Bennett -- Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

A few other great posts:

Aphrodite -- Greek Goddess of Love
Daenerys Targaryen -- George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire
Dorian Gray -- Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray
Edmond Dantes -- Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo
Howard Roark -- Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead
Hurricane Irene
Lucrezia Borgia -- Daughter of Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI (Wikipedia Link)


Premium Android Apps to Celebrate 10 Billion Downloads

For those of you who have Android phones, the Android Market has some premium Apps on sale for 10 cents each.

I highly recommend:

Soundhound: Similiar to Shazam, in that it will search for a song’s information after recording a clip. Super useful if you’re an audiophile who likes to know the artist, title, album, and every other piece of info about a track you like. Or if you’ve just got a song stuck in your head and need to know what it is.

SwiftKey X Keyboard: This app adds a keyboard that vastly improves on the default Android keyboard. I’ve been using this app for a while (Amazon had it a while back as a free one-day promotion.

Minecraft -- Pocket Edition: Fans of the hit desktop game should enjoy the portability of this world-creation game.

Great Little War Game: A small-scale 3D RTS game. It reminds me of Advance Wars for the GBA. Those were the good ol’ days…

It looks like they’re doing this for 10 days, with different apps each day, so check back for new deals.

How to Be More Interesting in 10 Simple Steps has this brief but excellent article by Jessica Hagy with some tips on how to be more adventurous and enrich your life. They’re more conceptual than practical—tips such as “Embrace your Inner Weirdness” are pretty vague—but they’re broad enough that everyone should be able to find some nugget of practical application if they think about it enough.

For example, the first tip is “Go exploring.” The best thing you can do is to start locally. Have you been to every restaurant in your town? How about that small trinket shop on the corner that you never knew was there before? Some other simple possibilities:

1. Go to the library and grab a book from a section you don’t normally browse. (If you’re a science fiction fan, get a mystery. If you’re usually into romance, grab a history book. Give something new a spin. Oh, and for the love of all that is good and holy in the world, stay away from this.)

2. Take a look at your local newspaper, or keep your eyes on a community bulletin board—Panera Breads and coffee shops usually have something. There’s likely a lot more activities around your area than you realize. You’ll likely things like special festivals or classes to take to learn a skill (e.g. pottery classes at an art gallery).

I’d say the only tip from the article that I would tweak would be #6. I agree that you don’t want to be arrogant, as it’s a large turn-off for most people. However, as you go exploring and gain new skills and experiences, you’re bound to develop a good dose of confidence. This is perfectly OK, and should be harnessed. Confident people are the the ones that most people look up to.

The trick, though, is keeping your level of confidence paced with your skills/experience. If your confidence outpaces your skills, you appear arrogant. Too little confidence though, and you appear weak and inferior. Keep the proper balance, while always growing your experiences, and you’ll end up the most interesting man in the world.

True Tales from Skyrim

I had just arrived at Whiterun. In the town square, I noticed one of the street vendors being hassled by a seemingly intoxicated man. Not being one to resist helping out a pretty face, I stepped in to have a word with the fellow. Some persuasion (and intimidation) later, he decided to leave her alone and head home.

She thanked me profusely, telling me of how ever since her husband had left them, she and her daughter had fallen on hard times, and the constant stream of new suitors did nothing to alleviate her stress. She offered me a small gift from her shop, and I accepted her thanks graciously. We parted ways, and I scarcely gave the encounter a second thought.

Fast forward to a few days ago: I had fallen in with some unseemly people in Whiterun, people who had a dark secret. They had traded their humanity for power. They had offered this power to me as well, and I accepted, participating in a profane ritual that temporarily turned me into a deadly beast.

That night, the bloodlust had overtaken my senses, and though I don’t remember most of it, some things still haunt my nightmares: the smell of blood, the sound of claws tearing through flesh, the face of the woman from the market.

The next morning, I had awoken to find myself in my bed, naked and sore. After I had cleaned myself up, I went outside, and found the remnants of the night before. A few tattered bodies were in the street, a gruesome sight. I recognized one of them as the woman from my first visit to Whiterun.

My “friends” were there also, and sent me on a mission to clear out a fortress full of those who would hunt us and destroy us. It had the added benefit of getting me out of the city for a while until things calmed down. I had performed the task with precision and speed, and have just arrived back in Whiterun.

Just then, a courier came up to me, and gave me a letter, as well as a large coinpurse. Apparently, the woman had been so thankful, she wrote me into her will, and left me some money when she died.

I began to walk away, and I saw the woman’s now-orphaned daughter running through the street with some of the other town children.

I’m a monster.

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