Crystals and Sacred Sites

I know it seems like I’m always super excited and gushing, but how excited was I to be given the opportunity to review the newest book by Judy Hall, the author of “The Crystal Bible”? The answer is, jumping up and down excited because as you may remember, I love minerals and gemstones. Judy Hall’s new book, “Crystals and Sacred Sites: Use Crystals to Access the Power of Sacred Landscapes for Personal and Planetary Transformation” does not disappoint.

Hall posits an intriguing theory. If you know the crystal or crystals associated with a location, you can align yourself with, connect with, and visit sacred locations. (Although I don’t see why you couldn’t use this for any location.) This means you learn about predictable locations such as Stonehenge and Glastonbury, but also unexpected spots like Pipestone National Monument in Minnesota and Lake Louise, Banff, Alberta Canada.

“Crystals and Sacred Sites” is oversized and entirely in full color. The images of the crystals are beautiful. This book is informative, thought provoking, and attractive. It’s equally at home on a shelf in your study or out on an end table as a picture book. “Crystals and Sacred Sites” is a welcome addition to category of books on crystals.

A diminished example of the beautiful work in Hall's book.

Wizard Hunters Needs You

Do you enjoy the original movies and television series on the SyFy network? Have you heard of the web series Wizard Hunters? If you haven’t checked it out, you’re missing out. Per their website:

Inspired by fantasy films like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, “Wizard Hunters: The Series” is a fantasy web series about Crystal, a young girl discovering that she plays a vital role in an extraordinary world she never knew existed. Set in our contemporary time, wizards, sorceresses, and vampires battle for control in a war that has been waging for centuries. “Good” and “Evil” find new definition and shades of ambiguity. As the series unfolds, several journeys of personal identity and love are discovered, lost, and avenged. It is an epic story told through high-action and special effects. “Wizard Hunters” is an intriguing ride for the whole family!

I was quite impressed by the level of special effects used. Wizard Hunters aren’t some guys who got together with a video camera to play at making a web series. This has some top notch special effects, a serious story line, great costuming, and some wonderful acting. I particularly enjoyed Bob Barr as Orion.

You can watch the first episode right here. It’s only five minutes and 21 seconds.

If you enjoyed what you saw, you should know TWO things. ONE, you can watch the rest of the series for free at TWO, they’re currently trying to raise money to do a second season because doing free to watch episodes that look that sweet don’t come cheap. You can check out their Kickstarter to see what rewards you get for donating some cash to the cause here.

Goddess Guide Me

A couple of friends of mine took me on a birthday field trip to Northshire Books in Manchester, VT. While there I found a hidden gem; a used copy of “Goddess Guide Me: The Oracle That Answers Questions of the Heart” by Amy Zerner and Monte Farber. It was published in 1992 by Fireside Books, a subsidiary of Simon and Schuster.

This is a truly unique oracle compared to others I’ve seen. It’s a cardboard book and each page is divided into three parts; a top, middle, and bottom. When the pages are together, they form beautiful images of goddesses from around the globe. That’s thanks to Amy Zerner who is known for her fabric paintings.

The divided page represents Head, Heart, and Home. There’s text on each section. The head is about mental qualities attributed to each goddess. The heart focuses on purely emotional qualities attributed to each goddess. The home section focuses on the type of physical actions associated with each goddess and reminds you that emulating those actions can help you attain your goal.

So here’s what you do. “Goddess Guide Me” comes with three 12 sided dice. A purple one for head, a blue for heart, and a black one for home. You roll them and the number tells you how many pages to flip in the book. If you roll a 5 on the purple (head) die, you turn five head pages. In this case, it gets the goddess Freyja. A 9 on the blue (heart) die gets Lakshmi. An 11 on the black (home) die gets Atlantia. That’s totally neat, right?

There is a companion book that comes with it that gives you instructions on using the oracle, insight into the goddesses, and rituals.

“Goddess Guide Me” is an amazing tool that seems as relevant today as I’m sure it was when it was published in 1992. What publisher is going to step up and help make this fantastic oracle set available again?

Are You A Brewlywed?

Interested in being a Brewlywed? I know I am! I just about fainted in happiness when I received a press release for Sam Adams beer. Maybe I didn’t say that right, SAMUEL ADAMS BEER! Are you on board with the excitement level now? Excellent.

It turns out that the brewers over at Samuel Adams have created an ale with wedding bells in mind; Brewlywed Ale. According to the press release:

A distinct and complex brew, Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale offers layers of flavor including fruit and honeysuckle notes from the Belgian yeast, sweetness from malt and citrus character from hops.

• This traditional Belgian-style bride ale combines the tropical, floral aromas of Stella and Summer hops with subtle hints of spice.

• Its light malt character and soft hop profile impart an upfront fruity taste followed by lingering notes of clove and honeysuckle from Belgian yeast. The Belgian yeast also imparts distinct flavors of spicy clove and tropical fruit character.

• At 8% ABV, Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale is a medium bodied brew, deep golden in color with a slight unfiltered haze.

• This special brew finishes a little crisp from the wheat, with a citrus and fruity note on the palate and lingering hop finish.

At this point you may be wondering how you get this wonderful elixir, that’s the trick. It will be available for ONE DAY ONLY at the Samuel Adams Brewery in Boston, MA.

• WHERE: Samuel Adams Brewery | 30 Germania Street | Boston, MA 02130

• WHEN: Wednesday June 26, 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Attendees can begin lining up at 7:00AM

The first 20 people to arrive in bridal attire will be moved to the front of the line.

Purchase Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale from 9:00AM to 1:00PM

Get wedding tips from The Knot editors and experts

Enjoy great music from a local wedding band

Sample delicious wedding recipes and beer pairings

Feeling adventurous? Get married at the Brewery and have Samuel Adams Founder and Brewer Jim Koch serve as your Best Man

Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale will be packaged in decorated 750mL, cork-finished bottles; and available for $14.99 per bottle, or purchased by the case of 12 (maximum of 3 cases per purchase).

If any Buffet readers go, please send me pictures! I want to hear all about it! SAMUEL ADAMS!

The Yoga Back Book

To all my younger readers, take care of your back. You’ll appreciate the advice when you’re an old lady like me. Due to assorted health issues I can’t really do aerobic exercise so I’ve been doing yoga for a long time. In fact, I started it before the health issues! And yet, damn, my back. I finally started private yoga lessons with a professional teacher/trainer. The new routines have been great!

The horrible truth is, when it comes to our bodies, everything is connected. It took a professional yoga instructor to help me understand that and modify my routines. For you, could I suggest “The Yoga Back Book: The Natural Solution to Freedom From Pain” by Stella Weller?

Weller’s book is an amazing resource. She really explains to you the components of the back and how they work. No stone is left unturned as Weller discusses diet, ergonomics, posture, sleep, and of course yoga. The yoga poses are pretty basic and should be doable by beginners. That said, the more advanced practioner will recognize the importance of these cornerstone poses.

I have to say, I would readily recommend “The Yoga Back Book” to anyone who has back pain issues but also to any beginning yoga practioners.

Geek Month in Review: May 2013

Summer is coming.

Insect-like Robots
Very cool, and also little weird. Like every movie with a robot insect secretly watching someone.

47 Words That Might Not Exist
Ok, to be accurate, the book they were originally found in might not exist. Or at least the poor folks at the Oxford English Dictionary can’t find the book. It’s called “Meanderings on Memory”, published around 1859 and it appears to be the source of around 47 words in the English language. If, that is, it actually exists.

Island for Sale
In Scotland, mind you, one of the Summer Isles. It’s inhabited, so you’ll have neighbors, and it does have features (e.g. a post office and a cafe).

What Ancient Statues Really Looked Like
A little ultraviolet light and we can see that the ancient Greeks and Romans had …. really bad taste. Seriously, take a look. Scientists and art historians have used ultraviolet light to find what paints were used to cover those classic statues we all just assumed always looked like that. And it turns out that they were often a little … garish.

80,000 Applicants, 4 Positions, 1 Job: Mars
So remember that Mars One project I linked to in a previous Geek Review? No? Well, to sum up, there’s a Dutch company that plans on creating a permanent human settlement on Mars in 2023. They’re picking their permanent Mars residents out of a giant pool of online applicants, and they plan on making the selection process of the Final Four into a reality show to pay for the whole expedition. It’s so crazy, it just might work. Anyway, here’s an article talking about it, with a new version of the Mars One intro video.

Glow-in-the-Dark Trees
Really. Several enterprising scientists have a Kickstarter campaign going to fund glowing trees that will replace street lights. All the energy will come from regular old photosynthesis. Yes, we’re in the future now.

Their Kickstarter campaign:
Them answering questions on Reddit:

The Periodic Table Song
No, not the Animiacs. Didn’t they do a periodic table song? No? Well, I’m including their version of the Nations of the World song anyway. Also, damn! I’d forgotten how crazy that Animaniacs song is.

Nations of the World (Animaniacs):

Amazing Subway Stations
And the reason this article is in the Geek Review? Because half these places, which are “just” subway stations or train stations, resemble some retro future come to life. Check out the 1970s retro future, the 1980s retro future and the steampunk retro look.

Science-Fair Teenager Invents Super-Capacitor
It can lead to being able to charge a cell phone in 20-30 seconds, or an electric car in 30 minutes. Kids these days!

Plant Entombed in Ice Comes Alive
From the “wasn’t this an episode of the X-Files?” uh, files, scientists found a plant encased in ice during the Little Ice Age (about 400 years ago), and got it growing again. How neat is that? At least until they unearth the Killer Plant.

You Think That’s a Big Ship?
Nope, this one is. It’s the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller, the largest ship in the world, at least it will be once it sets sail. It’s capable of carrying 18,000 20-foot shipping containers. Yeah, that’s a lot.

Warm Up the Cloning Tanks!
Scientists poked a frozen mammoth corpse and got viscous blood! Yup, it’s just a matter of time.

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog: