The Good Stuff: Cool Dragon Art From Smaugust 2021

Like Inktober in October, Smaugust is a month-long community event in August for artists where everyone creates art on the same theme. That theme, if you couldn’t tell from the name Smaug, is dragons, so obviously I love it. I have the tag saved on Instagram and scrolled through often to see all the hella cool art made by some wildly talented artists.

Since Smaugust is over now, I thought I’d share some of my favourites that I found throughout the month. Everyone’s Instagram handles are linked below the slideshow, so if you want to see more of their art, click away!

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I am in awe of the talent these people have! Such good work! And I hope you enjoyed looking at this sample of art as much as I did!

That’s all for now!

 

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The Good Stuff: Silly Inventions Online

The other week, a friend and I found a Twitter account of a guy who purposely makes silly, dumb inventions. We spent an hour scrolling back through two years of Tweets to see what he’s made. Obviously, we were very amused. This guy also reminded me of a few people I had seen on YouTube who do similar things. As someone who has literally no machine/building skills and nowhere near as good of an imagination, I find this all to be very cool. Like, to have an idea and then have the tools and brains to make it happen, even if it’s a silly idea, is fun to watch. So here I am, sharing some of my favourite silly inventions from my favourite silly inventors.

Also, sorry if these embeds are aggressively large. It was the WordPress default and I was too lazy to change them all.


Matty Benedetto proudly invents things that do not need to exist and then does professional photoshoots for them as if they were real products one could buy.


Simone Giertz is a Swedish inventor who has survived a brain tumor. She lives in LA now and calls herself “the queen of shitty robots” as a lot of her inventions involve robots and moving pieces. Check out some classics from her YouTube channel:


William Osman is an engineer of sorts who has very chaotic energy, which makes his videos and inventions very fun to watch. But he has a good time giving things a shot and getting others involved in the madness.


Michael Reeves, the youngest of the bunch, is similar to William. In fact, they lived together for a while. He also is incredibly chaotic and good with programming to solve problems that no one had.


I’ve never gone out of my way to find these people, they’ve just stumbled into my view through YouTube recommendations or being sent a silly Instagram post, but it’s cool that I can be so amused by them. And it’s neat that there are people who have careers from making such fun but unnecessary things. These are just the ones I know of, but I’m sure there are many more out there, so link me to any you know of! I hope you enjoyed what I’ve shared here because rewatching them all in preparation for this blog post was very fun.

That’s all for now!

 

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7 Free Online Games That Have Amused My Friends And I For Hours

One really really good thing that has happened to me in this pandemic is that I’ve reconnected with some people I knew in university, and now I’m on Google Hangouts with some of them almost every night. We’re just looking to have a good time, and over the past several months, we’ve found some fun and creative games to amuse us, and all for the low, low price of free. If you and your socially distanced friends are looking for new games to play, here’s what I and several others can wholeheartedly recommend.

you'll thank me later gif.

  1. Crossword Puzzles
    The site this is on is called Backyard, which technically has several games, and we’ve played many of them, but our most-played one is actually just crossword puzzles. It’s fun to use our combined knowledge to complete a puzzle together (especially because I’m bad at crosswords on my own). I think we’ve done all the Easy ones and a good chunk of the Hard ones. (edit: this site has apparently shut down since I wrote this post. Sorry.)
  2. Codenames
    There is a good version of this game on Backyard too (though it’s called Codewords there), but Codenames is the legit one, and it’s free and easy. Essentially a clue-giver has their team identify team words by giving a word associated. It’s ideal for 6+ people so the teams can have many brains, but I’ve played with 4 or 5 total. It’s fun to really sync my brain up with others to understand the clues. We’ve even added a layer of challenge by just giving the clue word and not the associated number, which is a spicy way to play.
  3. Among Us
    You’ve probably heard of this mobile game as it got very popular last fall. Little aliens complete tasks on a ship while avoiding one person who is a secret killer. It’s very fun, and playing over a video call allows us to a) not use the game’s crappy chat feature and b) use body language and voice inflections to identify the imposter. We played the game in the standard way a lot, but there was also a stint where we’d play the Hide And Seek version more because it worked well with smaller numbers and familiar maps.
  4. Jigsaw Puzzles
    This is a new addition to our gaming roster, but it’s amusing us a lot, even though it’s not really a game as it is a hobby. There are plenty of puzzle images to choose from, and you can even pick the number of pieces to ramp up the difficulty if you want more of a challenge (we did one that took us over 7 hours once). Plus, the sound the pieces make when they click together is very satisfying.
    puzzle pieces coming together
  5. Uno
    Uno is great because it’s not a huge time commitment. You can easily play a few rounds in 20 minutes. This version can only handle 4 people and it limits your autonomy a bit in terms of what cards you can and can’t play, but it’s very visually nice and keeps score for you and all that fun stuff. I doubt there’s a better one out there.
  6. Scattergories
    This is just like the physical tabletop version, but online! A letter and categories are given and players come up with a word for each, and then there’s a nice voting system where everyone can decide if all the answers are good or not. This site also keeps score for you nicely. Again, video calls aid in this game as you can argue your side faster than typing it out.
  7. Skribbl.io aka Pictionary
    No matter how good you are at art, this game is very fun. It’s basically Pictionary but instead of being on teams, it’s every man for themselves. My friends and I have added a twist to it by doing rounds where we have to draw the hardest option no matter what.
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Bonus: Guess The Knees
Soooo there’s not a website for this because it’s kind of an original game, but it’s still quality. We just opened a Google Slideshow and started finding and cropping pictures of celebrity knees, and then we all just took turns guessing who it is by asking questions. “Have they won an Emmy?” “Are they in the MCU?” There are some surprising knees out there! If you’re reading this right now and thinking that this sounds so stupid, you’d be right, but I need you to know that my friends and I, all in our mid-twenties, played this on two separate nights and we had a good time. I think it speaks to the creativity people can have when they’re bored and silly.

If you play any other free online games, let me know as we’re always looking for more fun games to play when we hang out, so leave a comment if you know of any!

I may not be able to hug my friends, but I sure can beat them at games, which is perhaps just as good in this era.

Peace out, gamers!

 

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The Interest In Other Peoples’ Problems

Over the last year, I’ve spent a lot of my free time learning about other people’s problems. This sounds weird, but let me explain. Reddit, a social media/forum site, is home to a lot of this. There are threads for a variety of things, but two I’m focusing on here are r/Relationships and r/AITA (Am I The Asshole). In these subreddits, users can post their issues and anyone can offer unbiased advice or judgment or feedback.

There are Twitter accounts that cross post some of the more amusing or interesting ones so they can spread to other platforms that way, and there are a lot of YouTube channels that read them out (either by a real person or a computer voice) so people can listen to the content if they don’t want to read and scroll. I’ve consumed a lot of this in the past year, and I find it fascinating. I also read the advice column in the newspaper every day, which has similar content, and this may be more relatable to some of you who have no idea what Reddit is.

In general, I know we look for relatability in media. We want to identify with the heroes and be represented and all that, which is good and valid. But I think on the flip side, we are also drawn to the unrelatable. It’s why I think a lot of TLC and E! shows are so popular because they are very weird and different (at least to my fairly quiet and sheltered life).

I know that people have different lives than I do, but I’ve never really considered that their problems are so wildly different too. I don’t know what it’s like to have a narcissistic mother-in-law or a pathological liar of a friend. I don’t know what it’s like to have no contact with a parent or worry about how I disciplined my child. And yet, I am interested in these issues that people are having and the outcomes. It’s entertaining to consume for me, and I think it still would be even if you did relate to some of these issues.

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And maybe I like it because it puts my own life into perspective to some extent. My life is by no means perfect and I’m discontent with many things, but I guess it could be worse, as the internet has proved. Some of the problems people are dealing with are unfortunate, life-ruining things, and I’m lucky that I don’t have to deal with any of it. Furthermore, reading/hearing about some of these things can help me avoid it myself in my life.

I know I’m not alone in enjoying Reddit content like this, but I think it does speak to a larger phenomenon of people being nosy and interested in drama. It’s why ‘spilling tea’ is so popular as a concept and a phrase. There are YouTubers whose whole gig is telling juicy, dramatic storytimes like “My roommates from hell” or “I was stalked by my ex-boyfriend for six years!” and thousands of willing people click to find out how and why and who because it’s interesting. Similarily, we’re taught from a young age that gossip is bad but I know that if a friend came to me with some spicy info about someone, I’d be very quick to listen. Does this make me a bad person? I don’t think so. It makes me human. I think we all like this kind of info, whether we’ll admit to it or not, and the internet has made it very easy to find it and feed that desire in us.

don't judge me, i'm only human gif.

It is win-win in a sense because the people sharing often are looking for help/opinions/clicks and the consumers can offer that as well as be entertained to some extent, so I don’t have a problem with it. It’s one of the benefits of the internet because we are able to connect to a variety of people who exist outside of our lifestyle.

If you’ve never heard of these subreddits or other means of consuming them, I encourage you to check them out, especially if you’re kind of into other people’s problems and lives. Even if you’re not really, it’s escapist entertainment, and these days, we all need that.

Shrug GIF.

 

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Shoutout To These Bloggers

I’ve been blogging for many years, and I follow several hundred blogs. And I’ve really enjoyed reading such a wide variety of posts and being a part of this community. So this week I really wanted to just give a shoutout to some bloggers whose content and/or interactions I enjoy. Please check out their blogs if anything I say here interests you.

You get a shoutout Oprah meme.

Media Bloggers

Merlin’s Musings – I found him through his Agents Of SHIELD posts, but he also blogs about books, other TV shows, and every Sunday he writes about a cool quote.

I Am Geek – Kevin writes about a lot of geeky pop-culture things, and I love how his posts are always positive and excited about the media.

The Wordy Habitat – this is mostly a book blog, and even though I don’t read books that much these days, I do appreciate how passionate and in-depth Sumedha is in all her posts. And there are still a good variety of non-book posts that I like such as posts on her life or on the general blogging community.

The Invisible Moth – this blogger is a writer and book lover, so there’s a lot of posts about those subjects, as well as a lot of good book and story related discussion posts.

NerdyWordyBirdy – There’s a lot of great book and lifestyle posts on this blog. She’s also so sweet and often leaves such thought-provoking comments on my blog which I very much appreciate!

Things I’m Obsessed With – this blog is just 100% pop-culture reviews and critiques, and I like that.

Meg’s Magical Musings – Meg posts just about every day (which is quite a feat!) about writing, books, and most importantly, musicals! No one loves Les Mis as much as her.

Life And Other Disasters – there’s a fun mix of book and TV content here, plus her column of trailers we might have missed. She’s also a great artist and I enjoy seeing her art on Twitter.

that's talent gif.

Peace, Love, And Arts – I love when I find blogs from people whose ideas and tastes I really vibe with, and I certainly have a lot of similar interests as this fellow Canadian blogger who is a big pop-culture and musical fan.

Georgia’s Favourite Things – Georgia is so sweet and always down to talk TV with me. Her blog is full of great reviews of (mostly) TV shows.

Bizarre Brunette – this is a great blog full of geeky content. It’s a great way to keep up with what’s happening in the comic and gaming world.

Just Simply Me – this blog is primarily about TV and theater reviews, which is right up my alley, but recently she’s also been doing more posts about her life and how she’s feeling, which I also enjoy.

Another Dead Law Student’s Blog – Most of this content is pop-culture focused but once in a while there is some other stuff like a recipe. It’s all very casual but organized.

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Lifestyle bloggers

Rosie Culture – she’s documenting the millennial experience. From relationships to jobs to just general life, I do appreciate this blog’s honesty and reliability.

All The Trinkets – there is some great advice and discussion posts on this blog. Kate is also a great artist and there’s often art-related content.

Jas Writes Stuff – this blog has a little bit of everything from reviews to recipes to travel. But my favourite posts of hers are her life posts where she gets deep and relatable.

The Curvacious Vegan – who doesn’t love a good listicle? There are plenty here and plenty of really real advice on this blog.

No Love For Fatties – She is a great storyteller. She’s a teacher so her Kids Say series always has me giggling.

My Mind Speaks Aloud – this blog is 50% book reviews and 50% lifestyle posts. Her lifestyle ones are usually about self-care and I enjoy reading them.

Tiani Angela – this is a fairly recent follow, but she’s got a good variety of content. Some are about being a mother, some are about life, and some are opinion pieces.

Biracial Booty – I think she is just so funny and so expressive, so I enjoy anything she posts.

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Thought bloggers

Whimsical90 – if you like random thoughts and rants, this is the blog for you.

Of Opinions – I love the theme of this blog as every post starts with ‘Of’ and they’re always so well written, no matter how deep the topic may be.

Musings Of A Whimsical Soul – there’s a lot of fun discussion posts on anything and everything (which is my favourite kind of blog post) as well as some cool Greek Mythology posts.

The Captain’s Speech – Paul’s stream-of-consciousness style of writing is so interesting. Plus he’s Canadian.

My Life Experiment – this blog is a cool expression of random thoughts and the documentation of trying new things.

Tyrone Pierre – I really enjoy his takes on some serious topics like toxic masculinity, beauty, and rejection.

The Confusing Middle – he posts every day and has some interactive topics (Question Of The Week, for example) as well as some standard opinion pieces.

The World’s Common Tater – from life reflections to stories from his past to analysing media, there’s always content in Tater Town.

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To these bloggers, and to all the other blogs I follow, thank you for doing what you do and providing me quality content. If you’re anything like me, I know that sometimes you may feel like the only viewers are bots or friends, but know that I am here, enjoying your platform.

Yay blogging!

 

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