Here’s a Site You Tolkien Fans Must See

I just discovered Middle Earth News because they linked to my most recent Tolkien post from Part Time Monster last night. Thanks to Middle Earth News reporter Lily for including me in the report. You can also find lots of other yummy Middle Earth-related things in the article. For example, these retro-themed travel prints by Teacup Pirhana on Etsy, which are available individually or as a set.


Middle Earth news has a ton of social media. You can find them on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google Plus, among other places. Needless to say, I’m following them on every network where I have a presence. They also have a way for you to submit share-worthy Tolkien content for consideration. I’ll be submitting things from friends The Leather Library, A Tolkienist’s Perspective, and Sweating to Mordor to them from time to time, and I’m happy to find a way to interact with a larger community of Tolkien fans.

Now, a brief preview of the week ahead:

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Sunday Roundup – Captain America: Winter Soldier Reviews

We haven’t talked about movies here in a while, so lets do that now. I’m way behind on movies, and haven’t seen most of the newer Marvel films.

I kind of wrote them off after the First Captain America and Thor movies, and the last Iron Man. I thought all those movies were ok, but they didn’t grab me enough to make me spend more time and money on Marvel, because I have precious little of both. I figured I’d wait to see them on cable or borrow a DVD. The things I’m hearing about Captain America: Winter Soldier are making me re-think that decision. Here’s the UK trailer; it’s the coolest one I’ve seen:

Here are three good examples of what I mean, with varying levels of spoilers. I’m hearing things like this in offline conversations, too. People I know who follow the Marvel movies are telling me that even if it’s not quite the best so far, it’s one of the best, and so good as to be re-watchable.

Hannah of Things Matter discusses both the quality of the movie and its inclusion of female characters in a low-spoiler review.

Therefore I Geek has many more spoilers, but gives the movie 5 out of 5 Death Stars, which is high praise indeed.

Lady Geek Girl and Friends includes even more spoilers, but has a fabulous discussion of character development in this movie and talks about what it means for the future of the Marvel movies.

(Thanks, Hannah, for recommending LGG&F to me!).

Here’s the second U.S. trailer. It includes some of the same footage from the one above, but I find the differences in the two interesting.

From the Blogroll: #Music #Blogs You’ll Want to Read

I keep seeing #socialsaturday on various social media. I have no idea what it means, but I decided to spend a little while being social today by spending a little time on a few of the blogs I have on my blogroll. I’m glad I did, because, that half an hour got me three posts I liked enough to comment on, and every one of them includes music videos.

Pieces with substantial word counts and music videos are one of my favorite types of blog post. I like to listen to the music while I read the post. So here are three of those, and you’ll have to check them out to see what musical goodies they offer.

Peace, Love, & Great Country Music has a few words to say about the philosophy of country music and current state of that genre. It’s a though-provoking post, and since it connects with some things I’ve been thinking about, I was happy to find it.

Marie has another awesome memoir at Wildly Surmising. This one is the tale of a college trip to Europe, and how the throwing away of bras allowed two groups of girls from different parts of the U.S. to get to know one another and become friends. If you’re looking for a post reads like a story and is made of awesome, this one is for you.

Vinyl Connection delves into the history of double and triple live albums. It’s a very nice post if you’re interested in the history of music recording, and I learned something I did not know by reading it.

Now for some music of my own. “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” might just be my all-time favorite song. It speaks to my cultural roots and my humanity at the same time, and that is something I do not say of many songs. It’s about mortality and loss, but it’s also about faith and hope and solidarity. It reminds me that life is brief, and we’re all in this together. So we’d be wise to look out for one another and make the most of our time.

The lyrics evolved from a turn-of-the-century Christian hymn. I’ve always heard that the contemporary musical arrangement is the work of A.P. Carter. Here are three very different versions; I hope you find one you like.

Richie Havens solo which includes a verse I’d never heard until today. The video is a memorial to people who were killed during the Civil Rights Era, and it is quite powerful.

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band from the late 80s with Johnny Cash and two dozen other country and bluegrass luminaries. The album of the same name is on my all-time top five list, and I listen to volume 2 more than any other CD I own.

Ganstagrass. I’m including this one because they’re one of my favorite current bands, and because it’s so different yet still so good.

Weekend best wishes to all.

Roundup: #Friendly #Bloggers

So, I passed out early last night and didn’t write anything for today. Here’s a roundup of recent posts from my “Friendly Bloggers” Twitter list, and a a few remarks explaining what that list is all about.

CompGeekHolly has some thoughts on the appropriation (and misappropriation) of works from the popular culture for use in advertising. It includes a fabulous discussion of a Big Brothers/Big Sisters ad that uses The Hunger Games in a way that makes you wonder if they know what the story is actually about.

Our friend Lyn at Lazy Lady had a nice post earlier this week from New Orleans Comic Con with a lot of awesome photos.

My Wild Surmise reflects on Valentine’s Day, dorm life, and Walter Egan, and wins this week’s award for most amusing headline.

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