Friday, May 30, 2014

Elizabeth Eckhart Guest Blogs: Game of Thrones Wrap-up

Writer Elizabeth Eckhart Stops By: Game of Thrones Wrap-up

There are only three more episodes left on this season of Game of Thrones and fans of the series certainly found themselves twitching this week, since the series paused for Memorial Day. This pause means, of course, that there’s no better time to recap the season, point out the highlights of HBO’s greatest show (available through select TV packages and streaming online) and discuss what the rest of the season hopefully has in store for us.
Now, with Lysa Arryn pushed out the Moon Door by Petyr Baelish, we’re left to wonder mostly about the outcome of Prince Oberyn’s battle with The Mountain, a trial by combat meant prove or disprove Tyrion’s innocence regarding the murder of his nephew King Joffrey, and whether or not anyone will ever actually focus on the impending White Walkers or the Wildling army. So, what can we predict for the future of Game of Thrones, and season five? Not much without giving away the best bits, but there have been some clues as to what we can look forward to.

The Red Viper
Also known as Prince Oberyn. Fans may be wondering why this prince thinks he can take on a man like The Mountain (played by actor, Hafþór Júlíus "Thor" Björnsson, who is 6’9 and the sixth strongest person in the world), but Oberyn’s reputation suggests he’s more than meets the eye. When he was a young boy he used to fight with a poisoned sword, and he’s skilled in the art of combat. He has fought in duels and battles around Westeros, and a significant amount in Essos as well. He’s wiser than most princes, since he’s also traveled throughout the Free Cities and spent time fighting with the Second Sons (who are now in service of Daenerys Targaryen and led by Daario Naharis, if you can recall) before heading on his current path to King’s Landing. Oberyn is a force to be reckoned with, and even if he does perish at the hands of The Mountain, what he also represents is a whole new cast of characters for season five, which leads us to the next point...

Will We See Dorne?
Prince Oberyn’s legion of eight illegitimate daughters are enough on their own: they are referred to as the Sand Snakes, and each are rumored to possess their father’s “viper eyes.” The early descriptions of the daughters in the book are quite fierce, and while not much is known regarding their future roles in the series, they aren’t likely to be happy if their father perishes fighting for a Lannister halfway across the world. Prince Oberyn was also our first physical connection with the kingdom of Dorne, home of Prince Doran Martell, ruler of Dorne, and current location of the rest of the Martell clan. Prince Trystane Martell (the fiance of Princess Myrcella) is rumored to have been casted and aged up to 18. Also on the leaked cast list are mentions of the three oldest Sand Snakes, Obara Sand, Nymeria Sand and Tyene Sand, and it has been confirmed that the show’s producers have scouted locations in Spain to film. All signs point toward significant amounts of time spent in Dorne next season, which means Princess Myrcella may be the latest Lannister to become a key player.

Will Daenerys Make A Move?
No one can argue that logistically, Daenerys’ time spent ruling away from King’s Landing will only better prepare her for possibly taking over Westeros if the time comes. She’s also been doing some very humanitarian inspired work by releasing slaves and “freeing” cities. Granted, she has had to learn the hard way that retribution isn’t always as clean cut as it appears to be. Still, even with her honorable efforts and growing dragons, her plotline has slowed considerably. Long gone are the days where she watches her brother die or walks through fire with her baby dragons. So when the rumor mill begins churning regarding Daario Naharis (now played by Michiel Huisman) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), both of whom are ever-present at Daenerys’ side, being regular cast members for season five, we can only hope that this means her story will take on a larger scale. Her dragons will get bigger, of course, but there’s also the chance that she’ll rule more than two cities!

More Magic

The one guarantee, at least, is that the sheer amount of magic is increasing with every episode. For non-magic fans, this may not be as exciting, but the mystery behind the Red Woman’s powers, the White Walkers, Daenerys’ dragons, and more, seem to be becoming more prevalent each airing. What makes this interesting is that in general, like in our own world, most of the people in Westeros and surrounding areas don’t truly believe in magical forces. The stories they have heard have become so distant that they are viewed as legends, or remnants of a long ago, lost past, which should provide an interesting pivot when they are finally fully confronted with powers they hardly knew existed... 

Elizabeth, another amazing post!  I love how the HBO people are making scenes out of things that happened in the book that the reader learned through conversations.  And I totally agree-Danyrs got pretty boring!  I love her anyway.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Movie Review: Neighbors

Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen and Zach Ephron, is about a young married couple with a baby who have the misfortune of having a loud, wild fraternity move in next door.  At first, the married couple are open to some younger, cooler, fun-loving neighbors who like to bash 24-7, but the constant noise becomes a problem.  Their fragile friendship turns ugly once Rogen is forced into calling the police after another sleepless night.  Zach Ephron retaliates by littering their front yard with empty beer cans and condoms.  At first, Rogen and his family try to move.  A realtor assures them that their property value has plummeted and they can at maximum expect to get half of what they paid for the house.  Faced with this terrible reality, Rogen checks into getting the fraternity kicked out of the college.  This is another dead end but gives him and his wife ideas. They begin to sabotage Ephron and his brothers.  The rest of the movie is pretty much an Ephron vs. Rogen practical joke war.

My Review:
Rogen continues to take on roles as the lovable, pot-smoking Jew boy.  His self-effacing personality plays well off of the perfect Ephron.  At one point he stands next to Ephron shirtless-you got to admire him for putting himself out there.  He does this role exceptionally well and I suspect this is more about who he is rather than the craft of acting.  His wife, played by Rose Byrne, plays a bored housewife with a baby (I can relate) who stands by her man on every count.  I loved Rose in Damages (TV show) and Bridesmaids.  She's so gorgeous, expressive, and good at comedy.   Ephron, always a chiseled god, plays the stereotypical party-er who is about to graduate from college.  The movie portrays fraternities as drug/booze loving men who want to live like real-life Jackasses. His character at one point shifts on a small level from college boy to demented nut job.  He was not too convincing.  Some of the jokes/scenes were very funny and some were very frivolous and predictable.  Like Rogen's last movie, This is the End, the movie doesn't have a clear protagonist and antagonist, just misunderstood characters looking for fun.  Overall, if you are looking for laughs and like movies such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Porkies, this is your flick.  Otherwise, wait until it's free on your premium cable channel.  3/5 Stars

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Miracles with Vitamins? Best-selling Author Jeff Bowles Tells All

Thanks so much, Jeff Bowles, for being my guest again! A lot has happened since you've guested on my blog. For one, you are a very serious author-best-selling! What is it about your health books that seem to resonate with so many readers?

Hi, Dina.  Thanks so much for having me back.  Yours is my favorite blog for interviews.  I think the reason most of my health books seem to resonate with readers is because I am offering them real concrete cures for many ailments that doctors and Big Pharma can't cure ( or don't want to).  It's not like I say something like take Vitamin D3 in high doses to cure say asthma and leave it at that. I take the time to explain the facts and the theory from an evolutionary perspective to a bio-mechanical one as to why the therapy should work. I then mention the case studies that show it has worked.  At this point in time, it's a small number due to the newness of the protocols I am promoting and also due to the fact that the things I promote cannot be patented, thus will not be tested by Big Pharma since there is no money there.  Finally, I actually tested everything on myself and reported the effects back to my readers so they know what to expect. (For example mega dosing with Vitamin D3 or melatonin for over a year). I don't think there are many doctors or sceintists willing to do that these days.

What makes your health books different from other health books?

My books are definitely outside of current mainstream thinking.  For instance, I recommend that people with chronic conditions take what many doctors think are dangerously high doses of vitamin D3.  The one thing that is different about my books is that I get emails all the time from people who have cured one disease or another with high dose D3. 
For example, I just got an email from Ms. Larson about how she has completely cured her life threatening COPD.  She thought it would kill her.  It took just 11 weeks of taking 80,000 IU of d3 a day. You can see her review at the Amazon booksite for my D3 book. There are many others: a lady with Lupus said it cured her skin conditions, a lady who had Chrone's disease for 50 years + was cured after 7 months-asthma, psoriasis, acne, MS, arthritis, you name it.  Oops, I'm wandering away from the question. In addition to ignoring mainstream conventional thinking, my D3 book relies on evolutionary logic to explain why a treatment will work. You see D3 is not a vitamin, but a hormone your skin makes when the sun hits it that tells you summer is here and then goes ahead and burns energy.  Food is plentiful; be happy. When you don't get the Sunshine signal, your body expects a winter freeze/famine.  It gets you ready to hunker down during the winter and wait out the famine.  You overeat, get depressed, and get ailments that will keep you housebound so you don't wander off into the snow and burn all your energy and starve to death.  I call these syndromes the Human Hibernation Syndrome, the Incomplete Repair Syndrome, and the new one is the Human Antifreeze Syndrome (this one explains sugar in the blood, high blood pressure, and salt craving as a defense that evolution has given us to prevent our tissues from getting frozen damage from our water crystallizing into little daggers and puncturing all our cells.) The bottom line is logic.  Almost all common diseases are just manifestations of the Human Hibernation or Incomplete Repair Syndromes.  These diseases exist because we do not get enough of the sunshine signal vitamin d3, especially since doctors have been telling us to wear sunscreen and avoid the sun since the 1980's.
I have another book on how to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease.

Jeff, thanks again!  You are one of my sources for my upcoming conspiracy book on Big Pharma.  Always a fan!

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