Archive | April, 2012

Empire Review

15 Apr

EmpireEmpire by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m a huge fan of the Ender series, which predisposes me to love pretty much anything Orson Scott Card writes. However, I was curious to see how he would manage in a more contemporary and realistic setting rather than his usual futuristic sci-fi. I think it holds up pretty well. The pacing of the book was nice. Thrilling, but with some natural ebbs and flows in the story. It was compelling throughout, but I wasn’t forced to read it in one sitting due to cliffhanger chapters and never-ending plot twists.

As in most of Card’s work, I really enjoyed the political themes the book explores. It’s obvious that the book leans to the right, but not in a way that offended or annoyed me at all. I think both sides of the political spectrum were painted fairly and accurately, though in their most extreme forms.

Most of all, I enjoyed the afterward. Although it was written in 2006, I think most of what Card writes is 100% true to the current political climate. A few choice quotes from the afterward:

“A good working definition of fanaticism is that you are so convinced of your views and policies that you are sure anyone who opposes them must be either stupid and deceived or have some ulterior motive. We are today a nation where almost everyone in the public eye displays fanaticism with every utterance…we have become a nation of insane people able to see the madness only in the other side.”

“We live in a time when moderates are treated worse than extremists, being punished as if they were more fanatical than the actual fanatics.”

“…maybe, we can just calm down and stop thinking that our own ideas are so precious that we must never give an inch to accommodate the heartfelt beliefs of others.”

All in all, not Card’s best work, but a solid, entertaining and thought-provoking thriller that shows a disturbing picture of where the current trend of political polarism and hateful rhetoric could lead.

View all my reviews

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Easter Egg-stravaganza

6 Apr

When I saw this blog post I couldn’t wait to “tie”-dye my own Easter eggs. Excitedly, my roommate Jaime and I headed out to the thrift store today to pick up some suitable ties (they have to be 100% silk to work). Here were our selections. My pictures aren’t nearly as classy as in the original post. But you get the gist.

Next, we cut up the ties and wrapped them tightly around the uncooked eggs, securing them with twist-ties. Make sure that the front side of the silk is against the egg.

Then, we wrapped the eggs again with fabric from an old sheet.

We boiled them in water and a third a cup of white vinegar for about 20 minutes. It was so much fun to unwrap each one. Almost as good as presents on Christmas. Some of them turned out amazing, others weren’t as good as we anticipated. I’m amazed at the level of detail that transferred from the fabric. Here are a few of our favorites.