Tag: The Hobbit

Did You Know These Species Were Named After Iconic Writers?

Did you know there are a great number of living creatures named after various writers? I really did not know how to react after looking at some of these, but I can imagine that it’s quite an honor to find out that you’ve had an entire species named after you. Throughout biological nomenclature, organisms are sometimes given scientific names with the intention to honor somebody. From insects, to plants, to even a variety of fish, there are a plethora of different types of organisms named after influential writers. These are the ones that left me quite confused, yet strangely compelled.

 

Shireplitis

Shireplitis is a group wasps that are native to New Zealand. They are usually black or brown in color, and are about 2mm in body length with narrow wings. Although not clear at first, their genus name derives from the Shire, home of the famous hobbits in J.R.R Tolkien’s series of books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. There are five species of Shireplitis named after iconic hobbits, and one named after Tolkien himself.

 

Image Via Pixels

Shireplitis bilboi (Bilbo Baggins)

Shireplitis frodoi (Frodo Baggins)

Shireplitis samwisei (Samwise Gamgee)

Shireplitis meriadoci (Mariadoc Brandybuck)

Shireplitis peregrini (Peregrin Took)

Shireplitis tolkieni (J.R.R Tolkien)

 

Learning about this in high school would have made biology a lot more fun.

 

Avalanchurus

Avalanchurus is an extinct family of trilobites, which are a group of marine arachnomorph arthropods. The subfamily of Avalanchurus consists of four different species named after four musical icons. Avalanchurus garfunkeli and Avalanchurus simoni are named after Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon, the legendary bestselling folk-rock duo. Avalanchurus lennoni and Avalanchurus starri are named after the singer and drummer of The Beatles, John Lennon and Ringo Starr. It a blend of fascination and surprise that this is even a thing.

 

Image Via Wikipedia

Although they are not necessarily authors, Paul Simon is well known as arguably one of the best songwriters of all time.

 

Sonoma twaini

Sonoma is a subfamily of rove beetles that originated from North America. Appearing mostly from the Pacific Slope in Alaska to southern California, there are at least fifty-seven known species. There are many different names for these species, such as sonoma colberti, named after Stephen Colbert, and sonoma stewarti, named after Jon Stewart. Looking through the long list, however, I found sonoma twaini, approriately named after Mark Twain, the author of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Why there is a family of beetles named after two talk show hosts and a legendary author, I really cannot say. Yet, these names really don’t get more random and erratic than this.

 

Image Via Biography

Featured Image Via Variety

Feast Your Eyes on These Edible Books!

Feast your eyes on these books!

Literally. With eight books on display, students at Western Iowa Tech Community College had a chance to guess the title of the book and vote on their favorite before taking a bite out of literature. The school’s first-ever Edible Book Competition was organized thanks to eight students and faculty members so that finals weeks could run a lot smoother.

“It gives us an opportunity to share our love of reading and how books are important to us, and get to know each other a little better and share food, of course,” Sue Owens, the librarian who planned this event, told SiouxLand Proud.

Of course they’re not real books. Basically, students had an opportunity to make a tasty desert and make others guess what book that desert represented.

 

Library manager Sharon Dykshoorn
Image Via Sioux City Journal

Sioux City Journal spoke to library manager Sharon Dykshoorn, who said, “Anyone who wanted to vote for their favorite among the edible books could do so” and that , “the winner of the popular vote will be determined at noon and a small prize will be given to the top vote-getter.”

Dykshoorn had her own entry, which by all accounts was the hardest to guess.

 

A bear surrounded by ring-shaped cookies

Image Via Sioux City Journal

See if you can guess what books these six deserts represent:

  1. A fish bowl inside of which are Swedish fish candies.

2. A plate filled with grapes

3. A Mars candy bar called “The Three Musketeers”

4. A teddy bear surrounded by wedding-ring-shaped cookies

5. A chocolate cake

6. A book-shaped cake covered in fondant and buttercream

Dykshoorn gave a hint for her entry: “[I]t represents an ancient book…[p]lus it was turned into a movie starring Robin Williams.” After guessing the titles for each book, students had the chance to dig in on the displays.

Before I sign off, the answers are below.

 

 


 

 

  1. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss

2. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

3. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

4. The Ring Bear by N.L. Sharp

5. The Hobbit by J R. R. Tolkien

Fun fact, this entry won Chuck Polk the popular vote as best entry.

6. Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg

 

Featured Image Via JMEG

5 Times SNL Hilariously Parodied Classic Books

Books are weird. We have books about children who don’t grow, books about evil jewelry, books about people who really want to sit in uncomfortable chairs, books about cats who wear hats for reasons that are  never explained, and books about orphans. It’s a lot to take in, but you know what makes it so much easier? Humor.

 

SNL boxset

Image Via Amazon

And SNL is funny. It’s had its up and downs, but when your show is over thirty years old, of course there are going to be some duds. But when it’s good, it is amazing.

So, in honor of our love of SNL and our love of books, here are five times SNL paranoid classic books.

 

1. Peter Pan

 

Peter Pan is back and Wendy and the gang are ready to go to Neverland. What could go wrong?

Well, Tinkerbell ain’t around. She was always kind of obnoxious with that I’m-going-to-sell-out-a little girl-to-a-one-handed-pirate thing she had going on, but that was a phase. Luckily, we can avoid bringing out dirty laundry because Peter Pan brought a new fairy.

 

Tonker Bell

Image Via Gifer

Tonker Bell.

She’s gross. And lazy. And a whole other list of negative character traits. At least she’s not cruel though. That goes to Peter Pan himself.

Yes, Tonker Bell may be unpleasant, but in the book Peter was a devil! Really. J. M. Barrie and the Lost Boys: The Real Story Behind Peter Pan notes that when Sir George Frampton sculpted this masterpiece…

 

Peter Pan Statue

Image Via The Second Website of Bob Speel

 

…author Barrie noted, “It doesn’t show the devil in Peter.”

Let’s be honest: Peter Pan cut off a pirate hand and threw it to a crocodile. Why not just kill him? Why throw his hand to a crocodile? Was it because his last name was hook? That’s not funny, that’s just mean.

If you want more examples, pick up J.M. Barrie’s 1911 book Peter and Wendy.

 

2. Oliver Twist

 

Charles Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist follows the titular character who is born into poverty and grows up being forced to toil in the workhouse. It’s dark, it’s depressing, and it’s kind of fun.

It’s a match made in heaven for SNL.

Oliver Twist Cover

Image Via Amazon

 

In this sketch, the cowardly Oliver is told to ask for more food because the poor orphans are hungry. Shaking, Oliver goes up but is…

 

Oliver Twist

Image Via Variety

…interrupted by a full grown woman who comes out of nowhere begging for food she doesn’t need. How selfish!

When Oliver gets the bowl, the woman insults him. Oliver, the pinacle of human goodness, offers to share because of course he does. But unfortunately for him, the woman takes the whole bowl. If you thinks that’s depressing, you should read the book.

 

3. Cat in the Hat

 

Just like the Seuss’ book, this sketch opens up in rhyme. The twist? The Cat comes in just a bit too early. And turns out he knows the children’s mother!

The whole sketch builds from there. Why is the Cat in the Hat cut out from the pictures? The daughter can dance? And who is the children’s father? And will Thing One and Thing Two make an appearance?

This sketch, like the book, is a classic.

2. The Hobbit

 

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit have much of the same characters, and the film adaptations have much of the same cast, so it’s only naturally we’d want to see them together. But how?

The Office is a good place to start. It’s a match made in heaven. Tolkien intended The Hobbit to be a children’s story, and The Office is basically a room full of children.

It might just be the best sketch yet, but that could because of Martin Freeman reprises his role as Bilbo Baggins.

 

Bilbo Baggins on SNL

Image Via Rebloggy

He’s basically Michael Scott. But that’s not the best part.

The best part is this…

Gollum SNL

Image Via Giffer

1. Game of thrones

 

Before the premiere aired, we already knew that more Game of Thrones spin offs than we could count were coming.

In case you wondering, we already know the details of two confirmed spin offs! Two! That’s almost the majority of my fingers on my writing right hand.

 

Game of Thrones-SVU poster

Image Via Deadline

But this sketch is a gem. It’s big, it’s long, it goes everywhere and does everything we want. The best part? We got SVU stars Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T investing the death of Oberyn Martell. Who could have crushed his death?

If you want to look at my thoughts when this sketch came out, you can read it here! And if you want more Game of Thrones parodies (and I know you do!), you can see my list here!

 

The great things about books is there are no commercials

Image Via Funny Jokes. Funny Quotes. Funny Sayings.com

Overall, these classic sketches based on classic works will make you laugh, cry, and then you’ll realize you’re crying because you’re laughing so much.

 

Featured Image Via SNL

Nicholas Hoult and Lilly Collins in Tolkein

Tolkien Estate Disavows Film Based on The Father of Fantasy

Ouch!

The film based on the life of J.R.R. Tolkien, writer of The Lord of the Rings, won’t be released until May 10th, but the Tolkien estate has already disavowed the film.

 

Tolkien Film Poster

Image Via Reddit

 

As per the Irish Examiner, the family released a statement  saying:

The family of JRR Tolkien and the Tolkien Estate are aware of the Fox Searchlight motion picture entitled Tolkien that is due for release in May 2019.

The family and the Estate wish to make clear that they did not approve of, authorise or participate in the making of this film.

They do not endorse it or its content in any way.

 

The film stars Nicholas Hoult, known for playing Beast in X-Men: First Class and Nux in Max Max: Fury Road. According to The Guardian, the film is follows “the formative years of the renowned author’s life as he finds friendship, courage and inspiration among a fellow group of writers and artists at school…until the outbreak of the first world war which threatens to tear their fellowship apart”.

 

J R R Tolkien, Nicholas Hoult, and Lilly Collins

Image Via Entertainment Weekly

 

It’s another biopic but instead of being based on a rock n’roll star a la Bohemian Rhapsody or the new Elton John film, Rocketman, this film is about a writer. Given that Lilly Collins plays Edith, Tolkien’s romantic interest and later wife, you probably already know what this film is about.

But let’s keep an open mind: Just because the film doesn’t have the family’s approval doesn’t mean it’s bad—or even inaccurate. The Tolkien estate isn’t known for their love of The Lord of the Rings, either. Christopher Tolkien, son of the writer, told Cinema Blend that, “They gutted the book, making an action movie for fifteen-twenty-five year olds. And it seems that The Hobbit will be of the same ilk.”

At least the filmmakers—from the actors to the cast and crew to the producers—can sit easily with this quote from The Independent: “The family of Tolkien are understood to consistently turn down approaches to make biopics, and wished to clarify their position.”

Meanwhile, the Tolkien estate sold the rights for a Lord of the Rings television series to Amazon back in 2017, and a series based on the trilogy is currently in development. Meanwhile, the film, produced by Fox Searchlight (which is now owned by Disney!) will still be released come May 10th.

Check out the trailer before!

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Youtube

Gene Wolfe, Famed Author of Science Fiction, Dies at 87

Another sad passing in the world of literature. Gene Wolfe, a massively influential figure who was praised by famed authors such as George R.R. Martin, Ursula K. Le Guin and Neil Gaiman, has passed away. According to The Guardian Gene Wolfe died at the age of eighty-seven, leaving behind a famous body of work. His magnum opus is The Book of the New Sun which ranked only third in a fantasy magazine of the best fantasy novels, behind only The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Taking placing in an apocalyptic earth where mankind has regressed to a medieval era, the novels blended science fiction and fantasy to become something wholly unique.

 

A man clad in a dark mask and cloak stands before an alien sky

Image Via Amazon

 

Wolfe’s passing was mourned by his longtime publisher, Tor, and numerous other authors in the industry. Tor said he was a ‘beloved icon’ and will be ‘dearly missed’ while leaving behind a body of work that will live on forever in SF fame. Neil Gaiman praised Wolfe’s work, saying he was possibly the finest American writer who ever lived. George R.R. Martin considers him the best the science fiction genre has produced, while Le Guin said he was ‘our Melville’. For his efforts, Gene Wolfe received the title of grand master of science fiction in 2012. Wolfe himself had earlier noted his early work out of college was terrible and he was living from paycheck to paycheck before he became famous.

Gene Wolfe leaves behind a legacy of his great work, as well as being hugely influential on the writer’s community around him, inspiring others to create worlds. We salute you, Wolfe, and will remember your work forever.

 

 

Featured Image Via SyFy