Sharon’s Bookmarks Weblog











I don’t know if you’ve noticed the bright, orange logo to the right.  If you haven’t yet, I’m highlighting it this week. 

Etsy.com is a unique site that I would describe as artistic and individual.  Here is a place where you can find handmade creations made by small-scale artists.  The site is perfect for finding that present for that hard-to-buy-for person or just yourself.  There are a million little treasures just waiting to be found and claimed.  To me, it’s almost like a craft show, but instead of fighting crowds and weather you can easily browse from your personal computer.  There are many ways to shop, and the site offers many suggestions.  I’ve had fun with “Pounce” and “Time Machine.”  For you buys who are chromatically inclined check out “Colors.”

Not only have I bought items on Etsy, but I’m a seller too!  My sister and I have a store called Left and Right Creations where we sell greeting cards.  Check it out to understand the origin of our store name.

Here is the card that inspired it all:

Flower Shaped Card - Pink Birthday
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

In honor of the holiday, I’m sharing a soundtrack created by my favorite movie composer, John Williams, with a little help from The Chieftains.

What I like about this soundtrack is its ability to be Irish without overwhelming you.  The track I selected, “Fighting for Dough” is my favorite of the whole soundtrack.  You hear the Bodhran drum, fiddles, and tin whistle with a strong tempo backed by the full orchestra.  My mom and I have a part where we shrug our shoulders up and down.  Can you find it?

For a great sampling from the whole soundtrack check out the end credits.

If you want to hear a version of the track I featured without the full orchestra check out “The Fighting Donnellys“.



{February 24, 2010}   Daily Dose of “Awesome”

In many previous postings, I’ve featured sites that share something new each day. I’ve also highlighted many online videos.

This posting’s site takes these two things and puts them together.  Today’s Big Thing is just that…a daily video that is “the awesomest thing on the internet.”

Now sometimes the site doesn’t live up to it’s “awesomest” title, but it’s still a fun site to check in on.  What first caught my attention was the video selected January 5th 2010.  (Thanks Julia for sharing that link.)  One hundred fifty-six countries simultaneously sung “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles which turned out to be a really cool video.  Enjoy the archives and search tool.

I wonder what the next “awesomest” thing will be…



{February 24, 2010}   Announcement

For about a year and a half, I’ve tried my best to keep weekly updates on this “different kind of blog.”  Just recently, I’ve decided to cut back on my posting.

Not to fret however, you will still get to see what I think is interesting online only not every week.  Instead, I am changing to a bimonthly posting.  So once again, sit back, scroll, click away, and enjoy Sharon’s Bookmarks!



In my opinion, action/adventure movies have some of the best soundtracks.   This month’s soundtrack selection comes from one such movie called The Mask of Zorro.  The film score was composed by the Oscar-winning James Horner.  I picked The Mask of Zorro for the month of February because of its passion.  Strong emotions are felt between the main characters, and the Latin roots of music add to the heat. 

The track I’ve highlighted comes from a scene with no talking in the movie.  It is a part where Zorro is in a fight with men all on horseback.  Since there is no talking, the focus is all the action on the screen and the music.  Some of the best parts of this piece include the horn section and the Flamenco flare.

If you enjoy the Flamenco element, check out “The Fencing Lesson”.



{January 26, 2010}   Top 5

Nick’s countdown site, Listverse, has inspired me for this week’s entry in which I name…The Top 5 Movie Sword Fights According to Sharon.

Here’s some background:  I’ve always said that if a movie has a sword fight in it, I’m bound to like it.  Swordplay requires grace and skill and provides time for witty banter in between the action.  In my opinion, this makes sword fighting perfect for the movies.

So without further ado, here are what I consider The Top 5 Movie Sword Fights:

Number 5:  The Count of Monte Cristo

This scene is very spoiler-y because it comes at the end of the movie so viewer beware.  What I love about it is the pristine setting of the green wheat field.  I bet it was a filming nightmare to work around the trampled plants, but it sure turned out wonderfully.  Jump to 3:21 for the vengeful fight.

Number 4:  Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Robin Hood is known for his great skill with a bow, but did you know he’s really good with a sword too?  What I love about this fight is the unevenness of the duel.  There is a difference between swords as well as skill.  The sparks fly as the Sheriff hacks away and Robin fights for his love.  The fight begins at 3:11 and then returns at 5:31. Once again, viewer beware because it seems that the best fights occur at the end of the movie.

Number 3:  The Mask of Zorro

Unlike the previous fight where the woman does little more than cower, Elena takes a major role in this fight with the masked man himself…Zorro. It is actually quite hard to pick just one sword fight from this film because there are so many great ones.  I picked this fight because of its uniqueness and chemistry.

Number 2:  Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl

This fight between Jack Sparrow and Will Turner is full of skill and humor.  In the movies that come after this one, there are other sword fights, but they can’t touch this one.  I think that this fight works better than the others from the series because it has a slower pace and allows for more time at wide angle shots.  The best sword fights can be followed by the audience and teach them something about the characters.

Number 1:  The Princess Bride

Are you at all surprised?  This is the classic sword fight between Inigo Montoya and the Man in Black.  Be ready for a twist during the swordplay that highlights how talented these two guys are.  The fight starts at 2:31after the entertaining background information.

Inigo Montoya: You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you.
Man in Black: You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die.

Here’s some interesting trivia from imbd.com about the fight:
“The fencing masters that Inigo and Westley talk about studying are all real fencing masters from the 14th to 16th centuries.”
“Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin performed all of their own sword-fighting after many hours of training. According to Rob Reiner, the only stunt performed by Patinkin’s stunt double was one flip during the ‘Chatty Duelists’ scene.”



2010 brings another new feature to Sharon’s Bookmarks…guest writers!  From time to time, you will get a break from my thoughts on interesting sites, and instead hear another’s voice.  This week enjoy Nick’s find…
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Since Man’s first clumsy twinkles of intelligence surfaced millennia ago, an inexorable drive to describe the surrounding universe has dominated human culture. From the monistic Tao assertions that “all is one” to today’s astrophysicist proclaiming that we are a sordid interplay of matter and energy caught in the expanding fabric of space-time, we have sought understanding.

If these yearnings plague your inquisitive soul, then Listverse is not for you. If, however, you fancy an unassuming marriage of the educational and entertaining in your Internet ramblings, make a dedicated pit stop here.

Listverse is an archive of user-submitted “Top 10” lists. Although seething with subjectivity, it’s difficult not to find something here that piques your interest. For instance, one list, entitled “Top 10 Faults in Human Thinking”, explains the phenomenon of reactivity.  This is the human tendency to behave differently than “normal” when we are aware of ourselves being observed. Accordingly, many research experiments implement blind trials to mitigate this interference with results.

Just before this writing I found myself immersed in other submissions such as “Top 10 Rites of Passage“, “Top 10 Mysteries of Outer Space”, and “Top 10 Episodes of the Twilight Zone”.  I suppose a mosaic of visited lists would develop a rather interesting profile of one’s personality.

Although Listverse may not shatter any universal secrets that have dominated many a tortured, sleepless night, I’m sure it will at least spark a modest flame of inquiry in that beautiful space between your ears.



{January 15, 2010}   Better

Not all of you will understand all of this entry, but I still think you all will enjoy it.  It will certainly help if you “get” Joss Whedon and will definitely help if you’ve watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

For those of you who didn’t check out my entry on Dr. Horrible, here’s a quick summary.  Dr. Horrible (played by Neil Patrick Harris) is a villain trying to get into the Evil League of Evil.  In order to do so, he must impress Bad Horse (the league’s leader).  Two things get in Dr. Horrible’s way: 1) his nemesis, Captain Hammer (played by Nathan Fillion) and 2) his secret love of a girl named Penny.  Dr. Horrible recounts his trials through his video blog and…oh yeah sometimes breaks into song (other characters do too).

Now if that wasn’t wacky/brilliant enough, Joss and his crew decided to make a musical commentary of the musical.  (Did that just blow your mind?!)  It’s been quite awhile since I watched the whole commentary, but one song just sticks in my head.  It’s sung by Nathan Fillion and well the title says it all:  “Better (than Neil)”. 

The song is so catchy and hilarious!  It is by far the best song on the commentary.  There are a few references to the musical (keep in mind it is suppose to be running over the actual footage), but many of the other references are Nate saying how much better he is than NPH.  The song really starts 40 seconds into the clip.  Enjoy! 

Lyrics:

(Hey ladies
Sit down and relax.
I gotta story to tell)

Every night I lay awake
With sorrow in my chest.
I think of NPH and wonder
Is he gettin’ rest?

Does he know each second
He’s only second best?
Tossin’ in his bed
What’s he wearing?
Dread?

I’m better,
Better than Neil!
In so many ways
It’s almost unreal
Oh, sure he can sing
And piggies can squeal!
It’s not a big deal
I’m better (better, better, better!)

So he was out on Broadway
While I was on the soaps.
Who’s got the high score on Ninja Ropes?
Who’s got a bulletproof car like the Pope’s?
Look at Neil’s mackin’
So sad,
He’s so lacking.
He makes seven figures
And gets Emmy nods.
I make seven layer bean dip of the gods!
I’m also in
Halo 3
What are the odds?
Now my ears are ringin’
‘Cause all the girls are singin’

I’m better, (He’s better)
Better than Neil!
At so many things (He’s better!)
It’s hard to conceal
Oh, sure he does magic (He’s better)
Magic’s not real!
How dumb do you feel? (He’s Better)
I’m better than Neil

Neil played a kid doctor
Well, so did I, dude!
But I was much younger and totally nude.
Neil kept that white coat on
Great, Dr. Prude!
But there Felicia goes
Another deal you couldn’t close, yeah.

I wink at a woman
She needs a drink – stat!
She knows I hit everything
I’m aiming at.
Except for the Pope car
I lied about that.
But at least I’m not prone
To singing alone

Look at his smallness,
Compared to my tallness,
My porcelain doll-ness,
My “port in a squall”-ness,
My “Kids in the Hall”-ness,
My “Pink Floyd’s The Wall”-ness,
My “Three Parts of Gaul”-ness,
My just all-in-all-ness,
My wonderful me-ness,
My hammer, the pe-

-ople can tell,
That I’m awfully swell,
While Neil has a weird smell
I’m just saying, Purell!

I’m better, (He’s better)
Better than Neil!
And where do I start? (He’s better)
Romantic appeal.
We both went for Penny (He’s better)
And who copped a feel?
The true Man of Steel, (He’s better)
I’m better than Neil.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…
I’m better than Neil (He’s better)
Just jumped off a moving (He’s better)
Automobile.
He plays with his phone, (He’s better)
While tires they squeal.
It’s my scene to steal, (He’s better)
I’m better than Neil

(He’s better) [REPEAT]

Oooh-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo… (etc) [REPEAT]

I’m better than Neil! (He’s better)

Thanks CommentaryTheMusical for the lyrics.



Happy New Year!  In order to celebrate 2010, Sharon’s Bookmarks is introducing a new monthly feature.  For the next 12 month’s, I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite movie soundtracks.

Why movie soundtracks?

Well, I have appreciated instrumental music ever since I was involved in band as a student.  Being in the band made me value all the different parts of a musical piece.

As for the movie element…creating a perfect score for a visual medium intrigues me.  Somehow a composer is able to take a clip and find the ideal arrangement of notes to fit it.  The best soundtrack composers can complement was happens on screen while eliciting an amazing range of emotions.  You can feel through your ears and eyes.

Needless to say, I own quite a number of movie soundtracks.  However, I do not have this month’s choice of soundtrack:  Dragonheart by Randy Edelman.

Now I know this may seem like a weird choice, but once you listen to it, everything will make sense.  You may recognize this main theme because they use it all the time for movie trailers.  I love it because it holds so much power and hope.



{December 31, 2009}   TV Theme: December

It’s the final entry on my year long dedication to the usually ignored and vanishing art form called the TV show theme.

My closing choice of favorite theme is the opening from The Big Bang Theory. 

Instead of being an instrumental, it features a part of the song “History of Everything” by the Barenaked Ladies.  Other shows have done this including Veronica Mars and True Blood.  Like in those cases, the choice of a real song fits this show perfectly.  The Big Bang Theory celebrates all things scientific in a sitcom and the theme follows that course.  Here are the lyrics if you couldn’t catch them:

Our whole universe was in a hot dense state,
Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started. Wait…
The Earth began to cool,
The autotrophs began to drool,
Neanderthals developed tools,
We built a wall (we built the pyramids),
Math, science, history, unraveling the mysteries,
That all started with the big bang!

(lyrics provided by lyricstime.com)

If you are interested, here is a subtitled full version of BNL’s “History of Everything”.

Added Bonus:
Since I am featuring the theme from The Big Bang Theory, I can’t resist sharing their ever-popular version of Rochambeau called Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock.



et cetera