Amalia The Savage

About Amalia The Savage

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So far Amalia The Savage has created 36 entries.

Winter Is Coming… Resist The Urge To Tan!

 Readers, consider this your friendly neighborhood Public Service Announcement. I know this has been out there for a while, but with winter upon us (or in my case, a bizarrely extensive fall) the urge to go out and tan for that healthy glow is probably more tempting for those of us in the North. But Don’t.  Resist! Because the news is not good. Tanning beds DEFINITELY cause cancer. And I have a feeling that Britain is already suffering the consequences of our love affair with tanning, and the rest of the world is not far behind.    So here are the facts if you didn’t read the articles:  Cancer rates increase by 75% when you use ultraviolet tanning beds before the age of 30. Your friends who tan are staring Melanoma in the face, and Melanoma isn’t going to blink first.** In Britain, skin cancer, in particular Melanoma (the deadliest kind) has become the leading cancer diagnoses in women in their 20s. To put that into perspective, Melanoma USED to only be common among people over the age of 75.    First of all, it’s absolutely shocking that cancer rates increase 75% when you use ultraviolet tanning beds. Shocking and scary. I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I was in college in the great midwest, there was  a huge population of people who tanned in winter. We’re talking weekly pilgrimages to the tanning salon. How many of them are going to develop cancer just because they wanted a bronzer skin tone? And the people who provide tanning as a service? They’re still denying a link exists. We warn people about tobacco and alcohol, but nobody is slapping Surgeon General Warning Labels up in the cancer emporiums that are beauty salons. They’re not even getting Mr. Yuck stickers. (Although, that’s a tempting idea…) Now that you’ve been warned, allow me to subject you to my editorial thought process.  […]

By |November 18th, 2009|MyBlog|9 Comments|

Letters from the Kings, Another Not-Yet-Of Troy Story

 For some reason, Homer places a great emphasis on lineage and title in The Iliad. The smallest of side characters is often outlined by his father, and his father’s deeds. This is especially true of the greater heroes and kings, who are just as often referred to as Son of So-and-so as they are by their own names. We don’t often meet their fathers outside of these side-tracked stories– with the obvious exception of the sons of Priam, King of Troy– but the Iliad is filled with these distracting flavor bursts of parentage. Why so important? Well, establishing yourself as the son of someone who did something great leaves you poised to accomplish something even greater! A lot of this is reflected later on in history, as we see people over and over again drawing their lineages back to ancestors who were either gods or heroes (often heroes themselves were demi-gods or of divine heritage). After Homer’s time, claiming a god as an ancestor was a way of validating and justifying an individual’s authority or superiority. It’s a little bit more subtle than claiming absolute divinity, like the Kings of Egypt, Alexander the Great, and the Emperors of Rome,  but all of this is the precursor of what later became the Divine Right of Kings who claimed their rule to be mandated and willed by God. Interesting how these “pagan” practices wormed their way into the Christian world! Whew. Now that we’ve gotten the history out of the way, I give you the letters! (The first two are here and here. Go ahead, we’ll wait for you to catch up!) The two letters below are short and sweet. […]

By |November 16th, 2009|MyBlog|4 Comments|

A Letter From Pollux, Another Not-Yet-Of Troy Story

 This is the next letter in the series, written from Pollux to his sister, Helen. (To read the first letter, go here!)  Technically speaking, it’s unlikely that Helen and Pollux would have ever been exchanging letters in Homeric Greece. The only evidence we have of written language from that time are the Linear B tablets of the Mycenaeans, and mostly these tablets gave us information on inventories of goods disbursed. From the tablets we can extrapolate that Mycenae had some kind of overarching administration, and it’s suggested that the script was only known to a small group of people, high up. It would not have been used by any common folk.  Helen, as a princess of Lacedaemon might have known that such records were kept, but it is highly unlikely she would have been taught to write. Further, Linear B is only found on clay tablets. Obviously this does not mean that writing on any other medium was impossible, because the tablets were preserved through the destruction of the palaces by fire which would have destroyed anything like skins or papyrus, but if they were only writing in Linear B on clay, it would make for an awkward letter. […]

By |November 9th, 2009|MyBlog|3 Comments|

Imaginary Friends, Not Just For Kids Anymore!

 I have a confession to make:I still have imaginary friends.But, you say, imaginary friends are for kids! And not just for kids, but for kids who are lonely, or otherwise lacking something emotionally fulfilling somehow!My readers, we have entered a new era in the research and study of imaginary friends, thanks in a large part to research by a Dr. Marjorie Taylor of the University of Oregon in Eugene. For those of us who are writers and always wondered if we were going a little bit crazy because our characters are wandering around the house, the results are good! It looks like it’s okay, and we’re not alone!Along with the excellent company of children between the ages of 3 and 7 (and sometimes even 12-17 if you include the sublimation into “dear diary” entities as mentioned in this article which I swear to you I read once in full for an informative speech in college, but am thankful the abstract still contains the most cogent information!), we can add writers to the list of people who are allowed to have imaginary friends! Let me tell you, I breathed a sigh of relief.  The mysterious researcher Dr. Seiffge-Krenke (man do I wish I could read German, googling her brings up tons of information that isn’t written in English), also found that it was the more socially competent and creative adolescents who had these sublimated imaginary companions rather than the social misfits, as previously believed. […]

A Letter From Helen not-yet-of Troy

 Before National Novel Writing Month began, I like others, was doing some research and preparation for my project– a new look at the myths around the Trojan War, and a reinterpretation of Helen and her early life. In an excess of excitement, and the compulsion to purge some of the research I had done and turn it into creative energy, I started writing letters. I’m a far cry from Ovid and his Heroides, but at least there was a precedent.The letters helped me to get my head into Helen’s and feel out the other characters that I would be playing with in this new book, before the adrenaline rush of NaNoWriMo. The exercise was so much fun that I didn’t really want to stop, and I expect I’ll be doing quite a few of them before the month is out. They won’t appear in the manuscript itself, but I thought they would be a fun sneak peak behind the scenes of the story for you GeekaChicas readers!This first letter is from Helen (age 12) to her brother, Pollux. Helen and Pollux are both children of Zeus resulting from his rape of Leda as a swan. (Really.) For more information on the sources and the mythology of the Trojan War, feel free to take a look at my blog. I have a lot of helpful links to primary sources in the sidebar, and discussions of most of them in my recent posts.  […]

By |November 3rd, 2009|MyBlog|2 Comments|

Comic Books, Evolution, and God

Hold the Phone my friends, and read this: The Structure of Scientific Evolutions.  This editorial/article/discussion/piece discusses two Darwinist explanations of God and religion. Basically they both come down to “People created religion” it’s just the question of how it happened which is argued, and whether God was involved or a byproduct. I’m not sure I agree entirely with either camp, or any of this, but it definitely makes me think about it, which I always love. And now I’m about to get a little bit geeky, because I’m going to go back to the Thor comic book by Marvel and do a little cross quotation. (And yes, this is an example of how eclectic I can be–God, science, and The Mighty Thor all in the same post!)   When they relauched the Thor title with J. Michael Straczynski at the helm, this was the premise for Thor’s return from the grave (or the void, if you prefer):  “It is not for the gods to decide whether or not man exists–It is for man to decide whether or not the gods exist.”  And when I read it, it blew my mind wide open. Because I’m kind of a geek who loves a good thought provoking comic book read, and because there is too much truth in that statement for it to be ignored. […]