Christmases Long, Long Ago: Countdown Week 4

Jon revisits some Indiana memories and shares a delicious cocktail concoction that he learned about when he moved to North Carolina, and Rachel recalls the sensory impressions associated with various Christmas markets she has visited throughout her young(er) adulthood by providing a recipe for the classic German seasonal hot drink Glühwein.

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Christmas Special 2020

“Camille understood that people often wanted to erase the pain of what they’d been through, to reinvent the past and their part in it.”
-Alice Hoffman, The Marriage of Opposites

Around this time of year, we are frantically trying to buy and wrap all the perfect presents, decorate for the benefit of ourselves and guests, prepare for long-distance travel or hosting the perfect holiday party. For all the hardships and weirdness 2020 has brought,

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Hallmark-style Christmas Movies: A Lagging Indicator of Changing Social Norms

For me, romantic comedies set at Christmas are like chocolate pecan pie – treacly and high fructose. I wouldn’t want more than a couple pieces a year, and when someone asks me what my favorite kind of pie is, I never say chocolate pecan, but I usually think about it. You know what you’re going to get, and you know how you’re going to feel afterwards.

The demographic for the Hallmark Channel is women between the ages of 25 and 54.

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Alliterative Aliases: Countdown Week 3

There's a surprising (and perhaps annoying?) amount of alliteration in character names in comics. Whether it is intended to be a clever play on sound or have some other purpose is not entirely clear, although the late Stan Lee claimed that he used the convention to make it easier to remember the names of characters that he created.

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Superman and God’s Cocktail Countdown to the New Year

Looking for a pick-me-up over this long, long holiday season? Not sure how to reconcile like pretty much ALL of 2020 with your lingering suspicion that maybe you shouldn't be drinking ANYthing at this point? Why not try some of these creative and inspiring cocktails recommended by the creators of Superman and God themselves: Rachel and Jon!

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R, Matey!

R is a really interesting sound. Or rather, it's a letter that has an interesting range of possible pronunciations. It can be rolled or glided in the back of the throat like in some dialects of German, trilled in the front like in various Spanish dialects, or pronounced as a fairly tight, fluid liquid up against either the palate or alveolar ridge, like in English. In some Asian languages, R and L aren't well defined,

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Destiny Manifests

We see fate unfold in complex and interesting ways in all kinds of stories. Whether showing us how a complex series of events can lead to one crucial moment, persuading us that our actions - no matter how small - have true meaning, or just entertaining us with the fantastic hypotheticals of time travel and the web of consequences that it might weave, Destiny clearly plays an important role in the stories we tell.

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Ask Me Why I Don’t Eat Meat

My dad just sent a picture of a majestic buck standing in the yard of my childhood home, with my parents’ dormant vegetable garden in the background. Right now, with the blog and the book ever-present in my mind, I was reminded of my first ever attempt at writing an essay for Superman and God, one that arose from an advocatus diaboli argument Jon and I were having one Sunday morning at the IU library.

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Identity Crises

We are what we do. The world, be it our closest friends and families or the general public, will remember us for the impact that we have on it. When people meet and ask each other "what do you do?", we tend to answer with our career, not a description of our hobbies and personal activities. But what if you're all meeting in the context of a new job, or a new academic program? For example, when I started working at UNC Chapel Hill in 2011, my new coworkers didn't ask me "what do you do". They asked...

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