Zombies And Disasters

photo of the floor is lava game pictures
I think that it is fair to say that most children play the “don’t touch the floor; it’s lava” game as children. I know that I did. No one taught me this game. I had never heard of a friend playing this game. I had no older siblings who played this game. It was a fun exercise and, in its own small way, helps to build survival skills. While the “lava” part is due to the expanse of human knowledge and scenarios seen on television, that kind of game is almost instinctual.

One of the purposes of play, particularly as children, is to build survival skills (and to practice social interaction, of course).

There is a lot of speculation about why people find zombie apocalypse stories so fascinating and appealing. Some say that it is because, symbolically, it has to do with anything from 9/11 to living in a world that has nuclear and biological weapons. Some say that it’s a secular way of telling a Rapture story, while others say that it is because we all have the potential to become the enemies of our neighbors and family members.

I am sure that bits and pieces of those are factors in a lot of zombie apocalypse stories. In some cases they might influence writers. In other cases, they might subconsciously influence readers and viewers and gamers to enjoy the subject matter.

Personally? I think that it partially goes back to the basics: practicing survival skills through learning and play. Most of the people who enjoy zombie apocalypse fiction make plans for what they would do in such a situation. Would they fortify their homes or a friend’s home? Whom would they bring? What would they bring? How would they protect themselves along the way?

These questions are applicable in a lot of situations that are, while unlikely, more probable than hordes of slow-moving undead that are ..

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Lego my … Legos?

Picture of Lego Toy for Girl Currently Under Fire
I might well be the only person alive who hates Legos.  Like, I deplore those little plastic demon-infested things.  I was the kid who could never get the damn pieces of plastic the right way, the one who was always in search of the big red three-topper that my brother always seemed to be using.

And while Lego’s have a solid (and undoubtedly well-deserved) reputation as good learning toys, my own personal experience was marred by two factors.

First, I have a spatial disability.  It was painful for me to attempt to figure out whether the right-bending Lego’s would mesh with the left-benders or vice versa.  It gave me a freaking headache and made what was supposed to be playtime absolutely torturous.

I am pretty much textbook ADHD.  In other words, I struggled for a long time with finishing anything I started.  If I got a Lego kit, I either threw it against the wall or gave it to one of my siblings.  The prospect of actually putting together a Lego World … absolutely impossible for me.

But I have not allowed my Lego prejudices to interfere with my children’s enjoyment of them.  Both of my daughters went through extensive Lego phases, the younger one in particular (her father is a statistician who is all about everything going in its right place).

They’re a toy.  A childhood staple, really, kind of on par with Tonka trucks and Barbie dolls, only not as gender-specific … which was, of course, part of what made them so appealing to me as a parent.

But I guess all things must come to an end.

From Time HealthLand:

The classic playtime favorite is typically gender-neutral, but the new Lego Friends line is catered to girls with a Butterfly Beauty Shop and a Fashion Designer Workshop. Promotions for the line showcase stylish and slimmer figures instead of the usual blocky characters.

Carolyn Costin, an eating disorders specialist …

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Tangled May Be the Last of the Disney Princess Movies

photo of disney princess new movie tangled pictures photographs

This weekend, though most families are probably seeing Harry Potter for the first or second or eighth time, guaranteeing it another couple hundred million in sales, I’m considering how I’m going to squeeze in seeing the Disney movie Tangled into my very busy schedule. This is mostly because the character, Rapunzel, is voiced by Mandy Moore, and I still haven’t forgotten my love for her in every movie ever. But it’s also because the film is being touted as “The Last of the Disney Princess Movies.” In fact, the title and marketing of the film was …

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