#AtoZBlogChallenge: Umbrella Carrying Characters

#AtoZBlogChallenge Topic: Umbrella Carrying Characters

Umbrellas are not an everyday accessory for most people. However, several characters can be seen carrying umbrellas regularly for one reason or another. Below are 10 characters who include an umbrella as a regular accessory:

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Mycroft Holmes (as seen in BBC series Sherlock)

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Mary Poppins

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Totoro

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The Doctor (7th)

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Perona

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Mr Tumnus the Faun

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Hagrid

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Kagura

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John Steed

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The Penguin

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#AtoZBlogChallenge: Training Themes

#AtoZBlogChallenge Topic: Training Themes

The theme of training plays an important role in the plot of some of the most popular series. Most of these are associated with stories that focus on martial arts or magical arts training. Below are two examples:

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Type of Training: Magical Arts

Aang trained with many including:

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Katara

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Toph

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Monk Gyatso

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Zuko

Naruto

Type of Training: Martial Arts with Magical Arts components

Naruto, like Aang, trained with many including:

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Iruka

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Kakashi

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Master Jiraiya

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The Toad Sages

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Support Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Fundraising

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I want to help raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society because my husband suffers from this disease. Therefore, I have signed up for a third year ear in a row to participate in the Walk MS in Frankenmuth, MI. Participating in this event is important to me because many people suffer, including my husband, symptoms of this disease on a daily basis!

For those who are not familiar with this disease, you may be wondering just what is MS?

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that creates a neurological condition that affects the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS includes the brain, the spinal cord, and the optic nerves, and it’s surrounded by a fatty tissue called myelin that protects the nerve fibers and helps them conduct electrical impulses. MS is NOT fully understood and is a highly unpredictable disorder that can cause a variety of different symptoms, which for many, can flare-up and then subside over the course of days, months, or even years. There are four recognized types of multiple sclerosis, ranging from those that cause periodic relapses or “attacks” that subsequently ‘remit’ or go away to types that progressively worsen over time. My husband has the relapsing remitting type of MS, which can cause a variety of symptoms that can flare-up and then subside over the course of days, months, or even year.

Some of the more common ones that my husband suffers from includes:
*Fatigue
*Difficulty in walking
*Vision problems
*Emotional changes
*Problems with memory, attention, and problem-solving
*Bladder/bowel dysfunction
*Dizziness and vertigo
*Numbness/pain

While MS is not contagious, its causes are not yet fully understood and researchers continue to search for answers daily. Here are some Facts About MS that are known:

*Every hour, someone is newly diagnosed with MS.
*More than 2.5 million people worldwide live with this unpredictable disease.
*MS is the most common neurological disease leading to disability in young adults.
*Many Celebrities have MS including icons such as Annette Funicello, who passed away last year.

*Check out the latest statistics on MS here

The Importance of Long-Term Treatment

*At the present, approved long-term treatments are only available for individuals with relapsing forms of MS
*10 disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) are now approved for relapsing forms of MS (as of March 2013)
*DMTs may: reduce the number and severity of symptom flare-ups; delay disease progression; reduce the number of active lesions; and potentially extend one’s lifespan
*DMTs have reduced or delayed the number of individuals who advance from relapsing-remitting MS to secondary-progressive MS

You can find out more information on my fundraising efforts here!

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My team and I at Walk MS events in 2012 and 2013!

Tom Kelly, a Twitter friend of mine, is also raising funds for MS. He is participating in the Bike MS event in his area. You can find out more about his efforts here!

If you are unable to donate financially to either of our fundraising efforts, then you can help by spreading the word! Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

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#AtoZBlogChallenge: Scarecrow and Mrs. King

#AtoZBlogChallenge Topic: Scarecrow and Mrs. King

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One of my favorite TV series is Scarecrow and Mrs. King. This 1980′s series, is about a suburban Washington, DC housewife, who is handed a package, by a federal agent in trouble, and all of the adventures that take place after that meeting. Below is the summary from the back of Season 1 DVD:

Goodbye, PTA…hello, foreign intrigue!

Single mom Amanda King leads a quiet suburban life in Washington DC until the day a dashing stranger shoves a package in her hands with instructions to give it to the man in the red hat. In no time, Amanda is dodging bullets, foiling assassination plots – and finding herself drawn to the dashing stranger, agent Lee Stetson, aka Scarecrow. Of course, Scarecrow has no interest in a ditsy amateur spy, no matter how pretty. But she certainly is handy in a crisis!

Share the Season One fun with stars Kate Jackson and Bruce Boxleitner in this fast-paced 5-Disc, 21-Episode Set of the lighthearted series that proves laughs and romance are powerful weapons in the battle to protect national security.

The best part of this series is the interaction between the main characters, Amanda King and Lee Stetson. Especially during the first season, when they were just getting to know each other and what they are each capable of in a variety of interesting, and life threatening situations.

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If you have not been introduced to this series, then I would suggest viewing the first episode digitally, which is available to watch free from iTunes Store.

If you are already a fan, then you may want to check out the following fan sites:

Scarecrow and Mrs King Fan Forum

Scarecrow and Mrs King Facebook page

Just Walk With Me, features recaps of each episode by season

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#AtoZBlogChallenge: Rocket Ships

#AtoZBlogChallenge Topic: Rocket Ships

Watching the BBC America Series, The Real History of Science Fiction reminded me that many classic science fiction magazine covers featured, at one time or another, a spaceship powered by rockets, aka, rocket ship. Below are 5 examples of classic science fiction magazine covers featuring a ‘rocket ship’:

Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine from 1958

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Astounding Science Fiction Magazine from 1939

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Space Science Fiction from 1952

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Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction from 1956

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Dynamic Science Fiction Magazine from 1953

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#AtoZBlogChallenge: Queens

#AtoZBlogChallenge Topic: Queens

Below is a select list of Queens and the feature or series they appear in:

Queen Padme Amidala from Star Wars

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Queen Serenity From Sailor Moon

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Regina, The Evil Queen from Once Upon A Time

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Queen Regent Liz X from Doctor Who

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Elsa, The Snow Queen from Disney’s Frozen

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#AtoZBlogChallenge: Princess Mononoke

#AtoZBlogChallenge: Princess Mononoke

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Today, I thought I would highlight one of my husband’s favorite Hayao Miyazaki animated films, Princess Mononoke, per his request.

This animated film was released in 1997 in Japan and adapted for English speaking audiences and distributed by Disney.

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Set in medieval Japan, Miyazaki’s original story envisions a struggle between nature and man. The march of technology, embodied in the dark iron forges of the ambitious Tatara clan, threatens the natural forces explicit in the benevolent Great God of the Forest and the wide-eyed, spectral spirits he protects. When Ashitaka, a young warrior from a remote, and endangered, village clan, kills a ravenous, boar-like monster, he discovers the beast is in fact an infectious “demon god,” transformed by human anger. Ashitaka’s quest to solve the beast’s fatal curse brings him into the midst of human political intrigues as well as the more crucial battle between man and nature.
from amazon.com

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What I find the most interesting about this film is not only is an epic fantasy story, with interesting characters and scenery, but it also seamlessly integrates hand-drawn cels with computer-generated images, which created a new standard of visual storytelling.

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An example of the computer graphics used in the film

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#AtoZBlogChallenge: Obi-Wan Kenobi

#AtoZBlogChallenge Topic: Obi-Wan Kenobi

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One of my favorite characters in the animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, is Obi-Wan Kenobi, voiced by the very talented James Arnold Taylor!

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There are many great Obi-Wan moments from the series, but some my favorite occur during the episode, The Lawless, which I wrote in a post last year.

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#AtoZBlogChallenge: Ninja Characters

#AtoZBlogChallenge Topic: Ninja Characters

Below are three of my favorite Ninja Characters:

Naruto Uzumaki, Ninja from the Hidden Leaf Village

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Misao Makimachi, Ninja from the Obiwaban Group

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Michelangelo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

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#AtoZBlogChallenge: Manga

#AtoZBlogChallenge Topic: Manga

Manga are serialized comic or graphic novel stories created in Japan using a drawing style first developed in the 19th Century. This style includes characters with large eyes, small mouths, and, in many cases, with unusual hair color and/or style.

Other than the artistic style, what I also like about Manga stories are that they are not limited by genre.  A single Manga series can have multiple genres within it. Below are five of my favorite manga stories and the genres that are represented within them:

Vampire Knight

Genres: Romantic Fantasy, Vampire Drama, Young Adult Drama, School Comedy, Political Drama

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Sailor Moon

Genres: Romance, Teen Comedy, School Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction (Time Travel), Magical Girl

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From Far Away

Genres: Romantic Fantasy Adventure

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One Piece

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Pirate Adventure

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Fruits Basket

Genres: Fantasy, Romantic Comedy, Teen School Comedy, Family Drama

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