Geeking Out Loud: The Evolution of Sci-Fi Movies

I’ve always loved Sci-Fi but I never feel like I have seen enough! I wanted to explore as much as possible, from the first Sci-Fi Movie “Le Voyage Dans Le Lune” (1902), right through to the latest releases and sub-genres that have expanded throughout the years. Because, Sci-Fi always makes us question;

Where will science take us? What’s going to happen to us? What’s NEXT?

I’ve already considered what makes a good Sci-Fi story, and so I started doing a little research into the release dates of movies (and some extra reading). I realised that there is a pattern in what’s happening in society and science, and the types of movies that became popular at the time.

A Geek’s Guide: 7 Ultimate Science Gifts for the Nerdy Lady in your Life

This is a shout out to those who dare to be smart. For those who are intrigued by the world around them. For those who want to learn, explore, and constantly push boundaries. What Science gifts to do you get a nerdy girl?

If you’re lucky enough to know one of these people and have the HONOUR of presenting said person with a gift, then I hope you’ll consider these recommendations… and if you are the Science lover then… Treat yo’self!

So here are some of the best Science gifts, hand-picked by me!

A Geek’s Guide: How to Write a Seriously Epic Sci-Fi Story

We all know that there are a LOT of sci-fi stories out there. I mean, there are whole sections of book shops dedicated to the genre. Speaking of which, I now sponsor one! I pledged to help my local BookShop’s expansion and they let me brand their sci-fi section. In celebration, I decided to explore what makes a good sci-fi story?

To answer this question, I took 2 sample texts, from “Amy’s Storys” (sic) written by 8-year-old me, to analyse as core texts. It’s as good a starting point as any…

SpaceShip Skinny Dip London Bag

13 Out-of-this-World Space themed gifts on my Birthday wish list!

As it’s my birthday soon I thought I’d post a Space themed gifts wish-list of mine… Just some tiny hints in case anyone (or a certain someone) need some ideas! I hope it also inspires you and gives you an insight into the kind of things you can find if you’re looking for space themed stuff!

Space Themed Gift Guide MoodBoard Galaxy Constellations Astronomy

1. Starry Night Dress by Cakes with Faces

This is such a cute little dress! I am not into astrology but the science of stars, and constellation themed items I adore! It’s amazing just how much stuff is out there (in the material and the metaphysical sense).

2. Glitter Star Hair Clips  by Crown and Glory

I feel like these in gunmetal or silver would look great now my hair’s gone purple. I just want to adorn it with sparkle! Short of covering myself in glitter, Crown and Glory have some amazing starry accessories… including a STUNNING dip-dyed veil that I MUST have for when I get married. Not that I’m even engaged yet…

3. Women In Science by Rachel Ignotofsky

Full title, Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World, looks absolutely stunning and really interesting! I went ahead and bought this one (this is the problem with making wishlists of affordable, beautiful items!) It is incredibly illustrated and I love the writing style.

4. Atom & Planet Necklace by Eclectic Eccentricity

As some may know, I wear the hell out of the necklace from my previous Space Princess gift guide. EE’s whole range is stunning and space-based and I look at them longingly every lunch break in the office! These colours are just perfect.
Space Themed Bag Constellation Earrings Fun Science

5. SpaceShip Bag by SkinnyDip

I added this bag to my wishlist after seeing it in Brighton… until I realised it was from LAST SEASON! *shock horror* Rather than miss out my friend got it for me and sent it in the post. (PaperBag Blog- thank you!) It helps to know lovely people! So… this is on here to show it off really (Sorry, not sorry) and give a shout-out to SkinnyDip for designing something so cool.

6. Fun Science by Charlie McDonnell

Full title “Fun Science: A Guide to Life, the Universe and why Science is so Awesome” by Charlie McDonnell has sparked my interest as it discusses everything from the largest things comprehensible to humans right down to the smallest atoms. Charlie (Charlieissocoollike) began producing science related videos on YouTube and I followed him for many years – I really want to support his venture as an author!

7. 3D Star Globe by Luckies

A 3D map of the night sky would both informative and beautiful hanging from my ceiling. Alternatively, an actual constellation globe with a transparent base would also be awesome on my office desk… but a little out of my budget!

8. Star Stud Earrings by Stray Jewellery

I am always on the outlook for earrings that can tie in with my outfits. I’ve been going for a lot of galaxy-inspired and space themed stuff recently. Even if I have to dress like your average person (boo) for work or an event, I still like to set it off with something astronomical!

Space Themed Dress Planetarium Space Pencils NASA Space Cat Mug CyberDog

9. Planetarium Paperweight by Present Indicative

I know what you’re probably thinking, it’s a bit odd… But it’s REALLY cool and I feel like I could look at it for ages. I first saw it in the Stedelijk Museum Shop in Amsterdam but it was closing and they rushed me out of the shop. I am kinda glad I did though because it’s now introduced me to a whole new website that has cool nerdy gifts! Their whole astronomy section is AWESOME.

10. Cat in Space Mug by CyberDog

I thought to myself that if I never saw another “themed” mug ever again, it would be too soon! But then, I saw this one. Space AND cats? Yeah, go on then.

11. Galaxy Skater Dress by Glitterbomb

This has been on my wish list for aaaages. I’m absolutely in love with it – the colours are amazing (and I already have the necklace!)

12. Space themed Swirl Coloured Pencils

I added these in even though I bought them for myself. I’ve been told I don’t need any more stationery items BUT the leads are coloured to match the nebulas primary colours SO… had to be done. The pencils came from a little boutique in Amsterdam but you could get them here.

And to round it all off, what would an astronomy lover be without an awesome telescope?

Sky-Watcher Explorer-130P 130mm Parabolic Newtonian Reflector Telescope

Until Next Time,

Amy

 

International Astronomy Day: Why I love Space, the Universe and Everything

As it’s International Astronomy Day today (29th April), I decided to get myself back on track with a post about why I chose this subject in the first place. I realise I haven’t really done any astronomy related posts but it’s because I felt I didn’t know enough / it would be a lot of tertiary research. Then I realised why my real passion for the subject and the theme really shines through!

So here is a little insight into the why I love Space, the Universe and everything space themed.

It reminds us how small we are but also how awesome we are

If you go to any planetarium you will often get an introduction showing just how vast we have discovered our universe to be.  As humans, we need everything to be a scale/comparison to fathom the size of an object and even when it’s spoon fed to us sometimes it’s just incomprehensible. That can be pretty daunting, but I take comfort in it sometimes.

Nebula SH2-115 ExoGalaxies Astronomy Day

Picture by ExoGalaxies

It makes for some of the best photographs

It’d be great to get out into the middle of nowhere and take some long exposures to see what hidden gems we can pick up! I absolutely love some of the photographs. Good people to follow for this sort of stuff are The Hubble Scope,, Exogalaxies and JoshKirkley to name but a few!

My good friend Geoffrey, who takes a lot of my featured astrophotography, has some perfect pictures in his portfolio! Mostly he focuses on things a little closer to home, but they’re all amazing!Gantrisch Astrophotography Geoffrey Schild Photography Space Themed Blog

It’s one of the most interesting science subjects

One of the best things about astronomy is that there is always new information to explore, something disproving our original theories and the whole time we are finding out more about our universe. Some of my favourite places to visit are Science Museums. They’re often aimed at kids but they also hold a wealth of information for adults too. One of my dreams is to visit the Kennedy Space Centre!

Astronomy Day Searching for life

Photo by Fussy Lemon

Everything Galaxy Patterned is absolutely perfect

I absolutely adore galaxy patterned fashion and accessories. I’ve loved it for a long time but now I’m always on the look-out. I previously published my Space Princess Gift Guide and nearer to my birthday I will post my space themed gift wishlist.

My Latest Purchase ^_^
I need some space tshirt boohoo astronomy day

One of my favourite new t-shirts!

It helps with Escapism

There’s so much going on in the world: with the doomsday clock reaching the closest to midnight it’s been since 1960, scientific research being put on the back-burner and other baffling political decisions being made everywhere it’s good to just escape once in a while. Looking out into the void and remembering what could be out there makes all of the small issues seem even smaller. It definitely helps you to clear your mind!

Disney Wall-E Astronomy Day

Some of the best stories and franchises are based on it

A scientist summoned to speak to aliens. A galactic empire at war with itself. A dystopian future with an astral escape route. Space offers us so many directions a writer/director/producer can go with their science fiction. It’s my favourite genre.

I could go on forever about all the games, books, franchises, films, toys and TV programs that are inspired by the great unknown! But there are way too many to mention. In the future, I aim to do a few posts introducing some of my favourites!

Space themed food is the tastiest (and definitely the most colourful!)

I am always on the look-out for new recipes that I can adapt into a spacey theme. My galaxy cheesecake was a super success and soon I plan to make another space recipe! I am always finding inspiration for this increasingly popular theme for baking!

National Astronomy Day Space Cake Goals

By Cloud 9 – Brighton

 Galaxy Themed Donut Galaxy Cakes
 Space Themed Cake

It inspires beautiful Designs

Satin and Tat (who I write blog posts for) have produced 2 invite designs that are perfect for space themed weddings. This is the kind of thing that is exactly up my street design wise; I mean come on, I designed my entire blog around it!

It’s beautiful, awe-inspiring and my favourite place to get inspiration. I am looking forward to the day that I can produce some artwork good enough to show off, but I am working on some galaxy ink-works (watch this space!)

Astronomy Day Mood Board

The space moodboard I did for Satin and Tats new releases!

There could be others like us out there

New Scientist Magazine confirms that there is huge potential for life on one of Saturn’s moons, after finding the perfect balance of gases and needed for a specific microorganism to thrive! That’s super exciting! There’s potential for life that could outlive us by hundreds of thousands of years!

In a little older news, the awesome guys and gals at NASA found a whole new solar system with 7 earth-size planets. We have literally no idea how much potential there is for not only life but sentient beings like us living 40 light years away.

I can’t wait to see what else they can uncover about these mysterious planets! Let’s hope whatever they find there is better at looking after their own planets than we are of ours…

Google Doodle Celebrated this in such a cute way!

Happy International Astronomy Day!

Hope you all have an awesome day, wherever you are in the ether! I might have to celebrate with cake…

Amy

Alternative Amsterdam Canal Boat

Alternative Amsterdam Trip – A Photo Story

Time for the most photo-heavy post ever as I’ve just returned from Amsterdam! We had a brilliant time trying to get a good alternative Amsterdam experience that isn’t just getting high or visiting the tourist traps. Here are just a few main points on the things I found the best (and the worst) from the little cross-section we got.

As always all my own opinion – unsponsored and completely biased.

Arrival Day

From checking into our hotel we got stuck straight into the shopping District to the west. “The 9 Streets” were a great start with beautiful boutiques and quiet lanes to stroll down. We accidentally walked straight into the touristy area and jeez, could we tell the difference!
We quickly dashed into the tulip museum which sold certified tulip bulbs (so you can take them abroad). It smelled so beautiful… Aaaand then we headed to the cheese museum a few doors down. It was so strong I almost walked straight back out, despite enjoying cheese!
Amsterdam Dutch Cheese Museum
One thing I learned from the initial day was that pretty much everyone speaks English and also they say bikes are very common here but that is an understatement! You’d not be in Amsterdam if you didn’t see a bike in every direction you look or nearly get run over by one at least twice…

Room Mate Aitana

We didn’t end up going out that evening; the hotel was so lush! We initially thought we would head down to the restaurant but then realised we were exhausted. We ended up ordering room service instead and enjoying the perfect views from the windows from the luxury of the queen size bed. Definitely the right choice!
Room Mate Aitana Amsterdam Business Hotel
Room Mate Aitana Standard Room Business Hotel Amsterdam

Alternative Amsterdam Museum Day

On the first morning (and every morning after…) we ate at Bagel and Beans opposite our hotel on the river IJ. It had a beautiful view and a lovely atmosphere with awesome veggie and vegan options. A great way to start the day!
Bagel and Beans River IJ Amsterdam
So we planned to give the smaller museums of Amsterdam a chance rather than the larger (tourist trap) museums, we headed out early hoping to beat the crowds. All these museums were situated in and around the Red Light District which was very quiet due to the time but we wanted to see it in contrast with the evening.
Red Light District Picture Amsterdam

The Red Light District looks quite calm in the day time…

 By midday we had already visited the Erotic Museum, Torture museum and Red Light Secrets (Museum of Prostitution) – of course, the only way to spend a morning in Amsterdam! The Erotic museum was very seedy (as expected) and the torture museum was very small for the price and mostly made me suck air in through my teeth a lot! Eesh.
Erotic Museum Amsterdam Novelty Condoms

Novelty Condoms in the Erotic Museum

The best museum I would say not to miss is Red Light Secrets. This one gives a real insight into what it’s like making a living from the ‘oldest profession’. It kind of takes any romantic feeling out of it portrayed in the movies and it hits home what these women (and men) do on a daily basis and how dangerous it is.
Red Light Secrets Amsterdam Confessions

They encouraged people to make their own confessions in secret which would then get put on the wall!

Shamelessly drunk in the daytime…

Before heading off for lunch we went to the Ice Bar which is basically like sitting in a freezer while you drink. The whole thing had a pirate theme and was quite bizarre… but definitely a novelty for stag dos! The ice bears were pretty impressive though!
Ice Sculpture Polar Bear Ice Bar Amsterdam
I wanted to compare the experience with the Ice Bar in Soho and I wasn’t as impressed. Although, unlike the frankly overpriced London IceBar, we did have three shots included in the price of the entrance… before lunch. So I wandered around woozily to a square where we had Mexican food. Not before a little AmsterDAB.
Amsterdam Amsterdabbing Amsterdab
I’m sorry…
Moving on, we walked back up through the Red Light District in the early evening and the atmosphere had changed dramatically. The pubs were overflowing, smoke filled the air, the lights were glaring and the ladies were out in force (it wasn’t even 6-pm). Of course, there were no pictures allowed but I have to say it should be on everyone’s travel bucket list!

Frugal Day

River IJ Eye Museum Amsterdam

By this point we realised just how much money we were spending… 15 euros here… 30 euros there… It had been pretty damn expensive thus far! So the aim of Day 3 was to do as much free stuff as possible, ending up near our pre-booked Canal Cruise in the evening.
We began with a ferry trip to the Eye Museum which was advertised on “Top 10” sites everywhere. It’s free to enter the permanent exhibition if you buy a ticket to the seasonal one… boo. But it is a beautiful building so we sat there for a while!
River IJ Eye Museum Amsterdam

The view from our hotel room!

We also went on the other free ferry to NDSM which is a converted dockyard turned artisan quarter. When it’s not in season, it’s just a docks (although there is a hell of a lot of cool graffiti). Off to a bad start activity wise but at least we were enjoying the views!

Killing Time Highlights

We saw the outdoor chess board in tribute to the famous Dutch Chess Player Max Euwe with a little group playing chess in the sun.

Chess Max Euwe MaxEuwesplein

We stopped by a little fast food place called Febo where you can get croquettes. They were served from vending machines and they were super tasty. Kinda like pie filling in breadcrumbs. Mmmm.
Febo Croquettes Amsterdam

We visited the IAmsterdam sign and the Modern Art Gallery gift shop which was full of amazing art and design literature. It made me realise we need a bigger library…

Alternative Amsterdam Museum District Bubbles
Alternative Amsterdam Wonky Houses
Alternative Amsterdam Vintage Style
The moral of today is that you can’t really do a lot around Amsterdam without money… but of course, you can just soak in the atmosphere.
Canal Cruise Blue Boat Company Amsterdam
A canal cruise was definitely worth doing but it’s very commercial. My tip for you is head to the south and get one of the cruises near the Max Euwesplein. The cruises are not really romantic, but it’s not a bad way to see the city for sure. You hear an interesting audio tour of the city and get seated on tables of 6 so it’s good for meeting other people!

Science Day

Alternative Amsterdam Trip NEMO Science Museum

Today we met our Dutch friend who travelled to see us in the capital. We ended up wandering around the east side of the city. Unfortunately, we spent so long in the science museum we didn’t get time to visit the zoo!
The science museum was spectacular and I loved it! It’s aimed at kids and parents but the exhibitions were loads better than any UK science museum I have been to. There were whole interactive exhibitions on mental health, psychology, sex ed, motion, ecosystems, *takes a breath*, electricity, astronomy, materials AND a full chemistry lab and workshop for families!

 
 Alternative Amsterdam Trip NEMO Science Museum
It seemed really well funded and directly addressed some real core issues which I admired. There is too much stigma in the UK when it comes to discussing things like mental health, hormones, alcohol effects etc directly with children. I feel it’s best to just be honest with them to help them understand how it may affect their later lives.
Overall it was great to spend a few days in Amsterdam but now I am thoroughly exhausted! Even when we had no plans for the day we were exploring and crowds just take it out of you.
Perhaps next time I will try a brownie…
Alternative Amsterdam Things to Do Tulip Season Amsterdam
Space Cheesecake

A Geek’s Guide: Space Cheesecake

So I’m not exactly a culinary legend…

…but I’m not scared to give anything a go! So when I saw there was a trend online for making unicorn related cakes, I thought… why not adapt it and make a Space Cheesecake? The recipe I mostly adapted from used American pre-made bases, so I thought I’d go British and go for a traditional buttery biscuit base! I got some advice from my older and wiser colleagues who know about these kinds of things, and got to work!

Disclaimer: I cannot (!) make anything without trashing the kitchen… But I just like to think the mess is a reflection of how much fun I had making the thing!

Ignition sequence start…

So first of all, the ingredients. As you can see all of my core ingredients are from Tesco but there are other places to get these things!

 

100g butter
200g digestive biscuits
500g (or about 2 tubs of soft cheese)
200g sugar
250ml heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla essence
White or silver sprinkles
Food Colourings 

Just a note: it’s best to use gel colours as they’re much better than your normal runny ones. I bought mine here.
You’ll also need an electric whisk!

To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before…

The original recipe used a pre-bought Graham-cracker base but I am not American (nor lazy!) so for mine, I ended up crushing up 2 parts digestive biscuits to 1 part melted butter.

I crushed the biscuits by using the end of a rolling pin in a bowl (they break up super easily). I then melted the butter in a pan and combined them.

Then I laid the biscuit crumbs into a well-buttered tin (mine was a cake tin with a removable base) and pushed down with the flat of a spoon to make sure the base was nice and firm.

Space Cheesecake Buttery Biscuit Base

Commencing countdown, engines on…

Next, I used an electric whisk to blitz together the soft cheese and sugar, and then once it was combined, chucked in the cream and then continued to whisk until there were “Stiff peaks“. Now, I hadn’t done this before and thought… how will I know when it’s done that? But trust me – you’ll know! At this point, add the vanilla extract and mix in.

 Vanilla Essence Space Cheesecake
 Space Cheesecake Whipping Cream Stiff Peaks

Failure is not an option…

Next, I separated this mix into 3 bowls so I could add the gel colours. I opted for blue, purple and pink (something wasn’t quite right about a black cheesecake…)

I didn’t want to compromise the flavour of the space cheesecake by adding too much colouring, so I didn’t go too brave and make it really dark… but the colours still worked really well!

Splodge all the mixture into small alternating dollops (technical terms…) onto the top of the base at random, and then marble them by swirling around with a chopstick.

Space Cheesecake Cream cheese colours

Space Cheesecake Dollops

Space Cheesecake Chopstick

Cake (and grief counselling) will be available at the conclusion of the test…

To finish, I smoothed off the top with a spatula and then scattered my white decorations at random. It needed to then be chilled for 6 hours in the fridge before removing from the tin and Voilà! The space cheesecake was ready to eat, and oh my gosh was it good!

Space Cheesecake Complete

Space Cheesecake Piece

Space Cheesecake Final

So what do you think?!

Until Next Time

Amy

Intergalactic, shoot for the stars and Northern Lights bathbomb

A Geek’s Guide: 7 Gifts for a Space Princess

As a lover of all things space related I’ve decided to compile a little gift guide; for the Space Princess in your life! It was so difficult not to post literally everything I have that’s space related, but I’ve whittled it down to just 7 (affordable) items.

As you can probably tell this is not a sponsored post since I am completely new to this, so all these opinions are 100% my own! Also, I hopefully won’t post too many materialistic posts but I love space themed stuff so much that I just really wanted to share the gifts I received with you!

1. Intergalactic Star Crown by Crown and Glory

I’m modelling this particular item (in colour-way Black Hole) below. I wore it to my Christmas party and it just felt like a true reflection of myself! Most of their range is handmade and so took 8-10 days to get shipped out. I would really recommend this for parties as, unlike most glitter coated items, the glitter didn’t come off and get everywhere! Top marks for that alone, as well as it being super cute.

Space Princess Game is Strong

Space Princess

It came with star sequins inside too!

 2. It’s about Space-Time Necklace by Eclectic Eccentricity

This necklace is AMAZING. I saw it and instantly fell in love with it. It went straight on my Amazon wishlist and I got it as a Christmas present. Eclectic Eccentricity currently do a whole selection of space related jewellery which is just stunning! (and on SALE).

Space Princess

3. Solar system in a Bottle by Little Planet Factory

My boyfriend got major brownie points for this one! This little bottle contains 3D prints of all the planets in our solar system AND a rogue Pluto. It’s just a really pretty and interesting little nonsense trinket – the one I have is not to scale as Jupiter would have been the size of a watermelon and the to-scale version is crazy small!

Space Princess

I see you, Pluto.

4. Space Dog Print Skirt by Lindy Bop

This was a super cute purchase.  It reminds me of concept art for The Jetsons. For those not familiar with 80’s cartoons it was a space-age themed show which wasn’t quite popular enough to make a 00’s comeback. I really rate Lindy Bop for their quality and it’s really nice to see they are branching out from vintage floral prints into more alternative prints!

 

Images from the Lindy Bop website

 5. Intergalactic Bath Bomb by Lush

This has to be my favourite bath bomb of all time. Lush brought out SO much space-themed stuff for Christmas but Intergalactic came out on top. Of the 3 below, Intergalactic was the only one that wasn’t an exclusive for Christmas. The colours were just astounding as it fizzed away as you’d expect with a Lush item. However, it also left the bathwater looking like the night sky. I’ll be very sad if they ever discontinue this one. From left to right, Shoot for the Stars, Intergalactic and Northern Lights.

Space Princess

6. Lumpy Space Princess Brooch by DaisyBell Emporium

So I am a little biased on this one as it’s from a local handmade store in my hometown and I got featured on their Etsy after posting a picture on my Instagram. Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time is my spirit animal so I bought this brooch and you can just tell that it’s been made with love. It’s so lumping good!

So cute, Oh my Glob!

Lumpy Space Princess is my spirit animal

7. Moon Lamp by Fizz Creations

This is SO adorable and really affordable. It’s a full colour changing little lamp (about the size of a mango?) which is textured on the outside. The nicest touch was the footprint on the top, reminiscent of when we visited the moon’s surface. If I had to pick one flaw with this it’s that it takes 3 AA batteries and comes with none, but that’s just standard sometimes!

 
 

Hope this gave you some ideas for gifts (for yourself or for other people!)
What kind of space-related stuff do you love?

Until next time,

Amy