Look at This Vending Machine!

I haven’t bought a single Christmas present this year and I’m still quite happy the holiday season is coming to an end. I seriously hate that no one in my family listens when I say I don’t want anything. It’s ridiculous that they feel obligated to give me something I definitely don’t need or want. I don’t even believe in the stupid day. Ugh.

Anyway, I can’t do much about unwanted gifts here in the US. I could perhaps take them back with the original or gift receipt, but then I’d just have to replace them with something else I don’t need. But those living in Germany have another option. They can take their unwanted gifts to a vending machine that will be going around various shopping malls that does something rather amazing. It takes your unwanted gift and replaces it with a new release book! Has there been anything greater, ever? And the gifts are donated to charity!

I’ll be stuck with some unwanted and unnecessary gifts in a few days, but at least in Germany they can do something about it. I’ll just pretend to like whatever I get.

What do you think of this vending machine replacing unwanted gifts with new books?

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Germany is Banning Books

Oh no, call the authorities!

This is something that sounds a little weird to me. Germany has just updated a law that makes it a crime to buy erotic-type eBooks during the day. Seriously.

So no¬†Grey for you this week. I’m obviously not familiar with the law over there, but they might as well say that people can’t watch rated R movies during the day or (cover your eyes, little people) watch porn or anything they want. Who knows, maybe that’s already the case. I just think it’s a little ridiculous to force people to buy these types of eBooks between 10:00 at night and 6:00 in the morning. I haven’t seen anything about printed books, but maybe there’s some age restriction on these types of books over there? I have no idea. But I do know that anyone can walk into their local bookstore and buy any book they want to…in the US. Which is how it should be.

I’ve never read one of these books, but I think anyone who wants to should be able to. Without having to deal with this nonsense about buying them during the day.

What do you think about these sex-themed eBooks (I think that’s the official language used) only being sold at night? The next thing they’ll ban is sex during the day because your kid might walk in. *insert laughing emoji here*


On this day in 2014 I published The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

 

I’m Going on Vacation!

And I want to meet you!

Okay. I realize that most of you are complete strangers to me, but plenty of you aren’t. I mean, I kind of wish I could meet all of you and show you how random I am in person, but I can’t. So that’s why this is really going to be a trip of a lifetime! Because I am going to get to meet some of you! (I hope)

Let me tell you what’s going on. I don’t have an exact itinerary just yet. But I do at least know a handful of countries I’m hoping to visit, so if you happen to live in one of the countries then we’re about to meet! I know for sure I’ll be going to the UK, France, Australia, Germany, and then circle around back to the US and visit a few states I’ve always wanted to see. If you live in one of these states/cities you better say so! California. New York. Washington D.C. And depending on the time I spend in New York and California, I may slip into Canada for a day or so.

So that’s it! My little trip around the world.

You’re probably wondering why I’m doing this at all. Well, I think the best time for one to travel is the time immediately following college graduation. And yes, I graduated two years ago, but I’m still in that period. And as for the blog, well I’m leaving fairly soon because there’s no reason for me to wait, but I’m going to write some posts and schedule them out for the next few days. But I most likely will not be blogging during my trip, which I expect to last about two weeks. Because I’ve never had the chance to travel and I don’t want to spend that time replying to comments and checking stats.

If you happen to live in the UK, France, Germany, Australia, California, New York, Washington D.C., or Canada, AND think you might like to meet me in the near future…then you need to tell me! I think we could probably figure something out.

That’s all for today. MP Sharma, I’m stealing you and bringing you back in my suitcase!

Something More Important than Books

NormandySupply_edit

Today is the 70th anniversary of something, do you know what it is? I hope so, if not, well whatever.

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Please tell me you at least know the very basic premise of what happened now that I’ve said that. It was the start of the Allied invasion of France via the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II. I believe it is still to this day the largest amphibious invasion in history.

You’re probably wondering why I decided to post about this and not something about books today. I’m doing so because there are some events that we need not forget. Who doesn’t know about Lexington and Concord? Or Independence Day. Or Gettysburg. Or President Lincoln’s assassination. Or Pearl Harbor. Or September 11. As far as American history is concerned, the events that took place on the dates I’ve mentioned are as unforgettable as it gets. And there are others, but the point is that no one really considers D-Day to be one of these dates that should never go unknown to any generation.

If you’re one of those people who doesn’t know what happened that day or maybe you’ve never even heard the date, then I ask that you do one thing that will give you just a little perspective. Take a look at this map of Nazi Germany. Just about the whole of Continental Europe is under their control.

WWII War Map

Imagine that. A single foreign power having the ability to take over an entire continent, and Europe at that. The thing that people may not realize is that had just a couple of events gone differently during the course of the war, if Churchill had surrendered rather than watch London destroyed day after day, or Hitler had sent his men into Moscow to take over the capital rather than into Stalingrad in an apparent ego trip, then who knows what might have come next. If you know a little about the war like I do, then you know Churchill never surrendered even with London in ruins and the Red Army was able to stop Germany’s advance once the cold Russian winter hit. Had these two events played out differently and Hitler faced no more resistance in Europe, then an invasion of America would be inevitable. You’re probably thinking Pearl Harbor happened. That wasn’t an invasion. That was an attack with a very specific purpose, destroy the Pacific fleet.

But this post isn’t meant to be a history lesson because I know some of you will already know all of this. The invasion of France on D-day only happened because the Allies decided that Stalin had to become their ally if the war was to be won. According to what I’ve read, he agreed to help the Allies with Japan while the Allies agreed to help him with Germany, thus the invasion of German occupied France. This was the turning point of all turning points in any war. The invasion would not be called off and massive casualties were expected, but it was either this or let Hitler run wild and do whatever he wanted.

Very long story short, the invasion was successful and the Allies made their way across Europe over the course of the next ten months, ultimately ending the war with Germany. And of course the war with Japan a few months later by dropping the first and only nuclear bombs in history.

Now you might be wondering why I believe you all should know about this. Because it’s an historic event in the course of all human history, not just for Germany or France or the UK or the United States, but for everyone. The world would no doubt be a different place had the invasion been unsuccessful. It would have been a debilitating loss for the Allies that may not have allowed for another attempt to enter continental Europe for years into the future.

One last point that I want to make for you guys. Have you ever taken a look at the list of federal holidays? If not, you can do so here. You’ll find that there are only two holidays that are religious, right? Christmas and Thanksgiving. These should not be included on the list and should be on the list of other religious holidays that are recognized by the government, but not necessarily federal holidays. Why? Because what about the whole separation of church and State? But I guess it doesn’t apply to major Christian holidays. Anyway, these should be taken off the list and three should be added. June 6, September 11, and December 7. D-Day, the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and the day a foreign power attacked America. Every one of these dates represents a moment in our nation’s history that should not be forgotten.

I’ve read that the most accurate depiction of what took place on the beaches of Normandy may be the opening sequence from the movie Saving Private Ryan. Skip to the 5:00 mark and it’ll put you at the start of the fighting. I warn you, it’s graphic.

Photo Credits: Do You Know About

Wikipedia